Mass Effect: Andromeda. New galaxy and new challenges. Review

Genre Action/Role-playing game
Publisher Electronic Arts
Publisher in Russia “Softklab”
Developer BioWare
Minimum requirements Intel Core i5-3570 3.4 GHz/AMD FX-6350 3.9 GHz, 8 GB RAM, video card with support for DirectX 11 and 2GB of memory, e.g. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660/AMD Radeon HD 7850, 55 GB hard disk, Internet connection and an account on Origin
Recommended requirements Intel Core i7-4790 3.6 GHz/AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz, 16 GB RAM, graphics card with DirectX 11 support and 3 GB memory NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060/AMD Radeon RX 480
Release date 21 March 2017
Age limit 16 years
Platform PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Official website

Game tested on PC

Let’s start with the obvious: the game is a big problem with faces in General and facial expressions in particular. If the crew of “the Tempest” is still at an acceptable level, the vast majority of the secondary characters looks kind of is if you speak very softly. However, the games Bethesda technical shortcomings never bothered to gain people’s love. Would not hurt they and Mass Effect: Andromeda, whether it is the most terrible disadvantage. Sorry, but there were troubles worse.

#They flew to success

2185 year. Among the intelligent races of the milky Way the rumour a terrible Reapers — sentient machines that are soon going to justify its sinister name. While the shepherd team trying to stop a terrible enemy, others launch the “Initiative”, in which one hundred thousand representatives of the people, the asari, turian, salarians and krogan go on huge ships-the ark in the distant galaxy of Andromeda. According to research, the cluster of stars Helios found seven suitable for life planets. The case for small — to overcome more than two million light-years sleep for six hundred years conventional.

Стоило ли лететь так далеко ради радиоактивных пустошей?

Was it worth to fly so far to find a radioactive wasteland?

Of course, such a wonderful thought-out plan based on the firm belief that in six centuries of the flight, nothing has to change, somewhere were inconsistencies. Therefore, immigrants do not Wake up next to beautiful beaches and in the arms of some dark energy, which is inventively called Bad. The more, the merrier. The first Gold of the World (the so-called candidates for a new Earth) is more of a resort: crazy gravity, deadly lightning, and aggressive animals. Not to mention hostile aliens and ancient buildings, which in 2185-m, of course, not heard.

From Mass Effect: Andromeda works great to build the atmosphere of the unknown. The first five hours of narration can be called exemplary in terms of balance. Player throw to wallow in a sea of new information, and gradually introduced in the course of events. For the quiet awakening should be the first landing in a strange world. First contact with a race of kettou — even those reptiles which have become the main hostile force in Andromeda. The first relic of long-vanished people. And if you omit the utterly banal appearance of the villains, looming three serious intrigue: I want to understand the nature of the Contamination, who built the ancient Relics and why, finally, kitty all convey greetings cheap fiction of the eighties and indiscriminately firing from all guns.

In the main story are woven into family secrets the main character. For the selected vector plot development Mass Effect: Andromeda should be commended. Any prequels by default is not so interesting, because we already know how it ends. Therefore, the “soft reboot” I must admit a good decision — she’s not trying to distance itself from past events but is delicately flies by their side for two and a half million light years. The potential of such ideas do galactic. Unfortunately, BioWare acted like the cyclist.

От некоторых сцен, несмотря на банальное развитие событий, все равно захватывает дух

Several scenes, despite the banal development of events, still breathtaking

#Space expedition team Rider

The main character is the son or daughter of the couple the Rider unexpectedly gets the title of Pioneer. Name of profession speaks for itself — at the Ryder Jr. (a game for girl turns into a farce because of the idiotic facial expressions, therefore we recommend to choose the guy) be responsible for finding a new home for humanity, and salvation, seems, everyone. But more on that later. Unlike Shepard, the new protagonist is a yesterday’s teenager, who himself doesn’t know what to do with fallen down on his responsibilities. Does not understand this and the rest of the game.

In contrast to the linear travel of the trilogy, in the new issue of Mass Effect are invited to explore a number of spacious locations. The authors did not hide that he was going to pry the recipe from the team responsible for Dragon Age: Inquisition, and indeed have very similar internals. The role the personal plays castle station “nexus”, evoking pleasant memories of drinking in the Citadel. Instead of regions fantasy Kingdom — the seven planets.

