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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  PC/Console Gaming  |  Topic: Mass Effect Andromeda 0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Mass Effect Andromeda  (Read 14882 times)
rk47
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Reply #210 on: April 06, 2017, 02:23:53 AM


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Reply #211 on: April 06, 2017, 09:42:04 AM

ME3 in particular largely had issues at a story level and I don't think EA execs were rewriting the script.

To be fair, there could very well have been story beats that were mandated by EA execs for any number of reasons, or script rewrites necessitated by EA corporate. Also, many of the more technical glicthiness of the game could be explained by an overly ambitious release schedule dictated by corporate. Bioware's wounds are definitely self-inflicted, but I'm pretty sure given the track record of other companies swallowed up by a conglomerate like EA, they weren't all self-inflicted.

Ceryse
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Reply #212 on: April 06, 2017, 10:35:21 AM

From what's out there in terms of leaks (such as from Liam Robertson) it looks like EA actually isn't to blame for Andromeda -- that lies squarely on Bioware (Montreal in specific, but there's enough to go around). This is especially true when it comes to the state of the animations. Both are, however, apparently to blame about how bad most of the female characters look due to a culture/sensitivities within Bioware and EA about creating female characters (in particular) that look too attractive.

I'd wager most of the blame here goes to the management of Bioware and Bioware Montreal in particular, especially considering who they are (Mac Walters of ME3 ending fame being one of them).
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Reply #213 on: April 06, 2017, 11:27:31 AM

We should make a game where overweight homely mixed-race gender-neutral characters sit around giving each other positive encouragement in a safe space.

Maledict
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Reply #214 on: April 06, 2017, 12:09:50 PM

From what's out there in terms of leaks (such as from Liam Robertson) it looks like EA actually isn't to blame for Andromeda -- that lies squarely on Bioware (Montreal in specific, but there's enough to go around). This is especially true when it comes to the state of the animations. Both are, however, apparently to blame about how bad most of the female characters look due to a culture/sensitivities within Bioware and EA about creating female characters (in particular) that look too attractive.

I'd wager most of the blame here goes to the management of Bioware and Bioware Montreal in particular, especially considering who they are (Mac Walters of ME3 ending fame being one of them).

There is literally *no* evidence that female characters were altered in any way based on attractiveness. None. It's a conspiracy theory put about by the same people moaning that the game had been ruined by SJWs designing it (ignoring the fact that gay male relationships in the game have been treated like shit and are clearly a bad afterthought).

The fact is ALL the characters look bad. Male Ryder is a stunning model IRL, but looks like he has significant health issues in this game.
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Reply #215 on: April 06, 2017, 12:22:14 PM

The fact is ALL the characters look bad. Male Ryder is a stunning model IRL, but looks like he has significant health issues in this game.
Not bad enough, though, to exclude him from the primary ME:A ad which leaves out SisRyder completely.
Jeff Kelly
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Reply #216 on: April 06, 2017, 12:31:11 PM

Which isn't new because that was the marketing MO for all previous ME games as well. The dual cover for 3 (with FemShep inside) was a minor revolution
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Reply #217 on: April 06, 2017, 12:31:51 PM

You know it's bad when my friend at work that has a N7 shirt, N7 jacket, along with tons of other Mass Effect merchandise, cancelled his pre-orders (he bought one for his brother too) when I told him to take an actual look at how bad the initial impressions were.  His final comment (I kind of wanted to see his reaction to it, so I tried to goad him into buying it  why so serious?), "I'm not paying for crap."

I had really low expectations for this, and I usually cave to my inner fanboy. But it's going to take me a long time to get anywhere near this title.

Now, continue with the EA bashing.

I'll be the counterpoint. Most of my employees are playing the game right now (or were last week) and having a blast. When I asked about the terrible character animations and such the response was, "Oh yeah they're really funny!" and then went back to talking about the worlds to explore and the fun combat (apparently everybody doesn't hate the DA:I model).

*Shrug* I haven't played yet, and by the time I get to it there will have been patches and mods that will probably correct the buggier issues anyway so I'll never be able to judge fairly, but I strongly suspect I'll have fun playing it too.

When I get around to it.
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Reply #218 on: April 06, 2017, 12:53:10 PM

Physical unit sales are down compared to ME3, but physical media is down across the board, direct digital seems to have finally matured. So nobody knows for sure except EA, and if it were doing badly, they would act like it was doing well.

So until EA's next quarterly report, we don't have a clue.

