Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Join Us For A Day Of Mass Effect: Andromeda

Game Informer staffers are streaming Mass Effect: Andromeda for six hours, starting tomorrow at 11 a.m CT, and running through 6 p.m. Since we already showed off the opening moments of Ryder's journey into the Andromeda galaxy, we're showing off different content in this live stream, including a look at new planets, different companions, as well as a deep dive into multiplayer. Joe Juba, who just released his review for Mass Effect: Andromeda will be on the entire stream, guiding us through this massive RPG.

Joe and other Game Informer editors who have played the game will answer as many questions as they can on both YouTube and Twitch. We hope the stream illuminates you on what Mass Effect: Andromeda has to offer, without spoiling too much of the adventure. See you tomorrow!

You can click the banner below to watch the stream on Twitch or Youtube, or just tune in here using the embedded video below.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Join Us For A Day Of Mass Effect: Andromeda

Game Informer staffers are streaming Mass Effect: Andromeda for six hours, starting tomorrow at 11 a.m CT, and running through 6 p.m. Since we already showed off the opening moments of Ryder's journey into the Andromeda galaxy, we're showing off different content in this live stream, including a look at new planets, different companions, as well as a deep dive into multiplayer. Joe Juba, who just released his review for Mass Effect: Andromeda will be on the entire stream, guiding us through this massive RPG.

Joe and other Game Informer editors who have played the game will answer as many questions as they can on both YouTube and Twitch. We hope the stream illuminates you on what Mass Effect: Andromeda has to offer, without spoiling too much of the adventure. See you tomorrow!

You can click the banner below to watch the stream on Twitch or Youtube, or just tune in here using the embedded video below.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Get Ready For Our Mass Effect Andromeda GI Game Club

Mass Effect Andromeda is almost here, and we want to play through the entire game with you. If you're not familiar with the GI Game Club format, we break up a game into multiple chunks and then discuss each segment in detail on The Game Informer Show podcast while reading off emails from the community that are sent in to [email protected]. We're looking for all types of emails, from lore-hounds to funny little things you might have noticed.

The first discussion will air on The Game Informer Show on March 30th, and will cover everything in the game up to the completion of the main story mission on the second planet. If you watched our live stream, you know that there is also a short introductory planet and we're not counting that one. So please send in your thoughts on anything/everything in the game up until you've finished the main story mission on the planet after the planet named Eos.

If you're looking for some discussion points to get the ball rolling, here are some suggestions:

- What do you think of the Ryder twins? How do they compare as a protagonist to Commander Shepherd?
- How well does the game build a sense of wonder about exploring a new galaxy?
- How important is it to understand the backstory and racial politics among the species from the original trilogy?
- What gameplay changes have you noticed, appreciated, or hated?
- Which character has made the biggest impact on you?
- What's your favorite moment or sequence so far? 

Once again, send your emails to [email protected]. We're really looking forward to playing through this game with you, so please subscribe to The Game Informer Show podcast and get ready for a lot of fun discussion on BioWare's next game!

To get caught up on previous GI Game Clubs, click through the links to hear us discuss the following games in exhaustive detail: Final Fantasy VIIUncharted 4: A Thief's EndDeus Ex: Human Revolution, BioShock, and Pokémon Sun and Moon.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Get Ready For Our Mass Effect Andromeda GI Game Club

Mass Effect Andromeda is almost here, and we want to play through the entire game with you. If you're not familiar with the GI Game Club format, we break up a game into multiple chunks and then discuss each segment in detail on The Game Informer Show podcast while reading off emails from the community that are sent in to [email protected]. We're looking for all types of emails, from lore-hounds to funny little things you might have noticed.

The first discussion will air on The Game Informer Show on March 30th, and will cover everything in the game up to the completion of the main story mission on the second planet. If you watched our live stream, you know that there is also a short introductory planet and we're not counting that one. So please send in your thoughts on anything/everything in the game up until you've finished the main story mission on the planet after the planet named Eos.

