@philosyfee: Well you have to think of this as a full fledged action game really and there are gives and takes. For weapons, it depends on which weapons you like in class and even beyond that in feel. It seems to me you can upgrade any weapon type to be powerful in their own way so it comes down to if you like faster firing weapons, more power, and different things. Typical FPS/TPS choices. I love shotguns so far because I use Charge a lot but otherwise every class has been cool in its own way.
This is without playing the full game. Maybe by the end there are some very powerful combinations but I think it seems based on what you like more.
@sackmanjones: I say as a huge ME 1 fan that the faces were not great at the time. The voice acting was good though. I think RPGs are often not good with facial animation/lip synching but I think other genres are becoming great so it stands out more maybe? Witcher 3 was also strong in that area but I don't expect Bioware to be as good as CD Projekt right now.
It is a fair criticism if other games do it, sometimes with a lot of dialogue themselves, but I think it has never bothered me much. That's why I didn't care when Shepard looked like a creep smiling in every ME game.
@pyrodactyl: Well I think some things, like the RPG progression (although different in style), larger environments, a deeper upgrade system for your weapons, and exploration are things the series came to completely leave behind after 1 in some ways (though 3 got some elements back in some) so it is a bit more complex but I think I agree... sitting here having only played the trial. I really may end up liking it much more than critics myself.
Like I mentioned previously I don't agree with the GB guys on ME (or many critics it seems).
@banefirelord: That is certainly possible that the timeline was that close, it certainly feels the effects I think (as do some other games). Also I am not going to vouch for this game being so great with its execution (maybe they could have used more time). But voice is often the last thing to be done in RPGs from my understanding so it's not unusual in the least. Personally I also had zero complaints about voice acting in DA:I (but I think everything I've seen in ME:A as far as VA and animation has been okay, not bad, so take that for what you will).
@sackmanjones: Perhaps I'm also ignorant of how game development timelines work or the machinations of the strike, but if the strike (started in October) is a major culprit behind the quality of the voice acting, I would wonder why BioWare was only just starting to record dialogue 5 months before shipping for a game with so much voice acting.
That is actually a huge issue with RPGs. Games change as they go and if you record voice acting really early you may want to change it later for any huge number of reasons (omitting characters, parts of the story, changes in characters, etc etc). If you look into any number of RPGs development they often have cuts.
I have heard RPG devs talk before about voice acting really limiting majorly these types of story elements (it's why many still prefer to not actually have voice acting, although it's kind of the way of things now).
I think waiting as late as you can is very much the smart move and makes sense with how games are made.
@shindig: ya know... I didn't wanna put the blame on the lackluster to the strike (I don't think it's that bad so far) but I feel like a big RPG with tos of dialogue like this may feel the greatest effects of it. Also Wildlands seems like it has some notoriously terrible voice work too so I guess I'm curious if this stuff is finally coming to fruition. I don't know much about making these video game things, but I wonder if the timeline adds up for this to be possible?
Not gonna say they've spread themselves thin because I'd imagine they have more manpower now but they look like they have more projects to juggle.
There's also the question of just who works there. A lot of people left Bioware over time so at some point expecting it to always be the same I think is unreasonable.
To me this game seems more gameplay focused which may rub some the wrong way but I can see myself really enjoying it. I think it may be Skyrim influence actually. People bring up DA:I as a shift that came independently but before that game out they seemed to be chasing that kind of expansiveness. There's a huge difference between the open areas of this game and the corridors of the previous Mass Effect games, which got smaller as the series went on from the first game. I know that may seem obvious to say but it changes the developers job so much.
The execution may not be top level at all it seems but I think it's going for something different that I am cool with. In many ways I think it is stuff ME 1 was going for. I love ME 1's story though and I don't expect this game to be as good.