Was Mass Effect: Andromeda really that bad?

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So I'm working through my backlog of old/missed games that I promised myself I would do before buying any new games (and there are plenty I want coming this Fall/Winter/Winter 2018). My next game was Andromeda and I gotta say...I'm not seeing why it was considered such an awful game.

It certainly doesn't live up to old Mass Effects, it has some animation issues and delivers a few clunkers in lines for sure. But the game still looks good, the gameplay is actually fairly enjoyable and a somewhat interesting take on the old ME class system and the story itself while generic still manages to be somewhat enjoyable and thus far has delivered a few good scenes that wouldn't have been out of place in the original trilogy.

Paragon Fury:
So I'm working through my backlog of old/missed games that I promised myself I would do before buying any new games (and there are plenty I want coming this Fall/Winter/Winter 2018). My next game was Andromeda and I gotta say...I'm not seeing why it was considered such an awful game.

It certainly doesn't live up to old Mass Effects, it has some animation issues and delivers a few clunkers in lines for sure. But the game still looks good, the gameplay is actually fairly enjoyable and a somewhat interesting take on the old ME class system and the story itself while generic still manages to be somewhat enjoyable and thus far has delivered a few good scenes that wouldn't have been out of place in the original trilogy.

If I'm reading you correct, you're recently playing this game now? Or in the past few weeks?

The game was panned by how horribly broken it shipped as a full price game. If they implemented a plethora of patches from then until now (it seems every patch note had time dedicated to improving Facial Animations, from first to last), we can't judge their 'finished' project now and say that the reviews and uproar that was based on how it launched are unfounded.

It was one of those final straw situations. Bioware was already in the doghouse after Dragon Age 2, the ME3 ending, and DA: Inquisition, so ME:A was do-or-die. They really, really, REALLY had to prove they still had what it took, and they just face-planted into the asfalt.

And yes, it really was that bad. It's like they took Mass Effect and sucked all the character and intrigue out of it. And that's not even taking into account the dismal state that it was released in.

ObsidianJones:

Paragon Fury:
So I'm working through my backlog of old/missed games that I promised myself I would do before buying any new games (and there are plenty I want coming this Fall/Winter/Winter 2018). My next game was Andromeda and I gotta say...I'm not seeing why it was considered such an awful game.

It certainly doesn't live up to old Mass Effects, it has some animation issues and delivers a few clunkers in lines for sure. But the game still looks good, the gameplay is actually fairly enjoyable and a somewhat interesting take on the old ME class system and the story itself while generic still manages to be somewhat enjoyable and thus far has delivered a few good scenes that wouldn't have been out of place in the original trilogy.

If I'm reading you correct, you're recently playing this game now? Or in the past few weeks?

The game was panned by how horribly broken it shipped as a full price game. If they implemented a plethora of patches from then until now (it seems every patch note had time dedicated to improving Facial Animations, from first to last), we can't judge their 'finished' project now and say that the reviews and uproar that was based on how it launched are unfounded.

Playing it right now.

Paragon Fury:

Playing it right now.

Are you playing it patched? Because EA/Bioware already had one year to fix the major issues, you'll probably won't experience the same flaws than the release version.

It was released in an unforgivable state. Buggy, glitchy and broken. With all the extra patches and fixes its now just a badly written, boring cover-based 3rd person shooter.

Guess what I just started playing too...

Silentpony:
It was released in an unforgivable state. Buggy, glitchy and broken. With all the extra patches and fixes its now just a badly written, boring cover-based 3rd person shooter.

okay, i dont know how bad the facial animations were, but right now they look like DA:I. Which isn't a compliment. I'd prefer Fallout 4, stationary view over this "cinematic" experience.

Wasn't the studio shut down a couple of months after release? Was there many bugs other than faces?

I gather I'm going to like the game for the same reason I liked Watchdogs - I didnt pay full price.

Badly written? I'm only on the first planet so it might get worse but the overall story seems fine. Do you mean conversations? Becuase I'd agree but I also think the Witcher 3 was bad in that department.

Also, what's a good 3rd person cover shooter? I found myself actually trying to flank more here due to my jumpjets, where most other games doesn't allow for any tactical response

I just got done posting a huge rant about my gripes with the game on another site, so I'll just spoiler all that. It's a big wall.