If you're looking for some discussion points to get the ball rolling, here are some suggestions:

- What do you think of the Ryder twins? How do they compare as a protagonist to Commander Shepherd?
- How well does the game build a sense of wonder about exploring a new galaxy?
- How important is it to understand the backstory and racial politics among the species from the original trilogy?
- What gameplay changes have you noticed, appreciated, or hated?
- Which character has made the biggest impact on you?
- What's your favorite moment or sequence so far? 

Once again, send your emails to [email protected]. We're really looking forward to playing through this game with you, so please subscribe to The Game Informer Show podcast and get ready for a lot of fun discussion on BioWare's next game!

To get caught up on previous GI Game Clubs, click through the links to hear us discuss the following games in exhaustive detail: Final Fantasy VIIUncharted 4: A Thief's EndDeus Ex: Human Revolution, BioShock, and Pokémon Sun and Moon.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Updated: Come play Mass Effect: Andromeda with us at 3PM EDT

Learn more about how BioWare makes open-world games and how they’re grappling with the technical challenges of Mass Effect Andromeda today at 3PM EDT. …


Gamasutra News

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review – Adapting To Harsh Frontiers

In the Mass Effect universe, the Andromeda Initiative is a bold and ambitious program. Looking for a future in uncharted territory, its volunteers leave the past behind and search for a new home in a faraway galaxy. However, despite all of the planning and preparation, cascading complications make it difficult for the Initiative to accomplish its mission beyond the Milky Way. In this way, Mass Effect: Andromeda is like the story it tells. It is a fresh start for the franchise and invigorated by a renewed sense of exploration, but a variety of problems prevent it from reaching its potential.

With Commander Shepard out of the picture, players control Ryder, a young explorer who inherits the role of Pathfinder – the one charged with finding humanity a home in Andromeda’s Heleus Cluster. Ryder has just the right mixture of confidence and uncertainty, so you feel capable while improvising in strange situations. Whether you’re brokering peace with a new race or uncovering alien technology, you and Ryder are figuring things out together. You make some tough calls along the way, but the focus isn’t on choice and consequence this time, so just about any response can feel correct.

You and Ryder have a lot of work to do. All of the potential settlement worlds have catastrophic problems, the arks carrying the Milky Way’s other races have gone missing, and the conquering kett race is waging war on the natives. These looming mysteries and threats provide a fantastic foundation for Andromeda’s story; the opening 10 hours set the stage and build anticipation, and I could not wait to begin my Pathfinder duties in earnest.

By the 40-hour mark, the big questions like “Does Andromeda have habitable planets?” and “What do the kett want?” reach predictable conclusions. Seeing the story unfold is still cool, but you learn the Heleus Cluster isn’t as full of mystery and novelty as you thought. For example, I like the designs of the new alien races, but they would look right at home in the Milky Way. Mass Effect fans are already used to bizarre creatures like krogan and hanar, and the new races don’t push boundaries to fulfill the initial promise of encountering truly foreign life.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For the series that brought us adversaries like Saren and the Illusive Man, the primary foe in Andromeda is surprisingly boilerplate. He barely gets any screen time, and his goals are exactly what you would expect from an evil alien overlord. Your confrontation culminates in a confusing final mission in which everyone’s lives are at stake, but I cannot tell you precisely how my actions were preventing disaster, which drains the tension and triumph from the ultimate victory.

The main story isn’t the only way you learn about your surroundings, since Andromeda’s other activities bear significant narrative weight. The open-world structure lets you pursue the stories you find interesting, putting you in charge of your journey into the unknown. These threads are where I found my favorite stories in Andromeda, and I had trouble choosing which interesting tasks to tackle next. Should I track down the Initiative’s missing arks, help the crew organize a movie night, or unlock the pieces of a mystery involving the Ryder family? Seemingly inconsequential filler like going around the map to place seismic hammers can lead to big surprises, encouraging you to leave no stone unturned. I even enjoy cruising between objectives in the Nomad, since it emphasizes how large and untamed the worlds are. Cresting a ridge after a long drive and seeing an alien landscape on the horizon and the ruins of an ancient civilization below you captures the essence of exploration in Andromeda.

