Hangout: Mass Effect Andromeda – It’s over!

By Shamus Posted Thursday Mar 16, 2017

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 84 comments

Well, that was fun. Thanks to everyone who joined in.

I found myself feeling WAY less negative than I anticipated. Even watching the game with the sound turned down and missing most of the story, I found quite a bit of stuff that I liked. I might get this once it’s patched up after release.


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84 thoughts on “Hangout: Mass Effect Andromeda – It’s over!

  1. The Rocketeer says:

    Aw, rats. I used to love Twentysided streams, hanging out in the comments and trying to make the hosts laugh.

    Now my Internet is so bad, I can’t really follow streams. I’m still looking forward to the VOD upload, so thanks for taking the time.

  2. Phantos says:

    “We won’t do anything about Mass Effect: Andromeda”

    That wasn’t even a week ago. :P

    1. gunther says:

      I think Shamus’s about-turn is because everyone assumed it would be just OK and thus uninteresting to write about, but early reviews are calling it outright bad… which is far more promising from the perspective of someone who writes critically about video games.

      You can get a heck of a lot more material out of a bad game than you can a mediocre one.

    2. Shamus says:

      1) The animations are SUPER janky, which is fun to laugh at.
      2) The story doesn’t seem to be nearly as stupid as I feared.

      If the game had been a total disaster then there would be no reason to cover it, but now it’s looking kind of “earnest, flawed, and hilariously animated.” That’s good for conversation.

      1. Bloodsquirrel says:

        Let’s be fair, the story hasn’t had the chance to be stupid yet. So far it’s just been a lot of dry exposition.

        What’s striking me is that the game doesn’t seem to be establishing any kind of tone or theme. They’ve been so lazy about reusing the existing ME visual style and narrative presentation that I couldn’t tell you what kind of story they’re trying to tell yet. It’s as dry as the first ME while having magic triangles and Indian medicine man powers.

        1. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

          Are graphics still made out of millions of triangles?

          1. I can’t handle the eyes. They don’t seem to focus on anything, and no one seems to have any natural facial movements.

            Is it sad that some AAA games can’t do more natural character animation than Half Life 2?

      2. Christopher says:

        I left this stream more positive about the game, really. The jank is back and humans look awful like always, but it helps to see more of the environments, the jetpack, the action and the story.

        My gripe so far is with the characters. I’ve watched streams that go further into the game. While it’s nice that none of the party members are introduced by crushing someone’s head under their heel or slitting someone’s throat Mass Effect 2 style, they don’t leave much of an impression. Except for looks-wise, and not exactly a great impression. Bioware should make better looking characters, either through animation, lighting, design or modeling or whatever. I don’t think it’s too much to ask of a game that wants you to look at zoom-ins on characters’ faces for all conversations and think they’re attractive and nice enough to have a relationship with them. Maybe Blizzard could be convinced to let Bioware borrow their models and animators for an Overwatch RPG. Still, it’s a long game, with plenty of time to expand on those characters. It’s not like the ME1 dudes were exactly riveting from first scene either.

        Anyway, it doesn’t look nearly bad enough to warrant a complete disaster. I’m interested in seeing some more coverage of it at the very least, so I’m happy you’re giving it more of a go.

      3. Zak McKracken says:

        I’ve looked at a few of those videos (missed the hangout, sadly), and it seems as if the animators simply forgot that people move their heads while talking. The characters’ lip and facial movements are not actually terrible, it’s just that as soon as they start speaking, the rest of their bodies more or less freeze.
        (not quite, but they go into “stand around, do nothing” mode — unlike actual people would).

      4. Erik M Stutzman says:

        The “Andromeda Initiative” was founded in 2176, less than 20 years after discovering the Charon relay. So in less than 20 years humanity went from “OMG the stars are open to us” to “this is boring, let’s leave for Andromeda instead”?

        That right there seems to be a stake of stupidity in the heart of the game, never mind that they apparently weren’t even fleeing the Reapers (which hadn’t arrived in force yet at launch time). What was the rush to travel 600 years on a one-way trip, and why is it that apparently only humans have been interested enough to do so ?