To sum up my thoughts as best as I can without sounding unreasonably unfair, it's just so damn mediocre compared to the rest of the series. My biggest gripe is the writing though with a splash of the delivery, it's trying very hard to seem like an action movie to me, and it's really bad at it. And all the females are butt ugly. And they fucked up Vex's voice modulator so that you can hear her voice and the distortion. And the whole story is[PLOT SPOILERS]

I just have so many problems with the game, but I experienced everything before the patches hit, and hated pretty much the entire experience, but I had to finish it because I love everything else Mass Effect.

And now the wall of text.

It does have a sense of exploration we havent seen since ME1 and makes the world feel dangerous, not just the enemies on it

Gameplay-wise it was fun.

But the open world hindered more than it help.

And the plot and characters (what mattered most in previous mass effect games) were awful and thread-bare

Gameplay = high point

Character speak and plot = low point

Production = troubled/messy/rushed

Series fanbase = we no speak of the fanbase

It was a very shallow lake of content. There was a lot to do but it was always the same thing to do.

The fact you only fought 3 different things (new aliens, colonists, remnants) did not help.

The game also had big shoes to fill, Mass Effect 3, for its ending failure was a great game up until that point. On the flip side Andromeda has a very satisfactory ending but the game to get there is a right slog.

The combat mechanics are great for a ME game. There is a great feel of infantry mobility and you feel like you're wearing very futuristic power armour.

There are a lot of "go nowhere" concepts introduced like the AI you can save. It has this massive buildup as to how important it is and it was driven insane or something, only for it to just sit around in a server room somewhere and make the occasional rude comment.

There is a great game under there, but it's covered in filler, rushed production, and I imagine the editing room floor is covered in what would have been satisfactory conclusions to storylines in game.

Then there was the whole brownie points trans character thrown in your face. Could not have been more blatant, felt like a corporate social awareness moment.

There's no patching mediocrity, I can tell you that.

trunkage:
okay, i dont know how bad the facial animations were

image

Was there many bugs other than faces?

image

Also, what's a good 3rd person cover shooter?

image

I paid $60 for it in pre-order, despite my apprehension. The ME trilogy is three of my favorite games of all time. But then the horrible reviews came out... so I thought I'd wait a month for the patches. I did play through prologue part. But then all I ever read is about how bad the story is, how boring the characters are, how bland the open world is, how repetitive the quests are, how ugly all the women are, how there are cliffhanger storylines that will never be finished, etc. Plus, I just don't like massive open world games, at all. I hated DAI.

So here we are a year later, and I still haven't played it, and I may never play it. As much as I loved the original trilogy, I'm worried that this game will taint the entire series for me, so I just pretend that it doesn't exist.

I got it when it came out and really enjoyed it, especially the start where you are alone in a new galaxy having to explore round and find out what's going on.

Then again I also liked Inquisition and apparently that wasn't well received either?

DA2 I thought was alright but not good. It had a good idea and I liked the focus on one family doing their best to survive and thrive over a longer period of time but it was poorly executed. Especially the overly repeated dungeon areas and caves.

Bobular:
I got it when it came out and really enjoyed it, especially the start where you are alone in a new galaxy having to explore round and find out what's going on.

That aspect of the game appealed to me the most.

But then it shows people came LONG before you and set up functioning colonies. So you wonder what's the point of being a "Pathfinder" when the paths have already been found. I was hoping on leading a colonization effort, not acting as a local constable.

Abomination:

Bobular:
I got it when it came out and really enjoyed it, especially the start where you are alone in a new galaxy having to explore round and find out what's going on.

That aspect of the game appealed to me the most.

But then it shows people came LONG before you and set up functioning colonies. So you wonder what's the point of being a "Pathfinder" when the paths have already been found. I was hoping on leading a colonization effort, not acting as a local constable.

The Pathfinder thing is probably one of Bioware's weakest versions of their stereotypical chosen one narrative too.

Ryder's credentials for anything is literally just nepotism. He's not unique because there's multiple pathfinders, he's blatantly inexperienced. Even with the token adveristy that is presented to the fact, it makes no sense unless his dad was literally running a cult that they just accept his apparent infallible last second choice to appoint his son/daughter that wasn't even supposed to be next in line the new Pathfinder.

