RPG Mass Effect: Andromeda

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by RyderMcFly, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. RyderMcFly

    RyderMcFly The Bipolar Bear

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    We've slept for four years, dreaming of a new game. But when we finally awoke, our dreams of an exploration game... were shattered.



    For the camp of ME fans concerned about the franchise becoming more action-oriented over the three games... well, your fears have returned. Not that I have a problem with it though. :p Looks fun. "We're the aliens now." Interesting, even though that has always been the idea in the first three games, humanity being insignificant species compared to the Council races.

    Also, the Andromeda Initiative is now available on the Mass Effect homepage. Sign up today and attend the six-part briefing for additional in-game items (some dumb white helmet).

    Also, the pre-order Collector's Edition is already available for purchase, for those hardcore fans out there. It comes with two toy items of your choosing - an RC Nomad (the new Mako vehicle) at $199, or a cheaper model Nomad at only $99. I think you have to control the RC with a downloadable phone app, which is kinda retarded, but whatever. It also includes an in-built video cam that you can watch with yet another phone app.


    The non-RC model, on the other hand, has a driver's seat that you can open, containing an illuminated control panel (powered by 3x AA batteries). Seems more appropriate for the model-collectors out there, and it costs $100 lesser than the RC.
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, it seems that the Collectors Edition is unavailable for shipping to non-US countries! Noooooooooooo! It comes with a steelbook protective cover for the game that I wanted! :cry: How can you do this to me, EA? You bastards!

    Sigh. Guess I'll just have to wait for international sellers on Amazon after the CE is released... Oh well. I don't really like the RC model all that much anyway. I don't use my phone much nowadays, so controlling the RC with a phone app seems tedious. I wouldn't have minded getting the non-RC model though since it looks pwetty... :(

    If you don't want the toys, or if you don't live in America like me, there's always your standard Deluxe Edition that comes without the fancy cars and steelbook case, but includes in-game items. There's an additional Super Deluxe Edition even that has bonus multiplayer booster packs. For me, I'm not really a "multi-player", so if I'm to get the Deluxe Edition, the non-super one would suit me just fine.
     
    #1 RyderMcFly, Nov 7, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  2. RyderMcFly

    RyderMcFly The Bipolar Bear

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    So more details finally got leaked yesterday about the gameplay of Andromeda. It's a day old, but for those who didn't catch it...

    Source: Mass Effect: Andromeda Facebook Page

    •Class system is gone; instead you have full access to abilities from all classes, you can mix and match skills from tech, soldier or biotics. However, you can still specialize once you invest enough points into a category of skills, you unlock a profile that can get you bonuses for your particular play style. This is where class names like “Vanguard” (invest in combat and biotics) and “Adept” (invest in biotics) resurface.

    •Global cooldowns are now replaced by individual timers.

    •You can customize your father and your sibling, though not as extensively. (See, this is the part that concerns me, since unlike Ryder, Shepard didn't have an established father or sibling, and you can customize his family/background the way you want.)

    •Jetpack has a hover function that allows you to hit enemies seeking cover or survey your surroundings.

    •Many familiar weapons return, as well as new melee options like swords and hammers.

    •The ‘Kett’ are the main enemy. Rather than painting them as mortal enemies, BioWare wanted to make them feel foreboding but not ugly as they want you to also empathize with them.

    •Instead of having “linear slices” of planets that you land on, you explore these planets from the surface to their underbelly. (This is going to be impractical IMO, which means we would either have fewer planets to explore, or each planet will be 'smaller' and more limited in content exploration.)

    •Planets can have multiple dangers like acid pools, burning wreckage, weather etc that can all kill you.

    •BioWare did not want to repeat having things like mineral nodes and multiple identical outposts scattered across planets.

    •On planets, one of your priorities is to scout for drop zones for your crew that drop “forward stations” that establishes a foothold for you. These stations allow for changing up your loadout, fast travel point, etc. (Some people are worried that this is like the "setting up camp" gameplay from Dragon Age: Inquisition, but IMO, it does give a more realistic sense of immersion.)

    •You can create a wide array of items, not just ammo types and weapon mods, items that haven’t been seen before in the Milky Way (thanks to new alien tech).

    •Peebee: Asari squadmate shown in previous footage. Went off on her own after arriving on the Nexus and described as having a “bubbly personality”. She’s smart and not concerned with social norms and “niceties”.

