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Mass Effect: Andromeda - Page 9

post #401 of 642
Absolutely loving it - I really don't get the critics complaints. Its Mass Effect on a massive scale and I'm looking forward to spending all summer exploring the universe ūüėÉ
post #402 of 642

Starting the game for the first time in about ten minutes. Been a busy week.

post #403 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Codename View Post

Well I just stopped after playing for 8 and a half hours straight. So this game is doing something right. Just got my Nomad! (and proceeded to ramp the Tempest which got a funny response from Kall)

I'll post more elaborated thoughts after I've gotten some sleep but as far as I'm concerned the negative reviews and reactions are fucking nuts. This IS Mass Effect. Through and through. And it is not disappointing my hyped to hell ass in the slightest, flaws and all. 


Definitely better than Firefly Saxon. tongue.gif 

Yeah, it plays, feels and looks like Mass Effect, and the setup is great so far (6 hours in).
Plus, on my first planet exploration, I used my jet pack to climb up ghee nose of my ship to survey the area from a vantage point, and my pilot let out an exasperated but resigned "Really, Ryder?".
Loved that out of the blue moment.
post #404 of 642

Well, the positive reactions here have gotten me to download the ten hour trial. Hopefully I'll be able to dive in when I got home from work and see what it's like for myself! 

post #405 of 642
Game is great.

The negatives have been way overblown. There are negatives but in no way are they holding back my enjoyment of this game.

9/10
post #406 of 642

Two things that are bumming me out:

 

i) The high radiation zones curtailing heavily the whole sense of exploring thing so far;

 

ii) The galaxy map transitions - they just take too damn long, it's just padding things out literally having a 10 second scene travelling to every. Single. Goddamn. PoI in a system.

 

Otherwise, yeah, it's Mass Effect, innit?

post #407 of 642
Yeah the transistions between planets do get old rather quickly. It helps that all of the galaxies are rendered beautifully and it's pretty to look at it but it should be entirely skippable. At least give me the option! Just returning back to the Nexus can feel like a chore sometimes.
post #408 of 642

Do the characters get more interesting as the roster expands? I heard that the beginning characters were a little bland.

post #409 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamclane99 View Post

Yeah the transistions between planets do get old rather quickly. It helps that all of the galaxies are rendered beautifully and it's pretty to look at it but it should be entirely skippable. At least give me the option! Just returning back to the Nexus can feel like a chore sometimes.

 

You can tell some art guy on the team was very proud of the (admittedly lovely) work they did on the transitions and BY GOD, HE'S GONNA MAKE YOU WATCH EVERY SINGLE ONE! But once I've seen it, I'd rather just cut to the chase for subsequent ones, I don't have a whole lot of playtime each night so I'd rather not have whole chunks at a time taken up with it.

post #410 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

Do the characters get more interesting as the roster expands? I heard that the beginning characters were a little bland.

Yes, they do.  Also at about halfway in, I've come to the conclusion that the beginning characters, while not the standouts, aren't quite as bland as advertised.  They've got more personality than most of the ME1 companions not named Wrex.  Whether or not you LIKE those personalities is another matter entirely, but in at least one case I realized I didn't care for the character because of that personality, not because they didn't have one.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel Red View Post
 

 

You can tell some art guy on the team was very proud of the (admittedly lovely) work they did on the transitions and BY GOD, HE'S GONNA MAKE YOU WATCH EVERY SINGLE ONE! But once I've seen it, I'd rather just cut to the chase for subsequent ones, I don't have a whole lot of playtime each night so I'd rather not have whole chunks at a time taken up with it.

 

I'd be fully willing to accept a compromise where you have to go through the whole rigamarole the first time you visit a planet, but after that you should be able to "fast travel" to it, yeah.

post #411 of 642

I'm enjoying the game quite a bit, but after playing for a while, yeah, the human animations and faces are pretty wonky sometimes.  Not a deal breaker by any means, but the humans all stand and walk, uh, strangely, and their eyes are seemingly all wide open all the time with lots of white showing. I find it more humorous than distracting. 

post #412 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ejoiner View Post
 

Warning - my review may be based on a very low level of game ability and discernement: I'm currently stuck trying to drive the Nomad up the hill at the research station on Eos. Seriously, I can't get over the fucking hill. :mad:

 

Hopefully you already figured out that you need to engage 6-wheel drive. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

Do the characters get more interesting as the roster expands? I heard that the beginning characters were a little bland.