Also, they literally start copy pasting whole cloth stuff when you get farther in the game, even including identical puzzles. For all the flak clear-the-map sandboxes get, I can't think of any that got that outright lazy or obviously rushed (other then No Mans Sky procedural stuff which was a bad idea to throw the puzzles in to begin with)

It's a product of the C-Team being delegated to the AAA franchise.
Go figure.

It's like giving the 2nd assistant director steer to direct the next entry in a billion dollar budget blockbuster series.

Abomination:

Bobular:
I got it when it came out and really enjoyed it, especially the start where you are alone in a new galaxy having to explore round and find out what's going on.

That aspect of the game appealed to me the most.

But then it shows people came LONG before you and set up functioning colonies. So you wonder what's the point of being a "Pathfinder" when the paths have already been found. I was hoping on leading a colonization effort, not acting as a local constable.

Add to that a lost opportunity for making ANY RACE OTHER THAN HUMAN a playable character.

I've only heard other people complain about it for the most part, though from what I've seen with my own two eyes, it was bugged up the ass, the facial expressions were creepy, despite having a more advanced engine some of the textures looked worse, a lot of the animations were PAINFULLY bad, and a lot of the characters seemed to have a smarmy smart ass thing going on, which is ok for one character but it gets real annoying real fast when A. too many characters do it and B. the smarmy smart ass doesn't have a fucking off switch.

Also there was this one lady Krogan with a male voice actor whose attempt to do a female voice came off as stereotypically camp instead. I have seriously heard better female impressions from men out of Monty fucking Python.

But I think the biggest sin of the game is that it's effectively trying to replace the first three games, the games we all grew attached to and never got a real proper conclusion to. Andromeda basically said "forget all of it, brand new galaxy with the same thing we more or less did last time except nowhere near as interesting and a lot more watered down. What's that? Quarians and Geth? Never heard of them, we've got a brand new alien race that hates lying no matter the circumstance because we watched Galaxy Quest once."

...Holy shit, I was writing that last line as a JOKE, but it makes a bit more sense than I originally realized.

Abomination:
Then there was the whole brownie points trans character thrown in your face. Could not have been more blatant, felt like a corporate social awareness moment.

That's so weird, I just finished playing the game a third time, and I never met this character, or if I have, I didn't know because they didn't throw any life story in my face. I think I heard that they patched the person's conversation tree to not be so forthcoming, but I was actually looking for them and still missed it.

On topic, no it wasn't that bad. I made a similar thread dissecting Andromeda almost a year ago right after I played it, and I defended it very strongly. I played Andromeda 2 months after release, after they had almost finished all the patches and updates, so I understand it was probably a very rough and frustrating experience for those who played it day 1, but man, I really like it. As someone who has played the trilogy 9 or 10 times and loves ME2 more than most people, I think Andromeda is a great game.

In some ways it's a better game than ME1. The combat is leagues better, I mean a vast improvement over all the games except 3, which was much closer in quality. The relocation to a new galaxy is dumb and kind of lore-breaking, but it's also the only thing they could possibly do after the reaper war and the ME3 ending choices. The open worlds are, well, kind of up-and-down, but I never really mind a big space to get lost in, and it definitely helped sell the feeling of exploring an unknown galaxy, which is like, my one true wish in life that will never be fulfilled.

The dialogue is often bad, but rarely awful. The characters are not all great, there's no one to rival Garrus or Tali, or Mordin, or even Jack... But still, I quite like Jaal and Drack, and for once the human crewmates you're forced to start with are not the least interesting people in the cast. And there is a lot of interaction between your crew, they really put in the effort to show that these people spend time together even when you're not around.

Really, for as "shallow" as a lot of people call it, it's standard action RPG-type depth, typical for games these days. And as much as people say it's just a rehash of the original story, it's simply not. There are a lot of similar elements, but, well, it's a Mass Effect game isn't it? It seems like a good way to make sure it feels familiar enough to the old games when they had to move us away from everything else we knew in the Milky Way.

It's just my opinion, but like I said, I've played it 3 times now and I had a blast each time.

TheVampwizimp:

Abomination:
Then there was the whole brownie points trans character thrown in your face. Could not have been more blatant, felt like a corporate social awareness moment.

