Mass Effect 3 Review

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PingoBlack:
Fans are just by definition not objective. From that perspective it would be better for someone who is not a fan to do a review.

I genuinely, literally facepalmed. You're suggesting a fan of a series (by definition, simply someone who has enjoyed the preceding games) shouldn't review a new entry because they're not objective?

Newsflash: no one is "objective". Game reviewing is inherently, by definition, a subjective enterprise. That's the entire damn point of it.

It doesn't follow that fans are necessarily biased in favour of a new game in a series, too. Their investment, if you want to call it that, could equally predispose them to judging the game more harshly.

Either way, it doesn't matter. The purpose of a game review is for someone to provide their subjective opinion on the game, and then you can do whatever you damn well please with that. Furthermore, an awful lot of people looking for a review to evaluate ME3 are going to be fans of the series. Perhaps they might want the perspective of someone who is also a fan. WHOA.

SpiderJerusalem:

Karathos:

SpiderJerusalem:

- Your choices don't matter, or they've been retconned.
- All endings are the same, no matter what you've done in any ME game so far.

Considering the amount of choices in all three games, I'm curious as to how you know these two things for a fact.

Other than that: Preordered via Origin, bought From Ashes, downloaded, waiting for EU release to clock in.

Because between my flatmate, myself and the number of our friends who ALL bought the game and have no played it and compared results, we've narrowed it down to that simple fact. This has been confirmed by tons of people on the Bioware forums as well, including Devs who've essentially told gamers "tough luck, it's our game, nyahnyahnyah".

Biggest gripe is that almost everything in part 2 that was trumpeted as being important (The Rachni, the Geth, AI etc etc) have all been either retconned or are mentioned in brief passing. Hell, the game doesn't even recognize the fact that you've played through the Lair of the Shadow Broker mission! They simply ignore it!

Lazy development, lazy storytelling and a huge, huge disappointment.

You must have been totally not paying attention during playing. Everything you have done comes back in the game. I'm not even halfway and I can already assure that.

You might also want to spoiler parts of your other post.

Susan Arendt:
I just think it's a kick-ass game.

Sorry, just reading through all the comments, but this put a question in my mind: How does the actual retail game release compare to the demo? Obviously, they are hard to compare, but I found the gameplay in the demo to be pretty stiff. I like to think I'm pretty unbiased, as I've not played the games, but that's because I didn't have an Xbox when ME or ME2 came out and I didn't want to jump into the series on PS3.

Anyway, as a game, ME3's demo felt... stale? Clunky? too me. The graphics are sharp and crisp, but that seems to make things a bit hinky. Also, I must admit that I'm not a fan of cover based shooters (though I thought Vanquish was rad).

Anyway, I can't see myself really being super into the ME series, though I wouldn't be upset to be pleasantly surprised. Anyway, based off the demo, I would never buy ME3, at least not at full price.

How much of the positiveness about ME3 comes from the fact that you're a fan and did you find you had trouble being objective about your review? Do you think that if you weren't a fan of the series or hadn't played the other gams you would have rated it as highly?

ps- just for the record, I think that most game journalists are honest and not bought, but unfortunately the feeling that good reviews are bought or at least influenced is rampant and hard to escape. I've seen too many games get undeservedly good reviews. I'm not saying bad games get great scores, I'm saying mediocre or average games seem to have scores that don't really reflect how good the game actually is. They may reflect an opinion but don't necessarily reflect an objective review. That being said, I don't think reviews should be taken as gospel, just one more piece of information to factor in when making a decision to purchase a game.

Wowsers. I leave this thread for a day or two and it explodes like... like a very unstable thing that explodes in a really big fireball. I don't know. I just woke up.

I think a lot of people seem to mistake natural bias for some sort of fiscal corruption, simply because people now know the latter to exist. It seems to be easier for people to assume the worst in anything because they believe the trend to be the norm. It's not necessarily wrong to do so, but I think in this case it's necessary for people to formulate their own experiences on the subject matter.

From what I hear in this thread, there seem to be legitimate concerns about the way the game handled its writing. I keep hearing about a deus ex machina thrown into the ending, and "retcons" involving decisions made from the previous Mass Effect games. But at the same time, some of the complaints about "retcons" don't seem to hold much weight.

In my opinion, a lot of players who complain about these things the loudest are simply offended by having any degree of control taken away from them, but at the same time such changes to the game are simply shifting the role-playing down what I consider to be a spectrum of RPGs. It's a payoff between, "I want the player to reach this goal in the narrative" and "I should let the player choose the way the end-goal appears". In Mass Effect 2, it was a balance between "I want the player to stop the Collectors" and "I should let the player choose how he/she stops the Collectors."

