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Brief First Impressions after 7 hours (Updated a week later)

IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,078
edited March 2017 in Mass Effect: Andromeda
I've spent a good part of the day today playing ME:A. I got to a point in the exploration of a planet where progress is locked until tomorrow's release at 9:00 PM Pacific.

Graphics and Performance:

The game gave me a message when I first tried to run it to get the latest nVidia driver so I did that. It ran flawlessly with no crashes or hiccups of any kind the whole 7 hours I played. It ran great maxed @ 1920 X 1200 (i4770k + nVidia 980)

The graphical improvements you'll see right away are the skin textures. They're the best I've ever seen. Faces are textured complete with minor flaws that add a great level of realism. Aged faces (eg. your father's face) look very naturally aged without the usual exaggerations most games resort to in order to simulate aging. You'll see for yourself but skins are just outstanding.

Expressive eyes is the other big one. Although I also acknowledge the impressive tech at work here, they didn't quite nail this one as they did with skin. Most of the time the eyes work just fine but they occasionally seem to overdo their expressiveness for no particular good reason. They are just "off" enough at times to nudge the game into uncanny valley territory.

Game Play:

If you've played Dragon Age inquisition you'll notice some of the similarities. It is still very much an ME game but the planetary exploration in particular will remind you of the openness of DA:I. There's a lot to do and discover in those planets. The game feels definitely 10X more open than any previous ME game in a very good way.

The use of cover in firefights is also very well done. It's automatic and intuitive: you just move near something that should provide cover and it does putting you in cover mode with no fuss.

If there is a way to pause in the middle of fight to issue orders and use abilities, I didn't find it in my preview. It might be there but I didn't look for it and just fought in real time. In that sense it feels much more like the multiplayer ME3 mode than the single player portion. At any rate, combat is well done, fast paced and enjoyable even with my limited lowbee abilities.

Crafting:

I consciously decided to not focus on that for my preview but saw enough of the interface to know that there is a lot you can research and craft. Much more than in any previous ME or DA game.

Interface:

This takes some getting used to. There seems to be more nesting of menus than is actually necessary and some of their interface choices are odd. By the end of 7 hours I was getting used to it but I can't say it was an enjoyable experience. Navigating the menus for quests and many other things just seems to require too many keystrokes and often not the keystrokes you would think. OTOH, it doesn't really get in the way during combat but I'll still put this one in the "con" column.


Overall it looks very good to me and I can't wait to get the full unlock tomorrow,
“Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
― CD PROJEKT RED
Post edited by Iselin on
«13

Comments

  • SaunZSaunZ Member UncommonPosts: 468
    thanks for the review

    is it an mmorpg?

    guess I should google it and see whats up.... wasn't one of the coming games supposed to be a new, better, bigger, faster EVE?

    anyway, thanks

    Sz  :)
  • MrMelGibsonMrMelGibson Member EpicPosts: 3,019
    SaunZ said:
    thanks for the review

    is it an mmorpg?

    guess I should google it and see whats up.... wasn't one of the coming games supposed to be a new, better, bigger, faster EVE?

    anyway, thanks

    Sz  :)
    Just like the previous ME, this is a single player action/RPG with optional multi-player separate from the main game.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,078
    SaunZ said:
    thanks for the review

    is it an mmorpg?

    guess I should google it and see whats up.... wasn't one of the coming games supposed to be a new, better, bigger, faster EVE?

    anyway, thanks

    Sz  :)
    Not an MMO. Just a single player SF action/RPG game with a lot of quests and crafting. It's a bit of a trend these days to add some MMO-like things to SP games to make them last longer.
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,511
    People are freaking out over characters not being "model" levels of good looking, which I find ridiculous... But the bad animations are really clear, it seems the game is unfinished and most of them were just placements for later improvements.

    I smell early raw cooked EA product hitting the shelves again.
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,078
    edited March 2017
    Nyctelios said:
    People are freaking out over characters not being "model" levels of good looking, which I find ridiculous... But the bad animations are really clear, it seems the game is unfinished and most of them were just placements for later improvements.

    I smell early raw cooked EA product hitting the shelves again.
    Compared to other Bioware games like ME3 and DAI, the animations are on par with those. They certainly didn't strike me as odd or bad in that context. But I know some have knocked the animations in those other two games I mentioned, It might just be more of that same.