Thought about a rat sneaking in the first space flight for his newfound “Tempest.” The creators pursued a noble aim: to make the transfer process more seamless. The rider, standing on the bridge and using augmented reality technology, chooses where to go next. No loading screens, we like the pilot of the ship, the first person watching the flickering stars and admire, like a small dot on the horizon turns into a huge star. And only the landing is still available as a video. Sounds great, but everything is very tight. Wait half a minute in order to scan another asteroid, and so — a hundred times? I guess it was.

В какой бы галактике цивилизация ни развивалась, а бары будут всегда

In whatever galaxy civilization may develop the bars will always be

Each planet is a unique and very hostile terrain. Will have to solve more than one problem to establish in the world a colony of settlers. As you explore location map is filled with notes about minerals, attractions, secondary missions. At first with great interest and romp on the “Nomad” (improved version of “Mako” from the original) through uncharted places, admire the whimsical landscapes, mysterious flora and fauna. Some of the landscapes breathtaking, and the overall plan in Mass Effect: Andromeda insanely beautiful.

Unfortunately, “Andromeda” can’t most importantly – to encourage player exploration. Eyes constantly come across ancient ruins, abandoned shacks or guard posts, but quickly realize that they do not promise anything interesting – only a couple of enemies and maybe a modest reward in the form of resources for crafting. For example, Fallout 4, by and large, offers the same, but every building was unique and told its own story. There is nothing like that. It remains to wait for more quests…

Every other character with a name will ask the Pioneer about anything. It is a pity that even those tasks that cannot be reduced to finding a certain number of something, the vast majority turn out to be a banality, built on the same single-celled pattern: go through a few dialogues where not given even the appearance of choice and gain experience. The end. At such moments, it only remains to inquire in astonishment: “is that all?!” But many have interesting stories with strong characters, twists and a dramatic climax. But, alas, not in this galaxy.

Пиби — одна из самых ярких личностей в разношерстной компании на «Буре». И с анимацией у нее все отлично

Pibi is one of the brightest personalities in the motley company on “the Tempest”. And with animation she’s doing great

#When a lot does not mean good

The scale of the game became its worst enemy. In Mass Effect: Andromeda so much that the full passage will require one hundred hours. To perfectionists, eager to see the coveted 100% on the meter, will do. Only because of the amount of suffered quality. Yes, quests complete, but interesting is at best one in ten. The choice is always illusory. Even your decisions in the framework of the main plot affect something only the here and now, and then forgotten.

The race for scale to the detriment of the study comes to the extremes. For example, for each race represented in the game, we have only a few individuals (and in fact the people here is less than in the original Mass Effect). With Azari and does funny turns — I’m not racist, but all blue Virgo here on one person. Downright attack of the clones. In Addition To Pb. Pibi — the beauty of it.

It seems the game can only be to blame. There is for that. But the counter passes for fifty hours, and adventure in the Andromeda continue. After each “What the hell?” happens to be definitely some “Oh my God, that was awesome!”. You go on another boring errand, and suddenly heard a desperate cry for help. Abruptly turned around, rushing to the miserable… which, it turns out, only broken equipment for growing weed. Each such scene (and there are many) causes sincere smile. And then open the quest log and… well, damn it, BioWare, you are doing everything to make your games were so uncomfortable? UX? No, we don’t know such strange abbreviations.

Умения на любой вкус позволяют выбрать свой стиль игры. Хотите быть снайпером-невидимкой или берсерком с дробовиком? Пожалуйста

Skills allow you to choose your style of play. Want to be a sniper-invisible, or a Berserker with a shotgun? Please

But the partners do not raise any complaints. They are not inferior to the companions of Shepard and their mission to be the best thing in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Here markedly increases the dialogue level, and the setting of the gameplay scenes is jumping even higher than the main plot. Here it is, the concentration of all that fond of the series: the adventurous spirit of space adventure, memorable characters, difficult moral dilemma. If at least half of the remaining tasks are implemented at a comparable level to forgive could be a lot… But, unfortunately, after each wonderful mission dedicated to the companions, have to go back to routine life.

