Saturday, April 1, 2017

My thoughts on Mass Effect Andromeda.

So, Andromeda is out, for nearly two weeks now, and up till now it has been a mess. I love Mass Effect, like I love Star Wars. Passionately and seemingly since forever. Where the original trilogy of games is like the original trilogy to me, Andromeda is definitely the Phantom Menace. It looks like Mass Effect, it sometimes feels like Mass Effect and your affection drives you to see the best in it.

And no, delivering a faulty product is not ok, not in any business, why should games be different. I've been in food retail the last decade and imagine the riot if you sell someone half a cheese for full price, while the other half is still being made and you will deliver it to them in small bits. 

Possible spoilers ahead, you have been warned.
The single player campaign started very slowly in my opinion, and after wrestling myself through the prologue, I thought it would definitely pick up steam. Well, it didn't. I kept saying to myself, come on, play on a bit more, perhaps then huh?
That's a bad sign. When I first played Mass Effect 3, I was counting down the hours at work until I could play again and completely lose myself in the experience.
In ME:A, my attention wandered after about half an hour of play, and what completely put me off was the fact that when I was talking to an NPC about why she joined the project, only her lips moved, and twice there was a jerky motion of her shoulders which is supposed to be a shrug, I guess.

I've played Knights of the old republic, Morrowind, etc. Not exactly high quality graphics. Heck I wouldn't mind a talking polygon, if it had an interesting story to tell. In a situation where the story is already pretty slow, the voice acting ok, albeit lacking a bit of passion, the moving lips is something I trip over. The immersion is already paperthin, so that's a deal breaker.

Then let's talk about Multiplayer. This is honestly the part I've been looking forward to most. Playing with my husband and friends is my favorite evening past-time. Here's a list of things that bother me.

  • Underpowered weapons and attacks. Example? A shield-less, basic mook took a charge, nova, a shot of a shotgun and shockwave to die. Even a combo won't fell them right away.
  • Overpowered melee. A team of Asari and humans beating up mooks twice their size? Likely...
  • Unable to charge weapons while running. Venom used to be my favorite gun. Charge it while I charged/ran at the enemies and unleash pandemonium. Now you have to walk or stand still. Which makes no sense in a game that is made for dynamic, mobile combat. 
  • Objectives. After five years there is almost no new objectives? The ones that would actually make sense, like an escort has been left out. It would make sense, since you have to move around, which is what they want in this game. All they left in are the ones that want you to be stationary. 
  • Only Krogan headbutts. I love the Krogan headbutt, but seriously guys. What happened to the ME3 Krogan that headbutted them, but also gave them a swift uppercut while attacking. Only headbutting Krogan look silly.
  •  Just today I got booted out a minute before extraction when I was playing in a random group. Of course, no way to rejoin. That's 20 minutes I'm not getting back, that's consumables spent to help my team, that's credits lost because you didn't make extraction. Not cool. 
  • Clunky and unresponsive UI. To me, it doesn't feel intuitive or logical at all, plus it takes a while to react. 
  • Strike team deployment often makes me lose connection.
  • Leaderboards only show yourself. 
  • I like the jetpacks tho.
 The sorry quality of this is making me sad. We work hard for our money, and I don't think it's being demanding to at least expect something that is playable.

Yeah ma'am, my face is tired too, from gritting my teeth.

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