Author Topic: Mass Effect Andromeda  (Read 15620 times)

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Offline Greybriar

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #90 on: April 28, 2017, 10:01:25 AM »
I'm in the minority when I say I really like Prometheus

I'm with you JD.....I thought it was outstanding, even saw it twice in the theater.

I also liked Prometheus, which was a good thing because I had purchased it on DVD.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #91 on: April 28, 2017, 11:27:35 AM »
JD, Rayfer and Greybriar...my Alien brothers in arms. I like Prometheus too. More than Alien 3, even.
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Offline mirth

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #92 on: April 28, 2017, 11:31:12 AM »
JD, Rayfer and Greybriar...my Alien brothers in arms. I like Prometheus too. More than Alien 3, even.


"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline Gusington

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #93 on: April 28, 2017, 11:32:25 AM »
Suck it, hater 💩
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Offline mirth

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"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus

Offline jamus34

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #95 on: May 10, 2017, 07:07:40 PM »
Insert witty comment here.

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #96 on: May 10, 2017, 07:39:41 PM »
http://kotaku.com/sources-bioware-montreal-downsized-mass-effect-put-on-1795100285

And EA begins the death knell of another great developer.

I think that's a bit of a stretch. They haven't fired anyone, they just shifted them to support upcoming games.
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Offline glen55

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #97 on: May 12, 2017, 03:30:20 PM »
I promised to return to this thread after I had finished the game to give fuller impressions.

Overall: I think this game is seriously underrated. It's way better than SWTOR, and is fully a Bioware-class game. It does depend on what you're looking for, though. If you're looking for a compelling story that swirls you from one event to another, you'll be sorely disappointed. But if you're looking for excellent RPG combat and encounters with lots of meaningful leveling and equipment choices, this is Bioware's best game yet.

I think there are 2 reasons the game is underrated. One is well-deserved: this game starts really slowly (more below), and it's hard to ask people to withhold judgment on a game until after they've put 8-10 hours into it (which is about when it becomes a lot of fun). Less well-deserved is that people had unrealistic expectations of getting swept away in some grand story. Bioware hasn't really hit the mark on that since KOTOR and BG: what they do is excellent cinematography in cut scenes (still true in this game, at least to some extent), but for several games now the story-telling and much of the dialogue has shown severe signs of "writing by committee." If you expected a hot RPG with great combat from ME:Andromeda, you got paid off in spaded. If you expected a sci fi story to blow Star Wars out of the water . . . well, you shouldn't have, and if you did, you will not find it.

Maybe there's a 3rd reason: it's hip these days to rag on Bioware.

BEGINNING

Several severe problems with the beginning:

(1) Bioware has always sucked at tutorials. No exceptions here. The game doesn't teach you any of the finer points in how to play, and that's a real hindrance to early gameplay. There are a lot of great aids to map navigation that you pretty much need to discover on your own.

(2) You're plopped down into an opening mission that severely limits your abilities and options. You're pretty much on rails, but in a couple of spots where you aren't, it's problematic to figure out which way to go without understanding the nav aids. The mission isn't very hard, but you feel severely underpowered for a lot of it. (It does get fun at the end.)

(3) Worst part is that next you arrive at the opening base (the Nexus), which is cut into 4 instanced areas. There's a LOT of yak-yak-yakking, exploring samey areas, and zoning before you get to go on your next mission (at least if you want to be at all completionist about grabbing all the quests, and you do, don't you)? The game REALLY bogs down here. Also, there's a lot of extraneous explanatory text to read that is non-mission-pertinent, and you aren't clearly signposted with whether you need to read it or not. On my 2nd playthrough I got through this area in about half an hour, but it was a couple of LOOONG hours the first time.

(4) One of the early planets you are sent to is dark and rainy everywhere, and there are a lot of structures/geological features that are serious roadblocks in your ability to get around the map. If you still haven't figured out the nav aids (and I hadn't, on first playthrough) this mission is hellish difficult, and not in a challenging, fun way: in a frustrating way.

Once I got past this planet, the game opened out, and I started having a blast. On 2nd playthrough, when I already knew how to play, the game started becoming a blast as soon as I got out of the Nexus.

