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Mass Effect: Andromeda

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Hardware' started by Blade-Runner, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    The conversations are much deeper than they were in the older games. Unfortunately, a lot of the characters are flatter and less compelling. I'm one of those people who has played the original trilogy so many times I know what each choice results in or what every conversation sounds like. I never skip conversations in the original trilogy when replaying it. I found myself wanting to skip through conversations on the first run through of Andromeda. A lot of the conversations are just tedious. The combat is great, and I always felt like I wanted to get back to that rather than immersing myself in the story. The main quest line is good, but it lacks the gravitas of the original trilogy. Some of the new characters are great, while the rest aren't on par with what we had before. I don't have a problem with Ryder or his/her sarcastic conversation options, but you have to choose wisely here. Even then, I felt like BioWare specifically made the character less awesome than Shepard on purpose. There are times where you want to punch someone or whip out your gun, and not take anyone's shit. Instead Ryder will often back out of a situation or take a more "PC" approach to the situation for lack of a better term.

    The game is good despite a long list of faults. I don't know if I'd call it $60 good, but on sale I can recommend it to any Mass Effect fan.
     
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  2. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I mostly agree. The story is compelling enough but the execution of the story is not good enough to warrant re-playing the game. I had the same urge to skip conversations, some of the characters are just too flat. Maybe Reyes is the only that was more than a cookie cutter npc.
    The combat is too repetitve and I wouldn't call it great. I liked the combat of ME2/ME3 more in retrospect. They were more varied. You're very limited in tactics in Andromeda, and there are just too many enemies. They fell into the trap of making cannon fodder enemies instead of just good enemies that are worthwhile to fight. There are some enemies that are also bullet sponges, like the architect. It just felt artificially dragged out, tedious, and ultimately pointless. No fight should last that long. It again reminded me of DA:I it had the same problem with dragons. When you have to repeat something for long minutes then it becomes a chore, not a challenge. To me the fun in gaming is when you figure out the tactic to defeat enemies, but when you have to hack away at enemies even with the "ideal" tactic that killls your sense of satisfaction. In MEA I constantly found myself trying to avoid fighting, and when it was unavoidable, I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible. Just get it over with was my sentiment. In ME2 / ME3 fighting was fun and rewarding on it's own, even on insanity.
     
  3. dark_reign

    dark_reign [H]ard|Gawd

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    The game does seem like a love/hate it affair. It's too early for me too judge, but I worry the story and eventually the gameplay goes stale after 10 or 20 hours.

    $30 doesn't seem like a bad deal, but I might wait for a deeper discount.
     
  4. skiddierow

    skiddierow Limp Gawd

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    I loved ME 1 and 2.

    As a fan, ME 3 was one of the best games I'd ever played until it shit itself in what should have been the walk off.

    ME: A to me, was trash.

    All I could think of, when I played it is "Why the hell am I still playing?"

    The characters are wooden, and everything else feels like you're just going through the motions.


    Don't buy it for more than $20, IMO.
     
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  5. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    For me, I think I like what Mass Effect 1 represented more than the actual game. I liked the story, setting, and characters but feel that the actual game was pretty terrible. Nothing but cruising around an empty planet in the Mako and lousy shooting mechanics. I played through it multiple times, but had minimal fun doing it. I think I just liked the idea of the game.
    #2 had vastly better shooting mechanics. Yet getting rid of the Mako (instead of making it better) made it feel like you were only exploring a single building on each planet. The universe felt tiny. Still a really good game, though.
    #3 fixed most of my gripes with the previous games, gameplay-wise. I enjoyed playing it a lot. I actually liked the story, too. The whole concept of having an invisible "score" dictating everything was incredibly lame, though. To go through so much over the course of 3 games only to have the finale reliant on an app or MP grinding was insulting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
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  6. polonyc2

    polonyc2 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    is Dolby Vision available yet?...anyone (with a compatible TV) tried it?...
     
  7. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I agree with the sentiment of this post 100%. What ME1 did well was the setting, characters and story. The game play is the worst offered out of the entire series, Andromeda included. The setting, story and characters are the reason why Andromeda falls short. Oh, it's got some gems in there and some genuinely good moments in it, but the presentation as a whole is lacking compared to earlier games.
     
  8. DWolvin

    DWolvin [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thirded; that is a great breakdown without getting long.
     
