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Views: 313  ·  Replies: 7 
> Mass Effect: Andromeda [XB1/PS4/PC]
Tessou
  Posted: Mar 16 2017, 09:45 PM


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A free, 10-hour limit trial of this game released yesterday on both consoles and PC, with progress carried over into the retail game. I played it until the trial locked out. Here are my thoughts:

- Graphics on the whole are great. On PC, this fucker can run 4K at 60fps, and it looks fantastic there. When I say on the whole, that means generally it looks great. This is a Bioware game, though, so here we go with the bullshit. Faces, specifically human faces, look fucking awful. They animate just as creepily as the original ME trilogy (sometimes as hideous as ME1 animation). Features like lips and eyes have the shine effect dialed up too high, so people end up looking like plastic.

- Lip sync is notably poor. Sometimes it's glaring that the lip sync is matching with original dialog that had been recorded, but was rewritten and rerecorded later on. It's like watching an R-rated movie on daytime television and seeing the lips not match the dubbed in "safe profanity".

- Character creation suite is somehow devolved into something pre-ME1. It's horrendous. None of the presets look good, and the options to tweak them into something reasonable are few. The best guy I could create ended up being forced to have a huge Jay Leno chin, but jutting backwards. Thanks, Bioware!

- Movement is stilted and feels somewhat tanky. Either there are a lot of invisible walls, or Ryder (the player character) is just a sluggish person. That, or maybe they coded it so that controller inputs are actually registered a half second after you make them.

- Dialog. Remember how the dialog was presented in a way to give you the illusion of choice in earlier games? In ME1, you were guaranteed to hit specific outcomes regardless of your choices, but with enough alternate dialog tracks to make you feel like you chose your own adventure. ME2 further blew this up by adding shitloads of characters with long dialog tracks to keep you distracted. ME3 did a good job of it until the end, where the illusion was thrown aside in favor of three hardline options to decide your fate. Andromeda changes things up by using ICONS to show you what your dialog choices "mean". A heart denotes emotional dialog, for instance. Great! No issue with that. The problem is that it has Fallout 4 syndrome when it comes to how Ryder actually says things. An option to say something heartfelt can end up with Ryder saying something that sounds jerkish. It's still EMOTIONAL, just in the wrong direction from what the player intended. It really kills the immersion.

- Combat is pretty decent. Think ME3 multiplayer and you're set. Nothing really groundbreaking in terms of how it works. Enemy AI is far more varied and they're harder to tank through. The game is not-so-subtly prodding players to use squad powers more often instead of lone wolfing the game. My only real complaint is that the enemies on the first planet (the only one you an access in the trial) have a ton of health, and you are for the most part outfitted with a light pistol and a very low level rifle. It's kind of boring when you're spending more time just whittling away health instead of having a tense firefight. For a first impression, I was left wanting for more spectacle in the battles.

- Nitpicking here, but there is only one human female romance option, and she's a butch "I ain't need no man" type that I literally can't get behind. Come on, Bioware.

I for one am not preordering this one. It didn't feel exciting. There was no sense of wonder. I booted it up and spent 10 hours going "huh, so this is the latest Mass Effect, that's cool I guess". When it was over, I went right back to Zelda.
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RalliKai
Posted: Mar 17 2017, 04:42 PM


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Had to finally look up the facial expressions and my god....

YOUTUBE ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MEKM2amQ2E )
Sensation!
Posted: Mar 17 2017, 05:53 PM


As expected of country grown vegetables
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There's pretty much an international festival of joy where denizens of the internet come together to laugh before the release of new modern Bioware game.

YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/p-msmx9yW5Q )



Tessou
  Posted: Mar 17 2017, 07:05 PM


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The problem here is that there is no compelling storytelling to compensate for the animation problems. It's just a poorly made game. I can forgive KOTOR (and most of KOTOR II), the Mass Effect trilogy, and most of the Dragon Age games for their issues because the overall experience was worth it. I got nothing out of playing the trial of this game, which was confirmed by the developer as being just a progress-gated version of the final product. None of this BS is going to change in three days.
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RalliKai
Posted: Mar 18 2017, 07:24 AM


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Considering how many other good games are out right now (Nier, Horizon) I can shelve the idea of playing this for some time.
Tessou
  Posted: Mar 20 2017, 01:26 PM


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Review embargo is lifted. This game is getting raked over the coals, as it deserves. Neat game but it feels rushed and shallow. If it wasn't called Mass Effect, it might have a better existence.
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BOZZ
Posted: Mar 20 2017, 06:18 PM


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QUOTE (Tessou @ 4 hours, 52 minutes ago)
Review embargo is lifted. This game is getting raked over the coals, as it deserves. Neat game but it feels rushed and shallow. If it wasn't called Mass Effect, it might have a better existence.

I read about the facial animations being pretty bad, sad to hear EA has done such a rush job when they could've postponed it to release a more polished title.
Tessou
  Posted: Mar 20 2017, 08:33 PM


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It's an EA game. The Bioware employees that worked on the original trilogy are not part of Bioware anymore. This feels like a rushed title with no soul.
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