Jump to content


Ocelot

Member Since 07 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 06:40 AM

#488116 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on Today, 04:24 AM

I feel like this is truly a momentous occasion. I think you should commemorate it with a full Ocelot Write UpTM for each entry in the series. :P

 

Oh God, this is that peer pressure they always talk about, isn't it? I suppose I can't back out now :P

 

But first I've been playing... well, I've basically been playing the DMC5 demo over and over, but I managed to tear myself away from it long enough to play through Gears of War 4, which I thought was pretty fun.

 

I'm peripherally aware that there's a whole Gears of War expanded universe out there of books and comics, and I know that stuff had started trickling into the games by the time Gears 3 rolled around and featured a ton of new characters I'd never heard of before. I've been on both sides of that situation, and I feel like there's never a good way of doing it. When comic characters started turning up in Gears and Assassin's Creed I just felt left out, whereas when Kahlee Sanders from the Mass Effect books popped up in ME3 I just felt like such a corporate drone for having bought all their dumb cross-media material and clapping like the trained seal I was. From what I understand the same sort of stuff starts happening in the Halo series at a certain point, too, so we'll see how that goes.

 

Gears 4 starts with a clever little recap of the history of... the planet they live on in Gears land, where you play through little snippets of historical battles as various nameless soldiers. The first one has you fighting "Indies", who at first I thought were Locust wearing armour but then I realised must actually be humans, and that this particular historical war must have been fought before the Locust ever dug their way out of the ground on Gears Planet. Y'know, I have no idea what the lore of Gears is. I don't know if Earth is even a thing in Gears, to be honest. Anyway, eventually you skip ahead to what I think they said was 20 years post Gears 3 and you play as Marcus Fenix's son J.D., who I feel like must be older than 20 but Gears character proportions make it impossible to tell.

 

J.D. Fenix and his friends Del and Laura Bailey shoot a bunch of robots, then some monsters called Swarm, then after a little while the Locust come back and so does old grumpy Marcus, and it's all a bit of face shooting fun. The writing strikes the same "lol memes" tone as Mass Effect Andromeda, to the point where the entire game feels like an extended hack comedy skit running through all your favourite Reddit vernacular.. The only thing this game loves more than network-sitcom-esque jokes is teasing dramatic reveals of characters and things you remember from the older Gears games (drink every time a character says "I know someone who can help us..." and almost looks directly into the camera). I don't know if I've ever played a more painfully self-referential ourobouros of a game.

 

But the thing is that Gears has always been an unabashedly stupid game about meatheads screaming all the time and shooting giant worms, so pivoting to idiots saying memes at eachother while shooting giant worms isn't as jarring a departure from the norm as Andromeda was from my beautiful boy Mass Effect. Gears 4 is really short, has some gorgeous graphics and art design, some absolutely ridiculous setpieces, and ends with you and Laura Bailey getting into Gears of War Megazords to just kill everything in the entire world:

 

 

And I'm pretty OK with that. I'm also pretty happy that Gears 5 seems to have Laura Bailey as the main character, because J.D. really left no impression on me in 4.




#488112 Scorp's RPG Corner - Pathfinder: Kingmaker is here

Posted by Ocelot on 08 December 2018 - 01:19 AM

I've got some serious hype going for Obsidian's new salt in Bethesda's Fallout 76 wound video game, The Outer Worlds. Here's 15 minutes of gameplay, and it's looking goooooood:

 

 

So it's Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, and it seems like they've basically made Fallout New Vegas 2 in all but name, with care taken to cram the game full of basically everything people complain is absent from modern RPGs. Real dialogue options that aren't just the same sentiment worded three different ways? Got'em. Fully-worded sentences instead of one-word summaries? Yep. Companion characters who aren't just there to idolise you? Mm hmm. The overall style seems like Fallout mixed with Firefly, and while I'm not crazy about the No Man's Sky colour palette it does look impressively solid for an Obsidian game. And, boy oh boy is this reveal perfectly timed given what Bethesda's going through right now with Fallout 76 :P

 

ih9rddwo5s221.jpg?width=640&crop=smart&a




#488088 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 04 December 2018 - 10:29 PM

Hey, what's up, you guys? Oh, me? Oh, nothin', just LOVING MY NEW XBOX ONE X LIKE A SON.