 

Definitely. The aliens are a livelier bunch than the humans, for sure.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

I'm enjoying the game quite a bit, but after playing for a while, yeah, the human animations and faces are pretty wonky sometimes.  Not a deal breaker by any means, but the humans all stand and walk, uh, strangely, and their eyes are seemingly all wide open all the time with lots of white showing. I find it more humorous than distracting. 

 

The faces really are terribly animated. The contrast with the excellent vocal work is stark. I keep hearing lines delivered with great emotion... coming out of the expressionless robot faces. It's like how I imagine a real attempt at Westworld would go.

 

But the vocals do save the script, which so far is about on par with previous Mass Effects - decent space opera stuff. And the game otherwise looks fantastic. And plays fantastically. And is balanced fantastically. It's a winner; anyone skipping it because of internet cynicism is really missing out.

 

A word of warning: There is at least one completely missable quest/romance - the reporter on the Nexus. I terraformed two planets w/o visiting her, and the quest auto-failed. Between that and the cute Irish pilot being gay, my Ryder is spending his time romancing himself so far.

post #413 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

Do the characters get more interesting as the roster expands? I heard that the beginning characters were a little bland.

 

I'll be the lone voice of dissent and say I REALLY like Liam and Cora. Liam's a cool and passionate dude. And I just got a quest from him that's making me grin like an idiot. Dude's a bro through and through. Cora, I like that she's someone who simultaneously really has her shit together. And dealing with some identity issues that I can really emphasize with. She's willing to put her own issues aside for the good of the mission and always supports my Scott in his decisions. Exactly who you need as a second-in-command. 

 

By comparison, Ashley and Kaidan are easily the WORST crew members in the OT. Kaidan's the blandest bland to ever bland and Ashley's a god-bothering Space Racist. Virmire is me just deciding who I hate the least to stick around...and that's Kaidan since bland is better than Space Racist. 

 

The alien party members, and really, the rest of the crew, ARE incredibly awesome. Vetra's wheeling and dealing ways are awesome to behold. I don't believe I'll ever get tired of Old Man Drack and his Brooklyn accent. I'm flirting with Peebee pretty much non-stop. And Jaal and the Angara seem really fucking cool so far. Kallo's gossipy ass is fantastic. Love Suvi and her accent and I had a great convo with her about her faith. Gil's laid back and humorous attitude is great and Lexi is me listening to Natalie Dormer the whole time and well, I like that just fine. 

 

And while this might be blasphemy, I think the Tempest is a WAY cooler ship to have than the Normandy. The interior's gorgeous and I love moving around in it. And the viewports changing depending on your position in the Cluster? SO FUCKING COOL.  And hell, I'll also say I absolutely ADORE the travelling animations as it's fantastic for immersion for me.

 

The facial animations ARE a negative. But it honestly doesn't bother me much at all and I'd probably not pay it much thought if the Internet didn't lose its shit over it. As it's pretty much the only legit critcisim against the game IMO. 

 

Combat and movement? SO vastly improved over the OT and so much fucking fun. I mostly rock the Vanguard and Explorer Profiles while changing to Soldier or Adept as needed. The added mobility is, quite literally a game-changer as we move from a rather static cover-based shooter to fluid, fast-paced and high-octane shoot-outs that REALLY let you use the terrain to your advantage. Any open world game from now on NEEDS a jump-jet as it makes traversing the huge (and GORGEOUSLY alien) maps a breeze and I never get tired of it. 

And I love how we've moved from the typical "Save the Galaxy, soldier!" plots of the OT to a legitimate tale of exploration and discovery. We're on our own in a new galaxy and it's really nailing the desperate plight of the pilgrims while also doing the groundwork of the big moments like founding the first successful Milky Way outpost or first contact with the Angara. I'm fully invested in finding us a new home here. 

 

And doing away with the Paragon/Renegade system was so the right move to make. Instead of having to choose to between being "Noble Warrior" or "Asshole Badass Soldier" they're giving you a lot more room to play Ryder. For me, Scott is a bright eyed, emotional and idealistic jokester who's truly invested in exploring and fostering a spirit of cooperation in this fresh start. And the game lets me play that as I want. It's a great RPG.

 

Don't like the game? Well, that's your loss as I am having a ball of a time and Andromeda has delivered on everything I was hoping for. Happy fan here. 

post #414 of 642
You just nailed my thoughts exactly. Thank you kind sir.

