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Default Mass Effect Andromeda early impressions and facts

March 19th, 2017, 17:34
So far we have input from two watchers who did the 10 hours trial:

Originally Posted by BoboTheMighty View Post
Eh, I install something fishy all the time. Guess it's time for format the system.

Anyway: From start, music is fine, low key, slowly building, but feels like it lacks "iconic theme" previous ME games had ( tranquil fantasy/mistery, heroic, melancholy)
Character creator is very lacking, night and day compared to Inquisition. Presets are funny looking, for a moment thought you get to play as aliens.
Dialogue is…odd. Standard Bioware half the time, but there is larger amount of lines that just seem…pulled out of some movie and feels out of place/nonsensical. ( espec party chatter in combat)
Char personality seems more "set" than before, there are four options( per "personality" response) but a lot of times, only two.
Characters: so far they're not as gripping as previously( though this is more subjective)…Alec Ryder stands out ( in VA, dialogue, visual design).
Facial animations; what is said, this is sure to be funny.
Combat : improvement overall, though cover is clumsier this time, weapons feel lacking and AI ( on both sides) can be…really something.
Side quests definitely feel a bit more substantial than in Inquisition or other ME.
UI: real clusterfuck of menus. Scanning can easily wear out it's welcome.
(Positive) Highlight: Alec Ryder, sense of mystery ( like in ME I) and shuttle descent( love it).
Originally Posted by fungus View Post
I cannot believe UI got past internal QA, it's almost like no one played the game during development. And yet.

I did give the trial a go yesterday, and what I saw was mostly DA:I in space, just with some curious steps backwards. My impressions in order of appearance:
* The character customisation UI is really awkward and non-intuitive. You need too many clicks to achieve anything, and the behaviour is not consistent - sometimes you need to go back to approve change but sometimes you need to accept and going back resets things.
* It's hard to create a decent looking face in the character designer. Feels like a step back from previous games. All facial hair is spay-on, so forget about having a beard. What's wrong with beards.
* Story (at least initially) requires turning off brain and not thinking, otherwise the Andromeda Initiative seems comically inept. As soon as the ark arrives it seems no-one cares to scan, send probes or even look out of the window so the ship hits a clearly visible obstacle. The thing isn't even black and fading into background. During collision unsecured massive cryo-pods fly around medbay, because what is basic safety. Leadership seems unprepared for the world not being ready for instant colonisation, which is odd considering distance and time it took to get there. Lack of contingency plans? What if the place was already colonised, did they just plan to slaughter everyone - if so, with whose army?
Later on we meet more incompetent characters (but at least it's excused that we're quickly promoted over their ability level).
* Andromeda Initiative shuttles are made out of papier-mache and fall apart from lightning strike.
* The world is really beautiful. Sceneries are amazing. General graphics, top notch (faces in animations, not so).
* On the first mission instantly you run into hostile aliens. At one point, you can go left and see one of your men being shot by the aliens. If you go right, you will see the same scene. If you go one way and the double back the other one poor guy gets shot twice.
* Your dad interfaces with alien computers by holding hand out and using space magic (as provided by AI). OK.
* You become the new Pathfinder (apparently a mythic figure) because your wanted wanted so, ignoring seniority, experience or anything really. It is because you have better connection to said AI. Who would have though that is the main requirement.
* Movement animation can be really odd at times. I wonder if the character proportions are a bit odd… I feel like Cora's legs are too short for her body? In any case I haven't seen crab walk or anything so hilarious, but the animation quality is still lacking.
* We arrive at Nexus, the main hub-station where everyone is thankful because now our Ark is providing power to it. Okay? That seems like an odd design choice for space station… shouldn't it be the other way around?
* Face animation are a mixed bag. Some are all right, but not amazing, some are really, really bad. The 'my face is tired' lady is ridiculous, like a puppet where only jaw moves. I was wondering if the 'my face is tired' isn't some developer in-joke for 'can't be arsed to fix it, so let's hang a lampshade'. It doesn't work.
* Writing is a mixed bag as well, and mostly not amazing. To that, usually delivered woodenly. The voice actors are reading lines, not voice acting. It's cool that you have more lines than ever, BioWare, but in writing and voice, quality beats quantity every time. I didn't want to talk to people, which is bad for what should be story driven game.
* Your ship has a bit of Star Wars design, with a walkway without guardrail. At least the drops is small.
* You can fly around the galaxy, scanning for anomalies and mining. Only this time you cannot check what is in a system without flying there. And every flight to planet or between system takes forever, or about 10 seconds. Which compose of close-up of where you are not, camera pointing to destination, flight animation, destination pops in, zoom out. Pretty, but getting tiring very fast. One of the things where you imagine internal QA should have told 'cool idea, but tedious'.
* The UI is a hot mess. It really fights you when you try to do anything, set your skills, check inventory, research, build. And there's a lot of it.
* You can only change your loadout at specific points. Why can't I have shotgun for sniper rifle, I have them both in inventory. You need points in combat skill line to be able to carry more guns. Carrying things is advanced skills, after all.
* The DA:I style crafting seems to be back. I wasn't fond of it.
* There is a lot of combat. I can't say if the dropships with enemies are scripted and appear only once when you get to some point on the map, or if they 'respawn' if you leave and come back.
* Side quests can be not all that amazing. Example not amazing quest: 'They were doing something here, but not clear. what. Gather 3 components around the map and come back to see what it was.'.
* There seems to be less of DA:I icon explosion on the map (granted, it might yet happen), but the ME2 style mining is back, only this time it's on ground! When driving around you can use mining computer in some specific areas, you have the ME2 style charts or how much of a mineral is there around, deploy probe. Until mining area is depleted.