  3. LapnLook says:

    I played the 10 hours of trial time very slowly, exploring and scanning everything, going through all the dialogue with everyone, (and reading the codex). The game actually ISN’T as schlocky as you guys have experienced. A lot of the crazy and/or seemingly lazy stuff is explained within the rules of Mass Effect 1, and there’s a buuuunch of foreshadowing everywhere.

    But the game could fall apart by the end, I’ve only played until the middle of the first explorable planet.

    And yes, the intro sucks. But that’s kind of a Bioware standard at this point

  4. Bloodsquirrel says:

    Mass Effect: Andromeda: Quality Animations!

    1. Volvagia says:

      Was that, around 2:04, a punch, blatantly not connecting, in a VIDEO GAME!? HOW does that ship? Did someone at the end of production say something like this, “AGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! We’ll never complete it well! Not For Anyone! URGGGGGGGH!!!!!”

      1. Syal says:

        After the KOTOR season and playing Jade Empire, I think Bioware’s strength is the cheesy B-Movie genre. That missed punch might actually be intentional.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Was that, around 2:04, a punch, blatantly not connecting

        But of course.We wouldnt want the actors to get hurt.

      3. Christopher says:

        Look, even the professionals don’t wanna get hurt. It’s a performance and they’re selling it as best they can. I’ve done the same for high school video assignments. It’s rough work!

    2. Mephane says:

      This was a weird experience. In some moments the facial expressions and movement seemed rather genuine and (for me) already on the far side of the uncanny valley. In other moments it’s like an animatronic puppet with only the lips moving. And this goes for both human and non-human characters.

      Well, and then there is the silly stuff like NPCs trying to walk through the wall and the pistol held backward, lol.

  5. Tizzy says:

    “You need a reason for the player character to be able to go anywhere.”

    Yes, but that’s kinda why I lost interest in Bioware game. Fed up with all these guys sitting around on their asses waiting for me to show up and solve all their problems.

    1. Christopher says:

      I don’t even really feel like you need this. You’re just some dude in Chrono Trigger and Tales of Vesperia. You’re just kids who are good at magic in Golden Sun. You’re a bodyguard in Tales of Symphonia and Final Fantasy X. Link is just some kid to most everyone he meets in Legend of Zelda and he gets tons of shit(despite actually being some kind of reincarnated hero), but he does good work and get things done so people warm up to him. I’m not very knowledgable about the Witcher, but I thought Geralt was pretty much just a very dedicated and well-bred monster slayer. Hawke in Dragon Age 2 wasn’t anyone special either. I don’t see why you need to have your own army and castle like in Inquisition, it just raises the question of why you’re still bothering to gather all your own herbs.

      On a different note, what bothered me most during these hours of gameplay was that there was a Dragon Age Inquisition-style rift in the sky you had to close, only it was blue and not green.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Heck,even shepard in ME1 wasnt that special until she got prothean code in her brain.Circumstances making the character unique is a much better reason than them being the chosen one.

        1. Christopher says:

          Like, fair’s fair, in Inquisition you get the ability to close demonic rifts because you stumble in on the villain during a dramatic moment by accident. And in this game you’re only chosen by exactly one person, your own dad. It’s the royal treatment I’ve got an issue with. It never bothered me that you’re psychic James Bond in ME1 because most people don’t treat you like God’s gift to humanity and the council hinders you at every turn.

          Also your cabin is reasonably sized and not like a massive living room, like Andromeda’s.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wow this opening is bad.

    Shamus,you have to play this.I cant wait to read all the things youll have to say about the stupid dialogue in this intro mission.

  7. Tizzy says:

    So, I come in halfway in to see Josh exterminating a bunch of literally “Unknown” lifeforms. Now I’m curious: how are they planning to do the whole “colonist” thing in the game without it having a tasteless subtext of “genocide of the locals”?

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      Well, the “Unknowns” aren’t locals. They’re a different bunch of explorers with itchy trigger fingers.

