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#1 Posted by shivermetimbers (1680 posts) -

It's fair to say this game has gotten a lot of hate and here I am feeling like one weird outlier/contrarian by saying that it's.....pretty good. Like Fallout 4, I can understand the hate from the game's core audience, but I feel the need to share what the game did for me and what it brings to the table...

Let me start out by saying I'm a big fan of non-sequitur humor and cheezy B-tier sci-fi with corny jokes. So when someone in game says 'I made that guy pissed....Maybe because I shot him in the face!' I moan like the rest of you, but I also grin. There's a certain kind of expectation when it comes to Mass Effect. People expect serious grim determination from the protagonist in the face of overwhelming odds. People expect complex characters with interesting backstories. They also expect drama and conflict. They do not expect someone saying that.

For all intents and purposes, Andromeda may very well have 'bad' writing. As of my first 25 hours with the game, there does seem to be a fair amount of woodeness (not a word, but w/e) with the voice acting and dialog. But at the same time, the tone of the game remains optimistic and cheeky. 'You haven't seen too many horror vids have you? We shouldn't split up." There's a certain kind of levity in the woodeness; there are problems to solve, some very serious, but there also can be time to laugh at a bad movie with the rest of my somewhat poorly animated crew. "We got this!"

What gets to me is that the woodeness was very much there in the original trilogy. You got to know people via the same dialog wheel as they spout expository dialog about their past and purpose. Most of it was rather dry. It wasn't until we got to their loyalty missions, that we see that our time with the wooden exposition was worth it due to the fact that we get to see aspects of their past, their struggles, etc. in person.

And this may very well be a weakness in Andromeda. I wouldn't know tbh. I have only played the first 25 hours and haven't really completed a loyalty mission yet. I was invited to play poker with my manic-ish engineer Gil, but I haven't done that yet. In a way, I think it's fitting if the game actually didn't go the way of the original trilogy and instead focused on doing stupid stuff with these kinda affectionately weird people. Yes, I can be into that. I think there's room for it, but again, I get the hate.

There are bugs and poor animations, but considering this is a bigger game in a franchise in which people tend to gloss over the fact that poor animation and bugs have existed in the original trilogy, I'm willing to look past a couple weird things. Maybe it's cause I didn't play at launch and got this game for a bargain after patches, but I found nothing game breaking and I'm playing on a non PS4-Pro console. It could happen, but even if it did, I'd probably be somewhat forgiving.

The combat may not be 'strategical' as in you don't pause and issue commands, but there's a certain strategy to using your powers and mobility well in combat. It's certainly an above average third person shooter and the amount of ways you can go about approaching it are very cool indeed. The Giant Bomb review mentioned that combat wasn't their go-to when it comes to Mass Effect, but even if you don't like the story, the combat should be fun.

The missions themselves may be a mixed bag too, but one in which I thought I would hate (placing beacons at tremor locations) ended in a big boss fight, which was really unexpected. I say they may be a mixed bag, but even the worst offenders I've found had something interesting, be it combat or something else.

I'd say give the game a rent if you're on the fence, I'm kinda digging it. That makes me weird, yeah, but whatevers. It's probably not the my favorite Mass Effect game and it may not even be a 'Mass Effect' game to its core audience, but there's room in this world for spin off games to do their own thing, even if it wasn't what people wanted.


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#2 Edited by BigSocrates (1961 posts) -

I have not played the game so cannot comment on its quality, but I think this game was definitely a victim of its own hype. Mass Effect 1 was a seminal game for a lot of people (including a lot of people who were 15 at the time.) It was an action RPG that defined the beginning of the 7th generation of consoles and created a massive space epic. Then Mass Effect 2 redefined the action RPG, bringing tight, responsive, shooting in alignment with best-in-class character based storytelling.

Then Mass Effect 3 released and disappointed a lot of people.

So here comes Andromeda, 5 years later, whole new story, and people are ready to see the series be gloriously reborn. They are ready for magic. The same magic they experienced 10 years earlier.

