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Mass Effect Andromeda

well bang OK? Space Jesus Decline Culpa

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#1
213374U

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Since plenty of people are playing this game but nobody seems to want to be the one to make the thread, I'll go ahead and take one for the team. Maybe then the Random News thread can be about something else now, screams the armchair moderator in me.

I'll take Raithe's post as a basis as it's the one with the most substance so far.
 

Okay, having sat down and played about 2 hours of ME: Andromeda now... I am strangely getting deja vu feeling for the original Mass Effect.
 
The whole opening sequence, first planet/mission on a linear track (with mild exploratory stuff), and then finally reaching the point it will start to open up and branch out galaxy wise. Is very much the whole Eden Prime / Citadel run through until you get your title as the special one. And not to put any serious spoilers to it, but yes, you do become special for... reasons.
 
The graphics seem to bounce from quite lushly nice planetary stuff and then bizarrely odd facial looks (as shown by old tired face Addison).
 
The combat is more pew-pew but with motion , so more the bounce around and dodge fire rather than just hunker down behind one piece of cover. The enemy will move and try to flank you and throw grenades and pull stuff like that rather than just come single file down a corridor.
 
Once you try interacting with the UI in the sense of accessing the inventory menus, the codex, the journal, then it all gets a bit messy.  Its very layered rather than within a few clicks. And while you get the "Your codex has fresh entries" exclamation mark showing up, it doesn't always highlight where the damn things are in the file structure, so you can end up clicking back and forth a whole heap of times to find that new one.
 
Haven't had much exposure to the inventory management or research side of things yet. Just mostly the grabbing stuff and holding it because you can't do much with it during that opening.
 
Also, no quick save button. And you cannot save the game during any Priority Missions. Which is basically the entire two hours of the start. It will do some autosaving, but beyond that, you're screwed. Once you get outside of anything titled a Priority Mission, you get saves as normal.
 
The dialogue and writing are the typical space opera cheese fest of ME, so your mileage will vary depending on how entertaining you can find that. Haven't made up my mind about the new dialogue choices yet, have to wait and see how they pan out over time I think. On a certain level, they are very much more the subtle variations and tones rather than outright differences. The rational response compared to the emotional compared to the professional or the general humorous attempt. I think the differences will come out when you have npc's that (hopefully) react differently to the tones you take rather than what you're actually saying.


I've only played about 15 minutes of story myself. I already hate my dad and the fascist/communist/liberal/authoritarian axes along which the dialogue choices are written. WHERE ARE MY RENEGADE INTERRUPTS, BIOWARE?

 

For some reason, I'm not getting any of the creepy vibes I did with the faces from the trailers, in the actual game. They look better than ME3, but the art style is different. Shrek-ified isn't actually a bad description.

 

On the other hand, I've played ~5 hours of MP matches. Combat is much much better than ME3, from what I've seen. Faster, more focused on mobility, and the verticality element they've added to the levels is great. Controls seem more responsive and the cover system is much improved from ME2/ME3, being contextual and not as gamey. You can now "take cover" behind something and still take fire from the opposite direction if the angle of fire allows it, for example, but this also makes it harder to use "soft cover". The addition of different cooldowns for each power gives more flexibility, but I think individual powers are weaker now. For example Charge no longer ragdolls enemies if they are unprotected, no matter the rank.

 

I don't really remember how it was back when ME3 dropped, but here I'm getting my ass handed to me in freaking Bronze, whereas I could solo Gold in ME3.

 

I'm loving it. Come at me bros



#2
Malcador

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Space Moses, more like it.

#3
KaineParker

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I'll probably pick it up when the UE drops, but is charge back?

#4
Heijoushin

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Haven’t played it yet (isn’t it only out next week?) I’m not a major shooting fan, so this Mass Effect isn’t a big deal for me, but I figure I’m gonna buy it if the reviews are good.

 

But I was listening to a Kotaku podcast about the game this morning, and they didn’t seem too impressed. They bashed the controls, UI and called it “uninspired”. I’m thinking they were probably being too harsh but…


Edited by Heijoushin, 16 March 2017 - 04:04 PM.


#5
213374U

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I'll probably pick it up when the UE drops, but is charge back?

 

It is, but as I said, it's sort of weak. I have it maxed out and enemies aren't thrown back like they were anymore. Gone are the days of krogan running backands as well, at least with the currently available kits.

