Posted in Gaming, Introvert, Marriage, Opinion, Review, The Laughing Box, The Real Life, video games, Xbox One

Impressions Of Mass Effect: Andromeda

I have loved the Mass Effect trilogy since the first day I stepped “foot” into the Mass Effect world. 

I owe my love for the trilogy to meeting my husband and having a premise to start our relationship. If it weren’t for Mass Effect, I may not be married today (that would be super sad by the way).

So, let me start this post by saying that I was among those who freaked out when Bioware launched their first trailer for Andromeda during the 2015 E3.

Holy. Donkey. Balls.

Andromeda could not get here quick enough for me. I remember asking Shelby, constantly, when it would come out. He was always on top of game releases, so why would I bother looking it up, right? Right.

When Bioware finally announced the official release date for Andromeda I nearly peed myself (I mean, not really, but I was really excited).

And now, that day has come and gone… Yet, I sit here thinking about a presentation I am giving for a business communication assignment next week and how I am going to present my info. My topic will be why I think a certain game should get Game of the Year.

It’s not Mass Effect: Andromeda. 

Give me a minute, or two, to tell you why.

My Expectations

Mass Effect Andromeda Golden World 7.png
The rocks are flying!

I made a mistake. I watched Shelby play Horizon: Zero Dawn before Andromeda released. It was a mistake because after playing Horizon I immediately compared Andromeda to it, and thus began my numerous disappointments.

Horizon Zero Dawn™_20170301190118
Well, would you look at that?

I expected Andromeda to release with fantastic graphics similar to previous game releases like Halo: Guardians, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Quantum Break. I expected real-life graphics, because we aren’t playing on the Nintendo 64 anymore. I didn’t believe it was an outrageous request. The Mass Effect series brought a world into my life that I have always loved: life in space. I have always had my head in the stars. I didn’t want to be an actress when I was little, I wanted to be an astronomer. Mass Effect created a world for my imagination to run wild. So, for Andromeda to fall short in every twist and turn, when it comes to making the Andromeda galaxy come to life, it draws in some of the worst kinds of disappointment. I wanted excitement, entertainment, fear, and wonder included within the franchise, unfortunately I have not discovered it yet.

The best graphics I have seen in Andromeda is on the planets. The planets exhibit fantastic colors and some damn fine textures. The people are on a whole nother level of we-aren’t-talking-about-it.

Mass Effect™ Andromeda (8).png
Not FemRyder. I don’t remember to take screenshots.

The original three games provided story-lines that made you sit on the edge of your seat, stay up until the sun came up the next morning kind of stories. Andromeda has a so-so story. After I spent an entire day getting through Voeld, I finally got to a portion of the story where I thought, “holy cow that’s super!” And then the side-side missions continued to pile up, soooooo I don’t know what happens next because I am buried underneath crap missions (Shelby: say hello to Mass Effect: Bloatbox Edition). Nothing about the story has pushed me to the edge of my seat, ready for more. I don’t come home after an exhausting day and want to play Andromeda. Instead, I don’t play because I am already exhausted and I don’t want to listen to Liam spout off any more stupid crap. I can’t handle his face (he’s no Kaidan).

Another expectation I had, was for the characters/companions that you have and meet to be interesting. Like, make you wanna walk around your ship at the end of each mission and talk to them kind of interesting. That is not the case with Andromeda. It feels more like a chore to go speak to them than to not. I wanted more conversations like FemShep had with Kaidan in Mass Effect when he tells her about his biotic training and falling in love with that one girl (who cares what her name was? (Shelby: Her name was Rahna) FemShep was planning on making him forget all about her (Shelby: Except she didn’t). Ahem…).

But that’s what I am talking about! I wanted to know more about him and his past, to learn about Ashley and her family, to find out what made Garrus tick, and to do whatever it took to help Tali on her pilgrimage. I wanted to be involved in the conversations I had with them, I wanted to know more about my people. The interactions you have with your companions in Andromeda do not elicit that similar desire, instead I want to airlock Liam them. Except for Jaal, he’s pretty sexy nice (he sent me a sweet letter. FemRyder is keeping it in her inbox because she doesn’t want to archive it. Sigh).