    Companion AI, OTOH does feel a bit rough around the edges: standing in weird spots and sometimes not taking cover when they should. Jump jets and a bit of parkour are a new thing with ME:A. That might be what's making them misbehave.
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,552
    First impressions are always bad because imo score or impressions will be MUCH higher because of the honeymoon phase.
    Watching twitch i don't see a lot that i like in the design.Map loaded with markers,somehow you can magically change your land rover right out in the middle of a snow storm,including color,not realistic at all,like who would do a paint job in the middle of a snow storm?NOBODY.So much for DISCO when you just aim right for the markers on the map,thanks for removing the fun of discovery.
    It doesn't seem to impress many other people either as it never hit top 5/6 like every new game does,in around #16.Geesh PlayerUnknown hit 2 today and that is not even a good game,it is nothing more than a H1Z1 clone.

    The Cutscenes??Wow i was getting incredibly bored and fidgety trying to sit through them,i was praying  the streamer would skip through the boring dialogue.
    To me it looks a lot like SWTOR ,imo sort of cheaply done.

    Multiplayer looks barely ok,has some cover but the weapons are boring as heck,i cannot handle anymore machine gun pew pew anymore,i need to see exciting creative weapons.Then watching a streamer dicker over deciding on a weapon for 15 minutes really makes it boring.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • SiugSiug Member UncommonPosts: 1,257
    Thanks for the review! Preordered it as I think a good space opera is exactly what I need right now :)
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,078
    Siug said:
    Thanks for the review! Preordered it as I think a good space opera is exactly what I need right now :)
    Yeah me too. Scifi was my first love in fiction long before I got into fantasy books. Still is my favorite fiction genre.
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,078
    Wizardry said:
    First impressions are always bad because imo score or impressions will be MUCH higher because of the honeymoon phase.
    Watching twitch i don't see a lot that i like in the design.Map loaded with markers,somehow you can magically change your land rover right out in the middle of a snow storm,including color,not realistic at all,like who would do a paint job in the middle of a snow storm?NOBODY.So much for DISCO when you just aim right for the markers on the map,thanks for removing the fun of discovery.
    It doesn't seem to impress many other people either as it never hit top 5/6 like every new game does,in around #16.Geesh PlayerUnknown hit 2 today and that is not even a good game,it is nothing more than a H1Z1 clone.

    The Cutscenes??Wow i was getting incredibly bored and fidgety trying to sit through them,i was praying  the streamer would skip through the boring dialogue.
    To me it looks a lot like SWTOR ,imo sort of cheaply done.

    Multiplayer looks barely ok,has some cover but the weapons are boring as heck,i cannot handle anymore machine gun pew pew anymore,i need to see exciting creative weapons.Then watching a streamer dicker over deciding on a weapon for 15 minutes really makes it boring.
    Some people don't like the Bioware way of telling stories in games with the Mass Effect or Dragon Age series and that's fine.

    But it's funny that you say it looks like SWTOR to you when SWTOR adopted the ME style of story telling... not the other way around. :)

    If you want to skip cut scenes and get to the action, this is probably not your kind of game in the first place. I like action RPG games that tell a good story well with good production. There's no way I'd skip through the cut scenes in the first playthough. That'd be like skipping pages in a book to get to the good action bits.
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,511
    Iselin said:
    Nyctelios said:
    People are freaking out over characters not being "model" levels of good looking, which I find ridiculous... But the bad animations are really clear, it seems the game is unfinished and most of them were just placements for later improvements.

    I smell early raw cooked EA product hitting the shelves again.
    Compared to other Bioware games like ME3 and DAI, the animations are on par with those. They certainly didn't strike me as odd or bad in that context. But I know some have knocked the animations in those other two games I mentioned, It might just be more of that same.

    Companion AI, OTOH does feel a bit rough around the edges: standing in weird spots and sometimes not taking cover when they should. Jump jets and a bit of parkour are a new thing with ME:A. That might be what's making them misbehave.
    Ok, now you are bullshitting us.


    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,511
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • BMBenderBMBender Member UncommonPosts: 827
    edited March 2017
    Iselin said:
    Nyctelios said:
    People are freaking out over characters not being "model" levels of good looking, which I find ridiculous... But the bad animations are really clear, it seems the game is unfinished and most of them were just placements for later improvements.

    I smell early raw cooked EA product hitting the shelves again.
    Compared to other Bioware games like ME3 and DAI, the animations are on par with those. They certainly didn't strike me as odd or bad in that context. But I know some have knocked the animations in those other two games I mentioned, It might just be more of that same.

    Companion AI, OTOH does feel a bit rough around the edges: standing in weird spots and sometimes not taking cover when they should. Jump jets and a bit of parkour are a new thing with ME:A. That might be what's making them misbehave.
    I don't think it's that.   I've played games with similar/worse  facial animations(or none) and enjoyed them or didn't notice.  Its the dichotomy of the facial textures vs the animations (or really lack thereof) that's driving a lot of this.  I think the level of attention to detail in facial textures and the like is phenomenal.  The faces look real enough your pretty much expecting similar realistic non-verbal cues.    If the faces looked less good I doubt people would be reacting to the plastic faces.

