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Mass Effect Andromeda


davejm
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:D I know I'm in the minority on DAI, but to call Mass Effect 3 a blight on the series also puts you in the minority, I feel.

We could debate this forever and eternity. :)

To be fair, I think both games are distinct enough from their series (Mass Effect 3 a full conversion to short-burst action game with adventure elements, Dragon Age Inquisition a move to MMO-style hubs and side quests) that they inspire strong feelings in their detractors. I can understand why you dislike DA:I so much... you're just wrong ;)

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ME3 is garbage.

I'll be sure to leave my opinions around here when I go through ME3 for the first time in the near future. Will be interesting as it's the next one I'm going to be going through.

ME had a great story but too many repetitive side missions, optional but annoying when like me you feel compelled to go through them and end up doing too many of them one after the other. The end sequence quickly made up for that though. ME2 was definitely better in a lot of areas and didn't suffer at all from that repetitiveness. It's very rare a game can lead me up to the 100 hour mark and not feel as though it's a chore to get there. In fact I struggled to leave the third game alone to give myself a break. Right now I'm playing Dead Island Riptide, and at the 11 or 12 hour mark, I feel like i've been playing it forever. That's a sign of a game doing things wrong.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Neogaf is buzzing a bit with news from an EA survey about ME4 story, plot and game content. There's not too much credibility to it other than some saying "makes sense from what I've heard" etc but a similar survey leaked the DA: Inquisition plot and was pretty much bang on. Spoilerd just in case;

Sometimes I take surveys online for a little extra money.

One day last month I got one with this:

The Next Mass Effect Context:

The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepards heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy. You are a pathfinder, a combat trained but un-tested explorer leading an expedition into the Helius cluster to establish a new home for humanity. As you explore this sprawling series of solar systems (over 4x the size of Mass Effect 3), collecting resources and building colonies, you will encounter the savagery of untamed lands in the form of cut-throat outlaws and warring alien races. To survive and colonize the wild reaches of space, you will need to grow your arsenal, your ship, your crew and make strategic (and often uneasy) alliances to fight against increasingly menacing foes. Along the way, you will encounter the remains of a once powerful and mysterious alien race, the Remnant, whose forgotten technology holds the key to gaining power in this region of the galaxy. As you uncover who the Remnant were, and the mysteries their ruins contain, you are drawn into a violent race to find the source of their forgotten technology that will determine the fate of humanity.

Collect Resources to Fuel your Growth:

Scour solar systems and planets within the Helius Cluster to find valuable resources and blueprints of long forgotten alien technology that will allow you to craft better equipment and weapons, such as improving your leg armor to allow you to jetpack jump, or upgrading your cryo-beam (laser cannon) to target enemies or do area damage around you to clear out close threats. As you build your arsenal and resource infrastructure, you will be able to explore deeper into the increasingly dangerous and resource-rich solar systems of the Helius Cluster.

A Capable Crew:

Throughout the story, you will recruit seven distinct crew members to fight by your side. Each crew member has a unique personality and specific abilities that open up strategic options as you choose which two of them to bring into each mission. For example, Cora has the ability to deploy a biotic shield that protects everyone in the bubble while still allowing you and your squad to fire out of it. Your crew will grow alongside you as you explore the Helius Cluster, and you can choose how you upgrade your crews weapons, gear and abilities to increase their individual combat effectiveness. Create the perfect squad to react to any situation and to support your preferred gameplay style.

Your Crew, Your Story:

Your crew members arent merely hired guns they are part of the living universe in the Helius Cluster that develops in response to your actions and choices. Increase each crew members loyalty by pursuing missions that are important to that specific character. For example, when a Krogan colony ship has been stolen by one of the outlaw factions leaving the colonists stranded without resources to survive, your Krogan squad mate, Drack, is determined to strike out against them. If you take the mission and help him track down the outlaws hideout to return the ship to its rightful owners, Dracks loyalty toward you and your squad will increase and Drack will unlock a brand new skill tree.

Explore each individuals backstory and develop your relationship with them through conversations and unique missions. True to Mass Effect, what you choose to say will directly affect your crews loyalty and relationship with you, and will open up different conversations and narrative opportunities at the end of the game depending upon how you approach each encounter.

Deployed Strike Team Missions:

The Helius Cluster is 1000s of light years across, and you cant be everywhere at once. As you develop more colonies, resource bases and settlements, you have to be able to keep them safe. Spend resources to recruit mercenaries and develop an AI controlled Strike Team that you can deploy to take on randomly generated, time-sensitive missions. Strike Team missions take many forms, including settlement defense and Remnant artifact recovery, which will take real-time to complete. Send your Strike Team out on a mission while you continue playing the main game and they will return, 20 30 minutes later, having gained rewards such as XP, currency and equipment based on the success of their mission. Spend money and resources to train your Strike Team and acquire better gear for them, which will increase their success rate and allow them to take on more difficult missions for greater rewards.

