mass effect

Naughty Dog Animator Breaks Down Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Animations, Offers Explanation for Low Quality

Unless you’ve been living under a space rock, you’ll have heard about Mass Effect: Andromeda and the controversy surrounding its subpar character modeling and animations. It was one of the many complaints we made in our review. Amidst the number of armchair developers complaining and hurling abuse, Jonathan Cooper (an actual developer for Naughty Dog) took to Twitter to offer his thoughts. In a fantastic display of rebellion against the site’s 140 character limit, Jonathan gave an in-depth explanation of how animation works and what exactly players are seeing with Andromeda. We’ve compiled all of Jonathan’s tweets below for easy reading. Folks have been asking so here are my thoughts on Mass Effect Andromeda’s animation. Hopefully people will better understand the process. First though; going after individual team members is not only despicable, but the culprits and choice of target revealed their true nature. Just as we credit a team, not an individual, for a game’s success, we should never single out one person for a team’s failures. That said, animating an RPG is a really, really big undertaking – completely different from a game like Uncharted so comparisons are unfair. Every encounter in Uncharted is unique & highly controlled because we create…


BioWare Releases Mass Effect: Andromeda Sara Ryder Character Trailer

[embedded content] It’s been a few days since the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda and BioWare has just released the character trailer for one of the game’s main protagonists, Sara Ryder. In Andromeda, players get to choose one of two twins, Sara or Scott Ryder, to play as the main character, but both characters remain part of the game’s story regardless of the player’s choice. The trailer itself shows a few of the game’s cutscenes featuring Sara Ryder, as well as several of the game’s other characters, alien races, events, and locations. Mass Effect: Andromeda was met with very mixed reviews (check out our review here) most of which criticized the game’s animations, more specifically the facial animations of many of its characters including Sara Ryder, as well as other serious technical issues. BioWare has since announced that they plan to fix many of the game’s problems and are considering fixing the animations as well. [Source: Mass Effect (YouTube)] READ FULL STORY AT PLAYSTATIONLIFESTYLE!


Here's How Mass Effect: Andromeda Handles Sex and Romance

When Bioware first showed off Mass Effect: Andromeda, some fans didn’t care about the premise, the story, or the combat. The question many of us had was, “what aliens can I fuck this time?” Advertisement Fear not, thirsty reader, you can indeed fuck some aliens in Andromeda. Like many Bioware games before it, Andromeda allows you to build relationships with your crewmates, some of which culminate in strong friendships, while others bloom into full-on romances, sex scenes and all. (Spoilers and some NSFW content ahead.) I was surprised to find that Andromeda lets you flirt with other characters almost immediately after meeting them. This threw me off. Realistically speaking, I would never just launch into the whole “hey baby~” thing, because that would make me a creep. Worse, what if flirting too early caused some romance options to close down the line? I didn’t even know these people yet, I can’t just start flirting with them, I thought. Advertisement So, I chatted with everyone, got to know them a little. I was intrigued by Cora, my second-in-command, because she seemed like a badass. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


BioWare Wants to “Strongly Support” Mass Effect Andromeda Moving Forward

On his Twitter account yesterday, Mass Effect Andromeda Lead Designer Ian Frazier responded to a question about the facial animations in the game and whether or not they would be addressed in a future patch. “We’re looking at patching lots of issues and want to strongly support the game moving forward,” he said. “I can’t say more just yet.” As for additional character creation options, BioWare is “still looking [at] several possibilities for improving the [character creator],” and Frazier has stubble for the male Ryder “on the list of things we’re looking at potentially fixing/adding for character creation.” Asked about light skin tones, he said, “Can’t promise anything yet, but we’re currently evaluating various options for making it better.” One of the other complaints about Andromeda is the fact that saving is disabled during priority missions. After confirming that it’s something BioWare is looking into, Frazier responded to someone who asked when players would be able to save during those missions. “Not sure yet, still checking out the ramifications of such a change,” he replied. “Will tweet if/when I can!” When a player asked if anything could be said about the lack of male/male romances, Frazier said, “There’s nothing I can share on this at READ…


Get Mass Effect Andromeda For $48, or the Deluxe Edition For $61, Even Without Prime

You can still get Mass Effect Andromeda for $48 with Amazon Prime or Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked, but for a limited time, Newegg’s eBay storefront is offering that price to all-comers on both PS4 and Xbox One. $48 From amazon 647 purchased by readers Gizmodo Media Group may get a commission The Deluxe Edition is also available for $61 on Amazon for everyone right now, though that’ll drop to $56 for Prime members at checkout. $61 From amazon 908 purchased by readers Gizmodo Media Group may get a commission $61 From amazon 265 purchased by readers Gizmodo Media Group may get a commission READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Tips For Playing Mass Effect: Andromeda

