Prepping for Mass Effect: Andromeda — Day 1

I am a 35 year old Science-Fiction geek. (36 in May, 18 for the second time!)

I am English (part of Britain but not necessarily feeling so British right now).

I work for Virgin Atlantic Airways, and the closest I get to a flying ship anywhere near as funky as the Nexus, is watching a 747–400 or an A330–300 that rolls into the Maintenance Hangar. I work at the Gatwick Hangar, not the Heathrow one. Just so you know.

These vessels both share something in common, they have no cannons.

I’m Kind of Pumped!

Why? Bioware and EA have been doing an exemplary job on loading the logs to the hype train this time around. There has been a slow burn up to now but the releases are gathering pace in line with the launch.

Why Only Kind of Pumped?

I kind of came into Mass Effect a bit later. I missed out on the 1st game, never went back to play it.

Mass Effect 2 was something special. It had me hooked.

Mass Effect 3 was a let down in the history of let downs. I put off buying the game because of the anger from fans so I waited a whole year for all the furore to cool down.

Mass Effect 3 was the point where there was a floater in the triumphant Bioware paddling pool. I tried to like the game but gave up about 20% into it. The tone was all wrong.

I couldn’t force myself to play through to the ending, it just felt contrived. I blame the spacekid, no means of hope, no real tie-in with the decisions made throughout the course of ME1–3 and sloppy work on the part of the writers.

This Andromeda story has to be good.

Electronic Arts

EA, Electronic Arts, Evil Arts, call them what you will. When I see the brand I see the dollar signs. EA bring ruin to many developers. EA, in the computer games market, is the Abbadon of sin (Apollyon if you’d prefer the Greek version).

When I hand EA my scrip, I do so with concern, more so with every game. Fortunately this time I do not see season passes and that makes me feel a bit more reassured that I will be receiving a complete gaming experience.

But I still don’t altogether like them.

Do I Have Concern?

I know I’m going to enjoy it. I also know that there are some elements that I’ve seen that concern me.

I have to balance a lot of my thoughts with the fact that what we’ve been shown in press cuttings are only small chunks of game-play and in game cinematic; that when viewed as a collage are not entirely representative of the direction the creative team might wish us to view this narrative in. Some of what we are seeing is out of order and not in context. Some of the stuff is an earlier build without the later polish.

Concern 1: Diversity

Where, in ME2 we had plenty of alien diversity, we now have much less in Andromeda. Whilst I don’t mind passing the time with fellow Humans, I hope we get a big more than the Kett and the Anggarans to flap gums with.

Concern 2: Carry Weight Mechanic

I don’t like being limited on the number of guns in battle but I made do in the previous ME games. Unfortunately it seems this limited weapon mechanic is back again and whilst I can understand why you wouldn’t carry so many weapons I need more guns. Carry weight adds an extra layer of difficulty.

Concern 3: Praying the “Nomad” lives up to expectations

Because the Mako was just plain shit. You know it.

Concern 4: Hoping the ending will be tidy

Because I don’t want a rerun of ME3.

Come join me in day 2, you know you want to!