The issue of the non-choice, the Catch 22, is an interesting one - I have friends (avid RPG gamers) who get fairly angry at the idea that sometimes in their game, there isn't an inherent choice that creates branching possibilities of cause and effect. In the Mass Effect 3 demo, there's an early choice where you can either tell The Kid in the ventilation shaft to run away or escape with you. He disappears, whichever option you choose. Later on, he is killed just before the title screen. That's arguably a non-choice, and while I do appreciate the fact that people don't like having a lack of control over that, it wasn't made that way for the intent of "lazy writing" or whatever. The express purpose isn't for "shock value", although it would be reasonable to say there is that certain factor of that involved.
I feel it's trying to bring the point across about Mass Effect 3 - Shepard is the stalwart hero of the galaxy. But at the same time, he/she's just one person. As much as the RPG player might want to control everything that happens to the Mass Effect universe in their immediate vicinity, it's neither realistic or feasible to assume it can be done, that absolutely every important deed will diverge into either a positive or negative outcome. "Your choices don't matter" should be true to some extent, because a role-playing game in which a hero can drastically shape every single outcome is either a tad unimmersive or has a damn good excuse for it.

I believe people just needed to be more open-minded as to what makes an RPG. A case in point: I was initially sorely disappointed by the way Mass Effect 2 was handled. The first game was a great experiment with an RPG-shooter hybrid; the developers decided that the key to improving the quality of the sequel was to remove the troublesome elements entirely, rather than to improve on them in some way. But at the same time, the choice was there, the characters and writing were still top notch, and the gameplay was still enjoyable in a different context - even though it was drastically different from the original game. It's sad to see that Mass Effect 3 didn't quite return the series to the RPG-shooter hybrid it was at first, but at the moment I'm at, it seems to capitalize on everything positive Mass Effect 2 had.

Zom-B:

Susan Arendt:
I just think it's a kick-ass game.

Sorry, just reading through all the comments, but this put a question in my mind: How does the actual retail game release compare to the demo? Obviously, they are hard to compare, but I found the gameplay in the demo to be pretty stiff. I like to think I'm pretty unbiased, as I've not played the games, but that's because I didn't have an Xbox when ME or ME2 came out and I didn't want to jump into the series on PS3.

Anyway, as a game, ME3's demo felt... stale? Clunky? too me. The graphics are sharp and crisp, but that seems to make things a bit hinky. Also, I must admit that I'm not a fan of cover based shooters (though I thought Vanquish was rad).

Anyway, I can't see myself really being super into the ME series, though I wouldn't be upset to be pleasantly surprised. Anyway, based off the demo, I would never buy ME3, at least not at full price.

How much of the positiveness about ME3 comes from the fact that you're a fan and did you find you had trouble being objective about your review? Do you think that if you weren't a fan of the series or hadn't played the other gams you would have rated it as highly?

ps- just for the record, I think that most game journalists are honest and not bought, but unfortunately the feeling that good reviews are bought or at least influenced is rampant and hard to escape. I've seen too many games get undeservedly good reviews. I'm not saying bad games get great scores, I'm saying mediocre or average games seem to have scores that don't really reflect how good the game actually is. They may reflect an opinion but don't necessarily reflect an objective review. That being said, I don't think reviews should be taken as gospel, just one more piece of information to factor in when making a decision to purchase a game.

I didn't try the demo, so I can't answer that. When I found that due to sheer dumb luck, I was close to release and had yet to see the game in any fashion, I made an effort to avoid any mention of it. You don't get to do that very often in this business, so I jumped at the chance.

I've given good reviews to games that I don't personally like before, and given mediocre reviews to games I personally adore. Part of being a good and consistent reviewer is separating you, the player, from you, the reviewer. Now, obviously, I'm not a robot, and any review I do is ultimately just an opinion, but I've gotten pretty good at knowing when my personal feelings might get in the way of a proper review. I recused myself from reviewing BioShock 2 because I knew there was no way I could judge it fairly, based on my feelings about BioShock. (Now, so long after the fact, I could do it, but at the time of release? Doubtful.)

Also, you're right, no one review is Ultimate Truth. They're guideposts, nothing more.

Wow. Just wow. Not the review, but some of the comments. On behalf of the Escapists who aren't combative know-it-all assholes, I'd like to apologize to the Escapist staff. You guys are awesome, and I have seen no reason to doubt your integrity. Sure you like games the community here seems bound and determined to hate, but to me that gives great credit to your honesty and dedication to journalism. You guys are awesome,, I'm sorry you guys get this same bullshit when your review a big EA game, and don't let the bottom feeders bring you down.

OT: Can't wait. My birthday can't come fast enough. So I'll probably end up blowing part of my quarterly bonus on it.

Susan Arendt:
I didn't try the demo, so I can't answer that. When I found that due to sheer dumb luck, I was close to release and had yet to see the game in any fashion, I made an effort to avoid any mention of it. You don't get to do that very often in this business, so I jumped at the chance.

