Mass Effect Screenie a Day – Goodbye Shepard

Tomorrow is the official day. Tomorrow is when we finally say, in Saren Arterius’ immortal… uhh quite mortal words:

Paragon outcome scene in end battle in Mass Effect

Paragon outcome scene in end battle in Mass Effect

I just want us to take a brief moment to mourn and honor the life and legacy of one of the galaxy’s most famous spectres.

I mean Shepard of course, not Saren. He was a traitor to his people, a murderer, a sociopath, an embodiment of all things that are wrong with the idea of a government agency without oversight or rules. And he bloody well deserved what he got, the bastard.
Huh, so many years and I still hate this guy’s guts. Read Mass Effect: Revelation by Drew Karpyshyn to learn more about this character.

Why Eden Prime Was Ignored – Mass Effect Screenie

Eden Prime is the first planet you visit in Mass Effect and probably the or onr of the most successful extraterrestrial colonies of humanity. The planet is remarkably suited for human habitation and is of course in large part a farm planet as a result. Though I wonder what the transport cost of food must be in space.

Eden Prime, Mass Effect 1

Eden Prime, Mass Effect 1

It’s located near the Charon mass relay, a name which is itself a diabolical counterpoint to the heavenly naming schemes of the planets in the system.

The agrarian planet is described as a model for sustainable colonization. But it’s located on the doorstep of the Terminus systems, a lawless area of space practically hiving with scum and villainy. So it comes as no surprise to the experienced older races that the farmers on Eden Prime get hit by the Geth whom nobody has seen outside the Veil in centuries.

All of the above is information you can pick up in-game or on the wiki. So here’s my question: Below I’ve marked in green the Terminus Systems to Galactic North, The Perseus Veil and Rannoch where the Geth live/lived, and Eden Prime in the Exodus System.

So how exactly, dear council, is that a colony built on the borders of the Terminus Systems?

the-eden-prime-story

My careless scribbles across a map made by Am-P on deviantART. See below for actual map please.

That’s all I want to know about Eden Prime and why the council couldn’t lift a finger for those poor colonists.

Am-p’s Mass Effect Map

Angel Blue Eyes of Miranda Lawson – ME2 Screenie

Without a doubt, the simultaneously most attractive and competent addition to the Mass Effect character gallery in Mass Effect 2 was Miranda Lawson.

Miranda Lawson , ME2

Miranda Lawson , ME2

The genetically tailored perfect woman who proved by that very nature to be intractable to her self-absorbed shallow millionaire dad’s plans for her. That’s right people, perfect women come with free will, whodathunk?

Miranda Lawson, ME2

Miranda Lawson, ME2

Miranda’s skills have a pretty far reach as she’s the one in charge of the Lazarus project tasked with bringing Shepard back to life, she runs a large information network of her own and in her copious free time she’s a deadly active operative for Cerberus.

Despite all her accomplishments she never seems to feel they are worth as much as anyone else’s because of her origins. Her father would have spared no expense plying those crafted genes with the best schooling money can buy. Miranda’s background story therefore, is a question of nature vs nurture or more specifically a question of talent vs. training.

Miranda Lawson, ME2

Miranda Lawson, ME2

Miranda’s voice actor, Yvonne Strahowski (Chuck, 24, The Handmaid’s Tale!), also imparted some of her looks to the badass Cerberus Operative though sadly not her glorious hair. I suppose as perfection goes even futuristic genetic manipulation can be off base.

Miranda Lawson ME2

Miranda Lawson ME2

Her dry and acerbic commentaries throughout ME2  are always a highlight for me but if you gain her loyalty and bring her on the final mission to have her blow off the Illusive Man to his face and hang up on him is just such a high point of the story.

I think the most important reason people love Miranda is how utterly capable and ruthless she is. Her devotion to practicality certainly speaks to my own preferences.

And there is something so uplifting as a woman to have a character like Miranda in a game. Really makes you feel like women can be more than just the packaging.