Gameplay has never been much of a game changer for me. If the gameplay sucks, I am not gonna stop playing. The gameplay was nothing to write home about in Skyrim but that doesn’t keep me from always going back to it. Andromeda’s gameplay is actually good. There, I said it, they did something right. However, (that’s right) I don’t care for the weapon wheel. Only three biotics? Com’on, I need more than three biotic powers to kick some serious Kett butt! I will say that combining the biotics to create powerful combos is spectacular. Whenever I am playing, Shelby will watch me and makes comments on how awesome the biotics are. I have to agree.

My Realizations

That concludes my list of expectations for Andromeda, the depressing part is that none of that happened. Reality hit when I got early access (thank you, my love) and I got to see first-hand what the heck people were talking about. I logged into my Twitter account (@Steiner_1020) to find out what everyone was saying, and I discovered that the game was just a bit broken. Just a bit (Shelby: That’s being generous). Everything I had hoped and dreamed up for this game came crashing down in one fell swoop. But! I held onto hope that maybe my version wouldn’t be broken.

Yeah, it was.

I will list my disappointments for the game, but understand that I had high expectations from Bioware. I wanted Andromeda to do all the things the original three couldn’t do.

Read on, my friends.

My Disappointments

2017-03-17_20-41-00
Uh, hi?

So, obviously I have some pent up rage against Andromeda. She has not met with any of my expectations, again I didn’t think they were too demanding, which has led to a numerous amount of disappointments.

If you are not easily offended by other’s opinions, then please, read on.

This disappointment took me a bit to get upset over only because I thought it would get better. It didn’t. The disappointment is the dialogue. Have you ever played a game, read a book or watched a TV show that eventually got canceled, and then read fanfiction over it? That’s this game. The dialogue makes me think that I am reading a horrible version of Twilight (Shelby: 50 Shades Of Heleus?).

I wish I was kidding. I didn’t known that grown adults were so incapable of flirting with another adult. If people flirted with their potential mates like Ryder does in Andromeda, I am convinced we would fix our overpopulation problem rather quickly. Unfortunately, it isn’t the flirting that irks me, it’s every piece of conversation you have with your crew. I haven’t decided if the script writers were just fed up with writing or if the voice actors were amateurs (Shelby: Both?) and don’t know how to add inflection to their voices. I don’t think I can listen to Liam say “I know it” to me the next time I tell him bye. I might shoot him in the back the next time we go on a mission (that would require me to take him with me on missions).

You would think, that by this installation, they would have figured out more ‘goodbye’ lines other than the one each character has. Do you say the same thing every time you end a conversation? Neither should a video game in 2017. I convinced that we have evolved enough as an industry to get past this hiccup. I don’t think I can fully express my frustrations with the dialogue adequately enough in this post, just Youtube it sometime.

Have you ever seen a person at Wal-Mart, caught up with them, and then departed? Of course you have (unless you’re more of a recluse than I am). Have you ever done that and then saw them, again, the next day? Sure. I bet you still had something different to say to them. Say you talked to Tali (I love Tali. The video game character and my Corgi) about her two children and she told you that they were going to gymnastics later that evening. The next day, when you bumped into each other again, would you not ask her about her kids and their gymnastics? I have customers I see on the regular (sometimes more than once a day) and I can promise you that I find something new to talk to them about each time I see them. So, please explain to me why I can have a set amount of in depth conversations with my crew and then never again? Were the script writers so over this game that they forgot to include more conversation points?

After an incident with Jaal and Liam, I went to Jaal expecting a comment on what had literally just happened. Yet, he had nothing to say. What?  You couldn’t have made him say something like, “Listen, Ryder, what just happened,” uncomfortably shifting. “Well, I just want to say that I hope you weren’t too alarmed.” How much more would a voice actor cost to say two extra lines? I want more depth when it comes to my characters, not dry husks of what they could be.

I remember having a conversation with my three older brothers, when I was much younger, about how video games would probably start looking like real-life once we were like fifty or older. We were very wrong. So,
tell me what happened with Andromeda. Did the artists look at the actors portraying the twins and think, “I can do better”?

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That moment when you feel the Chinese food hit your intestines.

At this point in my gaming career, I fully expect my video games (RPGs) to look freaking fantastic and damn close to real life; I have high expectations. I want my people to move like a person and to talk like a person, not look like they have to take the largest dump of the century! Like I mentioned at the top of this post, I made a mistake by playing Horizon before playing Andromeda. Still, I don’t feel like making a game look great is too much to ask. Though, Shelby did point out that Bioware used an algorithm for their facial expressions where Guerrilla Games used motion capture and manual alterations. I am not pleased with the differences between games. Maybe I can get over it, maybe.

