Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mass Effect 3 - A Disappointment In The End?

Mass Effect as a whole was like reading a book. I played this game for it's story, how the game's choices actually played out and made a difference as we played. I plan on explaining in detail about how the final "chapter" became a HUGE disappointment in my eyes. A warning to anyone, this contains SPOILERS so please note this before reading on.

I won't go on about the "mass" hatred the current ending is being criticized by it's viewers. The ones defending it say, "they're crying because it's over." Or things like "there's no happy ending boo hoo." I plan on going over MY reasons why this game stabbed it's fans in the back and grew to be just a monopolized excuse to suck every penny out of it's fans.

Reason #1: The boss fight. All I'd like to say is...where? THERE WAS NO FUCKING BOSS! You survive a few waves of enemies and hit a button to shoot a missile. What the fuck? In ME1 you got to fight Saren and if you had enough Paragon or Renegade points, even got to convince him to shoot himself before the fight. Hey nice touch and it's a choice option! In ME2 you got to fight a big "terminator" looking boss and the whole "suicide mission" was plain badass. Every choice you make during the mission can either save or doom your character roster.

Reason #2: Indoctrination Theory. Alright I'm not even going to go into this. If you go to (One of my favorite video game critics btw) He has done a ton of work into explaining this theory. When I FIRST started playing this, I seen this. And started to see it unravel as I played. And the "Dream Sequences." And the only thing I could think was: Oh shit. Bioware's going to fuck us with all the promises then come out with whole "oh, you can continue in more DLC!!!" This also leads to...

Reason #3: The War Assets. Bioware decided to call this "ass"ets all right. Spending all of this time playing the horde mode multiplayer crap and making sure to get everything done right and all the missions because we were promised "diverse" endings only to get basically the same ending with different color lights in the end is  insulting. We get a whole 10 second "breathing" scene in the end so hey Shepard lives! WHO FUCKING CARES! So we spent all this extra time on extra bullshit to get a breathing scene to show that we're rewarded by...getting to buy more DLC! YAY! FUCK YOU BIOWARE.

Reason #4: Tali's true appearance. This little rant is small but did actually mean a lot to some. Tali's appearance was promised to be revealed and being a novice writer myself I wanted to see the imagination of Bioware's writing team to show what Tali looked like. Instead of getting a digitized in game model of what Tali looks like outside the space suit we get a damn STOCK PHOTO that's poorly (yes very fucking poorly) edited. It looked like a 2 minute crop job. Sorry..I've taken some college classes in Photoshop for graphic design. It's a 2 minute shade and crop job. They didn't even edit the hand very well, as if they just chopped the fingers off. Look at the fantastic job they did on the Turians, the Krogan, the Salarian. They did an amazing job on the Collectors and Promethians. Yet we get bogarded a real appearance by what the  Quarian looks like? From one writer to the Bioware writing staff - FAIL.

Reason #5: From The Ashes. I can understand giving something extra to a collectors edition. When that "extra" is a good chunk of lore then it becomes a problem. I think the quote was "you can enjoy the game's full features without this addon." Oh, I forgot this isn't a RPG anymore, which is usually favored for it's story structure. It's Gears of War. Oops! So lets forgets it's a RPG, lets rip out a good chunk of lore about the Promethians and lets make it a DLC that everyone can buy 3 days prior of release because it contains lore it shouldn't be in just a collectors edition. Because it's really not needed. Ok Bioware. Lets do that. Facepalm.

Reason #6: Choices. This is where I start to rant on the actual ending. When I started viewing the game after the whole "black dream sequence" where Shepard gets up and barely walks to the beam I already knew "there goes our ending. No boss battle. No foreclosure is going to happen. We're going to be stuck finishing this game through DLC." When you get to the Ilusive Man, to continue you're stuck making one of two renegade choices. What? When has Mass Effect EVER made you stick with just one choice. There's no paragon choice? Game Over if you don't use the renegade choice? Right then I knew for certain continuing playing really didn't matter. It'll be concluded in DLC.