I've given good reviews to games that I don't personally like before, and given mediocre reviews to games I personally adore. Part of being a good and consistent reviewer is separating you, the player, from you, the reviewer. Now, obviously, I'm not a robot, and any review I do is ultimately just an opinion, but I've gotten pretty good at knowing when my personal feelings might get in the way of a proper review. I recused myself from reviewing BioShock 2 because I knew there was no way I could judge it fairly, based on my feelings about BioShock. (Now, so long after the fact, I could do it, but at the time of release? Doubtful.)

Also, you're right, no one review is Ultimate Truth. They're guideposts, nothing more.

Hmm. Okay, well from playing the demo, the character animations were ludicrous. I was laughing on the couch watching my female Shepard and Anderson (? is that his name?) sprinting through the first level. Anderson was so rigidly upright, his arms pumping up and down like toy arms on an action figure. Also, no matter what I tried I couldn't get the sour expression off my character's face. She had this permanent frog mouth thing that was really disconcerting.

By my standards the demo only served to turn me off the game, whereas playing the demo for ME2 had me wanting to play the game, but not for $60. I'll probably pick up the first two on Xbox soonish, but personally I haven't been blown away by what I've seen or experienced from the ME series. I feel like a bad demo is better than no demo at all.

Korten12:
This is poor reason to say fuck you to Bioware. What letting her go suddenly makes here completely immune to the repearers? No it didn't.

While I can say "FU" to Bioware for whatever reason I please, the real reason behind this is that it does not make sense, other then in a purely dramatic "it's dark and your choices are wrong" sense. The Rachni should be immune to indoctrination, at least to an extent - the Rachni Queen is evidence already that they are.

Firstly, the Rachni are completely unlike any other life in the galaxy; they are advanced and star-faring, and yet their technology has nothing whatsoever to do with the Mass Relays and other technology seeded by the Reapers; they are an actual independent evolution (among the evidence of this is the fact that the Rachni uniquely can persist in vacuum and hostile environments without technological assistance and the fact that the Rachni apparently knew nothing of Mass Relays until the Council went to them.)

Secondly, the Rachni Queen's story of her children's history already suggests a strong resistance to Reaper/Mass Relay technology. She describes a "Sour Yellow Note" that drove the Rachni insane, sending them on their slaughter. While it's not directly said this is indoctrination, it at the very least implies some sort of incompatibility between the Rachni and the Reaper technology - perhaps it was the opening of the first Relay in their territory that created the note that drove them mad. Either way, the reaction of the Rachni to this influence suggests they are not susceptible to indoctrination in the same way as the other species in the galaxy.

Thirdly, this really only serves to render the choice meaningless anyway. Whether you save her or not, the Rachni exist as adversaries rather than allies, crafting a single path out of what should have been two (or creating instead a false path - existent Rachni - where there should have been none.)

Finally, by throwing your charity back in your face, the game only enforces a tone of despair, where no good can come of anything. By making the Rachni you saved become your enemies, Mass Effect 3 is spitting in the face of the optimism the ending of the original game spoke (an optimism that was, in fact, present whether you chose a Renegade or Paragon ending) for a more "contemporary" - and, by now, trite - "dark", "gritty", and overall pessimistic view on the universe.

As I stated earlier, the optimism of the first game was a very large part of what drew me to it, and every instance I see of Mass Effect becoming a pessimistic universe is yet another "fuck you" moment for Bioware.

So fuck you, Bioware.

krellen:

As I stated earlier, the optimism of the first game was a very large part of what drew me to it, and every instance I see of Mass Effect becoming a pessimistic universe is yet another "fuck you" moment for Bioware.

So fuck you, Bioware.

Optimism? Please. Halfway through you already have to sacrifice someone. You destroyed ONE Reaper, knowing thousands more are on their way. It even says at the end of the first game the fight has only just begun. Part 2 was even more pessimistic, it included a suicide mission for god's sake. It actually shows the thousands of nearly invincible Reapers arrive.

How anyone can derive optimism from all this is a great big mistery to me.

Nimcha:

SpiderJerusalem:

Karathos:

Considering the amount of choices in all three games, I'm curious as to how you know these two things for a fact.

Other than that: Preordered via Origin, bought From Ashes, downloaded, waiting for EU release to clock in.

Because between my flatmate, myself and the number of our friends who ALL bought the game and have no played it and compared results, we've narrowed it down to that simple fact. This has been confirmed by tons of people on the Bioware forums as well, including Devs who've essentially told gamers "tough luck, it's our game, nyahnyahnyah".

Biggest gripe is that almost everything in part 2 that was trumpeted as being important (The Rachni, the Geth, AI etc etc) have all been either retconned or are mentioned in brief passing. Hell, the game doesn't even recognize the fact that you've played through the Lair of the Shadow Broker mission! They simply ignore it!

