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Does anybody here like the Mass Effect games?
Posted: Posted April 15th, 2017 by Welsh_Gamer

I've completed Mass Effect 2 and now I'm playing through Mass Effect 3.

They're quite good.

Who here likes playing them?

There are 18 Replies

This post has been moved here as it is more appropriate.

Posted April 15th, 2017 by Vandy

Mass Effect 2 is one of my all-time favorite games (flaws and all). Mass Effect 3 is probably the best overall game; it just happens to also feature some of the biggest narrative missteps.

Posted April 15th, 2017 by Jet Presto

Jet Presto, what do you think of Mass Effect Andromeda?

Posted April 15th, 2017 by Welsh_Gamer

Oh boy.... Do you have an hour? I'm not sure I can sum up my feelings on it in under 10,000 words....

Posted April 15th, 2017 by Jet Presto

I have not played ME Andromeda yet to know if I will like it, But I have played the ME Trilogy a few times and loved it. I agree that over all ME 3 is probably the best in terms of gameplay but ME:2 has the best campaign in my opinion. Really, the series as a whole felt like an experience that very few games have ever given.

Posted April 17th, 2017 by Q

The ultimate problem with ME3, in my opinion, is that even the campaign is the best when stripped from the narrative context of the trilogy. Obviously, you can't do that, though. So like (and I'm gonna put this part in spoilers because I know a couple folks here are going through the trilogy for the first time):

[hide] The level with the rachni queen being held hostage by the Reapers and joining forces with the Krogan special forces squad is actually a pretty rad mission.If you never played a Mass Effect game and played that mission, it's a pretty cool mission. Removed from the context of past games, completely on its own, there's nothing wrong with it. The reason it stinks in reality is that it undermines decisions you made in Mass Effect 1. It's a pretty big narrative mistake, and you can't just ignore that in a game that's primary goal is to tell a story.

Even within the context of Mass Effect 3 exclusively, it can wind up undermining its own narrative. Like trying to unite the Geth and Quarians, I thought, was really cool. I cared a lot about doing so, and ensuring I made all the right choices. At that point in the game, it's one of my favorite objectives in the entire trilogy. It's great! But then when it gets down to the very end of the game, if you choose to destroy the Reapers, it's implied pretty clearly that you wind up killing all the Geth as well. It's a pretty big narrative misstep.

But I think overall, the campaign in ME3 would also be my favorite if not for those missteps. I really think the idea of having to play politics at the same time makes for a deeper, more intriguing campaign than ME2, which is ultimately just a mediocre central story filled with much smaller, but much greater character ones, or the rather simplistic, "chase the bad guy, save the universe" story of the first game. ME3 isn't just narrative missteps, but it has a lot of them that makes you wonder what they were thinking. It also has a better leveling system than ME2 and, I thought, a less tedious weapons system than ME1. It generally kind of scraps the weird missions where you arbitrarily land on a planet for no real reason other than to collect one thing or shoot a bunch of varen or mechs and get experience, instead having the boring optional side quests being more just scan and hit A (which I personally prefer because it's less time consuming), and I think it actually has some of the more memorable missions. Everything on Tuchanaka, the Asari monastery, most of the stuff on Rannoch, and that final mission on Earth are, in my view, some of the best missions in the entire franchise. (Some of them, even knowing the full narrative context!)

So when I play ME3, I just keep thinking, "This is probably hands down the most complete package as a video game in the franchise," but the strength of character writing in ME2 really just makes me like that game more.

Posted April 17th, 2017 by Jet Presto

Jet I will take you up on your 10 000 word monologue about Andromeda.

Posted May 22nd, 2017 by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

So there are two aspects to my general disdain for Mass Effect: Andromeda. There's the tech side of it, and the design side. Much has been made about the tech problems of the game. I've gotten no fewer than five separate game-breaking bugs, never mind the countless other things like floating enemies, audio drops, disappearing NPCs in conversation, horrible camera angles when it drops for conversation, et cetera, et cetera. All in all, I think the game is overall broken to a point that, in turn, bugs me. (See what I did there???)