    •Liam: Arrived with the Pathfinder, former police officer and described as having a “light attitude”, bringing levity to situations

    •There are no loading screens as you move through [the Tempest] (the new "Normandy" of the game)

    •There are more relationships in the game than any other Bioware game (as they noted fans make a big emphasis on romance in the games). Emphasis that relationships don’t just culminate in a sex scene, but rather characters can just want to get in the sack, while others are interested in long term relationships and others still aren’t interested at all. Bioware wanted to capture more “shooting bottles with Garrus” moments in the game, of which there are plenty.

    •Due to complications in the awakening process, your sibling won’t join you in combat but you can interact with them and build a relationship.

    •Many of these dealings are optional, and discovering more about the Ryder family is a plot thread.

    •No more Paragon/Renegade system; Devs want more nuance and subtlety and giving the player more opportunity to express themselves.

    •Dialogue option tones: heart, head, professional and casual. These don’t affect you or sway a meter one way or another, rather they allow you freedom without worrying about unintended consequences.

    •“Narrative actions” (previously “interrupts) return but rather than giving a "red”=bad or “blue”=good choice, it can say “shoot”, leaving more ambiguity to your choice.

    •Decisions aren’t necessarily obvious “right” or “wrong”, there are pros and cons to each and you’ll just have to play the game the way you want.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So, all in all, it does sound like very good improvements here, with some of the older gameplay overhauled with 2.0 versions. Some of these do sound too good to be true, like being able to explore the entirety of a planet including its "underbelly". But I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I'm liking the nuanced dialogue options, but I hope there won't be any cheap trick options that appear to be one thing but turn out to be another.
     
    #2 RyderMcFly, Nov 9, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  3. RyderMcFly

    RyderMcFly The Bipolar Bear

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    New info about Andromeda's new "Mako", the Nomad ND1.

    "The Nomad ND1 is an exploration-focused land vehicle utilized by Pathfinders as part of the Andromeda Initiative to scout out potential Golden Worlds for colonization.
    [​IMG]

    • Mass Effect: Andromeda team got special guidance from NFS developers on its handling.
    • It's very fast, still boosts, and maneuvers much better than Mako.
    • The Nomad doesn't have weapons, though you can customize things like its speed and appearance.
    • We wanted a seamless experience from picking a planet to walking down to your cargo hold, hopping into the Nomad and landing on a planet. There is a landing sequence and you get off the ship. No more loading screens and instantly popping up on the surface of a planet."

    Okay, the thing I'm bothered by is that third point - "no weapons". As we saw from the trailer, there WILL be humongous monsters like the Thrasher Maw we have to fight on the planet in Andromeda, meaning that instead of that awesome feeling as we take down those monsters with the Mako cannon, we have to fight it on-foot like some Monster Hunter copy? I don't know. Fighting such a titan on-foot can be badass, but it feels like taking away something fun from the Mako experience when you deprive the Nomad of weapons. I loved blowing away smaller troops with the Mako's guns, just send them literally flying across the ground with the turret machinegun. Remember that? That was awesome. So, yeah, I don't know.

    I guess I could understand why they had to make such a compromise - maybe designing the Nomad with weapons was too complicated for them or something, with the 4k graphics overhaul - but boy, I'll miss scoping and shooting those tiny people from the comforts of my Mako.
     
  4. RyderMcFly

    RyderMcFly The Bipolar Bear

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    A brand new 4k trailer has been released, and we've got some really juicy revelation, such as a 'special' kind of Turian!!!



    Holy shit, that looks awesome! It's "No Man's Sky" (done right) meets "Mass Effect"! I might just consider buying a console controller to play it on my computer. The action looks sick.

    Mass Effect: Andromeda - Coming Spring 2017 to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Xbox One.
     
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  5. RyderMcFly

    RyderMcFly The Bipolar Bear

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    As mentioned in the first post, at the Mass Effect website, there's a special program called "The Andromeda Initiative" released a month ago that introduced new players to the world of Mass Effect, along with introducing new elements to the older ones too. This month, the second briefing has been released, showcasing the Ark Hyperion (the new Citadel) and the Tempest (the new Normandy), along with the journey humanity is about to take to the new galaxy, Andromeda.



    Damn, the hype is real. Can't wait to explore that ship.
     