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Reply #219 on: April 06, 2017, 01:04:45 PM

The fact is ALL the characters look bad. Male Ryder is a stunning model IRL, but looks like he has significant health issues in this game.
Not bad enough, though, to exclude him from the primary ME:A ad which leaves out SisRyder completely.
Just a random question:  Why is everybody calling the female main character SisRyder?  Whats it mean?

Makes sense picking one character to advertise with though, as you sort of need a running narrative for that stuff.  I thought it was odd they suddenly bothered trying to advertise with a FemShep on ME3, especially since as far as I can tell there was no default FemShep through the series to associate with.

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Reply #220 on: April 06, 2017, 01:09:02 PM

There are two Ryders, a brother and a sister.
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Reply #221 on: April 06, 2017, 01:27:21 PM

Twins in fact. It's funny, the game generates DadRyder based on which preset you choose, but not the sibling. That one you have to create yourself or it uses the default model. So my AsianFemRyder has a caucasian twin who looks like an asshole. I hope he doesn't wake up because that'll be awkward.

 
Father mike
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Reply #222 on: April 06, 2017, 01:36:15 PM

I've been calling them 'Bro-der' and 'Sis-der'.

Mainly because I have an unnatural affinity for weak-ass puns.
 

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Reply #223 on: April 06, 2017, 02:06:24 PM

You know it's bad when my friend at work that has a N7 shirt, N7 jacket, along with tons of other Mass Effect merchandise, cancelled his pre-orders (he bought one for his brother too) when I told him to take an actual look at how bad the initial impressions were.  His final comment (I kind of wanted to see his reaction to it, so I tried to goad him into buying it  why so serious?), "I'm not paying for crap."

I had really low expectations for this, and I usually cave to my inner fanboy. But it's going to take me a long time to get anywhere near this title.

Now, continue with the EA bashing.

I'll be the counterpoint. Most of my employees are playing the game right now (or were last week) and having a blast. When I asked about the terrible character animations and such the response was, "Oh yeah they're really funny!" and then went back to talking about the worlds to explore and the fun combat (apparently everybody doesn't hate the DA:I model).

*Shrug* I haven't played yet, and by the time I get to it there will have been patches and mods that will probably correct the buggier issues anyway so I'll never be able to judge fairly, but I strongly suspect I'll have fun playing it too.

When I get around to it.


I have been playing it and enjoying it. Sure there are some wacky animation issues from time to time although most of the time it looks fine and the game feels very mass effect. It certainly is not on the rails or lacking in stuff to do as some people complained in the past. The worlds are so far pretty damn big. I have put probably 20 or so hours into it so far and only finished eos and voeld so plenty of game there. I can't say how the story flows yet as I am not that far into it but so far it has been interesting and my companions have been enjoyable so far. I do kinda miss not being able to specific a power for them to use but so far they seem useful enough in fights.
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Reply #224 on: April 06, 2017, 05:41:02 PM

BTW, the new patch hit today and it fixes a lot. Eyes are much better now, no longer lifeless, like a doll's eyes.

 

 
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Reply #225 on: April 07, 2017, 05:15:05 AM

I still wonder what they were thinking and why nobody with authority stepped in and stopped what they were doing. I mean when the original Mass Effect from 2007 has better animations (I'm not being hyperbolic, there are comparison videos) than your current game something is seriously wrong. I don't mean that the animations in ME 1 were great because they weren't, they were actually pretty shit at times too but if you can't even clear that bar then how on earth can you deem this to be not only fine but actually shippable?

This game has been in development for five years, why has no one stepped in years ago and stopped what they were doing? What kind of dysfunctional Project hierarchy do they have?
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Reply #226 on: April 07, 2017, 06:16:01 AM

I still wonder what they were thinking and why nobody with authority stepped in and stopped what they were doing. I mean when the original Mass Effect from 2007 has better animations (I'm not being hyperbolic, there are comparison videos) than your current game something is seriously wrong. I don't mean that the animations in ME 1 were great because they weren't, they were actually pretty shit at times too but if you can't even clear that bar then how on earth can you deem this to be not only fine but actually shippable?

This game has been in development for five years, why has no one stepped in years ago and stopped what they were doing? What kind of dysfunctional Project hierarchy do they have?

