New footage showing the game's opening and exploration.

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#1 Edited by militantfreudian (525 posts) -

So, IGN posted a new video showing the first 13 minutes of the game, while Bioware released the third (and potentially the final) installment in its gameplay series, which focuses on exploration and the side content. I think both videos should provide a fairly good idea on the story premise and what you're trying to achieve in the game.

The opening shows quite a bit of dialogue, including the new dialogue wheel, which instead of just allowing you to choose whether to be a jerk or not, gives you the options of being emotional, logical, casual or professional. The opening is also a better showcase of the facial animation – arguably the most controversial aspect they've shown so far.

The exploration video shows the new – gorgeous – galaxy map, the Nomad (new Mako) in action and gives a brief overview of the process of colonizing new worlds. The game seems to be a little more systemic than I thought.

So, what do you think? Has the new footage alleviated or increased some of your fears regarding the writing, animation or the optional content?

My take? It seems like Scott Ryder is better animated than Sara, which is odd I suppose. I think nearly all the characters are a little dead in the eyes, but I've seen nothing so egregious that I would not play the game because of it. The intro also is, at the very least, better directed and written than Mass Effect 3's in my opinion. As for the second video, I'm slightly concerned by the A.V.P. system, mainly because I kind of disliked the War Table from Inquisition as well as the War Assets and Galactic Readiness systems from Mass Effect 3. Finally, one line that stood out to me in the video is that there are merely a "handful" of planets to "land on." This, coupled with the fact that the map wasn't littered with icons in the video, make me more hopeful that the side content will me more meaningful this time around.

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#2 Posted by MeierTheRed (5328 posts) -

Animations in those dialogue scenes seem a bit rough.

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#3 Edited by LawGamer (1300 posts) -

1. The opening looked pretty good, although I do have some minor quibbles. I wonder if they specifically picked the Scott Ryder character after all the flak they've been getting for the Sarah version? I think it's also slightly lame how they seem to be handling the sibling choice. You're bro/sis isn't shaping up to be an actual character, they've just literally been put in a freezer so the game doesn't need to do anything with them. I hope that changes at some point in the story.

It also seemed just a little bit tonally inconsistent. Like how Kurgan-Dad is really hot to get on with the mission while seemingly totally unconcerned with the damage to the ship, or, you know, the giant space death cloud they just flew thorough.

2. The AI voice is still really hard to understand. I had this problem in another preview I saw, too. The synthesis on the voice is so aggressive and the voice actor is speaking so quickly I'm not getting very much of what he's saying. This could be even worse once the full game starts and you've got gunfire and music going on.

3. Another minor thing, but those conversation tone icons are genuinely terrible. Outside of the heart for an "emotional" response, they're just shapes, with no logical connection to the tone you would picking. How does it make sense that casual is an "@" symbol? And that professional tone is the same symbol but with straight lines? I can already tell I'm going to get confused about which is which.

4. Not sold on the structure or plot of the game. "Mysterious ancient artifacts" set off alarm bells in my head because I really don't want this to be "The Special Defeats Ancient Evil" variation #4572, but that's what it's starting to look like.

As well, you can definitely see the DA:I influence going on here. Like how forward stations = camps and you can make planets "viable" for settlement. Although I think that kind of structure actually works quite a bit better for Mass Effect than it does Dragon Age, the percentage meter they've got has me worried that each planet is going to be grinding out a lot of meaningless tasks. If it ends up being a situation where you get .5% viability for a mineral deposit, it's going to be significantly disappointing.

5. I also worry that there might be too many systems going on. Just in that preview you've got:

  • Character progression
  • Vehicle upgrades
  • Forward stations
  • Enviornmental hazards
  • Planetary viability
  • So called "Nexus Points"
  • A colonist progression system of some sort
  • Being able to set up outposts

That's a lot of stuff. Maybe too much stuff. Don't get me wrong, all of that could be very cool if they all integrate together well. If it does a Stardew Valley where each system builds and reinforces the other, great. If not, it could be an awful lot of grinding meters and icons.