Lazy development, lazy storytelling and a huge, huge disappointment.

You must have been totally not paying attention during playing. Everything you have done comes back in the game. I'm not even halfway and I can already assure that.

You might also want to spoiler parts of your other post.

You apparently missed, or ignored, the part where I posted that whatever you choices you DO make are either retconned or made void by bad writing and horrible game design to make everything fit the Lost-esque finale that Bioware is forcing on gamers.

One of the majors things about the two previous installments have been the choices. Part 1 and 2 both ended on notes of "we just might win because of the choices you've made and the team you've assembled", part three totally ruins all that by taking away the choices in the cheapest possible way and removing the team that you've put together so that they can force Freddie Prinze and Chobot on you (granted, Chobot can be told to get the hell out, which I did).

Krellen already posted well about the Rachni situation, but another major thing about it is that in Part 2, if you saved the Queen, you're granted a message from her saying that they've hidden into deep space where no one can find them, completely secure and making sure that nothing will happen to them. Hell, part 2 ends (depending on your CHOICES) with a "wow, we defied and survived all the odds, did the impossible, we just might make it and save the galaxy" after the suicide mission. It was success and triumph over the work and decisions that you had done. It felt like you had accomplished something and it was your character that made the difference.

Part 3 rolls on - oh look, they're indoctrinated. How convenient. It's like the writers just decided "screw it, I know we said this and made the players think they're in control, but we can't be arsed to actually follow through with that." Everything has become statistics, and worst of all

It's lazy and bad writing and game design, no matter how you look at it.

sir.rutthed:
Wow. Just wow. Not the review, but some of the comments. On behalf of the Escapists who aren't combative know-it-all assholes, I'd like to apologize to the Escapist staff. You guys are awesome, and I have seen no reason to doubt your integrity. Sure you like games the community here seems bound and determined to hate, but to me that gives great credit to your honesty and dedication to journalism. You guys are awesome,, I'm sorry you guys get this same bullshit when your review a big EA game, and don't let the bottom feeders bring you down.

OT: Can't wait. My birthday can't come fast enough. So I'll probably end up blowing part of my quarterly bonus on it.

I was just about to say the exact same thing. I have no idea why people feel they need to question the integrity of every reviewer purely because the opinions of the reviewer may not match exactly what they expected. It also shows a real lack of understanding of the responsibility of a professionally written review. It's also quite ironic how you seem to have been accused of being biased in someway for reviewing a game positively by people who seem intent on disliking the game purely because it comes from EA. You're simply reviewing the game, whereas their prejudices against EA are shaping their views of the game and your review. I enjoyed your review - it set the scene, discussed technical problems and was spoiler free! Kudos!

Therumancer:

Freechoice:
They didn't get rid of the planet scanning mechanic? Jesus Christ.

Personally I was most disappointed with how it seems you have to run from the Reapers pursueing instead of there being a space combat mechanic implemented.

They couldn't implement space combat with the reapers that chase you because you CAN'T FIGHT THE REAPERS ALONE. That's what the whole damn series is about, how to stop this insanely powerful race of sentient machines from killing everyone. The WHOLE GAME is about rallying the forces of the entire galaxy to fight them.

But yeah, let's just have the little ole' Normandy fight 4 of them at a time. No biggy.

OT: I LOVED this game right up until the ending. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly left me less than fully satisfied. That being said, I'd still give this game a 9.5/10 easy, not even counting the many hours I'll be putting into the multiplayer. It actually has that emotional investment that the Bioware Docs have been talking about for years. I was almost tearing up at several moments, and the lead up to the end was one of the most "oh my god how is this going to end?!?" sequences I've ever had in gaming. Truly spectacular.

I'm glad i read this review, now the tiny desire i had to play ME3 is gone and i can happily let the game pass without bothering

Lol. You guys and your wacky conspiracy theories.

MiracleOfSound:
Lol. You guys and your wacky conspiracy theories.

Yeah, it's so hard to see where it comes from when the Escapists parent company, Themis Media, a part of the Themis Group, has statements like "Themis Media can help advertisers deliver a memorable and effective advertising campaign that goes beyond the ad box" on their site.

And then we have Greg's newest article which claims to have no understanding of why fans might be upset that Tali's long awaited unmasking having been apparently done by an office temp with a copy of Photoshop and a stock image from the Getty and contains with a more polite version of the old forum standby 'It doesn't matter what you think, so STFU.'

BTW: your new captcha is even advertising Mass Effect 3.

The million dollar question:

Can one still get stuck in terrain and forced to reload?

Has happened to me a handful of times in each of the previous two games. Not necessarily a deal breaker but man, it breaks the flow to stop right in the middle of recruiting Garrus to hack my own game and turn off clipping because my most recent save was like two hours ago.