I've been kind of curious about the overall structure of the studios and how they interact with the rest of EA. From what I can tell Aaryn Flynn is in charge of the two Canadian studios and he's been with Bioware since BGII apparently. Above that it gets a bit harder to figure out as it looks like it changed a bit throughout development of ME:A with the hierarchy being restructured as recently as last September. Right after the Doctors left there was a guy named Matthew Bromberg who had been GM of the Austin studio for a year who got bumped up to being in charge of Austin, the two Canadian studios, and the now defunct Victory Games (they worked on a Command & Conquer game that never came out) and Waystone Studio (worked on DawnGate, a MOBA which lasted six months in open beta and was axed). Prior to joining EA Bromberg was apparently CEO of Major League Gaming at some point. After the restructuring Samantha Ryan is now in charge of Bioware (I assume Flynn and whoever is in charge of the Austin team report to her and Bromberg may be gone now for all I know) as well as Maxis and EA Mobile. She reports to DICE co-founder Patrick Söderlund who is ultimately in charge of all the EA studios.

It's hard to tell to what extent anyone other than Flynn actually oversees what's going on at Edmonton or Montreal. Edmonton is supposedly working on a new IP as was Austin until Shadow Realms was canceled. Austin is still working on SWTOR as well and I was actually surprised to see that Drew Karpyshyn had returned in 2015 after having left in 2012. It's hard to believe that nobody at EA had any idea about the state of the game. Whoever was in charge of the marketing didn't seem to want to show much gameplay prior to a couple months before release. Maybe people at EA assumed it just needed a bit of last minute polish or maybe they were only being shown the more polished bits. The patched made some stuff look better so maybe at this point Edmonton is being forced to come to Montreal's rescue.
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Reply #227 on: April 07, 2017, 06:43:04 AM

Look I get the economic realities of a publisher pushing out a broken game to cut its losses and recoup at least some of the investment. It's EA basically saying "it's been five years and 50 million, we won't throw good money after bad anymore and we need to get at least some of the cost back". It's an acknowledgement that the end result is so fundamentally broken that fixing it would take months and a significant amount of money the sale of the game probably wouldn't be able to recoup. The expected hit to PR and Reputation is actually smaller than the additional investment.

I also get that not all of your initial ideas work out and that you can actually go off in a wrong direction for a significant amount of time before realizing that it was a stupid idea in the first place, especially at the start of a new project when the direction and the tech is in flux.

What I don't get is letting this continue for five years. A competent director could have seen where this is going two years or more ago at a point when the first vertical slices were alvailable and where shit would have been either orders of magnitude easier to fix or a shift in development focus would have been much less of an Investment and cost driver. Even if they could not have seen this that early, they could at least have reshifted development focus of the final six to nine months away from adding features to fixing the most egregious stuff. Cut some content and some of the collectathon elements and put them out as DLC instead, reallocate resources from adding features to fixing bugs.

The way you're describing this it almost seems like the team either has no leadership and oversight (due to either disinterest, excessive workload too far removed from the team) or leadership is only leadership 'by name' and doesn't have the actual authority to determine the direction of the game or the management structure is so bad that the teams are actively lying to/withholding information from Management to present a more favorable outcome than is actually there.

Seems to be more of a failure of management and leadership to me
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Reply #228 on: April 07, 2017, 07:23:28 AM

Well yeah, it's certainly hard to blame the regular employees of what is a fairly inexperienced studio. Again, stuff like bad animation is something I could conceivably see people expecting to get taken care of at some point down the line. A lot of games don't look great until far along in development I'm sure. The game isn't terrible and you can see that there's a foundation there that would have looked solid enough to not be too alarming the first few years. Things just didn't come together well. I mean yes, somebody somewhere should have realized that the UI was horrible. You'd think that would be fixable without too much trouble. And somebody should have noticed that Stephen Hawking could do better line readings than they were getting out of a lot of the voice actors. I know the studio is based in Montreal and all but I'm sure they aren't all native French speakers there. The biggest issue they should have noticed early on was that they were putting too much focus on making a shit-ton of dull fluff side quests and a bunch of uninteresting dialogue from minor NPC's.

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that maybe the problems start with Mac Walters. He feels like the Steven Moffat of Bioware in that he's a guy who maybe works well enough in a support capacity but then he ends up in charge because other people left and he was next in line and it maybe isn't a role he's actually suited to. Certainly he seems like the guy most directly responsibly for space ninja and starchild from ME3. As it stands, with Ohlen and Karpyshyn in Austin having put years of work into SWTOR maybe it's no surprise that there are more people playing and enjoying that right now than ME:A as it has more of the Bioware flavor about it.

I can't imagine EA was overly concerned with what was going on during development though. Despite people complaining about ME3 online the ME franchise had still been doing well critically and commercially prior to ME:A's release as did DA:I. It's possible that Bioware just enjoys a lot of autonomy within the company because they generally produce results EA could be happy with. Maybe that changes now or maybe they're more forgiving because they had the C-team on this one while Edmonton is hopefully working on the next big thing. At the very least they can't be happy with having to put out post-launch fires for two ME games in a row now.
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Reply #229 on: April 07, 2017, 09:36:59 AM

Haven't looked myself since the patch, but here's a side by side comparison of pre and post patch Addison.  Significantly better animation.  Still won't save you from the dialog, but I did notice some of the worst was removed altogether.  I wonder if anything was done with Asari randos.