      1. Christopher says:

        Quite. Bioware are the people who put black people in their medieval fantasy, have parties full of people of every race and gender for you to romance and put in a trans person last time. They’re not making a colonization game. So the obvious solution is to have the Kett be invaders who came there before you and messed stuff up for the locals. It’s like every One Piece arc, except these humans are looking to settle somewhere sympathetic after the conflict rather than move on to the next adventure. Repelling the Kett and asking the locals very nicely for a planet they aren’t using in return seems as nice a solution as any.

        1. Bloodsquirrel says:

          Yeah, god forbid we have to face any sort of hard moral questions like “Would we settle on an already populated planet that didn’t want us to save the human race?”

          1. Leocruta says:

            Humanity’s not particularly inclined to martyrdom, so the answer is yes. Absolutely.

            Besides, that question wouldn’t really benefit a game about exploration and colonization, where it would come up fairly early and doesn’t leave a lot of story potential if you decide your principles are more important than your life.

            I must admit though, between having such a choice or going the bioware route, I would prefer the former.

            1. ehlijen says:

              Sure, a game that’s asking upfront: Do you want to play this game or die? wouldn’t be offering a truly interesting choice (though some players might still appreciate it).

              What if the question becomes ‘settle here and displace these people, or try your luck next system?’ or ‘which of these inhabited planet will you try to colonise on?’ and of course ‘how nice are you going to be about it’?

              Those questions can make for an interesting game.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                It doesnt have to be a choice at all in order to explore the moral quandaries of displacing the natives.

                1. Tektotherriggen says:

                  That might be an interesting choice for a 4X game – incidentally, are there any of these that attempt a karma meter or similar?

                  On the other hand, folks might think it a bit insensitive if a “Commit Colonial Genocide Y/N” box pops up.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Galciv 2 and 3 have things like this.Though the good/bad ethics arent as fleshed out in 2,in 3 theres plenty of reasons to pick either good or bad,or remain neutral*.You get good points for leaving the indigenous population alone,neutral for squeezing them a bit,and evil for exterminating/enslaving them.And on top of those,there are often some other ramifications,like extra happiness on the planet if you pick the good option,but less space for building.Or more production but more unhappiness if enslave them.Etc.And it also varies from planet to planet.Some may have no life,some may have special predators,some may have intelligent plants,…..

                    *In galciv 2 the bonuses for picking the ethics were rather weak and came late in the game.In galciv 3,as soon as you get your first ethics point,you can invest them in special bonuses.Stuff like extra colony ships for good choice,extra trade for neutrals,or extra combat ships for evil.And those were the first tier bonuses,which are pretty strong for the start of the game.Later,there are some way more powerful things,like gaining a huge gaia type planet or a death star.

                  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    On the other hand, folks might think it a bit insensitive if a “Commit Colonial Genocide Y/N” box pops up.

                    ME1 handled the issue rather nicely with the rachni queen choice.

          2. Christopher says:

            You probably have the option of asking the locals very rudely for a planet they aren’t using, too.

          3. Harper says:

            I know the Bioware writers aren’t particularly good with math, but they can still comprehend the scale of a galaxy, right?
            That’s the kind of choice that doesn’t seem needs to be made, epecially with how life-supporting the Mass Effect universe as a whole tends to be

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              I know the Bioware writers aren't particularly good with math, but they can still comprehend the scale of a galaxy, right?

              All the people that had any sense of scale have left the company.

          4. Smiley Face says:

            Wouldn’t be surprised to see that issue come up when you meet the actual locals though. Probably not in the sense of “Should we do this?”, but more in the sense of them being concerned that that’s what the Milky Way folks will do given the chance and that being an obstacle to diplomacy.

      2. el_b says:

        fortunately theyve learned from the first game and it doesnt say rachni when its meant to be a mystery at least lol.

    2. ThirteenthLetter says:

      I really hope we can drop this trope of it somehow being offensive to talk about colonizing another planet.