 

So I was trying to work out how to get Ninja Gaiden Black, because I know it's available on XB1 through backwards compatibility and I know the 1X magically increases the resolution to FOUR KAY, but the game was never released in Australia and as such isn't available on the online store here. So I was trying to work out the exact steps required to make a new American Xbox account, and then buy a prepaid card on eBay or something, and then I guess use a VPN to actually buy through the US Xbox online store because it always seems to detect me as a filthy down under convict even when I specifically type in the US URL...

 

And then I stumbled across a Reddit post implying that, with a Game Pass subscription, you can just change your console's region to access another country's Game Pass lineup. And Ninja Gaiden Black happens to be a Game Pass game in the US. But there's no way it could be that simple, right? That's just not how region-specific licencing contracts for subscription services work in this nightmare dystopia of 2018. Nope. Couldn't possibly be right. Except I tried it and it worked. It just worked! I just told the Xbox I was in America now, restarted it, and suddenly it was treating me like a real American: misspelling words with 'u's in them, giving me a handgun I hadn't asked for, but most importantly letting me buy all the video games!

 

So, yeah, I have Ninja Gaiden Black now. I mean, I haven't played it yet, but I can, and you don't know how much that means to a lifelong PAL peasant like little old me. I've also filled my hard drive with Game Pass games, so I'll be chewing through some of those over the next few months. I've played the first few hours of Forza Horizon 4, which is great, and I think I'm finally going to play all the Halos. And I know Hellblade is coming to Game Pass in a few days, so I'm excited to try that one too. Video games!




#488073 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 24 November 2018 - 07:29 PM

I've been playing the game of hanging out for Black Friday deals, hoping to find a nice cheap Xbox One S that I could use as a 4K Blu Ray player and Game Pass machine, and I think I accidentally played it too well because... I bought an Xbox One X, you guys. I got the most insane deal on it by creating a US eBay account to take advantage of a limited time offer they were doing for a 15% off code if you use the eBay app, using that to buy an 8 game bundle that Australia's EB Games eBay store was doing, and then I sold all the games and kept the console. At the end of it all I now have a brand new XB1X for $315 Australian, which is like $230 US, which is basically the greatest thing I've ever done in my life. It's a cool limited edition one, too, that reminds me of my old Pokemon Gold/Silver Gameboy Colour from back in the day:

 

Xbox-One-X-Gold-Rush-Battlefield-V.png

 

So I've been playing around with it for the last few days, and I love this thing! I'm now a pathetic slave to capitalism who owns all three of the current gen consoles, and this is by far the best one. It's teeny tiny, it's dead silent, and I paid a buck to get two months of Game Pass (they gave me an extra one for turning on automatic renewal) so I'm currently downloading every Microsoft exclusive of the entire generation. The dashboard menu is a little confusing and definitely not as snappy as my PS4 Pro's, and I wish it had a dedicated screenshot button on the controller, but everything else here is just so good. Sony screwed up with the PS4 Pro. I know the XB1X is $500 and the Pro's only $400, but, straight up, Sony should have charged $500 too and just made a better console. I've had a 1X for half a week and I already never want to play my Pro again. I mean, I will, because of those damn irresistible Sony exclusives, but I'll be thinking about my X the whole time :P

 

Anyway, how about some actual games? Well, now that I have the ultimate graphical powerhouse video game machine, I naturally chose to put that horsepower to the test with the stunning visual spectacle that is... Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter, because it's leaving Game Pass at the end of the month and I wanted to get in on it while I could. And it's great! Though I prefer to call it Sherlock Hamms: The Devil's Draper, because Sherlock looks so much like Jon Hamm in this game I can't see anything else:

 

IW6rFsK.png

 

This game is all the wonderful creativity and joy of that prince of genres, Eurojank, but with a very welcome attention to logical mystery gameplay design and quality of life features that make it really enjoyable to play. Thanks to certain conveniences like clear indications of when you've investigated everything in a given room, good checkpointing in the occasional goofy action sequences, and seemingly no missable clues or points of no return, I'm having a really relaxing, thoughtful time churning through some solid detective work. 
 
