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Mass Effect Andromeda - March 21, 2017

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Winkle wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 2:55 pm

The team is different though, ME:A is by BioWare Montreal which is their B-team with support from their A-team in Edmonton but the A-team has been focusing on a new IP game for awhile. Most of their B-team has little to no involvement in the development of DA:I or the original ME trilogy.
Any source? If true I'm canceling my preorder now.
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Redsanta wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 1:07 am
Cod infinite but infinitely better
Except cod infinite story gameplay was awesome (first cod I played in 5 years so maybe thats why)
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jarko wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 3:56 pm
Any source? If true I'm canceling my preorder now.
Here's a link to an article from a French site but you can run it through Google Translate. Here's the pertinent parts:
The project has held up to 250 people, including more than half in Montreal, the rest being shared between Edmonton and Austin, Texas... Mass Effect: Andromeda , the first episode directed from Montreal, inherits indeed a special role, which is to replace the very popular series on a new course, after the conclusion of the original trilogy.
BioWare Montreal was opened in 2009 to assist the Edmonton on projects as required, they've also added personnel from the closure of other EA-owned studios that were located in Montreal into Visceral Montreal and EA's Mobile Montreal. ME:A is BioWare Montreal's first title in which they have taken the lead on.

I've dug around into this but the only thing I can find is that Marc Walters, who is the game director for ME:A served as one of the lead writers for the original trilogy, otherwise there seems to be few or little ties between the ME:A and original trilogy staff. Casey Hudson who directed the original trilogy left BioWare in 2014, and BioWare's own co-founders left the company in 2012 after the release of ME3.
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jarko wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 3:54 pm
I have this preordered since 2015 for $50 all in but I think I might cancel this. I've been reading online and most fans of the series have mixed feelings because they made the gameplay more of a shooter vibe. You'll be running around, using the jetpack to dodge and killing everything. Sounds repetitive and boring. However, the only thing I haven't seen is a review of the story? Is there one because if the story is great I'll keep it
I don't think the review embargo has lifted for the full story and game... I think maybe right now they're only allowed to post initial impressions, but nothing story related
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Interesting read: This Is Why It's A Bad Idea For Games Like 'Mass Effect: Andromeda' To Have Piecemeal Embargoes

According to this (and some reviewers I follow on Twitter), the first act is a real slog to get through too... Bad first impression. Plus I read on Twitter that there are some weird bugs for sure outside of just awkward animation
Last edited by M1GOmigs on Mar 16th, 2017 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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M1GOmigs wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 4:17 pm
I don't think the review embargo has lifted for the full story and game... I think maybe right now they're only allowed to post initial impressions, but nothing story related
Full review embargo does not lift until like Monday I believe (20th). The press are however, allowed to post initial impressions and such. Also, there is a trial that went live today that allowed subscribers to EA Access to play the first couple hours of the game for 10 hours so that's why there's been a flood of people posting reviews/impressions as well as gifs and screenshots showing the bad animation, facial models and such.

The reactions I've seen on the story so far have been quite polarized. People either love it or hate it, very little in between.
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M1GOmigs wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 4:17 pm
I don't think the review embargo has lifted for the full story and game... I think maybe right now they're only allowed to post initial impressions, but nothing story related
Oh, there's an embargo on the game reviews? That doesn't make me confident
Winkle wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 4:21 pm
Full review embargo does not lift until like Monday I believe (20th). The press are however, allowed to post initial impressions and such. Also, there is a trial that went live today that allowed subscribers to EA Access to play the first couple hours of the game for 10 hours so that's why there's been a flood of people posting reviews/impressions as well as gifs and screenshots showing the bad animation, facial models and such.

The reactions I've seen on the story so far have been quite polarized. People either love it or hate it, very little in between.
Thanks for the info, just cancelled my order.
M1GOmigs wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 4:21 pm
Interesting read: This Is Why It's A Bad Idea For Games Like 'Mass Effect: Andromeda' To Have Piecemeal Embargoes

According to this (and some reviewers I follow on Twitter), the first act is a real slog to get through too... Bad first impression. Plus I read on Twitter that there are some weird bugs for sure outside of just awkward animation
Those bugs are a damn shame. There was a video I was watching today that got uploaded over a month ago that said the beta had bugs and tons of glitches and that they hope bioware would fix in the final release, guess not.