    There is definitely a different amount of TLC that went into the textures/details that didn't carry over to the animations.  The contrast is fairly striking.

    image
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,078
    Nyctelios said:
    Oh you were talking about facial animations not combat. Yeah, like I already said in my OP, they do seem off.

    I thought you meant general walking, running and shooting. Those are just fine in a Bioware ME and DA kind of way.
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,511
    BMBender said:
    Iselin said:
    Nyctelios said:
    People are freaking out over characters not being "model" levels of good looking, which I find ridiculous... But the bad animations are really clear, it seems the game is unfinished and most of them were just placements for later improvements.

    I smell early raw cooked EA product hitting the shelves again.
    Compared to other Bioware games like ME3 and DAI, the animations are on par with those. They certainly didn't strike me as odd or bad in that context. But I know some have knocked the animations in those other two games I mentioned, It might just be more of that same.

    Companion AI, OTOH does feel a bit rough around the edges: standing in weird spots and sometimes not taking cover when they should. Jump jets and a bit of parkour are a new thing with ME:A. That might be what's making them misbehave.
    I don't think it's that.   I've played games with similar/worse  facial animations(or none) and enjoyed them or didn't notice.  Its the dichotomy of the facial textures vs the animations (or really lack thereof) that's driving a lot of this.  I think the level of attention to detail in facial textures and the like is phenomenal.  The faces look real enough your pretty much expecting similar realistic non-verbal cues.    If the faces looked less good I doubt people would be reacting to the plastic faces.
    It's clear they did not mocap, or it was really bad.

    The facial bones animation are all wrong. The eyes moves apart from the face, apart from the eyebrows... It's amateur, really.
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • BMBenderBMBender Member UncommonPosts: 827
    edited March 2017
    Nyctelios said:

    It's clear they did not mocap, or it was really bad.

    The facial bones animation are all wrong. The eyes moves apart from the face, apart from the eyebrows... It's amateur, really.
    And like I said if the faces looked less realistic or "alien" no one would care.   No ones complaining about Krogan facial expressions after all.  But I do agree as far as animations go they pretty much said F - it.

    This is not aided much by the shear amount of cut-scenes, dialogue, build up phase of early game where you don't have a whole lot to distract from how bad they are.

    image
  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon Member RarePosts: 3,410

    Just like any other Bioware game but with better graphics, I prefer total open world and less story. 

    Bioware have a bad habit of leading you. 




  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy Member EpicPosts: 3,341
    edited March 2017
    I love the awful animations and facial expressions I've seen, they make me laugh almost uncontrollably. Some of the characters look so damn freaky and psychotic, amazing work Bioware, really, really funny.

    A lot of the voice work is just terrible, like the things they say have no relation to the context or gravity of the conversation. It's like taking 2 people from 2 different conversations and piecing their responses together, and trhe corniness of some of the reples, oh god...

    Here's to hoping their are many, many more gems to be found in this great-for-all-the-wrong-reasons game.

  • BMBenderBMBender Member UncommonPosts: 827
    I love the awful animations and facial expressions I've seen, they make me laugh almost uncontrollably. Some of the characters look so damn freaky and psychotic, amazing work Bioware, really, really funny.

    A lot of the voice work is just terrible, like the things they say have no relation to the context or gravity of the conversation. It's like taking 2 people from 2 different conversations and piecing their responses together, and trhe corniness of some of the reples, oh god...

    Here's to hoping their are many, many more gems to be found in this great-for-all-the-wrong-reasons game.


    You should try it with fat lips in char creation, laugh a minute.

    image
  • BMBenderBMBender Member UncommonPosts: 827
    edited March 2017
    Wizardry said:
    >>>>Snip
    The Cutscenes??Wow i was getting incredibly bored and fidgety trying to sit through them,i was praying  the streamer would skip through the boring dialogue.
    To me it looks a lot like SWTOR ,imo sort of cheaply done.

    <<<<<</Snip
    Your better than I am I wore out my Space-bar  skipping.

    Speaking of they should add a convo minigame ala fallout,    press an arrow key hmmm, Blah blah blah, are you STILL  talking?

    image
  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy Member EpicPosts: 3,341
    BMBender said:
    I love the awful animations and facial expressions I've seen, they make me laugh almost uncontrollably. Some of the characters look so damn freaky and psychotic, amazing work Bioware, really, really funny.

    A lot of the voice work is just terrible, like the things they say have no relation to the context or gravity of the conversation. It's like taking 2 people from 2 different conversations and piecing their responses together, and trhe corniness of some of the reples, oh god...

