Mass Effect 3 - Demo Impressions @ GameBanshee
It's very clear from this demo, and from much of what we've seen of the game elsewhere, that Mass Effect 3 is being marketed as an action game first and a role-playing game second. While that was true of Mass Effect 2 as well, there are few dialogue options or choices to make during the demo, and the focus on forward momentum and moving through one set-piece to the next serves to reinforce that Mass Effect 3, at least on the surface, is more interested in paying tribute to Gears of War than Knights of the Old Republic.
Like the Reapers set to take over the galaxy, however, I admit that there are some doubts in my mind Mass Effect 3, and the time I spent with the game did not help diminish them. I haven't yet mentioned the game's dialogue yet, and with good reason: to be frank, I found it rather poor. It's clear that BioWare were going for a strong action film aesthetic, with pithy remarks on war and one-liners every few minutes, and it just does not work. Mass Effect, while cinematic, has always managed to avoid going into Die Hard territory... when Shepard utters lines like "we fight or we die!", or watches a young boy get blown up by the Reapers while a soft piano score plays, I found it hard to avoid rolling my eyes. Even picking Earth as an invasion site comes across as a little manipulative rather than dramatic - it seems the "humans are special" rule is in full force here.
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