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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


Ah the Hissing Wastes. I nearly gave up on the game because of that area, it was awful and…insulting. As if the devs didn’t respect my time. If anything could stop be buying ME:A, it’s the thought of more of that.


Thanks, couldn’t recall which it was. Do remember a few here, I think it might have been you and @RossS mentioning that that area was crap and crap it indeed was.

I can’t help but feel had Mass Effect: Andromeda had come out 2014, at the same time as Dragon Age: Inquisition, it would have got a better reception, now? A gaming world where there’s been the likes of Witcher and Zelda, along with H:ZD, things have moved on and ME:A is lagging behind badly. When I bought DA:I I did so in the knowledge it was an older, more limited game and adjusted my expectations to match. I don’t see why that should have to be so with ME:A, when it’s supposed to be a new game in 2017. (I may well do this in a few months if I see it going cheap.)

Still, it does emphasise the accomplishments of the teams behind Witcher and Zelda, they really have created something special.


Having just checked - the supplies for Switch and Zelda are dwindling in Sydney, but I could still get one if I wanted.


Awww… but de horsey-pupsy!!!


Looks like I’m getting close to the end of dishonoured 2. I just finished the mansion level. It introduces a totally new mechanic of time slipping, which is put to really great use with some neat level design. Very cool.


That is a cool level and you are close to the end.

There’s two more missions left.


I named my Zelda horses Surge, Sunder, Pieface, Razor (RIP) and Behemoth. Saving Epona for when the Smash Link amiibo generates it again (it did so once, but stupidly I decided to stick with the wild horse I was breaking, thinking I could easily summon Epona from the amiibo again).


So, played a bit of Andromeda last night, and I’m irritated and disappointed right off the bat.

The character creator is weak, a huge step down from Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect 3. For the amount of time they put into this, I would have expected something at least on the level of Dragon Age 2 at minimum, or Blade and Soul at the high end.

The “family” thing isn’t an excuse because DA:2 had similar schtick with the Hawkes. In Andromeda, you can “customize your twin,” meaning spending more time in the dodgy character creator. Also, I got a face that I like that looks good in the armor, but he looks like a lizard in civilian clothes because the chin/throat looks… terrible. I may go back into the generator tonight after I’ve had a couple of shots of Jager.

So far, I’m not enthused by multiplayer. The designers have a clear hard-on for shooting play and biotics, which I tend to play to the exclusion of everything else, gets the short stick. However, on the weapons side, at least at the beginning, there are no SMG’s, just pistols, rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles. Also, they’ve changed the power recharge rules again, lengthening the times back into what feels like the Mass Effect 1 range and removing the option of juicing recharge to 200% by discarding weapons or using lighter, weaker weapons.

Again, these are first impressions. I’ll eat crow, if the progression allows for something more kinetic, but the comparisons are high in my mind because I was playing ME3 multiplayer for an hour before ME:A opened up.

ME:A Multiplayer has also adopted the avatar style of Dragon Age:Inquisition Multiplayer, which I do not like at all. I liked my mysterious, faceless humans. Now I get to see the dodgy presets from the character creators masquerading as characters. I’d be less irked if I could edit the faces but nope. The drop rate of the pre-order goodies did not make my mood any better. Getting two character unlocks for classes I despise just makes me a bit more salty.

And then, there are the rumors about the half-assed ness of the same sex romances. Well, since the game has been in Origin Early Access release since the 15th, it’s less “rumors” and more snowball. I honestly should have known. THe ME:2 team played the “we’re not going to talk about it” game to cover up not having any SSM’s at all. This is not that bad, but in terms of how MF and FF pairings are handled, especially in terms of cheesecake, M/M is nickel and dimed.

Am I sorry that I spent the money on the pre-order? Not yet. But with the animation issues, which are pervasive from the moment you get out of cryo, the shitty character creator, the SSM’s, especially the lack of squadmate SSM’s, I have no real motivation to immediately jump in and play the campaign. It’s like watching an insanely badly dubbed movie, or watching an out of synch Youtube video.

I’m going to play some multiplayer tonight. We’ll see if I can level up into a decent Biotic powerhouse. ME3 has spoiled me. I can solo Bronze maps with a Drell or Phoenix vanguard or a Human adept. If Andromeda has reduced biotics to gun-bunnies with blue glows, I’m uninstalling and giving them credit for getting my money early.