The wealth of content is impressive; you could probably get through main story quickly, but I logged about 60 hours to see everything that interested me, a significant part of which was ally loyalty missions. Instead of one-off excursions, these are now full quest threads. They usually begin with a conversation, steer you toward objectives spanning a couple locations, then culminate in a mission of personal importance to the character. I love this approach to fleshing out the crew, because it feels more like developing a relationship. The loyalty missions contain some excellent exchanges and scenarios that I won't spoil here, but learning more about your teammates' backstories is satisfying. Though I have my favorite companions (Jaal and Drack), Andromeda's cast isn't as memorable as its predecessors' – though that isn't as damning as it sounds considering the high bar BioWare set with those titles.

Andromeda compares most favorably to previous entries when the bullets and biotics start flying. This is the best combat has ever felt in the series. The controls are responsive, the action is fluid, and the focus on mobility leads to more dynamic encounters. You aren’t just hunkering down under the same crate to shoot at distant foes; different enemy types keep you moving by flushing you out, at which point you dash and jump to a new location. Though the auto-cover can be frustratingly inconsistent, you are never in the same place for too long, and using a combination of powers and weapons to buy yourself breathing room leads to many thrilling moments.

While the battles are mechanically solid, the systems feeding into them don’t scale well, and ultimately make your options feel limited. Ryder isn’t restricted to a particular class, so you can choose from a broad array of combat, tech, and biotic skills. At first, I was dazzled by possibilities, like draining shields with Overload before tossing off a Pull-and-Throw combo to trigger a biotic explosion. I also like the concept of profiles, which provide different static bonuses depending on how you spend your skill points. However, with dozens of options, why you should invest in one power or profile over another is unclear, and your ability to experiment is constrained since you can only equip three powers at once. You can technically switch to other power/profile sets in mid-combat, but all of the powers need to cool down once you switch, which makes it an impractical solution – especially since you can only switch powers, not weapons. Combat is at its best when you pick a small range of abilities and passive bonuses and invest in them exclusively.

Fans of Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer will also have a good time with Andromeda's online offering. It uses the same combat fundamentals as single-player, but like Mass Effect 3, it has more directed progression thanks to predetermined power sets. This keeps the action distilled to moment-by-moment survival as you fight off waves of increasingly difficult foes, ideally communicating with a team of capable squadmates. It generally works well (though I ran into some lag issues when playing on pre-release servers), and I like its unobtrusive ties to Ryder’s main campaign. But like any multiplayer mode these days, its long-term success depends on BioWare’s ability to optimize stability and provide a steady stream of new content to keep players engaged. I’ve had plenty of fun already, and I’m looking forward to diving deeper in the coming weeks.

Lurking beneath the ups and downs of the Andromeda’s gameplay and story is a baffling network of technical issues, clunky menus, and unexplained systems. Finding and tracking your quests is needlessly complicated, crafting is a convoluted and multi-step affair that is rarely worth the hassle, and the limited inventory system has no reason to exist at all since you can’t access your unequipped weapons and armor in the field. Stuttering framerates and audio bugs are frequent enough to be distracting. I also encountered a handful of bizarre animations, visual glitches, and broken quests that forced a reload at worst, so they didn’t bother me as much as the other more persistent problems. However, all of this contributes to an overall lack of polish that gives the impression various components are not fitting together properly.

When taken as its own journey (and not in comparison to Shepard’s saga), Mass Effect: Andromeda is fun, and the important parts work. The narrative isn’t astounding, but keeps you invested and drives you forward. The combat is entertaining whether you're in single-player or multiplayer. The crew isn't my favorite, but I like them and they have some good moments. Even with its other problems, these are the largest forces shaping your experience with Mass Effect: Andromeda, and they make it worth playing. At the same time, I was often left looking through a haze of inconveniences and dreaming about the game it could have been.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Four Things To Know About Mass Effect: Andromeda

Bioware's highly anticipated return to its science-fiction RPG universe marks both a familiar and new direction for the series.

