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@cezero @TobiasFunke

Just wanted to give you guys my final word on "Mass Effect: Andromeda",

I finished the game last night at 100% completion and it took me 110 hrs to complete everything including all available side quests and exploreable areas of the Heleus Galaxy cluster.  Overall, I really thought it was a great game and give a 9 out of 10 overall and plan to start a New Game plus playthrough soon to finish collecting the achievements I've missed the first time around.  Its best not to compare this game with the entire Mass Effect Trilogy as you had 3 games and 5 years to get to know the characters.  I think its most accurate comparison would be  with the first Mass Effect game as it introduced us to a whole new fictional universe that you had to get to know and care about.  I remember how difficult it was at first to get used to layout as I worked my way through the inevitable fetch-quest made available for the sole purpose of building XP and get you used to the layout of the sometimes labyrinthine Citadel.  Now, after more than 20 playthroughs in the past decade, I zip through the side quests on my way to the major plot points that get you off the station and into space.  "Mass Effect: Andromeda" has a similar feel in the beginning as your first mission and your first visit to the Nexus both are designed to give you a feel for the new conversation and combat systems respectively.  Also, Ryder is not Shepard.  When we start Mass Effect, we are informed from the beginning that, regardless of what gender or background you choose for Shepard, they are veteran soldier/Biotic/Tech and battle-tested.  As you progress through the game, immediately, you rightfully speak with authority and are given the respect of your pre-determined accomplishments.  With Ryder, you are thrust into the role as Pathfinder through circumstance and, while trained, do not have the years nor victories that Shepard did to that point and, rightfully, the conversation options reflect your "green" nature.  And, finally, while the planets are plentiful, the region is smaller.  In the original Mass Effect, the entire Milky Way was accessible through Mass Effect Relays that connected the various races in their previously established galactic clusters.  In ME:A, the entirety of the game takes place in the Heleus Cluster so its newer races are appropriately scaled to the more focused scale.

 

Ok, with that being said, its a great game and stands on its own, so, adding on to my previous comments in this thread:

Pros - 

 - I liked the story and thought the main plot was engaging enough to keep me interested and invested.  Overall, the voice acting and dialogue are hit-and-miss at times but that was also true withe original trilogy so it fine overall.  Honestly, I liked the new dialogue system and thought the idea to abandon the Paragon/Renegade options were wise. 

 - Tagging on to that, the loyalty and main mission are among the best BioWare has done.

 - The combat and level designs are some of the best in the series.  The Frostbite 3 engine allowed BioWare to create a more dynamic battlefield and the jetpack gives you an opportunity to seamlessly progress around the encounters.  At first, you focus on one area of combat expertise (Solider/Biotic/Tech) and you mainly rely on three skills that balance between colldowns and weapon use.  As you level up, more options open and points can even be redistributed to allow you to switch profiles as I started as Biotic, switched to Solider, switched again to Tech, changed to combo Biotic/Solider profile and then finally finished as Biotic again.  Even with all these choices, though, you can just stick with one profile if you want and you'll still have plenty of combat powers to choose from.

 - While the planets maps are huge, there is a ton of stuff to do in them.  Obviously, how you define a "necessary" side quest may vary according to the player but there was a good mixture of planet-hopping multi-tiered side missions and procedural "Locate these 5 satellite" fetch quests that are a standard in RPGs.  The main goal of the time spent on the planets is attain 100% viability for settlement and this can be attained with the various planet's "story" missions meaning lessor quests can be avoided all together if desired.

 - The new races are well conceived and their culture richly detailed in conversations, quests, data pads entries and voice logs.  Again, this is just one cluster of Andromeda so it would make sense narratively that the amount of new races you'd encounter would be limited but the game hints at more in future installments

Cons -

 - The User Interface Menu is baffling in its design.  I mean, you get use to it after a while but, after the simplicity of the designs in the trilogy, its definitely strange they decided to go in this direction.  

