Mass Effect Andromeda Is Almost Here And Players Can Try It For 10 Hours

Mass Effect Logo

Platform: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: March 21st, 2017

In an effort to continue to grab money from gamers, Mass Effect: Andromeda is close to full retail release. In the meantime if you have the PC version pre-ordered and are subscribed to EA Access, you can play the game for 10 hours. Here are some things that we can see by playing the demo.

This is a BioWare Game So Character Customization Is a Thing

Mass Effect Characters
Image Caption: http://kotaku.com/people-are-ripping-apart-mass-effect-andromedas-animati-1793334047

Players will get to create a male or female version of their “Ryder” character. Unfortunately though, you can only choose the human race as an avatar. The same was true for the first Mass Effect games but I think players were hoping for something different. Speaking of characters, there has been some coverage about the unnatural movements and mo-cap of the human species in the game. The alien races are fine so that doesn’t surprise me. Don’t be taken back by some of the make up choices for the human women especially.

This is a Completely Different Mass Effect story

Mass Effect Crew
Image Caption: https://www.technobuffalo.com/2017/03/15/heres-mass-effect-andromeda-on-pc-vs-ps4-pro-vs-xbox-one-slim/

It should go without saying but this game is not a continuation of the previous Mass Effect trilogy. Starting with a note from Pathfinder Alec Ryder the game is ready for players to immerse themselves in it’s universe. As you progress through the story and get a feel for Ryder, you will notice that even the main character is different from Shepard. They appear more youthful, inexperienced and have more of a personality than the previous iteration. Shepard is still a great character but this one may be different.

To give a bit of back story, Ryder and the crew wake up after being asleep for centuries on the Ark Hyperion to try and find new planets to inhabit. Unfortunately when you wake up its not all sunshine and roses. Players land on a new planet with hostile everything waiting to kill you as a warm welcome.

There Are A Slew Of New Game Mechanics

Mass Effect Combat
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This game is still a 3rd person shooter and the controls seem to be smoother than before. There are a few notable changes to gleaned. One is that there is no longer a button mapped to put your character into cover. Ryder will hide and crouch almost automatically when you come near certain things in the environment. Players are no longer trapped into one build which promoted multiple play throughs to try different play styles in the previous games. Instead, players can customize their characters to take different skills from categories in their respective skill trees. One last thing I’ll note is the introduction of the dash mechanic which can change the tactical tide of battle. It does have a slight cool down but it can save you from life of death with the better AI of enemies.

The Online Multiplayer Is More of the Same

Mass Effect Online Play
Image Caption: https://www.masseffect.com/

There is no player versus player mode which is normal for the Mass Effect series. However, if you have played games like Rainbow 6 Siege, when you go into Multiplayer mode you can choose different archetypes for battle. Those characters can also be of a different races so that may be the players only opportunity to play something new. There are also loot boxes to buy with in game currency or money for new weapon mods and new characters. The rest is business as usual with new things to be added after the game is released.

Your Demo Progress Transfers Over and All Upcoming DLC Will be Free

Mass Effect Ark
Image Credit: https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/mass-effect-andromeda-trailer-release-date-gameplay/

You read correctly. The demo will save your progress so no time is wasted thank goodness. Bio ware is also doing us a service and will not charge for DLC that most of us probably can’t afford at this point anyway. The DLC schedule hasn’t been released yet but hopefully they will support this game for the long haul.

Are You In?

We only have a week to wait until the games full release and so far the reception appears positive. Have you tried the 10 hour demo and what do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

I’m Officially Hyped For Mass Effect Andromeda

Andromeda

The last several times we’ve seen Mass Effect Andromeda, it has been nothing but disappointment thanks to underwhelming videos that, more than anything, teased us.

While teasers have their place, we have all waited far too long to see what this upcoming game has to offer, and while I still cannot confidently say that the gameplay is great, at least we now have our very first look at the story.

Here it is in full; beware of potential spoilers.