Instead they got something that even someone who likes it says is "pretty good" with "bad writing" and "above average shooting." A 7/10 "it's not so bad" recommended rental.

That's not magic. That's fine for a bargain bin game you pick up to pass some time, but not for the glorious resurgence of a beloved property.

And even worse, Andromeda released after two somewhat similar games that DID have that magic. Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda: Breath of the Wild BOTH hit it out of the park and made Andromeda look like a very pale imitation. This was a decent bar band coming on stage right after Bruce Springsteen and Kendrick Lamar just unleashed epic sets that brought the house down. People are going to be annoyed.

Also there were all the bugs, which were really bad and have partially been fixed. Those were inexcusable from a 5 year production cycle with lots of money behind it.

In the end Andromeda may settle into memory as an average action RPG and find its fanbase, but people had sold themselves on the second coming of Mass Effect 1 (just as Mass Effect was the second coming of KOTOR) and it definitely isn't that. When you go to the best steakhouse in town and order their prime cut only to get a passable ribeye, you aren't satisfied. The hype led to the digital mob tarring and feathering this one. And it's hard to really blame them.

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#3 Edited by NTM (11568 posts) -

I liked the game fine. I would probably put it somewhere in the eights if I scored it (probably low eights or heck, four stars... three and a half stars?) The game just lacked any real innovation. The characters (as likable as they can be) were ripped right out of the Bioware playbook so it was predictable, and the way the story unfolds by the end was also predictable even though I still enjoyed the 'everyone you met throughout your journey is now together fending off the evil dudes!' The games side activities were extremely dull which is probably the worst aspect to me. Dragon Age Inquisition had this issue, but everything around it was superb so that aspect was negligible to me. Doing everything, I really felt like I was wasting time by trekking across the world to go from point A to grab something at point B (maybe even C, D, E, F, and G), then hoof it back to A to get nothing other than some experience or something.

I was in awe of some environmental pieces, like on the desert planet where the towering alien structure was off in the distance. The planet with the big ass worm dude that comes in and out of the sand. Lastly, I was lucky enough to have played the game through on launch, and I had very little issue when it pertains to glitches. I got some that made me have to restart from a previous save, but nothing that pervaded cutscenes and took me out of the experience in that way. I would go back to the game to see what they had fixed as they had been putting out patches since I've played it, but the fact that they seem to be done with the game really makes me lack the motivation to ever play it again honestly. Plus, you don't even have to mention how, in large part due to the lack of innovation, the game really just lacks the appeal of what the trilogy ended on, which isn't expected anyway, but disappointing nonetheless.

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#4 Posted by Deathstriker (1100 posts) -

I never thought it did deserved to basically get assaulted and murded by the internet, which is what happened... the same goes for ME3. ME3 is a good game (with some flaws) the only major letdown to me was the last 10 minutes or so. I wouldn't say it's "hype", I just think Mass Effect fans like myself are very involved and connected with the game, since it does have some of the best stories and characters in all of gaming. Liking and feeling connected to characters is a bit different than "oh, I like Call of Duty, Gears of War, Destiny, or whatever else", since a connection to characters, a world, and story is more personal than just shooting stuff in the face... it's more like being a fan of Game of Thrones or Star Trek than liking Call of Duty, so I think ME fans can be more intense than other ones. Also, some sites and Youtube people were taking advantage of the hate by doing stupid walks/runs on purpose and creating characters that looked like the elephant man for attention.

I'd put MEA over Fallout 4 and Dragon Age Inquisition. I played and beat it before the patches.

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#5 Edited by frytup (1243 posts) -

Just finished it a couple of days ago (65 hours play time) and would agree that the initial hate train was a bit overblown. The game has many design faults.... too much bad platforming, too many sudoku puzzles, too many filler quests, too many damn monoliths. But the bigger quests like the party loyalty missions are quite good and the main story is fine. Nothing innovative, but very Mass Effect.

At the end of the day, I'll take imperfect single player RPGs over the Destiny-style multiplayer loot shooters we seem to be getting more of. Hopefully ME:A sales are just a reaction to the problems of this particular game, not a trend.