Like Hank I am first up on the new games. I had a Wii in storage that I dragged out and am playing Xenoblade Chronicles, it’s really good.


Yay! Another fan of XC. How far in are you? Be warned, the game is massive.

Wow, that’s impressive for all the wrong reasons.


Oh very early on, only a couple of hours. I am already impressed with the scope and the number of quests I’ve picked up.


On a positive note, I am really enjoying DC Universe Online again. I’m looking forward to the Starro themed event that’s coming around after the end of the Myxlsplik(sp) St. Patrick’s event.


One of the unique aspects of the series is you no longer have private punch-ups with enemies. You might think you’ll just duff up a couple of Level 2 enemies without that Level 10 geezer getting involved, but it might very well decide to and can do so. You have to be attentive to your environment.

Enemies also act differently, for instance some will call help, some work by line of sight, but others work by hearing and, if you walk slowly, you can stealth by them. (Yeah, me using stealth sounds unlikely, but I did it a lot in this.)

There are major rewards for exploration too.


Hello, I have many positive things to say about Mass Effect Andromeda.

Alright, yeah, I actually typed that.

I still haven’t delved into the campaign, nor have I gone back into the character creator to work on the successor to my lizard-necked first try.

Last night, I dove into Multiplayer and I got my ass kicked. It’s not particularly hard. It’s blindingly different from ME3 multiplayer and all of by reflexes were actually betraying me left and right.

First, let me get into one of the irritations I posted about yesterday: power recharges. In ME3, you could pull up to 200% recharge speeds not counting class and gear based bonuses. I regularly play character that sling biotic doom, peppered with a few shots from an sub-machine gun or heavy pistol, or in the case of Cerebus Phoenix Vanguards, a shotgun.

There were a couple of major things could modify power recharges down in ME3: weight of the weapons you’re carrying and whether or not you were using any of the defensive powers: Biotic Barrier, Tech Armor, etc, which slap you with hefty power recharge penalties.

In Andromeda, Biotic Barrier and Tech Armor are passives. They are always on. Everything has been rebalanced around the fact that players are tougher, at least when leveled up, by default. And I don’t mean, high level. My Biotic Adept, is level 5 and I dropped a few spare points into Barrier thinking, “why not,” and the results are pure “woah,” because my survivability jumped several notches.

While that was a nice discovery, the biggest, and by big, I mean the new thing that completely changes the complexion of combat in ME:A is mobility. I played human Biotic Adept, Vanguard, and Sentinel, last night, so I don’t know if this is the same for Asari, Krogan or Turian characters. I wanted to put that caveat there. The human characters have jet packs which give them ENORMOUS mobility. I’m talking air-dashing, perching and leaping off of out croppings of equipment or scenery, or dodging into the air, or just jetting along the ground for short distances. The center mouse button which triggers ground and air-dash, or what some players call “evade” is my new best friend.

The jet pack is important because two-dimensional fighting is out of the window. It’s not as 3D as a flight simulator fighter, but up is now as important as left and right, especially if you’re boxed in by something nasty. And there are lots of horrible, nasty, things, in the Andromeda Galaxy.

I am probably being unfair in a narrative sense, given that humanity and their allies are the invaders to this place, but in a visceral player sense, all these new creatures are monstrous. Since I haven’t been playing the campaign, I have no idea “who” they sure. Sure the mobs have names, but they are just target designations. They might as well be combat group nicknames given to things I hate because they kill me so efficiently.

It’s put a whole new spin on things for me. Except when I’m fighting renegades from the Milky Way Galaxy, (I admit I’m curious about what that’s about, but not curious enough to begin the campaign), I’m fighting scary monsters and machines. It’s a pure, terrifying bug hunt with moments, of “I’m shooting you! Why won’t you die? Eat Shockwave! Run awaaaaay!”

Because I like preserving my recharges and my characters haven’t leveled into better carrying capacity, I only go into fights with one weapon. I gave into my consumer urge and bough Andromeda Cash for random loot boxes out of the store, and it was worth it because I got a rifle light enough for my Biotics to use and a decent machine pistol with better ammo management than the rifles.

Oh, one of the things that irked me at first, well it still does, but not grievously, is the lack of sub-machine guns. They are still there, but they’ve been rolled into the “Pistol” category. So you can’t carry two very light weapons, at least at the moment.

