I thought I would start things off with a humorous glitch this morning that started happening last night. Any time I would go into the bar and get a drink, the glass was missing and would instead get this goofy empty hand sequence. Secondly I got chastised the other day for not saying that there would be potential spoilers in my blog post… so lets get that one out of the way. I am not intentionally going into full on story mode, but I also am too sleepy to probably comb my post adequately for spoilers. So there might be some, especially since I am realizing that my definition of a spoiler is vastly different than the definition of some folks. For me a spoiler is generally a big plot point, or what happens when you make this or that decision. Whereas I never would have thought the fact that you end up on an ice planet, or the fact that you wind up getting a new race that has been featured in pretty much every trailer for the last bit would be classified as spoilers. So be forewarned, your mileage may vary. To be truthful this is probably a blanket statement about every post that I make. While I generally try not to spoiler larger plot points, the fact that I am writing a blog every morning and need constant fodder means that ultimately details about games will come out. Hell the simple fact that I am posting a constant flood of screenshots is probably spoilery in itself.
I spent a fair amount of Sunday playing Mass Effect Andromeda, and lets me honest… I spent MOST of that time wandering around Not-Hoth. The way the planets work in this game is a massive trap for someone like me who likes to roam around aimlessly and complete mini objectives. I generally like ice zones and ice planets… and while there was a huge segment of Hoth in SWTOR that was sheer drudgery… I still loved it. So the fact that I am wandering around in a giant all terrain vehicle on gorgeous ice flows exploring nifty things I see off on the horizon… that is definitely in my wheelhouse. I did however take time out of my busy schedule of killing remnant and kett camps to move the story forward, and unlock the vault on Voeld. This allowed me to set down my second colonial base, that was given a name there is no way in the hell I am ever going to remember. I mean I realize that they couldn’t give me the ability to name these settlements because voiced dialog lines…. but at least make them easy to remember. I mean they all have nifty lore nuggets when the colonial governor explains why they named the town whatever they named it… but there is zero point zero chance I am going to remember any of it. I may or may not have an issue with remembering the names of things… and if you have ever listened to AggroChat there is a lot of me explaining what I am talking about… and then Tam or Ash coughing up the name of whatever it is.
The biggest takeaway from the weekend… is just how much in general I like my crew. I am even starting to like Liam, who I guess at the first I was sort of expecting to be the Corso Riggs of the crew. There is something I like about each and every one of them, and I guess that is sort of the hallmark of a good Bioware game. The biggest surprise for me however is how I have ended up playing with Jaal. At face value he did not exactly seem like I character I would want to run around with, but did anyways because I kept exploring functionally his homeworlds. However over time I have come to actually like the Cat Squid Whatever quite a lot. I am however having weird flashbacks to the Selkath and Manaan when interacting with Aya and the Angara. In truth there is a lot of this game that feels thematically reminiscent of Knights of the Old Republic. I mean functionally we are unlocking ancient tech similar to that of the content leading up to the Star Forge, and while not exactly the same it feels strangely similar to me. I think in part I have spent so much time working on the two spin off Angara worlds because otherwise it would feel really freaking wrong when we started plunking colonies down on these planets. If I had not done a bunch of things to fix core problems and to build a giant freaking bridge between the Angara and the species of the Milky Way… it would feel super invadery when I started setting up shop on their worlds.
My growing take away however is that while this game is full of glitches and all sorts of strange shit going on… that underneath the lack of polish is a really solid experience. I struggled at length to get into Dragon Age Inquisition… because I just didn’t care about the story that was happening and in truth many of the characters that were part of it. That has not been the case with Mass Effect Andromeda. While the narrative feels a little ill fitting at time… and “Ryder” feels more forced at times… I still very much feel like I am my own character. I can tweak the dialog just enough to give my own spin on the conversation. While it doesn’t seem to have some of the same lasting effects as going renegade used to… there are still some of these moments scattered throughout the game play where a quick time event alters the course of the story. I think what is missing is the asshole Ryder option, similar to asshole Shepard… and that was something I never played. I could never bring myself to go down those dialog options because I just don’t have that level of cruelty in me… even if being enacted upon non-existent people. All of that said… I am enjoying the hell out of this game.