Andromeda is an entirely new galaxy, and exploring it can be overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know to make the most out of the latest Mass Effect game. Don’t try to do everything at once Mass Effect: Andromeda throws a lot at you from the get-go, and stopping to immediately make sense of every piece of it won’t work. Take a breath, and take it one step at a time. Prioritize your missions Priority Ops are main missions, which you’ll want to tackle now and again. Beyond that, I found that the best quests were typically under the “Allies” menu. You’ll also want to make sure to do missions about Angaran politics, as these will help you appreciate your new alien neighbors. Planet-wise, I particularly appreciated the Kadaran slum quests, and Elaaden’s Krogan quests. If a crew member from your ship asks you to do something, you probably should—especially loyalty missions. Finally, get crackin’ on finding those lost arks, they are important. Talk to everyone NPCs out in the world have things to say, yes, but you’ll want to be especially aware of your crew. Just know that your squadmates occasionally READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

A Beginner’s Guide To The World Of Mass Effect

Hey, there’s a new Mass Effect game out this week! How about that. While Mass Effect: Andromeda tells a story independent of the original trilogy, there’s enough existing lore, jargon and backstory that you probably want to brush up before you dive in. I’m here to help. Advertisement I’ve played a dozen or so hours of Andromeda and have mixed feelings, but I know that brushing up on the lore is helpful to get back into a Mass Effect state of mind. If you want a full take on the game, stay tuned for Patricia’s review a little later today. In Andromeda, your character Ryder has been cryogenically frozen and dispatched alongside thousands of others on a six-hundred-year journey to colonize the Andromeda galaxy. They departed in the middle of the original trilogy, before any of the earthshaking events of Mass Effect 3. As a result, they have a blank slate on which to write their own story. Advertisement That fresh start notwithstanding, the game’s writers still regularly assume that players will be familiar with the events of the first three games, particularly given that by the time your character wakes up, the trilogy has long since concluded. The new…


Digital Foundry: Mass Effect Andromeda on PS4 Runs Gameplay at 1080p, Cutscenes at 900p

[embedded content] In their initial performance analysis of Mass Effect Andromeda on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Digital Foundry says gameplay runs at 1080p on PS4, but cutscenes drop to 900p. Xbox One, meanwhile, runs gameplay at 900p and cutscenes at 756p. “Curiously, some cutscenes actually resolve at full 1080p on both systems – but on close inspection, these turn out to be video sequences that run while game data streams into memory in the background,” Digital Foundry adds. The frame-rate comparison begins at 4:20 of the video, and it shows that Mass Effect Andromeda is capped at 30fps, but there are drops on both consoles, typically in the same areas. Starting at 5:20 of the video, you can see how screen-tearing only appears in the “top couple of lines on PS4, thus being mostly unnoticeable,” and see how the frame-rate can vary from 24fps – 30fps during gameplay. After saying that the PS4’s frame-rate is “ever-so-slightly smoother” than Xbox One, Digital Foundry added, “In short, for the majority of the experience, performance hits the target, but we could really use an optimization push to iron out the remaining kinks.” Digital Foundry says they’ll have an analysis on the PS4 Pro version of Mass Effect…


BioWare Offers up a Mass Effect Andromeda Launch Message, Doctor’s Note

[embedded content] Mass Effect Andromeda is releasing this week in North America and Europe for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and developer BioWare offered up this message today, thanking fans for sharing the five-year journey with them: Three studios, five years, and hundreds of people made Mass Effect Andromeda a reality, and we can’t wait for you to explore this new galaxy. From all of us at BioWare, thank you for sharing the journey with us. We hope you enjoy this next chapter in the Mass Effect universe. Over on the Mass Effect website, BioWare listed 10 reasons why you should be excited for Andromeda: Characters – As the Pathfinder, you won’t have to shoulder the responsibility of humanity’s future by yourself. To explore the galaxy and find a home, you’ll build a team with members of various species and backgrounds. New friendships, rivalries, and more await. Exploration – Your task is to determine the right planet for humanity to thrive on, and that takes exploration. One of the best tools for discovering a planet’s environment is The Nomad, a top-of-the-line scout rover. It’s equipped with twin hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells that power an element zero core and an interchangeable READ FULL STORY…


Mass Effect Andromeda Update 1.04 Now Out, Is 1.9GB on PS4

With Mass Effect Andromeda launching tomorrow in North America, players have revealed that update 1.04 is live on PlayStation 4 and takes up approximately 1.9GB. Just like update 1.03, the PS4’s Update History says 1.04 includes various bug fixes and stability improvements. Producer Fernando Melo touched on Mass Effect Andromeda update 1.04: PC @masseffect folks, be sure to grab latest patch (pushed out today) – fix black screen / Corsair utility, MP sound, MP F-keys issues — Fernando Melo (@DiscoBabaloo) March 20, 2017 In addition, all platforms @masseffect – landing on Ark Natanus in patch 1.04 (PC/PS4 out now, XB1 mon/tues latest) — Fernando Melo (@DiscoBabaloo) March 20, 2017 Also, some @masseffect server side data fixes incoming as we speak – should address some Challenges not being able to complete — Fernando Melo (@DiscoBabaloo) March 20, 2017 According to Melo, a detailed list of patch notes should be posted by BioWare today. For future updates, Melo says they’re looking into performance improvements in multiplayer, a way to prevent enemies from attacking when you spawn in multiplayer, and IPv6 matchmaking issues. Mass Effect Andromeda launches tomorrow in North America and on Wednesday in Europe. You can read our review over here. [Source: Fernando Melo READ FULL STORY AT PLAYSTATIONLIFESTYLE!