There's both good and bad to be had with the latest Mass Effect, and Joe Juba outlines some of those facets of the game. For our review of Mass Effect: Andromeda, head here.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For another video like this one, follow the links for videos on Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nier: Automata, Halo Wars 2, and Torment: Tides of Numenera. It's a new video
format we're trying out, so please give us your feedback in the comments
below!

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

BioWare Responds To Harassment Following Uproar About Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Animations

In the last few days, controversy has spread online surrounding Mass Effect: Andromeda's wonky animations. While most of the online clips and images poke fun at character movements rather than project malicious intent, some people began harassing a former female Electronic Arts employee and casting the blame on her.

BioWare responded to the harassment recently via Twitter, stating the victim of harassment was misidentified as the lead animator of Mass Effect: Andromeda. According to the studio, she had never been in the lead animation role to begin with. You can view the statement from BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn below:

The animations shared online were from players who had early access to the first 10 hours of the game through EA Access. These early access builds include the day one patch that all other players will receive when Mass Effect: Andromeda releases on March 21 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

 

Our Take
While I can agree that these animations are wonky, harassment is never the answer, regardless of how strongly you feel about an issue. As BioWare courteously states, the team accepts constructive criticism from fans if they feel unhappy with one feature or another in the game. I'm saddened to hear that this person was being attacked online for something they weren't responsible for to begin with. Even if this was the lead animator, it's important to remember that creating games is a team effort. My thoughts are with this former employee during these difficult times. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Prepare For Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Release With Our Hub Of Exclusive Content

BioWare's next installment in the Mass Effect franchise is nearly upon us. Mass Effect: Andromeda is out in just a couple days, and now is a perfect time to look back at our December 2016 cover story content, where we had shed light on the game with videos, interviews, and interesting tidbits for a month long.

This coverage includes 101 questions and answers about Andromeda, a look at a couple of the squadmates, our impressions, how Andromeda will tackle romance arcs in a different way, and more. You can also watch us play through two hours of Andromeda here.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

You can check out the cover reveal here. Click the banner below, or click here, to be transported to our hub of exclusive content. Mass Effect: Andromeda releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 21.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Get Ready For Our Mass Effect Andromeda GI Game Club

Mass Effect Andromeda is almost here, and we want to play through the entire game with you. If you're not familiar with the GI Game Club format, we break up a game into multiple chunks and then discuss each segment in detail on The Game Informer Show podcast while reading off emails from the community that are sent in to [email protected]. We're looking for all types of emails, from lore-hounds to funny little things you might have noticed.

The first discussion will air on The Game Informer Show on March 30th, and will cover everything in the game up to the completion of the main story mission on the second planet. If you watched our live stream, you know that there is also a short introductory planet and we're not counting that one. So please send in your thoughts on anything/everything in the game up until you've finished the main story mission on the planet after the planet named Eos.

If you're looking for some discussion points to get the ball rolling, here are some suggestions:

- What do you think of the Ryder twins? How do they compare as a protagonist to Commander Shepherd?
- How well does the game build a sense of wonder about exploring a new galaxy?
- How important is it to understand the backstory and racial politics among the species from the original trilogy?
- What gameplay changes have you noticed, appreciated, or hated?
- Which character has made the biggest impact on you?
- What's your favorite moment or sequence so far? 

Once again, send your emails to [email protected]. We're really looking forward to playing through this game with you, so please subscribe to The Game Informer Show podcast and get ready for a lot of fun discussion on BioWare's next game!

To get caught up on previous GI Game Clubs, click through the links to hear us discuss the following games in exhaustive detail: Final Fantasy VIIUncharted 4: A Thief's EndDeus Ex: Human Revolution, BioShock, and Pokémon Sun and Moon.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed