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Thread: Mass Effect: Andromeda

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    There's a lot of humour in the game, especially in the party banter when driving around and in party interactions in general. Also, one of the dialog choices is usually something less serious/more casual and if you pick it a lot, the game will apparently keep track of it and change your character's personality a little bit. Don't know how extensive this is, but I noticed that a couple of scenes played out a bit differently on Youtube than in my game (I already had a silly character with a name like Mumen Ryder (German Shepard in ME1/2) and therefore chose a lot of the casual dialog options).

    As for the VO timing and stuff, yeah, there's a fair bit of unpolished stuff like that in the game where you can tell that it's mostly algorithms and not fine-tuned by a human hand. And I don't know if it's really excusable for a AAA title in the post-Witcher 3 world. From what I read, the animation team was severely understaffed, some of the animation was outsourced with less than ideal quality control, and most of the game was made in 18 months, so it's down to development troubles more than anything else. Personally, I can overlook it, but it definitely hurts immersion and it's one of the bigger flaws of the game.

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Also played ME2 (or Mass Effect: Collectors Edition, if you can forgive the pun), and it's still my least favourite game in the series. It's funny, I remembered it being more polished than the first game, but it was actually far more buggy. In the first game, I had an occasional crash or a gamebreaking bug where I got stuck inside level geometry due to enemy biotic powers or something, but in the second game, it was much worse -- I got stuck on ledges with no way off, I fell out of the world, I got stuck on the galaxy map, etc. It's weird how everyone talks about how buggy Andromeda is, but ME2 was worse in my experience. Of course, this might have to do with the fact that I played Andromeda after it was patched, but then again I played ME2 after it was patched too.

    Bugs and glitches aren't the reason why I don't like ME2, though. Sure, they are annoying, but I've always been able to overlook such things when the game is otherwise interesting. And it's not like ME2 doesn't have interesting parts in it. There are side missions with interesting characters and some pretty good writing, but they are absolutely overwhelmed by all the crappy stuff in the game. I'm not going to cover all the issues I have with the game, as Shamus Young has done an extensive analysis on it, but here's a few things that bugged me after freshly finishing Andromeda and ME1...


    The minigames are much more irritating. The planet scanning minigame doesn't even make sense -- what, do you have a refinery somewhere? Cerberus spent an exorbitant amount of money on you and your ship, but you have to personally scavenge for raw materials when you're on a mission? And do you really have to deplete entire solar systems for one lousy new gun? To be fair, it's not like playing Frogger and Simon Says in the first game was particularly interesting either and it kind of defeated the point of having skillchecks, but in ME2 the minigames really got on my nerves due to how tedious and time-consuming and frequent they were. In contrast, Andromeda has you playing Sudoku, but at least it's few and far between.

    ME2 is much more claustrophobic. The Citadel and the other hubs in ME2 are smaller than even one section of the Citadel in ME1 and coming off the open sandboxes of ME1 and Andromeda, the change to linear corridors interspersed by battle arenas was quite jarring. The Mako may have handled poorly, but at least it brought variety to the gameplay and made it feel like more than just a series of shooting galleries.

    The movement somehow sucks much more than in ME1. Now there is one button for a lot of things and contextual controls are the worst. Want to run past an obstacle... whoops, I guess you really wanted to hunker down behind it. Want to run past a character... whoops, looks like you actually wanted to talk to them. Want to have a quick peek from behind a chest high wall... whoops, looks like you actually wanted to vault over it and get killed. Also, even after a short distance you're out of breath like you just ran a marathon. I don't get why this limit is even there. In other games, a stamina meter is there to prevent you from running circles around your enemies or it's a shared resource forcing you to make tactical decisions, but ME is cover shooter where you spend most of your time hunkering behind chest-high walls (unless you decide to skip all that nonsense and play as vanguard, of course). It makes no sense to limit your mobility that way, unless it's there to show how out of shape your character is. Which leads me to...

    Your character is much more pathetic. In the first game, at least you had the illusion of choice, the option to say you don't want to work with Nihilus or to hang up on the Council. In ME2, you don't get to show any significant resistance to the terrorist organisation that you are forced to work for, and you still take all the blame for it. Also, in the first game, your squad mates were queuing up to join you, but here you have to go ask them to join. And then you run around solving their personal problems to keep them happy. And then you run around the ship like, "Hey, got a minute?" and they are all, "I don't want to talk to you." or "I'm busy." as if you're some kind of a loser.