  9. STR

    STR Limp Gawd

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    Liam might be the worst character in the ME franchise.

    Liam's loyalty mission might be one of the most memorable set pieces in the ME franchise.
     
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  10. DWolvin

    DWolvin [H]ard|Gawd

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    Huh- I just realized that I missed his mission on the first playthrough. I guess I was pushing the main story to fast...
     
  11. -Strelok-

    -Strelok- [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Bought the digital deluxe for $35. So far it's fine, although the animations are still a bit iffy and boy does the camera suck sometimes when you are talking to people. It gets really awkward when the person walks off the screen and the sound is all somewhere in the distance. A bit surprising this kind of stuff hasn't been fixed.
     
  12. termite

    termite 2[H]4U

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    Yeah generally I liked ME:A. It has huge flaws, and it is easy to see with just a little bit of work, it could have been amazing.

    It also has some of the better missions (loyalty missions for the most part) of the series.

    But it does not seem to have much if any replay value, which is a shame.
     
  13. spine

    spine 2[H]4U

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    Basically same for me, but 2 being my fave. I think 'trash' is going a bit far since it's not a bad game per se, but it certainly is a piss poor Mass Effect game imo. Really, it's just not ME to me as I simply can't play it and enjoy it in the same way I did with ME1/2/3.

    I've actually got no major complaints technical or otherwise tbh, but I stopped playing after you first get off the first planet, and I can barely remember what's happened or what's next. I just don't care.
     
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  14. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Not even close. Jacob is the worst.
     
  15. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm still actually enjoying Andromeda. I'm not putting in large amounts of time, but just an hour or two here and there. I think that's keeping the game from being tedious.
    I'm not super far, but I don't really like any of the characters that much. They're mostly flat characters with a single agenda.

    Going back to the older games, I'd say Tali is pretty worthless. Nothing but flotilla, flotilla, flotilla, flotilla, flotilla in a vague Eastern European accent. I actually pull for the Geth because I hate the Quarians so much.
    Jacob is the most boring. There's literally nothing notable about him at all. I guess by the same token there's very little to dislike, too.
     
  16. STR

    STR Limp Gawd

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    Jacob is the blandest, sure, but he mostly kept to himself.

    Liam is actually terrible to everyone around him. Go for a couple of long rides with him and the other squad members, particularly Vetra. Then play his loyalty mission.

    Complete dick. All around.
     
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  17. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    So I am still slogging through this game, and I have to admit it feels like dragging feet through the story. I think they didn't really do a good job of immersing you into the situation. You are kind of thrown in to the situation and the story they have created just isn't as compelling as it could be. I don't think the story itself or the setting is the problem, I feel they really fell short on the execution. The whole thing just seems a series of people asking you to do stuff for them. At least in ME 1,2, and 3 you seemed to have a real mission and goal. In this one, there just isn't that same feel. Sure you have some enemies and some intrigue, both of which could be compelling if they found a better way to tie you into it. But shortly after you setup the first colony, everything else becomes too repetitive and the side quests become extremely distracting from the main story. Also I felt sometimes that I couldn't really tell some of the main story quests from the side quests.

    All that and I haven't even finished the game. I got to the part where I found the Salarian ark, and I had thought that would be the start to the final mission, so I had gone around and finished just about all the side quests I had picked up, minus some of the more ridiculous Additional Tasks that sometimes don't work (like Subjugation, Little Mouse, etc.). But after I finished with the Archon's ship I got bombarded with a bunch of little quests to run around a bunch of planets just to talk to crew, and it was for nothing more than 5 minute conversations and cut scenes. I just felt like why? Maybe if they had sprinkled some more of this stuff in earlier, or tied these more to their loyalty quests rather than the Archon ship, it could have drawn me in. But these just felt more disjointed.
     
  18. polonyc2

    polonyc2 [H]ardForum Junkie

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  19. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge 2[H]4U

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    They didn't do well in terms of making you pay attention to the details, and missing information is where a lot of people seem to build up frustration in this game.

    This isn't a problem I had, so I can say this: I always had three things in mind going through the game once I got onto the Tempest.
    1. Fix the worlds
    2. Find the Arks
    3. Deal with the Kett
    Fixing the worlds, more or less, is the first thing you start doing, and the endgame is related to it. Finding the Arks is something that you spend much of the game doing as you fix world after world, and the last is a spoiler:

    You handle the Archon, but you do not deal with the Kett overall; further, related to <2> above, you find the Arks that should have arrived with the human ark, but you learn that there is still at least one missing.
     