Add that together and for me it would be a acceptable 7/10 time waster with nice sceneries, if not for tepid story, poor UI, questionable animation, faces, voice-acting… One of those issues, I could deal with, but all together? I might play it, but not before the game hits bargain bins.

PS. There is multiplayer. No comments, as I don't care about multiplayer.
I'll ad a few things they didn't mention.

1. First mission is a lengthy one, while the game does autosaving, you can't save manually! Manual saves are available much later (when you arrive to so called Nexus).
Bioware does not know what F5 is used for on PC so instead of one key you'll be browsing menus to save your progress (this adds to horrible UI menus mentioned already by plenty of people).

2. Second sidequest available is about sabotage. You catch the culprit and have a choice what to do with him. Either arrest the saboteur or exile him. There is no third option ("keep enemies close" for example and use when fit). We know the game is not TW3 so it's still questionable if your choice matters at all, but cmon Bioware! The game doesn't have to be DA:I in space, but aside bears we could at least sit in the throne and sentence people with many different "punishments".

3. Striketeams rewards are symbollic (20-30 ingame credits per successful mission for example while items have hundreds or thousands price) but the design on mission choosing is horrible. At least earlygame. To set them on a mission you can't do it from a menu but need to walk to and use an appropriate console. Which is not possible if you're not near that console.
Instead of wasting your time in the game you should use Apex HQ phonegame (works with android emulator Nox so you don't have to buy any phone) that instantly allows strike teams management and is available even if you still didn't buy the game.

4. I was talking about Z, C and different keyboards because of no input from anywhere. Well, if you're using QWERTZ keyboard like me, the game will default sidekick order on Y! You don't have to remap it yourself. This is IMO awsome. On the other hand…
If you change sprint to toggle (default is running only if shift being held) the protagonist can't ever stop moving. Running to somewhere will continue all the time even if you're not pressing WASD at all. That's Bioware's QA department.

5. Writing in earlygame as everyone said is nothing to bragg about to your friends (family, random people in the train, etc) but at least hinting on things that should be kept secret could be better. Colony ship's AI is an enhanced one. You don't know why exactly nor how. But the first unlocked father's memory points on what it probably is - please do not read unless you want to get heavily spoiled or unless you played through the trial:
Spoiler

Here's hope it's not what AI actually is and that the hint was deliberate misleading.

6. Noone mentioed if there is motion blur effect in the game. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. In any case, an option to enable/disable it does not exist.
Meanwhile, film grain is enabled by default (*sigh*).

.
That'd be it, I'll add more if I remember and if seems necessary.
--
Toka Koka
Last edited by joxer; March 19th, 2017 at 17:48.
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March 19th, 2017, 18:06
Well Joxer, you should get your money's worth out of this game no matter what. What do you have now, 100 hours into it with research and posting.

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March 19th, 2017, 20:05
its good to have such summary. It seems its heated topic that attracts exaggerated claims (as usual with Bioware).

Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Well Joxer, you should get your money's worth out of this game no matter what. What do you have now, 100 hours into it with research and posting.
As I said in other ME news thread, it has become Mass Joxer Effect.
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March 19th, 2017, 20:23
I think people are doing a disservice to themselves and the game to play it seriously instead of as if it is a comedy like the "stick of truth".
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March 19th, 2017, 21:13
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
I think people are doing a disservice to themselves and the game to play it seriously instead of as if it is a comedy like the "stick of truth".
Like, the true adventures of Golgafrinchan Ark B? I could dig that… if the story was consistently bad, and it would actually explain a lot.
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March 19th, 2017, 22:19
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
I think people are doing a disservice to themselves and the game to play it seriously instead of as if it is a comedy like the "stick of truth".
People aren't playing BioWare games as if they were comedies? I've been doing that since BG1. I always pick the snarky responses. Always. And all the romances, just comedy gold.
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March 19th, 2017, 23:03
Well firstly, I must say I appreciate the research you've zealously put into this Joxer. This carcass of a franchise didn't deserve it, but sometimes fanboys come in very handy.

In any case, this game seems like a piece of shit. (not interested in graphics)
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March 19th, 2017, 23:32
I'm doing the trial now and in just the first hour and I'm already disappointed by numerous things. I want to like this game but man.

Character creation is simplistic at best. Very few choices. Only modify face/hair. Only short hair styles (to avoid clipping issues I'm sure but since it's 2017 why is this still a thing). Can't alter body. Female character has the body of a boy (when I first saw Cora I was like, why can't my character have a clear complexion and a woman's butt, and maybe some boobs - some kind of body that resembles a grown woman). In fact, every female NPC in the opening sequences has good looking clear skin that is vastly superior to the player's character.

Facial animations only look odd to me if you see someone in profile, then it's like watching the simpsons with overexaggerated lips moving. I should've named my character Marge.

Go for the eyes, Boo! It's so much worse in the game itself. Oddly male characters look fine but it's like every female characters eyes are too big and are so unnaturally wide open that I can't even say what their expression looks like since it's inhuman. It's beyond "just saw a ghost" and it's full time. Even with a helmet on your character's eyes are so huge and wide open that it's really off putting.

I'll echo what I've seen some others post/write - how could anybody create this (the female eyes) and think it was ok OR have it get thru testing by anybody? Some of the facial animation is pretty good, and it's excusable for some to look odd. But having every female look like woody the puppet is mind boggling.

When I played The Secret World I joked that the devs of that game must hate women because all the female characters in that game were ugly and barely resembled women. Kinda feel the same here just due to the eyes.

There's apparently no way to change character appearance once in game and that's inexcusable, but hey, it's not like there's any hope anyways, right? For the first time in any RPG I've ever played I want a full helmet with an opaque visor anyways.

I already want to restart to try to make my character look less horrid even though I felt like I couldn't do any better during creation. I don't there's any hope for making the eyes of a female look even remotely human. Maybe lowering the forehead/brow.

No numeric hotkeys for dialogs means you always have to click on them, which to me is annoying. Minor but I'd imagine with a controller you get button mash options.

No quick save and apparently no saves during main missions is beyond belief in 2017 in a semi-RPG.

As I often find myself saying as I play games like this, I so utterly detest consoles, controllers, and the detrimental effects they have on game design.

Cover system is good - way better than the system in previous versions.

The scanner is fast to get out, scan, and put away (I was afraid this was going to be annoying but it's not).

Character movement with WASD is decent. It has a slight jerky/slidy feel that you get in console designed games but nowhere near as awful as untweaked Witcher 3.

UI is typical console crap. What can you say. If you're a PC gamer can you ever like a UI designed for inferior controllers and systems with little to no consideration for PC? Hey, at least you get a few hotkeys to open the inventory or map directly without having to go thru a 20 step button process like the console players will endure.

In some other threads I've said people need to give this game of a chance before judging some parts of it. I take that back. Because when you play and experience some of this you can INSTANTLY see just how screwed up some of it is, particularly the eyes of females.

Considering BioWare already did DAI with this engine, how do they screw something like this up so completely badly?
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March 19th, 2017, 23:35
This seals it, it is a comedy! Romance dialogue in the game:

loading…
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March 20th, 2017, 01:16
Yeah, this game isn't for me. I'm glad I did the trial even if I only needed 3 of the 10 hours to decide to uninstall.

