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Default Mass Effect 3 - Jeff Vogel Review

July 7th, 2012, 01:25
Mass Effect 3 has been reviewed by Jeff Vogel from Spiderweb in a two-part critique. The first is titled The Good Stuff:
I think the Mass Effect setting is one of the best in computer games. BioWare has this stuff down to a science. It was only when I was playing ME3 and revisited all the great conflicts in the series: Salarian vs. Krogan. Geth vs. Quarian. Humans vs. Everybody, that I really started to realize how much stuff there is. How complex and nuanced the issues facing the characters are. How interesting the setting is and how that, in turn, leads to interesting stories.

Between Mass Effect and Dragon Age, I personally think that BioWare is the best maker of computer game settings. I hope they keep doing it.
…and from The Ending, Before and After! (despite Jeff's "no spoilers" comment, this has some major spoilers:
Some criticized the ending for creating some plot inconsistencies with things learned in the DLC for Mass Effect 2. (Namely, that blowing up a mass relay destroyed the solar system before and now it doesn't.) The horrors.

DOES ANYONE REALLY ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THIS!?!? IF SO, RAISE YOUR HAND.

(Pause.)

I didn't think so.

Also, some put a lot of time into proving Shepherd was actually under Reaper control and the last game was a dream or something. (The famed Indoctrination Theory.) Of course this wasn't true. This was a AAA mega-million dollar game series that had always approached everything in a reasonably sane manner. They weren't going to end it with goofy Sixth Sense trickery.
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July 7th, 2012, 01:25
Imagine if they ended the original Star Wars trilogy with, "btw, turns out they were all ghosts the whole time."


That would've been a lifetime of lulz. Endlulz lulz.

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July 7th, 2012, 01:42
All in all, pretty exquisite series. There won´t be something like this in a long time.
Last edited by DeepO; July 7th, 2012 at 01:53.
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July 7th, 2012, 02:15
*raises hand
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July 7th, 2012, 05:15
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
All in all, pretty exquisite series. There won´t be something like this in a long time.
I done did not care for it, I only got through about 10 hours of the first and 2nd game, I don't feel the need to waste time on the 3rd. Also I did not care for Dragon Age, though I like it more than Mass Effect played it for almost 27 hours then quit, no interest in trying 2. There well made games not just what I like. While there are many issue I have with the games, one of the big selling points of the games is one of my major issues.

The "choices" are mostly so black and white(Dragon Age was better in this regard but not much). If the choices where more like Witcher that would be great, there I really felt like I was making real choices, not pick bad guy option or good guy option(or non option so your morality "meter" does not change).

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July 7th, 2012, 07:34
Well, Jeff's games have always had good combat, dungeon design, and hidden trinkets. His writing is functional but not great by any means. So I suppose it's no surprise he'd see little wrong with ME3. No narrative cohesion? No problem. Gigantic plot holes? Who cares. Cliches and contrivances? What do they matter. Complete nonsense in relation to game lore and basic logic? Fine and dandy.
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July 7th, 2012, 08:25
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
Imagine if they ended the original Star Wars trilogy with, "btw, turns out they were all ghosts the whole time."
Hm, Star Wars goes ME3…

The ForceChild (the actual force, it was never an energy, always a child, noone ever heard of him before, but who cares?) steps out and tells Luke:

"Ok, for millenia we forced Sith and Jedi to fight to prevent millions of people from dieing, thus letting billions of people die. Now you can decide:

a) Kill all force users.
b) Enslave all force users.
c) Merge all people with ewoks."

Yes, Luke pressing a random button would have been a really great ending for Star Wars. Oh, did I mention that the Falcon's crew would lie on some beach and looking at a random sun while all of this happens?
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July 7th, 2012, 09:21
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
All in all, pretty exquisite series. There won´t be something like this in a long time.
My thoughts as well.
I don't think we will see something of this scope in the near future.
ME1 was a fantastic experience for me.

A spaceship, an exploration vehicle and a galaxy to explore.
That, and hot babes is all I need.

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July 7th, 2012, 10:14
*also raises hand

If the setting and story had been indifferent and mediocre I would probably just have shrugged at the ending and moved on to something else. However, BECAUSE the setting and story, to me, were so fascinating I did/do care when the last 10 minutes turns everything upside down and leaves me with one big WTF!?!

Excellent comparison lrian by the way.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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July 7th, 2012, 10:48
Originally Posted by Irian View Post
Hm, Star Wars goes ME3…

The ForceChild (the actual force, it was never an energy, always a child, noone ever heard of him before, but who cares?) steps out and tells Luke:

"Ok, for millenia we forced Sith and Jedi to fight to prevent millions of people from dieing, thus letting billions of people die. Now you can decide:

a) Kill all force users.
b) Enslave all force users.
c) Merge all people with ewoks."

Yes, Luke pressing a random button would have been a really great ending for Star Wars. Oh, did I mention that the Falcon's crew would lie on some beach and looking at a random sun while all of this happens?
Haha wow! Man the ending really sucked if you think about it like that.
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July 7th, 2012, 15:23
While the ending wasn't the "and they all lived happily ever after" type, my main complaint would be that no matter whatever your choice was at the end, each seemed like a failure. The other thing was that I had to go out of character at the end. I had played a Paragon throughout the entire series, but at the end I had no choice but to perform some Renegade actions.