  20. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I guess part of the problem is that the story doesn't involve any urgency. It's not like the Reapers are coming and the universe is going to end. It's just a matter of lowered expectations and some random average/angry aliens inhabiting the places you hoped to settle.
    It's high on exploration, but low on motivation. After dealing with all of the shit you dealt with in 1-3, the Kett are an incredibly weak villain by comparison.
     
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  21. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    I didn't have any trouble understanding the details and I haven't really been missing information. The problem is they do not sell it to the player. It is all dry. There is nothing that makes me really want to do any of the tasks other than to get through the game. In the first series of games there was more intrigue, I wanted to know what was going on. In this game, I find myself barely even caring. The progression is pretty flat, you are basically just doing things to do them. You go on quests to help the colonists because they are quests, not because you really care about the colonists. You fix worlds because it what you need to do, but not because there is really any compelling reason to.

    That is what I mean about execution, they have all these things to do, but nothing that really makes it compelling to do so. The purpose of an rpg game is to provide something you can immerse yourself into, feel a part of it. Something that gives you a drive to solve the mysteries. This game falls short of that mark.
     
  22. jiminator

    jiminator [H]ardForum Junkie

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    pacing is a little hard to control in open world RPGs, I mean you can do whatever the fuck you want, interrupted by certain "key events" so it is not like they can force you to conform to a specific narrative
     
  23. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    This isn't really an open world RPG though. In reality its just a story based RPG that they gave some lateral quests to. Open World would normally assume you can explore anywhere and keep getting quests. The quests in this game are finite. They had similar formats with their previous games and yet their previous games were much more immersive.

    Also, you can definitely make Open World games and still have them be immersive by endeavoring to get you to care about something, at least your own character. Hell, I don't even give 2 shits about the main character in ME:A. There just isn't much compelling about it.
     
  24. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardness Supreme

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    I agree with most of this, except I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of #1. :D I know I'm in the vast minority there. Sure, the planets could have been more fleshed out, had a bit more to do, but I feel like they did pretty close to as well as they could on that with the hardware and storage of the time. They occasionally threw an oddball planet at you too with something cool or mysterious. I actually had a lot of fun working with the limitations of the Mako and doing goofy stuff with it too. "I bet I can get it over that mountain!" :D I do think #2 had better combat, and a bit more variety of NPCs to interact with. The last 1/3 of it got pretty interesting as well. IMO, combine #1 and #2 and fill out the planets more, and you have a perfect game. As far as enjoyment goes, I'd put #3 somewhere in between.

    Actually not sure yet if I'm going to give Andromeda a whirl or not.
     
  25. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Honestly, if you enjoyed the Mako stuff and exploring, you'll probably like Andromeda. That's a good chunk of what it's built on, but with better combat and more weapon variety. There's more minutiae to manage, but it feels like that's also mostly optional. I have 2 weapons and 1 lineup of armor I like and am sticking to, so the majority of the research stuff doesn't much matter. The "find these random 50 objects scattered across the galaxy" quests don't matter, so they're optional, too.
    It's probably as fixed and as fleshed out as it's gonna get, so I'd probably buy it if I saw it on sale.
     
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  26. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    This is the biggest reason why I don't like open world games. It's hard to focus on the story when "ooo shiny!" You can easily get pulled off course and when there is that much content, allot of people tend to get systematic about completion. You almost have to or you'll be doing it forever and that's not conducive to experiencing a story. Even if the story elements are there, pacing is part of the experience. Mass Effect 1 suffers from this to an extent, but not like Andromeda does. For a deeply character and story driven game, Mass Effect Andromeda is too large for it's own good.

    In my opinion, BioWare looked at all the successful open world games and that being the trendy type of RPG to make and then copied that formula. The reality is, that the people who play Skyrim aren't necessarily the people who play Mass Effect. I'm sure there is overlap, but going open world took away from the Mass Effect experience. I hate to say it, but Mass Effect is virtually the Call of Duty of RPG games. It cinematic and scripted. The difference is that the cinematic set pieces that could be influenced here and there through decision making. The changes weren't always monumental, but they changed the feel of the game enough that you could experience the game differently time and time again. I made it through Andromeda 1.5 times and lost interest. I've played ME1 6 times, ME2 15 times and Mass Effect 3, 9 times to 100% completion.