      1. Tizzy says:

        It’s usually the genocide that offends. Reading the answers above, the posters did a good job of explaining how Bioware set up conflict with the Kett without creating any genocidal colonist vibe (though I’d agree with Bloodsquirrel that it’s a missed opportunity for some truly interesting moral dilemma).

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          We cant have moral dilemma in a bioware game!Then the players could end up having a not so happy ending and then they would riot like the last time.

      2. It’s offensive to the intellect when you look at a galactic setting, because there’s no reason to do it in the sense of “We’re taking this planet from the locals.” There should, mathematically, be loads of planets without sapient life on them to colonize. Heck, there are likely even more with less than perfect environments that could be made habitable with the magical tech they have. Booting someone off of their world is unnecessary, if not evil. On a purely utilitarian level, it’s a waste of energy, life, and resources.

        If they wanted to make it interesting, they could go with the usual “evil in a can” trope, where a planet has some Cthulhu-level big-bad on it, and the people living there aren’t keeping it contained. Maybe they’re a fallen civilization and they can’t keep the technology up that holds the evil in place, or maybe they’re actively trying to release it because if they can’t be top dog in the galaxy, no one will. That gives you a reason for invading and replacing them, trying to convince them to resume their duties, or helping them to get enough status so they’ll get back on the job.

        Now that would be a role-playing game.

    3. guy says:

      As far as I can tell from playing the game, the Kett are salvaging the local precursor tech and would rather gun down crippled humans amidst the flaming wreckage of their shuttlecraft than maybe share. The planets we’re trying to settle are blasted hellholes where lightning bolts murder shuttlecraft due to malfunctioning precursor tech. Since the Kett don’t have lightning-proof shuttles I’m pretty sure they’re not native to them.

      1. guy says:

        Okay, I’ve progressed a bit further and I stand corrected on their motives; I’ve found an autopsy report on some of the colonists they killed that the AI can only translate a few words from, but they seem to carry the gist of it:

        “Lesser species” “unremarkable” and “disposal”

        So, uh, I have a guess as to why we haven’t met any other natives yet.

  8. SneakyBookshelf says:

    Will there be a recording posted later?

    1. 4ier says:

      The most recent broadcast stays up on the twitch channel. It will be replaced the next time they stream, but you can watch it right now if you want.

  9. Hypatia says:

    Wow, those facial animations really are bad.

  10. Gruhunchously says:

    I have to say, I feel a lot better about this game now than I did before seeing it. By the end I was trying to listen to the dialogue over the commentary, which is probably a good sign. There were some dumb bits, the animations are terrible, and none of the characters introduced by this stage really resonated, but that’s standard Bioware fare for both their old and new games. I’m apprehensive that it might all fall to pieces by the end, but it might end up being something worthwhile.

  11. Ninety-Three says:

    I’m baffled as to how the animations are that bad. Obviously someone just stopped caring about quality, but how did that happen? Aren’t there supposed to be checks and balances that ensure someone somewhere is giving a shit about that sort of thing?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The game was made by a different studio than the previous ones,and obviously they werent that experienced when it comes to animation.

      What bugs me the most is that one permanently smiling blond chick.Its especially bad that she is the one who constantly tells you the bad news,while grinning like mad.Why did they do that?

      1. Gruhunchously says:

        They explain it in the dialogue, apparently her face is tired.

        That was either the dumbest or the most secretly brilliant line I’ve heard out of this game.

    2. guy says:

      My guess is that they stopped allocating time for the later passes to clean up and polish animations, so we’re seeing what they looked like 75% of the way through ME1’s dev phase.

  12. Rayen says:

    WOW. i must’ve checked in right before this post went up. I looked to see if anything had posted when i got off of work (~5:15 pm cst) i just reloaded the page to watch ep 2 of dishonored and i missed the announcement and the stream ( 8:30pm cst). missed the whole thing. y’all really need to plan a little further in advance for these things.

  13. el_b says:

    did they leave the milky way before mass effect 1 or 2? cause theyre using thermal clips…and so are the aliens from a completely different galaxy…and theyre compat-okay you know what nevermind, they obviously but as much thought into the mechanics as they did the animations and bug testing lol.

