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Thread: Mass Effect: Andromeda

  1. #76
    practical experience, FTW Opty's Avatar
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    Alright, my 10-hour free trial access is already over, lol. Damn it!

    I played a handful of multiplayer matches and also a few hours of single-player story mode. Here are my thoughts so far, from only playing with it for 10 hours (no spoilers):

    Multiplayer

    The bad:

    a) Multiplayer's controls are a little worse than they used to be. They're not nearly as intuitive and some of the changes they made to the game controls are, frankly, dumb. So, rather than going straight from ME3's great multi straight to this with no problem, there is a bit of a learning curve. That doesn't necessarily bother me, but the learning curve was totally unnecessary, imo, because the control changes were totally unnecessary. However, after a little while, you get used to them and it becomes better.

    b) The menu system is a lot clunkier and less user-friendly now than it is in ME3's MP. Not sure why they changed it so drastically, other than this being another example of "let's change stuff just for the sake of changing it." If something is already awesome, why mess with it? Why fix it if it's not broken?

    c) It takes a weirdly long amount of time for each wave to start. It will say "Wave 2" or something like that, but then there is at least a 10 second pause after that before the objective is announced or any enemies appear. That doesn't happen in ME3 MP, where the waves start and the objectives and enemies immediately appear.

    Also, it's often tough to even find the enemies. The maps on ME:A are definitely larger and more vertical than ME3's, but I found myself wasting so much time just running around the map just trying to find something to shoot. It was weird.

    d) This is just an aesthetic gripe, but almost none of the human MP characters have helmets anymore. They're certainly more racially diverse, because there are several different races/ethnicities for male and female characters. But, to me, it seems wholly unnecessary. I actually LIKED that my characters in ME3's MP had helmets, because not only did the helmets look cool, I could imagine their faces any way that I wanted to.

    Also, what the hell kind of soldier goes into space battle without a helmet, especially on environments that are hazardous to human survival? It's not a big issue, but I wish there were an option to put helmets on them, because those helmets look really cool. I mean, I get it, not having helmets allows Bioware to show the world how diverse they're trying to be, but the "no helmet" decision makes no practical sense. It's space battle. I want to see cool space armor and space helmets.

    e) As cool as some of the armor sets look, they also all look very similar, so every character winds up looking pretty much the same, no matter their class and skills. ME3's MP had a very visually diverse group of character designs, with different body types and very different armors. This one has diverse faces, but all the bodies look almost exactly the same. Maybe that's why they decided to remove the helmets. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to tell any of the characters apart.

    A minor quibble, but still kind of annoying.

    The good:

    a) Once I got used to the new, somewhat clunky controls, and started to really get the hang of it, it got more fun.

    b) The graphics are awesome and the level designs are creative.

    c) It takes longer to level up now (almost too long), but the enemies are more challenging in a good way. The AI seems like it's a bit better, and the enemies will flank you and move around more dynamically on the map. Seems like the difficulty has been ramped up in the game, both in SP and MP, so that's a good thing.

    d) Even as great as ME3's MP was, it also had a slow start and there were kinks to work out. So, I'm confident that they'll work out those kinks and the MP will continue to improve and get even better.

    Overall, despite my gripes, it was fun and I will continue playing it once I get the real game next week.


    Single Player

    The bad:

    a) The facial animations for humans are horrible. Bioware is getting mercilessly criticized for this online right now, and they deserve every bit of it. There is simply no excuse for a game on current-gen consoles, using one of the most visually impressive game engines available, to have animations this horrendous. Especially after 10 years of working on this franchise. The facial animations on Dragon Age: Inquisition weren't awesome, but they were much better than what's in this game. I doubt any patch will fix this.

    b) The "Character Creator" at the beginning of the game (where you should be able to customize your character's appearance) is utter dog shit. For some unfathomable reason, they've removed most of the customization options from previous games. You can no longer choose from different noses, different types of eyes, different types of eyebrowns, different types of mouths, etc. You have to choose from a list of 10 present heads and then can only make what is already on the pre-set head bigger or smaller.

    But, hey, they added an entire make-up option for the ladies. So...um...progress, I guess?