STORY-TELLING

KOTOR is my favorite Star Wars story ever, and the scene with the ghost children in Jade Empire gives me the weepin' shivers every time. But Bioware has been coasting on its story-telling reputation for a long time. The Mass Effect series had decent story-telling momentum, but the actual story was pretty much paint-by-numbers, and Dragon Age was the same song, 2nd verse. Dragon Age had some excellent characters, and so did ME 1, but the new characters in ME 2 were all flash/no substance, and the most interesting characters in ME 3 were, without exception, the ME 1 carry-overs: OK, the ME 1 carry-overs plus Jack (an ME 2 carry-over).

SWTOR was maybe the best-looking and best world-integrated MMO that has ever come out, but it was dogged by assembly-line style quest-writing, and it just got OLD after a while. I think Bioware believed its own story-telling hype, and that created a real problem for that game. They felt compelled to chop everything up into story-based quests, but when the quests were continually backed up by really mundane dialogue and voice-acting, it just got to be really routine-feeling and boring to have to sit through cookie-cutter quest set-up after cookie-cutter quest set-up after cookie-cutter quest set-up. Andromeda isn't that bad by any means, but there's a big grunch of the exact same boring crap fairly early on, at the Nexus, and that's a bad time for the problem to crop up. The good news is that, once you wade through the Nexus, it won't be that bad again.

Additionally, Andromeda lacks a compelling plot to tie everything together (there's a PURPOSE - settling the Andromeda galaxy - but not really a PLOT (although you do eventually get a Big Bad to chase around and bring to bay climactically)). But I don't agree that the writing overall is a particular step down for Bioware. Eventually I grew more attached to some of my squadmates than I had since ME 1 and DA 1. Generally, the people (and sentient things) you run into feel like real people and sentient beings.

COMBAT

IMO, Bioware gets far too much credit for story-telling (as mentioned above, a relic of their past), but not nearly enough credit for cutting-edge RPG combat. Darklands may have invented pausable real-time combat, but it was Bioware that polished it and made it a Big Thing. It was Bioware that created very usable and sophisticated combat-tactics programming for NPC buddies in the Dragon Age games. There was something new and fun about combat in every Mass Effect game, and it was always better than the game before.

And this is easily Bioware's most fun combat yet, as it is basically a real-time shooter with jump jets, which makes it really 3D, especially if you have leveled up your jumping skills to improve your (initially rudimentary) hovering ability. This is pretty much the most free-wheeling combat I've enjoyed in any shooter or any RPG.  6 basic weapon types (melee, pistol, SMG (although they characterize it as a pistol type, you can carry a SMG and a pistol if you want), assault rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle), all coming from several different manufacturers with their own flavor, in several different levels, and with your choices of a variety of (crafted or found) attachments). The shooting is leavened with "magic" (your tech or biotic powers), so you have lots of options, terrific mobility, and lots of large, multi-level battlefields strewn with obstacles, especially when you take on elite enemies.

LEVELING

The leveling system is also excellent. There are 3 basic power types: combat, tech and biotics, and you can mix and match freely between all the power types when you spend your level-up points. I'm not sure what the highest level is, but I'm up to level 42 in my first playthrough (which I dumped after I finished the main plot, but plan to go back to eventually, as there is lots of gameplay left - the point of the 2nd playthrough is to play with different skills). 

A nice little twist is "profiles," which are basically character classes, the twist part coming in your ability to change profiles at will. There are straight combat, tech and biotic profiles, but there are also several different hybrid profiles, and which ones you are eligible for are based on where you have spent your level-up points. Each profile gives you different bonuses, so you can tailor your gameplay mode to the mission you are on, or even to the combat you are currently engaged in.

LOOT/CRAFTING

Not so great, but again this is not a letdown for Bioware, just a continuation of their heritage of games with mediocre loot tables. The loot reminds me in many ways of the loot in ME 1: you find tons of it, most of it is worthless except to break down into crafting materials, and the difference between one type of weapon and the next is often subtle. You basically never find the Uber +99 Butt-Whomper of Buttwhomping, but instead you just keep cranking it up by millimeters. I guess the Bioware folks think it's necessary to balance the game to keep you going with a cohesive, scheduled plot, but I really enjoy an excellent loot table as per WOW, Diablo and Torchlight.

Crafting is basically too complicated for not enough payoff. I'm not saying "don't craft," because you are able to craft lots of stuff throughout the game that is an improvement on what you've got otherwise, but you are certain to make frustrating mistakes because you don't understand what's going on, and I never really understood it in depth and detail. The game has been out long enough by now, though, that if you want to be a master crafter you can probably find excellent guides on the internet. i just haven't bothered.