    The villain is much more pathetic. You don't even fight the villain directly, it just comes down on the battlefield occasionally to take control of some mook and threaten you and get its ass kicked. It's kind of like the Russian villain in Iron Man 2 who kept "winning". And it's not like you as a player even have a reason to care about the colonists. In ME1, at least Saren taunts you in front of the Council, giving you some sort of an excuse to get personally invested in going after him. And in Andromeda it will get quite personal eventually. In ME2, however, the only colonist you meet is an asshole and actually nobody seems to be that bothered about the collectors -- not even the colonists.


    I could go on, but I'd just be repeating a lot of the stuff that has already been already covered. In any case, I look at all the 10/10 reviews and I wonder how ME2 got so much praise while Andromeda got so much flak. The way I see it, it doesn't have less issues than Andromeda and it doesn't have any better gameplay and it has worse exploration and a nonsensical plot, but somehow it's the perfect game while Andromeda is supposed to be the worst in the series. It just doesn't add up for me. Anyway, on to Mass Effect 3 (the reason I've been replaying the series). I'm curious to see if it's as bad as everyone says it is.
    Last edited by Starker; 31st Jul 2017 at 03:20.

  3. #78
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I don't think everyone has the same priorities you do when it comes to appraising the series, hence the major difference of opinion. Count me in amongst the people pissed off at having the same key for use, take cover, and run, but you get used to it. Anyway, I think we all said that ME2's main campaign was pretty weak compared to everything around it, and The Collectors were pretty milquetoast antagonists despite the little 'twist' about their origins.

    If you don't like ME2's companions and assorted quests, sure, it'll be the worst in the series for you. I liked 'em fine, but I missed the open-ish exploration of the original, which is why both end up being just about equal for me, because what one gives, the other takes away, and vice-versa.

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I like some of ME2's companions. They are the reason the game doesn't get an even worse score from me. Some of the best writing in the whole game is in those companion quests. It's just that a lot of them feel a tad... fanservicy, for the lack of a better word, and not really relevant to what you're supposed to be doing. It's side-content most of the time and feels like busywork at its worst. In ME1, the process felt more or less organic, but in ME2 if felt like you're gathering a team for the sake of gathering a team, because it's a trope that Bioware does. And it fragments the story in the process.

  5. #80
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Yep. ME2's priorities were clearly going all Seven Samurai on the plot arc ME1 had started, which was enjoyable but clearly at odds with the Dark Star Trek vibe ME1 had. It's a pretty radical shift in tone, and nonsensical in terms of how it screws the supposedly hard deadline you have, but the benefit is a distilled series of enjoyable character bits and conversation. Know how I dealt with it? I pretended the main plot didn't exist. Because it really was bollocks by the time I got to the suicide mission (I saved almost everybody, but I didn't really care too much if someone like Legion died. And he did, but they ...soft rebooted* his character to deal with that anyway.) ME3 doesn't really bandage this in the end, but it manages to be fun if you're, once again, okay with ignoring the fact that you have a hard deadline to Save the World/Galaxy.



    *ba-dum-tssh

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, that describes the tone perfectly. I suppose Andromeda is the Farscape of the series then, more whimsical at the start and quite serious by the end.

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Not to be confused with:



    Which wasn't too bad at first, but got worse as time went on.
    Last edited by icemann; 2nd Aug 2017 at 04:49.

  8. #83
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Andromeda was pretty low-rent from what I saw of it. I'm not sure ME:A deserves the comparison to it, but I then I don't know if Farscape deserves the comparison to ME:A. Farscape is one of the TV shows I'm fondest of, to a probably unreasonable degree, not least because it took the idea of Star Trek and turned it on its head while charting out a clever, affecting character-based narrative over four seasons.

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I'd say that it (Farscape) goes off on it's own direction. Quite good on the overall whole. The movie was pretty good as well.

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    After Babylon 5, I don't think any show could do straight Star Trek any more.

    Farscape is the closest show in tone that I can think of. Though now that I think about it, there are other similarities too, like the slow start, the dysfunctional crew and the villain wanting what's in the protagonist's head.

    Just started ME3 and I don't really know what to think about it yet, but I already found the symbolism very interesting. There's this kid who's at first carefree and playing with his toy starship in the open, then you see him crawling in a vent (or linear corridor) and finally he climbs into a shuttle that gets blown up by a big corporate machine. This is probably the best metaphor for the whole series I've ever seen.

  11. #86
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Symbolism, you say? Hammer, meet nail. But you're too early in to decide, really. Take your time soaking it in, lord knows the game wants you to.

