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Mass Effect: Andromeda

#1
(I have not found another topic on it here, please merge if one does exist)

Now, Mass Effect Andromeda being less than a month away, I would like to hear your thoughts about the sequal to its great predecessors.
Do you think the game will hold up to the likes of Mass Effect 2, or be more like the ending of Mass Effect 3 ;)

I have just found that IGN preview clip on one of the loyalty missions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9rwdaI8rCo

I must say, that I have some worries now, given the (beforehand great) writing in a Bioware titel. It came out quite immature in my opinion.
And there was a constant hand holding of the player (its not an early tutorial mission).
Other parts of the game mechanics (having back that rover and more free-roming exploring) are actually things I look forward too.

Switching character abilities is something that might sound great, but I fear that it actually leads to playing the path of lowest resistance,
and not trying to explore a fixed character archetype to solve a problem.

Still, its going to be an influential titel to talk about. Lets see if Bioware a engage us as with many of its former titles.

Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#2
Against my will, I find I'm actually looking forward to this one.

I also enjoyed the rover from the original Mass Effect. :) But I'm much more pleased by what I hear is the overall narrative concept for why they're going to Andromeda: because they're curious, and want to explore.

That is terrifically satisfying to me after the tired Malthusian of most science fiction CRPGs: humans are an overpopulous cancer, destroyed Earth, survivors escape to a new world, yawwwwwn. (I'm looking directly at you, unimaginative designers of Civilization: Beyond Earth.) Mass Effect: Andromeda will apparently (from what I've read) highlight the positive Western attitude of curiosity about the universe as its reason why these characters are headed for adventure. Assuming BioWare's writers don't screw that up with some heavy-handed message, it gives me a reason to be excited again about a new BioWare game.

I mean, I'm assuming the gameplay itself will be tolerable. ;) But that's not why people play BioWare games after Baldur's Gate II, I'd say.

Hmm. I'm going to need more bits from my ISP....

Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#3
Lets see if the main theme "visiting a new galaxy" is the actual heart of the story, or just a story device to not get into conflict with the established universe and have a blank slate for the writers.
Its not that easy to make it plausible (for EVERY personality on this barge) to have had the motivation to leave the old world for good without a return ticket.

Its a bit like this "Mars One" scenario.

Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#5
Flatfingers wrote:Against my will, I find I'm actually looking forward to this one.

I also enjoyed the rover from the original Mass Effect. :) But I'm much more pleased by what I hear is the overall narrative concept for why they're going to Andromeda: because they're curious, and want to explore.

That is terrifically satisfying to me after the tired Malthusian of most science fiction CRPGs: humans are an overpopulous cancer, destroyed Earth, survivors escape to a new world, yawwwwwn. (I'm looking directly at you, unimaginative designers of Civilization: Beyond Earth.)
Yesssss
Mass Effect: Andromeda will apparently (from what I've read) highlight the positive Western attitude of curiosity about the universe as its reason why these characters are headed for adventure. Assuming BioWare's writers don't screw that up with some heavy-handed message, it gives me a reason to be excited again about a new BioWare game.
In recent years (i.e. the last two or three) I get the impression that perhaps writers aren't falling for this stereotype anymore, but I say this without direct evidence and probably a good dose of wishful thinking. Nothing kills the mood more than "oh, the humans/stand-ins for humans are the bad guys again?" and, maybe more importantly to the writers, it imposes an immediate polarity on the storytelling that makes it generally very predictable. Regardless of the politics, implicit or otherwise, aesthetically it fails these days, and they need another direction.

Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#6
I believe it can be done right. I just don't think it is, most of the time. Anything with black-and-white thinking is usually poorly done (in my opinion) and things seem to be better-written when in varying shades of gray.
Spoiler:      SHOW
As an example:
In REKT, humanity started out brokering a peaceful coexistence with nearby alien races in the galaxy after discovering FTL travel, but as border friction increased, both sides began trying to claim the same star systems between them, until the aliens got sick of it and basically "enslaved" humanity, becoming the new government "to keep the humans under control". After which, humanity eventually revolted, overthrew the aliens, and proceeded to systematically wipe them from the galaxy - a tale of revenge and paranoia taken too far, if you will.

In a more black-and-white universe, without taking the history into account, humanity could be thought of as "the bad guys" in this scenario, at the time REKT takes place (3152). That would be a terribly over-simplified way of putting it, though. I wouldn't consider REKT's humanity "evil" by any means - they're just afraid the alien races will band together and try to enslave them again/wipe them out (which, to be honest, is very likely to happen if they were given the opportunity).