I really appreciate the sense of agency the game gives you in your sleuthing, too. I love detective games, but all too often the player is only allowed to do the rote footwork, while the actual epiphanies and dramatic accusations are either pre-scripted or only happen in cutscene land (AHEM L.A. NOIRE AHHRMCOUGH). Devil's Daughter carries over the Deduction Board from Crimes & Punishments, that allows you to link together various clues and leads you've uncovered, but what I really like is that the game trusts you to work things out for yourself and won't step in to lead you down a particular part. You're free to twist the clues in whichever direction you like, and you can almost always end a case before you've even seen half the content by accusing the first guy you can drum up a cockamamie case against. There will always be some hints there if you go looking for them, but for the most part it's very hands-off, and all about the thrill of the chase.
 
It's not all amazing, with a few more one-off action sequences and minigames than you'd really want. Apart from a very ill-advised extended Sherlock-o-vision section in an imaginary Mayan temple, though, they're all fairly inoffensive and short. I think this is a really great game, so if you have Game Pass (or you're one of those dinosaurs who still buys games) and you're in the mood for some high quality detective-ing, I'd strongly recommend it.
 
I'm also dabbling in a bit of The Technomancer, also Eurojank, also leaving Game Pass this week. It's an action RPG set on Mars, with a grungy cyberpunk kind of aesthetic and a whole bunch of lore that it very confusingly dumps all over you in an opening cutscene that nobody could possibly follow. The writing has a very non-native English feel to it, and the mechanics of the storytelling are pretty poor, trying to drop revelations on the audience before they've set up why said revelation is significant. The titular Technomancers are your Spectre/Grey Warden/Pathfinder du jour (basically science wizards with bonking sticks), and your character is a new initiate to the fold, and your initiation ceremony involves watching this holotape recording of a guy from the past telling a doctor that he feels this new power growing in his body, which I took to be the origin of the Technomancers. Except the game treats it like this terrible secret that all Technomancers must keep, and if it ever got out they'd be cast out, and... I have no idea why. It's just not well done.
 
And neither is the combat, unfortunately. It's a very simple melee attack system where you can switch between three fighting styles, throw out some magic attacks and dodge, but the camera is set too low so your own character model obscures your enemy's model and you can't see whether they're attacking you. Enemy attacks aren't well telegraphed, it's hard to know which part of the attack is actually going to do damage so you never know quite when to dodge, and worst of all there's this screen shake effect when you do damage on enemies and I swear it makes it impossible to tell when you're taking damage because the screen is just shaking all the time.
 
I hate to be so critical, because I do love my janky European RPGs and it pains me to think of so many devs working away on a project like this and then having some schmuck on the internet systematically go through how every element of it is bad, but... it's kind of bad, though.
 
And, of course, I'm still slogging away through Red Dead Redemption 2. I kind of hate the game at this point, to be honest. It's just too long, too boring, too dull. And I want to be clear that the beautiful world and the attention to detail and the wonderful character writing are all absolutely 12/10 masterpiece level, but gaaaaawd actually playing the game is just the most rote, repetitive gameplay design over and over and over forever. I'm in Chapter 6 now, which I understand is the last one, but then apparently there are long epilogues after that, and I've been ready for this game to be over for like thirty hours now.



#488064 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 16 November 2018 - 11:10 PM

MORE RUMOURS!

 

So hot on the heels of the potential PS5 hype, we have a rumour about a new Xbox coming in 2019: apparently it's an Xbox One S with no disc drive:

 

The company is planning to release an updated console next year, but this device will not be in the Scarlett family, according to people familiar with the company’s plans...

 

...In addition to the new console, there will be a ‘disc-to-digital’ program that, as the name states, turns your physical games into digital downloads. The idea is that you can take your disc to a participating retailer (like the Microsoft store) and trade in your disc for a digital download.