Thing is, if you fixed all the bugs and glitches and load screens and load scenes, I still don't think you wind up with a halfway decent game.

I won't go the full several thousand words here, but a general list of things I found annoying, tedious, or unfun:

1. Everything about the side quests. None of them were interesting. Some of them were buggy. There are far too many on each world to the point that it distracts from the entire primary experience the game was attempting to go for (wanting you to be a "pathfinder" in finding a new home world - it wants you to hop from planet to planet but bogs you down in hours and hours of unrelated side quest busy-work).

2. The menus were all cluttered and, in my opinion, a hot mess.

3. Crafting was pointless. As was the whole "perks" system for unlocking cryo pods (which was designed like a shitty free mobile game). I wouldn't mind the perk system there if it were automatically unlocked, rather than you having to claim them.

4. There's too much backtracking, actually. From side quests that require you to go back and forth a lot to the rewards system requiring you to go back to the...Tempest? Is that what the ship was called? I already can't remember... I get that they wanted it to feel "open world," but at some point you've got to focus on forward.

5. Oh yeah, I hated the research and development thing. Got so sick of it that I didn't even use it after a certain point, and it made no difference to the overall experience. It felt like an element they weren't sure about so they threw it in. Felt a bit like they just threw all the ideas in just to see what would stick.

6. The lack of a power wheel was the worst, in terms of the gameplay. I liked the freedom to level up any powers I wanted, so I could create the character I wanted, but only ever being able to access three powers at a time just put an unnecessarily tight restriction on it. Would have preferred having load outs wherein you can choose 6 to 8 powers, and then 3 are mapped to quick commands. But I thought only ever being able to use three powers just made me never level up outside the three powers I was using. Everything else just went into stats.

7. Speaking of combat, I'm not quite sure what they were going for. I never saw the point of the jump and hover action. It often just exposes you to enemy fire. They throw so many guys at you sometimes that it's in your best interest to just find a spot for cover and hunker down. But then they also have the boost command which really implies, to me at any rate, that they were going for a more action-oriented game. Like they wanted you to move around a lot more. (Think, like, ME2 and ME3 added combat drones to try and knock you out of cover.) But there was never any reason to use it when you could just find good cover and then play whack-a-mole.

8. I also didn't like environmental hazards. I don't like the idea that I could die from just standing there for a full minute. I prefer systems like Kadara's, wherein there are things like sulfuric pools that if you're not paying attention and you end up in them, they can kill you. But I'm not a fan of just the general outside killing you. (Yes, yes, I get "realism" and whatever. I just think realism is a bad excuse if it makes the game less fun, and for me, it did. Kind of like how making so many mountains in ME1 made the worlds "more realistic," but made the game more a pain in the ass to play since driving over them in the Mako was awful.)

9. Oh yeah, speaking of powers, you get to customize your Ryder however you want, basically, which is cool! But then your squad mates only get, like, 4 powers.

10. I don't even understand why they bothered with squad mates, really. Their power options are so limited, plus you can't really command them. Commanding squad mates was never done well in the Mass Effect trilogy, but I still would have preferred the clunkiness of ME2 and 3 to the nothingness of Andromeda.

11. Oh! Somehow I almost forgot about the text! The font is WAY too small, and it doesn't help that some of it is a bluish-green color on top of a darker bluish-green background. Why do that? I get that many people have better eyesight than me and everyone I know who also complained about this, but why design it so that it's really only not a problem for some players? What harm would it have done to make the text just a little bit bigger?

12. There are three new species, in essence. Kett, angara, and...whatever the robots were called. Shit. What were they called? Remnant, I think? The remnant are just robots - less interesting versions of the geth, so who cares? The angara aren't horrible, but you learn so little about their overall culture, history, and political structure that it just feels boring and shallow. They lack the depth and character of the original species. Even the volus were more interesting than the angara. (And for a species in which they say they are "very emotional," they never really seemed all that extraordinarily emotional.) And then the kett are literally just the angara, because it's not a Mass Effect game unless you have a whole "repurposing organic life" element. So effectively, they introduce ONE new species, really. And they are kind of boring.