I feel that this trailer spends a bit too much time showing off potential late-game spoilerific content, but wow does that ever hit hard. This is what I’ve been… mostly wanting from BioWare for over a year now. We’ve had such obnoxious or disappointing teasers that I’ve ranted about already, but this definitely begins to scratch the itch I think we all collectively feel.

Part of me still feels a bit bitter that N7 day didn’t feature a gameplay trailer, the very fact that it is actually going to be shown off in a few weeks is a comforting thought, and this trailer in all its glory, managed to make me a thousand times more excited for the game than I was before.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Director Talks Multiplayer, Why They Don’t Want a Thrid-Party Dev

Developer Eidos Montreal is taking charge of the latest Deus Ex installment, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, that was revealed at E3 2015 and now gameplay director Patrick Fortier talks in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine about how they didn’t want to implement a multiplayer mode since the game’s single-player already has a strong narrative.

Patrick commented about the success that BioWare did with Mass Effect 3 in featuring both a strong narrative and player-driven story along with a fun multiplayer mode. He also stated that if they want to take the multiplayer approach in a Deus Ex game, they will have to make it the focus point of the game.

“Mass effect 3’s multiplayer is a very good experience,” he said. “It’s proof that it can be done. I’m not saying that we can’t do it, but you know [BioWare is] in the fourth iteration [of its game] now, almost, whereas we’re only on the second of ours. There’s a lot of learning we need to go through! In the future, I think if we were to go in that direction it would have to be the topic of the game itself. The way we’re applying the formula, in the sense of the narrative component [impacting] all across the different disciplines, I think it would have to be that it makes sense story-wise.”

Patrick sees that employing a third-party developer won’t help in this kind of game since “It has to be fundamental right from day one.”.

“I don’t think it’s something that can be tacked on and supported sufficiently well through a third party developer, out of the office,” adds Fortier. “It has to be fundamental right from day one that you’re trying to do that. You have to have the right idea and the right vehicle.”

Deus Ex Mankind Divided is expected to release in mid-2016 on PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC Won’t Release On PS3, Xbox 360 Again

Dragon Age

Dragon Age

BioWare and EA revealed today that they will no longer support Dragon Age for PS3 or the Xbox 360 in terms of DLC releases. They also announced the arrival of a new feature called “Save Importer”. This feature allows you to “migrate your old saves, and continue your adventure without starting over from scratch.” on your PS4 or Xbox One.

“All future Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One only, so we designed our Save Importer feature to help make the transition to a new console as easy as possible.”

“Did you begin your Dragon Age: Inquisition adventure on a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 console and want to upgrade to a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? We’ve got great news! With our brand new Save Importer feature, you can migrate your old saves, and continue your adventure without starting over from scratch.”the description reads

Bioware continues the statement with a FAQ and a step-by-step guide on how to export and import from your PS3 to PS4 or from Xbox 360 to Xbox One. You can import your single-player progress as many times as you want but you can only import your multiplayer progress one time only. Also any purchased DLC on your previous console will be transferred automatically to the new one.

Tell us what you think of Bioware stopping the release of DLCs on PS3 and Xbox 360 in the comment section below.

2D-3D, Gaming’s Greatest Challenge

Gaming

We live in an age of gaming where we have near photo realistic graphics, gigantic open worlds modeled off of real, and fictional places, and for the most part we have conquered the third dimension. 3D gaming continues to improve, and we as gamers have evolved to the point where we can navigate a virtual 3D space relatively unhindered. The real challenge games developers face, and have always faced, is transitioning old 2D games, into new 3D ones.

This might seem like a cheap shot at an easy target, but look at Sonic. The moment Sonic stepped into the realms of 3D the quality of his games have dropped, heck some are unplayable. Needless to say, the transition has not been smooth for the hedgehog, but he is not the only one to have suffered. Megaman, Bomberman, Castlevania, they all tried to Tardis over, and they all failed. Megaman X7/8 were so bad, even the 2D sections suffered. Castlevania N64 titles were mind blowing in their shoddiness and continued to fester into the PS2 era. Bomberman failed so badly I am not even sure he exists anymore. The list of failed attempts to “innovate” is nearly endless.

