Chacha's Honest Game Reviews
My Mass Effect, impressions a few days later.
Alright everyone, so as most of you know, I have been a staunch defender of the 'wait and see' mentality when approaching Mass Effect Andromeda. I always ignore the wave of hate that people often bandwagon on without any evidence or experience with an issue to back it up, and simply do so to troll and get attention (especially at game launch these days).
This review is spoiler free so read away.
I wanted to give myself a solid 24hrs with the game before finalizing thoughts along with first impressions. Free of anything but my own experiences and thoughts.
Since this list is shorter, I will lead off with it.
The story does indeed start slowly and introduces a bunch of hollow characters I could care less about, but the situations and overall backdrop to the game are very interesting and seems to be picking up steam rapidly. The story does start to become more immersive after a few planet missions on the Tempest, the whole backdrop to it is very intriguing to me.
The combat mechanisms in this game are top notch, and while the tech/skill development in this game is a bit confusing on how you obtain and build stuff for it... Once you learn, it's actually pretty great and it let's you be real diverse with your main character and supporting cast. The combat gameplay is really a nice gem, and while the AI is still exploitable af in combat, I enjoy it thoroughly and it suits my preferences (which often align with the Infiltrator tool set).
The multiplayer has been pretty great so far and actually feels good, only spent a few hours in it though, but I can see myself still enjoying it with a group of friends. It's basically an improved version of ME3's mp modes.
The 4K/HDR textures and frame rate on the ps4 pro experience have been pleasing for the most part. The alien landscapes and environments have been impressive and the lighting on ANYTHING BUT THE CHARACTERS has been fairly well done. There is some frame drops when you are driving around in the Nomad running over shit, but moving at a high rate of speed and drawing in super high poly/ultra res textures is gonna be a chore no matter what machine you play on. The PS4 pro has delivered on the most of the enhancements I expected, but I feel like the developer still catered to the lowest common denominator and didn't allow for enough differences between the ps4 and ps4 pro gameplay experience.
Well, where the fuck do I begin?
Let's address what the internet already hates, the faces and eye/lip movement of the (human especially) characters... Wow, it's truly awful. And while that is not necessarily something I care about when it comes to me liking a game overall, the rest of the problems in the game feel compounded by this constant reminder of a team that completely failed to deliver when developing this game. Whoever oversaw and approved the facial/hair modeling, eye movement, walk cycles and conversation gestures: SHOULD BE FIRED. Five fucking years, five flippity flippin' goddamn years it took you to make this bleepin' game and THIS is what you deliver me? BUG EYED, FLAT TEXTURED, BADLY LIT, MATTED HAIR HAVING, FUGLY LOOKING NEANDERTHAL FACES!?!!? I spent THIRTY FUCKING MINUTES trying to make my character look as LEAST offensive to my eyes as possible AND THIS IS WHAT I GET? (see pics below)
I mean wow, it lived up to the flaming internet hype there. But damn I don't let something like whatIhavetolookat90%ofthecutscenesanddialoguesinthisgame *that* ruin a game for me. THAT IS PETTY.
I mean, fucking fire that team and may they only work on licensed spongebob games for the rest of their lives. #Noexcuses
So onto the next thing, Game Breaking Glitches...
This game is chocked FULL of them. I have been trapped in a room on my own ship that they did not bother to program an exit button for until an NPC inhabits said room later and occupied it. I have merged with inanimate objects while loading into an area and am not able to escape from them, I have had loading screens freeze the game more than a few times, I have had enemies spawn inside of walls and objects that made them unable to be killed and disallowed me from removing myself from combat until a cutscene hit, I have picked up items that were bugged and actually give me nothing from chests and the list goes on...
Now, I have played every Bioware rpg there is, and most of these complaints are not actually very surprising to me. Their testing system has been and apparently always will be ass. But this again, compounds the rest of the shit to detract from this being a good game.
Now to the real mete of it all for me - The extremely boring opening scenes and the hollow characters/npcs that almost no one could give a fuck about. I honestly could not care about any character in this game they all suck so far, most of their voiceacting sucks too; and not one of them has anything intriguing going for them. I don't even know half their names and I have been using them in my squad for many hours now. They are simply 'black guy', 'butch bitch', 'krogan wrex wannabe', 'asari girl', 'new alien guy' and the list goes on...
Their design is boring. Their backgrounds are boring and analogous to previous ME character tropes from the first 3. And therein lies something that truly irks me: What I loved about the originals, was the freshness and originality of a lot of the character designs/backgrounds and their interesting interactions with my story and the overall story (not ALLLLL of them, but most). The previous trilogy had a lot of characters and stories that really pulled you in to what made them tick and you cared what happened to them.
This game in nearly 20 hrs of play, has failed to do that even once for me. I don't even like my main character, though now that the story is warming up, maybe she will win me over? Who knows, but the whole boring opening scenes and the lack of an immersive atmosphere in the first scenes (all characters standing around in the same bowlegged poses, slackjawed and stupid looking) really detracted from the type of beginning that is supposed to pull a player in...not make them begrudgingly trudge through it to MAYBE get to something better in the future.
So pile all that together and it makes it hard for one to look past the flaws and get to the thing that you are supposed to do when gaming~ enjoying yourself.
There were other minor gripes, like lack of explanation on many mechanics that needed to be used before you could read up on them or tutorial style missions that were present in the past games, poor descriptions on them when there were and some buggy menu stuff, but we shall see if that continues to plague this game as I march on.
My hopes for the future. It's my belief while this game isn't terrible, it has not been good enough in the first 20 hours to pull in anyone but hardcore fans. A lot of the glitches and awful character models/faces/animations CAN be patched... but I don't know if they will be.
I hope that the story becomes epic enough to pull me in, and my review in one week will have a different light to shine upon the game and raise it up. I don't give up on shit just because it was a rough outing on my first try. :)
I am still optimistic for the overall game experience and won't pass judgement until it's all said and done. The first 20 hours have been underwhelming to say the least, but I don't preclude the possibility of it all getting better and the story creating anticipation/desire for another entry into the series.
Thanks for reading all. I leave you with my thoughts while enduring some of the early "dialogue" in this game.