Author Topic: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?  (Read 219 times)

Online Starfox

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What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« on: June 14, 2017, 12:05:32 PM »
Kotaku as a nice and long item analyzing the problems that plagued the development of the latest installment in the Mass Effect franchise leading to the general disappointment. I have yet to play the game (and maybe never will) so I will leave you the pleasure to read the thing and I won't comment further.


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Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 07:43:06 PM »
While admittedly speaking with the benefit of hindsight, I feel like Mass Effect's overall story arc isn't nearly as strong as it could be.  The first game established the Reapers as cosmic horrors, but BioWare then consistently downplayed their threat with each subsequent entry.  None of the races bother building up their military strength until the third game--when the Reapers have already arrived and it should therefore be too damn late--and the second game was largely spent squabbling with their minions The Collectors, despite knowing full well they were on their way.   

I feel like the whole Effective Military Strength aspect of the third game should have been the focus of the second, and then the third game should have been about fighting a heroic but ultimately losing battle against the Reapers.  The objective could then become about ensuring the Andromeda Initiative is successfully launched, which in turn would have given the events of Mass Effect: Andromeda poignancy and weight.  It's hard to care what happens in ME:A when you realize the Initiative is pointless since everything turned out okay back home.
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Online Starfox

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Re: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 06:22:07 AM »
Quote
and then the third game should have been about fighting a heroic but ultimately losing battle against the Reapers.

That's talking in hindsight knowing that there is now a Mass Effect Andromeda. In truth they couldn't go that way back then. A fourth game was nothing certain and without a fourth game to compensate losing the battle in the third fans would have gone ballistic even more than with the botched ending we had -- loosing Shepard is one thing but loosing the war? Plus there was five years between ME3 and Andromeda... too much of a wait to pull that kind of trick. It's an interesting option to explore if you intend to release the next game 3 or 6 months later... which had absolutely no chance to happen.

For me the real error in the first trilogy was when they decided to switch the threat focus from the Reapers (which indeed were perfect cosmic horrors, as villains go you can't do much better) to the starchild in ME3. That really sucked because they just tuned down the scale of horror from unbearable to... mundane and cosmically stupid.

But the justification of Andromeda can be there. It depends on how you finished ME3. Because Bioware added a fourth option to finish the game with the patch they issued to try to correct the botched ending. Dismiss the starchild as the idiocy it is and continue to fight. In that case Shepard goes on fighting, looses, everybody dies and the game ends on the message that Liara prepared to help the future cycle (that's the option I took the last time I played ME3 until the end -- and the option I will always take if I ever want to replay ME3 until the end because the original three colors endings are just that stupid). In that case it gives Andromeda the dimension you suggest.


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Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 10:40:17 PM »
Something else that occurred to me: why are we stuck playing as a human character again?  In the original trilogy, sure, it made sense.  Easier identification for players, and they needed time to both introduce and then explain the various alien races.  But with Andromeda it seems like a huge missed opportunity, like playing a fantasy game with elves and dwarves and such but, nope, mankind it is. 

If nothing else, they could have made you Asari.  A lot of people play these games for the relationship options, and the Asari are, by definition, able to hook up with anyone.
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 06:49:10 AM »
Playing as an asari? Wouldn't you know it, there's a mod for that! (As well as a supplemental face texture mod, of course.)  :lol:

Saw on Gamespot that there's a 10-hour free-to-play trial (or, as it used to be called, a "demo"): article.

Still on the fence about it? Give it a try. The game really isn't as bad as the neckbeards scream, but it isn't as great as the fanboys claim, either. The truth is somewhere in the middle, as is usually the case.
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Online Starfox

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Re: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 02:47:17 PM »
As a matter of fact, I'm going to try it as there's a 50% rebate on the price right now putting the game in a range I'm more willing to pay for. Not that I will be downright enthused as I already know that Origin will not play nice with my controller (EA vs Steam war being still full on it seems).


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Online Starfox

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Re: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 12:42:51 PM »
So according to the powers that be, Bioware Montreal (the one behind Andromeda) is no more. It was just merged this month with a couple of other studios under the umbrella of EA's Motive Studios which apparently is working on an upcoming Star Wars game. Coming from Electronic Arts the move is not really surprising and is certainly tied to the overall reception of Andromeda. They share possibly 75% of the responsibility for the mess but you won't see them merge with Activision or whatever...

That possibly means as an immediate result that a story DLC for Andromeda probably won't happen -- waiting for the official confirmation; at this stage the official position from Bioware is "we have no detail about any DLC at this time" which several months after the initial release sounds pretty bad.