Mass Effect: Andromeda PC Benchmarked On 24 Different Video Cards

It’s hard to believe five years have passed since the March 2012 release of Mass Effect 3, which cemented the trilogy as something of a modern cult classic among RPG fans. Given the prestige associated with the series, it should come as no surprise that it received a new title and even less of a surprise that it’s been on our list of must-play PC games for 2017. Advertisement Developed by BioWare and published by EA on PC, Xbox One and PS4, Mass Effect: Andromeda vows to be bigger and more beautiful than prior releases. Although initial impressions indicate that the game delivers on some of those promises, it hasn’t been a flawless execution so you may want to read a full review before buying this one (or just Google “Andromeda animations”). The game begins in the Milky Way Galaxy during the 22nd century with humanity planning to populate new home worlds in the Andromeda Galaxy as part of a strategy called the “Andromeda Initiative.” The player assumes the role of either Scott or Sara Ryder, an inexperienced military recruit who joins the Initiative and wakes READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Mass Effect Andromeda Review – Finding Paths (PS4)

After the credits rolled at the end of Mass Effect 3, no one expected the franchise to really return outside of a port to the current generation of consoles. EA’s announcement of Mass Effect Andromeda at E3 2015 both surprised and elated fans. We had a long time to wait, but oh, it would be worth it. Mass Effect addicts love the franchise so much, we don’t care how long we have to wait for a new installment. We will happily wait a few years for a polished experience filled with a space opera and those BioWare character development and interactions that made the original trilogy so remarkable. It’s unfortunate that Andromeda stumbles more than it sprints in most cases. Ineffective Storyline The Andromeda Initiative is a plan the Council cooked up to send tens of thousands of eager participants from most species (human, asari, turian, krogran, and salarian) to the Andromeda galaxy to settle. The Andromeda galaxy is two million light years away, effectively making this a one way trip. They leave in the year 2185, the year Mass Effect 2 began. There are no Mass Relays in Andromeda, which seems to be just fine as everyone has ships that fly faster than light (FTL). READ…

Aaryn Flynn

Mass Effect Andromeda Animations Spark Controversy, BioWare Responds

This past week, Mass Effect Andromeda‘s character animations became talk of the town in gaming circles, with many noting that not only have they been downgraded since the initial reveal, but that they also look quite poor for a AAA game (note: we’re reserving our judgement for our review). Things took an interesting turn when some folks identified the game’s lead facial animator as Allie Rose-Marie Leost, resulting in people directly addressing her on social media. Alongside criticism, it appears that she started receiving some unpleasant messages, which prompted BioWare to release the following statement: — BioWare (@bioware) March 18, 2017 Here’s where this gets weirder. Twitter user Ethan Ralph (of The Ralph Retort) posted screenshots under the tweet that appear to identify Leost as the lead animator on Andromeda before her profile was changed so we’re not sure if she actually worked on the game or not and in what capacity. In the midst of this, another development came to light. BioWare’s Manveer Heir, who’s been the subject of controversy himself due to a series of tweets about “white people,” has left the developer. This was confirmed by the studio’s General Manager, Aaryn Flynn, in response to a READ FULL STORY…


Mass Effect Andromeda – Everything You Need to Know

Five long years after the launch and subsequent fallout from Mass Effect 3 — for many, that original ending still leaves a sour taste in the mouth — BioWare is gearing up for the launch of Mass Effect Andromeda, the latest (and greatest?) installment in the spacefaring series that heralds new planets, new vehicles, and a whole new cast of characters. It is, without question, one of 2017’s pixelated heavy-hitters — the kind of video game launch that ostensibly forces the entire industry to stand up and take notice. March 21st is the official due date, though EA Access and Origin members will be able to enjoy a 1o-hour spell in Mass Effect Andromeda from March 16th. The review embargo, meanwhile, lifts on Monday, March 20 at 12 am PT/3 am ET, when PSLS’ resident Mass Effect expert Keri Honea will turn in her verdict of BioWare’s galaxy far, far away. But the status of our review is but a small tidbit to feature in the gallery below, wherein you’ll find a wealth of info for Andromeda just in time for release. So, you’re ready to blast off into the dark recesses of space? Not so fast, Pathfinder! In anticipation of its North American launch READ…