Also this is one of the complaints:


I've also seen people complaining about performance issues, a lot of framerate drops.
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I'm a true blue ME fan so I will be getting this next week, the early reviews aren't as favourable as past ME games. Some early reviews say the visuals are impressive but something is lacking, the story isn't as polished as ME1&2. I would expect scores in the high 7's low 8's.

From what I've read the frostbite engine works better with shooters has been incorporated in COD and other Activision games,
I've been told and BW/ Activistion thought it would help rather than pay licensing costs for the newest Unreal engine.
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jarko wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 3:49 am
I've also seen people complaining about performance issues, a lot of framerate drops.
That's really strange, PC or console? I'm having zero issues running the game with everything set to ultra with a i5 6600K and GTX1070.
My only complaint really is some of the voice acting and dialogue comes across as flat. Conversations just feel unnatural if that makes any sense.
Last edited by playingintraffic on Mar 17th, 2017 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I watched a live stream of this being played lastnight and I'm not getting it based on that.

The gameplay seems okay at best.

But the character face models, as well as facial animations are just horribly garbage. The lip syncs are completely off, nothing syncs up at all and the eyes are just so very very bad. If this game wasn't so heavy and placed so much emphasis on talking and dialogue it would be less of a problem but the facial animations and horrible lip sync is just so jarring that I can't ignore them.

A lot of people are saying that the original trilogy had issues with this too but definitely not this bad. Also, ME3 was 2012, standards have changed. If Witcher 3 hadn't been released in the interim I would've maybe been okay with this but sorry, Witcher 3 has raised the bar on how this is done and this is nowhere close to W3 level. Even DA:I with it's plastic people weren't so jarring.

Hopefully these things will be addressed with future patches but in it's current state there's no way I'm paying $80 for it.
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jarko wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 3:49 am
Oh, there's an embargo on the game reviews? That doesn't make me confident
Most publishers have review embargos... And these days, I think it's the norm, not an exception, unless a publisher is 100% sure that it will get great scores across the board. Mass Effect's embargo is kind of weird in that it's a graduated embargo, where outlets can talk about a portion of the game a bit earlier, and then put out their full review later. Part of this is because people will have the game through EA Access/Origin anyway, but I think it's also partly a nod towards streamers and Youtubers, who they're increasingly partnering up with these days.

Also, review copies typically come with a document that outlines what reviewers can and can't talk about as well... some of it is valid, spoiler stuff, but other things are more mundane but for some reason the publisher felt it should be kept out of review.

Kind of a shame to see that the written review is dying, in favour of Let's Play sessions and Youtube personalities...
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I played the trial and I wasn't impressed. Combat is really just OK. Sure you have a lot of mobility but the enemy AI is pathetic. They even use old SNES days logic where if you hold aim on them in cover they won't pop up until the cursor moves away. You have a wide variety of typical ME powers and the gunplay is rote. It just doesn't feel like a meaningful evolution in any way except the jump jets which really just break the game in terms of difficulty. It's totally adequate but unremarkable. I didn't try multiplayer but its usually just Horde mode with gambling so I'm not expecting anything different from this game.

The setting, movement and conversation system feels rehashed from DA:I. After a thoroughly predictable intro sequence, the game begins landing on a planet which has an identical blue sky vortex and floating rocks from DA:I...except they changed the color. The main character Ryder is poorly animated in the extreme, facial expressions especially. The voice acting is solid and most of the delivery is fine, the dialogue itself is the issue. You always expect a poor man's Joss Whedon script from Bioware but this is truly dreadful stuff. Mac Walters and 2 other people apparently wrote this, a noticeable reduction in the writing team staff and it really shows. You are a messiah type guy yet again with even less motivation and sense behind the origin story. The writing has a lot of "tell, don't show" going on and it really suffers as a result. The new conversation system doesn't help, people have always liked the simplicity of the Paragon/Renegade system and it wasn't in need of "nuance".