Off to explore the galaxy again!
post #415 of 642
CrowbCat put out a ME4 video. Warning though, here be spoilers. Seriously, there's stuff I wish I hadn't seen in the video, but if you want the context free highlights just scan the gif riddled thread over at gaf.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

That space between 4:17 - 5:20 is fucking amazing.
post #416 of 642

Codename - excellent review that sums up my feelings perfectly!

 

Farsight - yes, I did!

post #417 of 642

Woah. Honestly, I wasn't expecting anything in the way of tough decisions at all given all the suggestions and griping beforehand that there's nothing to choose from. Instead, I've just done Voeld and, while not quite Virmire level yet, had about 3 really uncomfortable calls to make in a row almost, and have pissed off Jaal a bit in the process. Sara's gradually going from callow, starry-eyed youth to proto-Shep. She can also swear like a trooper when the need arises, I was not seriously not expecting her to tell some jerk [sort of paraphrasing] "I've had enough of your shit. I. Will. Fuck. You. Up.", jinkies.

post #418 of 642

The Voeld capper is great.  I stared at the dialogue wheel for a good thirty seconds before making that decision.

post #419 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel Red View Post
 

Woah. Honestly, I wasn't expecting anything in the way of tough decisions at all given all the suggestions and griping beforehand that there's nothing to choose from. Instead, I've just done Voeld and, while not quite Virmire level yet, had about 3 really uncomfortable calls to make in a row almost, and have pissed off Jaal a bit in the process. Sara's gradually going from callow, starry-eyed youth to proto-Shep. She can also swear like a trooper when the need arises, I was not seriously not expecting her to tell some jerk [sort of paraphrasing] "I've had enough of your shit. I. Will. Fuck. You. Up.", jinkies.

 

Sadly, from what I've seen and heard, that's the most "Paragon vs Renegade" decision available in the game.  With the caveat that I still have about half the game to get through. 

 

And depending on your decision it did come with the first interrupt I've seen that was totally on par with any of the original trilogy's moments.  It was definitely the first time I felt like Ryder could be a legit badass.

post #420 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmacq1 View Post
 

 

Sadly, from what I've seen and heard, that's the most "Paragon vs Renegade" decision available in the game.

 

There's another decision later in the story that I found just as difficult.

post #421 of 642

So tonight I took down...

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
...my first Remnant Architect.
 
HOLY FUUUUUUUUUUUCK! That was incredibly tough and tense to get through. Epic fight all round especially when it pops up for the first time. Literally made my jaw drop. 

 

And yeah, that decision on Voeld was a tough one. 

post #422 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Codename View Post

So tonight I took down...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
...my first Remnant Architect.
 
HOLY FUUUUUUUUUUUCK! That was incredibly tough and tense to get through. Epic fight all round especially when it pops up for the first time. Literally made my jaw drop. 

And yeah, that decision on Voeld was a tough one. 
Yeah those fights are hella fun, and entirely made by the differences in terrain in each location.
post #423 of 642
I just got schooled on Angara military doctrine and engagement - prioritise life over vengeance, rescue slaves and reclaim cultural artefacts.

Oh. Oh dear.

*insert_Michael Bluth.gif_here*
post #424 of 642

The cool thing about that storyline for me was that I was making choices that went against what I would -personally- want to do, for the sake of diplomacy. I mean, I'm pretty sure the game won't let you lose them as an ally, but it was still more interesting to play it as if it might happen.

post #425 of 642

TotalBiscuit weighs in with a very extensive and exceedingly fair look at the main game...

 

post #426 of 642
I'm enjoying the game on pc. Asian Ryders don't look like mongoloid oafs. Getting some nice wallpaper shit with ansel screenshots. Still, it's funny seeing some of the shit showing up on my ps4 wall from friends and coworkers; it makes me regret not picking default Ryders but I just couldn't stand the goofy faces.

Dunkey did his ME4 video, not so spoilerific like the CrowbCat one.
post #427 of 642

After a few days with the game, I think its pretty damn solid, but not without the usual Bioware failings, but these do not affect or detract from the gameplay and narrative to be bothersome.

Although I think having that fucking radiation hazard explore limitation on the very first planet you get to explore was a mistake, as its incredibly frustrating.

Also, most of the cast (specially the humans) suffer a lot compared to the original trilogy's companions, which is also affected by how straightforward the romance/relationship system is (I went witha  female Ryder simply because Suvi seemed to be the most interesting character relationship wise).

