Tag - mass effect

Mass Effect: Andromeda PS4 Review

Space is big, like way bigger than any game or any series of games can contain, and that is just outer space, let’s not get started on inner space or aquatic space.  As a result the creators of the Mass Effect trilogy were able to craft three amazing games taking up tons of space with well developed characters and still be able to go… hmm where should we start our next trilogy of games? The Andromeda galaxy isn’t that far away in terms of space distances, let’s go there!  And so it was, Mass Effect: Andromeda, a ginormous game of its own was born!

Wakey Wakey!:

Cryosleep, it’s how we are gonna get there, pretty much everyone agrees, and they also agree those first poor buggers who wake up are gonna have a hell of a time with it.  They are gonna be cranky, probably not all hot and daisy fresh like Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Most would wake up with hard jobs and blame they want to pass off for everything that went on during the “welcome back from hibernation” weeks or months.  So you are the new pathfinder, chosen not by the decided process or the per-ordained individual but because your dad realize his was about to buy the farm and he wanted to hitch you to the tractor load.  Nobody seems genuinely happy about this, the best you get is indifference from a crew member who you helped move a couch.  This sounds like it might be spoiler filled but you actually get this unwanted vibe pretty early in the process, and those who do want you want you to help with stuff you should not be doing when there are so many big items on your plate.  If you are a completionist (I can relate often) this will keep you from some of the important tasks, even if not a completionist you might wonder if one of these quests that seem menial might pay off in the endgame.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to do it all but my suggestion would be to try to do that on planets to start with, the resources and goodwill of getting all those cryo-cranks some terra firma between their toes goes a long way towards the good will up on the tin can.  You still probably won’t get much credit for anything going right but you can at least sneer at the computer/television screen.  When it comes to doing things both in ship and planet side it helps to have played the other Mass Effect games for a learning curve but they are by no means necessary.  I actually played them all and as a result plenty of things came natural and there are still a few things that even going with the tutorials I don’t understand what the heck I am supposed to do.  I know that this game has massive amounts of hours to play it, especially if you get into side missions.

This brings me to something I don’t usually remark on too much and that was how much negative press I was seeing pop up on my newsfeeds for this game.  It made me think the game must be pretty short and I kept waiting for it to end soon and disappointingly.  It just wasn’t the case.  Actually the more I played the better I thought the game was.  There is a difficulty curve, new story line angles unlocking as you go and you have the option to play naughty “Captain Kirk” with any species and sex in the whole game.  You can have heavy effects on what happens in the politics involved with the game or not have any play right down the middle trying to keep things as peaceful as possible.  You can make decisions that will reflect how the whole Andromeda Galaxy views the human species… are we explorers trying to find new homes or a military society that is just as comfortable interacting with others by putting a boot on their neck and a gun to their temple if that doesn’t work?  I am still working at side missions in the game and figure I probably will be for a while but I can tell that there is a lot more to this game than most people have probably given attention to and that would give them the wrong feeling about it.  If you don’t get far enough away from the snarky buggers on the main ship the game feels like a downer and not the fledgling battle of a new hero but rather a scapegoat that can be used to wipe whatever you stepped in off on.  This is the story of one person seeing the potential in another over all the opinions of others and you as the player proving that opinion right.  It’s an underdog story, the kind of thing most of us love (Rudy!  Rudy!) I just don’t think most people let it get to that amazing point.

The graphics and scope of maps and scenic locations are excellent and though there were some pretty brutal glitches and some rather large areas where manual saves are blocked and auto saves are painfully separated for the most part everything goes as planned.  I had one point where I fell through the ground and it chose the moment on the other side of the mapping to auto save (it wasn’t until afterwards I really thought it was funny enough I should have captured it) causing me to go back quite a ways but for the most part it wasn’t too bad that way.  Loading seemed pretty nicely quick when you consider the sheer size of these open world maps and how much detail can change in a short distance so that your health melts off you faster than you can run or suddenly a whole bunch of big bad guys have ambushed you.  Going planet side can be slow but again for a lot of the before mentioned reasons.

My big hope is for some releases with some more planets down the road, ugly planets, bug planets…

DON’T PANIC!:

Mass Effect: Andromeda I think is a great game and a nice power starter for a new trilogy of games in a new set of worlds.  We have a hero, we have planets, we have aliens… all we need is our towels.