Jump to 1:09 to skip past the commentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TUO-GNI1U8
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Reply #230 on: April 07, 2017, 11:00:03 AM

What is Casey Hudson doing these days? I meaan, really doing?

Riggswolfe
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Reply #231 on: April 07, 2017, 12:13:33 PM

What is Casey Hudson doing these days? I meaan, really doing?

Hopefully staying the fuck out of RPGs. He is at least half responsible for the abortion that was the ending of ME3.

"We live in a country, where John Lennon takes six bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono was standing right next to him and not one fucking bullet! Explain that to me! Explain that to me, God! Explain it to me, God!" - Denis Leary summing up my feelings about the nature of the universe.
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Reply #232 on: April 07, 2017, 05:04:46 PM

What is Casey Hudson doing these days? I meaan, really doing?

At the time he got hired by MS he said his focus was going to be on HoloLens.
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Reply #233 on: April 08, 2017, 01:41:06 PM

I don't care if he supposedly fucked up the ending of Mass Effect 3, since as far as I can remember he is also responsible for everything that is good across three Mass Effect games up to that point. Unless we start selectively deciding that "he didn't do that, but he certainly did that".

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Reply #234 on: April 09, 2017, 06:06:14 AM

Drew Karpyshyn was lead writer for the first two games I believe (and then moved to the Austin studio for SWTOR) so I think his absence in particular was the reason for the drop in quality story-wise after ME2.
Father mike
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Reply #235 on: April 09, 2017, 01:34:09 PM

Karpyshyn also commented on this board that they had sort of written themselves into a corner.  They really didn't have a real motivation for the Reapers beyond inscrutable killing machines.  One possible storyline was hinted at on the Tali recruitment mission in ME2, where a formerly stable sun was being destabilized due to dark energy; it would later be revealed that the dark energy was a side effect of using the mass effect relays.  The Reapers were harvesting the races to gain enough diversity in thought patterns to try to find a solution to the oncoming dark energy apocalypse.  But that storyline was scrapped because they thought it was silly that no one would think to just turn off the relays.  Karpyshyn commented that he was glad he was the one wasn't the one who had to resolve it

I think the real problem with ME3's ending came from the WAY it was developed.  And this was all from a disgruntled anonymous leak, so take it with a grain of salt.  All the story points and conversations were developed collaboratively, with the whole writers room hammering on a concept till it was ready.  According to the leak, Casey Hudson and one other guy went away for a weekend and came back with the Star Child ending -- end of discussion, this is it.  They were under incredible time pressure from EA, so they had to have SOMETHING.  I think we all wish it had been something a little better.

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Reply #236 on: April 09, 2017, 01:43:49 PM

The dark energy relays story would have been a massive improvement over what ME3 turned out to be.

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Reply #237 on: April 09, 2017, 01:45:44 PM

Drew Karpyshyn was lead writer for the first two games I believe (and then moved to the Austin studio for SWTOR)

This explains a LOT about the swtor expansions I just played. 

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Reply #238 on: April 09, 2017, 02:29:31 PM


I think the real problem with ME3's ending came from the WAY it was developed.  And this was all from a disgruntled anonymous leak, so take it with a grain of salt.  All the story points and conversations were developed collaboratively, with the whole writers room hammering on a concept till it was ready.  According to the leak, Casey Hudson and one other guy went away for a weekend and came back with the Star Child ending -- end of discussion, this is it.  They were under incredible time pressure from EA, so they had to have SOMETHING.  I think we all wish it had been something a little better.

That "one other guy" was Mac Walters. The guy in charge of Andromeda. Also, I'm fairly sure that leak was eventually confirmed as fact by Walters himself at a panel, but I can't remember enough details to verify that.

Personally, I would have much rather had the Dark Energy plot line than what we got.
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Reply #239 on: April 09, 2017, 06:42:28 PM

I don't buy that explanation. They didn't have incredible time pressure. They maybe screwed up so majorly that they left themselves with no time in the end but they had plenty to begin with.

They had more than four years between start of initial development of 2 and release of 3. By the time development on 2 started  they knew that they would be making a third installment. Each release had 2 1/2 years of dev time and they had enough time and writer resources to not only plot out the main story but also several story DLC packages for each game.

