Happenstance

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Recommended Posts

I'm about 50% complete with the game, somewhere north of 40 hours or so and I'm still enjoying it. A lot of the performance issues and such are things I've managed to push aside but it is the writing that's letting it down so much. There are good characters to be found but the writing really limits their impact and is holding them back from giving us something comparable to say Garrus, Mordin, Thane, etc.

 

That's the real shame this time around, not the story but the lack of cohesiveness with the writing and characters. The story, for better or worse, doesn't do much but it's pretty solid so far and the underlying politics of everything is interesting (though, they could definitely explore this a bit better than they have done). It's almost as though they played it too safe with the writing after the original trilogy and the fallout from that. Either that or they didn't fully go with the new dialogue system and write the appropriate dialogue to go with more choices.

 

It's something that you'd hope would be ironed out in a sequel but if most of the narrative is set in stone going forward, it's hard to see how they can make much of an improvement. Who knows, maybe they'll manage another ME2 but based off of the writing and characters here, I'm not holding much hope for something along those lines.

 

It's far from a bad game, as some of the reviews are making it out to be. Many of the issues being flagged up are things I haven't encountered and I've seen quite a few people round the net saying the same. Maybe we're the lucky ones ::shrug: Anyway, it's a solid 7/10 for me so far but I am starting to feel a bit burned out with all these fetch based side quests and the long travel times to scan planets on the map. Luckily, tomorrow's update should solve the latter issue by making them skipable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I managed to finish this up the other weekend and thought I’d give some general thoughts on the full game. I came in at just under 70 hours and 97% complete, with the remaining 3% being a smattering of collectible quests which had glitched out though didn’t have any impact on the end result of the game.

 

As I’ve said previously, the game really doesn’t deserve a lot of the hate it’s getting. Sure, it’s not the best Mass Effect game, probably tying with the original for third best, but it is still a good game despite some wonkiness throughout. I’d say it’s akin to how some would argue that Twilight Princess/Skyward Sword/whatever aren’t great Zelda titles but are still good games overall. I feel that Andromeda falls into that category as despite having only worked on the multiplayer side of things in the third game, BioWare Montreal have done a decent job here to take the next step with the franchise.

 

The writing is perhaps the biggest issue as it’s spotty throughout. But anyone going in expecting it to hit the notes that ME2 did really were asking too much from what is clearly the start of something new. The game could have done with a better script for the voice actors as some of the dialogue comes off as horrendous at times (Liam’s dialogue is particularly bad throughout the whole game, I spent very little of my play time with that character because of that) but the general narrative isn’t done too badly. Some have argued that they’ve re-run old threads and themes (such as the whole Salarian/Krogan thing as well as some of the trust issues for both the Humans and AI) and that that’s detrimental to the game going forward but realistically, these are issues which would only be magnified with such a small population of the species from the Milky Way being moved to another galaxy so they’re as relevant there as they were in the original.

 

I will concede that the big threat isn’t handled as well as could be and the reliance on another advanced race wasn’t really necessary but again, they weren’t horribly done as the former point, while harkening back to some of the techniques of the enemies in the original trilogy, takes a different enough spin on it and sets itself up well for building on in future games. The latter has a revelation later in the game which again, lends itself well for further exploration down the line. And that’s what I feel the game does well: it brings together various smaller stories which, though they don’t fully get capped off this time around, are given plenty of scope to expand and are meant to give rise to discussion.

 

There are a couple of examples I’ll put in the spoiler tag below but are things I personally can’t wait to see explored:

 

The identity of the Benefactor for example is something I’ve seen those who are playing on other forums discuss and bring together some interesting ideas of how it might tie in with one of the main cast. Some are suggesting The Illusive Man/Cerberus, others the Shadow Broker and some Barla Von. Perhaps the most interesting is the possibility of The Illusive Man having a brother who is the father of Cora Harper, explaining the close relation in surname and possibly where the money for the Andromeda Initiative came from.

 

The Quarian Ark as well, though signposted early on as coming, is made more interesting by the comm stating not to come near it until the Quarian Pathfinder says to. The best idea I’ve seen flouted is that there are Geth on board and the hesitance to have anyone come near is to protect those geth on board.