 

 

Haven’t played it yet (isn’t it only out next week?) I’m not a major shooting fan, so this Mass Effect isn’t a big deal for me, but I figure I’m gonna buy it if the reviews are good.

 

But I was listening to a Kotaku podcast about the game this morning, and they didn’t seem too impressed. They bashed the controls, UI and called it “uninspired”. I’m thinking they were probably being too harsh but…

 

The Origin Access service lets you try the game for 10 hours before the game drops next week. That's what people are playing. It's 3,99€/mo and you get 10% off of the final product too, so if you're looking at buying it early, it kinda pays for itself.

 

Shame that I'm not really interested in any of the other games in the catalog...


Edited by 213374U, 16 March 2017 - 04:29 PM.


#6
Enoch

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I enjoyed the first trilogy, but have paid 0 attention to this.

 

Does it still allow tactical pausing in combat?  That's probably the break-point where ME-type combat becomes un-fun for me, and the larger focus on multiplayer makes me nervous. 



#7
Bokishi

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Great detail and HDR, but those face animations...


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#8
ShadySands

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I enjoyed the first trilogy, but have paid 0 attention to this.

 

Does it still allow tactical pausing in combat?  That's probably the break-point where ME-type combat becomes un-fun for me, and the larger focus on multiplayer makes me nervous. 

Nope, it's gone along with the ability to manage your companions abilities in combat



#9
Enoch

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I enjoyed the first trilogy, but have paid 0 attention to this.

 

Does it still allow tactical pausing in combat?  That's probably the break-point where ME-type combat becomes un-fun for me, and the larger focus on multiplayer makes me nervous. 

Nope, it's gone along with the ability to manage your companions abilities in combat

 

 

Dang.  Well, it was fun while it lasted.  One less title to throw on the backlog, I guess.



#10
Malcador

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https://gfycat.com/O...ellentAmbushbug Cherry picking perhaps, but still worth a snicker.
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#11
HoonDing

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This debacle made me pay attention to facial animation in Rise of Tomb Raider. Pretty impressive.


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#12
ShadySands

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Some of the walking and running animations are pretty bad too

 

Anyway, got as far as I can in the story before the game goes 

giphy.gif

 

I have slightly over an hour left but really no desire to try the MP

 

Edit for random musings  

  • Some menu choices are bizarre like press M for map (seems legit) press ESC twice to get back to game (wait, what?)
  • Lack of character creation options as it's mostly hipsterish hairdos - my buzzcut and scruff (Shepardesque) guy looks pretty bad since the hair on the face is darker and thicker. There is another option with better scruff but it has no hair on the chin, whatever that style is called
  • Game looks great other than some animation oddities
  • The shooting seems solid for me and I'm not one for the the shoostings
  • I like the ship crew so far but I haven't had a whole lot of interaction with them yet just like 2-3 convos
  • I've had a few bugs that caused me to reload a save or restart the game
  • Which reminds me of the lack of quicksave and save anywhere during certain missions
  • Performance has been really good on my several year old rig that was never top of the line

Edited by ShadySands, 16 March 2017 - 08:22 PM.

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#13
the_dog_days

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I've got Origin Access so I figured I might as well give it a swing. A bit of clarification: it's not that the facial animations are bad, it's that there aren't any facial animations. There's no rigging on the face to make a tug of a smile pull at the chin, wrinkle the nose, make the eye on that side of the face crease a bit, and bunch up cheek muscles. Instead a smirk is simply pulling the lips to one side of the face. A weird oversight considering that in some of the cut scenes the rigging is there but most of the time it's gone (I don't think this is a bug, I'm reasonably sure that it is a feature they just haven't put in because in those few instances where there does seem to be facial rigging it looks like the faces were hand-animated). As a result, sometimes when there are two people talking to one another and the lack of facial rigging makes their lips look like Play-Doh in the most hideous duck lips you can imagine, and dead doll eyes all around.


Edited by the_dog_days, 16 March 2017 - 08:13 PM.