13. 40 hours into the game, I realized I still had no idea why. I understood various individual's motivation for going along with the Andromeda Initiative, but I don't have any clue WHY the Initiative itself is even a thing. I hear that gets revealed through the memory dumps, or whatever, but that's a loooooong side quest. That's a problem.

14. The side characters just weren't that interesting to me. I didn't think anyone was bad, but they were all kind of bland and "samey."

15. The writing was overall pretty bad. That's probably a better way to state all of the story and character elements.

16. I thought the Nomad handled better than the Mako, but I still don't really understand what it added to the game. It was a lot of boring driving through nothingness. The jump function does nothing. And I don't get why they bothered adding the gear shifting thing for hills.

17. The galaxy map was somehow worse than all other galaxy maps. It takes forever to get from planet to planet, never mind from system to system. Which, actually, way too many unskippable load scenes.

That's probably good for now. That's about all I can remember at this point.

And I went long on it anyway.

Posted May 22nd, 2017 by Jet Presto

I agree with basically everything, but I still think there should be enemies and weapons to make the Nomad experience more relevant and fun. At least you can have fun in ME1's Mako even if it is janky cringe-worthy fun.

I hate the jump and hover mechanic. It's very difficult to use it to tactical advantage other than running away. And I haven't even figured out how to use powers because there is no tutorial. Lol

Posted May 23rd, 2017 by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Was there anything you genuinely enjoyed about ME:A?

Posted May 23rd, 2017 by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Well, I appreciated the way they changed up the dialogue wheel so it wasn't just super straight forward "good" and "bad" options, although I understand that is a Dragon Age influence.

I liked the leveling system, in isolation. Giving me that many powers to choose from regardless of "job" is pretty nice. (Just wish they gave me more powers to load out with.)

That's about all I can think of off the top of my head, to be honest.

Posted May 23rd, 2017 by Jet Presto

I find the sound of the jumping really cringy too. It's just an annoying mechanic. I wish that button did literally anything else

Posted May 23rd, 2017 by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Oh yeah, I think I overall did enjoy the jumping in concept. I just don't know what the point of it was in combat. Felt like they could have created a better combat system that utilized it more.

Posted May 23rd, 2017 by Jet Presto

I don't like the duration of the hover or the fact that you slowly descend while doing it. If you could do it for as long as you want and remain stationary that would be much better.

Posted May 24th, 2017 by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Mmm. Maybe a little longer would have been nice. I don't think it would have been any better if you could do it indefinitely, though. Didn't mind the descent, but would have preferred a system wherein maybe 6 seconds you were stable, and then 3 seconds you descended.

I realize the TL;DR version of my complaints is basically, "It's just not cohesive in almost any way."

Posted May 24th, 2017 by Jet Presto

I'm not convinced there are enough merits to the hover to begin with so changing it's duration wouldn't have helped... You've got a combat system designed around a cover system and you want me to hover fully exposed?

Jump pack was great for out of combat and the forward dash/teleport (depending on your load-out) essentially just became my standard movement method.

Edited May 24th, 2017 by Moonray

Yeah I just feel it's janky and not long enough to line up the shot. I try using it against enemies who are in cover and by the time I line up a shot I am almost ready to fall again. It's the slow descension that really screws it. And I think that's just so it's aesthetically similar to jet pack troops who also slowly descend in ME3.

Edited May 24th, 2017 by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

I'm not convinced there are enough merits to the hover to begin with so changing it's duration wouldn't have helped...

I was speaking of the mechanic in a general sense, in isolation. I completely agree with you that in context of the combat design, it makes no sense either way.

Posted May 24th, 2017 by Jet Presto
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