Besides the ending, I loved the Mass Effect universe. I have never seen such a well fleshed out universe in any medium besides a novel, with all of the histories, rivalries, and interactions between the various races. To me it was much more interesting than either the Star Trek or Star Wars universes.
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July 7th, 2012, 18:50
Originally Posted by Xian View Post
While the ending wasn't the "and they all lived happily ever after" type, my main complaint would be that no matter whatever your choice was at the end, each seemed like a failure. The other thing was that I had to go out of character at the end. I had played a Paragon throughout the entire series, but at the end I had no choice but to perform some Renegade actions.


IMO you hit the nail squarely on the head. The original and Extended Cut endings are inconsistent with Shepard's character and with Shepard's available choices throughout ME1, ME2, and even ME3, prior to the ending. The forced destructive effects of all of Shepard's available endings choices change the character of the game.

In a widely reported interview of Casey Hudson and Mac Walters discussing the Extended Cut endings (The Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut Endings Won't Please Everyone), Hudson says:

“There are people who just outright rejected the whole concept of the endings, and wanted us to start from scratch and redo everything,”
“And we can’t do that because that’s not our story, we wouldn’t know how to write that story."

Despite what Hudson claims, the ME3 endings aren't the same story as the story that Hudson and Walters previously wrote/inherited (Drew Karpyshyn, the original lead writer left the series part way through ME2). What Hudson now calls "our story", is in fact a story that has been abruptly changed for no apparent reason.

Prior to release, Hudson promoted ME3 to players/customers as "your story" ("You as a player decide what your story is.”) Hudson's new interview reinforces the problematic message of the ME3 endings: ME3 is no longer "your story", now its "our story".

It seems possible to me that the out-of-character endings have been imposed on the current story in order to set up some future Hudson/Walters "our story" release. Meh. Future releases of the New Mass Effect series from the New BioWare will have to carry their own weight to pique my interest. I'm not convinced that Hudson and Walters can pull that off.

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Last edited by RPGFool; July 7th, 2012 at 20:35.
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July 7th, 2012, 23:35
Mass Effect sucks so hard its face is inside out.

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July 8th, 2012, 00:19
Originally Posted by Morbus View Post
Mass Effect sucks so hard its face is inside out.
And you have an intelligent point to make?
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July 8th, 2012, 00:37
Originally Posted by Morbus View Post
Mass Effect sucks so hard its face is inside out.
Compared to what?

I can't speak for the entire series since I haven't played ME2 or ME3 yet, but imo ME1 is Bioware's best effort since they were bought out by Electronic Arts. In fact, I'd personally place it as their 3rd best game behind Baldur's Gate and BG2.
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July 8th, 2012, 01:37
@JDR13, you going all soft on us now?

Seriously, I also enjoyed ME1. ME1 was actually a product of the old BioWare. See BioWare: "We haven't had a breakthrough success", quoting Dorian Kieken, development director of Bioware's Montreal studio, as follows:

"For Bioware, originally, making the game was just about the people making the game, and that has a lot of merit - I have a lot of belief in team self-organisation," he says. "But it was to such an extreme that the games were not very well organised in a lot of ways. The first Mass Effect took five years to make and had one production person for most of the project, and a second by the very end. Mass Effect 2 had twelve or thirteen production people."

***

I also enjoyed ME2, for the record.

Regards.

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July 8th, 2012, 13:48
And please help me out here….

What is a production person? and what does he or she do? And why is it better to have 12 production person than just 1? Doesn't this mean that the production a game, say ME2 or ME3, risk being bounced from hand to hand and no one really has the responsibility for the product?

As for ME3's ending from what I understand the three endings clearly goes against Shepard's character, although they do seem to be explained a bit more in the Extended Cut (june/july 2012), the three choices etc. and all….

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July 8th, 2012, 16:48
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
As for ME3's ending from what I understand the three endings clearly goes against Shepard's character, although they do seem to be explained a bit more in the Extended Cut (june/july 2012), the three choices etc. and all….
From my experience, the ending didn't really go against Shepard. I usually don't play games as an archetype (complete paragon/renegade), I just make decisions that I want to make (though my character was more often than not renegade).

The Mass Effect series was primarily about making difficult decisions, and they stay consistent with this theme at the end — making you choose between two ways of dealing with the Reapers, each having some negative consequences. If you have a high enough EMS you get a third option, which would be considered the best case scenario outcome. I didn't have a high enough EMS, but I thought this ending was kind of dumb compared to the others, so I didn't miss it in my playthrough.

Yes, the game forces you to make a tough decision with the knowledge that not everything will turn out good for everyone, but if you ask me, that's what the games were all about (will you free the Rachni queen knowing that doing so could potentially lead to full-scale galactic war? Will you help end the genophage knowing that it could potentially lead to full-scale galactic war? Will you let a suspicious enemy go without knowing what she has done? So on).
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July 8th, 2012, 19:20
Originally Posted by RPGFool View Post
@JDR13, you going all soft on us now?
Well.. all of their other games are complete shit.

Is that better?
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July 8th, 2012, 19:52
ROFL
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