It almost fills like a filler game for a bigger step in the series, one mean to set up and introduce the Andromeda galaxy and its inhabitants (a wise move considering ME3's endings).

Still, its Mass Effect, and its gameworld, design and gameplay are up to the series traditions.

Good, but not the Great the series needed for its debut on next gen.

post #428 of 642

About 20 hours in, and I'm digging it even after expecting the worst from the early buzz.

 

I'm not amazingly far in , I think (have met the Angara and am on Havarl, and fucked if I can remember if I'm spelling this stuff right) but what strikes me is that this game has a much more Star Trekky feel than the original games - not just because of the obvious pioneer/exploration stuff, but tonally as well. I feel a lot more involved with the bosses back on the Nexus. While the higher-ups in the original games were always kept shadowy and a little distant to the player, here I feel more involved in the work they do. There's a nice sense of general confusion and trepidation just under the surface, which feels apt for the first settlement in a new galaxy.

 

I'm definitely liking the cast more as I spend longer with them. Like Codename said, the conflict between duty and personal ambition in Cora is very well portrayed. And you know what, default Sara's kooky expressions are starting to grow on me. I like the fact that she uses humour (as a defense mechanism mostly), and that her look is somewhat lighter and more expressive. I'll love Sheperd always, but he/she was always a very trad-videogame-protagonist wall of stoicism. There's something that's just more relateable about Sara, and not just because I happen to be a rubber-faced smartarse myself.

 

Having said all this, as much as I'm having fun with the game so far it does suffer from a lack of a cohesive vision. As others have pointed out, it takes a few hours to really kick in, and having the rad restrictions on Eos is a bizarre way to introduce the player to the meat of the game, when so much fuss has been made about the importance of exploration. It feels a bit 'stretched-out', from the world design to things like the unskippable planet transitions, and it sometimes feels like it needed someone to come in and tighten things a bit.

 

So far though, I'm enjoying it a ton. It's definitely seeming like one of those games which has heaps to like, as long as you show it a bit of patience (and really, as attractive as the 'This Is A Major AAA Game and We Demand No Flaws'  attitude can be, I'm sure we can all name games we love that fit the above description). 


Edited by Workyticket - 3/29/17 at 7:33am
post #429 of 642

My housemate just grabbed himself a copy on PS4, so I look forward to his review. Worky you're also selling me a touch I'll be honest. It's still a wait-for-a-sale for me, but I will get it eventually methinks.

Also, I don't think it's necessarily fair to lump everyone with concerns about the game into a 'This Is A Major AAA Game and We Demand No Flaws' camp. Personally, I just wanted a game on par with the games that came before it. I wanted more 'Friends', not 'Joey'.

post #430 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post
 

My housemate just grabbed himself a copy on PS4, so I look forward to his review. Worky you're also selling me a touch I'll be honest. It's still a wait-for-a-sale for me, but I will get it eventually methinks.

Also, I don't think it's necessarily fair to lump everyone with concerns about the game into a 'This Is A Major AAA Game and We Demand No Flaws' camp. Personally, I just wanted a game on par with the games that came before it. I wanted more 'Friends', not 'Joey'.

 

It's easily on par with the previous games. All are flawed gems. ME2 was probably the best of the bunch, but the way the story kind of hamstrung ME3 by making all the new companions potentially dead was a minus for me.

 

Andromeda is easily the best gameplay an ME game has had. Storywise, I can'r compare fully since I'm not done, but I think it'll surpass ME1 as a table-setting story.

post #431 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
 

 

It's easily on par with the previous games.

 

Really though? The writing is on par? The dialogue? The characters are as endearing and the story as deeply engaging as the now decade old original?

I frikkin love Mass Effect 1, more than most it would seem, and that has everything to do with the things I mentioned above.

post #432 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
 

 

but I think it'll surpass ME1 as a table-setting story.

 

It doesn't.  I came out of ME1 desperate for ME2.  I came out of Andromeda thinking it'd be fun to play a sequel someday.

 

Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post
 

 

Really though? The writing is on par? The dialogue? The characters are as endearing and the story as deeply engaging as the now decade old original?

 

It just depends on what you value.  The writing generally isn't on par, but the gameplay is much better.  And the roster in Andromeda is definitely better than the roster in ME1, where Wrex was the only standout.  Garrus and Tali didn't become awesome until ME2.

post #433 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post
 

 

Really though? The writing is on par? The dialogue? The characters are as endearing and the story as deeply engaging as the now decade old original?