    1. LapnLook says:

      Nope, enemies don’t drop thermal clips. You have to scavenge that stuff from drop pods, Initiative structures, (or dead people I guess, though I haven’t ran into that). I would assume that the opposite would be true of the alien guns: no ammo from Milky Way based areas, but plenty of resources when attacking their bases.

      Also, the Initiative left between Mass Effect 2 and 3 as far as I can tell. You can find a model of the Normandy SR2 in your dad’s room, which is painted in Alliance colors. And Liara seems to have been a respected archeologist by the time Alec met her, which I don’t think happened before ME1

      1. Smiley Face says:

        No, her comments indicate that most people don’t take her work seriously. Dad Ryder just appreciated other eccentrics.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Even watching the game with the sound turned down and missing most of the story

    Well thats why you were less negative than you expected.Maybe that is the perfect way to play mass effect sequels:Just turn down the volume and mindlessly enjoy the fighting.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So why are we building the citadel in this new galaxy?The point of the citadel in the original was that its the nexus for all of the mass relays.But those are reaper tech that we have no idea how to replicate.So why emulate the shape and size of the citadel if we cannot replicate its function?Or did we dream of a way of replicating the mass relay network during our 600 year slumber?

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      From what I gather watching the VOD, the NExus doesn’t have anything to do with the Relays. It was sent to be the center (nexus) of the colonization effort. Probably a way to help jump start the colonization with a place to house the colonial government, and manufacturing until the colonies get on their feet.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Hence my question:Why is it emulating the citadel?Why is it a station anyway?Why not just link the four ships if you want a semi permanent residence in space?

        1. Smiley Face says:

          Who knows? Maybe because there was no guarantee that all the ships would show up – which would be lucky, because as it happens they didn’t. More than likely it contains critical infrastructure that it would be problematic to bring too much of; it was meant to serve as a temporary home until they could find and settle a world if it wasn’t immediate; it probably holds the vast bulk of cryopods. I think it’s that they made the Arks as efficient as they could be, and put everything that would be inefficient onto the Nexus, as well as making it a big space station/government, because that’s the government model that the ME world is familiar with.

  16. Raunomies says:

    Interestingly, there seems to be some differences between review copies and Origin access copies. For example, this streamer was playing review copy at hardest difficulty and the “big baddie reaching for the triforce” scene was longer than it was on your stream, here he does a dramatic exit walk

    So either cutscenes depend on difficulty or game copies at this stage are different.

    1. Thomas says:

      The theory is it’s doing what Dragon Age 2 did. If you take jokey/angry/kind options, the PC give more jokey/angry/kind responses even when you’re not selecting them.

  17. Henson says:

    I would caution people from being too optimistic about this game. Expectations over the last week have been set so low that anything better than a disaster looks good by comparison. And experiencing the game over a Twitch stream is very different from experiencing it by yourself; all the things you don’t notice when talking and listening to friends become apparent when it’s only you.

    I’m not saying it’ll be bad, but don’t set your hopes too high.

  18. Canthros says:

    It’s always fun being part of the peanut gallery. I just wish I ever noticed these things before they’re almost over.

  19. Smiley Face says:

    I think Chris jumped the gun on judging the dead Dad moment – they establish that you were fairly estranged from him, and it’s the first opportunity you’ve had to work with him, so it’s a complicated relationship that’s just starting out, and it lays the ground for some interesting story work where over the course of the story you get to know your dad more once he’s dead than when he was alive through your connection to the SAM AI. Just because he’s your Dad doesn’t mean there’s that particular relationship and that it should ring false that there isn’t immediate emotional devastation – I think it’s a good thing that it goes for something a little more novel. If you don’t work off the assumption that this is a typical parent-child relationship, then the scene makes a good deal of sense.