    The quality of the CC is really, really stupid. One of the most inexplicably stupid decisions they made with this game. I know that a lot of people won't care, because they'll just stick with the prerendered Ryder character, but both of them (male and female) are so ugly and "uncanny Valley-ish" that I wanted to change mine, only to find out how severely limited my options were.

    c) The opening few hours are slow and not very engaging from a dramatic/writing standpoint.

    The good:

    a) The graphics and environments are awesome (despite the facial animations).

    b) The gameplay and fighting is much improved.

    c) Even though it gets off to a slow start, that doesn't really bother me so much. ME1 also got off to a slow start, and that turned out to be a great game. Witcher 3 also had a very boring first few hours, and it turned out to be my favorite RPG in a long time. So, given how deep this game supposedly is and how much content there is, I'm confident that the story that is yet to come will be very rewarding.

    Overall, I'm still getting the full game on Tuesday and I doubt I'll regret it.
    "I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses." - Johannes Kepler

  2. #77
    Indecisive Noodle KateSmash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teinz View Post
    I've never played any of the previous games, but I'm tempted to buy this one. Should I?
    Honestly, I would go for the original trilogy. It's a landmark title in gaming for a reason.

  3. #78
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    The character customization stuff baffles me, Opty...

    Like, that's a good chunk of why I play RPGs!
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  4. #79
    practical experience, FTW Opty's Avatar
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    24 hours to go until my pre-order is unlocked!

    Despite my initial nitpicks and the hyperbolic hate it's getting online about facial animations (no good excuse for those animations, but they're not a deal-breaker for me), I'm still really looking forward to this game.

    24 hours can't go by fast enough.
    "I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses." - Johannes Kepler

  5. #80
    Indecisive Noodle KateSmash's Avatar
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    The 10-hour demo didn't do much for me. I think I'll be sitting this out for a few months, depending on full reception and whatnot. Because those animations kind of are a deal-breaker for me. If I can't really look at the screen during crucial narrative moments because they drop me in the ickiness of the uncanny valley, how can I really enjoy the story?

  6. #81
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    That's my concern too, Kate.

    It also doesn't help that, to get Mass Effect: Andromeda, I'll have to get Origin. And I know that Origin has improved IMMENSELY from what it started at, but...

    I'm...scared of new things?

    I don't trust E.A?

    I'm lazy?

    Pick two of three!

    But then I go and see that P.C Gamer gave it an 80% - and I trust those guys. ANd Opty likes it! Then I start WAFFLING AGAIN!

    (Link: http://www.pcgamer.com/mass-effect-andromeda-review/ )

    Similarly, there is no Reaper-style threat hanging over Ryder's head. The Heleus Cluster has problems—plenty of them—and the monumental task of settling this hostile landscape is evocatively presented. Yet Andromeda lacks the momentum that comes from planting a time bomb underneath civilisation as Shepard's story did. You will participate in alien civil wars, battle outlaws and contend with ancient machines, but a true driving purpose takes a long time to materialise. Andromeda's villain, the Kett Archon, doesn't really come alive as a threat until the latter stages of the campaign.
    This is really helping sell me - because I always thought that the Reapers are cool...but they choke the focus on an expansive, awesome universe down to a single narrative.
    Last edited by Zoombie; 03-20-2017 at 08:29 PM.
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  7. #82
    practical experience, FTW Matt T.'s Avatar
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    I'm thinking I'm going to sit out ME: Andromeda for at least a few months. The reviews I've read have been underwhelming, and supposedly it has a ton of bugs and performance issues on top of the animation problems. I have a feeling it'll be a much more polished experience once they've had some time to patch it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    That's my concern too, Kate.

    It also doesn't help that, to get Mass Effect: Andromeda, I'll have to get Origin. And I know that Origin has improved IMMENSELY from what it started at, but...

    I'm...scared of new things?

    I don't trust E.A?

    I'm lazy?

    Pick two of three!
    I've had to use Origin for a handful of games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, and it's actually not too bad. I'd prefer to have everything in Steam so everything is in one spot, but I haven't had any issues with it.