I frikkin love Mass Effect 1, more than most it would seem, and that has everything to do with the things I mentioned above.

 

The characters are heaps better. The dialogue is better.

 

The plot is kind of a reboot, so I'd have to give ME1 more credit there. I find the colonization angle very interesting but YMMV.

 

All the ME games are essentially space operas, with none of them being brilliantly written IMO. Most open world games, and especially Bioware games, suffer from having multiple writers working on separate quest lines. It really makes the stories disjointed and erratic. They're still some of my favorite games, but I'm not expecting writing better than a blockbuster movie.

post #434 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post

Really though? The writing is on par? The dialogue? The characters are as endearing and the story as deeply engaging as the now decade old original?

Yes, yes and HELL YES! Seriously the more I find out about these characters the more they're endearing themselves to me. In comparison with ME1 which I ALSO love to death I think the character work here is miles better.

I'm loving the plot and the writing and it is just a joy to play. Sure, there are flaws. Animations fuck out from time to time. The menus can be a bit obtuse. The character creator is limited (although I'm still happy with how both my Ryders look) and the game often doesn't do a great job at explaining mechanics. But when I am this engrossed and immersed and having this much fun. I. Do. Not. Care.
post #435 of 642

I'll defer to the other guys re: the overall writing as they've played more than I have so far, but I'd say that apart from the odd clunker the writing's been decent-to-very-good. I can definitely see this game becoming a sales-season star once everyone gets over the initial dogpile, and some of the more positive word of mouth does the rounds.

post #436 of 642
eeeeh....I think some of you guys are leaning too hard on some supposed movement against the ME franchise that really isn't happening.


Unfortunately, I'm out to sea so I didn't get to play as much as I wanted. I did get a chance to listen to the latest Giant Bomb podcast...and boy were they especially hard on it. And I found it hard not to agree with them: The writing and the characters just isn't there. Like, yeah, maybe not fair, but I thought ME1 did a pretty fantastic job of being compelling in a short amount of time. I'm not seeing that at all with Andromeda. When I get home, I'll keep playing because some of you are swearing up and down that it gets better, so we'll see.

I'm just not expecting much.


And this is from someone that did like the original ending for ME3.
post #437 of 642

Well, it's not as simple as jumping up and down, yelling 'BIAS!'. And I don't know how anyone could not be aware of the fact that, between the general reactions to the game and especially the way that the animations furore took off, that this game has generated a lot of ill will. As much as I love the Giant Bomb crew, they've always had a tendency to be overly dismissive of games that don't grab them straight away.

 

I think more than anything, the point is that while a lot of the criticisms being thrown at the game have merit (and personally, I think they all do to one degree or another), there's also a lot of things to like about it. To be fair, it does start off very slowly - my own initial reaction was pretty muted, and it took a few hours before it started to hook me. But once you start get into the planet-hopping stuff it starts to find its groove.  

post #438 of 642

Another thing that makes me smell bias...a lot of the things this game has been criticized for are things plenty of other games are also guilty of that you hear nothing about. I mean, Skyrim and Fallout 4 have plenty of wonky animations and less than stellar voice acting. And yet, you never heard any of that in any of the reviews. 

 

People complaining about writing and characters are playing a very different game then the one I am enjoying though. It's at least as good as the OT and I've played those 3 games all the way through about 5 times already with the latest being a few months back so I'm not just talking out my ass here. Exactly WHAT is supposedly so bad about the writing here? Because I see a lot of people online saying it's bad but not really giving reasons as to WHY it is.

post #439 of 642

Yeah - I'm starting to really wonder about the bandwagon effect and the psychology of the internet community here. Around 50 hours into the game and I've yet to come across a game changing animation design or crushingly bad dialogue scene. Are there some weaker elements here or there? Sure. But I was told by students I teach who haven't played the game that they heard it was a disaster and one of the worst games ever. 

 

Every criticism I've heard leveled against MEA is more true in the OT (which I thoroughly enjoyed). And I just jumped into the multiplayer for the first time and found I like it a lot better than the OT version!

 

So, yeah, not getting the hate some are slinging at the game.....

post #440 of 642

My scepticisms were noted prior to playing about the Ryders, I really didn't think they were going to work at all. Now I've actually played a good chunk of it?

 

I'm thinking Sara Ryder is the best lead/player character they've done to date. She is out of her depth, making it up as she goes, trying to make a good impression and embody all the positive aspects of the Citadel peoples and embracing a golden opportunity to explore and discover new things, there's an optimism and positivity to her and her mission that's sorely lacking in the world right now. Then, every now and then, the frustration gets to her and she promises to Fuck. Your. Shit. Up.