I started calling the missions where you have to go place multiple beacons (missions like that, dull and multitudes of them) as side-side missions. You have your main mission, side quests such as helping your crew with something, and then side-side missions where you are given a small insignificant quest. These side-side quests take up a ridiculous amount of your time and change nothing about the game, other than making you wanna pull your hair out. I keep thinking they’ll get better or more entertaining (Shelby: They don’t), but so far that has not been the case. Side-side quests are the gaming equivalent to busy work in school. Don’t waste my time because you couldn’t think of anything better for me to do.

I know this is something they announced will be fixed in the patch they are releasing but the time it takes to go from planet-to-planet, only to discover nothing on it, is a waste of time. I know they want you to ‘ooh’ and ‘aw’ over the ridiculously colorful galaxy they created, but I am not doing that after the third planet. I feel like this is yet another aspect to the game that could’ve been avoided easily and is unnecessary for me to have to endure each time I wanna check something out. Give me a skip button!

I have not discovered too many bugs or glitches in my time playing, however the ones I have noticed remind me of that pesky gnat that won’t leave you alone. The one mistake that sticks out in my head, more than the others, is whenever you enter a compound building at an outpost the room is dark, yet once you walk in, the lights come on. This happens even if there are people already in there. So, you’re telling me that all those scientists are working in the dark 24/7 unless the Pathfinder finds herself/himself in their building? Okay…

This next, and last, one is less of a disappointment and more of a frustration. If you read my post about ReCore (I miss my Corebots), then you know I hate puzzles. Like, I avoid games that have puzzles. Not only are puzzles, in RPGs, a filler for time, but they’re, like so much else, unnecessary. Make me go find the glyphs on the ground, whatever, but do not make me solve a puzzle. Every time I come across another monolith, I let out a Stupid Machine.gifgroan of despair because of my disdain for puzzles. Stop. Wasting. My. TIME!

I found a good website that has each glyph puzzle with completed pictures in it. I am forever using it.

My Hopefuls

Mass Effect Andromeda Entry.png

I am hoping that the first patch helps alleviate these issues, but I don’t expect all of them to be fixed. I know that, for this game to meet my expectations, Bioware would probably need another five years to fix it. So, I will make due with what they gave me.

Though, Bioware if you read this, could you please give the facial expressions a Botox lift? That’d be great, thanks. I don’t like looking at my Ryder and wondering if she needs to evacuate immediately to the nearest toilet.

Thank you for taking the time to read this long post. I hope you have enjoyed it! It was fantastic to jump back in and write a long post!

Thanks again for stopping by!

 

Tell me what your thoughts, concerns, likes/dislikes have been for Andromeda in the comments below. Did I miss anything? If you liked this post, please hit the like and follow button! I am fairly active on Twitter (@Steiner_1020) so follow me there as well! 

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3 thoughts on “Impressions Of Mass Effect: Andromeda

  1. If it makes you feel better, I didn’t play HZD and I still have some issues with Andromeda. I can’t comment on graphics because my CRT TV makes everything looks blurry, so I always tend to forgive graphics, since that’s not really the draw for me. But I’m a little disappointed with the characters. While I do actually *like* a few of them, the number is small… I would have preferred BioWare focus more on character development than padding. An RPG doesn’t have to be huge (and it’s not. HowLongToBeat says the main game only takes around 20ish hours), and I think they missed an opportunity to shrink the size in favor of quality. I’m still withholding judgment, because most of my confusion is still due to not being able to read the screen, so I know I’m doing double-work as I try to figure out information that the game tells you, so right now most of my frustration is due to that – which isn’t the game’s fault haha.

    And oh my goodness… I flirted with Suvi… It was… SO AWKWARD and abrupt. If that type of flirtation worked in real life, *I’d* be married by now… I think there were a lot of opportunities BioWare missed, in favor of designing open landscapes and making the combat more like a shooter (I miss my tactics wheel…).

    Like

  2. for the love of the Creator, ENOUGH WITH THE SIDE QUESTS! I was able to complete 96% of the game without worrying about the “Tasks” list, but for the love of…..Enough already!

    Liked by 1 person

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