MiracleOfSound:
Lol. You guys and your wacky conspiracy theories.

Come on. You're not stupid, don't just dismiss any skepticism as "conspiracy theory".

I'm sure the game is worthy of a good score (as much fun as it's been taking the micky out of Bioware and ME3 bad news building on top of bad news), but being skeptical of a gushing reviews is just healthy.

http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=6228583&publicUserId=5379799

Here is a really good article for anyone interested. It discusses the problems between the relationship with publishers and game magazines/websites, and a heroic example of someone saying "NO" to the money men.
MiricleofSound might want to give it a read before just dismissing people as the tinfoil hat wearing type.

To the reviewer in question, try not to get mad at people "questioning your integrity".
They don't know you, so they have to look at the facts.
There is a conflict of interest. Shit's just logical.
If you were honest, then just sit back comfy and know you didn't stoop to being a shill.

I'm just adding my drop to the large pond. Hope helps give anyone some perspective on WHY people are skeptical of these types of reviews.

image
Also: See here? Yeah, this is why things are out of hand.

Imagine that yet another absolutely glowing professional review for a major publishers marquee game while it's has generally terrible user ratings. If it isn't corruption, why is there such a divide between the professional reviewers and players? Quite honestly I just don't think Ms Arendt is as demanding in her games, which doesn't really bode well considering her position.

chainguns:
Then how are you financed, Susan? Do you get no advertising revenue from EA, entities affiliated with EA or acting on behalf of EA? If you do, then you have a potential conflict of interest. Giving out near perfect scores to EA games raises concerns that a 'potential' conflict of interest might in fact be 'actual'. For example, to this day I struggle to think of a non-"nefarious" reason as to why your site gave Dragon Age 2 a perfect 5/5.

You realize there's no way for me to answer that question that will "disprove" your theory, right? If I say we don't get ad money from EA, you can say we're bumping up scores to try to persuade them to spend some. If I say we do, then clearly we're bumping up scores to keep the money flowing. If you're determined to believe that we're dishonest - which, frankly, many people are - then there's really nothing we can do about it.

You're right that accepting ad dollars from game publishers can create awkward situations and conflicts of interest. That's happened to us when we've had site skins running advertising a game that we just gave a bad review.

There isn't a gaming site out there that wouldn't rather be completely ad-free, or at least only have ads from what are called "non-endemics", which are non-gaming companies. But that's simply not possible. I was a founding member of a gaming site that made not accepting game company ad campaigns part of its mandate - Crispy Gamer. The site failed, in large part because it couldn't get enough revenue flowing. Non-gaming companies simply don't want to bother with gaming sites because we don't reach a big enough chunk of the population. (And they think you're all poor and therefore not making purchasing decisions within your household.) We get a few non-endemics here and there (and, amusingly, get a lot of negative feedback from the community about "running ads that have nothing to do with games"), but not nearly enough to keep the lights on. If we want to stay in business, we have to accept ads from game publishers.

As for Dragon Age, if you really can't accept that, hey, maybe we just liked the game that much, there's really nothing I can say. I will say that if we'd been using half stars at the time that review came out, it's very likely the game would've gotten a 4.5 and not a 5, but that's just speculation. I get why someone wouldn't enjoy Dragon Age 2, given that it's quite different from Origins, but to assume that the only reason someone would score it well is graft is foolish and ignorant.

But, like I said, people see what they want to see. If you want to believe that all reviewers are lying assholes with their hands out, then it's not much trouble to adapt the facts to suit your perspective. And, really, what are we supposed to counter with?

Either someone chooses to give us the benefit of the doubt, or they don't.

tehroc:
Imagine that yet another absolutely glowing professional review for a major publishers marquee game while it's has generally terrible user ratings. If it isn't corruption, why is there such a divide between the professional reviewers and players? Quite honestly I just don't think Ms Arendt is as demanding in her games, which doesn't really bode well considering her position.

Are you kidding? I hope you're kidding. Tell me you're kidding.

If you're not kidding, then... wow. Absolutely mind boggling. After seeing universally fantastic critic ratings and abysmal user ratings, you're actually proposing that all of the reviewers are corrupt and gave great scores to a terrible game, which the users are simply being honest about? Because obviously nobody is pathetic enough to spend hours and days of their lives creating multiple user accounts on metacritic and bombing ME3 because they are spiteful little gits?

Your logic is just. Wow. I really thought the Bioware haters would just give up and leave by now. The game is out. People love it. The war is over, guys. You haven't convinced everyone to hate Bioware just because you do. You all can go home now, hopefully to families that are worried about you. Your troll princess is in another castle. Get a hobby. Take a class. Learn how to knit. Seek happiness!

How can so many people have so little going on in their lives that spending months of their lives that carrying this everflame log of burning hatred is justified?

image
Commander Shepard is sad for all of you.

