• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

I played 3 hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda - Thoughts so far

Status
Not open for further replies.

shinobi602

Member
Sep 28, 2010
33,557
6
0
www.twitter.com
*****Potential spoilers*******


So some background: I'm playing a copy of the game on my PS4 Pro and have the latest patch update (1.03). Played for a little less than 3 hours last night before I realized it was 3 AM and I had to be at work by 8 😂.

First off the performance is great. I'm no Digital Foundry but it seems to hold a steady 30FPS 99% of the time. There was some slowdown during the very first planet I landed on (Habitat 7) because of some effects going on, but quickly went right back up. There were no slowdowns during firefights, biotics, shooting, or anything else like that which is great.

I only noticed two instances of weirdness. One was during a conversation I was in and Liam's left arm was held up in a position as if he was using his omnitool and his head was tilted towards me the whole time. It was actually more funny than anything lol. The other was when I was walking around the first area on the Nexus and a Turian popped in out of nowhere, however I think that was just because I was panning the camera really fast. These things come off as forgiveable to me because of the size and scope of the game. They never hindered my feelings about what I was playing. I absolutely adored something like The Witcher 3 even with all of its hiccups so I don't really focus on these things as much as others might.

So, to continue, as a *huge* Mass Effect fan that's been following the series since the very first trailer went public in 2005, it feels like Mass Effect to me. I hold the series dear, so I was slightly worried if the game could reignite that feeling I had with the first game. So far, it does. Since I was playing really late at night and had work early this morning, I didn't mess around with the character creator so I went with default Scott Ryder. I usually always use defaults first and then custom characters in later playthroughs.

I felt the game started off on a strong "THIS IS A NEW MASS EFFECT" note. What I mean is that it felt similar to the original Mass Effect where you start aboard the Normandy, talk with a few people, meet Anderson, shit goes sideways you're down to Eden Prime. I was awakened on the Hyperion, conversations happen, shit goes down, and I met up with my dad to see what happened. The golden world we were supposed to colonize, Habitat 7 (let's call it H7 for short) looks like nothing we thought it would in scans, so we head down. Before that though, I got a chance to put on my armor with other bloaks in a sort of locker room, chat them up to see what's on their mind, and make a stop to see dad's "lucky rock" before heading down to H7. The whole time, Scott Ryder was actually fairly expressive in his face during most conversations. Not as good as something like Horizon's Aloy, but then again you have to remember they have to account for tons of variation in custom characters vs one singular character like Aloy. Facial animation isn't the best by any means, sometimes robotic, but for a game of this size and scope I found them fine. If you're used to things like creepy Shepard smile and all the weirdness in the trilogy, you'll be fine with this. What I liked so much was that conversations amongst the crew, Ryder, Cora, etc felt *natural* and flowed nicely instead of feeling like recited lines.

So I took a shuttle down to H7, and I was in gameplay camera the whole time inside the shuttle. I actually loved that it wasn't a cutscene but rather in-game. It drew me into the scene much more. Of course something happens on the way down and I was thrown in a little gameplay sequence of falling down to the planet's surface. It was an awesome little moment.

Once on the surface, H7 felt really alien and otherworldly. There were large rock formations floating in the air with forms of electric current flowing through them, strange looking plants and fauna, lightning strikes. The lightning almost killed me at one point. You can tell where lightning was about to strike by seeing small amounts of rocks on the ground start to float in a specific spot, followed by electricity building up. I immediately got Eden Prime vibes, though H7 feels much more alien. I was cut off from the rest of my crew, and I had to explore the environment to find them and find where my father is.

Scanning is actually fun and feels worthwhile to me because I enjoy learning more about the world. I scanned weird plants, little containters or pieces of tech, alien structures and Ryder and Liam would comment on each, giving narration and backstory that I felt was rewarding. I was surprised by how large the prologue area was (H7). It was fairly intricate in design, with lots of little nooks and crannies, so I felt compelled to explore more. This is when you first meet the Kett. The Andromeda Initiative established that first contact protocol dictates peace unless fired upon or attacked first. These two Kett were surrounding a fellow crewmate that had crashed, and I was given the option to approach with my hands up in peace or take no chances and attack them. I decided to approach peacefully, they took notice of me and started shouting in their language which sounds really neat and alien. One decided to attack the other crewmate so I said the hell with that and shot 'em up lol. It was another cool moment that made me feel like I'm actually in a whole new galaxy and I don't know what the hell's going on, are these aliens friendly or hostile, etc.