 

Unless it really shits the bed in the final act, I'm already feeling better about this than the last game, which was - Tuchanka and later Citadel DLC aside - joyless and depressing to a point where I don't feel a need to revisit it. My main concern is in going forward, as this feels like the crew of the Tempest should be a thing like the crew of the Enterprise is a thing, but conventional videogame sequel logic ensures nearly everyone will get replaced, with maybe Suvi, Gil, Kallo and Lexi being the only ones to stick around.

 

It's fascinating - and also quite telling - how the recurring theme of the game so far is about a bunch of people subbing in for 'greater'/more experienced folks and just trying to do the best they can under some very challenging conditions. Ryder, Tann, Addison - none of them wanted this but someone had to step up and take up the baton and fate picked them. Kinda meta.

 

As for actual negatives, other than the mostly minor bugs, lack of a 'mark all as read' button, and a compelling antagonist (the Archon and Kett, while scratching the terrifying body horror itch in a Borg-lite sort of way, aren't a patch on Saren/Sovereign/Harbinger/Harper in personality terms), holy crap the music is so nothing in this one. The main theme sounds like a rip of the one from Prometheus and then almost nothing except the occasional bland synthlines for an encounter every now and then. Something to rival the amazing themes of the first and second are sorely missed.

post #441 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel Red View Post
 

My main concern is in going forward, as this feels like the crew of the Tempest should be a thing like the crew of the Enterprise is a thing, but conventional videogame sequel logic ensures nearly everyone will get replaced, with maybe Suvi, Gil, Kallo and Lexi being the only ones to stick around.

 

 

For me, that was the biggest flaw in the original trilogy. They were making a branching storyline. The easiest way to reflect player choices would've been in the ongoing development of a continuing cast. Instead, each game was a soft reboot of the one before it, and even worse they often made the branches be character deaths, so they were blocked from being integral to the next story. It's the worst possible way to utilize both a branching story and one that continues through multiple games.

 

I mean, look at the book, TV and movie series that we enjoy. A Game of Thrones that dumped every character except Daenerys after each season would not be as beloved. If the Avengers only kept Iron Man from movie to movie, they'd suffer. By starting nearly from scratch with their cast in each game, they hobble their ability to really emotionally grab the audience.

 

Imagine a Mass Effect series where your companions share a history with you throughout, growing and changing alongside you. Your romantic interest leaves you, or betrays you, or you have a child together. Your best bud companion is there for every struggle, then at the very end, the branching moment comes that determines which one of you makes the ultimate sacrifice for the other. For me, the ending of ME3 failed not because of the goofy color choice (although that was goofy), but because none of the character moments really landed as hard as they should have after three games and 100+ hours - mainly becuase they were spread so thin. 

 

I expect they'll do the same soft reboot for Andromeda 2, but it's missing a real opportunity.

post #442 of 642
The Garrus material came close to that for me. As did Liara.
post #443 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
 

 

For me, that was the biggest flaw in the original trilogy. They were making a branching storyline. The easiest way to reflect player choices would've been in the ongoing development of a continuing cast. Instead, each game was a soft reboot of the one before it, and even worse they often made the branches be character deaths, so they were blocked from being integral to the next story. It's the worst possible way to utilize both a branching story and one that continues through multiple games.

 

I mean, look at the book, TV and movie series that we enjoy. A Game of Thrones that dumped every character except Daenerys after each season would not be as beloved. If the Avengers only kept Iron Man from movie to movie, they'd suffer. By starting nearly from scratch with their cast in each game, they hobble their ability to really emotionally grab the audience.

 

Imagine a Mass Effect series where your companions share a history with you throughout, growing and changing alongside you. Your romantic interest leaves you, or betrays you, or you have a child together. Your best bud companion is there for every struggle, then at the very end, the branching moment comes that determines which one of you makes the ultimate sacrifice for the other. For me, the ending of ME3 failed not because of the goofy color choice (although that was goofy), but because none of the character moments really landed as hard as they should have after three games and 100+ hours - mainly becuase they were spread so thin. 

 

I expect they'll do the same soft reboot for Andromeda 2, but it's missing a real opportunity.