Active Strike Team Missions:

When you encounter a Strike Team mission in the Single-Player mode, you can leave your Strike Team at their base and decide to tackle the mission yourself with your Multiplayer roster of characters. You also have the option of tackling the mission by yourself, or recruiting up to three friends to play with you. The more friends you bring, the greater the challenge and the greater the reward. These missions will play out using the Next Mass Effects multiplayer Horde mode (more details on this later). These missions will include a variety of thematically appropriate objectives, like defending a Settlement against Khet attacks, or recovering a Remnant artifact off of a planet before an outlaw gang gets there first. By taking an active role in strike team missions, you can earn special Single-player rewards in addition to the usual multiplayer specific characters, weapons, weapon mods, and pieces of equipment which can be customized between missions. Additionally, players who join another persons Strike Team mission will receive bonus in-game currency and multiplayer XP for helping others with their missions.

Multiplayer Horde Mode:

The next Mass Effects Horde multiplayer pits you and up to three of your friends against waves of enemy troops on various battlefields throughout the galaxy. Players fight together to survive increasingly difficult enemy attacks and accomplish objectives, like disabling a bomb near a colony base or assassinating a target. Progress through multiplayer missions to gain XP and earn new multiplayer specific weapons, characters, weapon mods, and pieces of equipment, which can be customized between matches. Multiplayer play will also earn you APEX funds (in-game currency), which can be used to purchase items and gear in the Single Player game.

Establish Settlements:

Search solar systems for rare habitable planets to establish a settlement that could serve as a base for humankinds new home in the Helius Cluster. As you build permanent settlements, you will make strategic choices on where to focus your new bases resources. For example: Recon Settlements will clear fog of war from the space map and give the player more strike team missions to choose from, while Mining Settlements will periodically supplement the players supply of crafting materials.

Dialogue:

Building upon the rich history of strategic dialogue that has defined the Mass Effect series, you can make meaningful choices in every conversation you have with characters that impact the way your game evolves. The next Mass Effect adds deeper control over your conversations through a greater ability to interrupt and change the course of the conversation as it is happening. During certain conversations, you will be able to take action based choices, such as the option to pull out your gun and force someone to open a door instead of convincing them to do it through conversational guile. Action based choices give you more options for how you approach dialogue with characters in the game and can lead to more extreme outcomes on the story as it evolves around the decisions you make when interacting with a huge cast of NPC characters.

Seamlessly Travel Through the Next Mass Effect Universe:

As you pilot your space ship, Tempest, across the 100s of solar systems that are seamlessly connected in the next Mass Effect, you will encounter new planets filled with valuable resources, intelligent life, conflict, and alien technology that all give you opportunities to increase the power of your character, your ship and your team so that you can build them into a force that perfectly suits your gameplay style. Transitions between activities, like flying your Tempest (space ship) across a solar system to land on a mineral rich planet, then jumping into your Mako (land vehicle) to explore the surface of planet, all happen smoothly without loading screens.

Customize and Share Your Experience:

Discover new things in Andromeda Galaxy, like alien artifacts and natural wonders, that serve as trophies and decorations that you can use to modify the look of your character, Tempest (Space Ship) and Mako (land vehicle). Customize the way your squad and your character look with clothes and aesthetic modifications that you unlock throughout the game. Photos you take from the far reaches of the galaxy can be used to decorate your starship or sold to certain characters.

Remnant Vault Raids: Find and activate Remnant Monoliths to unlock Remnant vaults. Explore abandoned Remnant ruins to find and locate a powerful artifact, but once you remove it you will trigger the vault defenses that will arm traps, activate defense robots and even change the architecture of the vault itself to stop you from escaping. Fight your way out of the vault and you will be rewarded with valuable loot, including powerful gear, crafting resources and Star Keys that can be used to unlock massive orbital facilities in space that grant permanent stat bonuses.

Optional Elite Remnant Vault Raids are scattered around the Helius Cluster located in special orbital facilities that are unlocked by Star Keys. Similar to the standard Remnant Vaults, you enter them to retrieve a special artifact which will trigger the vault defenses that arm traps, activate defense robots and change the architecture of the vault itself to stop you from escaping. However, Elite vaults ratchet up the difficulty of the encounter with increasingly powerful defense robots and traps, as well as roaming outlaws and deadly Khet patrols that are also in search of the elite artifacts. Elite Remnant vaults will test the limits of your combat and puzzle solving acumen, but with greater difficulty comes greater rewards. Gain rare loot, narrative acclaim and huge rewards for completing these daunting challenges.

Khet Outposts:

As you explore planets throughout the Helius Cluster, you will encounter Khet Outposts. These outposts are optional combat experiences where you enter the outpost and fight off waves of enemies. Destroy Khet outposts to earn XP, rewards and thwart their growing power in the region. Your allies will reward you with praise and increased narrative options as you fight to remove the Khet presence from the region.