  12. #87
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Would be too bad if there wasn't a follow-up to some of those in the form of a sequel.
    Well the studio is dead now. Bioware Montreal is being folded into Motive, who're working on the SP campaign for Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2017) and EA's upcoming open world map icon hoovering game, produced by Jade Raymond.
    http://www.pcgamer.com/bioware-montr...nto-ea-motive/

  13. #88
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    I could go on, but I'd just be repeating a lot of the stuff that has already been already covered. In any case, I look at all the 10/10 reviews and I wonder how ME2 got so much praise while Andromeda got so much flak.
    I think a problem here was ME:A was released in a post-Witcher 3 world. I.e. Bland MMO-esque collect-a-thon and FedEx qside-quests don't cut the mustard any more. (Watch out when Bethesda releases Starfield aka Elder Scrolls in space. Many critics will probably give the typical procedurally generated, barebones Beth questing a pass on this front.)

    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    Not to be confused with:

    http://wallpapercave.com/wp/oYKlyql.jpg

    Which wasn't too bad at first, but got worse as time went on.
    I never saw this one but did watch similar late '90s/early '00s Canadian-produced sci-fi shows. Earth: Final Conflict had an amazing first season, splotchy 2nd & 3rd and had completely descended into turdville by the 4th. Lexx was fantastically surrealist, I loved that show.


    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    As for ME2, it had less guns, though, didn't it? IIRC it streamlined weapons, equipment and skills considerably.
    ME2 traded hundreds of samey weapons with only stats-differences to a handful of genuinely different weapons that could completely change your playstyle. T

    he classes were all redesigned to be completely different from one-another too. Eg the ME1's Infiltrator class rendered the Engineer redundant as he was literally the Engineer but with access to more weapon specialisation. ME2's Infiltrator had cloaking and long-ranged combat focus making him suited for guerilla warfare; ME2's Engineer on the other hand had a combat drone and debuffs, making him suited for crowd control.

  14. #89
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, while Andromeda holds up surprisingly well against the previous ME games, it still fails pretty bad against Witcher 3.

    I actually thought the ME2 streamlining was a good thing. It gave the gameplay more focus and brought it closer to the action game it always wanted to be. And I can already see the improvements in ME3 as well. You can actually properly run in this one, which feels amazing after essentially having been shackled for the entirety of ME1-2. Still nowhere near the movement freedom of Andromeda, though, where you can jump, mantle and use your jetpack to dash short distances in any direction.

    The gameplay in the games has only been getting better and better. In Andromeda, I very nearly didn't hate the combat, and I usually despise cover-based shooting from the bottom of my heart. In ME3, it also feels much better than in either of the previous entries. But I can already tell I'm not going to like where the story is going. For one, it makes a complete mockery of the first game. Sovereign now just looks like an idiot for not waiting for the arrival of the main fleet. And people still berate you for working for Cerberus, who this game felt the need to bring along and expand for some reason.

  15. #90
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    That is the one thing I don't get: why didn't Sovereign wait for the main fleet? Limited indoctrination seems like a stupid thing to do if your entire MO is organic cleansing in toto. Choose the path of least effort and just Kaiju them to kingdom come like you were going to anyway.

  16. #91
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    "Man I don't feel like wrecking all organic life again. Last time was only a few hundred millennia ago. Sovereign dear, won't you just try and brainwash them to kill each other for us? Thanks, love."

  17. #92
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    That's the thing. If Sovereign could only indoctrinate people within a certain radius, that's pretty much a losing game on its own without help from others. Brainwashing on its own isn't contagious to even the majority of an entire populace, and if the idea is to get all organic life go pell-mell zap-zap KZZBRAP at itself and the Reapers to then sweep up the remnants, Sovereign pretty much jumped the gun entirely.

  18. #93
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Over analysing Mass Effect games is a poor mans meal

  19. #94
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    It is too late to get in on some hot kebab action at the tandoor right now. Goddammit.

  20. #95
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    The reaper nonsense aside (like reapers landing on Earth and ambling around blowing things up with their laser beams), parts of the story haven't actually been that bad so far. I thought Sur'Kesh and Tuchanka were quite interesting and you even get to dabble in some space diplomacy, sort of. Really, my biggest complaint so far is that you seem to spend half the time fighting a human terrorist organization in a game that's ostensibly about fighting a galactic war against and alongside aliens. Oh, and the Rachni queen thing was pretty disappointing, though I don't know what I was expecting, really.

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