The Finale

May. 1st, 2017 08:14 am
fereldanwench: (Mass Effect - Selene Ryder)
[personal profile] fereldanwench
I finished the main story in Andromeda Saturday night. A few non-specific thoughts--Not really spoilery, but with the context of having finished the story. Read at your own risk:



- According to Origin, I had about 180 hours in the game by that point. However, about 6 of those were to my first abandoned Ryder, another 20 or so was because I didn't fully exit the game one night, another 5ish just to play with the CC, and easily another 15 from me just leaving the game running while I did chores over the course of the month can be deducted. So we'll say it took me about 130 hours to do the main story and most of the side quests. I think now that I know what I'm doing and can trim down the fat so to speak, a replay in less than 100 hours is totally feasible and totally happening.
- The ending battles were great. I had actually been spoiled on some things so some of the tension was a little lost for me (thanks, random asshole on Facebook), but even in spite of that, the build-up to the final fight was entertaining and emotionally evocative. It was a lot more satisfying that Inquisiton's fake ending with Coryphish.
- It is a soft ending, and you can even hold off on at least some companion quests until you finish the main plot. (I opted to save Liam's Movie Night for after the main quest; it just felt right.) There are also a few small companion-driven tasks that pop up after you save the day, kind of like how you can wrap things up with your party in DAO.
- There is one big mystery that hangs over Ryder that doesn't get resolved, and that bothers me. I think players who did the original trilogy can piece it together, but for something that the Ryder family is so invested in, not giving it a more formal conclusion felt very lacking.
- Even before finishing the game, however, having such an unlimited opportunity to progess the game comes with some continuity issues; it really needed more QA with regards to how certain quests and conversations trigger.
- The CC still sucks. Or rather, the disconnect bewteen what you get in the CC and what you have in game sucks. There's always a little difference between the two, but I've never seen such a huge disparity before. It'd be nice if you could at least see them talk before you commit.
- I'm really glad Jaal was my first romance. He ended up being exactly what I wanted out of a MEA romance--He surprised me and the progression was lovely. Jaal and Selene are definitely my happy place right now, and I've been doing some exploratory writing with them. The only potential downside is he does seem very popular so I don't know how much I want to share publicly outside of screenshots.
- Actually, one kind of specific thing: Jaal and Peebee will flirt with each other (although I don't think anything actually comes from it), and Jaal says he notices that Cora is the most physically fit of the crew in a way that sounds a little like a flirt--I am 100000000% not here for the jealous girl hate that has prompted. I hate that shit SO MUCH. (See also: Isabela x Fenris.) It makes my blood boil.
- Ryder is probably the most relatable BW protagonist for me personally. Like she's competent and smart and has some experience under her belt, but she's also in a new role and figuring things and herself out. The personality choices started out feeling a little underdeveloped, but they actually ended up making her feel really well balanced. I normally don't play outright self-inserts, but it ended up just happening kind of naturally. The distinction between professional and casual really resonated with me.
- I've said it before, but I'm saying it again: I really love the crew. There is not a single squadmate on the Tempest that I dislike. Even Cora who I was a little iffy on at first really, really grew on me. She's lovely and such a supportive friend. And Drack is my Krogan grandpa.


In spite of exclusionary marketing, a rocky start with dead eyes and bad animation, and areas that definitely need to be refined, I thoroughly enjoyed my first playthrough of Andromeda. I'm eagerly awaiting DLC, and I will definitely be doing more playthroughs.

Compared to a few other games:

- It feels less polished than Inquisition, but it's a lot more fun. I've decided: Andromeda > Inquisition. (And this is coming from someone who generally likes Dragon Age more than Mass Effect.)
- Similarly, although ME1 is a tighter experience, Andromeda is a lot more fun.
- ME2 is better, but ME2 in terms of story and gameplay balance is a damn near perfect game, in my opinion. The loyalty quests in Andromeda seem to take cue from ME2, which was a good call.
- I like it about the same as ME3, but I think it has more replay value because ME3 hurts my heart and I felt lighter finishing Andromeda.

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