 
So that's cool for people who like that kind of thing. It seems like you can go pretty far with just Game Pass on an XB1, so a really cheap one will probably sell well. I think I'm going to get a regular Xbox One S this Black Friday, though. The 4K Blu Ray drive is a huge selling point for me, and going all digital isn't really an option where I live (bad internet, and games are much, much cheaper at retail).



#488058 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 15 November 2018 - 05:41 PM

OK, we've got some NEWS today. First up:

 

- Thronebreaker, the singleplayer Gwent game, is now on Steam, after having launched exclusively on GOG and apparently not done very well, according to CDPR. I feel like their bigger mistake was putting it out three days before Red Dead Redemption 2 hit, though. If it weren't for that I would happily have bought it on GOG day one, but knowing I'd be ensconced in RDR2 and probably wouldn't play it for a while I was happy to wait, and now I'll probably just get it on Steam.

 

- Speaking of Steam, Killer 7 is now out, for $20 with a 10% launch discount, and Sunset Overdrive will be out tomorrow.

 

But forget about all that, because here's the big one: Sony is skipping E3 in 2019.

 

As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” according to the statement. “PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.

 

As the article states, E3's been around for 24 years and Sony's been at all of them, so this is pretty surprising. They've already mentioned that they aren't doing PSX this year, too. So I thought I'd use my EXPERT knowledge of the video game industry, which I am never ever wrong about and you can definitely take my word for that, to explore the possibilities that this announcement raises:

 

1. Sony is getting out of the video game business, everyone panic

 

2. Sony is going to start doing Nintendo Directs

 

3. It's the PS5, baby! Everyone get hype!

 

Jason Schreier of Kotaku, who I think is probably the most trustworthy actual journalist in this whole industry, says he expects the PS5 in 2020, according to actual devs he's spoken with. And now some random anonymous leaker on Reddit (who accurately predicted this E3-skipping news yesterday) is saying the PS5 will be revealed mid-2019, with a blowout at PSX 2019 and a release probably early 2020.

 

Who's ready for next-gen, dorks? Honestly I'd be fine sticking with this one for another few years, since I think video games look pretty damn good right now, but then I did buy a PS4 Pro like a big sucker so I don't know how I'd feel if I was still on an OG PS4. 2020 is probably the right time. I also think that Sony probably doesn't have any major PS4 games left to announce; We've already seen The Last of Us 2, Death Stranding and Ghosts of Tsushima at the last two E3s, and you can't announce any PS5 games without revealing the PS5.

 

btw, Phil Spencer says that Microsoft is still going to be at E3:

 

A lot to share with fans at E3 2019. Always a high point of the year to witness the industry’s creativity and the energy of the community.

 

Also happy birthday, Wolfie!




#488053 John Wick News and also Regular Movie/TV News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 13 November 2018 - 08:29 PM

Rest in peace, old fellow. 95 is a good run by any measure, but it seems like Stan Lee lived a particularly good life.




#488049 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 12 November 2018 - 04:37 PM

And if you haven't been keeping up on it either, Sunset Overdrive has had numerous little details leaked about an extremely likely PC version coming soon.

 

Aaaaand, it's up already. $20 on Amazon with all the DLC included, releasing November 16th. And on Steam, too, so the Windows Store doesn't even come into it. 

 

EDIT - Nominees for the 2018 Geoff Keighley Awards are out, and you can vote here. As expected it's a lot of RDR2 and God of War. Looking back at it like this, there sure were a lot of big open world games in 2018. Anyway they didn't even nominate Vampyr for Best RPG, but games like Ni no Kuni 2 (which is dreck) and Monster Hunter World (which isn't an RPG) got in there, so we still have a long way to go before this award really means anything. #salty




#488036 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 09 November 2018 - 08:19 PM

- Well known purveyor of high quality products, Bethesda Softworks, will be releasing Fallout 76 next week, a video game where the 54GB day one patch is bigger than the actual game.

 

- The first Crackdown game is free to download right now, for Xbox 360 or Xbox One thanks to those two sweetest words: backwards compatibility.

 

- His Excellency Pope Keighley is hyping up his Game Awards again, promising the "biggest lineup ever in terms of new game announcements". It's happening on December 6th this year.

 

- Microsoft's show X018 is coming in just under 24 hours, teasing "over a dozen game announcements" for Xbox Game Pass, updates for upcoming and on-going Xbox games, and I'm hoping a new DMC5 trailer since Microsoft seems to have the marketing deal for that one.

 




#488031 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 06 November 2018 - 06:35 AM

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an absolute masterclass in environmental storytelling. I've made a point of checking out every little square on the map that denotes a house, hut, cabin or any other kind of building, and I've very rarely been disappointed. There's almost always a little story to find, and maybe a cheeky little bit of loot for your trouble, too. Here are some of my more memorable finds so far:
 
- A farmhouse with two bloody, slaughtered bodies lying on the floor, man and woman. A trail of blood leads outside to a third dead woman who looks like she died trying to climb onto a wagon. Searching her bodies reveals a handwritten letter from, presumably, the farmer, who was having an affair with this woman and decided to break it off, and she obviously came to visit one night and things went bad.
 
- A frozen over pond up in the mountains with a little abandoned beside it and a small grave dug nearby. Searching the shack reveals a newspaper clipping of an article titled something like "Tragic accident for promising young ice skating talent" :(
 
- A little cabin up in the foothills with a huge crater in the floor and about four burned bodies lying around. I thought it was bandits or something, but then I noticed a small hole in the roof, too, and when I went to look at the crater I got a prompt to pick up a small meteorite. When you go outside you get a prompt for Arthur to draw one of his little pictures of the house that the meteorite hit. Not too far from this cabin is a massive crater in the mountainside where the larger chunk of the meteorite obviously hit, with all the trees in the area bent over sideways from the impact.
 
- The best example of "Always look behind the waterfall" I've ever seen: a massive cave system behind a small waterfall at what I think is called Elysium Lake, or something like that. I'm guessing this will be part of a mission later, because I couldn't find anything to interact with in there, but there was a cave painting with a very obvious hidey hole that makes me think it might be part of a treasure hunt that I don't have the map for yet. The other paths of the cave were all blocked by rubble, so I went back out the way I came, and when I rode over the hill behind the waterfall I found an abandoned mining site with what had obviously once been the entrance to this cave/mine boarded over.
 
- A house in the hills near Strawberry with a congratulatory hamper left on the doorstep and a note wishing the young newlyweds all the best. Further on down the road I come across a stranger peering over the edge of a cliff, telling me about a cart that must have gone over and crashed. I go down and check it out, and sure enough it's the two newlyweds, dead as doornails.
 
- The best/dumbest one: I walk into a small hunting cabin and am IMMEDIATELY pounced on by a GIANT, ANGRY BEAR. I struggle against him and manage to stab him in the neck, then get to my feet and stand stock still for a solid ten count until I get my wits about me again. There's a well-dressed corpse in the room, and an ornate desk with a nice typewriter on it, and when I search the drawers I find a couple of poems. I suppose he was an aspiring poet who came out to the wilderness for inspiration... and then a bear burst in through the back door and ate him one day :P
 
The game also brings back one of my favourite sidequest-y type things from RDR1 with the treasure maps, and they're just as good here as they were there. The fact that Rockstar has the resources to build these open worlds without resorting to any kind of repetition of assets or procedural generation means they can pack them with very recognisable landmarks, and then they'll send you on treasure hunts with maps that point to those landmarks. There are no waypoints or anything, you just have to find'em, and they could be anywhere in these miles upon miles of forests. It's not something you can sit down and bang out, but rather you just keep that image from the treasure map in the back of your mind, and one day you'll be out there and all of a sudden you'll see the exact face-shaped rocky outcropping you remember from the map and KABAMZO you'll have the next step of the treasure hunt in hand. It's such a wonderful feeling.
 