 

The "soft reboot" is as much a function of gameplay as story...they always need some contrivance for why your character is "starting from scratch" in the new game (though ME3 flipped the script and just made it "now we go up to 11" instead).  Also, while players love (some) old characters they want new blood, too, and having a roster of potential squadmates that's 20 people long just means a whole lotta characters aren't gonna get much development.

 

At this point, I'm kind of at the place where I hope they give Andromeda two or three nicely-sized expansions/DLC chunks...and then have Andromeda 2 be the first or second generation of "native" Andromedan colonists starting an adventure beyond the Heleus Cluster.  Maybe the new character is current-Ryder's child or grandchild (or maybe not...maybe they're a whole new character).  Surviving characters from the first Andromeda can cameo/play support roles (Maybe Lexi is still the ship's doctor and Drack and/or PeeBee could still be a squadmate), and you can get your new cast of kooky characters for your new crew.  Have the Ryders take up the Hackett/Anderson mentor-type roles.


Edited by Jmacq1 - 3/30/17 at 9:04am
post #444 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
 

 

For me, that was the biggest flaw in the original trilogy. They were making a branching storyline. The easiest way to reflect player choices would've been in the ongoing development of a continuing cast. Instead, each game was a soft reboot of the one before it, and even worse they often made the branches be character deaths, so they were blocked from being integral to the next story. It's the worst possible way to utilize both a branching story and one that continues through multiple games.

 

I disagree pretty strongly with this.  Mordin, Wrex, Tali, and Legion are vital to the Tuchanka/Rannoch stories in Mass Effect 3, and all of those characters can be dead before the game even begins.

Quote:
Imagine a Mass Effect series where your companions share a history with you throughout, growing and changing alongside you. Your romantic interest leaves you, or betrays you, or you have a child together. Your best bud companion is there for every struggle, then at the very end, the branching moment comes that determines which one of you makes the ultimate sacrifice for the other. For me, the ending of ME3 failed not because of the goofy color choice (although that was goofy), but because none of the character moments really landed as hard as they should have after three games and 100+ hours - mainly becuase they were spread so thin. 

 

And I disagree with this even more.  Telling Liara I loved her in ME3, or telling Garrus there's no Shepard without Vakarian... those moments had a huge impact on me.

 

Quote:
I mean, look at the book, TV and movie series that we enjoy. A Game of Thrones that dumped every character except Daenerys after each season would not be as beloved. If the Avengers only kept Iron Man from movie to movie, they'd suffer. By starting nearly from scratch with their cast in each game, they hobble their ability to really emotionally grab the audience.

 

Those don't have to take player or audience choice into account.  The only way to do this on the same level in a video game is to force players down a certain path, which drives RPG fans nuts.

post #445 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
 

 

Those don't have to take player or audience choice into account.  The only way to do this on the same level in a video game is to force players down a certain path, which drives RPG fans nuts.

 

Exactly - just look at the salty, butthurt pearl-clutching I've been doing the last couple of years.

post #446 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
 

 

I disagree pretty strongly with this.  Mordin, Wrex, Tali, and Legion are vital to the Tuchanka/Rannoch stories in Mass Effect 3, and all of those characters can be dead before the game even begins.

 

And I disagree with this even more.  Telling Liara I loved her in ME3, or telling Garrus there's no Shepard without Vakarian... those moments had a huge impact on me.

 

 

Those don't have to take player or audience choice into account.  The only way to do this on the same level in a video game is to force players down a certain path, which drives RPG fans nuts.

 

RE Mordrin, Wrex et al: And by doing the story that way, you have players missing big chunks of content and you have to produce twice as much content. Plus, it didn't really make a big impact on ME2, since you almost had to try to lose people. It was a lot of effort, for little to no narrative gain.

 

RE Liara, Garrus: I enjoyed many of the recurring characters' swan songs as well, but I find it impossible to argue that they were as impactful as they would have been if those characters hadn't been sidelined for the better part of two games. Basically, it's the difference between co-stars and guest stars: the guest stars can be terrific characters/actors, but they will rarely if ever have the kind of impact that a well-written/acted main character can.