So I continued to explore the area and there's loot! Glorious loot. It didn't feel like redundant like ME1 (here's a 30th Stiletto pistol!), rather they were things like weapon mods, resources (that you can trade in with merchants later), etc. Mainly, not junk. I was immediately hit with optional side tasks to do on top of the main quest of finding my dad and my team. These ranged from investigating a cave, a crashed alien ship, a building/structure, etc. They were off the beaten path, and I was immediately thinking "please don't be like DAI, please don't be like DAI". So I approached the crashed ship and there were little things scattered around that told their own little back stories and when I investigated the ship, Liam and Ryder again both commented on it and what it might be. I continued and found that cave, again completely optional, wondering what could be inside. Turned out that among all the death and destruction of the planet, there was life inside. An old tree endured, green, surrounded by vegetation and plant life. I scanned it and the surrounding and again Ryder and Liam had a conversation together about it.

The next stop was that old building/structure I mentioned. I was thinking it would probably be a room or two but no, it was fully rendered inside with hallways, multiple rooms, a locked door and alien technology scattered around. There was a lot of narration in here and some discoveries made. These things put a smile on my face because they genuinely didn't feel like throwaways. I'm really big on story in my games and I loved that I got a lot of narration and conversation out of each. I feel like BioWare stepped up their game in terms of environmental storytelling. Felt rewarding.

Gameplay animations when exploring and in combat are a big step up over previous games. My Ryder's body would tilt and his gait would change naturally whenever I'd switch direction while jogging or going up and down steeper inclines.

There was also a little moment where I was being a little wreckless, jetpacking boosting everywhere, and almost fell off a cliff. Liam saw that and said "Whoa! Watch your step there!" out of nowhere. I could have never done that and heard that line. Really cool.

So to continue on, I found my downed crew and we were then attached by a Kett dropship. Things get dicey if you try to attack them rambo style out in the open. They can quickly focus on you and take you out, so I tried to play strategically, using cover. Cover is dynamic now and I had zero problems running, getting up close to cover and seeing Ryder automatically duck down. Good stuff. Mobility is the biggest difference in combat. The jetpack is a ton of fun to use, especially combining it with a downward nova strike. Love seeing enemies go flying with that. Combat just feels a lot more satisfying, and has that "umph" so to speak.

I won't get into spoilers about what happens later in the mission, but I also want to note that during a conversation with his dad, Ryder would naturally bring up those discoveries I made (that were completely optional) and dad Ryder would comment on that like "Huh, nice job" etc and it flowed well. It was a neat moment that made me feel good about exploring off the beaten path.

There was a bunch of combat in another structure that felt well designed with lots of spaces for cover and pathways to flank enemies. Also good stuff.

I probably took longer than most in this whole area because I loved taking in *everything* there is to see and exploring every damn nook and cranny lol. With that mission over, I found myself back on Hyperion chatting with Cora and Liam. I will say these two are immediately much more likeable to me than Ashley and Kaidan, and I didn't mind the latter two really. Liam is charismatic, willing to take risks and kind of just goes with the flow. Cora is more rigid and wants to get things done, but I was pleasantly surprised by how soft she would be in some situations. The dialogue all flowed well.

I got to the Nexus after all that (basically this game's Citadel) and had to call it a night. And speaking of the Nexus, I'm a little disappointed that there's no ambient music while walking around. Bioware's said that was a conscious decision by design. The themes from the trilogy like the Presidium, the wards, C-Sec etc becamse iconic for me and I remember them fondly. They really helped set the tone and atmosphere of the Citadel so it's sad there's nothing like that here.

All in all, I can't wait to continue on later today. It was pretty addictive, and as a Mass Effect fan that loved the trilogy and was hoping this would turn out well, I'm so relieved. It's Mass Effect. 100%.

Also side note, the music in general is fucking awesome. Lots of synth, some bass. Oozes a bit of ME1.

Feel free to ask questions!
 

Mifec

Member
Oct 11, 2014
8,191
1
285
I guess the music gets better after the intro then, because it's severely lacking there compared to other MEs
 

MCD250

Member
Nov 28, 2016
2,544
0
0
Thank you for the impressions. Good to see how positive they are. I might end up preordering this one after all.
 

KingV

Member
Jul 30, 2004
5,541
2
1,450
This truly sounds like a wait for me. Something about the description just sounds like DAI to me (also too many other games)
 

chico

Member
Apr 17, 2007
1,045
0
975
good impression, happy that you like it but i will not preorder it. waiting for reviews, better not to trust in an overhyped fanboy. ;)
 

SkylineRKR

Member
Jun 22, 2011
9,574
680
825
Holland
Sounds good and it seems some of my worries aren't justified.

So this isn't cluttered with DA:I MMO tier fetch quests? I know BioWare wasn't happy with them either, esp. after seeing TW3 reception.
 

pezzie

Member
Jul 16, 2014
453
1
0
Bakersfield, CA
Man I am super excited for this game. I probably won't be in day 1, since I'm going on a roadtrip on the 25th, and then when I get back it'll be just about time for Persona 5, but after that this game is probably next on my list. I loved the first trilogy, warts and all, and I am eager to get back into the Mass Effect universe.
 