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#6 Posted by DefaultProphet (840 posts) -

I'm a huge Mass Effect mark, I've got an ME tattoo and I've S-Ranked all the other games. I haven't even beaten Andromeda. That's how much it really let me down. It's not even that it's particularly bad it's boring.

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#7 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1439 posts) -

Let me start out by saying I'm a big fan of non-sequitur humor and cheezy B-tier sci-fi with corny jokes. So when someone in game says 'I made that guy pissed....Maybe because I shot him in the face!' I moan like the rest of you, but I also grin. There's a certain kind of expectation when it comes to Mass Effect. People expect serious grim determination from the protagonist in the face of overwhelming odds. People expect complex characters with interesting backstories. They also expect drama and conflict. They do not expect someone saying that.

The original ME trilogy had some of that corny stuff though. Like the reoccurring big stupid jellyfish lines by Shepherd on some idiot Hanar. Some of the interactions on the Normandy between staff also had that sort of humour.

Based on your first sentence though I kinda curious if you played the Flashback remake (and whether you were a fan of the original in the first place). That game did corny jokes bad....real bad.

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#8 Posted by clagnaught (2110 posts) -

This might be the first time I heard somebody compare Andromeda to a B movie. Do you feel like this was intentional? I don't want to put you on the defensive or anything. I'm just curious if you feel like this is consistent enough to make it feel like the more goofy and eye rolling stuff was part of the tone they wanted to make. All I know about Andromeda is basically the first five hours and based on what I've seen and heard about this game, I don't think I will ever play it.

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#9 Edited by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@frytup said:

At the end of the day, I'll take imperfect single player RPGs over the Destiny-style multiplayer loot shooters we seem to be getting more of. Hopefully ME:A sales are just a reaction to the problems of this particular game, not a trend.

I'll take both! No reason I should have to choose.

Andromeda is still my favorite game to come out this year. It won't stay there since Destiny 2 comes out, but I truly loved playing it. It does some things I really like better than any other game. I'm still playing it actually. I'm the multiple playthroughs type of dude.

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#10 Posted by Lazyimperial (486 posts) -

Hehe, this is reminding me of the critiques from here and other sites that compared Mass Effect: Andromeda to a lower budget, "Straight to DVD" version of Mass Effect. If you're a fan of that kind of shtick (ex: Scorpion King fighting an invisible scorpion monster in Scorpion King 2 because they didn't have the money for that much CGI), then I could totally see it being enjoyable.

I'm one of the "ME:A deserved the flak it got" crowd, though. I didn't play it when expectations were lowered enough that one would approach it like an amusing Ed Woods kind of experience. I played it when it was expected to be a AAA game, which it's really not.

I'm glad you're having fun, Shivermetimbers.

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#11 Posted by soulcake (2625 posts) -

If ME 1 2 and 3 are AAA games this is a AA game if that makes any sense :D. It's not superbad it just doesn't life up to it's standard that ME 1 And 2 Build over the years.

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#12 Posted by Shadow (5356 posts) -

I loved it. Especially when I made a weapon loadout that let me fire the most powerful gun in the game forever, as fast as I could switch weapons

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#13 Posted by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

You're definitely right about the other ME games getting a pass for some thing as far as woodeness and awful facial animations, which are series staples. But I've said my peace about why this game is pretty good a bunch of times on here so whatever.

Try the multiplayer. It's really good for what it is, only need more content.

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#14 Posted by GundamGuru (786 posts) -

@shivermetimbers: I think the one thing that does the game in for it's "core audience" that you didn't mention is the lack of attention given to the universe's own lore by this new team of writers. The one thing that Andromeda has to make it feel like Mass Effect, narratively, is three games worth of worldbuilding, and Bioware Montreal didn't just actively ignore it. They directly contradicted it all over the place, in an almost apathetic way. Knowing that they story had to be reshaped multiple times to fit the game's drastic changes in scope, and that the bulk of the game only came together in the last 18 months only makes it understandable. It doesn't make the game okay. It's also not something the patches can ever fix.