    1. 4ier says:

      Maybe we’re looking at different things, but the way I understood it, Chris was raging about scene collapse at a cinematography level. They had previously established that a broken helmet was fixable with Space Magic, and then in this scene COMPLETELY ignore that. If they had just cracked the faceplate again, and STARTED using Space Magic to fix it (callback!) and then more cracks started appearing (raised stakes!) and then had the entire faceplate collapse/shatter (OMG DRAMA!) then that part would have worked a lot better. It would show that the writer wasn’t just bullshitting us.
      Part two: Why didn’t they just pass the one helmet back and forth? They established that the air was toxic (eh…kinda…gas was venting OUT of her pressurized suit while it was fixed, and her later dialogue just says “don’t breathe the air”, so a valid interpretation could be that it smells awful but it’s not poisonous.) ANYWAY, they “established” that the air was toxic, but nothing more than that. Commander Ryder was able to sit up and remain conscious for ~10 seconds breathing the air, so the writer absolutely needs to establish why Papa Ryder can’t hold his breath for 10 seconds and take charge of passing the helmet back and forth. I know that Commander lost consciousness shortly after and therefore couldn’t hold her breath, but that’s a writer conceit – we black out so we can have a time skip AND so we can have Papa Ryder’s death be a “noble sacrifice” offscreen instead of watching him coughing and choking while we just lay there. So the writer gets two things they want for the price of Stupid. It’s just as easy to write a scene where Commander doesn’t black out and they can pass the helmet back and forth until the shuttle arrives.
      Here, I’ll fix it. The air is toxic, and causes damage even on contact. Papa Ryder tells you to close your eyes while he takes care of passing the helmet. Cut to the medical bay of the Hyperion, where Papa Ryder is alive, but completely blind now because he couldn’t swap the helmet by touch alone. He’s still the official Pathfinder, but he needs you to be his eyes and make decisions in the field. Maybe when you’re on-mission, the AI can link your senses so he can see what you see. You could even have asshole dialogue options where you “hang up” on him if you want.
      That two-minute idea isn’t perfect, but come on. Did we really need another pointlessly perished protagonist parent?

      1. Smiley Face says:

        In terms of the mechanics of how it all went down, absolutely it could have been written better. They could have established that the omni-gel was effectively a bandaid. They could have made a callout as to the limitations of that so it didn’t seem like infinite space magic. They should definitely have established the helmet’s structural integrity was compromised to the point where it would break if it took another hit, maybe had a different model for the cracked faceplate the whole time, so that when you take another massive hit to the head, it makes sense that the whole thing breaks apart (Frankly, there’s a huge difference between sealing a crack in a mug and repairing the whole damn mug – Space glue can do one fast, not the other, I’m fine with that). This game has a lot of problems on the explaining why things happen front, and I think it will probably critically compromise any plot they try to build on that foundation if they don’t step up their game later, which I doubt.

        With that said, I’d say that what they do with Dad Ryder is a pretty good plot development, and it’s handled reasonably well. I’d say that Kid Ryder passing out is perfectly reasonable, and is only a writing conceit insofar as all plot developments are writing conceits – shit happens. Kid Ryder can’t hold breath while unconscious, helmet swapping is infeasible, Dad sacrifices self. There’s nothing wrong with the writer orchestrating the death of a character as a result of plot developments, and you’ve yet to explain why there’s anything wrong with killing this particular character – yes you could write it another way, but you can write any story another way, you need to justify why the original way is a problem.

        Frankly, your solution causes a whole boatload of problems from a writing standpoint. Your father wouldn’t have linked you to SAM, since that would’ve risked your life, and you wouldn’t be able to develop a relationship with SAM as a way of gaining insight into the relationship you never had with your father, which means you’re cutting away what I would argue is a far more interesting story, as well as neutering what will probably come to be an important plot point, the fact that the Milky Way people brought 4 AIs to the new galaxy, at least one of which grows through a symbiotic relationship with organic life. That would NOT have any impact if it wasn’t you as the main character having it, and there’s no way to justify you and you alone having access to SAM without your father dying and passing the torch. You could argue that the noble sacrifice is overdone, but I’d argue that indicates that it is classic and can be effective, and as long as you can do something novel with it, such as using it as a springboard for a posthumous, transhumanist exploration of an estranged parent-child relationship. I’d say that it’s entirely justifiable.