 

RE Choice: That's only if you assume these characters must have a binary live/die option during the early part of the story. As I said, I think that's the -worst- possible way to make choices matter, since it forces you into some combination of marginalizing the character/choice, and/or ballooning the amount of content required. ME2 and the Telltale games end up doing -both- when they go down that narrative path.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmacq1 View Post
 

 

At this point, I'm kind of at the place where I hope they give Andromeda two or three nicely-sized expansions/DLC chunks...and then have Andromeda 2 be the first or second generation of "native" Andromedan colonists starting an adventure beyond the Heleus Cluster.  Maybe the new character is current-Ryder's child or grandchild (or maybe not...maybe they're a whole new character).  Surviving characters from the first Andromeda can cameo/play support roles (Maybe Lexi is still the ship's doctor and Drack and/or PeeBee could still be a squadmate), and you can get your new cast of kooky characters for your new crew.  Have the Ryders take up the Hackett/Anderson mentor-type roles.

 

Yeah, I wouldn't mind a new main character in each game, if the alternative is a hamfisted soft-reboot. There's not a really strong writer/mastermind plotting Bioware's stories out, so I'm not sure the trilogy concept really works with their "story by committee" approach.

post #447 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
 

 

RE Mordrin, Wrex et al: And by doing the story that way, you have players missing big chunks of content and you have to produce twice as much content. Plus, it didn't really make a big impact on ME2, since you almost had to try to lose people. It was a lot of effort, for little to no narrative gain.

 

"Little to no narrative gain"?  I earned those characters being with me in Mass Effect 3.

 

Quote:
RE Choice: That's only if you assume these characters must have a binary live/die option during the early part of the story. As I said, I think that's the -worst- possible way to make choices matter, since it forces you into some combination of marginalizing the character/choice, and/or ballooning the amount of content required. ME2 and the Telltale games end up doing -both- when they go down that narrative path.

 

Again, you're now arguing for an on-rails experience akin to The Last of Us.  And that's fine - I adore that game and its story - but it's a very different feeling.  Garrus isn't Shepard's best friend, he's my Shepard's best friend, and that's been earned through three games where I chose how to use him and I kept him alive.

 

How is ballooning the amount of content required a bad thing?  I think it's silly to expect that - even for all the credit CD Projekt Red got for the different second acts in The Witcher 2, you still ended up in the same place for act three - but that's a financial burden for the developer, not an experience burden for the player.

post #448 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
 

 

"Little to no narrative gain"?  I earned those characters being with me in Mass Effect 3.

 

 

Again, you're now arguing for an on-rails experience akin to The Last of Us.  And that's fine - I adore that game and its story - but it's a very different feeling.  Garrus isn't Shepard's best friend, he's my Shepard's best friend, and that's been earned through three games where I chose how to use him and I kept him alive.

 

How is ballooning the amount of content required a bad thing?  I think it's silly to expect that - even for all the credit CD Projekt Red got for the different second acts in The Witcher 2, you still ended up in the same place for act three - but that's a financial burden for the developer, not an experience burden for the player.

 

Practically everyone had them with them in ME3. Little to no narrative gain because it was a path not taken. "Do you give a shit about character X?" is not the kind of choice-with-consequences I'm looking for.

 

I'm not at all arguing for an on-rails story. Quite the opposite. I want the expenses and time to go into truly interesting and difficult choices that matter, not "Don't do a loyalty quest and X dies, do it and they get reduced to a cameo in the next game." That's a high-cost choice to implement, and it actually HURTS the narrative.

 

I would spend my time money on interesting plot branches rather than companion deaths. For companions, I would have their -personality- branch based on your choices, instead of them all loving you as long as you bother to speak to them a few times. For example, "your" Garrus might've ended up your best bud, while mine might've ended up an argumentative pain in the ass. Then in the final game, you could have a major plot point drive a wedge between you, causing "my" Garrus to backstab me, while yours gives you a true fist-pumping moment when he flips his seducer the bird and sticks by you.

 

There a lot of ways to handle a branching storyline. I just find "Is X dead or not?" one of the least interesting in practice.

post #449 of 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
 

For example, "your" Garrus might've ended up your best bud, while mine might've ended up an argumentative pain in the ass. Then in the final game, you could have a major plot point drive a wedge between you, causing "my" Garrus to backstab me, while yours gives you a true fist-pumping moment when he flips his seducer the bird and sticks by you.

 

You mean like Ashley in ME3?

post #450 of 642

Ran into...

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Zaeed's bastard son while revisiting Eos once the radiation subsides.  I'm really impressed with the callbacks to the Shepard Trilogy here. They're never overtly distracting and fit into the ME world really nicely.  Allows the game to be it's own thing more and more. 

 

And Liam's loyalty quest (with one of the best Star Wars references I've yet seen in a videogame) was fucking fantastic. If they're all up to that quality I will be VERY happy. Just an absolute blast from start to finish. 

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