 

The death of the Archon through essentially having his consciousness ripped from him by the massive power surge from SAM on Meridian also leave open questions about what SAM can do and just what will happen to both the Ryder siblings. There’s also the question of how that’ll tie into the mother and whether she can be cured or not.

 

There’s also the whole Remnant/Jardaan creating the Angara and disappearing from the cluster thing.

 

 

Those are some of the big things that have me excited to see where they go with subsequent games in the series. I’m just hoping that the writing is handled well for those as it could prove interesting to see those explored in the right contexts along with the politics of further establishing a home in Andromeda with native species they come across.

 

Going forward, though, they really need to look to ME2 for how the characters need to be designed and written because although some eventually became interesting (Drack’s story, for example, becomes great as you get involved in his loyalty missions as does Jaal).

 

As for the gameplay, it’s pretty much spot on. It could maybe do with some finesse to iron out one or two issues but for the most part, the shooting is excellent and I warmed to the movement systems the more I played. I’d still prefer a proper cover system though as the soft one in place doesn’t work well enough. Quest/missions need to be overhauled and they need to look at how the genre has changed with games like The Witcher 3 and even the likes of Horizon for how to build their side missions as a lot here felt like they’d used Dragon Age: Inquisition as a template despite saying otherwise. It needs a strong narrative push outside of the main mission to stop some of the trudge of the daisy chain side missions.

 

The mission structure and writing are the biggest things I’d say that need tighten for next time, in the DLC and sequel. But aside from that, shoring up the technical side of things (despite me not really getting many technical issues) is the only other thing holding the game back.

 

I do think a large proportion of the gaming community needed to keep expectations in check rather than expect another ME2 and that hasn’t helped the image that’s being spun. Sure, the issues haven’t helped either but they’re really not that bad and reviews hammering on about them have really overblown things. That Giant Bomb one, for example, was shockingly written (the editor of that needs to have a long hard look at that and how it went up in the poorly written state it was) and hammered on about the issues, handing out a 4 when the game deserves far better than that. Having reviews games myself a few years back, I know what it’s like playing a 4/10 game and even worse and ME: Andromeda doesn’t fit that bill, it’s just a clickbait score and shameful at that.

 

Even with the apparent issues, I really enjoyed the game and it has me itching to play more and see more of the Andromeda galaxy. Whether we get more is a different question, especially with how fickle EA can be about their sales and halting future projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I managed to finish this up the other weekend and thought I’d give some general thoughts on the full game. I came in at just under 70 hours and 97% complete, with the remaining 3% being a smattering of collectible quests which had glitched out though didn’t have any impact on the end result of the game.

 

As I’ve said previously, the game really doesn’t deserve a lot of the hate it’s getting. Sure, it’s not the best Mass Effect game, probably tying with the original for third best

 

*immediately stops reading*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*immediately stops reading*

 

Fair enough, though the take away message is that it's nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be and being in line with the original is by no means a bad thing. And that's coming from someone who loved the original trilogy (probably my favourite games from the previous generation). But if you've made your mind up, it's unlikely I'll change it, though that wasn't the reason for me posting my thoughts, rather it was to try and see what others playing thought ::shrug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*immediately stops reading*

 

Yup, it's probably more second best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just half-serious :p I'm speaking up in defense of the first game. Which may have aged clunkily in terms of gameplay, but still set precedent and introduced most of the series' strongest characters, did some of the best cause/effect decision making. To rank that behind the third game is madness to me.

 

In truth, I probably need to play this game and make my own mind up. Whilst I'm worried it'll disappoint me, I loved the original trilogy enough that I have to find out for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm going to go through monotonous noughties-era fetch quests then at least let it be in an always online, connected universe with an Iron Gjallarhorn reward that I can use to blow n00bs' faces off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckily, the dull fetch quests in this are mostly signposts leading to more interesting quests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Picked this up yesterday after it's dropped in price.