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#15 Posted by OurSin_360 (6117 posts) -

It just didn't feel like it was worth the time to complete it, and the multiplayer was fun but most classes felt pointless with poor power combinations.

Honestly i bounced off it the same way i did the last deus ex, it wasnt bad but just not engaging. I may try and get back to it.

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#16 Posted by frytup (1243 posts) -

Hehe, this is reminding me of the critiques from here and other sites that compared Mass Effect: Andromeda to a lower budget, "Straight to DVD" version of Mass Effect. If you're a fan of that kind of shtick (ex: Scorpion King fighting an invisible scorpion monster in Scorpion King 2 because they didn't have the money for that much CGI), then I could totally see it being enjoyable.

I'm one of the "ME:A deserved the flak it got" crowd, though. I didn't play it when expectations were lowered enough that one would approach it like an amusing Ed Woods kind of experience. I played it when it was expected to be a AAA game, which it's really not.

I'm glad you're having fun, Shivermetimbers.

Not sure how you're defining "AAA", but in my world it's a budgetary description. Andromeda pretty obviously cost a lot of money to produce. The game is huge and the cut scene production alone probably puts it into the upper tier of game budgets.

The problem is not that they cheaped out. Andromeda's failings are at the design level.

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#17 Posted by Lazyimperial (486 posts) -

@frytup: I meant it more along the quality level than budgetary level, and I agree with you.

Oh, and @freedom4556 hit the nail on the head as well. New Tuchanka is the most egregious example of apathy towards the lore that I can think of off-hand. 14 months awake in Andromeda space somehow erased hundreds of years of gruff warrior stoicism along with the numerous Krogan gender norms and cultural traditions that formed around the crippling effects of the genophage. In their place you have an egalitarian society led by a female Krogan matriarch in which nerdy bureaucratic lizard folk send out mass e-mail blasts about "probletunities," watching human romance movies for dating tips, fantasy larping, and Sadie Hawkins dances.

But as an Ed Woods version of Mass Effect, I admittedly could see it working. "Plan 9 from Heleus Cluster."

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#18 Posted by GundamGuru (786 posts) -

@lazyimperial: The other major example that stuck with me four months later was Cora and her whole pariah backstory. Being a biotic is like being a Jedi (interesting parallel, that). You're affected by eezo before birth, selected young and taken away from your family by the government for biotic amplifierimplants and specialty training. They were sweeping for gifted kids in a clandestine program. It's not something that "manifests" in a destructive adolescent incident, X-men style. Additionally, biotics are not rare nor widely shunned. It's normally "ooh cool, a Biotic" not "Oh god, a Biotic, aaaahh!" at least among adults. Human biotics are also unable to influence gravity without the implants, otherwise they've killed themselves as children just trying to move (a fact that Kaiden mentions in ME1 when talking about BAaT).

There's plenty of stuff like that, but some players aren't as detail-focused, so they won't be bothered. But it was ME's biggest fans that felt the most betrayed.

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#19 Posted by GKabooz (46 posts) -

Found it overblown in my case, although I was one of the rare few who didn't get any bugs or glitches until the post-game. I'm more dissapointed in the engineer class in multiplayer. I will forever miss lil "Chibi".

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#20 Edited by shivermetimbers (1680 posts) -

In regards to some people's concern about continuity and the Mass Effect universe on the whole, I sympathize. I can totally see people writing this off as a bad fanfiction. I'm not a huge lore guy when it comes to games, I'm here for the characters and plot. If things contradict each other, I'm typically okay with it. Sci-fi is a tough beast to write and when you have different people working on the same franchise, things can get messy and disagreements will get made. My main gripes with the game stem from the dry voice acting as there doesn't seem to be a lot of passion behind it. It's probably more a case of voice direction than anything. Tight schedules tend to make epic RPG games hard to make, well any game really, but especially epic RPGs.

@shivermetimbers said:
Let me start out by saying I'm a big fan of non-sequitur humor and cheezy B-tier sci-fi with corny jokes. So when someone in game says 'I made that guy pissed....Maybe because I shot him in the face!' I moan like the rest of you, but I also grin. There's a certain kind of expectation when it comes to Mass Effect. People expect serious grim determination from the protagonist in the face of overwhelming odds. People expect complex characters with interesting backstories. They also expect drama and conflict. They do not expect someone saying that.

