Got to the Nexus, almost time to go to my first actual planet.
First area (tutorial area) is actually really open. Lots to do and explore in this tutorial level. This is BEFORE the Nexus, basically right when the game opens. Tons of side stuff, actual platforming (yes, platforming!) and exploration. And enviroment hazards (actually more then one). I ran into a couple of little puzzle bits in the first area as well.
Game reminds me of Dragon Age Inquistion in quite a few ways, blending with ME2/ME3. Tracking is very Skyrim-esque (icons up top on the compass). When you complete a side “area” the icon will change color to let ya know (white to blue) Thats handy. On the map you CAN SET WAYPOINTS! Which is SUPER handy. They show up on the Compass as well.
Combat is GOOD. But I keep trying to go into cover with SPACE and end up jetting up into the air. Fluid, fun, I dont spend all day in cover if I don’t want to. I like being able to hover and pop baddies in the HEAD! PEW PEW! Having all abilities on their own cooldowns is nice. I chose the “Engineer” styled background during Char Gen, so I started with a power that drains shields and gives them to me. Got Incinerate early. Every level up gives you 3 Power Points to spend as well. Each level of a power costs that many points (level 1 = 1 point, level 2 = 2 points, ect).
Your ammo is refilled at little ammo packs you find, but those packs are NOT infinite. There are little visual meters on em that look neat that show how much ammo is left in em. I actually DID run out of Pistol Ammo early on, and even died in the tutorial area cause I was not paying attention to cover.
Dialog is decent, nothing cringy or anything. Facial animations are still a bit wonky. Frequently my FemRyder looks like she is staring up and to the right lol Voice acting is decent as well and there are tons of it, as well as lots of “ambient” dialog as well. I stopped quite a few times just to listen to NPCs discussing things. Also it appears that some side missions will show up as a Blue Exclamation Point on the tracker / over an NPCs Head. I found one that way on the Hyperion.
Scanning in game is a bit odd. I have to hit G (which means every so often I hit F and do melee instead!), and its kinda clunky feeling at times. I dont mind it, but I can see that people could get aggrevated with it. Tons of lore doing it though. And you can scan quite a bit, and sometimes the same types of things multiple times (like you can scan Kett Corpses more then once for some reason)
Also the UI Menus are pretty rough. Definitely designed for consoles. I can bring up the map with M, but I gotta hit ESC twice to close out of everything. And its all nested. I can navigate it easy enough, but it takes time. And I mean NESTED. You gotta click a lot to get to weapons, and then types. Also the shop interface was a bit wonky too.
Technically I am running this on a i7 4770k, GTX 970, and 16gb Ram. I let the game choose “Auto Detect” for graphical settings and its working really well. Pretty sure I can set it to High and be fine. Running at a steady 50-60fps with these settings. I might turn off Temporal AA and it kinda makes things fuzzy at times, and I am not a fan. Honestly I had it set to custom early on (Shadows and Lighting on Medium, everything else on High, AA on MSAA) and it ran solid as well and I dont really notice a difference.
Graphically this game is stellar as well. While facial texures are kinda wooden on the humans (And why is Sara Ryders default mouth so LARGE and her eyes so damn LARGE!) every alien looks WONDERFUL! I already got a few characters I really like as well (Liam is actually really cool, Cora is alright) squad wise, and even some of the NPCs I have encountered feel very alive.
Strike missions are this games War Table missions (Dragon Age Inqusition). You send out agents (Who I guess you have to find) to go do missions and you get loot boxes for em. Apex missions are still strike missions, only you can do those yourself via Multiplayer, and get extra rewards.
Story wise I am hooked. I want to know WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH EVERYTHING and I want to explore. I want to actually go out and solve the mysteries already presented to me. Nothing really feels forced either for me so far.
As a whole I am very pleased with this. I loved Dragon Age Inqusition (190 hours in that game alone) and ADORE ME2. This seems like a solid blend of the two, and that pleases me more then anything right now. However, if you were not a fan of Dragon Age Inqusition, I can see you possibly not enjoying this as much. It is more open then the previous games so far, and it DOES dump a LOT of info on you early on, much like the very first mass effect. I dont mind that, others might. And I did find a couple of “Collect X Things” on the Nexus for side quests, but they are things I would be doing in my normal gaming (one was scan 10 creatures, which I would be doing anyway) so that doesnt bother me at all since I do not have to go out of my way to do it.
10 hours for this trial is not enough. Tuesday the 21st Cannot Come Soon Enough!
Oh and I have not touched MP. I am not big into MP generally so I dont think I will be bothering with it for a WHILE.