Meanwhile Bioware Edmonton (the original studio who developed the original Mass Effect trilogy) remains and that might be good news, who knows, as further Mass Effect games if they ever happen would come back to the source. However, it seems that EA has other plans for Bioware that sadly reminds me of what happened with Origin Systems. Bioware downfall could be named Anthem


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Re: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 09:15:31 PM »
Well, that's official. If you were holding your breath for a future DLC for Andromeda, you can start breathing again... there won't be any. Want to see what a game obituary looks like? Here it is (original available here):

Quote from: Bioware official site
Since the release of Mass Effect™: Andromeda, we’ve worked hard to address feedback from our community. From improving animations to expanding customization options, we looked to respond to your concerns, and build on what you loved.

With each patch, you let us know we were heading in the right direction, and we're grateful to everyone who joined us on this journey. We're proud of what we created, and we hope you enjoyed it as well.

Early in development, we decided to focus Mass Effect: Andromeda’s story on the Pathfinder, the exploration of the Andromeda galaxy, and the conflict with the Archon. The game was designed to further expand on the Pathfinder’s journey through this new galaxy with story-based APEX multiplayer missions and we will continue to tell stories in the Andromeda Galaxy through our upcoming comics and novels, including the fate of the quarian ark.

Our last update, 1.10, was the final update for Mass Effect: Andromeda. There are no planned future patches for single-player or in-game story content.

In the coming weeks, our multiplayer team will provide details of their ongoing support and upcoming content, including new multiplayer missions, character kits, and what’s in store for N7 Day.

We appreciate all the millions of people who came with us to the Andromeda galaxy. We hope to see you again in the Mass Effect universe.

The Mass Effect Andromeda Team

Well, that's it. With a single player lacking depth and still riddled by a few problems, no upcoming DLC (are replaced by comic books) and only a support for multiplayer (and sincerely who gives a f..ck to multiplayer in a Mass Effect game?) it seems reasonable to say that we can nail the coffin on that one. More than that it's EA acknowledging that Andromeda is a failure. Even the abysmal Dragon Age 2 had 2 story DLC. 3 for Dragon Age Inquisition. Andromeda is the first Bioware title in a very long time that doesn't feature any story DLC whatsoever.

Also the "we hope to see you again in the Mass Effect Universe" which literally means "the big brass at EA haven't decided yet if they're going to axe the franchise and call it a day".

This particular announcement when read between the lines gives some hints that Electronic Arts themselves had no faith in the success of Mass Effect Andromeda. Why? Because apparently they didn't invest any money in a DLC whatsoever when it should have been planned even before the game release. If they seriously did you bet they wouldn't be throwing their investment down the drain at this point. They would at least release something just to make some money to recoup the expenses. They invested and still invest to some extent in the multiplayer because that's EA big "thing", they're literally in love with that, but single player? The fact that they announce just like that that there won't be any single player DLC is like saying "well, anyway we didn't really planned for it so, no big loss".

So as of now the whole future of Bioware depends on only one multiplayer title... Anthem. And if this one fails the axe will come down on Bioware like it did on Origin Systems in the past because "things, things never change" to quote another badly handled franchise.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 11:58:05 PM by Starfox »


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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: What went wrong with Mass Effect Andromeda?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 07:12:55 AM »
And the executives will never figure out that the real reason for the game's lack of success was their own fault. Sad, really.

Multiplayer within the Mass Effect framework just never made any sense to me, besides the obvious cash-grab by the E/A Overlords pandering to inbred retards with more money than IQ points...possibly a dim view of human nature all around, I suppose. But it's easy to be bitter when a beloved story-driven series is turned into a simplistic playground for morons.

So when I heard that they're not bothering to release any more SP content for this disappointment, I turned that negative into a postive: hey, look! I just recovered 60gb of hard drive space! Yay!

As for MEA itself, I've been working on a metaphor that I'm sure won't exactly work. But I'll lay it out anyway: as I sit there in the morning, dejectedly eating my Life cereal (the irony is not lost on me), I will watch The Price Is Right. The show's not exactly the stellar roller-coaster ride of yore (most of the items in the games aren't even sponsored anymore, for example...now they say "it's a 15.2 ounce can of green beans!" rather than a full-on spiel praising the Jolly Green Giant in exasperating detail), and the big prizes are somewhat...lacking...in Wow Factor.

The guy yells "It's a BRAND NEW CAR!!" and they pull back the panel to reveal: a shiny new Hyundai.

A Hyundai, for Christ's sake.

"A goddamn Hyundai??" I'd ask Drew. (This is where I'd be hustled off the stage and tossed into the alley by security, as being anything less than a relentless bundle of demented enthusiasm is frowned upon, apparently.)

So it was with MEA: there was the hype -- the agonizing build-up -- and finally, the reveal: a substandard piece of shovelware that you're ashamed to be associated with, no matter how much mileage you may get out of it.

Not my greatest analogy, but at least I didn't say anything off-color about the models in the game or the show...
But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.

 

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