Susan Arendt:
You realize there's no way for me to answer that question that will "disprove" your theory, right? If I say we don't get ad money from EA, you can say we're bumping up scores to try to persuade them to spend some. If I say we do, then clearly we're bumping up scores to keep the money flowing. If you're determined to believe that we're dishonest - which, frankly, many people are - then there's really nothing we can do about it.

[snip]

Either someone chooses to give us the benefit of the doubt, or they don't.

It's not even worth your time, Susan. If the internet is still in this big of a hateful denial that ME3 isn't the sucky Bioware-destroying game they've been praying it would be for the last two years, your logic will do nothing but evaporate like tears off of their raging red cheeks.

I doubt anything but the end of the world or extreme boredom will get them to accept that some people are capable of loving the game without being paid off. And I mean, seriously, your video review exudes excitement. You're gushing over it! I watched it at work and immediately wanted to break my own leg so I could go home and play more of it. How anyone could mistake that genuine excitement for a payoff is so far beyond me, my brain hurts contemplating it.

What I'd like to know is if Nintendo Power ever took this kind of heat. I used their reviews heavily in my decision making process back in the day. And Nintendo owned them.

It seems to me like there is a very sharp decline in interest in ME3, compared to other recent titles and even ME2, by the PC crowd. Then again I'm just basing this on the number of streamers and the amount of viewers they get.

krellen:

Finally, by throwing your charity back in your face, the game only enforces a tone of despair, where no good can come of anything. By making the Rachni you saved become your enemies, Mass Effect 3 is spitting in the face of the optimism the ending of the original game spoke (an optimism that was, in fact, present whether you chose a Renegade or Paragon ending) for a more "contemporary" - and, by now, trite - "dark", "gritty", and overall pessimistic view on the universe.

As I stated earlier, the optimism of the first game was a very large part of what drew me to it, and every instance I see of Mass Effect becoming a pessimistic universe is yet another "fuck you" moment for Bioware.

So fuck you, Bioware.

Let me join you in this FU...

So, all in all, FU Bioware.

Nimcha:

krellen:

As I stated earlier, the optimism of the first game was a very large part of what drew me to it, and every instance I see of Mass Effect becoming a pessimistic universe is yet another "fuck you" moment for Bioware.

So fuck you, Bioware.

Optimism? Please. Halfway through you already have to sacrifice someone. You destroyed ONE Reaper, knowing thousands more are on their way. It even says at the end of the first game the fight has only just begun. Part 2 was even more pessimistic, it included a suicide mission for god's sake. It actually shows the thousands of nearly invincible Reapers arrive.

How anyone can derive optimism from all this is a great big mistery to me.

Apparently you don't know the definition of "optimism".

Optimism, n.
1. Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
2. The doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds.

Bad things can happen in an optimistic story. In fact, bad things almost always happen in an optimistic story, just because bad things almost always happen in stories. It isn't what happens that determines whether a story is optimistic or pessimistic, it is the reaction to those events that does. Sure, you had to sacrifice a squadmate. Sure, you only killed one Reaper of thousands. But the end of Mass Effect - and this holds for both Paragon and Renegade endings - came with a definite tone of "we can do this - no, we will do this." It was optimistic about the outcome of the crisis.

And then Mass Effect 2 was completely pointless and forced you to work with your sworn enemy to do the pointless thing (my Shepard was a Sole Survivor. There is no excuse whatsoever for including that background and then forcing the PC to work with Cerberus) because there was "no other option". That's pessimism.

18.99PlusTip:

image
Also: See here? Yeah, this is why things are out of hand.

Wow. That picture makes me sad.

18.99PlusTip:

Come on. You're not stupid, don't just dismiss any skepticism as "conspiracy theory".

But that's exactly what it is. How dare you accuse someone of being corrupt without even a shred of evidence?

I know for a fact from private conversations that Susan loved ME3, as do I. Not because it suits us, but because it's fantastic fucking game. We're both huge fans of the series. NO one wopuld be more disappointed if it were shit.

I wonder what you lot will say if Yahtzee tears ME3 apart like he's done other Bioware games?

You'll probably say Activision paid him to shit on it.

MiracleOfSound:

18.99PlusTip:

Come on. You're not stupid, don't just dismiss any skepticism as "conspiracy theory".

But that's exactly what it is. How dare you accuse someone of being corrupt without even a shred of evidence?

I know for a fact from private conversations that Susan loved ME3, as do I. Not because it suits us, but because it's fantastic fucking game. We're both huge fans of the series. NO one wopuld be more disappointed if it were shit.

I wonder what you lot will say if Yahtzee tears ME3 apart like he's done other Bioware games?

You'll probably say Activision paid him to shit on it.

You sound angry from reading your post, which I certainly hope your not.