Ammo management is very important, because, you can run out very fast, and unless you know where the reload stations are, you will find yourself relying on powers, mobility and melee attacks to get by. Although, melee is fun, especially on a vanguard: Biotic charge in and punch them to death. Or, in the case of my Adept: Pull, and punch my helpless victim before its friends show up and eat my lunch and dinner.

To revisit power recharge in Andromeda, another change, and in my opinion another reason to rebalance recharges, is that at least for Adepts, Sentinels, and Vanguards, global recharge is gone. Each power has it’s own independent recharge track so they can be very effectively chain activated. No more using one power and waiting for its recharge to finish before firing another. Now it’s 1, 2, 3, or whatever order you wish, and then you’re moving because staying still means dying. Well, unless you have a sniper rifle. Those players stake out a place and things start dying. Of course, we’re running interference for them, but one shot kills can induce envy, until I levitate a small dinosaur and full it full of lead. Jealous goes away after that.

It’s interesting playing the multiplayer without having any context for the conflicts. I feel like a mercenary because I’m just in it for the loot and adrenaline. When I actually do start playing the campaign, I’m totally going to play my Ryder as a burnt out merc with no patience, because, after starting with Multiplayer’s bughunts, I’m going to feel like one.

I only wish I could record one liners. There are a number of terrible Milky Way jokes that should be made.


My preorder of Andromeda arrived early (official release here isn’t until tomorrow), initial impressions are, well, that it’s Mass Effect with all the good and bad that entails.

I’ve got through the initial mission and onto the Nexus which is the Citadel equivalent, the plot is similar to the original with a slightly reluctant hero, mysterious alien artifacts, ancient races, race against time versus ruthless aliens (the Kett rather than the Geth).

The complaints about the technical shortcomings seem overblown, yes it does suffer from the ‘Uncanny Valley’ of dead eyed characters with emotionless faces but I can’t think of another game which does much better on that score. Otherwise I haven’t seen many instances of the glitches that people have been complaining about.

The biggest criticism is that it isn’t really breaking any new ground - based on just a couple of hours play mind you - and feels very familiar. That might change with some good plot twists hopefully later on.

It also suffers from the scourge of modern games: teeny tiny text. Your current objectives show in the top right corner of the screen in the smallest text I’ve seen in any game so far, straining my already dodgy eyesight.

(I don’t think the European servers are on yet so I haven’t tried multiplayer yet)


My copy of Andromeda arrived today. Unfortunately due to a bit of a work back log and a couple of last minute requests for stuff on fast turn arounds, i only managed a couple of hours today.
I’m a part way into the first mission, and it’s OK. Graphically it is quite nice, though i agree with much of the buzz around the inferior facial fenders and animations. The character creator is also a bit limiting. Hair for men in particular is pretty terrible.
Combat is indeed reduced to a largely solitary affair - squad commands are fixed at go here and attack that. No control over how they do that.
A pity but I’ll need more time to know how good or bad the combat is.
Will hopefully have more to say tomorrow.


That sounds just like the real world to me.


I’ve only managed about half an hour in ME:A so far, but it does still feel like Mass Effect for the most part. Will dive in deeper tomorrow.


I’m several hours into the Campaign now. I have to say Andromeda has definitely captured the “In over your head” feeling that I felt in ME:3.

There shouldn’t be any spoilers here, but I’ll be cautious because I’m talking about the feel of the game.

[spoiler] The “in over your head” feeling is worse because in the old ME games I was SHEPHERD, N7 bad ass. Now I’m SCOTT, a really awesome guy’s kid. (I kept the name. I figured the game would be itching to call my dude Scott and I was right.)

If I were reading about Scott, I would hate him. Since I am Scott, my stomach is in knots with every decision. I don’t feel like I deserve this job, but I’m stuck with it and why are people are being stupid, why is everything going wrong, and OMG why does this galaxy suck so much?

I find myself using the emotional responses because they are so positive and I want to be positive for these fake electronic people, even though I’m freaking out inside. I wonder if I have to let some of that freaking out show in my responses so the game engine registers how overwhelmed I feel at the moment. [/spoiler]

I’m playing at Normal difficulty too, which is a very brisk learning curve, even with the little practice in Multiplayer I had before starting, but I’m very engaged so far, and right now, I need shiny new armor, and I have to gather resources to craft it. Which makes me feel guilty because I should be trying to save people. However, I’m telling myself that the phat lewt will help me save them… in style.


Well I hope you’re happy @Hank your comments + price drop = bought.