I can't watch my butt ugly female character do a wooden puppet impersonation in a nonstop flood of cut scenes. It literally looks like they took one of those old wooden puppets that have huge eyes that roll side to side and modeled their characters on that. It is so very, very bad.

But it's more than that. The combat in ME has never felt right to me and even with improvements and the cool jetpack it still feels off. Not sure what it is. Needing to dump 2 clips from an assault rifle into generic trash to kill it? Dunno.

I don't like the resupply/health mechanic they're using - it's like powerups from 90's Quake or something - feels way off for a pseudo RPG and there's only a slight visual indicator that you actually hit the things.

The banter, if you can call it that, during combat, is also so very bad. I didn't look at audio options to see if it can be disabled but it is disable worthy. Oh my, it's bad.

Like in some RPGs, the banter between your companions is amazing. Like in DAI. Or in Dragon's Dogma. And more. But here, you just want your own character and your NPCs to never speak again after just moments of it.

I've seen some quotes from the game people think are funny but I can top it. In the prologue you come across this beast and it flies away as you approach it. Your companion says "what was that?!" and you reply, "I don't know…some…flying thing"

And that, that is representative of the dialogue in this game overall. That level of intellectual depth and design creativity.

I've seen some people say this is DAI in space. Oh hell no. That's a truly brutal insult to DAI. I really liked DAI. It's not perfect but it's an amazing game that's good at everything it does (which, being like a single player MMO might not appeal to some, but I thought they did it very well).

I'm usually one to say you need to spend more time with a game of this scope to judge it but first impressions do matter, and if your dialog, cut scenes, banter, and puppet show visuals are this bad right up front, it's not like those things are going to be better 100 hours in. More like you'll be completely insane from viewing it.

It'll be interesting to see what the big reviews have to say about all of this stuff tomorrow.
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March 20th, 2017, 01:19
Wow, you are the first I know of to say the combat isnt good.
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March 20th, 2017, 02:08
UI is typical console crap.
Oh well, back to modding classic games…



Originally Posted by Damian View Post
This seals it, it is a comedy! Romance dialogue in the game:

loading…


Holy shit.

leftist SJW agenda + Hollywood + console UI = wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot polish person
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March 20th, 2017, 02:58
Can anyone play the free trial or did you have to sign up for it?

*Edit* Never mind. EA Access subscription.. no thanks.
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March 20th, 2017, 03:19
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Can anyone play the free trial or did you have to sign up for it?

*Edit* Never mind. EA Access subscription.. no thanks.
There is a 7 day free trial of EA Access (unless you have already exhausted it on your account, of course) so you can sign up for the free Access trial and you just need to cancel it before the 7 days are up to not be charged the €3.99/month (or $4.99 or whatever it is). The MEA free trial is also included for EA Access trial members so this is a totally free 10 hour demo that just requires a couple of mouse clicks (cancellation of EA Access sub) more than most free demos .
I took advantage of it as well and everything worked just fine. Free Access trial, free 10 hour demo, free cancellation … no problems at all.
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March 20th, 2017, 03:23
Thanks. I might do that.
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March 20th, 2017, 03:28
I'm starting to think that MEA animations debacle is going to make a lots of $$$ for EA. So many people getting EA access (and not all of them have the 7 day free trials).
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March 20th, 2017, 03:49
Just an FYI… there is no longer a free trial for Origin Access. They were only offering that up until March 7th.
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March 20th, 2017, 11:55
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Just an FYI… there is no longer a free trial for Origin Access. They were only offering that up until March 7th.
Hmmm… that limitation must be US only(?)

I signed up for the EA Access trial on March 13th and played the MEA trial for the full 10 hours, then cancelled EA Access again and my membership will end today on March 20th.

Also, when I hit the Origin website from my browser (without being logged in), I get the option to sign up for the free EA Access 7 day trial from "now through March 21" (German IP address).

Here…
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Capture.jpg (173.2 KB, 98 views)
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March 20th, 2017, 13:53
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Hmmm… that limitation must be US only(?)

I signed up for the EA Access trial on March 13th and played the MEA trial for the full 10 hours, then cancelled EA Access again and my membership will end today on March 20th.

Also, when I hit the Origin website from my browser (without being logged in), I get the option to sign up for the free EA Access 7 day trial from "now through March 21" (German IP address).

Here…
Seven day trail is works for UK as well….
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March 20th, 2017, 14:01
In that video it looks like that woman is doing duck face selfies every sentence, the mouth extends like giving a kiss.
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