I'm not trying to insult anybody, just have a reasonable discussion and talk about an issue within the industry you work in and we are both consumers in.
I don't know whether you're diverting the issue by saying we're attacking Susan or you actually think we are attacking her personally. But we're not.
At least, I'm not and neither are the majority of us from what I can gather looking over the thread. I spotted one or two posters jumping the gun and I disagree with them.

Skepticism =/= Accusation.
Trying to say they are one in the same is a REALLY dangerous attitude for society as a whole.

I'd like to see a officer or a detective with that kind of attitude try get anywhere.

Also, I'm wondering whether you understand what I'm saying.
Your last comment seems to imply that I think you guys were handed a big sack of money with the a $ sign on it and that's how this system works.

Please go read the article again.
It's the fact that the revenue for sites like this come from advertising.
Publishers give sites money for advertising, which they know is going to be seen by many people.
People come to these sites for news and entertainment and reviews.
But sites get the news, review copies and promos from...
Publishers.
To abridge a very complicated mess in VERY brief terms.

Hell, I honestly think you guys did enjoy the game and maybe just got a little to exited and overlooked some criticisms I would have liked to have seen mentioned. That's fine.

I'm just trying to make sure people understand WHY people are skeptical and reinforce this isn't some "nasty reddit troll" personal attack.
It's a legitimate concern. There is a huge discrepancy between critics and a large chunk normal customers as of late.

I'm hoping you understand. I bear no one any ill will.

Have a nice day.

Sandytimeman:

Susan Arendt:
snip

Hey don't pay attention to the haters too much Susan, you've got integrity and a reader base in the thousands if not tens of thousands. You wouldn't have gotten to where you are by leading your readers astray consistently.

I'd think if Susan were dishonest, I'd hear a lot more negative remarks. If people have that much difficulty trusting reviewers, they should just play the damn games themselves and decide if it's any good, or if they have any close friends, ask if they'll do it.

OT: Nice review. Yeah, that's all I have to say. :P

MiracleOfSound:

18.99PlusTip:

Come on. You're not stupid, don't just dismiss any skepticism as "conspiracy theory".

But that's exactly what it is. How dare you accuse someone of being corrupt without even a shred of evidence?

I know for a fact from private conversations that Susan loved ME3, as do I. Not because it suits us, but because it's fantastic fucking game. We're both huge fans of the series. NO one wopuld be more disappointed if it were shit.

I wonder what you lot will say if Yahtzee tears ME3 apart like he's done other Bioware games?

You'll probably say Activision paid him to shit on it.

Posts like this make me kinda wish the Escapist had upvotes, cuz I'd give em to ya. Preach it, brother!

The.Bard:

Susan Arendt:
You realize there's no way for me to answer that question that will "disprove" your theory, right? If I say we don't get ad money from EA, you can say we're bumping up scores to try to persuade them to spend some. If I say we do, then clearly we're bumping up scores to keep the money flowing. If you're determined to believe that we're dishonest - which, frankly, many people are - then there's really nothing we can do about it.

[snip]

Either someone chooses to give us the benefit of the doubt, or they don't.

It's not even worth your time, Susan. If the internet is still in this big of a hateful denial that ME3 isn't the sucky Bioware-destroying game they've been praying it would be for the last two years, your logic will do nothing but evaporate like tears off of their raging red cheeks.

I doubt anything but the end of the world or extreme boredom will get them to accept that some people are capable of loving the game without being paid off. And I mean, seriously, your video review exudes excitement. You're gushing over it! I watched it at work and immediately wanted to break my own leg so I could go home and play more of it. How anyone could mistake that genuine excitement for a payoff is so far beyond me, my brain hurts contemplating it.

What I'd like to know is if Nintendo Power ever took this kind of heat. I used their reviews heavily in my decision making process back in the day. And Nintendo owned them.

It's astounding to me how ignorant this community as a whole can be. It seems no internet community is immune to some sort of 'Hive Mind' effect, and hating Bioware is the Escapist's hive mentality of choice recently. People hate their games because Bioware have the balls to try to improve on the formula and modernize the RPG, so obviously the only people who LIKE Bioware games are being paid off. It's the only reasonable explanation. And then they dump on people like Susan for liking the game they're 'supposed' to hate for no other reason than that she liked it. It's fucking disgraceful, and it's nothing more than bullying on their part. Shit like this is why I don't post more on the forums; I just can't stand the blatant flaming and pettiness of most of the community.

Zom-B:

Susan Arendt:
I just think it's a kick-ass game.

Sorry, just reading through all the comments, but this put a question in my mind: How does the actual retail game release compare to the demo? Obviously, they are hard to compare, but I found the gameplay in the demo to be pretty stiff. I like to think I'm pretty unbiased, as I've not played the games, but that's because I didn't have an Xbox when ME or ME2 came out and I didn't want to jump into the series on PS3.

