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Some minor spoilers for characters and mechanics early in Mass Effect: Andromeda


Well, when it comes to pneumonia, there are pros and cons. True, the cons are coughing so hard you almost barf and being tired and pulling muscles and stuff, but the pros are the kids get taken out of the house and you can play.

So, you know, a wash. Kinda.

Got on the tempest, which is a cool assed ship. Even cooler than the Normandy. I kinda love it. Flew to Eos, which I can tell will take some time. Did the bits of finding codes that make a quest longer than it needs to be. Now I’m about to turn on a generator and get attacked.


I’m already kinda into Suvi. Just met her. She’s cute. She sounds like Cait. I’ll still play the field, no doubt, but I dig her.

This game is doing something the first three did that I never understood. The first games, and this one, do a really good job differentiating Krogan, Asari and Turians from each other. There’s folks in those races with different voices, personalities, etc. Salarians? They all sound the same, act the same, etc. I mean, are they ALL slightly neurotic people with very similar voices? They never are able to really get into that.

The memory fragment this is quite a reach, isn’t it? He just scattered them about the undiscovered galaxy? Even SAM was all “Look, just…don’t ask, ok?”

But, that said, I’m digging it. I figured things would pick up enormously once I got a ship, and, sure enough, I’m already finding it more interesting now that I have a ship. Though, nothing against Cora and Liam, I like Cora and Liam, but I want a couple of other potential squadmates, and soon.

I’m really not seeing what the beef is about so far. It’s good so far. I really think this game suffered from the same review bias as three (It’s not as good as ME2 so I’ll dock it a couple points even though very little is that good), which, as I’ve mentioned, is a problem as we tend to forget that ME2 was, though great, flawed itself. Also, I have a feeling that a lot of the reviewers who wrote this one up were the same reviewers who wrote up HZD, and, gotta admit, HZD is a tough act to follow.

Not disappointed yet. Step off, internet.


Focus on the pros. You can play! In between coughing fits!

I do like the Tempest. Nice Shakespearean, ‘brave new world’ reference.

The ‘memory fragment’ thing is SUCH a reach. Dad…dad…why didn’t you ever tell anyone you had the power to somehow stash memory triggers all over an entire, unexplored galaxy? Every time I find one in some out of the way spot on some uninhabited planet in a system we’ve never been, I think “…really, dad?”

And yet no one is interested in investigating this mysterious power he had! It’s all just “oh, sure, I’ll pick up ‘memory triggers’ left by my father on random planets where humans have never set foot, seems normal enough.”

I’ve recruited a few extra people, but I’m so used to traveling with Cora and Liam that I haven’t remembered to swap them out. In the two occasions that I’ve gone off the ship recently.

I’ve been in the one place lately, and dude, just…when you attack a kett command center, DO NOT DIE. I spent about 10 minutes on it, battling waves of dudes, achieved a couple of checkpoint-y objectives, and then died…and reloaded way back at the beginning. Fine. Spent another 15 minutes fighting waves of dudes, achieving objectives, died. Reloaded back at the beginning. Turned off the game in disgust.

Came back the next evening filled with nerves and terror and the determination to NOT DIE and did make it through, but…man…save points are good. It sort of added to the realism, I suppose, being that worried about dying (I mean, one presumably WOULD be somewhat worried about dying in the middle of a laser gunfight with a bunch of aliens), but it was also super, super annoying to have to replay all that stuff.

So, tip: someday you will attack a kett command center on an icy planet. When that day comes, be very careful not to die.

They do help you out by strewing health canisters everywhere. As usual in games, when you see healing everywhere, be very afraid.


It’s a pretty super cool ship. Nice to give me a king size bed.

Yeah the memory fragments was a bit of a mess of a narrative device. But respect to the game for not even bothering to give a fuck about explaining it.

“Just…..go with it, ok?”

Maybe part of her brain is still frozen.

I didn’t even KNOW I could take the turian badass from the ship until just now. It didn’t really tell you “Hey, of the million people you met, this one will follow you.” I, too, have gotten used to a fighting style that includes Cora and Liam. But I think I just met a friend I’m going to like…..

Ugh. Hate that experience you describe. There’s reaper moments, and there’s disgust at save point moments. They’re the worst.

Healing or ammo: danger signs. That just happened to me.

I took advantage of pneumonia (which really, really, REALLY sucks) to play. What did I do, I ran around site 1 a lot. I got the nomad, I drove (or tried to drive) over to the monolith, said FUCK THIS and just ran to the monolith, met PB (I’m going to like PeeBee), did all that, got back in the nomad, decided to do the “First Murderer” bit cuz I thought it would be quick. It wasn’t. Found the first two pieces of evidence, got into a TERRIBLE fight, ran back to site two, got another quest, hit save.

I like PB.

But you know what I really, really don’t like? Driving. I HATE driving in games almost as much as I hate swimming. I’m TERRIBLE at driving the nomad. When I’m doing well, I look like I’ve had 27 drinks. When I’m NOT doing well, I get stuck and have to reload a save point. TWICE.

Fuck the nomad.

You know what else is a reach? SAM being able to talk to ghosts and shit. Ah, well. Go with it.

I’m into it. I like the whole creepy “they came close and died” ghost colony vibe. It’s just the right amount of creepy.

If only I didn’t have to drive.


Yeah, there’s a lot of driving. Good thing the nomad is pretty sturdy, because I’m constantly ramming it into things, driving it directly off cliffs, etc. (It will survive a fall off a fairly high cliff! Although there are limits.) I like your 27 drinks theory. From now on I’m just going to imagine that as soon as Ryder gets in that thing she takes a big swig of rum.