 - With an available inventory at 200 (with patch 1.05 and unlocked perks), its defies logic why you can only switch weapons and armor at the Tempest or at Forward Stations.  

 - While there is some pretty cool armor and weapons available, there is no real easy way to compare what you have versus something new other than to take out into the field.

 - There are glitches.  Though not game-breaking, some are more noticeable than others and had to re-start once (during Drak's loyalty) but only once and it was fine after it.

 - You can't control the powers or the equipment of your squadmates.  Some people will not care about this but I found it a bit disappointing.

Neutral - 

 - While the world that BioWare created is immersive and visually impressive (especially on 4K), the actual people who occupied lacked the visual distinction of what was established previously.  While Turians, Krogans and Salarians all pretty much look the same, the Asari are slightly different and some character models are more realized than others.  

 - Speaking of animations, initially, there was issues with character eyes and llip-syncing but most of those issues seems to have worked out with the release of Patch 1.05 on April 6th.

 - With the big world BioWare has created, there is a large chance of losing yourself in side-quests and losing the momentum of the main narrative so something to watch out for as you start your play.

 

Overall, the game mechanics are very reminiscent of "Dragon Age Inquisition" so, if you played and enjoyed that one, you will likely enjoy this one.  If you want to complete everything (including all lowest tiered side missions and all NPC conversations) be prepared for 100+ hrs but, if you want to experience a tighter narrative, stick with the main story, loyalty missions and the minimum quests needed to get the respective planets to 100% viability and you will be done in around 60 hrs.

 

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true, but you'll lose whatever college eligibility you had left.

It would help if the AI told me homophobic slurs and the sexual habits of my mom to make it feel more real.

Really?    (looks at your avatar)

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43 minutes ago, Blarg said:

Some jackass on Reddit is probably going to claim it was boring and he finished it in four hours.

Yeah, I've seen those guys on the BioWare boards showing off their speed run numbers...never understood speed running an character-focused RPG.

If you want to see prime "jack-assery", go over to Metacritic and check out all the trolls that spammed the game with "0" scores the day the game came out.  

 

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4 hours ago, cezero said:

awesome comprehensive review

these are the things that really get to me. the entire process of crafting and when you can switch out weapons is beyond idiotic. makes me just turn off the game sometimes rather than go through all the bother. 

Yeah, it's really made me think ahead and prepare for the battle.  Luckily, you can fast travel to the forward stations to load out what you need and hopefully you can fast travel back to where you were.  But, yeah, for every five things that are awesome you get these things which feel like afterthought.  They need to straighten it out for the next game.

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On ‎4‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 0:42 PM, mulwin444 said:

@cezero @TobiasFunke

Just wanted to give you guys my final word on "Mass Effect: Andromeda",

I finished the game last night at 100% completion and it took me 110 hrs to complete everything including all available side quests and exploreable areas of the Heleus Galaxy cluster.  Overall, I really thought it was a great game and give a 9 out of 10 overall and plan to start a New Game plus playthrough soon to finish collecting the achievements I've missed the first time around.  Its best not to compare this game with the entire Mass Effect Trilogy as you had 3 games and 5 years to get to know the characters.  I think its most accurate comparison would be  with the first Mass Effect game as it introduced us to a whole new fictional universe that you had to get to know and care about.  I remember how difficult it was at first to get used to layout as I worked my way through the inevitable fetch-quest made available for the sole purpose of building XP and get you used to the layout of the sometimes labyrinthine Citadel.  Now, after more than 20 playthroughs in the past decade, I zip through the side quests on my way to the major plot points that get you off the station and into space.  "Mass Effect: Andromeda" has a similar feel in the beginning as your first mission and your first visit to the Nexus both are designed to give you a feel for the new conversation and combat systems respectively.  Also, Ryder is not Shepard.  When we start Mass Effect, we are informed from the beginning that, regardless of what gender or background you choose for Shepard, they are veteran soldier/Biotic/Tech and battle-tested.  As you progress through the game, immediately, you rightfully speak with authority and are given the respect of your pre-determined accomplishments.  With Ryder, you are thrust into the role as Pathfinder through circumstance and, while trained, do not have the years nor victories that Shepard did to that point and, rightfully, the conversation options reflect your "green" nature.  And, finally, while the planets are plentiful, the region is smaller.  In the original Mass Effect, the entire Milky Way was accessible through Mass Effect Relays that connected the various races in their previously established galactic clusters.  In ME:A, the entirety of the game takes place in the Heleus Cluster so its newer races are appropriately scaled to the more focused scale.