WORLD

Or worlds, as the case may be. There are certainly some problems with the milieu: (i.e., even though it's a strange galaxy and you encounter strange aliens, they're all speaking bipeds who use tech roughly similar to your own - also you spend a lot of time trying to dig up clues from an ancient alien high-tech race whose highest tech was obviously in seeding every world with a bunch of fairly repetitive puzzles). But the worlds are a blast to jam around in your upgradeable car, they look great, and the nav aids (once you figure them out) make it super-easy to jump from Quest A to somewhere in the rough vicinity of Quest B, at least once you have explored enough to lay down a forward base somewhere in the Quest B neighborhood.

Overall, the play area is absolutely huge. I'm not the kind of guy who zips through RPGs, not by a frickin' long shot, but I've put in a good 60+ hours and I am nowhere near to seeing everything. There are quests scattered everywhere, all over the place, and a lot of them are fun.

CONCLUSION

Obviously, my overall recommendation is to battle through the grind of the first few hours. This game becomes a blast if you like the traditional fight/level/loot RPG, as good as any you have ever played. Don't expect a fantastic story that leaves you weeping, and you won't be disappointed. But you will , if you allow yourself, get the fictional dream of roaming around a real place where you deal with a lot of real-seeming tactical and navigational elements, you will get to level up over and over and over (I love games where you gain lots of levels), and you will have lots and lots of fun, fun combat.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 03:33:05 PM by glen55 »
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Offline JudgeDredd

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #98 on: May 12, 2017, 03:40:57 PM »
^ Excellent write up. Thanks for all the details.
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Offline Swatter

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #99 on: May 14, 2017, 10:24:29 PM »
Well, it was announced recently that future ME plans are on ice for the time being.

You know, they released a game that had rough edges in areas that reviewers often focus heavily on, graphics and uninspiring early game play. It was a terrible release. Those screenshots of facial animations were too juicy to pass up.

I would bet I would agree with your assessment glen55 and I will keep an open mind about the game in the future. I still haven't played ME 3, but I will get around to it. After that, ME Andromeda.

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #100 on: December 18, 2017, 05:27:49 AM »
I had returned to Mass Effect 3 over the last two weeks after initially being underwhelmed by Andromeda.  However, ME3 started to drag too, so late this weekend, I reinstalled Andromeda after a long hiatus and started to get into it. I’ve only just pacified the first planet so it is too early to tell how long it will hold me, but I tend to agree with glenn55 that it is a somewhat underrated title. After 10 hours, this much is clear.

Not only underrated, though...this game received so much post release hate that I really think it even influenced my own feelings about the game. The hate and backlash really seems unjustified. It really is not that bad, and it doesn’t feel much different from the prior titles in the series when comparing story elements and rpg mechanisms. I know the game was patched in the time I was away from it, but I think it looks very good. Much better than the prior titles in the series. Coming right off of ME3, combat is taking some getting used to, since there is no sticky cover, no active pause for abilities, and evade is a jet pack instead of a roll, but I’m starting to prefer the new system which is much more fluid.

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes, but it is definitely satisfying my sci-fi RPG itch. It’s sad to know the game has apparently been abandoned. It seems to have deserved better.
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Offline mirth

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #101 on: December 18, 2017, 05:31:58 AM »
I need to get back into it. It didn't grab me the first time and I absolutely love the ME games/universe.
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #102 on: December 20, 2017, 09:40:27 AM »
I've put another 3 hours in to Andromeda and the more I play, the more bizarre all the hatred for this game gets. Its a very good game and very comparable to the earlier titles in the series. The only conclusion I can come to is that the game was simply judged by a completely unfair standard. Expectations that the game was to be the second coming of Christ were just totally unreasonable and by that standard, no game could possibly succeed. I think the overly negative press that this game received was extremely unfair to Bioware and did a great disservice to players and fans of the series. I know I was influenced by negative reviews, I'm sure many others were, as well.

In any event, it has some of the same issues as the prior games in the ME series, but it is unclear to me how fans of the first three titles could walk away from Andromeda having had an overly negative experience. Just doesn't make any sense to me.
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Offline mirth

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #103 on: December 20, 2017, 09:46:25 AM »
I'm going to try to put more time into while I'm off for the holidays.
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Mass Effect Andromeda
« Reply #104 on: December 20, 2017, 10:37:42 AM »
I'm going to try to put more time into while I'm off for the holidays.

Glen is right about the action picking up after you leave the Nexus in the beginning of the game. Stick with it long enough to start planet hopping and I think it ends up being a really enjoyable experience. 
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