So yeah. I feel a little better about the baseline quality of the game after seeing that stuff, but I'm still not sold on the package as a whole.

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#4 Edited by Encephalon (1702 posts) -

I just don't know man.

Nothing I've seen has aggressively put me off the game, but neither am I especially thrilled. I am stunned at my own ambivalence toward what used to be one of my favorite game franchises. If I'm being honest, my feelings remain colored, at least a little, by the ME3 ending -- and it's fairly clear that it's not just me -- but I am totally ready to love again. I just don't know if Andromeda is the one to do it.

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#5 Posted by EthanielRain (1331 posts) -

I'm super excited...Dragon Age is my favorite series, but I'll take a Mass Effect game any day. Some of my favorite characters in video games, and good-to-great everything else. Hopefully this one lives up to the best parts of the series! :D

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#6 Edited by GenocidalKitten (262 posts) -

As far as the gameplay goes it looks fine. I worry that some of the scanning and gathering stuff might get tedious, but you need something to do while exploring other than just gallivanting around.

The game is reminding me a lot of dragon age inquisition. It's bringing a lot of things from it's predecessors back into the fold with a fresh coat of paint while adding some things as well.

I really liked ME1, enjoyed ME2, and thought ME3 felt a little weird, but none of that had to do with how the games played. The strength of Mass Effect in my mind has always been the world. What I really enjoyed about 1 were small moments, like talking to the AI in the citadel, getting some new info and then checking the codex in excited curiosity. In ME1 the main narrative arc felt grounded and things felt big and unmovable and hard, which led to it feeling like a real and important world. The characters were a big part of that too, and also a big part of how you learned about the world. It was doubly fun to go check with everyone on the Normandy to not just get their take but also learn something about the universe.

In ME2 the narrative arc was strange and felt almost like some weird side story. The characters really shined through though, and the frenetic, visceral quality of the back third of that game was just a lot of fun.

ME3 as the ostensible conclusion to everything, had you solving a lot of problems, too many problems and too easily, in my mind. The various problems that gave the world shape in the previous games were solved so easily that it made everything feel trivial. Everyone around Shepard felt easily manipulated and stupid. The idea that the Quarians and the Geth just needed some guy to say a few words to make everything okay made that entire arc that was built across multiple games seem silly. Coupled with the out of left field ending and I still think of ME3 as a weird fan fiction fever dream.

So following up on that series seems pretty tough. They have to build a whole new universe that feels fresh and different but just as big and interesting. Which is doubly tough since people still remember everything about the previous mass effect trilogy so learning new stuff about a new universe might feel hollow and like a "been there done that" situation.

The dialogue wheel at least is an encouraging sign that they are planning to make a Mass Effect game. So now for me it's just up to the the world building and I doubt that will show in any of the trailers.

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#7 Posted by Veektarius (6098 posts) -

I can see the problems with the animation, and I am going to be customizing the hell out of my character's appearance - neither one looks good. But I found the setup pretty solid and was sorry it wasn't my game to continue from there. So at this point I'm pretty confident I'll be buying unless reviews paint a giant warning sign.

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#8 Posted by OurSin_360 (4450 posts) -

Everybody looks small with wrong proportions, like they wanted to go with a cartoon look but didn't commit all the way. Also all the footage seems to be running at 60fps, and i believe the consoles are locked 30? So i wonder how this will look/run on console?

I wonder how many if any people who worked on other mass effect games worked on this one? They definitely got a new art team it seems.

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#9 Posted by Shindig (3962 posts) -

Needs a third Shepherd gender called 'German'. Renegade German Shepherd.

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#10 Edited by Rahf (337 posts) -

Humans with anything beyond buzz cuts are still looking like their hair is modeled out of clay or wire sponge. Hah!