Thinking of humanity as a singular character helps tremendously in visualizing this sort of grand-scale plot, but you must never forget the individuals that make it possible.
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Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#7
Talvieno wrote:I believe it can be done right. I just don't think it is, most of the time. Anything with black-and-white thinking is usually poorly done (in my opinion) and things seem to be better-written when in varying shades of gray.
Spoiler:      SHOW
As an example:
In REKT, humanity started out brokering a peaceful coexistence with nearby alien races in the galaxy after discovering FTL travel, but as border friction increased, both sides began trying to claim the same star systems between them, until the aliens got sick of it and basically "enslaved" humanity, becoming the new government "to keep the humans under control". After which, humanity eventually revolted, overthrew the aliens, and proceeded to systematically wipe them from the galaxy - a tale of revenge and paranoia taken too far, if you will.

In a more black-and-white universe, without taking the history into account, humanity could be thought of as "the bad guys" in this scenario, at the time REKT takes place (3152). That would be a terribly over-simplified way of putting it, though. I wouldn't consider REKT's humanity "evil" by any means - they're just afraid the alien races will band together and try to enslave them again/wipe them out (which, to be honest, is very likely to happen if they were given the opportunity).

Thinking of humanity as a singular character helps tremendously in visualizing this sort of grand-scale plot, but you must never forget the individuals that make it possible.
I agree with you, but the track record for subtlety in this department is pretty bad. REKT doesn't apply because it's intelligently written.

This is overly cynical of me. But I do still think that a fundamentally positive outlook on exploration rather than trying to shoehorn a THIS IS WHY COLONIALISM IS BAD message in there would be greatly refreshing.

Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#9
REKT sounds fine; what I'm talking about are the games in which the narrative basis for the conflict or challenge is that "humans nearly destroyed themselves [probably because of greedy corporations, ssssssss]."

Just on its own, I think that's overused. It stopped being an interesting challenge framing device for games a long time ago. But I personally get even grumpier when I actually hear the developers acknowledging that they're pushing this narrative in a game not solely for gameplay utility but because they personally believe it's true of humans -- excluding themselves, of course -- today.

If a game developer wants to make a Message game, awesome. I'm all for that. Game developers should be free to make Message games if they want to. But they'd better be honest with me and tell me it's their intent, and don't even think about complaining when I decide not to give them any of my money for the privilege of having a Message rubbed in my face.

Sigh. This stuff makes it sound like I'm a grump, always unhappy and looking for things to complain about. Not so! I'm generally a "bright side" kind of guy, with respect to games as to most things, as I think many of my comments on Skyfligher's podcast will attest. But I also think it's important to look for areas where computer games can improve, and not to be shy about saying so, perhaps strongly but not I hope in a mean way.

I really am looking forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda! Honest! :D

Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#12
The story plot: "earth run by ruthless corporations / fascist dictatorship / overpopulated polluting human race" vs "naive good hearted tribal alien / hight-tech but no-war good hearted aliens" is an easy plot device. Quick to explain and understand.
In a movie you dont have much time to explain the background scenario and introduce all your heros and antagonists.

Thrown in a corporate representative (wants to exploit the aliens for profit) / or military agent (wants to keep something dangeros to use it as a weapon), and you have your
well established story framework.

Its true, in a game the developers would have much more time to set up the background of a story. But that also would need a lot more writing and ingame representation (expensive).

Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#13
MrPerson wrote:
Lum wrote:It will my first Mass Effect. I hope it'll be a good game to start :ghost:
Oh man, let me know when you get around to playing the originals, those games are fantastic!
The problem is that I'm not good with the kind of gameplay the other games were focused on. I know that the stories and characters were great, but I didn't like the gameplay. Since Andromeda will be open world, maybe I can take the time to improve myself and learn to enjoy the gameplay mechanics enough to enjoy the game as a whole, not only the cutscenes and the time in the ship *shrugs*
I have been - and always shall be - your friend.

Re: Mass Effect: Andromeda

#14
Lum wrote:
MrPerson wrote:
Lum wrote:It will my first Mass Effect. I hope it'll be a good game to start :ghost:
Oh man, let me know when you get around to playing the originals, those games are fantastic!
The problem is that I'm not good with the kind of gameplay the other games were focused on. I know that the stories and characters were great, but I didn't like the gameplay. Since Andromeda will be open world, maybe I can take the time to improve myself and learn to enjoy the gameplay mechanics enough to enjoy the game as a whole, not only the cutscenes and the time in the ship *shrugs*
Didn't they say it wasn't open world?
That maps might be large, but not open world as such.
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