“All right…time to drive. Cora, pour me another.”

I predict you also find mining annoying. Or, partly it’s the mining itself, and partly its that fact that SAM has to tell you Every. Single. Time. you enter an area that can be mined. “This area can be explored for minerals, Pathfinder. You can launch probes via your mining interface.”

Really, SAM? Just like the last 15 times? Thanks for the heads up, man. I never get tired of your dulcet tones telling me that I can mine using the mining interface. It’s not as if I can see the symbol on my screen or anything.

I like that badass turian. Her name escapes me at the moment, but I like her. I should note, being a woman and therefore naturally obsessed with gender at all times, that I appreciate how they’ve included a few more female characters from other species, which we didn’t really see in the previous games (aside from the asari).

We’ve got what’s her name the badass turian, what’s her name the krogan scientist…I feel like we also ran into a female salerian at some point? (Although don’t I vaguely recall from previous games’ codex materials that female salerians are rare for some reason?…ah, thank you wiki, ‘social rules’ mean that 90% of them are male.)

Anyway, given you’d presumably want to send a healthy number of both male and female members of a species if you want to establish a population in an unexplored galaxy, I like to see a few of them.

I do like the king size bed in my quarters. That’s right, designers of this ship! YOU understand my priorities!


And Liam? Try not to get car sick. Again.

SAM and mining… That and the radiation. “Radiation levels have spiked, pathfinder.” “Really? Once I went through that, you know, radiation barrier?”

Imagine having SAM in your head….all….the….time….

That would be Vetra, your turian companion. And yes, they have included many more women. Mix it up!

Social rules for salerians? What? I dunno. More of that “hard to animate” thing, I bet.

But why is she on about the genophage? I ended that! My little ending slide show (cuz I played the altered version) had a nice Krogan couple cradling a baby! Was it all for NOTHING?

The ship’s designers do understand me! And a view to boot! Shep had that windowless space. Kinda bland when you’re trying to get your thang on. Though Ryder doesn’t have a stereo, does she? Gotta get the tunes on. Set the mood.

I do hope I can romance some non squad mates. I do like that Scottish pilot….. but I may grow to like PB.


Yeah, Liam. Just because I always wind up driving nearly vertically up and down cliffs is no excuse to let your stomach get the better of you.

He wouldn’t have enjoyed the several minutes I spent going around in circles trying to squash one of those spider/lizard things that pop up. Just so you know, it turns out you really can’t damage things by driving over them with the nomad. I’ve tried it with the kett, so you don’t have to. I suppose the gentle approach to interaction with the outside world that allows it to survive my driving also results in not doing a lot of damage to other things.

Dad probably picked me to be Pathfinder rather than Cora just because he knew she’s too fierce and impatient to deal with SAM’s constant helpful comments. The radiation! The temperature! (Right now I’m on a cold planet, so every time I walk away from a heater or go outside he says “I’m registering a temperature decrease, Pathfinder.” Thanks! So much! The whistling icy winds definitely didn’t give it away!)

Cora would have gone right over the edge in twenty minutes. Me, on the other hand, after a youth spent playing video games with helpful tips on the load screens…I can handle it. (This is not part of the official backstory, but I’m filling it in.)

“Yeah yeah, SAM. Remind me to use my weapons to damage the enemy next time I’m in combat, will you?”


I mean, it’s only a LITTLE worse than re-entering a hostile atmosphere that’s super charged with weird energy. I’m not THAT bad of a driver.

HA! “Come back here so I can run over you! And….that did nothing.” Nice try, though. I’d’ve thought it would do something.

SAM’d probably wreck a vacation. “I’m sensing an increased level of intoxication pathfinder.” Fucking buzzkill, that.

“Remember to reload by hitting square, pathfinder. The game can save your progress automatically, pathfinder. Always pick the dialog choice with the heart, pathfinder.”


“Please keep an eye on my alcohol consumption, SAM, so I can appreciate how TOTALLY WASTED I’m getting hahahahahaha!!!!”

Oooh…SAM’s going to be weird to have around while I’m romancin’ someone.

“This life form seems receptive to your amusing anecdotes. Try putting your arm around its shoulders in a casual fashion.”

“SAAAAAAAAAAM! A little privacy?”



Yeah, I don’t really want to know what’s increased and elevated.

(I’m going to chalk all this up to the fact that it’s Friday and we haven’t had our usual derail in a while.)


“Pathfinder, I’m detecting–”


Also, I assume we can answer SAM silently in our head, since it can talk to us that way? Otherwise we’re going to look really weird walking around talking to ourselves.


Love interest: “What did you say?”

“Nothing. Sorry.”

Love interest: “Um, your anecdotes were amusing, but that angry expression you have on your face and the way you’re muttering under your breath is creeping me out. Later.”

And thus SAM destroys another budding romance.


EDI never would have done that.

But maybe that’s why we couldn’t romance EDI (who was hot in ME3, and cool, and would have totally been on my list). I mean, she’d be all “Hey now….you’re thinking WHAT? Dude….uh, look at the time.”

Or worse, she’d come storming into your room all “You picked the heart option with Ashley? The HEART option? It’s so over.”


Plus EDI always liked…uh…that guy. The pilot. Too much. I want to say Seth Green, but that’s the actor, not the character. Joker. That’s the guy.

Anyway, she always liked him. Shepard wouldn’t want to interfere with their love.