Drive and upgrade your Mako (land vehicle):

Explore the surfaces of 100s of planets in the Helius Cluster in your versatile land vehicle, the Mako. Whether you are looking for a place to set up a colony, searching for a Remnant vault or attacking a Khet Outpost, you will enjoy getting there in your Mako. Equip and upgrade your Mako in dozens of ways, like adding turbo boosters, upgrading your shield generator or adding a Hostile Detector to your radar to create the ultimate planetary exploration vehicle. Finally, get your Mako looking the way you want with a custom paintjob.

...

They asked my satisfaction with each of those descriptions.

You can choose for yourself whether or not to believe me.

But please look at my posting history first. I'm no troll.

Thread link; http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=1031314

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Dunno, has a few typos and missing words and is a little clunky in places. Content certainly sounds legit, but execution reads like well done fanfic.

I suspect fakers are greater perfectionists than people banging out copy for a survey, given that the former are trying to appear professional whilst the latter are just feeling out reception. It's rather modest for a deception, too, describing the well-worn BioWare formula and yet another damn race of ancient aliens.

The Mass Effect universe is a really cool one to play in, but I'd quite like it if I wasn't the one saving it. Being the messiah is surprisingly boring, so I think it would be way more interesting if you were just another inhabitant making a name for yourself, navigating the various cultures and the conflicts they entail.

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But Lord, that's a tired story. The whole 'you will encounter the remains of a once powerful and mysterious alien race whose forgotten technology holds the key to the fate of humanity' thing's been done - and done as well as it could ever, ever be in the ME games - in ME1. Been there, done that. They're never going to top those reveals from the first game, that first slow, then escalating, arc of WTF after WTF, when it comes to pulling the plot rug from under the protagonist's feet time and time again and expanding the personal to the regional, to the universal, to the eternal. They did it so well in the first game that they had nothing much left to spend, big story wise, in the remaining two games of the trilogy, which led to it tripping over its feet in tonal and plot inconsistencies, in-jokes, and a mass of messy character details (as endearing as some of those character details were). Almost like fan fiction.

You can't really go back to that big theme and reboot it successfully just because it's alien race x instead of y, and galaxy B instead of A. Like Aimless said, they really needed to shift focus altogether; the universe only really had room for one overarching eternal alien overlord cycle, but there was probably plenty of space for different, smaller stories played out against that same backdrop in different time frames and from different perspectives. A far more fertile ground for development that simply transplanting the same kind of apocalyptic whodunnit to another corner of the universe.

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Part of me hopes that the alien tech is a red herring. If it were me I'd run the first game as a bit of a "here, this is the ME1 sequel you kept asking for", then pivot around to something else entirely. Like how ME1 was about fighting the unstoppable Saren and his Geth army and then you get smacktalked by Sovereign and oh shit, it's a galaxy saving super epic.

Basically ME4 could pull the reverse; pitch it as a giant galaxies-spanning story then the twist is actually, it's about saving the Andromeda galaxy species you meet from an Earth that's gone loco in your absence post-Catalyst.

Wishful thinking maybe.

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What time is it? It's Mak'O Clock. I will say every time I get in mine.

From a mechanical standpoint the whole idea of jobbing around a galaxy finding stuff on planets and driving my Big Trak-skinned honking space mobile off cliffs and up glaciers again is definitely thrilling.

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I would have liked to have seen a Mass Effect game set purely on The Citadel. It would be open world, like GTA and you would travel by hover car. You would be able to choose a character to play as/customise from all the different races. You would then choose a career. Maybe things like; private detective, mercenary, 'entrepreneur', shop owner, importer/exporter and off you go to make a name and success of yourself. The different career paths would lead to different endings. Each different ending would lead to a greater understanding about The Citadel itself.

It would look a bit like a cross between Bladerunner and Inception, where you'd be able to see distant parts of The Citadel above or below you. It could be called something like 'Bright Lights, Big Citadel' and would be set in the years before any of ME1 happened.

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From the sounds of things they're a little vague on what the Big Story is supposed to be themselves, and this might - if we're lucky - revolve around border squabbles and faction disputes in an episodic, ME2 sort of a way. They could crank out new stories an age that way (probably without having to release a new core game, just as DLC) and it would save us from any ME3-style overcooked attempts at galaxy-crushing space opera.

Basically I'm hoping this turns out to be Mass Effect: The Series.

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I'm currently playing Mass Effect (1) for the first time and really, really enjoying it. Last year, I tried ME3 and I thought it was good too, although was wary of jumping in on the third game first.

Even though ME1 is about 5 years old I still really enjoy looking at the artwork and scenery throughout - its a nice piece of art/design - I think some of the artwork is fairly distinctive. Would love ME4 to have some rift/vive support so I could really take in the architecture from a first person perspective in VR.

I've not finished ME1 or even played ME2 to comment on the storyline but to be honest I think I would accept any story line just to keep playing this series.

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