Mass Effect: Andromeda Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)


 

EA Access Gamers on Xbox One Can Play Mass Effect Andromeda Early

March 16, 2017 – Beginning today, EA Access (available exclusively on Xbox One) members can join the Andromeda Initiative in “Mass Effect: Andromeda” for up to 10 hours before its launch on March 21 with the EA Access Play First Trial. Be among the first to embark on a mission beyond the borders of our known universe, navigate the uncharted reaches of the Andromeda Galaxy to unravel its mysteries, discover vivid alien worlds and lead the charge to find humanity a new home among the stars in this epic space opera.

Not only can EA Access members play upcoming EA games before they’re released, they also save 10% on all EA digital purchases on Xbox One. Plus, members can instantly expand their gaming library with The Vault, a growing collection of EA’s best Xbox One games such as “Star Wars Battlefront,” “Battlefield 4,” the “Mass Effect” trilogy, “Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2,” “Titanfall” and more which they can play as much as they want. And whether via The Vault or Backward Compatibility, Xbox One is the only device where you can play the entire “Mass Effect” saga.

For gamers who haven’t upgraded to Xbox One, but want to jump into “Mass Effect: Andromeda” early with EA Access, there are a variety of Xbox One S bundles for all types of players. In addition to Xbox One S “Battlefield 1” bundles that include a full-game download of “Battlefield 1” and one month of EA Access, there is the Xbox One S Halo Wars 2 Bundle, the Xbox One S Forza Horizon 3 Bundle, the Xbox One S Minecraft Favorites Bundle and more. Regional prices and offers may vary.

For more information, visit Xbox Wire or EA.com.

*Membership to EA Access required in order to download and play the “Mass Effect: Andromeda” trial.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Cinematic Trailer #2

January 27, 2017 – How far will you go? Prospective Pathfinders will learn a little more about the dangers of the Andromeda galaxy today as EA and BioWare revealed two new trailers for Mass Effect: Andromeda, one of 2017’s most anticipated games. The new cinematic character trailer offers a glimpse at Pathfinder Ryder’s squadmates and allies in their search for humanity’s new home. The explorers find a little more than they bargained for, however, as the dangerous Kett Archon demonstrates that the uncharted Andromeda galaxy is also full of new perils and threats.

The latest Andromeda Initiative briefing video also released today introduces players to leading members of the human Pathfinder team on Ark Hyperion, including Pathfinder Alec Ryder, his children Scott and Sarah Ryder, Crisis Responder Liam Kosta and Operations Specialist Cora Harper, who together will lead humanity’s discovery of new worlds in the Andromeda Galaxy when Mass Effect: Andromeda launches on March 21.

The Pathfinder Andromeda Initiative briefing video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqZvYgn35K4

Fans can sign up for the Andromeda Initiative and receive news alerts for Mass Effect: Andromeda here: http://x.ea.com/25657

Mass Effect: Andromeda Gameplay Trailer

December 2, 2016 – Today EA and BioWare revealed the next briefing video for Mass Effect: Andromeda’s the Andromeda Initiative, offering a deeper look at the Nexus space station and Ark spaceships. The Nexus, inspired by the Milky Way’s Citadel, alongside the Arks, will serve as the home base for aspiring explorers when they head to the Andromeda Galaxy when Mass Effect: Andromeda launches in 2017.

The new Andromeda Initiative briefing video can be viewed and shared with your readers via the following link: https://www.masseffect.com/andromeda-initiative/training-hub/arks-and-nexus

Fans can sign up for the Andromeda Initiative and receive news alerts for Mass Effect: Andromeda here: http://x.ea.com/25657

Last night at The Game Awards in Los Angeles, Bioware’s general manager, Aaryn Flynn, also took to the stage to unveil a brand-new gameplay walkthrough video for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Providing the first extended look at gameplay, the video highlights the array of planets and vast locations players will visit as they take on the role of Pathfinder. From the fresh new characters, races and alien wildlife to the dynamic combat and deep crafting system, players will experience the acclaimed Mass Effect series like never before in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Shipping Window and EA Play 2016

May 10, 2016 – With Mass Effect™: Andromeda, our team at BioWare™ is exploring how far they can take this beloved franchise. Yes, we’re building the best of what we all love about Mass Effect – amazing stories, characters and fun third-person shooter combat – and bringing them along with us on the expedition to Andromeda. But we’re also excited to be introducing new features and ways you can enjoy a Mass Effect game.