        Back to Spoiler Warning, the conversation stayed on the dead dad long after that scene, and wasn’t talking about the helmet – it was discussing how the emotional tenor of the scene didn’t strike true, how it didn’t properly fulfill the standard model of establish character-develop relationship with character-kill character to provide motivation, because that’s what these scenes are usually trying to be, particularly if there’s a family member involved. I’m arguing that scene wasn’t trying to be that at all, that it’s doing a rearrangement of that model where they establish character-kill character-develop relationship with character, and that the lack of the expected emotional response serves as a cue that this relationship was not super duper happy fun times, and ease into that narrative arc.

        The problem that Andromeda has is that it’s very bad at telegraphing when it does this sort of thing; it gives you exposition dumps about the wrong sorts of things – mundane things rather than the critical context that you need to understand the implications of events. This is cringingly evident everytime people call you “Pathfinder!” and act excited and defer to your authority, because the game doesn’t explain why people do this in a timely manner (if at all – if they never get around to it, that’s a plot hole the size of the moon).

        1. 4ier says:

          I agree that everything could be considered a writer’s conceit, because every story development comes from a writer.
          I acknowledge that the rest of the story would have to change if Papa Ryder survived.
          I think that his death is unnecessary, and him surviving would make for a more interesting story. We get Dead Parents in stories all the time. “Some kid dad died” if you will. :)
          Linking to an AI could be done for several reasons. If we go with my concept of the Pathfinder needing a sensory link to his ground team, then we can have the AI linked to two minds simultaneously.
          Learning about your father through the equivalent of audio logs… I don’t agree that it’s automatically better than a DIALOGUE (or several!) with him.
          You’re saying the writers are trying to subvert expectations, and you also acknowledge that they’re bad at telling the player what they need to know, so I think it’s reasonable to expect that the player will interpret things in the way that needs the least extrapolation. Thus, the commenters being upset that the death didn’t fit the expected trope. Bioware is well-known for sticking to tropes, after all. :)

  20. Sharnuo says:

    Random thoughts in order of appearance:

    “I’m just gonna turn all the settings up to ultra and hope it doesn’t effect anything…” 1 hour later: “Why am I getting FPS lag?”

    “It would be great if you just translated everything to dark energy” really thought you were gonna say “Translate everything to BUTTS”

    Okay why the hell would they bring the Krogan out here, do you realize how many of them they would have to bring to maintain a viable population with the genophage? Because this is before it was cured…

    1. Smiley Face says:

      The Krogan lady talks about this if you talk to her – their clan was developing a resistance to the genophage, and they underwent gene therapy during the trip to let that resistance develop. The Andromeda Krogan have about 5% viability for pregnancies, which is a lot better than standard genophage birthrate. They were feeling pretty happy about it, then the command structure went to shit, a bureaucratic Salarian got put in charge, the Krogan were promised stuff in exchange for helping put down the mutiny, they never got it, so everybody but the Krogan lady you’re talking to up and left. She is also the granddaughter of the Krogan squadmate you eventually pick up.

      1. MadHiro says:

        The number I’m seeing is 4% viability, but 4% and 5% both mean that the Andromeda galaxy is absolutely screwed. Krogan ladies produced approximately one thousand fertilized eggs a year before the genophage. After the genophage, that gives them 0.1 viable babies a year per lady krogan. With their miraculous and impossible ‘gene therapy’ (against a genophage that was designed specifically to prevent gene therapy from being successful) you’re looking at 40 to 50 viable babies per year per lady krogan. That’s hilariously explosive growth, especially for a race that has the durability and longevity of the krogan.

