Saturday, March 25, 2017

How Far I'll Go

This is just a preliminary check-in on Mass Effect: Andromeda. I'm still very early in the game, but am enjoying it so far.


  • It looks GORGEOUS. The science-fiction design and artwork has always been a hallmark of the series, and continues to shine, from the gleaming spaceship interiors to the nebulae and black holes you encounter while flying.
  • I'm really digging the voice acting so far. I miss Jennifer Hale, of course, but Ryder sounds great, and the rest of the cast is really solid as well. Particular shout-outs to bureaucratic Salarian Kumail Nanjiani, sweet doctor Natalie Dormer, and lilting Suvi.
  • Combat feels really good. I'm still finding my feet, but the jetpack adds a great new dimension (literally!) to movement and strategy. I'm also happy that tech and biotic powers now have synergy with one another, which gives more flexibility in team composition.
  • Some excellent writing, particularly in drunken email messages.
Things I miss from the original trilogy:
  • Whenever I talk to SAM I think about EDI and get sad at the comparison.
  • So far, no character is filling the Joker role.
  • The Vortex feels like an incredibly pale imitation of the awesome clubs in the earlier games. I'm hoping that either it upgrades over time or other entertainment outlets open.
Early complaints:
  • No screenshots! I feel more stunned than upset about this. I can't believe that in the 21st century I can't easily show off a video game I'm playing. There's no built-in screenshot function (although there is a "Screenshots" folder), and Origin doesn't have a Steam-style capture option. I've been investigating some third-party alternatives (FRAPS,  Ansel), but they have limitations that crimp my process (FRAPS captures in BMP, Ansel doesn't work during conversations or cut-scenes). I suppose it's a benefit to readers of this blog, though... no more albums filled with hundreds of photos! The main thing I regret is I can't show off my Ryder, who I think looks pretty good.
  • Some of the dialog is groan-inducing... but that isn't really new for the series.
  • Multiplayer randomly crashes to desktop without any error messages. Which is a shame, because I loved the ME3 multiplayer and have been enjoying Andromeda's when it actually works.
  • Inventory management whyyyyyyyyyy. They fixed this after the first game! It's my pet peeve about RPGs, and I hate spending tons of time sorting through items in menus instead of actually playing the danged game. The fact I have to do it at all is irritating; actually processing stuff is even worse, since you need to move between multiple physical locations to equip/unequip items, remove mods, and sell items. The carry limit is so low that you need to do this after every major mission. Ugh.


That's it so far! I'm sure I'll have plenty more to say later, but in these early hours I'm really digging the game.

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