Also I'm finally getting used to the controls. Once you get a feel for where everything sits within the hopelessly complicated menus within menus, you can actually blast through'em pretty quickly, and right now I'm feeling pretty overpowered. In my first ten-ish hours with the game I felt like I could only reliably win a gunfight if I had some good cover and everyone had the decency to come at me from one direction, but now that I know that the radial menu can pause time, and ability-enhancing tonics can be drunk almost instantly, and the Deadeye bullet time meter can be refilled as many times as you have tonics to refill it, I'm practically invincible. One of the games random encounters will have you ambushed by bad guys after you enter a covered bridge, but thanks to my insta-tonics and Deadeye I was able to effortlessly drop six dudes with six consecutive perfect headshots from my repeater and ride off without a scratch.



#488028 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 03 November 2018 - 07:47 PM

Some say that the phrase "YAS QUEEN" is overused, but I submit to you that nothing has even been more deserving of a YAAAAS QUEEEEN than this:

 

cZSz7XA.png

 

Lady Gaga is playing Bayonetta. I love this.

 

EDIT - It got better:

 

LzJSo0N.png




#488025 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 03 November 2018 - 12:31 AM

So now we can't complain we have to pay the price of a full game to get the good bits of Destiny 2, I guess?

 

I suppose this is one pro of the dark, Games-as-a-Service, never-ending lootbox-platform grind'em-up future we have to look forward to. After a year the base game's price drops so far that it's in the publisher's interest to just give it away, because you need it to play the newest expansion.

 

Oh, by the way, if anyone feels like a sobering look at the state of video games today, here are the top ten selling games on the PS4 and Xbox One over this entire generation so far:

 

img_20181102_234712upcbe.jpg

 

img_20181102_2347091liz7.jpg

 

Everything was first-person shooters :P




#488022 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 02 November 2018 - 07:25 PM

So if anyone wants to play Destiny 2 for free... you can. From today until November 18th you can get the base game, seemingly to keep forever, just by downloading the Battle.net client and accepting it as a gift. I just did it and, yep, I guess I own Destiny 2 now. I'm downloading all eighty gigabytes of it now.

 




#488008 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 30 October 2018 - 03:23 AM

kIraJWP.jpg




#488007 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 29 October 2018 - 07:19 AM

"Ryder's decisions will have far-reaching consequences", Mass Effect Andromeda lies to me in a loading screen tooltip, during an initial load that, on my PC seems to take anywhere between 20 seconds and like ten solid minutes depending on whether the game is of a mind to go through a lengthy "BUILDING SHADERS" process or not. I have now finished the game, uninstalled it with the quickness, and I feel I am now qualified to speak on this game's version of that noblest of RPG traditions: choice and consequence. The verdict? There are no consequences to anything, but to be perfectly fair, it's hard to have consequences when you have almost no choices to begin with.

 

Gone are the meaningful dialogue choices from your grampappy's Mass Effect, almost entirely replaced here with points at which an entirely fixed conversation will stop and ask you whether you want to say the next insignificant line normally or irritatingly. None of this plays into any kind of morality system, or has any other kind of effect beyond the immediate, so say your memes to your heart's content because none of it means anything. The achingly difficult moral grey areas that Loyalty Missions of old would force you to choose between are gone, replaced with... nothing at all. Andromeda's Loyalty Missions actually have the squad mate in question making the decisions, while you just stand there watching the game play itself, thinking fondly of times past when Mass Effect was an RPG. There are a few missions where you get to choose who will be the Pathfinder representative of another race, but, as I believe we have discussed, all the aliens in this game have the exact same model so what does it even matter if you end up with one over another?

 

Most other 'consequences' throughout the game manifest as "X character may or may not be friendly enough/alive to make a brief cameo in the final mission", which is an affair so stuffed with radio chatter that's mixed too quietly to hear over the roar of you blasting away at your ten millionth identical Kett soldiers that you'd barely even know it anyway. The worst one of all is a main mission to save this Angaran Priestess from a Kett POW experimentation facility, where the choice ends up being "Evacuate all the Angaran prisoners" or "Blow up the entire facility with the prisoners still inside", and, inexplicably, the Priestess is pro blowing up the facility. Even when Jaal tries to tell her we can just come back later and blow it up once everyone is safe, she gets super pouty that you won't callously slaughter a few thousand of her own people and warns that you'd better be ready for her to turn her back on you in your hour of need some day. And then nothing ever comes of it anyway.