 

Ok, with that being said, its a great game and stands on its own, so, adding on to my previous comments in this thread:

Pros - 

 - I liked the story and thought the main plot was engaging enough to keep me interested and invested.  Overall, the voice acting and dialogue are hit-and-miss at times but that was also true withe original trilogy so it fine overall.  Honestly, I liked the new dialogue system and thought the idea to abandon the Paragon/Renegade options were wise. 

 - Tagging on to that, the loyalty and main mission are among the best BioWare has done.

 - The combat and level designs are some of the best in the series.  The Frostbite 3 engine allowed BioWare to create a more dynamic battlefield and the jetpack gives you an opportunity to seamlessly progress around the encounters.  At first, you focus on one area of combat expertise (Solider/Biotic/Tech) and you mainly rely on three skills that balance between colldowns and weapon use.  As you level up, more options open and points can even be redistributed to allow you to switch profiles as I started as Biotic, switched to Solider, switched again to Tech, changed to combo Biotic/Solider profile and then finally finished as Biotic again.  Even with all these choices, though, you can just stick with one profile if you want and you'll still have plenty of combat powers to choose from.

 - While the planets maps are huge, there is a ton of stuff to do in them.  Obviously, how you define a "necessary" side quest may vary according to the player but there was a good mixture of planet-hopping multi-tiered side missions and procedural "Locate these 5 satellite" fetch quests that are a standard in RPGs.  The main goal of the time spent on the planets is attain 100% viability for settlement and this can be attained with the various planet's "story" missions meaning lessor quests can be avoided all together if desired.

 - The new races are well conceived and their culture richly detailed in conversations, quests, data pads entries and voice logs.  Again, this is just one cluster of Andromeda so it would make sense narratively that the amount of new races you'd encounter would be limited but the game hints at more in future installments

Cons -

 - The User Interface Menu is baffling in its design.  I mean, you get use to it after a while but, after the simplicity of the designs in the trilogy, its definitely strange they decided to go in this direction.  

 - With an available inventory at 200 (with patch 1.05 and unlocked perks), its defies logic why you can only switch weapons and armor at the Tempest or at Forward Stations.  

 - While there is some pretty cool armor and weapons available, there is no real easy way to compare what you have versus something new other than to take out into the field.

 - There are glitches.  Though not game-breaking, some are more noticeable than others and had to re-start once (during Drak's loyalty) but only once and it was fine after it.

 - You can't control the powers or the equipment of your squadmates.  Some people will not care about this but I found it a bit disappointing.

Neutral - 

 - While the world that BioWare created is immersive and visually impressive (especially on 4K), the actual people who occupied lacked the visual distinction of what was established previously.  While Turians, Krogans and Salarians all pretty much look the same, the Asari are slightly different and some character models are more realized than others.  

 - Speaking of animations, initially, there was issues with character eyes and llip-syncing but most of those issues seems to have worked out with the release of Patch 1.05 on April 6th.

 - With the big world BioWare has created, there is a large chance of losing yourself in side-quests and losing the momentum of the main narrative so something to watch out for as you start your play.