 

Spent about 4-5 hours with it and just got to Eos, and so far it has been fun. Don't expect that to change either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started playing this a few days ago and sunk about 20 hours into it so far (taking my time, only done one vault so far). Anyway, I'm really loving it. I've only played ME3 so maybe the Mass Effect gameplay formula is still fresh enough that I'm impressed with everything, but yeah, loving it. The vault was a little uninspired in terms of gameplay though, basically walk up to this console, hold triangle, walk up to the next console hold triangle etc, but at least it looked impressive visually.

The writing is a little bland and the character animations are as godawful as reported (wtf happened!) but otherwise I'm having a great time.

Edited by Ronnie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also playing it because there's a free ten hour demo available on all platforms now. I'm liking it myself, not got very far but I love the jump jet movement and the design of the planet. The music in the character creation screen was rad but there hasn't been much epic since then.

I had a sneaking suspicion that I would probably love this game (if never as much as ME1 or 2) if I could get past the animation, so a demo was probably a smart idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished this a little while ago. I guess I can understand why people were disappointed, but I enjoyed it very much. I've only played the third prior to this so maybe that's it. Think I spent some 50-60 hours on it so far. Currently on ng+ on insanity for the platinum, but I will finish that some other time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've 100%'d a couple of planets and I'm starting to wish this game was never made openworld.

Do the side missions ever go beyond fetch quests and "go to these five locations and press triangle"? That seems to literally be all I've done apart from the monolith/vault stuff. I seem to recall there were loads of optional side missions in ME3 that had cutscenes, base assaults, storylines etc. The side quests here just seem so boring so far. Do they get better?

Edited by Ronnie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny but in many ways it feels like it's regressed to ME1. Planet scanning is really slow and irritating and the quests when you actually land on a planet are similar to those as well.

ME2 and 3 made things a bit more linear and a bit more refined, but in a good way. ME:A sought to improve by revisiting original ideas, but vastly expanding the scope. However, IMO, they failed on that front. Ultimately with the feeling that they ran out of time or money, not so much out of laziness/poor design choices.

It's still a good fun game, I bought it recently when the trial ended, but my interest waned quickly when I got into repetitive sidequests.

So much of it, however, retains that Mass Effect quality. Especially the storytelling (if not the overall story itself, which could have been much more daring) and the voice acting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely agree. Mass Effect 3 at least felt much more focused, this is a bit all over the place and I really don't think the openworld formula was necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished this. The backlash against this game is absolutely ridiculous, IMO. It's a really great game, and doesn't deserve being shit on to the ludicrous extent it has been. Sure the animations aren't great but put that aside and you're left with a top quality experience from start to finish. It's really sad we'll likely never see a sequel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was enjoying this a lot but then my compulsion to keep playing faded very quickly. So many other games to play and I just can't see this deserving my time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given this a start and honestly quite miffed at EA Bioware. Unskippable, unpausable cutscenes in 2017 is a fucking joke. 

 

Otherwise i I guess it’s okay. I’m not far in and so far the main issues seem purely technical. A little more polish could’ve helped. 

I’m unable to compare it to the others though. I played ME1 to completion and about 10 hours of ME2. I would have liked to continue 2 but twice an issue (unrelated to the game) with having to reinstall and restart the game left me a bit disgusted watching the same unskippable cutscenes(!) yet again that I just couldn’t bother. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would really recommend giving 2 and 3 a go. Some of the best games I've played, and the 3rd game is just pure polish when it comes to gameplay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also I think 3 now has a fairly reasonable ending now. Not great, but not the embarrassment that it was when it launched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Shorty Well, I wouldn't say it's that bad if you give the Indoctrination theory a go. It makes for a better and mysterious ending anyhow. If you haven't seen it, i recommend you check it out :D.

Edited by ArtMediocre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Shepard being indoctrinated and every character you've met over the past ~180 hours dying horribly makes for a much better ending.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The indoctrination theory is one of the great examples of when a fan theory sounds good as a "fun and casual afterthought" but completely falls apart when you consider it as a serious replacement.

The biggest issues I had with the original ending were that nothing was explained well at all - that was one of the big things they fixed in the extended one. 

(Also, in regards to the unpausable cutscenes - you can just not press anything when you have to choose what to say, you can also skip individual lines of dialoge).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was one of the ones who didnt mind 3's ending too much as it was but the additions they made along with the Leviathan dlc did help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now