  8. #83
    That cheeky buggerer Maxinquaye's Avatar
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    Light spoilers in this review, but... although the conclusion is positive, it concerns me that they describe it as "Dragon Age Inquisition" with a Mass Effect skin.

    https://arstechnica.co.uk/gaming/201...romeda-review/
    There is so much I haven’t talked about yet—including, hilariously enough, basically anything about the Kett, the weird AI named SAM that lives in your head, the Angara, the romance choices, the Remnant, or really any of the rest of the plot and how it fits into the Mass Effect story. I don’t know what the ending looks like (I have some guesses, but they’re just that), or how many variations of it there are, or how many times you’d have to replay Andromeda to fully see everything it has to show you (I suspect the answer is “easily two or three”).

    What I can say, though, is that this is a good game. This is a BioWare space RPG. This is a Mass Effect game, in character and execution as well as in name. If you’re a Mass Effect fan—the kind who created a custom Shepard and imported a single save game all the way through the original trilogy and has fierce feelings about the proper romance choices for Shepard—then you’ll want to buy Andromeda, because even though it won’t give you any more Shepard, it will give you more Mass Effect (and there are some hints and voice logs from familiar original trilogy faces to be found—if you look for them).

    This is Mass Effect, and I’m excited to see where it ends. I just wish they’d given me more than a single week to do this review, because the Heleus Cluster is enormous and has way, way too much to see in just a few dozen hours.
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  9. #84
    practical experience, FTW Matt T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxinquaye View Post
    Light spoilers in this review, but... although the conclusion is positive, it concerns me that they describe it as "Dragon Age Inquisition" with a Mass Effect skin.

    https://arstechnica.co.uk/gaming/201...romeda-review/
    I kinda agree... I didn't hate Dragon Age: Inquisition, but I didn't love it either. I've always far preferred the ME trilogy's approach over the open world focus and endless side quests and filler content that Inquisition, and now apparently Andromeda, have.

  10. #85
    That cheeky buggerer Maxinquaye's Avatar
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    I liked Dragon Age Inquisition, when it came. But that genre has moved on since then with Horizon: Zero Dawn, Zelda Breath of the Wild, and Witcher 3. It concerns me that Mass Effect Andromeda appears to be a single player MMO, which DA:I was.
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  11. #86
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    ...so, I bought Mass Effect: Andromeda.

    I'll tell you what I think in a few days!
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  12. #87
    practical experience, FTW Opty's Avatar
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    It's definitely not gonna win GOTY from anyone other than the developers' moms. And, I think that any RPG that comes out after Witcher 3 is gonna have a tough time living up to those expectations, especially Bioware (given ME3's ending debacle). It also seems clear that the exits of leading game developers from ME:A during its development either hurt it or were cases of people jumping a sinking ship that they didn't see a way to save.

    But, from what I played and what I've read, it's still an enjoyable game. For me, not every game I play has to be 9/10 or 10/10. A game that is 8/10 is still a good game. I'll probably like the game more than the average player, but I'm also a bit of a Bioware fanboy at times, especially when it comes to the Mass Effect series.

    However, I'm not gonna go in to this game (when I get the full version in 11 hours) expecting a masterpiece. I'm confident that I'll enjoy it and get my money's worth out of it.

    I'm also planning on getting Horizon: Zero Dawn eventually.

    Whatever will keep me occupied until CDPR's "Cyberpunk 2077" comes out.
    Last edited by Opty; 03-20-2017 at 09:40 PM.
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  13. #88
    =^_^= lilyWhite's Avatar
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    Witcher 3 has its flaws, and as much as it's touted as some flawless revolutionary genre-changing game, it's truly nothing special in the long run.

    I already know from what I've played of the trial that it's a spectacular game, and I think the response from players and not a handful of GIFs thrown about everywhere will demonstrate the game's quality well enough for itself.

  14. #89
    That cheeky buggerer Maxinquaye's Avatar
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    Nobody claims Witcher 3 is flawless. At this point the buggy horse, Roach, has become legendary because of the flaws. It's like it has become part of her character to spawn in completely ridiculous ways. But quests like Fyke Island, the Crones quest, the Baron's quest as well as the ridiculous depth of many of the non-main-story-related side quests are bars that others should attempt to reach. For a company like BioWare whose niche is story-telling, and who has all the resources of EA behind it, writing "Fetch X things" and "Kill Y animals" is not acceptable anymore.