Miranda's Ass, ME2

Miranda’s Ass, ME2

>.>

Yes, that was a bit of sarcasm because frankly, the male-gaze camera in ME2 is so over the top with Miranda that I can’t imagine it wasn’t meant as a subtle barb on itself. As is the physical properties of her suit. That has to be bodypaint, anything else makes no sense to me.

 

The Greatest Love Story You Never Knew – Kalros & The Reaper ME3 Screenshots

 

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In a war that has thrown the entire galaxy into violent upheaval, they meet across opposite sides of a battle that only one of them will survive.

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They were from different worlds. His destiny was writ large across the stars of the galaxy and the eons of time. Hers was forgotten, doomed to wither away with the dust of ancient history. In the middle of the greatest war ever experienced by the sentient species of the Milky Way, they find each other.

She as the last defender of a broken and war torn planet, the last mother of her people. Firey and tempestuous!

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He is the stoic conqueror tasked with subjugating and civilizing her barbaric lands.

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The clash of their wills will spell the greatest romance time has ever seen.

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Their passion will scorch the skin of Tuchanka with the fire of a hundred suns.

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The Krogan will sing of their embrace for a thousand years.

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But only one of them will survive the battle that fate has forced upon them!

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Kalros & The Reaper

 

BWAAAARP!

 

MEA – Liam Kosta Hosts New Weapons & Biotic Training Video

Featured

The Mass Effect Andromeda Initiative site has a new training video up for Pathfinders and this time the topic is weapons and mobility Liam Kosta is hosting it. Because that’s not distracting at all with a cute voice like Gary Carr‘s!

 

liam-kosta

There’s not a lot of new info here but the video is quite pretty and well worth watching. Don’t forget to sign in on the site to get that neat helmet once we complete all the training vids!

Here’s a quick overview of what Liam touches on in the video and some interjected speculation of my own:

weapons-and-biotics-training-01

Ranged Weapons

Arms and armor are designed to be customized multiple times in the field.

As mentioned before in the first Combat Trailer I’ve discussed here there are four main types of guns: Pistols, Shotguns, Assault rifles and Sniper rifles. Also as a reminder from the link above, SMGs are sorted under the category of pistols.

 

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We’ve had specialized ammo as one way to customize a weapon in Mass Effect before but this time we are hearing about laser shells for shotguns, grenade augmentation for pistols (reminiscent of the Scorpion in ME3?) and electrical conduits which appear to add an electrical beam to the weapon, (presumably as an alt-fire ability?).

Melee Weapons

You’ll need finesse to wield an Asari sword or strength to wield a Krogan hammer.There’s a quick overview of biotics and tech skills, which we have a deeper look at in the Profiles and Favorites training video from yesterday. The imagery here is much sharper than yesterday’s trailer.

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Jump Jets

We’re shown the hover and side ways dodge augmented by a jump jet. Remember that if you go the route of Adept, your Jump Jet is replaced by a Biotic lift skill.

Go to the official Andromeda Initiative site to watch the Weapons & Biotics Training Video.

Or you can watch it right here, courtesy of Bhageera_Fr who was quickest off the mark to get the video uploaded to youtube.

Maeko Matsuo – The Daily Mass Effect Screenie

Maeko Matsuo is the head of Port Hanshan’s Elanus Risk Control Services security forces. She challenges you when you disembark on Noveria with your squad. Unlike her underling, Kaira Stirling, she is cool even in the face of your undiplomatically pointed guns.

Maeko Matsuo, Port Hanshan, Mass Effect

Maeko Matsuo, Port Hanshan, Mass Effect

She’s an ex-marine and with more than just a touch of Japanese about her name and expressions. This is a lot more human cultural reference than we’re generally given in Mass Effect which focuses more on all the cool aliens rather than the internal differences of the tribes of humanity.

She is voiced by Kim Mae Guest who has done a tremendous amount of video game voice work including Hana Murakami (Zhu’s Hope) also from Mass Effect and Dawn Star from Jade Empire.