        1. Smiley Face says:

          Yeah, I was going off memory there. And lol, didn’t realize it would be that much – it’s even sillier when you consider that Krogan thrive even in hostile environments, live for thousands of years, and have bloodlust issues – Andromeda probably is screwed. I mean, they could go the route where the Krogan go through a cultural shift like they had happen in ME3, where they exhibit a consciousness of the problems this could cause and work to control their birth rate – nice krogan lady seems like that might be a viable option; but I very much doubt they’ll specifically address this particular math issue, so that’s one major story screwup. They could try to write some of it off by saying that the mutation also lowers their birthrate somehow, but that would be a serious ass-pull.

          I mean, that kind of control would have to happen IMMEDIATELY, or there would be problems – because even if they wanted to eventually do that, the logical first reaction of the Krogan upon learning this would be to try to have kids, and then you suddenly have a younger generation that outnumbers the entire older generation. I mean hell, it’s a wonder there was ever a Krogan culture at all – 1000 fertilized eggs per year, even if only half of them survive, how the hell do you raise that many kids? Ugh, Mass Effect is always so full of fridge logic.

          1. guy says:

            The Krogan used to have a 99.9% childhood mortality rate.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Ah,so a retcon then.

      3. Thomas says:

        That’s so silly. It was such a big thing in the original trilogy about how difficult it was to reverse the genophage and then it’s basically an offscreen handwave here.

  21. Miguk says:

    Just from watching that I’m shocked at how not-terrible it is. I figured that if all the shills at RPS/PC Gamer/Eurogamer/etc. said it was bad then it must be awful. Those are the same people who were telling us that the ending of Mass Effect 3 was really great.

    The facial animations don’t really look that terrible to me except for when your character is listening or waiting for you to choose a dialogue option. And that “my face is tired” dialogue was so bad that I can’t believe it was written by a native English-speaker, but none of the others jumped out at me as being bad by video game standards.

    The premise seems to potentially be interesting. It sometimes reminded me of Alien Legacy, a game from the ’90s. You go to another star in a slower-than-light ship and expect to find that another ship has already gotten there and founded a colony, but there’s nobody there. You have to search across different planets to find clues what destroyed the first ship before it happens to you too. Hopefully searching for the missing arks in ME:A will have a similar feel.

    But other than a few moments on the Nexus, there was nothing that really drew me in and made me want to explore. KOTOR & ME1 started out slow, but I had a lot of faith that they were going to deliver later on. I have no reason to trust Bioware Montreal.

    1. Sharnuo says:

      It looks pretty much like what Mass Effect has always been, which is HELLA cliche but it does those cliches well enough to at least have a momentary freshness.

      1. Miguk says:

        Old Bioware was great at cliches. KOTOR was more Star Wars-y than Star Wars.

        I’m afraid that Bioware Montreal will either just produce typical dumb videogame story crap or, even worse, make pretentious videogame story crap that imagines it’s on a higher plane. Apparently there’s been a few references to poetry already in the early game. I’m preparing for serious cringe…

  22. Warclam says:

    Looking at the early characters and assessing for romantic possibilities, there’s a definite bias toward females. There’s the Asari doctor, Cora, the captain… For men? You’ve got your brother, your father, and the ship VI. So, not so good.

    EDIT: Ah, I might have spoken too soon. Now we’ve got an engineer and our first squadmate for possible bachelors.

  23. Regarding Chris’ being upset at the ark not being finished when it was launched: That’s actually a concept that some Mars missions have considered. Remember, the more stuff you bring with you, the more fuel you need to propel it. Our own solar system has loads of free-floating resources (i.e. ice in Saturn’s rings gives you water, which gives you hydrogen and oxygen, two fuel sources), so sending an “unfinished” craft someplace, especially when your tech seems to have magical matter-manipulation abilities on a grand scale, isn’t a plot hole.

  24. Joe says:

    I have a buddy who played it, and from what I heard, the plot in general is extremely stupid. And he doesn’t even care much about plot.

  25. Adrian says:

    Are you going to post this on youtube? I missed the hangout, where can I see it?

    1. Christopher says:

      I presume they’re gonna post it at some point, but even if they don’t you can watch it here for the time being

  26. Brandon says:

    Well, that never happened?

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