More Freedom: One of our biggest ambitions is to give players an unprecedented level of freedom for a Mass Effect experience –where you’ll go, how you’ll get there, and how you’ll play.

New Uncharted Worlds: We’re leaving the Milky Way behind and headed to Andromeda, where we’ll meet new allies, confront new enemies, and explore fascinating new worlds.

The Next Great Mass Effect Experience: Mass Effect: Andromeda will be the first Mass Effect game for today’s consoles and the first built on the Frostbite engine. We’re pushing the technology to deliver visuals, story, and gameplay that have never been done in franchise history.

As we’ve been playing the game at the studio recently, it’s showing us that we’re taking the game in the right direction. But we also know we need the right amount of time to make sure we deliver everything the game can be and should be – that’s our commitment from all of us to all of you. Because of that, Mass Effect: Andromeda will now ship in early 2017. We can’t wait to show you how far we’re all going to go. We’ll see you at the EA PLAY press conference on June 12, with an update.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Mass Effect Trilogy Announced

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Sept. 26, 2012 – Winner of over 300 awards. Recipient of over 200 perfect scores. A universe that has expanded beyond games to comics, novels, apparel, collectibles, action figures and more. TheMass Effect franchise has become one of the most heralded series in video game history. BioWare, a division of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), today unveiled the Mass Effect Trilogy, a compilation of all three award-winningMass Effect games in one box. Available in stores beginning November 6, 2012 for only $59.99, the Mass Effect Trilogy is the perfect holiday gift for longtime fans or friends who have yet to experience Commander Shepard’s epic journey to save the galaxy.

Coinciding with the launch of Mass Effect Trilogy, BioWare will kick off the first annual “N7 Day,” a worldwide celebration of the Mass Effect franchise on November 7, 2012. Stay tuned to http://MassEffect.com for updates and announcements for a variety of in-game, online and live events which fans can congregate and fly their N7 colors.

The Mass Effect trilogy follows the rise of Commander Shepard from Alliance Marine to becoming the galaxy’s mostelite soldier – the only soldier who can lead an all-out galactic war against an ancient alien race known as the Reapers. Heart-pounding action meets gripping interactive storytelling as players decide how their unique story unfolds over all three games. With a team of loyal soldiers at their side, each player decides how they will save the galaxy, from the weapons and abilities they utilize to the relationships they forge or break.

The Mass Effect Trilogy will be available on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC on November 6, and will be available at a later date for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. Mass Effect, the game which started it all, will be available on PlayStation 3 for the first time through the Mass Effect Trilogy and digitally as a standalone title via the PlayStation Network. For more information about Mass Effect Trilogy, please visit the game’s official web site at http://MassEffect.com. Fans can also receive more Mass Effect updates and “N7 Day” news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect, or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/masseffect.

Mass Effect 3 Leaves Me Angry – A Review (PC)

So I just finished playing through Mass Effect 3 and thought I would write up my thoughts on this last in the first Mass Effect trilogy (not counting the mobile games). I am still decompressing a bit from a very intense gameplay experience, so there will be a lot of stream-of-consciousness typing here. Pardon me in advance. I will start this review by summing up Mass Effect 3 like so:

Mass Effect 3 is 40 hours of incredible story, ending with 10 minutes that invalidates the entire experience and will anger you. A lot.

I will save the seriously-spoiling details for after a warning below, so sit-tight. After firing up the game on my three-monitor PC gaming rig, I discovered that Mass Effect 3 does not support my widescreen resolution of 5760×1080. The menu and UI elements were all stretched in a strange way and it was not playable because of this. I turned my resolution back to 1920×1080 and finally got to begin my gaming experience. I don’t recall having this problem in Mass Effect 2, but I digress.