Combat Profiles & Squads – Mass Effect Andromeda Combat Trailer 02

BioWare released a new combat trailer today with the promised look at Combat Profiles and squad abilities in Mass Effect Andromeda.

Profiles

Your profiles are your class and playstyle combined. Rather than simply picking a class like before you can cherry pick abilities from the Biotic, Combat and/or Tech trees or you can focus on one or two of these. As with most other games the more you focus on one particular skill set the more powerful skills you unlock.

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But it is interesting that the Pathfinder profile is only unlocked if you pick skills from all three skill types, however. Hopefully, that means that a Jack-of-all-traits build won’t be unviable to play in the long run.

Favorites

Favorites are a way to quickly access a set of three skills that you have previously grouped. So say your first Favorite grouping is all long range DPS. Sniper rifle, long range stunning or cloaking. You’d want something melee heavy on one of the other favorites.

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When you switch between them, the skills in the set go on cooldown so it won’t be something that can be stance-danced with impunity in or out of multiplayer. Nevertheless, that means you can bring up to 12 different skills with you into a fight. Presumably, Profiles will have to be switched out of combat.

Note that if you go with a Biotics profile your jump jet is replaced by a Biotic lift! Neat little detail there!

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Combos

Combos are back in Mass Effect Andromeda but now we’ll know when we pull one off. It’s a bit hard to tell in the screen cap below, but a message denoting a type Combo, here a Cryo Combo, flashes on the screen when it’s been achieved. A small addition to Mass Effect gameplay perhaps but one I’ve certainly wanted. I may even give a damn about power combos in MEA.

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Backlash

One interesting new ability they showed off was Backlash. It is a Biotic ability that lets you shield yourself from enemy fire and project that fire back at the enemy!

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And it looks A LOT like an invisible Captain America shield! Alright a really big one but still!

Cover

We’ll have destroyable cover in MEA though not the clearly marked incongruously placed frail boxes we saw in ME2 and 3. This orange glass or plast cover looks like any other part of the environment but is clearly destroyed during the fight:

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Squad

The squad selection screen is looking mighty slick. Now it appears much more like you are contacting them on screen rather than the static lineups we’ve had in previous games:

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It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to fit many more team members on it, though? Perhaps the list scrolls down in two columns? Or perhaps these are all we get? The latter is unlikely, however, as there has to be space for some DLC teammates at the very least.

Each team member has two active and three passive skills. Below in the case of Cora Harper, Charge and Nova are her actives and Shield Boost, Asari Commando, Defensive Training are her passives.

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Squad mates can be leveled to be better at either setting up (priming) or detonating combos depending on your playstyle. It’s likely then that if you set your teammates to detonate your combos you or at least I might not even have to worry about it too much. The combos will just go off on their own!

 

The next video will be about exploration in Andromeda which should mean a really pretty video and I’m looking forward to it. Not that this one didn’t have its own brief glimpses of cool places:

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Possibly Notooine?

It also looks like planet probing is back though. /sigh. Have a look at the video itself:
MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA | Combat Profiles & Squads | Official Gameplay Series – Part 2

What grabbed your attention in this trailer? Share below in the comments!

Meet Natalie Dormer’s Lexi T’Perro From Mass Effect Andromeda

Natalie Dorner has been revealed as the voice behind Doctor Lexi T’Perro the Asari medical expert on the Hyperion. Below you will find a few different interviews with the well-known Game of Thrones actress who is stepping into a world of BioWare nerds for the first time. Please be gentle with her guys!

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Natalie describes Lexi as having a gruff and dry humor which she thinks makes sense to put to a British voice. And explains that Lexi is imperative to the player as the physician and psychologist of the crew she’s in charge Ryder’s well-being.

Lexi T'Parro

Lexi T’Perro

Lexi is academic in the way she thinks – she has a great interest in alien anatomy and she’s sort of omnipresent on Ryder’s journey through the game, to advise in this calm way.