#14
Raithe

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Forbes - Why its a bad idea for games like ME Andromeda to have piecemeal embargoes

 

Some interesting thoughts from Forbes, which include:

 


The problems with an embargo like this are:

  • Reviewers have to pretend like they’ve only played the first few hours of the game, rather than however far they actually are. It may be easy to avoid story spoilers in that format, but your impressions of how the game, its story and its systems work change over time. But you have to really just reference how they felt in that moment.
  • In this instance, again, Eos was the wrong planet to start on. In its initial form, it’s covered with radiation so you cannot go many places. Without getting into specifics, this is not accurately representative of either the full scope of Eos, or other planets that are less restrictive/more interesting.
  • It is impossible to fully judge characterization in a Mass Effect game when you just get a few conversations and cutscenes with various characters in the first few hours. Sure, they can make bad first impressions and there can be bad lines here and there, but would I have been raving about Garrus and Ashley and Kaiden in the first three hours of the original Mass Effect? Probably not. Sure, they’re iconic now, but it is way too early to judge stuff like that.
  • Certain aspects of the game will dramatically change as time goes on, and trying to figure out if the open-world or combat or exploration is good in the first few hours alone is bad for a game that requires so much investment. For instance, one of my “first impressions” was that the new Nomad didn’t feel enough like the Mako to be very fun. Well, 30 hours in, and that has changed, significantly. Upgrades and new zones altered that aspect of the game dramatically. Many systems will change for the better, change for the worse, or stay the same, but again, in a game like this, it’s hard to judge all of this so early.


My advice?

  • Take first impressions pieces with a grain of salt, my own included.
  • Remember how slow the first few hours of many huge RPGs are.
  • If you play the Early Access preview, do not judge the entire game based on Eos.
  • Wait for full reviews to get the best sense of the game. Mine may be late as it is mandatory for me to do all sidequests and talk to all the people.

Everyone just…calm down. Not to say there aren’t good and bad things to say about the game in these early previews, but this is turning into a viral fire-tornado rather quickly, which I think could have been avoided.


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#15
ShadySands

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I think it's bad for the players as well. With only this small demo to focus on we can nitpick all day without moving on to any other parts of the game that may have better payoffs. Sure, that wouldn't be a problem if the demo was stronger but for what they have I wouldn't have released it to stand on its own especially not this many days in advance of the full release.

And I quite like the game

Edited by ShadySands, 17 March 2017 - 01:46 AM.


#16
kirottu

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Spoiler


Nitpicking this game is probably all the fun I'm going to get out of ME:A since my old computer can't run it. This is a clear Win Win situation for me.

#17
Raithe

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Planet Scanning is back in a certain form.

You don't have the irritating long pause slow scroll around the planet and watching graphs bump before launching a probe, it's very much more of a  clear guide guide you to position and quite smooth and fast.

But what's both a good and bad thing about it is there's a basic cinematic visual that plays when you zoom around a solar system to the planetary body / location in space each time. So on the one hand, it's usually a glorious visual... on the other, it could get quite annoying in the long term to go through that with every single planet in the galaxy...

 

I've now tucked away about 7 hours of gameplay, so it took 2-3 hours to run through the first "planet" which was all priority mission and sets the groundwork for introduction, exposure, and pushing you on the path to be the Pathfinder. Then about an hour arriving at Nexus and meeting all the people, with a few of those local missions or hooks for future stuff, further exposure to other gaming mechanics, etc.  You then get access to the Tempest - which I quite like the design of, and while I've only had a few conversations with the crew they seem generally interesting and have potential. Say half an hour to an hour of wandering and talking, and then you get to fly to a planet.

 

Eos, as has been mentioned in a few things, is pretty much the starter planet but unlike (supposedly) the rest of the planets you'll encounter its fairly restricted at first. The main mission is further introduction to other characters that can become companions while again continuing with the whole introduction of game mechanics via story. But for story reasons, it's life draining to wander too far until you can get that set of missions handled. Supposedly once that's done, the "open world" becomes much more open. But the early access doesn't let you get that far into it - well, it took me about 3 hours of wandering along with some mild detours to hit that point.

 

I'm getting used to the Nomad, at first it's a little clunky, especially with the camera view point sliding around the rear axle.  But I do think it's one that you can get a handle on over time.



#18
213374U

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Once my 10 hours were up, I was immediately and unceremoniously kicked to desktop with no in-game notification or warning. I was in the middle of an objective wave, too. Great timing, haha.



#19
the_dog_days

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Played my ten hours and then got a refund. (First time I've ever gotten a digital refund.) My final analysis is that ME:A is a good shooter but a poor RPG. How and why we are in Andromeda makes no sense, thus far nepotism has been the most important plot point, the NPCs are even dryer than those in DA:I, and the horrible animations (there is no animation rigging; you can't just fix that with a patch).

I think I might be done with BioWare forever.

#20
Gorgon

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Well good, now i won't have to install Origin again. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: well bang OK?, Space Jesus, Decline, Culpa

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