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Mass Effect: Andromeda

I started playing Day One and just finished this morning. I invested 87 hours (so far) and reached level 62 at completion. I have a handful of missions remaining to hit what I believe is 100% completion of the game.

And my verdict: I really enjoyed this. A LOT.

Customization system for player model is totally bum, though. Super limited and disappointing. (At least i like the hairstyles?) The eyes are what really bugs me. Constantly you see the whites of the eye around the irises, it looks weird. If I could just adjust the eyelids things would have been fine. Also, the coding they did for the eyeliner doesn't line up right? It's weird. Oh, and the scar options suck, they just look like smeared paint that didn't get washed off properly.

Easily ranks about ME1 because I really fell for all the characters right away in this game. ME1, on the other hand, had so much it needed to do with universe- and lore-building that I felt like characters didn't get full depth. (If you look back at previous ME posts, I note that I loved Wrex from the start, but no one else really captured my interest in ME1. Wait, Tali also intrigued me.) In contrast, I knew immediately from the first Vetra scene that I wanted her for my romance interest. Instant love, and it never wavered. The entire crew is awesome, though.

One last spoiler-free note: I really liked seeing a better diversity within the species. Expanding beyond male gendered NPCs! Better representation of individual interests and histories of species! Whee~!

Alright, still not spoilers but I figured I would still put it here. I purchased the deluxe edition for PC. I have a pretty decent gaming laptop, but the game wreaks havoc with performance demands. So, unfortunately, I could not enjoy high quality graphics. As such, I won't comment on graphics quality since my settings only could range from low-medium settings. Updating Nvidia before I started playing was a goddamn long process, too, which was annoying as hell. I'm hoping that the inevitable mods that come out will be worth it. (Well, plus I don't own any consoles I could otherwise play MEA on.)

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At the end, the only major story complaint I have is the lack of resolution for the Initiative secrets unlocked with Ryder's memories. (Damn it!) I'm aware that there will be future games, and I'm totally okay waiting on the larger kett empire stuff, but I want to know WTF went on with Garson. And the Benefactor. Because I have speculations and I really want to know.

Continuing with thoughts for the future games: I am crossing my fingers for a quarian teammate. In general, I'm really excited about that other ark. I need elchor back in my life. Also, I'm curious about when that ark ended up leaving and what they know about the Reapers.

Speaking of Reapers, I guess that brings me to one of the iffy feelings I have about the game. I kept referring back to the ME timeline and it seems fucking bizarre that the arks launched during ME2. Like, while Shepard was running missions. It really bugs me that no one in MEA mentions any belief that the Commander's claims of the Reapers were real. I know the Council covered it up and everything, but not every single being would believe that. To me, the timeline of the arks departure need only be adjusted a little bit, having them leave shortly after ME1 or during the two years of Shepard's death. IDK, the timing bugs me.

Of the worlds we visit, Kadara is the most beautiful to me. The flora looks so much like a coral reef. Eladaan has the freaking GIGANTIC "worm" that terrifies the hell out of me when I visit. One of the missions I have left is to defeat the world's Architect. I'm scared that it might be that GIGANTIC worm.

Throughout the game, I noticed that I am such a sucker for the turians. My love for Garrus (and Kandros from the Omega DLC) clearly has impacted me forever. Also helps that I immediately took a shine to Vetra. I'm soooo glad she's romance-ible by either Ryder. I was going to cry if my female Ryder couldn't win her over. (Not that I ever wanted to, but I think it's fucking bizarre that Cora can only be romanced by male Ryder? What??)

I really really liked the krogan colony. Not only do you get a wide diversity of krogan, the terminal messages are freaking hilarious. (LARP group! Daddy support group!) I liked Kesh on the Nexus immediately. I love Drack. A little like Wrex, but far older with a lot of experience and interesting insights.

The crew balances out each other pretty well in terms of personalities, I feel. I didn't like Gil at first - in part because of how poorly he and Kallo were getting along - but he grew on me. Suvi and Lexi are the two I'm most ambivalent about.

I like that the crew interacts with each other through dialogue all the time - on and off ship. My favored team was Vetra and Drack so I heard tons of conversation between them, and it really fleshed out their characters. Cora and Peebee were sometimes my team as well due to the missions I was on, and they had some interesting conversations, too. I'm sure if I play with other combinations I'll get more - and probably the amount of dialogue between characters depends on who it is.

I like that the codex keeps a summary record of some of the important choices you make, the development of relationships with the crew, and your "psychological profile." Back to the choices in the game. HOLY SHIT the difficulty of most of those! Who and what to sacrifice was the common theme. I realized as I headed into the last leg of the game that not a single Pathfinder ended up being the original (or the successor in the asari's case).

Speaking of pathfinders, SPACE GAYS! I became an immediate fangirl shipper of Macen and Avitus. Avitus' little dialogue queue when speaking of Macen was great. I'm still excited about the gay turians :D (My heart! Poor Avitus.)

A lot of the gameplay style reminded me of Dragon Age. (I've beat Origins a couple times, never finished DA2.) The crafting, tooooons of loot containers... Also the dialogue wheel with different emotions/approaches me reminded me of DA2. And I am so damn happy to get a variety of tone choices. I hated that ME3 had reduced things to two options all the time, and even in ME2 there was a lack of neutral at times. I thought it was interesting that in MEA you were really forced to commit to choices. Neutrality and hedging your bets wasn't an option, which is what made the choices super difficult.

I know I didn't talk about the angara here. I'm not sure what to say? I do like them and the new culture they offer. There's a lot of intriguing possibilities and knowledge. I constantly get distracted by the faces and trying to figure out why the males look like lions (or Beast from the animated Beauty & the Beast) yet the female look like monkeys. I'm just a little baffled. Also, the lips and chin reminds me of Protheans.

Alright, that's my rambling for now. Wanted to get my thoughts down while I was still processing the ending. Plus this killed some time before I needed to go out to the store. ;)

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Whatever complaints people might have (I haven't cared to read up on any), it can't be over a lack of content.

Go play it! If you don't want to pay full price, go ahead an wait a bit, but I think it was totally worth the $72 I dropped for the preorder.