Jaw cramp from boredom only because of the juicy action. Not that Mass Effect playing for the shootings, but in Andromeda they are good. Thanks jetpacks fighting markedly increased over time — sit in the woods makes no sense. Much more reasonable to actively ride on the battlefield. The development system allows you to master a couple of dozen different combat skills, which is a pleasure. But here, the authors spoil their own a good idea — at the same time can be active only three skills. Why not at least eight, on the model of the same Inquisition?

Limit fits only in multiplayer, which develops the ideas of the third part. The principle is the same: four heroes are sent into the arena and fighting off hordes of enemies. The increased dynamics of the cooperative mode-to-face. If you like this kind of mission before, then online mode can permanently tighten. Although the balance seems strange — the team of fighters of the initial levels is unlikely to do a good job with even minimal complexity, there is so tenacious and aggressive enemies. The first time will have pumped through the pain of defeat.

Гигантские Архитекторы — одни из самых грозных врагов в Андромеде. К сожалению, после напряженной битвы с ними, особо ценных наград не выдают

Giant Architects — one of the most formidable enemies in Andromeda. Unfortunately, after a tense battle with them do not give valuable rewards

Impressions of Mass Effect: Andromeda is remarkably close overlap with its story: working for a better tomorrow and new life, and was neck-deep in problems. Dozens of potentially interesting stories at best get trivial or development and does stutter halfway. And you know, if all these failures were not looking at the mighty potential, it would not hurt. Bad — okay, mourn and forget, like Arcania: Gothic 4. But regularly flashed different episodes, promising something extraordinary. It is a pity that they remain the few bright spots on the dark sky…

* * *

Surprisingly, not to say that Mass Effect: Andromeda in something very bad (except for the animation, Yes, but how can her thumb). Many of the elements performed at a decent level here, juicy action, and the luxurious atmosphere of the unknown, and great quests with a buddy, and in General often come across really fun episodes. But “Storm” is no less intimate than good old “Normandie”. The problem is that more often Andromeda turns the game boring, prolonged and simply inconvenient.

In Russian translated only subtitles, and those with varying degrees of success. Sometimes the adaptation is very free. The dialogues and the stars in the sky is not enough, and the translation sometimes completely obscures understanding.

Advantages:

  • intriguing plot;
  • the atmosphere of a distant corner of the universe where people — strangers;
  • fun action;
  • everything to do with a partner, executed perfectly.

Disadvantages:

  • awkward interface;
  • a lot of technical flaws, primarily relating to facial expressions and animations;
  • boring and surface missions;
  • the study of the planets is not of particular interest.
Graphics Magical landscapes are combined with poor secondary NPC models, wooden animation and a heap of problems you know. 7
Sound Sound design is beyond praise: it sounds expensive fiction in the cinema. The actors are not particularly trying, but hard to criticize it. But the soundtrack is poor in interesting compositions. 8
Single game Adventure about study alien galaxy, in which too little actual adventure and exploration quite so routine. But fun to shoot. 7
Multiplayer A vivid variation on the eternal Horde. If you liked Mass Effect 3, here like this, but to balance the complexity at the initial stage there are questions. 7
Overall impression The game was all the original data in order to become the best sci-Fi adventure generation. It turned out some places good, some places are slightly above average, but mostly boring. 7

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Each week, the group shared their favorite photos as part of #WomenWednesdays. We would like to thank Women Who Hike for sharing their public lands stories and photos with our followers. 

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How breast milk could help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse

Scientists have found an unexpected use for breast milk. Karunyapas/Shutterstock

Imagine a future where common infections and minor injuries such as small cuts could actually kill you. This is far from an apocalyptic fantasy made up by Hollywood scriptwriters, but a very real possibility for the 21st century according to a 2014 report by the World Health Organization (WHO). It argues that antibiotic resistance, the fact that bacteria and other microbes are becoming less and less sensitive to antimicrobial drugs, is amounting to a major global threat.

WHO recently followed up on this frightening assessment with a new report presenting 13 “global priority bacteria”, including MRSA. It suggests we need to prioritise research on these bacteria because they cause major levels of disease and mortality.

So, what is being done? Well, the pharmaceutical industry has not discovered a major new class of antibiotics since 1987 and it has little incentive to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to develop novel drugs. This is because whatever drugs they come up with will most likely be shelved until no other drug can treat a specific infection. Also, most infections are not chronic in nature and treatment only lasts ten days or so, which drastically reduces sales and return on the investments. Finally, once the new drug is being used, we know from experience that bacteria are inevitably going to become resistant to it quickly, making the antibiotic useless. This drastically confines the market size and profitability of new antibiotics.