Mass Effect 3’s gameplay has been infused with a cover system which, on the consoles, works very well. Using keyboard and mouse on the PC, however, it seems that the developers believed that computer gamers like to use their spacebars for doing everything. Spacebar controls using things, engaging cover, jumping over objects, and sprinting. Hit spacebar too close to an object and you will duck behind it. Double click the spacebar while holding a direction key and you will Kirk-roll in that direction – unless, you are standing too close to cover and you have a good chance of utilizing it. Problem is, that you don’t always want to move to cover. Sometimes you want to run to a position or dodge. Using the spacebar for so many controls makes accurately-predicting what your character is about to do problematic when the heat of battle and fog of war take hold.

Graphically, Mass Effect 3 is just as nice to look at as Mass Effect 2. Not much has changed in this area. Sound design is also more of the same. Additionally, all the voice actors do a nice job of reprising their characters.

What positive things can be said about the game? Well, you will have a great time playing through Mass Effect 3 – awesome story arcs, character interactions, dialog choices. Just phenomenal. Seriously, a great gaming experience. Until the end.

The disappointing part of Mass Effect 3 is that you spend so much time planning out your dialog options, squad choices, etc that all of it ends up being practically meaningless. After about 40 hours of intense and exciting gameplay, no matter what you do, you end up with 3 possible endings. Endings which re-use the same cut-scenes (minus a few details in each iteration) and leave you feeling used and abused in a not-so-nice way. BioWare and Electronic Arts touted this game series as being all about player choice and character interaction. The last ten minutes of Mass Effect 3 completely ruins not only all of your choices in this game, but also your choices in the previous two games. This is a huge bait-and-switch on the part of BioWare and left me wondering what happened in the dev cycle to cause this.

 

*********SERIOUSLY-ANGERING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!*********

 

In Mass Effect 2, you had a really well-crafted, choose-your-own-adventure end campaign of selecting crew members to do specific tasks and getting a great resolution showing the outcomes for each of them (despite the melodramatic “human reaper” thingy). So, gearing up for the final assault on the Reaper transport beam I found my first squad selection. I thought for several minutes – who shall I choose? What are the possible outcomes of doing so – fully-expecting another riveting end campaign sequence where these characters that I had grown to care about could survive or not. I selected two squad-mates and began the assault towards the beam. I kept waiting for more decisions – tasking crew members with certain things, action involving them were, depending on who I had brought along, they would live or die or affect the mission on a serious level. It never happened. Instead, I just kept fighting. Fighting and defending areas in some very intense combat. Enjoyable, but straight-forward. I reached my final run towards the beam in the face of a huge Reaper firing its beam cannons and, surprise, everyone is dead – including my two squadmates. You live, barely, and in a Modern Warfare 3 style moment, hobble towards the beam and get sucked up into the Citadel. There you meet Andersen, who also got into the beam, and the Illusive Man. No matter what you choose to do in the next five or so minutes, you finally get to the end…

You finally get to meet the entity controlling the Citadel. This entity takes the form of a child who is killed in the first portion of the game and haunts Shepard’s dreams. The entity claims it is the Citadel and created the “cycle” system where young races get to flourish and older races are killed off and turned into Reapers who then go lie in wait for another 50,000 years to go by – only to start the process over again. The reason this entity crafted the cycle system is because, given enough time, synthetic life will wipe out all organic life in the galaxy… So it created synthetic Reapers to kill organic life every 50,000 years… Hmmm…

So in order to stop synthetics from killing organics, you create synthetics to kill organics?!?

This is the part where your head should explode like it just got read “the Chewbacca defense”.

Then, you are given three choices: Kill all synthetic life, merge with the synthetic life so that organics and synthetics become as one, or try to control the Reapers and lead them away. All of these lead to the same basic cut-scenes, and there is no happy ending for Shepard (even in one where he seems to have possibly survived in a Crank-style moment). Worse yet, you get no real update on the outcomes of your squad-mates and NPC associations. Additionally, the Mass Relays are blown up in ALL of these choices. This means that, while FTL travel exists, there is no feasible way to jump across the galaxy and visit other planets. Additionally, there is this strange cut-scene of the Normandy getting chased by an energy field and breaking up, only to crash land on a jungle world. Why is this happening to the Normandy? Why are they not fighting Reapers in orbit like the rest of EVERY fleet in the galaxy (I rallied all of them). It just doesn’t make sense. I am so damned confused as to why I invested 40 hours into this experience – not to mention countless hours in the first two games.