    The way Andromeda was drawn out into the typical open world formula makes it unfocused and removed that cinematic feel that the series is known for. It worked better as an epic that gave you a bit more freedom than a typical corridor shooter, but it doesn't work as well as a total open world option. That said, I think they can still go full open world and make this work. The Arkham games were open world but I felt compelled to complete the story and less compelled to wander off on side missions. The game made you feel a sense of urgency and I was hooked on seeing the next part of the story. With Andromeda, the story doesn't grip you enough to lock in your attention. As a completionist, I'd go back and do the side missions after the main story was complete, or catch them on a second playthrough, taking my time with the story the second time through.

    I think some of the NPC's were fine. The Doctor is an improvement over Dr. Chakwas. Drak is great and although Vetra comes off as FemGarrus, at first she's pretty good. Ryder is fine in the dialog department. I know others won't agree with that, but when you go for maximum sarcasm, it's pretty entertaining. What sucks is that he or she isn't a person of action. In situations where Shepard would put someone on the ground, punch them in the face, shoot them or strike fear into the other party, Ryder will back away, apologize and be diplomatic to a fault. As a result, I just didn't enjoy playing the character as much as I did Shepard.

    As for the combat, people bring up ME3's combat as being better, and I don't think it is. That's one place where I think Andromeda shines or almost shines if it weren't for a couple of problems. They fucked up the enemy AI and to a lesser extent, enemy variety. Also, the three skill limit on active powers is far too limited. You go into it thinking that you have everything Shepard had without limits and then we find out that you are indeed far more limited despite the lack of any real character class. Weapons and weapon customization is one area where I think this game shines above all the others. The Nomad is less frustrating than the Mako, but it can get just as repetitive. It's a good game, but after the first run through it's bigger flaws become more readily apparent. I made it half way through the game a second time and lost interest in it.
     
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  27. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well said.

    I'm personally not a big fan of open world games for a lot of these reasons. I am WAY more interested in playing a game with a cohesive, concise, narrative. Generally speaking, in order to have that the game has to be linear. I would much rather have a game that knew what it was doing and had great impact and "only" took 10 hours of my life rather than a sprawling out game where all I do is run around and mess about for 140 hours. Length of game play matters far far less to me than interest in game play. And I get it, some people think getting to do whatever you want in a game engine is interesting. I guess there is an appeal of "Westworld"ing it up digitally. But I have no time for that.

    This maybe why I felt like the original Mass Effect Trilogy (with DLC) was one of the best gaming experiences I had in a while. It was linear, finite, and told its story while having emotional impact. Mass Effect built up an excellent universe, had interesting characters and character development, and also reasonably fun gameplay (I enjoyed it, some didn't obviously). I also was a huge fan of DX:HR (I haven't gotten MD yet). While these might have some branching paths to a degree, they are far from open world and for people like me, that's a good thing.

    I don't feel like there is a need to try and push all games to being open world, because I think that just neglects a lot of gamers who don't want that. I'm not saying stop making open world games either, because obviously there are gamers that do. But doing so as a design choice should be very intentional, and not because it's the flavor of the week (or year or whatever).
     
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  28. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'd agree with this. I actually like big open world games AND story driven/scripted/linear, or even branching. However, trying to combine them and make a story-driven sandbox doesn't really work. (at least I've never seen it work 100%)
     
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  29. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardness Supreme

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    Interesting. I may actually like it then. I knew they were bringing back the exploration aspect, but it seemed like there were so many other flaws that it may not be worth it. The more I read here though, the more I think it may be worthwhile to play it at some point. I'm definitely not in a hurry though.
     
  30. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    Again, everyone is classifying this as an open world sandbox. It is not really. It is a story driven zone-based system. There are limits to where you can go, there are limits to the quests you can get, there is a limit to when you can get certain quests, and there is a limit to what choices you can make.

    GTA is open-world sandbox
    Skyrim is open-world sandbox

    ME:A is not really an open-world sandbox
     
  31. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I wouldn't say it is Call of Duty, but closer to Half Life or Metro. Both excelled for their time and brought technology and immersion to create a ground breaking experience; a bit of a lesser extend in Metro. CoD games were never ground breaking in anyway and have always been of meddling, "if it works it ships" quality at best.