Natalie Dormer to Wired

Creative Director Mac Walters explains about the character that:

“From a player’s perspective, the fact that you can go to her and get opinions on how you’re playing, how people are reacting to the decisions you’re making is a nice nod to some of the choices the player is making in the game.”

So Lexi is going to be a whole lot more for the player than Doctor Chakwas or Yeoman Chambers were. Yes, Chambers did comment on the squad and on Shepard’s actions but this sounds like much more and much deeper. He goes on to point out that:

“One thing that we really wanted to push on Andromeda is great characters who seem to be going on with their lives even when the player wasn’t around”

For example, Lexi has a rivalry with PeeBee and apparently a bit of a crush on Drack.

PeeBee Riding Ryder? I'm down with that!

PeeBee Riding Ryder? I’m down with that!

Here’s the video BioWare released on Natalie and Lexi. Big kudos to Caroline Livingstone, Performance & Voice Over Producer, who is the wizard behind the unique VO technology BioWare uses. I doubt you can find a heap of praises big enough to cover her contributions to voice acting or the impact her work has had on our gaming experience with BioWare games through the years.

 

Here’s another more informal interview with Natalie this time by WhatCulture. It’s always a bit odd to listen to two people talking about something you’ve been into for over a decade and they’ve just discovered but hey, I’m one of those weird 40-year-old women who plays Mass Effect, I think you’ll find there’s a lot of us, Ms. Dormer. Welcome to BioWare fanfiction btw /wave!

Wired also has an interview with Natalie from which the above-mentioned quote was borrowed.

Sam Shepard – ME2 Screenie Of The Day

My current playthrough I finally, finally managed to build a custom male Shepard that I love.

Meet Samuel (Sam) my hot AF Israeli Shepard:

Sam Shepard, ME2.

Sam Shepard, ME2.

I find it odd that it is much harder for me to coordinate a non-default male face with Mark Meer‘s voice than a female one with Jennifer Hale‘s. Partly, I think, because the default BroShep face for me is so linked to that voice whereas, despite valiant or horrific, depending on your opinion, efforts in ME2 default Femshep is a more nebulous affair.

Sam, though, totally works with Mark’s voice which will allow me to differentiate between this guy and his Liara romance and the next playthrough with default BroShep and his Tali wooing. No, I don’t use a spreadsheet, why do you ask?

His code, in case I want to play him again. You are of course free to use it as well:

531.1CL.HJW.51E.R9R.ABU.WPQ.6MU.6G2.1I1.E47.6

Mass Effect Screenie Of The Day – Corporal Jenkins

Corporal Richard L. Jenkins is the first test of your ability as an N7 Commander in Mass Effect to get your squad alive through a mission. …You failed!

Richard Jenkins, Normandy, Mass Effect

Richard Jenkins, Normandy, Mass Effect

I’m afraid there is no way to play through the Eden Prime mission without Jenkins rushing out and getting himself killed like a total noob. And that’s of course where he gets his name from, his famous Earth ancestor of Leeroy Jenkins who made the same stunt with a horde of hungry baby dragons and wiped his raid in UBRS in WoW.

Godammit Leeroy!

In memory of this tragic loss to the Mass Effect universe, allow me to direct your eyes to the Ballad of Corporal Jenkins while I hum Danny Boy under my breath.

Jenkins is voiced by Josh Dean who also voiced Schells on the Citadel, Jonn Whitson in Mass Effect 2 and Henpecked Hou in Jade Empire. You can also see him in a few episodes of Blindspot!

Wherever Jenkins is, I hope he at least has chicken!

Wait! There’s one more video you need to watch before I let you go today:


Leeroy Jenkins reenvisioned. Directed by Finn O’Hara in 2012 for CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival

Leeroy Jenkins Re-envisioned. Directed by Finn O’Hara in 2012 for CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival. Tell me that wasn’t worth sticking around for?