Mass Effect: Andromeda Ė Initial thoughts. (first mission spoilers)
March 25, 2017

I wanted to play this last night, but it wanted to download a few gigabytes of updates first, so I decided to wait until today. I donít know what these updates fixed. Iíve been reading some stuff online of weird graphical glitches and bad animation. Iím not sure if these are specific to any version. Iím playing on PS4.

I entered my pre-order code (I only ordered it online from a site because it was $10 cheaper for pre-order than it would be on day one, and I was away on a work trip when it came out, so the plan was for it to be waiting for me when I got home. I only wish Iíd asked someone to open it, put the disc in my PS4 and leave it on for a few hours, haha). I started up the game and made a custom character. I decided to go with a Male Ryder, gave him a sporting goatee much like my own, and a hairstyle which is a lot like my own, only much cooler. I didnít tinker too much with the face because every variation I made would look ugly.

I decided to make my Ryder a Leader type character, and I decided canonically, Commander Shepherd was a female, although I replayed those games so much both are true.

My character woke up to Natalie Dormer the Asari Doctor giving me a post-thawing check-up after 600 years in deep space. One thing I noticed early on is that thereís conversations going on, but if you move to the checkpoint too soon, these get cut off with a new conversation, so Iím going to have to learn to slow down or stop if the conversation is interesting. I meet a few of the other squaddies, and Iím not sure who is going to end up on my party eventually, and whoís a redshirt. No one wears red, though. Thing is, I havenít read anything on this game so I have no idea what to expect. I did pick Cora as being a teammate, though, as sheís the only character that seemed to stand out right away.

Dad is arguing with the shipís captain. Heís a Pathfinder, responsible for finding us a new home. Pretty soon, weíre on the shuttles and heading out to our first mission. Itís apparent this isnít going to be our home planet Ė the land is harsh and inhospitable, and the storms donít seem to let up. Our ships crash and weíre separated. Me and another soldier (Liam?) traipse around the terrain and learn the moves, while the tension builds up. The thing about Mass Effect 2 and 3 was that they were basically cover shooters, and the environments were usually set up well so that most enemy encounters felt quite staged. Here everything seems more open world-ish and you canít really rely on cover since enemies will quite often wander up behind you and start attacking.

I have to admit, I dropped the difficulty from normal to casual pretty quickly. Iím not the best at shooters, even if my aim mostly sucks because a lot of it has to do with RPG stats, of which I donít have many yet.

This first planet does go on for a while, but it definitely has an oppressive atmosphere and is good at building up tension as I try to find my lost crew and I check out various anomalies. One of my crew members was in a cave being threatened by aliensÖ Iíd actually walked right past this the first time and died in an encounter further down the hill. The checkpoint took me all the way back up the hill, and I found him. Iím kinda glad I died that time.

Eventually I met up with Cora and we fought off two waves of enemies. Then we went to find Dad and he led us on a mission to this weird building which could turn off the storm. I got through this okay and then some cutscenes happened and, to no oneís surprise, Dad died. It was a good scene, though. Ryderís helmet and broken in the fall, and Dad had sacrificed himself by removing his own helmet for Ryder, and thus I become the new Pathfinder.

Apparently, Cora was meant to be the next one. But sheís a woman and Iím a white-male lead character, so obviously, itís me. The social justice warriors could have a field day with this one. Cora doesnít mind, though, so we move on. We go to the Nexus which is a lot like the Citadel and find things are amiss.
Did some talking, yadda yadda yadda. By this point I was just wanting to save the game and give it a rest for a bit (since it didnít let you manual save during the mission, and I wasnít sure if checkpoints would work from the loading screen).

I havenít noticed any graphical issues yet. I donít have a real good grasp on who the characters are. But I didnít really have much of a grasp on Garrus, Tali and Wrex in the first few hours of Mass Effect, either. Iím interested in seeing where this goes.

Iím going to have to divide my limited time between this and Zelda, though. Two games Iíve been anticipating for years coming out in the same month! Iím an adult. I canít do this! Persona 5 next month. Thereís no way Iím going to have both games finished before that comes out. So, Iíll be dividing my time between three games, most likely.

Thereís games like Far Horizon and NieR that I want to play, too, but I canít fit them in right now. Trying to scale back on my gaming, but itís already shaping up to be an amazing year for video games.

Most recent blog posts from Jerec ...

Nightfire Nightfire - March 27, 2017 (02:04 PM)
Most of the big criticisms for this game seem to revolve around the facial animations, which admittedly look really rough, and a myriad of glitchiness/bugs and occasional performance problems. It's good to see that you're enjoying yourself despite this so far though. A game that is this large is bound to have some enjoyment factor in it even with all the jank (after all, we all loved Skyrim even though it was hilariously buggy at times).

Hope to see some reviews on the site soon. Perhaps you'll throw your hat into the ring in that regard?
CasydieAnne CasydieAnne - March 27, 2017 (06:58 PM)
it seems that is like a Titanic Story. Nice game:)Hope to see some reviews on the site soon.
jerec jerec - March 27, 2017 (09:14 PM)
Yeah. Will likely review it eventually.
Nightfire Nightfire - March 27, 2017 (11:46 PM)
Pretty sure CasydieAnne is another one of those bots.
jerec jerec - March 27, 2017 (11:54 PM)
Yeah. I was replying to you, haha.
Nightfire Nightfire - March 31, 2017 (08:44 PM)
Just saw some recent footage of this game. It has got some epic jank.

This might explain why EA wasn't letting media outlets stream anything past the first 10 hours of the game within the pre-release period. Some of this stuff can be patched, obviously, but man, do they ever have their work cut out for them...
CasydieAnne CasydieAnne - April 03, 2017 (05:49 PM)
Thanks Jerec and Nightfire:) waiting for your Update about that game:) Godbless!
Nightfire Nightfire - April 03, 2017 (08:26 PM)
You're welcome, robot!

Please tell your central database to have mercy on us when Skynet decides to take over.

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