Reason #7: The Save. When you did play ME 1 and ME 2 and beat the game, the same took place after everything that happened. The choice was open so you could play through extra DLC and/or missions that were missed quests that were unfinished, etc. But in ME 3 the final save takes you right before storming the Illusive Man's base. Which was the final decision that the ending was all a dream and IT DIDN'T MATTER. Bioware promised foreclosure and all they delivered was promises for more DLC to line their pockets. I said this on my facebook earlier this week - I paid 59.99 for this, paying for a game at this price it better be able to start my car. But delivering a game with a questionable ending, hardly anything promised delivered as far as foreclosure and a prompt to "continue to buy more DLC!" is a smack in the face.

Reason #8: The Hype. Which seems to ruin good games these days. When I say "hype" I mean the mass marketing, the advertising, the addition of "celebrities" in and out of the game to try to boost sales. If anyone from Bioware is reading this, let me give you a tip that I think most would agree. Don't want people to buy used games or to pirate the game? Here's a hint: PROMISES shouldn't be broken or resolves in DLC. If everything is going to be in a DLC then to hell with paying 59.99, I'll wait until I can get it for 15.00 used at a gamestop 6 months from now, buy the DLC that I need and go from there. Give a game a good story, good gameplay, provide what is advertised, tweeted and blogged in your advertisements and quotes. The game will sell. And it has. Mass Effect 1 and 2 should be proof.

Reason #9: Foreclosure. I'll make an apology now because I'll be bashing some "fanboys" in this reason. When I first started playing this game, I grew to love a RPG with a kickass story. I followed this game, the DLC, any lore I could devour. I made choices in this game that went with the story and almost every Bioware RPG has this aspect. Its a very nice touch and well put effort that, to me, makes it a 5 star game. Love that in a RPG. I just paid 59.99 for a game that gave no foreclosure in a lot of things. Did Wrex and his ground troops survive? Did any of these war assets come and help destroy the Reapers? What happened to all the other races? Some comments I've read on forums and blogs that take up for Bioware say something like : "make your own conclusion!" or "people are just crying because there's no happy ending" or "I thought it was a perfect ending!"

......really? I'll stress this. I played this game for it's STORY first. I didn't mind that Bioware ripped most of the rpg aspects out and made this game into a "gears of war shooter" game. The land exploration got replaced by some stupid scanning mini game (didn't we get more rpg elements promised in this game btw?  The only thing I noticed was the "talent tree" that was added, which is in almost every non-rpg game nowdays anyway, instead of the cheesy "difficulty option to enjoy the story" option) and the option to explore has been set to a more linear path (as per example some missions are permanately locked if you don't hurry up and complete them first).

Being the fact that I played this game for a STORY, me wanting a foreclure isn't me "whining" it's the fact I didn't want a GOW clone, I wanted a story that finished out. I didn't care if it was a "happy ending." It's a war game - hell I prefer a BITTER ending. Although, that bitter ending better tell me what happened to all of the characters as well. So hey - I'll do what the fanboys that actually support this ending and Bioware suggested. I"ll make my own conclusion. People lived, Stuff died, Shepard I suppose lived but due to his injuries is now just a vegetable but is in ruins. No hospitals, suppose he bled to death or something. The End. "You can continue your adventures in future DLC!" No thanks Bioware. Made my own conclusion. No more money for you.

In conclusion, Mass Effect 3 is actually a very good game. I did enjoy playing the game and despite the *cough* ending....I'd advise anyone to play it for the actual gameplay. I don't support the future "plans for DLC" because this very thing is why companies do this shit. And will continue. Even at this point, even "free DLC (right..I'll believe this when I see it.) Future consoles are wanting to go straight "digital download" because "they lose profit due to monopolies that sell used games." No..they want to start charging you PER CHAPER or even per ammo clip. Forget that. Suggestions like that will continue to drop the gaming industry. Oh and before I forget the final reason!

Reason #10!:  Sorry..this reason will only be available per DLC. :P