That's so weird, I just finished playing the game a third time, and I never met this character, or if I have, I didn't know because they didn't throw any life story in my face. I think I heard that they patched the person's conversation tree to not be so forthcoming, but I was actually looking for them and still missed it.

If I recall they did patch it out because of the negative feedback it received from the LGBT community. The character was essentially a Final Fantasy NPC that spurted out a completely inane bit of information. Something along the lines of "This planet is difficult to live on and I'm trans!"

All I could think was "Okay, thanks for sharing? I do not see how that pertains in any way to our earlier discussion or why I am talking to you."

I played it a few months ago when it was on sale for 15 dollars. It was....okay. Enjoyable even. The characters were mediocre, the overall plot was mediocre. The interactions between characters were pretty good. Gameplay-wise it was better than the trilogy. The bosses are actually hard. My first architect took me hours to beat, although once you figure out how to beat one you know how to beat all of them.

One of the better final chapters from a Bioware game though. I could see myself dusting it off again a few years down the road.

I got it at release and my only major regret was the MP didnt recapture the lightning in a bottle which ME3MP was.

It's worse than that bad. At least in my opinion. To me a game is definitely bad when I feel like I'm working instead of playing. And that's how it made me feel. I couldn't wait to be done with it. The game is a complete travesty. Even the very idea of it is insanely stupid.

Even without its own flaws, Andromeda was in the highly unfortunate position of having to not only carry on from a much beloved original trilogy, but deal with the aftermath of said trilogy's, shall we say, contentious ending. In a way, it was pretty much a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't: rabid ME fanboys like myself were going to be nitpicking every single inch of this game no matter what it provided, and even if it had been an emotional blockbuster, I know I would have been grumbling "Yeah yeah, but these characters sure as hell aren't Garrus and Tali!". So when it very much failed to be a emotional blockbuster, due to naff writing/dialogue, much weaker combat, boring exploration/colonisation gameplay mechanics and generally poorer characters, it seemed like even more of a letdown (and I was trying my hardest to put aside my personal bias and try to enjoy it for its own worth). Without the ME tag, I'd say its an enjoyably average space sci-fi RPG that you could have fun with at the time, then put aside forever: as a Mass Effect game, its just tragically disappointing on so many levels.

To elaborate somewhat, it's like Andromeda had a rough idea of what the original games were all about, but failed to bring all the ingredients together:

- ME games are famous for having a Renegade/Paragon system in place of traditional moral meters, allowing players to customise their Commander Shepards through dialogue and in-game actions into anything between ultra-cynical human supremacist warmongers who will throw anyone to the wolves for the Greater Good, and altruistic idealists who will march through Hell itself to help someone and preach a message of tolerance and interspecies co-operation, but certainly don't suffer fools at all, let alone lightly. Pathfinder Ryder on the other hand can only always agree to do whatever the aliens talking to them at the time want them to do, usually with a hefty amount of submissive sarcasm (Fallout 4 had this problem as well, but at least your character in that could tell people to fuck off when you wanted).

- ME games are famous for having a well fleshed out cast of supporting characters to assist Commander Shepard on and off the bedroom battlefield, with lots of pithy banter between themselves and the world environment, yet without ever sacrificing their emotional weight at the same time. Andromeda's characters on the other hand just snark, and snark, and snark, and snark, and... until you want to jam a thermal clip down their fucking throats. True, they have some serious moments here and there, but they always felt like they were in a very significant minority and are sorted in a single conversation: Liam Kosta is bummed out that his family is back in the Milky Way (I think, its been a while since I played) for all of five minutes, then its back to moving sofas whilst shirtless and quipping with the Angara sniper dude.

- ME games have evolved their gameplay from the first baby steps into a firefight of the first game, to what I think is the perfect ME combat system in the third, finding a strong middle ground between cover based shooting, superpowered support abilities and rushing across the battlefield to find a new advantage. Personally, I felt Andromeda tossed all that out of the window to try and sell its new jetpack gimmicks as a unique feature and the game seems very weighted in favour of "Charge the enemy, guns blazing, then biotic blast them", which I imagine is great if you played a Vanguard in ME3's surprisingly fun multiplayer, but really didn't gel for me. Added to this were the lacklustre exploration elements: driving about in the unarmed Nomad across vast empty plains, or vast empty caves, or vast empty snowfields was boring - and when you did find something, nothing killed the flow like having to drive up, stop, get out, fight the enemy, loot the enemy, scan the minerals, press the switch, get in, crash, reverse and then start driving again.

erttheking:
But I think the biggest sin of the game is that it's effectively trying to replace the first three games, the games we all grew attached to and never got a real proper conclusion to.