  6. DamianWinters

    DamianWinters Active Member

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    Well this post has definitely made me more interested but theres gonna have to be some really good gameplay by people to get me to buy this, don't want to be burned by Bioware again like what happened with Dragon age Inquisition.
     
  7. Ravok

    Ravok ~Hoping he will get a reply soon

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    But they redemed themselves with DA:I? Also still no quarians, called it called it
     
  8. DamianWinters

    DamianWinters Active Member

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    What do you mean redeemed themselves with DAI? was the most disappointing game ive ever bought.
     
  9. Ravok

    Ravok ~Hoping he will get a reply soon

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    Though it was a pretty good game? An improvement on 1 (And lets say that you lie because DA2 most dissapointing ggame ever) and adds more dragon fights random fights between factions and a good story
     
  10. RyderMcFly

    RyderMcFly The Bipolar Bear

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    lol Whoa, wait, "improvement on 1"? How? I thought it's full of random side quests that aren't related to the core story. The open-world nature of DA:I seems like a step down from DA:O, IMO.
     
  11. Ravok

    Ravok ~Hoping he will get a reply soon

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    My bad, *Addon would be more apropriate though from what ive seen andromeda is getting a lot of hate already. im jus tcrying super exccited because female turian member
     
  12. DamianWinters

    DamianWinters Active Member

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    Yea DAO is probably my favourite game along with Bioshock, played it heaps. DAI was not even close to it, I couldn't play it for more than a few hours let alone finish it.

    The new Open world trend on every game lately is quite annoying, because half the time its just huge maps with nothing to do and/or heaps of cloned repeatable stuff with different names. They are becoming to much like MMOs which I have never got into for more than a few hours. Im not a fan of all the added fluff basicly.

    Even Witcher 3 which is still a good game didn't improve from the open world treatment.

    Ill be perfectly honest in saying DA2 was better than DAI, I atleast finished DA2 even if about half way I just only did the main story and rushed it. The first game was one of my favourite games ever so it was definitely not an improvement to me, was a massive step down.
     
  13. Ravok

    Ravok ~Hoping he will get a reply soon

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    I must say the open world thing is honestly what i missed in DAO (Ofcourse by that time an actual open world would be very stressfull on the pc.) But instead of the fast travel thing i could just walk there. I dont know, makes me feel like the characters belong in that world instead of just teleporting to certain area buuut thats my opinion
     
  14. KT Samurai

    KT Samurai The Peacemaker
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    I wasn't aware that so many people disliked DA:I. Besides the "meh" ending the only complaint I had about it was that it ended at all. I couldn't get enough of it! And I'm still sore about the severe lack of additional content. But I guess if it got so much hate I understand why they stopped supporting it. Ho-hum.

    The footage of Andromeda so far is very reminiscent of DA:I, actually; large open worlds, local fauna that wants to kill you, static towns and such. Looks very much the same to me. I'm very relieved to hear that the dialogue options have finally been pulled away from that paragon/renegade system and focusing more on choice and nuance. There were a couple of situations in the first 3 games that really made me put the controller down and think about what I really wanted to do and what that said about me even with their flawed approach to moral choices so I'm hoping to have a lot more moments like that in Andromeda.

    I continue to look forward to this game!
     
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  15. Kerberos

    Kerberos genki moe blob
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    I loved the shit out of DA:O. In fact it was my favourite game before I played ME1. DA2 is a memory I wish I could erase but DA:I I actually had a lot of fun with. It wasn't anywhere near as good as DA:O but the mechanics at least worked and while a lot of the side quests were kind of pointless the main story was quite good and the characters and dialogues still showed that BioWare brilliance that DA2 so sorely lacked. I put 174 hours into the game and I don't regret a single second of it.

    As for Mass Effect. As I said ME1 is my favourite video-game to date and while the other two were also quite good they just didn't come close to the near perfection that was ME1. ME1 struck a perfect ballance between RPG and shooter. It had an amazing story with tons of role playing options in which your choices really mattered. It had the best fucking worldbuilding I have ever come across in a sci fi franchise. It had terriffic combat that was dynamic and challenging yet not punishingly hard and it had a ton of exploration without having the obvious downsides of an open world game. ME2 I felt tilted the scales far too much towards shooter due to a (imo completely unnecessary) overhauling onf the combat system and the very unfortunate removal of the inventory. But the story was still great and the characters were awesome and I really enjoyed a lot of the side missons. ME3 improved on a lot of ME2's flaws b making the combat more dynamic again and having somewhat more customizing options in the game. However it also made things to linear in places and did away with a lot of the exploration that made ME1 so good. Though again the story was great and personally I loved the ending.