Super Mario Galaxy (10)_0

But then you have to insert the exception to the rule, or something I like to call: The Nintendo Factor. Where others failed, Nintendo somehow managed to make hit, after hit. Some of these newly 3D games are still considered masterpieces to this day. Mario, Link and Donkey Kong all made it through the rift during the N64 days. The gamecube brought Metroid through and pretty much created its own subgenre of FPS. Pit got his makeover into 3D on the 3DS after his last title was on the NES! Simply put, Nintendo know what they are doing. I don’t want to fan the fan-fires, but would it really be so bad if Nintendo took over the reigns for someone like Sonic? A few generations ago having Sonic on a Nintendo console would have been blasphemy, we now have  dozen games where both Mario and Sonic star. Would it be such a stretch nowadays? Lets face it, Sonic games are not going to get any better without some intervention.

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Of course Nintendo are not the only company able to bridge the gap. I mentioned Castlevania earlier, with the Lords of Shadow series we finally got a good 3D Castlevania. We even got a sequel, and a 2.5D prequel to said sequel! Metal Gear is another biggy. I might be pushing the boat a little far on this one, but even Bioware managed the transition. Baldurs Gate into Dragon Age was a technological leap I did not think possible. 2D-3D is achievable, proof is literally everywhere. It has just taken a fair amount of casualties to get to this point.

Dragon Age Inquisition: BioWare Unveils New Combat Features and Relationship Meters

Dragon Age

BioWare’s creative director Mike Laidlaw and producer Cameron Lee answered a few Dragon Age Inquisition fan questions on twitch today, unveiling a substantial amount of new content. Combat has grew and progressed into something way more engaging and intuitive. It’s already known that taking cover and jumping will be two new movement actions that will aid combat in Inquisition but there’s more. Players will also experience, for the first time in Dragon Age history, how to play with free cast. Casting skills anytime, anywhere will become a possibility, as Mike Laidlaw explained:

Unlike previous games, you’re free attack and free cast. We wanted to make sure you could prepare and execute things like being able to lay out traps and land on stealth.

da2This means that buffing and shielding your party before a hostile encounter will be possible as well. But watch out, Inquisition will have an interactive friendly fire system that may endanger both your enemies and your party members. However, this feature is a separated mode in game and it’s not tied to difficulty, it’s a mere challenging option that can be disabled.

The health damaging system from Dragon Age II will return and as it happened before, characters won’t fully restore their HP upon a take down or harsh damage. To restore their well-being, players need to drink potions or return to the Inquisition’s castle. In this upcoming game, players can also resurrect their fallen companions and each one will carry his/her own limited potions. But in case of impossible battles, players can always retreat, as Laidlaw and Lee stated:

You can disengage from virtually any combat. And what would it do if your character is unconscious, pulled behind you. They get back up, sorely wounded often using the limited health potions. So, there’s definitely a cost of doing it.

da3When it comes to difficulty modes, BioWare ensures that environmental impact will play a huge part in Inquisition’s gameplay. For example, you can now fall off bridges and high places, which can be lethal most of the time. This means that fall damage is another new combat feature in-game. Another interesting aspect, is the fact that enemies don’t scale off player’s level except in plot quests, where enemies tend to keep up with the difficulty standards. In the vast open world, certain species won’t respawn ever again but there are others that will slowly respawn depending on how much players hunt them.

Finally, BioWare has commented on companion/follower relationship meters in Inquisition, which will have a different system and a hidden interface. All types of visible relationship bars and levels will be abolished in order to create a more realistic environment. This change will force players to interact and pay further attention to their favorite characters, since it’s the only way to notice if he/she is in good terms with you. BioWare explained that players will realize the state of a relationship through deep interaction, type of answers, behaviors and reactions to the Inquisitor’s decisions.