But there is hope. Academic research, alliances with industry and other partnerships have, over the past decade or so, started to think outside the box. If new antibiotics are going to be developed they would need to target parts of the bacteria that find it difficult to mutate, such as the membrane. This is one possible approach – but we have yet to see a successful case.

MRSA (green bacteria) interacts with a human white cell. NIAID Flickr’s photostream

That said, there are other approaches to this that may well be successful. Bacteria adapt to antibiotics in different ways to become resistant. They put pumps in their membranes that actively gets rid of antibiotics – so the drug can’t reach its target. They make enzymes that directly inactivate or destroy the antibiotics. And most commonly they adapt by mutating or changing the target of the antibiotic so that it can no longer bind and kill. New therapeutic strategies may therefore not need to try to find new targets but instead try to make the bacteria more sensitive to the antibiotics we already have. Attacking pumps and enzymes is one possible way to go.

The remarkable role of breast milk

But there are others as well, and this is where breast milk and one of its components come in as an important example. Several years ago, we identified a special compound in breast milk, made from protein and fat, that we called HAMLET: Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells. The HAMLET complex was found to kill cancer cells without having any effect on nearby healthy cells. HAMLET killed the cancer cells partly by entering the cells and destroying the function of the mitochondria, the “power plant” of all cells, which resulted in cell death. HAMLET could not enter healthy cells, meaning they were “insensitive” to the compound.

Interestingly, way back in evolution, mitochondria are thought to have once been a type of bacteria which formed a symbiotic relationship with another type of bacteria. We therefore tested the potential activity of HAMLET on bacteria. And indeed, HAMLET did kill some types of bacteria, but the effect was not universal. Many important bacterial species were unaffected and survived.

To kill bacteria, HAMLET bound to the bacterial membrane. This first caused the hydrogen pump in the membrane to stop, so that the hydrogen concentrations (the pH) on each side of the membrane became the same. The change in pH allowed the transport of calcium inside the cell that was necessary for the bacteria to die.

However, we have since realised that even the surviving bacteria are not unaffected. Indeed, we found that HAMLET can affect the membranes and cause transport of hydrogen and calcium ions even for tough bacteria. This made the bacteria sensitive to the antibiotics they were resistant to – reversing the resistance.

In fact, HAMLET was so effective that it made MRSA sensitive to the antibiotic methicillin again. We were not only able to show that methicillin could kill MRSA in a test tube but also that it could eradicate infection in mice. This has become a major breakthrough. It shows the great potential that strategies such as this one can prolong the usefulness of the safe and tested antibiotic arsenal that we already have.

One of the greatest strengths of this approach is that substances such as HAMLET are not as likely as new antibiotics to lead to resistance. This is because they do not actually kill the bacteria themselves. There is therefore less evolutionary pressure on the bacteria to change to survive them. We are therefore currently developing these findings in the hope that they, and others like them, will provide a new treatment strategy to combat antibiotic resistance.

We are not quite there yet, as we have to go through the usual process of testing – determining the efficiency and safety of the compound – before we can start doing clinical trials. What we are doing now is undertaking these preparatory studies. There’s every reason to be hopeful about the future.

The Conversation

Anders P Håkansson receives funding from The Swedish Medical Research Foundation (VR) and from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Source The Conversation

Rainfall may provide a mechanism for soil bacteria to spread. A…

Rainfall may provide a mechanism for soil bacteria to spread. A new study examines how raindrops hitting infected soil can eject bacteria into the air. When drops fall at the rate of a light rainfall, they form tiny bubbles after impact (upper left). Those microbubbles rise to the top of the water and burst, sending extremely tiny droplets – or aerosols – spraying up into the air (upper right). Soil bacteria can hitch a ride on these aerosols, staying alive for up to an hour while the wind transports them to fresh, new soil. The researchers found that the most aerosols were produced when soil temperature was about 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) – the temperature of tropical soils. Depending on the conditions, a single raindrop could aerosolize anything from zero to several thousands of soil bacteria. (Image and research credit: Y. Joung et al.; video credit: MIT News)