    So what do I expect from Andromeda? Well hopefully it will be able to recapture that Mass Effect magic. I am saddened by the fact that the leveling tree is gone but like I said, the mechanics in Mass Effect haven't been entirely to my liking since ME2 so I'm not too bothered by that. What am I bothered by is the open world element. Like I said I enjoyed the exploration element of ME1 but that wasn't entirely open world. They could still control when you got whch piece of the plot. With an open world game that is so much harder and given how Mass Effect's greatest strength has always been it's story and characters I fear that is going to suffer. I hope it will turn out at least like DA:I since, as I mentioned, I did enjoy that game a lot. But I can see it turning into just another generic open world action rpg or open world shooter like so many others.

    However I do also see little hints here and there that it might be something quite special. They certainly seem to have crafted another exquisite plot ad even the trailer already hinted at social commentary and philosophical undertones which has always been the bread and butter of BioWare games. And this may sound weird, but I really like that the male model for the mc featured in the trailer isn't some hulky hero guy but more like a somewhat slimmer, more intelligent looking person. I might just hang up way to much on this small detail but it does give me the impression they're not trying to aim for the crowd that usually just plays brown shooters. And what I was even more pleasantly surprised to see is that this time they also featured the female version of the mc in their promo material. I have a feeling this game might be a lot more nuanced and intelligent than it's letting on. But again, I might just be looking way to much into this. That's totally possible.
     
    #15 Kerberos, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  16. Novaire

    Novaire Serial Editor
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    I'd say, coming from Mass Effect, the entire Dragon Age series was a bit of a disappointment for me.

    Honestly, I think I've probably given more time to Dragon Age: Origins than I have any Mass Effect game, because I keep going back to it, I want it to grip me, but at the end of the day, it doesn't. As far as I'm concerned, the combat in this game is horrendously dated. Most of the companions are pretty boring. Sten, Leliana, Wynne and Dog are all too straight-laced to actually be fun to adventure with.

    Regardless of how it came to be, Dragon Age II is a lazy game. I didn't finish it, but man alive, how many times can you use the exact same environments? That cave system, you know the one, is ingrained in my mind. I will say that I had more fun talking with the party members in this game. Varic's a cool dude, Anders is mental, Merril is... mental, and Fenris' dry sense of humor really made me laugh. I can't for the life of me remember any moment of the actual combat though.

    Dragon Age Inquisition's party is pretty good, but it's largely the same as the others. The majority of the cast is buttoned down, with some highlights. Varric returns, Cole is just great, Sera is really unique and Blackwall has one hell of a beard. It's a bit of a slog to get through the open world, but the combat is far improved to the first game. It's still not a great system for me, but isn't as tiring.

    I'd say, on paper, I was far more likely to enjoy a fantasy based role-playing game than a Sci-Fi one, but it just didn't work out that way. Sorry if that comes off as overly critical or a bit rambly, I didn't intend to write about all three when I started. I didn't mention the stories because I just haven't finished them yet, so it wouldn't be fair. They're certainly not bad games. At the very least, at no point have they let me save in an elevator and effectively destroyed my save file.


    Back on topic, Mass Effect Andromeda could be the best in the series, and it could be the worst. It doesn't really matter. If it's great, the franchise doesn't disappear, and if it's not, the trilogy still exists. The stories are apparently separate, so it has no bearing on established events. It's like being melodramatic about a Robocop reboot.
     
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  17. Kerberos

    Kerberos genki moe blob
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    This I couldn't disagree with more if I tried. Just because a game doesn't have fast paced action combat doesn't mean it's dated. There is definitally a place for turn based combat in today's RPG landscape. Just look at the negative outcry when it was announced that FFXV wouldn't have turn based combat. Or even closer to home. Look at the negative outcry when DA2 was shown to not have turn based combat and the massive surge in popularity DA:I got when it was announced that it would have turn based combat. Turn based combat may not be your thing and that's fine but it's not outdated. It's just a different kind of combat mechanic. One that requires thoguht and strategic thinking rather than skill and reflexes.

    Also Leliana's s a great companion IF you also have Morrigan in your party. Having them both provides you with an amazing ongoing discussion of science versus religion and provides you as the player with the fun challenge of trying to placate one without completely alienating the other. Agree to much with Leliana and Morrigan will leave, agree to much with Morrigan and leliana will leave. It's a really interesting dynamic those two have.
     
