About Us | Game Reviews | Feature Articles | Podcast | Best Work | Forums | Shop | Review Game

Go Back   GameCritics.com Forums > Video Games Discussion > Next-Gen Console Games

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-16-2012, 12:02 PM   #16
Li-Ion
Space Pirate
 
Li-Ion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampshire, England, UK, EU
Posts: 1,384
Rep Power: 8 Li-Ion will become famous soon enough
Re: Mass Effect 3

Some thoughts of mine about Mass Effect 3 (including ending) I will put a spoiler warning and try to keep it clean until then

First I should state my view on ME1 and ME2, so that it's clear where I'm coming from. I really liked the first Mass Effect, but.
- but ME had a lot of classic RPG tropes which were in my view not necessary - why can't my squaddies not dress themselves and why do I have to deal with credits as "Spectre" superhero with quasi-unlimited authority?
- but the GUI was horrible, seriously: who designed this?
- but some of the systems felt a bit out of place in science fiction
- but only 2 more people in the squad was a bit strange considering you're hiring a sizable space crew
- but the Mako sections were boring
etc.

However, the ending was one of the strongest in any game I played to date and made up for most of the but's. Mass Effect 2 I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked the bold take on space RPG by blurring genre lines until they became useless to describe ME2. Is ME2 a shooter or an rpg? Does it matter? If nothing else ME2 again showed that the genre descriptions we use are in dire need of a serious review. My only complaint is that the end was a bit unsatisfactory. The reapers are coming but I haven't actually done anything during the game to stop them. And now we're at ME3.

The first game was a wondrous journey through space with blue skinned lesbian aliens and a sense of discovery. The second revisited the already know universe and told a series of personal stories, but suffered by being a clear 'middle part' of a proposed trilogy. It was a game about collecting resources. Resources in form of funky sounding elements as well as people that would help in the upcoming fight.

Mass Effect 3 has a very different tone. We are at war and it shows on the Normandy, which feels more like a submarine than anything else thanks to the dim red lighting. People die. It's less about personal stories, it's about fleets and war assets. It's about scientists and soldiers. I met old friends and enemies. But they would not sit and wait forever until I arrive. People would move on and Shepard isn't the only person to start a romance anymore. Old comrades get different offers, the Normandy isn't the sole center of the universe.

I like and dislike the ending at the same time. At first I was confused, then I started to think about it, connected the dots and came to a very different conclusion. Bioware obviously hasn't replied to it yet, they claim they will do so after more people have a chance to see the ending. If the ending is what I think it is, it's actually quite clever. What I miss from the ending is only one thing: closure.

you enter spoiler territory - please turn around now if you didn't finish Mass Effect 3

Still here?
Ok, then let's talk about the end. The game ends on earth (not surprising, given the premise) where Shepard lands with all the fleets she could muster. It is rather bleak and the final push towards a magic elevator to the citadel is interrupted by nothing less than the biggest reaper out there. Shepard awakes, presumbably, and jumps into the citadel where he encounters Anderson and the illusive Man (TIM). This is where I started to wonder what's going on and the whole setup boils down to destroying the reapers or controlling the reapers. In my case Anderson and TIM died and I went up the citadel, talking to a ghost kid that presented the choices I have. At this point I was sure this is a dream sequence. The spooky ghost kid tried to talk me into controlling the reapers (yeah, because that surely works...), giving myself up to combine synthetics and organic people or the evil renegade option of killing all synthetic life in the galaxy. Whatever I choose, the mass relays will be destroyed. I will cite admiral Ackbar: it's a trap! I went for the presumably renegade option of destroying the reapers. Now the weirdness doesn't stop, by showing a scene where Joker flies away from an exploding mass relay, crashlanding on some far away planet. Then Garrus jumps out of the crash-landed Normandy as well. This is obviously wrong, since he was just in London with me, getting hit by a reaper. Poor Garrus is probably toast. Then the game ended with a scene of rubble and Shepard breathing in. Now: the rubble didn't look like the citadel, but London just when the reaper hit. Thus I conclude Shepard is still in London and the reaper invasion is not over yet, but nice try. This ending made me think quite a bit and this makes sense, considering Shepards nightmares, him seeing a boy no one else could see (which looks very similar to the ghost boy he meets on the citadel), suddenly not being able to use any powers for the whole citadel part (why did I forget how to use disruptor ammo?) and the information we have about reaper indoctrination. What I still miss is closure, since I concluded it's not over. I assume some dlc will come with the actual "end". Hopefully this will also explain what happened to the universe and to all the friends and enemies I made along the trip. As it is, the Mass Effect saga doesn't feel like it's 'over'. The final hint: once I was done watching the credits, a window popped up telling me I can play some dlc soon. Yeah, EA is not done milking this franchise.
__________________
Currently playing: Assetto Corsa (PC)
Li-Ion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2012, 07:59 AM   #17
Pedro
128-bit Poster
 
Pedro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1,044
Rep Power: 7 Pedro will become famous soon enough
Re: Mass Effect 3

Did you play story, role playing or action mode? Any thoughts on that, or would you have to play through another mode in order to compare?
Pedro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2012, 09:10 AM   #18
Li-Ion
Space Pirate
 
Li-Ion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampshire, England, UK, EU
Posts: 1,384
Rep Power: 8 Li-Ion will become famous soon enough
Re: Mass Effect 3

I imported the savegame of my Shepard from Mass Effect 1 and 2. Then it doesn't even ask and automatically selects role-playing mode. The other modes are only possible for new games and in case of action mode the character generation is circumvented and the game is started straight away with the soldier class. Dialogue choices are automatically on the renegade side of the spectrum as far as I can tell, but I didn't play action mode far. There are some paragon choices as well, overall I'd say 55/45 renegade/paragon in my case. Didn't try story mode.