This was honestly the part that had me most excited, but then...

Andromeda basically said "forget all of it, brand new galaxy with the same thing we more or less did last time except nowhere near as interesting and a lot more watered down. What's that? Quarians and Geth? Never heard of them, we've got a brand new alien race that hates lying no matter the circumstance because we watched Galaxy Quest once."

...Yeah.

There was little to do with the state the third game left the Milky Way in, and going to Andromeda was Bioware's chance to really turn this franchise on its head, or you know, atleast have some aliens that aren't generic humanoids. But instead we get the same shit from the previous games, but way worse.

I only got about an hour or so into it but I didn't feel terribly attached to any of the squad mates I met in the meantime. That said what truly, TRULY pissed me off was that Ammo powers were consumables rather than an activated passive (per ME2/ME3) or a weapon mod (per ME1) and the combat managed to feel janky when ME3's combat was butter smooth.

I do however accept that it might be better now its had the ever loving shit patched out of it.

erttheking:

But I think the biggest sin of the game is that it's effectively trying to replace the first three games, the games we all grew attached to and never got a real proper conclusion to. Andromeda basically said "forget all of it, brand new galaxy with the same thing we more or less did last time except nowhere near as interesting and a lot more watered down. What's that? Quarians and Geth? Never heard of them, we've got a brand new alien race that hates lying no matter the circumstance because we watched Galaxy Quest once."

Okay, but how would you continue from Mass Effect 3 in the Milky Way without pissing off two thirds of the fanbase (or three quarters if we treat the "refuse" ending as having an equal share of the pie)?

Not that ME3 needed continuation, but I figure that if Mass Effect absolutely needed continuation, something like Andromeda (least in principle) seems the best way to go.

The whole series is just bad. mediocre third person cover shooter with RPG elements. waste of time.

Hawki:

erttheking:

But I think the biggest sin of the game is that it's effectively trying to replace the first three games, the games we all grew attached to and never got a real proper conclusion to. Andromeda basically said "forget all of it, brand new galaxy with the same thing we more or less did last time except nowhere near as interesting and a lot more watered down. What's that? Quarians and Geth? Never heard of them, we've got a brand new alien race that hates lying no matter the circumstance because we watched Galaxy Quest once."

Okay, but how would you continue from Mass Effect 3 in the Milky Way without pissing off two thirds of the fanbase (or three quarters if we treat the "refuse" ending as having an equal share of the pie)?

Not that ME3 needed continuation, but I figure that if Mass Effect absolutely needed continuation, something like Andromeda (least in principle) seems the best way to go.

The same way every game with a binary moral system and sequels (including previous MAss Effects) carried on without pissing off 50% of the player base, I'd assume.

Honestly, I think Andromeda could've worked out, but they were really slapdash. Only the two new races and one may as well have been orcs for all the dynamic they possessed. They just magically work out the genophage in transit which both makes your efforts to do so (if you did) look ridiculous and took out some of the Krogans dynamic. Ignoring the Quarians, a spacefaring race looking specifically for new planets to colonize as home in your game about looking for planets to colonize as a home seems like the weirdest most inane logic to exclude.

Seth Carter:

The same way every game with a binary moral system and sequels (including previous MAss Effects) carried on without pissing off 50% of the player base, I'd assume.

How could a ME4 account for such choices though? This isn't choosing who lives or dies (e.g. Wrex or the rachni queen), this is the state of the entire galaxy.

I mean, suppose I had three save files for ME3. An ME4 would have to present scenarios where:

a) Synethics and Reapers are completely absent.

b) Reapers and synethetics are present, with the Reapers being a slave race

c) Every being in the galaxy is a machine-organic hybrid with free will (Reapers included)

d) Everyone's dead (least in this cycle)

So, either BioWare makes the biggest game ever, or they make four different games (or three I guess). Someone's already pointed out that the three core endings wouldn't be just different games, they'd be different genres.