  18. Novaire

    Novaire Serial Editor
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    My fault for not elaborating, but I wasn't implying that having turn-based combat was a problem. I much prefer turn-based combat to an action-oriented systems in fact. General clunkiness and pacing were my key issues. Characters refusing to be revived, forcing me to play through dungeons with three party members and wonky AI movement were semi-regular rants in my Skype group as I attempted to finish the game.

    The game does a poor job of emphasizing the importance of the pause mechanic as well. That aside, pausing as a key mechanic, combined with the already slow, lifeless animations made every encounter feel tedious, without providing a significant challenge to go along with the time they were soaking up. It just seemed like I was fighting every group for five minutes, without them making a significant dent in my party's life bars.

    It's not impossible that I was building my characters wrong, but even in my first run of the game, when I had the other characters auto-leveling, I just wasn't able to get the game going at a pace that seemed appropriate. At a certain point, and maybe this is my fault after years of having it ingrained in my mind, I expect the hero of the land to be able to smite at least lowly enemies, a drunk for example, in a few strikes, to make them feel like a powerful character, rather than someone who could be replaced by any given bloke in the local tavern. I never arrived at that point.
     
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  19. RyderMcFly

    RyderMcFly The Bipolar Bear

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    Yeah, have to agree on Novaire on this one, I'm afraid. One thing I would slightly disagree with is the same sentiment @Kerberos expressed; a turn-based combat would've made the whole Mass Effect series just slightly more fun for me rather than that awkward "press spacebar to pause combat" system. However, I agree with Novaire on the clunkiness; there were a number of times when the A.I. system did more bad than good. It's so frustrating having to manually program their actions in the "tactics" section because the A.I. would be too dumb otherwise if left unmonitored. To be fair: Mass Effect's A.I. companions are indeed a lot dumber. :p So that's something DA:O has the edge on. It's clunky, but at least their companions worked.

    Other than that though, I just couldn't get invested in replaying DA:O again, no matter how many times I tried. Ostagar was sooo boring, and a pain to grind through when I just want to get to the meatier storyline, with the mages and the Redcliffe. It's like a giant prologue that I never asked for when my class origin storyline's far more interesting.

    The companions' personalities aren't too bad, and I do like that the dialogue is a lot more nuanced than Mass Effect, but there are a select few that I didn't like either. Sten is indeed boring, and Wynne's a pacifistic old bat I couldn't wait to kill off. :p Leliana's the only choice out of those four Novaire mentioned I genuinely liked because... well, c'mon, have you listened to her song? It's f-ing beautiful. lol And yes, she makes great interactions with you if you have Morrigan - and even without, Hardened Leliana was easily the most interesting main character in the game. Hardened Alistair, on the other hand? Not so much. Dog isn't too bad either, as he makes a surprisingly durable cannon fodder, but his personality is one-noted and might as well be a DLC extra character (which even Mass Effect 2 made interesting where Kasumi and Zaeed are concerned).
     
  20. KT Samurai

    KT Samurai The Peacemaker
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    I think it's very interesting that we all have such intense opinions on specific characters. I'm not sure why but I never really felt like any of the characters in these games were bad. I may have disagreed with or outright disliked some of them but it was because of their opinions and general outlook and not because I thought they were poorly written.

    Ashley Williams in the original ME was a particular sore spot for me since she was exhibiting signs of distrust and outright xenophobia for my alien crew. Coupled with her strong religious faith in what is implied to be the Christian god (and I was going through the early and dumbest phase of atheism) I just found very little to relate to in her character. I considered her damaged goods and excluded her from my main party the first chance I got. That is, of course, until you get her talking about her family and she's just adorable. When it came time to choose to save either her or Kaiden mid-way through the game I chose her, thinking that she still needed to be shown the error of her ways. Kaiden, I reasoned, was already a good guy and could die with dignity, and I needed to show Ashley how wrong she was.

    I can fall pretty deep into these games, you see. And I felt like these games accommodated my need to connect with characters -- even those I didn't like all that much. Especially when you complete their unique character quests and get a glimpse into who they are and why they think the way they do. I didn't like Sten much more at the end of DA than I did at the beginning but I understood him a lot more and I thought that was really well done on Bioware's part.
     
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