However, I noticed that even starting a new character with ME3 in role-playing mode is different than with an imported save. With my Shepard carried over from previous games I had more dialogue options, whereas my 'new' character would automatically select some options according to what the game determines has happened the first two games. It seems to be either randomly determined or by filling out the 'psychological profile'. For example: in a new game with an infiltrator I started Wrex was dead. In a new game of friend of mine, also as an infiltrator, Wrex was still alive. I guess the reason for this is twofold, to make replaying more interesting and to prevent a canon storyline.

About the RPG mechanics: I think ME3 is the best of the series. It has still less skills than ME1 but they are better. Let me explain what I mean: in ME1 there were plenty of skills according to class with lots of points, but they were just linear. Raising the level of pistols would unlock new skills at set points and my choice boiled down to get Assault Rifle to maximum as soon as possible and then put leftover points in more hitpoints and intimidation. The other weapons I never really used and there was no incentive to do so. Finding a cool sniper rifle with my soldier was pretty useless, since I had invested so much in my assault rifle skill.

In ME3 there are no weapon skills, which was already the case in ME2. Unlike ME2, it's possible to use any weapon regardless of class. However: depending on the weight of the weapons power recarge speed changes. Less and light weapons mean power use more often. There is no clear 'best' weapon, any weapon in the game has it's use for some build and some situation. Different assault rifles have different modes of fire (single, burst, full auto) and some weapons have specialties (exploding bullets, see through fog and cover). The skills for each class branch out after the first 3 levels. More weapon damage or more shields? More granade damage or larger radius of the explosion? Extra damage against stunned targets or 25% faster recharge? This makes it possible to specialize and pick skills according to party synergies.
__________________
Currently playing: Assetto Corsa (PC)
Li-Ion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 11:04 AM   #19
Pedro
128-bit Poster
 
Pedro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1,044
Rep Power: 7 Pedro will become famous soon enough
Re: Mass Effect 3

Ah, thanks for the detailed reply, Li-ion. I'll be continuing a save too so that decision is made for me. If I'd had the choice I'd probably have gone for story mode.

Weirdly I don't feel compelled to get this game at all, but will be picking it up tomorrow, I think.
Pedro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 01:56 PM   #20
Li-Ion
Space Pirate
 
Li-Ion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampshire, England, UK, EU
Posts: 1,384
Rep Power: 8 Li-Ion will become famous soon enough
Re: Mass Effect 3

You can essentially go for story mode. I just found out that in the combat options menu there is another difficulty setting next to the standard normal, easy and hard: narrative. Then the enemies in the game pretty much fall over as soon as Shepard breaks wind.
__________________
Currently playing: Assetto Corsa (PC)
Li-Ion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2012, 03:04 PM   #21
Doug Troy
Surly McDouchebag
 
Doug Troy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 900
Rep Power: 14 Doug Troy is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Mass Effect 3

Maybe spoiler-musings upon the internet's reaction to Mass Effect 3 follow.

-
-
-
-
-
-

I really don't get why the internet is having such a shitfit over the ending to Mass Effect 3.

I really don't.

I mean, it's not good. It may even be bad. But from the internet's reaction, you'd think the ending was Shepard dry-humping a poodle for 20 minutes.

Honestly, I've played worse endings. Like Fallout 3. Like God Of War 3. Like Halo 2. Why weren't those massive internet shit-fit starters?

Maybe I'm too forgiving. Maybe I enjoyed the many many hours of actual video game that I was playing before the ending happened to be that plussed about it. Maybe I'm easy to please when it comes to pulp sci-fi.

But really? Starting a protest charity drive? Filing an FTC complaint?

I just don't get it.

All I know is that sometimes I wish I could Renegade-Interrupt the internet.

-
-
-
-
-

End musings
__________________
"I actually talked to an Iraqi cabdriver last year in Salt Lake City about the war. He said it was like the US came and weeded his garden, but pulled out most of the vegetables in the process. Needless to say, he had mixed feelings. So I stiffed him on the tip. USA! USA! USA!"
Doug Troy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2012, 03:18 PM   #22
Li-Ion
Space Pirate
 
Li-Ion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampshire, England, UK, EU
Posts: 1,384
Rep Power: 8 Li-Ion will become famous soon enough
Re: Mass Effect 3

@Doug: I fully agree with you. I don't get it either.

And I always long for a Renegade-Interrupt
__________________
Currently playing: Assetto Corsa (PC)
Li-Ion is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
About Us | Privacy Policy | Review Game | FAQ | Contact Us | Twitter | Facebook |  RSS
Copyright 1999-2010 GameCritics.com. All rights reserved.