    Here's to hoping their are many, many more gems to be found in this great-for-all-the-wrong-reasons game.


    You should try it with fat lips in char creation, laugh a minute.
    I will have to do that, I'm laughing already at the idea of it.

    Something I really like is the Pingu style lip movement, hilarious.

    https://gfycat.com/PhysicalImaginativeAmericanriverotter

    They seem to suck their lower lip into their mouths when they talk as well, it looks so damn weird.

    And I love this one, she looks so confused, for some reason it reminds me of Jubal Early from Firefly.

    https://gfycat.com/RightHotAustraliansilkyterrier


  • ReizlaReizla Member RarePosts: 4,079
    Nyctelios said:
    People are freaking out over characters not being "model" levels of good looking, which I find ridiculous... But the bad animations are really clear, it seems the game is unfinished and most of them were just placements for later improvements.

    I smell early raw cooked EA product hitting the shelves again.
    Seen some PC footage of ME:A, and honestly, I gotta say that the models are just plain ugly for today's standards. Even more so when a PS4 game like Horizon Zero Dawn makes excellent and almost lifelike characters and animations.

    Also, I'm still in doubt to buy the game. The footages that I've seen shows a pretty linear path and maps to be railroaded (much like previous ME titles). This alone is quite unacceptable for me in 2017. Back in 2008 it was okay-ish, but now..? No, BioWare should have made the world (universe) more open.

    Guess I'll just wait for more REAL PLAYER reviews to come out and not the journalism reviews (like OP and this site) who are looking through that obviously purple and paid for glasses...

    AsRock 990FX Extreme3
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    32Gb DDR3 1600Mhz (GEiL/Corsair)
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  • MrMelGibsonMrMelGibson Member EpicPosts: 3,019
    edited March 2017
    Reizla said:
    Nyctelios said:
    People are freaking out over characters not being "model" levels of good looking, which I find ridiculous... But the bad animations are really clear, it seems the game is unfinished and most of them were just placements for later improvements.

    I smell early raw cooked EA product hitting the shelves again.
    Seen some PC footage of ME:A, and honestly, I gotta say that the models are just plain ugly for today's standards. Even more so when a PS4 game like Horizon Zero Dawn makes excellent and almost lifelike characters and animations.

    Also, I'm still in doubt to buy the game. The footages that I've seen shows a pretty linear path and maps to be railroaded (much like previous ME titles). This alone is quite unacceptable for me in 2017. Back in 2008 it was okay-ish, but now..? No, BioWare should have made the world (universe) more open.

    Guess I'll just wait for more REAL PLAYER reviews to come out and not the journalism reviews (like OP and this site) who are looking through that obviously purple and paid for glasses...
    You just literally saw the opening area.  Just like every single ME before this one.  The following planet is open and you can go where ever.  People really need to start judging based off their own experience instead of what some random streamer tells you.

    The OP is paid for this thread? At first I thought wizardry said the dumbest thing in this thread (like usual).  But you sir take the cake.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 13,078

    The OP is paid for this thread? At first I thought wizardry said the dumbest thing in this thread (like usual).  But you sir take the cake.
    Hell I could use some extra cash. You listening Bioware? Apparently my mini-preview deserves some $$.

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED
  • MrMelGibsonMrMelGibson Member EpicPosts: 3,019
    Iselin said:

    The OP is paid for this thread? At first I thought wizardry said the dumbest thing in this thread (like usual).  But you sir take the cake.
    Hell I could use some extra cash. You listening Bioware? Apparently my mini-preview deserves some $$.

    Let them know I'd like to be a paid shill as well.  I even think the game is great, so it won't be hard :+1:
  • josko9josko9 Member RarePosts: 577
    I don't even like sci-fi, yet Mass Effect is probably my favourite RPG series of all time. Nobody does story as well as Bioware, not even CDPR (and they are exceptional!). 

    I have no idea why is there so much hate for Bioware, is it just because they are with EA now? Because honestly all of their games were great, no exceptions. Even the latest DA:Inqusition, which was heavily hated on the internet won quite a lot of GOTY awards. 

    My biggest gripe with ME:Andromeda are the facial animations, they aren't bad, but neither are they great. When the rest of the game is AMAZING, it's hard to understand why didn't they bother to improve them. Hell they are way better than those in Fallout 4 (which are really bad), yet somehow FO4 is still better than 99% of the games released in this decade.

    This is definitively a GOTY material. If 2016 was a pretty disappointing year for gaming (in terms of GOTY contenders, and in general game quality), then 2017 is definitively shaping up to be way better.



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