Anyway, as a game, ME3's demo felt... stale? Clunky? too me. The graphics are sharp and crisp, but that seems to make things a bit hinky. Also, I must admit that I'm not a fan of cover based shooters (though I thought Vanquish was rad).

Anyway, I can't see myself really being super into the ME series, though I wouldn't be upset to be pleasantly surprised. Anyway, based off the demo, I would never buy ME3, at least not at full price.

How much of the positiveness about ME3 comes from the fact that you're a fan and did you find you had trouble being objective about your review? Do you think that if you weren't a fan of the series or hadn't played the other gams you would have rated it as highly?

ps- just for the record, I think that most game journalists are honest and not bought, but unfortunately the feeling that good reviews are bought or at least influenced is rampant and hard to escape. I've seen too many games get undeservedly good reviews. I'm not saying bad games get great scores, I'm saying mediocre or average games seem to have scores that don't really reflect how good the game actually is. They may reflect an opinion but don't necessarily reflect an objective review. That being said, I don't think reviews should be taken as gospel, just one more piece of information to factor in when making a decision to purchase a game.

Hello. I didn't play the ME3 demo, but I played an estimated good third of it at a friend's. If you'd like to, we could exchange notes, but I'd need to know what kind of stuff you like in games (ME1+2 especially) in order to give you a useful view.

For the record, I'm very mixed about BioWare games as I see some strengths, a lot of solid stuff, but also a lot of bad stuff. I played ME2 till the end and a bit of DLC but quit ME1 at a certain point I can tell you if you're not afraid of spoilers.

If you'd like an opinion from this kinda person, feel free to pitch me a message.

MetallicaRulez0:

Therumancer:

Freechoice:
They didn't get rid of the planet scanning mechanic? Jesus Christ.

Personally I was most disappointed with how it seems you have to run from the Reapers pursueing instead of there being a space combat mechanic implemented.

They couldn't implement space combat with the reapers that chase you because you CAN'T FIGHT THE REAPERS ALONE. That's what the whole damn series is about, how to stop this insanely powerful race of sentient machines from killing everyone. The WHOLE GAME is about rallying the forces of the entire galaxy to fight them.

But yeah, let's just have the little ole' Normandy fight 4 of them at a time. No biggy.

OT: I LOVED this game right up until the ending. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly left me less than fully satisfied. That being said, I'd still give this game a 9.5/10 easy, not even counting the many hours I'll be putting into the multiplayer. It actually has that emotional investment that the Bioware Docs have been talking about for years. I was almost tearing up at several moments, and the lead up to the end was one of the most "oh my god how is this going to end?!?" sequences I've ever had in gaming. Truly spectacular.

I tend to disagree with your comments about not being able to fight the Reapers alone. It depends on the Reaper in question. The Normandy after the upgrades in ME2 is carrying state of the art technology, a lot of which was based on the Reapers own tech. While the warning was ignored and such tech was not implemented on a truely huge scale, it should be noted there WAS enough preparation that the military forces in ME are also doing a fairly good job of holding out under the circumstances... it's taking the Reapers a lot of effort to dig everyone out and it's an actual war of sorts despite the good guys clearly on the losing end to begin with. I very much doubt there aren't Reapers being destroyed, it's just that in the course of making the point for the story we aren't seeing that.

In the scope of the Normandy scanning, The Reapers are probably responding with their smaller ships... drones, small destroyers, etc... to be able to intercept something like The Normandy to begin with. I DO think the Normandy should be able to fight those. Indeed it already demonstrated it could during it's confrontation with the Reaper/Collector ship at the end of ME2, and if your fully upgraded you don't even lose any crew despite a hull breach allowing one of the drones on board (which is so mighty you kill it with hand weapons).

We might have to agree to disagree here, but to me it seems like sloppy game design. Having played the sequence to me it seems like some half arsed mini-game they glued on because they really had no idea what to do with the mining/planetary aspects of things.

Mass Effect 3 was a fucking amazing game, and a great way to complete the trilogy. Until you actually get to the last ten minutes of the game. It was at this point in time that I figured out I hate Bioware, and that they managed to ruin a series of games that I've enjoyed over the past five years.

What in the fuck were they thinking?

Ridrith:
Mass Effect 3 was a fucking amazing game, and a great way to complete the trilogy. Until you actually get to the last ten minutes of the game. It was at this point in time that I figured out I hate Bioware, and that they managed to ruin a series of games that I've enjoyed over the past five years.

What in the fuck were they thinking?

They were thinking "At least we have their money, let's start making some DLC"

I will never forgive them, unless they release a new DLC ending that is used as the proper canon for the storyline and lore.

Mass Effect 3 almost, but not quite, as good as Dragon Age 2, says The Escapist.

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