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#11 Posted by tunaburn (2021 posts) -

i love mass effect. it was my favorite trilogy. I will be getting this game. Im just hoping there are enough planets to explore to keep me entertained for a long time. Ill be very disappointed if there is only a few planets to land on and do stuff.

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#12 Posted by csl316 (13913 posts) -

It feels like we'll be uncovering a whole new world like the original, the combat looks great, and they seemed to really dig into what people liked about the trilogy as a whole.

Can't wait.

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#13 Edited by militantfreudian (525 posts) -
@lawgamer said:

4. Not sold on the structure or plot of the game. "Mysterious ancient artifacts" set off alarm bells in my head because I really don't want this to be "The Special Defeats Ancient Evil" variation #4572, but that's what it's starting to look like.

The thing I'm most curious about is how the game is structured, and how and if the side content factors in any way into the main story progression. I'm still not sure as to whether the Remnant ruins are supposed to be optional, challenging dungeons, or part of the story missions. Thankfully, the EA Access trial is in less than two weeks, so I'm hoping that that sheds some light on all of this, in addition to the quality of the writing and gameplay.

@lawgamer said:

5. I also worry that there might be too many systems going on.

...That's a lot of stuff. Maybe too much stuff. Don't get me wrong, all of that could be very cool if they all integrate together well. If it does a Stardew Valley where each system builds and reinforces the other, great. If not, it could be an awful lot of grinding meters and icons.

So yeah. I feel a little better about the baseline quality of the game after seeing that stuff, but I'm still not sold on the package as a whole.

I'm with you on this one. I don't think every gameplay facet requires a progression system and unlocks. In any case, I hope that they these systems are well-thought-out, or that the penalty of not engaging with them isn't severe.

@genocidalkitten: Haha, you basically summed up my feelings on the story of the entire trilogy. I think I may have liked the way Mass Effect 2's story was structured more than you did. It was essentially a caper story, which in the grand scheme of things, is somewhat unique as far as games are concerned. Although, you're right: if you look at it as the middle chapter of a story, it seems out of place and not as consequential to the story as you might initially think.

Also, I think Bioware has made a smart decision by divorcing this game from the events of the original trilogy; whether they capitalize on this, though, still remains to be seen.

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#14 Posted by WhatsHisFace (435 posts) -

I wish they would just copy the Alpha Protocol dialogue system where the choices don't show what you're gonna say just what tone you will use. But it's still an improvement non the less.

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#15 Posted by doctordonkey (1342 posts) -

For a game where you spend the majority of time staring at people while they speak, you would think getting the look and animations of the faces right would be important to Bioware.

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#16 Posted by IVDAMKE (1416 posts) -

I think the facial animations will be a thing that will be jarring at first but after a couple hours I will stop noticing it. It happens with all RPGs like this so I can do it once again. I think the intro is cool, and I think the combat looks fun so I'm optimistic for this game. That being said, male Ryder looks like a massive goober.

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#17 Posted by WynnDuffy (1012 posts) -

Unless this game is stellar I think I won't play it, I don't want to play an OK Mass Effect game, I want to play great ones - something the third game fell short on.

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#18 Edited by Glots (2863 posts) -
Loading Video...

"This planet is covered with ice and snow and it's harsh climate is hazardous to your health."

*stands out in snowstorm without a helmet or a hat*

No Caption Provided

I don't actually mind details like that in games most of the time, guess it was just funny in this case. Gotta show-off that dashing face in every situation, I suppose!

Online
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#19 Posted by OurSin_360 (4450 posts) -

If it's anything like the others then he probably has helmets toggled off during cutscenes, but man these characters look worse and worse as i see more of them though lol.

@glots said:
Loading Video...

"This planet is covered with ice and snow and it's harsh climate is hazardous to your health."

*stands out in snowstorm without a helmet or a hat*

No Caption Provided

I don't actually mind details like that in games most of the time, guess it was just funny in this case. Gotta show-off that dashing face in every situation, I suppose!

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