You scan everything and this mechanic quickly becomes tedious. Why do devs feel the need to make players suffer? Who finds this stuff fun? Hold A to activate for 4 seconds and get some exposition. Why is this necessary? Scan rocks, scan planets, scan for this, that and the other thing. The Pathfinder needs resources to do bloody everything so you better be ready to scan and gather ad nauseum. Does the audience for this type of busywork even exist anymore? I work for a living, I don't need to feel like I'm working while I'm playing. The return of exploration is welcome but unfortunately there's also a lot of "no" going on in the quasi-open world planets. What I like about the new Zelda game is that 99% of the time, if I want to do something in the game the answer is yes, I can do it. You can set the wood on fire then hurl it into the enemies to set them ablaze. In this game most of the time its no. You can't go here even though it looks like you can. Even if you can sometimes, there is usually nothing there. The environments and art design are top notch but ultimately feel lifeless, like a pretty painting. The world doesn't feel organic in any way to me, everything from the characters to the planets feels uncanny.

What bothers me about this game is the lack of ambition. I'm a huge ME nerd so I'm the target audience for this and it just feels like they knocked it out because it was on a schedule rather than a good creative basis and passion for the product. I can tolerate a lot for the ME universe, its a pulpy setting I really enjoy and its not like the previous games didn't have warts. Ultimately this doesn't feel worth the price of admission at launch, maybe later on.
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Yeah, I'm so disappointed. One of the things that irked me about DA:I was how I had to run around the map hitting R3 every few seconds to ping for resources... it got boring when I'm spending all that time just running around pinging non-stop to make sure I have ever inch of the map covered to gather resources and hunt for items and sidequests and so forth.

The pretty painting thing is exactly what I felt it was, it looks great but guess what, you can't interact with anything. This was a bit of a problem already in the original ME trilogy though, and the same with DA:I and I'm sad to see they've made no progress on it. Even Witcher 3 you could do stuff like bump and push into people, knock some items and objects around and stuff you know. In ME, you run into other NPCs and it's like you just hit a wall. Makes no sense whatsoever.

I want to say this game needed more bake-in time but considering the shape it's in and that they already spent FIVE YEARS putting this together, I am not sure more time is going to fix what is fundamentally wrong and broken with this game... time will give it more polish but I don't think they can fix the insides at this point.
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playingintraffic wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 9:07 am
That's really strange, PC or console? I'm having zero issues running the game with everything set to ultra with a i5 6600K and GTX1070.
My only complaint really is some of the voice acting and dialogue comes across as flat. Conversations just feel unnatural if that makes any sense.
PC with the gtx 1080. There's some video that tests all the graphic cards and there's instances where it will drop below 30. The only card that doesn't have issues obviously was the 1080ti but anything below that gets drops. I'll try to find the video and post it.
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Winkle wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 11:51 am
Yeah, I'm so disappointed. One of the things that irked me about DA:I was how I had to run around the map hitting R3 every few seconds to ping for resources... it got boring when I'm spending all that time just running around pinging non-stop to make sure I have ever inch of the map covered to gather resources and hunt for items and sidequests and so forth.

The pretty painting thing is exactly what I felt it was, it looks great but guess what, you can't interact with anything. This was a bit of a problem already in the original ME trilogy though, and the same with DA:I and I'm sad to see they've made no progress on it. Even Witcher 3 you could do stuff like bump and push into people, knock some items and objects around and stuff you know. In ME, you run into other NPCs and it's like you just hit a wall. Makes no sense whatsoever.

I want to say this game needed more bake-in time but considering the shape it's in and that they already spent FIVE YEARS putting this together, I am not sure more time is going to fix what is fundamentally wrong and broken with this game... time will give it more polish but I don't think they can fix the insides at this point.
I always thought that witcher 3 would raise the standards for future RPG's but ME shows its not the case. The problem is that people will still buy the game and it will probably make more revenue than the superior witcher game ever did. I'm hoping Bethesda's next IP will raise the standards considering they praise CDPR publicly for witcher 3.

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