 

Overall, the game mechanics are very reminiscent of "Dragon Age Inquisition" so, if you played and enjoyed that one, you will likely enjoy this one.  If you want to complete everything (including all lowest tiered side missions and all NPC conversations) be prepared for 100+ hrs but, if you want to experience a tighter narrative, stick with the main story, loyalty missions and the minimum quests needed to get the respective planets to 100% viability and you will be done in around 60 hrs.

 

Wow thanks for the write up Mul, I figured as much of a write up would come from you!

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Been playing The Witcher 3 for about 15 hours now. I'm loving it! I'm acting towards it like when I played Skyrim for the first time. I can't put the game down, always wanting to do another quest even though I know I should shut the game off, and when I'm at work I'm thinking about the game.

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3 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

Been playing The Witcher 3 for about 15 hours now. I'm loving it! I'm acting towards it like when I played Skyrim for the first time. I can't put the game down, always wanting to do another quest even though I know I should shut the game off, and when I'm at work I'm thinking about the game.

Its definitely infectious.  CDProjektRed created an incredibly vibrant fictional universe with some immersive and interesting lore.  With all patches and DLC completed, you're getting the best version of the game.

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1 minute ago, mulwin444 said:

Its definitely infectious.  CDProjektRed created an incredibly vibrant fictional universe with some immersive and interesting lore.  With all patches and DLC completed, you're getting the best version of the game.

Yea I bought the complete edition. Like this types of games, it's taking me just recently to understand the alchemy, oil, building aspect of the game but I'm getting the hang of it. Thought I was going to be doing worse in battle but I'm not so bad.

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A little update on Red Dead Redemption 2

There is a company I've been following on Facebook called Sinclair Networks as they are the third party developer hired to complete the patch DLC for Mass Effect Andromeda.  One of their bigger clients is Rockstar and Sinclair Networks came out with a post on 04/24/2017 stating that Red Dead Redemption 2 would be a console exclusive for now and would not port to PC but would start work if Rockstar ever instructed them to do so.

I'm not a PC gamer so it doesn't effect me but thought there might be some people here waiting on word.  If you are a fan of Rockstar games, they are a pretty good Facebook page to follow as they provide updates and some inside info at times.  Most recently, the owner of Sinclair Networks, Patrick Sinclair, received a $4.5 mil breach of contract out of court settlement from UbiSoft for non-payment and harassment.  Pretty interesting stuff available on their page.  

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1 hour ago, mulwin444 said:

Most recently, the owner of Sinclair Networks, Patrick Sinclair, received a $4.5 mil breach of contract out of court settlement from UbiSoft for non-payment and harassment.

I'm utterly shocked to hear about that kind of behavior from UbiSoft. Really. -.-

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Just now, Thomas said:

I'm utterly shocked to hear about that kind of behavior from UbiSoft. Really. -.-

Yeah, just reading the "unofficial" report of what went down, it was pretty bad.  It revolved around DLC that Sinclair completed for UbiSoft's Ghost Recon Wildlands and was not paid.  The CEO of UbiSoft apparently was the one who initiated the settlement just to the get the thing resolved.  

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4 minutes ago, Make Angels Great Again said:

Apparently Ubisoft's reputation of over promising and under delivering extends beyond the quality of their games.

Honestly, haven't played much by UbiSoft...pretty much Assassin's Creed II and Far Cry III, IV and Primal.  I had fun but it was, overall, pretty disposable.  

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2 minutes ago, mulwin444 said:

Honestly, haven't played much by UbiSoft...pretty much Assassin's Creed II and Far Cry III, IV and Primal.  I had fun but it was, overall, pretty disposable.  

 

Far Cry 3 was really good, I forgot about that one. Great satisfaction was had from stealthily killing an entire outpost of baddies. Killing the main antagonists was pretty underwhelming though in the story. Also the story got real fucking weird towards the end.

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2 minutes ago, Make Angels Great Again said:

 

Far Cry 3 was really good, I forgot about that one. Great satisfaction was had from stealthily killing an entire outpost of baddies. Killing the main antagonists was pretty underwhelming though in the story. Also the story got real fucking weird towards the end.