Dragon Age Inquisition will be available on 18th November for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Dragon Age Inquisition Has Multiplayer, Debut Trailer Released

Dragon Age

Despite Bioware having teased it months ago, the official announcement of Dragon Age Inquisition‘s multiplayer is still a shock. This week, the Xbox Youtube channel as uploaded the first reveal trailer of the co-operative multiplayer mode that the game will offer.  With a focus on unique classes, mini-campaigns, and customization, this mode appears to be very entertaining, but don’t take my word for it.

Say what you will about Mass Effect 3 and it’s multiplayer mode. At the end of the day, it was a surprisingly polished, balanced and enjoyable experience. Nobody wanted it, and nobody was excited when it hit, but the community was booming and the action never stopped.

If Bioware manages to make this mode even half as close to as fun as Mass Effect 3 was, I think it’s safe to say that we’re in for a treat. This is especially the case when you consider how few high fantasy games actually offer any sort of online experience.

Below is the mode in action; prepare yourself for the first taste.

Say what you will about Mass Effect 3 and it’s multiplayer mode. At the end of the day, it was a surprisingly polished, balanced and enjoyable experience. Nobody wanted it, and nobody was excited when it hit, but the community was booming and the action never stopped.

If Bioware manages to make this mode even half as close to as fun as Mass Effect 3 was, I think it’s safe to say that we’re in for a treat. This is especially the case when you consider how few high fantasy games actually offer any sort of online experience.

EA shows off Bioware Properties

EA

EA kicked off it’s press conference with footage of Dragon Age: Inquisition. The sizzler reel featured some stunning vistas and a lot of pretty character models walking around, but nothing in the terms of true gameplay. They then discussed how the new entry will bring see the return of a deep party system, customizeable characters and a semi-open world. Next the team showed off some actual gameplay, which revealed that the tactical mode, in which players can freeze time and plan team movements is coming back.

Next the team revealed a new entry into the Mass Effect series as well as a brand new IP. The new Intellectual property looked to be set within a post-apocalyptic world based on one piece of conceptual work. The Mass Effect entry appears to be a less story driven experience, instead focusing on discovery and exploration. They assured that characters would still play an important role in the game. The conceptual images will soon be added to the piece so you can judge for yourself.

New Dragon Age Inquisition Screenshots Tell Us to Hold the Lion

Dragon Age

BioWare has posted on the official Twitter account of Dragon Age Inquisition several new screenshots from the game, showing us a new and chilly area from the upcoming game. And even though I’ve personally had enough cold weather to last me for a lifetime, I still enjoyed the level of detail in the new screenshots, as well as the red spikes that I am sure bring the warmth. And some really crazy monsters to battle.

The new area in the upcoming Dragon Age Inquisition is called the Emprise Du Lion (which means “hold the lion” in French, if Google Translate is to be trusted). It surely has something to do with the castle that we see in some of the screenshots, one protected by huge chains and also guarded by a few people, judging from the red tents posted at the gates. Also, those red lava-like spikes seem to have completely taken over a tower – probably a prison where the “lion” is held, so despite the snow and the chilly weather, I’m sure it will get really warm for the player. Oh, and there’s a dragon too, because we’re talking about Dragon Age Inquisition!

Now get a hot chocolate and look at the new screenshots below, showing us the Emprise Du Lion, qui!

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Dragon Age Inquistion will be launched in the 4th quarter of 2014 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Gets Release Date, New Trailer

Dragon Age

EA has announced that Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming out on October 7 in North America, and October 10 in Europe. Along with this announcement comes a brand new game play trailer that details much of the plot outline and some of the more vague aspects we’ve not yet seen.

In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the expansive, beautiful world of Thedas is being torn apart by a massive, mysterious breach in the sky. Players must assume the role of the Inquisitor and lead a team of legendary heroes to uncover the truth behind the impending devastation.

Well, I’m excited. It seems like Bioware is trying to show that they’ve learned their lesson as far as Dragon Age goes. With an entirely new combat system, robust world to explore, and a plethora of characters to interact with, we can all hope that it succeeds in delivering a polished and redemptive close to the trilogy.

If all of that weren’t enough, EA also released several screenshots and the official box art for your viewing pleasure.

Inquisition box
Gender-neutral box art

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