    Look at the relationships in Witcher 3, for instance the relationships with Keira Metz and how it informs the Fyke Island quest, and the consequences for her if you chose wrong. Look at the choices you have to make in the Crone's quest: sacrificing children or a village. And look at the relationship consequences that quest has on the Baron.
    Last edited by Maxinquaye; 03-20-2017 at 10:04 PM.
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  15. #90
    =^_^= lilyWhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxinquaye View Post
    For a company like BioWare whose niche is story-telling, and who has all the resources of EA behind it, writing "Fetch X things" and "Kill Y animals" is not acceptable anymore.
    There is an abundance of such content in Witcher 3.

  16. #91
    practical experience, FTW Opty's Avatar
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    Nerdist gave it a fair, but overall positive, review:

    In spite of all my complaints, Mass Effect: Andromeda has consumed my every waking thought since I first booted it up. BioWare’s signature blend of deep character customization, thoughtful writing, and polished action RPG mechanics are all present in Andromeda, and I can easily see myself playing the campaign for well over a hundred hours. After five long years, it feels incredibly satisfying to be playing a new story set in the Mass Effect universe. While outdoing its predecessors may seem like a Sisyphean task, Andromeda offers lots to love and a seemingly endless amount of stuff to do. I look forward to discovering its myriad secrets and seeing where this twisting, turning story takes me. If you’re able to look past its blemishes and performance issues, Andromeda is well worth your time. If not, then now seems like an awfully good time to replay the original trilogy.
    Only 38 more minutes for me until it unlocks!
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  17. #92
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    My version is downloading!

    While I've been playing, I've been replaying Mass Effect and, you know, I still really do like the non-thermal clip system they used there...I get why they have thermal clips, but it feels like it took away a really neat SF premise (ammoless battlefields!) for the purposes of gameplay.
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  18. #93
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    I preordered this for my fiance. So he has to wait 13 minutes before he can play, correct?

  19. #94
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    A friend of mine just posited a theory why Witcher 3 has better facial animations than Andromeda.

    ...slider faces.

    Think about it. Witcher 3 just has to get one set of faces to work properly, not a bunch of possible faces that can be any number of settings. I'm betting most of their NPCs are made by moving around sliders (after all, why not use that facial construction technique for your NPCs? Seems to me like it'd save on money and time.)

    It's just a theory, but it does seem reasonable to me.
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  20. #95
    That cheeky buggerer Maxinquaye's Avatar
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    I'm actually replaying Mass Effect 2 while I'm waiting. It's such a good game. The best of the series, in my opinion. I'm considering playing ME3 before doing ME:A, but who am I kidding? As if I have that kind of self-control when it comes to games...
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  21. #96
    practical experience, FTW Opty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    My version is downloading!

    While I've been playing, I've been replaying Mass Effect and, you know, I still really do like the non-thermal clip system they used there...I get why they have thermal clips, but it feels like it took away a really neat SF premise (ammoless battlefields!) for the purposes of gameplay.
    Hurry up! I just blasted off from Ark Hyperion down to Habitat 7...
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  22. #97
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    I'm starting!

    Personally, I really liked the character creation system. I made a punky looking Rydergirl!
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  23. #98
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    So, in what universe is this a slow opening?

    Of course, people kept saying that Mass Effect 1 was a slow opening, but Mass Effect 1 dumps you into combat and a thrilling battle less than ten minutes in.

    So far, the faces aren't THAT bad. They're not OMG amazing, but they're not awful to me.

    I really do like the characters so far, and the combat is fun!
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  24. #99
    practical experience, FTW Opty's Avatar
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    My first complaint is that this game needs even more Clancy Brown. More Clancy is always a good thing.
    "I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses." - Johannes Kepler

  25. #100
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    So far, things I really like!

    Having a mass effect field creating lightning storms is entirely consistant with the in game universe, as mass effect fields are produced via running electrical current through eezo - and this produces static charge. If it is on the scale that the alien technology is clearly built, it would produce a commensurately larger charge - and thus, the lightning.

    Next thing I like!

    They used mass effect relays (well, adapted Geth technology that used mass effect relays) to telescopically observe Andromeda! That is clever and neat!

    Next thing I like!

    HOLY SHIT YOU GO FROM ORBIT TO THE PLANETARY SURFACE WITHOUT A LOADING SCREEN! That's impressive!

    Oh, also, the omni-tools are actually being shown doing the things the fluff says they can do. Which is awesome!
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