The original ME trilogy had some of that corny stuff though. Like the reoccurring big stupid jellyfish lines by Shepherd on some idiot Hanar. Some of the interactions on the Normandy between staff also had that sort of humour.

Based on your first sentence though I kinda curious if you played the Flashback remake (and whether you were a fan of the original in the first place). That game did corny jokes bad....real bad.

There were definitely moments of levity in the original trilogy. Mordin was great. But this is a game that pretty much completely leans on the fact that Ryder is an optimistic explorer and characters are much more sarcastic and irreverent. They obviously weren't going for the whole world saving questline here. They wanted a more lightweight story.

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#21 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1439 posts) -

In regards to some people's concern about continuity and the Mass Effect universe on the whole, I sympathize. I can totally see people writing this off as a bad fanfiction. I'm not a huge lore guy when it comes to games, I'm here for the characters and plot. If things contradict each other, I'm typically okay with it. Sci-fi is a tough beast to write and when you have different people working on the same franchise, things can get messy and disagreements will get made. My main gripes with the game stem from the dry voice acting as there doesn't seem to be a lot of passion behind it. It's probably more a case of voice direction than anything. Tight schedules tend to make epic RPG games hard to make, well any game really, but especially epic RPGs.

@rebel_scum said:
@shivermetimbers said:
Let me start out by saying I'm a big fan of non-sequitur humor and cheezy B-tier sci-fi with corny jokes. So when someone in game says 'I made that guy pissed....Maybe because I shot him in the face!' I moan like the rest of you, but I also grin. There's a certain kind of expectation when it comes to Mass Effect. People expect serious grim determination from the protagonist in the face of overwhelming odds. People expect complex characters with interesting backstories. They also expect drama and conflict. They do not expect someone saying that.

The original ME trilogy had some of that corny stuff though. Like the reoccurring big stupid jellyfish lines by Shepherd on some idiot Hanar. Some of the interactions on the Normandy between staff also had that sort of humour.

Based on your first sentence though I kinda curious if you played the Flashback remake (and whether you were a fan of the original in the first place). That game did corny jokes bad....real bad.

There were definitely moments of levity in the original trilogy. Mordin was great. But this is a game that pretty much completely leans on the fact that Ryder is an optimistic explorer and characters are much more sarcastic and irreverent. They obviously weren't going for the whole world saving questline here. They wanted a more lightweight story.

Yeah that's kinda weird. You'd think if you're going across the galaxy in a mad long cyro-sleep you'd be a bit serious about what you're doing and why you're there, the story should reflect that. But not without the odd bit of banter. :p

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#22 Posted by Brendan (9210 posts) -

Y'know, I gave Ninja Gaiden 3, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and The Force Unleashed all a chance after they followed after some of my favourite games of all time, and I kind of regret those choices. I'm good with ignoring Andromeda even with lowered expectations.

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#23 Posted by FacelessVixen (2523 posts) -

Well, I tried it for 10 hours. I more or less enjoyed my time with it. Certain scenes look significantly better compared to the initial release. I don't feel too bad about buying the game at this point, and I might even check out ze multiplayer.

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#24 Posted by Anonymous_Jesse (288 posts) -

A b movie is 2 hours. In andromeda you may spend 2 hours doing meaningless task to get 20 seconds of boring dialogue.

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#25 Posted by NTM (11568 posts) -
Loading Video...

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#26 Posted by Lazyimperial (486 posts) -

@ntm: Hahaha! Oh man, the last twenty seconds are the cruelest of all. EA's studio graveyard. *shudder* Some old friends buried there, in the muck and mire.

Incredible.

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#27 Posted by newhaap (502 posts) -

Andromeda is $20 on Origin at the moment (50% off). It's always seemed bad to me but I thought I'd try it once it gets to this price point. Just an FYI in case anyone was thinking the same.