Jarmel

Banned
Mar 3, 2010
43,442
1
0
Also side note, the music in general is fucking awesome. Lots of synth, some bass. Oozes a bit of ME1.
Unless the music starts blaring really late into that H7 mission, I'm finding the music to sound nothing like ME1. It's closer to the orchestral stuff in ME2/ME3 but not as good and is quite bland.
 

Jafku

Member
Sep 23, 2009
5,880
0
0
Sounds good. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that Pro can't do 60FPS. Gameplay vids spoiled me. Will double dip on PC
 

i-Lo

Member
Dec 23, 2008
14,759
0
0
Canada
He got it early, he's a fan, game is amazing, has no flaws. 10/10 perfect just like Zelda ;)

/s

Musics good too.
Sounds like it's going against what the others are commenting in the other thread. That said Shinobi did play it and on the PRO model. I am glad he's having fun with the game. However, after (IIRC) his early impressions for "The Order 1886", I'm more cautious than optimistic.

UPDATE: Turns out it was NOT Shinobi. Apologies.
 

vivekTO

Member
Oct 10, 2014
2,680
0
0
-
Feel free to ask questions!


I need to know one thing,(if anybody can answer that will be great)

Are missions and side quests etc are structured in different groups, like Main mission , side quest , Errands etc. because i am playing the ME3 right now and there is atleast 20 quest update in my Journal.Which is totally turning me off.

Is there any sorting or grouping of quests and missions etc? Can you elaborate on this part. Thanks.
(I haven't read your post so may be you have mentioned in that)
 

shinobi602

Member
Sep 28, 2010
33,557
6
0
www.twitter.com
Unless the music starts blaring really late into that H7 mission, I'm finding the music to sound nothing like ME1. It's closer to the orchestral stuff in ME2/ME3 but not as good and is quite bland.
There were several scenes with strong synth that I heard and it reminded me of ME1. Personally like the music myself, certainly wouldn't say it's bland.

Sounds like it's going against what the others are commenting in the other thread. That said Shinobi did play it and on the PRO model. I am glad he's having fun with the game. However, after (IIRC) his early impressions for "The Order 1886", I'm more cautious than optimistic.
I never played TO1886 prior to launch nor did I give any impressions of its gameplay.
 

Darkstorne

Member
May 26, 2014
2,886
0
0
And speaking of the Nexus, I'm a little disappointed that there's no ambient music while walking around. Bioware's said that was a conscious decision by design. The themes from the trilogy like the Presidium, the wards, C-Sec etc becamse iconic for me and I remember them fondly. They really helped set the tone and atmosphere of the Citadel so it's sad there's nothing like that here.

Also side note, the music in general is fucking awesome. Lots of synth, some bass. Oozes a bit of ME1.
First of all, amazing write-up. I'm very glad this isn't going to end up like Verendus' impressions of FFXV :p

Is there background music while exploring? Like you I adored Mass Effect's music (especially Mass 1's background music) and I'm kinda worried that they're following the DA:I route of bizarrely commissioning an amazing soundtrack and then deliberately muting the soundtrack while exploring towns and environments. That was such a bad decision, and no mod has been able to fix it.
 
Oct 6, 2014
3,685
1
0
So, to continue, as a *huge* Mass Effect fan that's been following the series since the very first trailer went public in 2005, it feels like Mass Effect to me. I hold the series dear, so I was slightly worried if the game could reignite that feeling I had with the first game. So far, it does.
That's it. That's it right there. All I ever needed to hear. :)
 

Jibbed

Member
Jun 11, 2011
4,391
0
0
Woking, UK
There were several scenes with strong synth that I heard and it reminded me of ME1. Personally like the music myself, certainly wouldn't say it's bland.


I never played TO1886 prior to launch nor did I give any impressions of its gameplay.
Any other notable similarities to ME1 versus the sequels?
 

OrbitalBeard

Member
Jun 2, 2013
24,901
5
0
Any chance of a tldr?
"I'm incredibly excited for you all to experience the massive, engaging world of Mass Effect Andromeda, launching on March 21st, 2017 on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One all-in-one entertainment device, and PC!"
 

Markitron

Is currently staging a hunger strike outside Gearbox HQ while trying to hate them to death
Aug 24, 2010
12,116
5
810
have a week booked off in April for this, on blackout now so couldn't read Shinobi's more detailed impressions, appreciate the effort though OP. The comparisons to ME1 are very encouraging.
 

Andodalf

Gold Member
Oct 20, 2013
3,975
4,657
840
23
Earth
"I'm incredibly excited for you all to experience the massive, engaging world of Mass Effect Andromeda, launching on March 21st, 2017 on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One all-in-one entertainment device, and PC!"
lol. Shinobi is one of the most trusted members here.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.