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Monday, March 20, 2017

Mass Effect Andromeda - Technical Difficulties

With the new Mass Effect game set to release within a few hours, depending upon what time zone you live in, I thought I'd put in my own personal word about how everyone is responding to the game. In case you've been living under a rock with internet on par with DSL, Mass Effect is a series about space, killing stuff in space and having sex in space. I know Bioware and EA will frown upon the sex part of that but its probably why most people keep coming back to the series... no pun intended. The previous titles have all scored around the 90 percent on Metacritic, even the bad ones, which is still a feat in and of itself. I personally had a lot of fun with the first game despite its short comings and the second game was the best by far. And I don't feel like talking about the third.
However, the newest title, Andromeda, has been getting poor responses from critics so far and what little the public has seen has been mocked at best and outright despised at worst. Since I don't have a review copy of the game all I can do is read what they've written and form my own theory as to why these things don't work. The biggest two I can find are the AI being near brain dead and of course the 'horrendous' animations. I thought I might shed some light from a technical standpoint.
First off every single one of these things can be corrected at a later date via patches. And this is very standard as far as games come. Every single game we have coming out and within a certain time frame has had patches. These are fixes made by the developer via an internet connection that allow the game to run smoother, fix things in the code or just simply to remove some things. The AI could be a problem that wasn't fully realized by EA/Bioware when the game was being tested. Its not a super common problem and it isn't unfixable. Though it may take some time and work, this can be fixed and patched in a later date.
The biggest thing that has people worried... or laughing, is the animations. You can find multiple videos, gifs and pictures online of these mishaps but for now I'm just going to say, again, these can be fixed. Personally I find them funny at least but I can see how it could either be distracting or even ruining a person's immersion of the game. I would say this would be the least of their concerns as long as the game actually functions properly.
All this being said I want to add a final afterthought. This really speaks volumes to how the game was made. It doesn't really seem like, to me anyways, that EA put enough testing in to ensure the game was perfect at launch. Following the game from when it was first announced, a lot of people who worked on the original game began to drop off like flies which really should have been the first indication or warning about this game. This, combined with the fact that they are also using a new engine for the game leads me to believe that the team they hired weren't well versed with using the new engine or just simply weren't very qualified to handle the game. I personally would have liked it if the game was delayed by a few months to iron out the problems seeing as how there really doesn't seem to be a way for them to get over what will most likely be a financial hurdle as most people have already decided whether or not they're going to buy it based on what little they've seen. So one of my favorite series will take a significant hit for minor problems, depending on how you see these things.
My job isn't to tell you whether or not to buy something. I just want to inform you on how I see things. Buy it if you want. If you don't I would consider buying Nier: Automata. Its not really the same type of game but you'll probably get some fun out of it.

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