    I'm going to say I much prefer ME3's weapon system. It was much simpler to navigate and equip your weapons. I also felt the variety of weapons was greater when it came to handling characteristics. MEA has some interesting modifications, but for the most part applying them to any weapon results in the same thing. ME3 did a good job of having diverse weapons, some customization and not being a PITA to get. Just right. It could be a bit better, such as the heavy / special weapons from ME2, but still the best system overall. I would prefer if they had separate characteristics for KE and pure energy weapons but that might be too hard sci fi for ME.

    I will also mention that the large sprawled out worlds are kind of pointless as are 100s of combinations of weapons if they don't serve much purpose. There really only is one way to play MEA, and that is loud, zipping around on jack backs blowing enemies away. There is only one combat style, so having dozens of modification to shift through isn't needed. You can't choose weapons to be more discrete for a stealthy play through, you don't have to worry about over penetration or damage to allies, or anything like that. You just spend a lot of time finding out most combos suck, then have to scrap them, try again, ect. And being that you can only play one way, there is no need for dozens of enemy encampments. What made Far Cry 3 neat was that outposts could be tackled by using different tactics. Something that most games that convert to open world don't account for. You approach every situation in MEA the same. The diversity isn't there, so each outpost plays so similar.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 10:19 PM
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  32. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I decided to commit to the Dhan shotgun last night...wow is that thing monstrous. I find myself not even using my sniper rifle anymore. It has a massive range, does ridiculous damage, and the arc on it is so minor that I barely even notice. Not to mention being able to essentially run around and hip fire it. It's almost like having a fast firing rocket launcher with no splash damage.
     
  33. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    I use a combination of the Dhan shotgun (which I use the auto-reload which gives infinite ammo) and a black widow sniper rifle. This allows me infinite ammo for the Dhan and still allows me to use longer range when I need to.

    At one point though I was carrying around 2 Dhan shotguns, one had the auto-reload infinite ammo, the other had more damage/penetration, and bigger clip.
     
  34. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It's an option under graphics. You can choose between Dolby and HDR10. HDR10's borked under Windows 10 Creator's Update, but I have no idea if that affects Dolby TV's.
     
  35. polonyc2

    polonyc2 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Dolby Vision is a better version of HDR10 (not every TV supports both formats)...I just bought a new LG OLED TV (I use a separate gaming monitor) and HDR and Dolby Vision even moreso are really impressive
     
  36. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    What would you call it then? It is as open world as it gets. It actually has multiple worlds in it. That doesn't mean it's not open world. By your definition the only games that would be open world then that have no transitions between areas. Skyrim also has transitions when you enter some buildings or dungeons. So is that not open world then? What difference does it make that you fly between areas with a ship:instead of using carriages or walking? The game mechanics remain exactly the same.
     
  37. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah, my Samsung is only using HDR10. It worked great with PC games (and movies) up until the Windows Creators Update. That's when MS introduced WDM 2.2, which features native HDR, but with a borked color profile for TV users. Anything that uses their implementation of it is super washed-out and violet tinted...which Andromeda unfortunately does. Other games like RE7 or even PowerDVD 16 use their own implementation, which looks and works fine. The only way for make Andromeda in HDR look normal is to use an older version of Windows 10 or to use old Nvidia Drivers and hand-tweak the color settings on your TV. Neither is a good solution, so I'm just playing without it.
     
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  38. polonyc2

    polonyc2 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    how do games differentiate between standard HDR which has been around for awhile and HDR10?...is HDR10 only enabled via the television itself?...or is it greyed out for those that don't have an HDR set?
     
  39. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm not sure. HDR10 seems to be what most sets come with these days and it's what games like Shadow Warrior and Resident Evil 7 specifically use. If you enable it in-game and your TV supports it, it kicks in almost like 3D used to do. There's a pretty unmistakable banner and picture mode change. If your set doesn't have it, the toggle is either greyed out or it does nothing. I enabled Dolby on Mass Effect for shits and gigs and it does nothing at all.
     
  40. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    He said open world sandbox, which he is correct. It is not a sandbox game. But neither is GTA. GTA5 was a big empty, barren world with almost nothing to do or see in it. You couldn't manipulate much of anything. There were random areas which spawned NPCs over and over again but the same can be said for MEA. A sandbox is something like Gary's mod.

    MEA is open world, with minor exceptions. But most open world games prevent travel to some part of the map until a task is completed anyways.