Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Randomness: Mass Effect 3

I've been doing almost exclusively politics, and it's time for a little randomness.  I love science fiction.  A lot of people do.  I play science fiction games, too.  We all have hobbies.

There have been plenty of reviews published about Mass Effect 3 and why the ending stank.  I played it anyway.  The game play was great, not a lot different from Mass Effect 2.  I had thought there was no way the ending could be as bad as the grumblings I'd seen online.

I was wrong.  It was bad.  Here are a few reasons why (warning, there is profanity in this monologue):

I had a few things to add and how Bioware killed the game and its future.  Reportedly, Bioware wanted an epic ending.  Tradition holds that that sort of ending requires the death of the hero.  Most gamers disagree.  The hero deserved a retirement in this case, and some cameos in future installments of the game.

"But wait," you may say, "Bioware really wanted this only to be a trilogy and to have an epic ending!"    Yes, it makes a tremendous amount of business sense to build an incredibly rich science fiction universe and then kill it off after 3 games.  That's what worked great with Halo.   There are plenty of adventures still to be had using wildly popular characters.  Killing the franchise doesn't make sense and make no mistake, that's what the existing endings did.  I like to do multiple play throughs of games to explore different things.  I had no urge ever to play ME3 again after seeing the ending.  I had no urge to play anything by Bioware of EA Games again after that ending.  I may play ME2 again eventually if I'm not too busy doing other things (and I suspect I will be).

Where else did they mess up?  They failed to integrate real, storyline advancing coop play.  I love playing with other people.  I found that enhanced enjoyment of games like Borderlands.  ME3 could have easily incorporated this, and they didn't.  Multiplayer is an option, but not in pursuing the storyline.

There's some hope for this last expected downloadable content package, but I don't feel it.  I haven't had any interest in the others to date.  I suspect a lot of gamers feel the same.

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