 

None of your squad can die. They're all added to your party automatically so you can't miss them. They won't argue with eachother. They'll all idolise you no matter what you say or do. You can't actually say anything to anyone that might upset them anyway; you're literally just choosing the tone in which to express the specific sentiment Bioware has laid out for you at any given juncture. It's like the sexless, bland cast of some middling sitcom, where each one has their own single characteristic that is mined for jokes (*canned laughter every time Drack mentions how old he is*), and there's no issue so serious that it can't be solved before the credits roll. Remember when Mass Effect 1 had you get to know Saren before he turned on you, and you could talk him out of a phase of the final bossfight? Remember the conversation with Sovereign on Virmire where you got a glimpse at the real menace and never once said a meme at him? Back when Mass Effect was an RPG? Here Ryder mainly talks to the Archon in non-interactive cutscenes, and he has all the pathos and nuance of a bad Power Rangers villain, complete with the dumb outfit. He has this loop of bone on his skull that looks so much like a basketball hoop that I spent every moment he was on screen imagining dunking on him and then hanging off his head rim. Weirdly enough his gross, four-nostrilled alien mug actually has the best facial animation in the game, but it's wasted on a villain about as memorable as that guy from the Justice League movie.

 

I don't know if I've made it clear yet, but I really didn't like this game. There's still so much I want to talk about, like how you start seeing Angaran mercenaries mixed in with the bad guys you fight all over the galaxy, seemingly days after your supposed first contact moment. The removal of manually-controllable squad mate powers is such a huge step back and basically turns squad mate selection into deciding who you want to hear talk to eachother on long Nomad rides. They don't even get alternate outfits when you do their Loyalty Missions any more; they might as well not even be there in combat. And I can't stand how the game keeps brushing off questions about the Remnant, or how exactly SAM works inside Ryder's body, with glib "It's complicated" handwaves, when this is Mass Effect. Don't tell me it's complicated; explain it to me. Fascinating lore is what this whole series was built on!. Here even the Codex is mostly just descriptions of enemies and the various mechanics you use as you grind your percentage bars up.

 

The worst thing is I still feel like there's great potential in the premise of a non-military team of scientists, researchers and wilderness experts building a home in a new galaxy. A game about finding new planets that nobody has set foot on before, and using your ingenuity to turn those planets into worlds. Dealing with peculiar races of aliens who don't speak your language and won't just perfectly fit in with your customs. Establishing colonies and making hard choices for the greater good, where every decision has drastic ramifications and nobody is ever happy, and the entire situation is a political minefield (like, y'know, an RPG). Imagine a game where the aim is to hold life precious at all costs, because that is what colonising a galaxy is about. Imagine a game, then, that is THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA, which is a game about going to a galaxy where everything has already been discovered and then killing everyone in it.

 

EDIT - No, wait, I forgot the worst thing: I romanced Vetra and we didn't even have gross interspecies sex! I didn't see so much as a chitinous Turian buttcheek. She made me fly all the way to Kadara and we just kissed lamely, and that was that. Bioware, I was sold a bill of goods here.

 

EDIT - No, wait, one last thing: imagine seeing the reaction to Mass Effect 3's space magic ending and then deciding to go waaaaay further down the space magic hole with your followup. Andromeda is barely even a sci-fi game any more. Every planet you land on just so happens to have an ancient alien terraforming machine that instantly undoes thousands of years of climate change just by mooshing your palm against a couple of triangular keyboards so your impossibly advanced AI can interface with it (how does that work again? Oh, right, it's complicated). But then later in the game you lose your AI, and in a dramatic scene Ryder finds she can still work all the keypads, literally just with her chosen one protagonist magic powers now. Oh, but she gets a nosebleed like in every other work of fiction when people use their psychic powers too much. Thanks I hate it.

 

EDIT - OK, I promise this is the last one. Spoilers for the ending of this bad game that is never going to get a sequel:

 

Spoiler

 

EDIT - Did I mention the aliens all have the same face?