Abomination:

TheVampwizimp:

Abomination:
Then there was the whole brownie points trans character thrown in your face. Could not have been more blatant, felt like a corporate social awareness moment.

That's so weird, I just finished playing the game a third time, and I never met this character, or if I have, I didn't know because they didn't throw any life story in my face. I think I heard that they patched the person's conversation tree to not be so forthcoming, but I was actually looking for them and still missed it.

If I recall they did patch it out because of the negative feedback it received from the LGBT community. The character was essentially a Final Fantasy NPC that spurted out a completely inane bit of information. Something along the lines of "This planet is difficult to live on and I'm trans!"

All I could think was "Okay, thanks for sharing? I do not see how that pertains in any way to our earlier discussion or why I am talking to you."

They didn't patch her out, they simply shuffled her dialog so that she told you more revealing information (like her deadname) later in her dialog instead of earlier

The whole thing was still impossibly embarrassing...for transphobes, who tried to act like the information was shoved in their face when you had to ask for it.

Let's be real here. Even the most well paced and written trans, gay, or really any other minority would attract the ire of people whining about es jay dubbayous. Because some people just aren't emotionally mature enough for that stuff yet.

ME2 was the only actually good one. True, kind of a mediocre TPS but the story was awesome and had a lot of intrigue in it. I wasn't really attached to any of the characters or the series as a whole so I couldn't care less about the weak ending but the entirety of ME3 suffered from overexposition in a similar manner as MGS4. Absolutely everything must be explained and accounted for and you end up with a carcass for storyline. They also butchered some of the characters, like Mordin who suddenly turned into a crybaby. I was interested in ME1 for the story but couldn't really be bothered to get into the tedious RPG mechanics and these kind of games age horribly.

ME:A is on sale every other week or so for chump change. But there is no way I'm gonna spend even one minute on that steaming pile of garbage. Even EA, their shitty lootbox games not exactly known for much creative merit, seems embarrassed by trying to pretend it doesn't exist. xD

Hawki:

Seth Carter:

The same way every game with a binary moral system and sequels (including previous MAss Effects) carried on without pissing off 50% of the player base, I'd assume.

How could a ME4 account for such choices though? This isn't choosing who lives or dies (e.g. Wrex or the rachni queen), this is the state of the entire galaxy.

I mean, suppose I had three save files for ME3. An ME4 would have to present scenarios where:

a) Synethics and Reapers are completely absent.

b) Reapers and synethetics are present, with the Reapers being a slave race

c) Every being in the galaxy is a machine-organic hybrid with free will (Reapers included)

d) Everyone's dead (least in this cycle)

So, either BioWare makes the biggest game ever, or they make four different games (or three I guess). Someone's already pointed out that the three core endings wouldn't be just different games, they'd be different genres.

Exactly the way I said already in what you quoted.

The popular one is just taking whichever the majority picked.

Or if they wanted to be really off cuff, Shepherd was indoctrinated to crap at the end and completely bonkers but the humans set off the superweapon while they were having crazy hallucinations anyways and they died when it fired.

Hawki:

erttheking:

But I think the biggest sin of the game is that it's effectively trying to replace the first three games, the games we all grew attached to and never got a real proper conclusion to. Andromeda basically said "forget all of it, brand new galaxy with the same thing we more or less did last time except nowhere near as interesting and a lot more watered down. What's that? Quarians and Geth? Never heard of them, we've got a brand new alien race that hates lying no matter the circumstance because we watched Galaxy Quest once."

Okay, but how would you continue from Mass Effect 3 in the Milky Way without pissing off two thirds of the fanbase (or three quarters if we treat the "refuse" ending as having an equal share of the pie)?

Not that ME3 needed continuation, but I figure that if Mass Effect absolutely needed continuation, something like Andromeda (least in principle) seems the best way to go.

Honestly I couldn't, because Bioware thought it would be a good idea to have the dumbest fucking ending I've ever seen in gaming. We had to leave the galaxy for the sequel because Bioware pretty thoroughly salted the Earth with the ending to ME3, and really that's no one's fault but their own.

And if they really, really had to go to another galaxy, they could do something a bit more than rehash the plot beats and characters we had seen in previous games, except with less wit, charm, and depth. And not cut out the Quarians and Geth.

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