Funny story about Far Cry 4:

"An Easter egg ending can be found at the beginning of the game. To trigger it, Ajay must simply wait at the dinner table during Darpan's torture; Pagan returns shortly and thanks Ajay for being a "gentleman", and leads him to Lakshmana's shrine, telling Ajay of his family history before he plants his mother's ashes at the shrine. After Ajay exits the shrine, Pagan then asks Ajay to join him to "finally shoot some goddamn guns"

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:36 PM, TobiasFunke said:

Been playing The Witcher 3 for about 15 hours now. I'm loving it! I'm acting towards it like when I played Skyrim for the first time. I can't put the game down, always wanting to do another quest even though I know I should shut the game off, and when I'm at work I'm thinking about the game.

i liked it a lot more than dragonage inquisition

the dlc with the all powerful evil trickster dude is AMAZING

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13 hours ago, cezero said:

i liked it a lot more than dragonage inquisition

the dlc with the all powerful evil trickster dude is AMAZING

I'm hearing how good the DLCs are. Just got to Novigrad a few days ago. These giant open world games are so funny because like in real life, after being out in the wild (killing ghouls and such) for days and days and days, it's kind of nice to get into a big city. But after a few days of exploring and doing quests in the city you're almost itching to get back out in the wild to go back to killing things again.

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19 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

I'm hearing how good the DLCs are. Just got to Novigrad a few days ago. These giant open world games are so funny because like in real life, after being out in the wild (killing ghouls and such) for days and days and days, it's kind of nice to get into a big city. But after a few days of exploring and doing quests in the city you're almost itching to get back out in the wild to go back to killing things again.

The DLCs are definitely some great work, the best of them, in my opinion, was the last one "Blood and Wine".  Its rare when, graphically, the DLC is better than the base game but its beautifully conceived.

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14 hours ago, cezero said:

i liked it a lot more than dragonage inquisition

the dlc with the all powerful evil trickster dude is AMAZING

It's funny...I played The Witcher 3 all the way through twice - once to romance Triss and a second to romance Yenn and complete the 2 DLCs - but, once I was finished with those two playhroughs, I never came back to it again.  Granted, each playthrough clocked in at over 100 hrs but two was enough.  Dragon Age Inquisition, on the other hand, I've easily had 7 (?) playthroughs trying out different classes and races.  I played multiple playthroughs of Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2 so, obviously, I'm more invested in the lore but I felt the character of Gerault was too "static" in comparison, even when selecting different dialogue options.  Still, its an amazing game and am looking forward to what CDProjektRed has next, which is rumored to be "Cyberpunk 2077".  

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22 minutes ago, cezero said:

My nephew's wife is the same with Inquisition.  I was sick of it by the time I finished 1 playthrough. But I've only done 2 for Witcher 3. 

I had never played (or had any interest at all) an RPG until Skyrim, so I think that probably factors into it. 

Yeah, I'm a huge RPG fan and have played mostly all the big ones you've heard of but, for some reason, I got through one playthrough of Skyrim and never went back.  Same with Fallout 4 for that matter...maybe its just Bethesda's games lately I'm not huge on.

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On 4/30/2017 at 5:55 PM, cezero said:

I noticed a few references to Firefly/Serenity in the script for Mass Effect Andromeda.

Also, I find it hard to believe that Elley Ryder (E.R.) being frozen in a tube isn't a tongue in cheek allusion to Ellen Ripley (E.R.) in the Alien movies. l

Check out the home screen to video game...Alien references everywhere 

On to playthrough #2 right now...did The completionist thing first but now avoiding anything with "Task:" in front of it to see how that helps the pacing

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15 hours ago, LooneyPlatoons said:

Been playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch.  The online battle modes are fun

Last Nintendo product I bought was the Wii and held off when the WiiU came out.  May have to pick it up for nothing else than to have an opportunity to play Zelda: Breath of the Wind

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