Casey additionally had enough time available to promote the shit out of 2 and then 3 promising all kinds of egregious bullshit. In fact the main source for most of the backlash regarding 3 is Hudson. Hudson rode the hype train so hard that he ended up promising the world to an already overhyped crowd. He was the one restating over and over again that "every choice matters", that there would be "meaningful conclusions" and he was the one taking a jab at Deus Ex and other games claiming that ME 3 would not end with an Ex Machina ending or only consist of "pressing a colored button".

This is not the case of an overworked writer's room 24 episodes into a season that has only five days each week to come up with a script or risk screwing up the shooting schedule. There was plenty of time, were plenty of talented writers and plenty of ways to not write themselves into a corner or screw up so badly to need and 'fix' the end at the last minute.

Alternatively they could have just shut the fuck up and not fueled the irrational hype of a zealous fan base even more by talking out of their collective asses. Or they could have simply not transferred most of the experienced talent mid development to help with their pipe dream and not sunk 100 million dollars and risked the future of two franchises for a lackluster Star Wars MMO.
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Reply #240 on: April 09, 2017, 06:55:39 PM

Been trying to play the multiplayer today and holy shit.. constant DCs. Literally unplayable. Eleven attempts spread out through the day and not a single match even made to the 7th wave before I got a disconnect. Never had the issue before (and my internet is working perfectly fine otherwise), plenty of other people seem to be having the issue as well.

Oh, and Fiend sync kills from across the map -- literally. I think I'm just going to put the game down and play something that isn't a heaping pile of buggy shit.
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Reply #241 on: April 09, 2017, 08:10:43 PM

Been trying to play the multiplayer today and holy shit.. constant DCs. Literally unplayable. Eleven attempts spread out through the day and not a single match even made to the 7th wave before I got a disconnect. Never had the issue before (and my internet is working perfectly fine otherwise), plenty of other people seem to be having the issue as well.

Oh, and Fiend sync kills from across the map -- literally. I think I'm just going to put the game down and play something that isn't a heaping pile of buggy shit.

I get the feeling there might be some server issues going on. When I launched the game today it wasn't able to connect at the title screen. I ended up playing some single player instead and would occasionally get a message about not being connected.
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Reply #242 on: April 10, 2017, 03:05:22 PM

Must have been I couldn't even get my strike teams to connect, it kept kicking me back to login. Around 11 est it stabilized and I got a few rounds of mp in.
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Reply #243 on: April 14, 2017, 08:39:59 AM

I don't care if he supposedly fucked up the ending of Mass Effect 3, since as far as I can remember he is also responsible for everything that is good across three Mass Effect games up to that point. Unless we start selectively deciding that "he didn't do that, but he certainly did that".

Read the full story and also realize what Casey's role actually was. You're giving him both too much and too little credit.


I think the real problem with ME3's ending came from the WAY it was developed.  And this was all from a disgruntled anonymous leak, so take it with a grain of salt.  All the story points and conversations were developed collaboratively, with the whole writers room hammering on a concept till it was ready.  According to the leak, Casey Hudson and one other guy went away for a weekend and came back with the Star Child ending -- end of discussion, this is it.  They were under incredible time pressure from EA, so they had to have SOMETHING.  I think we all wish it had been something a little better.

That "one other guy" was Mac Walters. The guy in charge of Andromeda. Also, I'm fairly sure that leak was eventually confirmed as fact by Walters himself at a panel, but I can't remember enough details to verify that.

Personally, I would have much rather had the Dark Energy plot line than what we got.

Not only was it confirmed but there is a making of thing out there where you can see a picture of the literal napkin they scribbled the ending on to as they were talking. And as someone said elsewhere, a lot of the backlash for the ending of ME3 happened in direct response to Casey spending months telling everyone about how choices mattered and the ending would be directly affected by those choices. And, of course, in the ultimate irony, bashing other games with endings that only had cosmetic differences then being one of two guys directly responsible for making that exact kind of ending.

I will say, that Andromeda avoided that trope. Though it partly did so by having no meaningful choices at all. I think there was exactly one choice I paused for like 30 seconds on and went "Eh, I'll do this one."


"We live in a country, where John Lennon takes six bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono was standing right next to him and not one fucking bullet! Explain that to me! Explain that to me, God! Explain it to me, God!" - Denis Leary summing up my feelings about the nature of the universe.
Sir T
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Reply #244 on: April 19, 2017, 07:44:31 AM

Personally I think one of the biggest problems with ME3 is that AFAIK it literally forced you to do hours of MP in order to get the "best" ending.

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