Now, before you get all “the GEEK is taking this way to serious” on me, hear me out (and I appreciate your reading this): If Mass Effect 3 were billed as a shooter game or developed by the makers of “Extreme Rodeo”, I could overlook the whole mess of an ending. No problem. But, BioWare has gone to great lengths in touting that Mass Effect is all about player choice and character interaction. And, in large part, the game is! I was very happy with the game until the last twenty minutes or so. It actually feels like it becomes another game. I don’t know if this was an issue with development time or what. It just feels tacked-on and poorly thought out – worse yet, it invalidates all my choices I made over the 40 hours of playtime. I am very disappointed with this.

Here is the next rub…

After doing one of these three endings. Shepard is most-likely dead, Mass Relays destroyed, Normandy crashed and no word on the fate of your friends. You then find yourself back on the ship as if nothing happened. You get some cheesy “don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine” style message about continuing the adventure in multiplayer and DLC. But… Why would I want to do that?!? I know what happens. The character is dead, species cut-off from themselves, and no fricken updated on how my squad-mates turned out after taking so much time to help them through the adventure?!? There is absolutely no reason to spend money on a DLC knowing that there is no hope for the endgame.

Anyhow, thanks for reading my review/rant on this game which, if you shut the computer off right when Shepard makes it to the Beam, is pretty damned good. Just don’t play past that point and pretend that  what you are doing matters in the game’s storyline. Make up your own ending – it will be light-years better than what BioWare cooked up for the last ten minutes of the game.

Mass Effect 3 Demo to Launch February 14th

BioWare and Electronic Arts have announced that the demo for the upcoming Mass Effect 3 will be released on February 14, 2012. Checkout the full press release below for additional details:

Full Press Release

EDMONTON, Alberta – January 18, 2012 – Award-winning developer BioWare, a label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), announced today that the demo for 2012’s first blockbuster game, Mass Effect™ 3 will be available beginning February 14, 2012. The extensive demo will allow players to experience the all-out galactic war against an ancient alien race known as the Reapers from multiple fronts, including the mind-blowing opening attack on Earth that kicks off the single-player campaign. Players will go deeper into the campaign and also get a taste of the franchise’s new co-operative multiplayer mode as they preview the epic story, adrenaline-pumping action and deep customization options that lie ahead when Mass Effect 3 launches on March 6, 2012. The Mass Effect 3 demo will be available for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. Mass Effect 3 will also be one of the first pre-launch demos to support full voice recognition functionality on Kinect™ for Xbox 360.

“We are excited to be able to give gamers an expansive demo that will put them right on the front lines of this all-out galactic war,” said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series. “The entire scale of the game is bigger than anything we’ve ever done. With its intense action, deep customization and raw emotional power, Mass Effect 3 will deliver a spectacular action RPG experience to fans of the series and newcomers alike.”

In Mass Effect 3, players will be thrust into an all-out galactic war to take Earth back and save the entire galaxy, assuming the role of Commander Shepard, a war-torn veteran who’s willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate this nearly unstoppable foe. With a team of elite, battle-hardened soldiers at your side, each player decides how they will take Earth back, from the weapons and abilities they utilize to the relationships they forge or break. Mass Effect 3 also features a new co-operative gameplay mode that allows fans to experience the war from a different perspective. Players who want to try this new mode will be able to do so on February 17, or by qualifying for early access to the co-op portion of the demo which begins February 14. Gamers qualify for early access if they have activated their Battlefield 3™ online pass* or though other opportunities that will be announced in the near future www.masseffect.com.

Recently named by over 100 outlets around the world as one of the most anticipated games of 2012, including winning the fan-voted Most Anticipated Game of 2012 award at the Spike TV VGAs, Mass Effect 3 is available for pre-order now at participating retailers. Fans who pre-order** have the opportunity to arm themselves with cutting-edge in-game weapons and armor to prepare for the all-out galactic war. Mass Effect 3 arrives on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in North America on March 6, 2012 and in Europe on March 9, 2012. For more information on Mass Effect 3, please visit http://masseffect.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect or “like” the game on Facebook at http://facebook.com/masseffect.

*Conditions and restrictions apply. Early access requirement and availability may differ by platform and/or region. See www.masseffect.com for more details.