Zero Punctuation: Mass Effect 3

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The ending at every stage of it expects you to believe characters teleporting around like a star trek crew and like a star trek crew pulls last minute crap right out of it's arse.

I can't accept sheperd suddenly becoming an apathetic puppet for a literal deus ex machina in the form of the "god-child" nor can I make my brain accept my crew would teleport to the normandy and they and joker would then flee just as fast as they could.

I didn't expect my shep to walk away from 3 intact so that any "happy" ending was already gone, but what I got was a color coded illogical mess that gave no answers. For an ending to a saga that every step of it's development we were told would have closure there's a remarkable lack of anything resembling it.

And then at the end it turns out your story is a tale told by a grandpa to his favorite grandson and that all you achieved not only made no difference to the ending but probably didn't happen the way you played it anyway.

Yahtzee summed the ending up perfectly in a short sentence that after harbingers beam the entire ending is a balloon slowly, squeakily letting out air as it just gets worse until a final farting noise.

endtherapture:

lord.jeff:
I say all trilogy bashing is proven wrong simply by mentioning Toy Story, but outside of that if it's really so near impossibly hard to keep up a series past the first story, how do you explain TV shows, comics, and books then?

Lord of the Rings. The second film was the worst, first the best overall, and the third was the most emotional.

Actually, the second one did the best on rotten tomatoes.

Also, he didn't say that all trilogies were crap. Just most of them.

I can't believe that Yahtzee didn't take note that instead of beating up on America or Undisclosedistan, a game is finally beating up his old country!

DarkPheonix13:
I'm shocked that there was no mention of how many times you had to switch the disks in ME3.

Not on PC. Anyway, I got the impression from the review that he didn't do a lot of the side missions.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Qitz:
ZP and Mass Effect 3? Well, Escapist, say good by to your servers because this will cause some trouble.

Yep, it's time to retreat to the fallout shelters. I give it 20 minutes until the thread is 100 comments long, 80 of them complaining about how he didn't trash the ending as much as they wanted him to (which he will probably do in Extra Punctuation), 10 of them complaining about the people complaining, 7 people actually trying to talk about the video, two spambots, and a brony in a pear tree.

image

Am I doing it right?

So, I'm on my third playtrough and there is just one thing that I'm really mad about. It was enough to make me rage-quit the game.

Why did they nerf the vanguard class so much? Are they crazy?
I play on Insanity and you can't do shit with the Vanguard. Vanguard is a class that can't do shit on medium/far range. I need to come closer. But how the hell am I going to come close when the kill me the same moment I come out of the cover. The shields are pathetic.
If there is more than 1 enemy, you can't come close, you can't deal any real damage from afar. You have to fight for over 5 minutes against 5 cerberus troopers which don't even have shields.

Vanguard was really overpowered in ME1 and 2, but here it's just pathetic.

I'm gonna restart with Sentinel. At least I can pick the enemy from afar with my Black Widow.

Aside from this, I loved the game. Finished it 2 times. First time as a Technician on normal, the second time on Insanity as a Solider (looks like Solider is the most powerful class in ME3).

I've always played as a soldier in the Mass Effect games. The squadmate AI is pretty lousy at combat. The squadmates are mostly useful as specialists. I use them if I need a hacker or a boss requires some special biotic ability, that kind of thing.

Though I didn't play this one. I got sick of mining materials in the second. I Like how Yahtzee attacked the fact that the ME series got too big for its britches. I've said it before. I didn't see how the ME universe was going to be able to cope with its technological prowess in a realistic shooter sense. I mean if society gets to the point that interstellar travel is possible and weapons can open singularities from a handheld weapon its hard to justify the whole grit and grind of the action when automation could easily have been implemented. Obviously the justification was "because its awesome" which I tend to agree as a sci fi enthusiast. Nevertheless, when your enemy already almost purged a galaxy of sentient life and your culture is as advanced as the game I didn't see it panning out. The real conflict would be from ships and we would probably lose because as stated....The reapers destroyed a GALAXY of sentient life. The series kinda glosses over a lot of human psychology in order to justify its existence. The simplest case goes back to orbital weapon automation. Who would fight a ground war when your spaceship is worth a planet in sci fi tech? Human psych, take the path of least resistance.

Arcane Azmadi:
Gotta admit I like the Mako in ME1. It makes the galaxy feel like it's full of stuff, gives you a lot to go around and see other than on scan results, adds a different kind of shooting action (albeit a simple, rather easy one) and to be honest I found the crazy bouncy control a lot more fun than smooth, precise steering would be- it's like navigating on a space hopper and do you remember what space hoppers are? That's right, they're not transportation, they're TOYS- and fun.

Mind you, I still haven't even beaten ME1 yet, let alone ME2, so ME3 doesn't exactly mean much to me at the moment. And since the PC version requires Origin to play, I honestly don't give much of a fuck about it right now anyway. Fucking EA.

I agree the idea behind the Mako had a lot of potential.

But they totally biffed the execution by using repetitive, bland but frustrating to navigate environments. Then they made the damn vehicle itself handle like a drunk ballerina with bricks strapped to her feet. They topped it off with equally bad exploration music and hidden objectives that seldom gave an indication of their existence. Once inside of planet's primary objective they provided 3 carbon copy interior designs that had minor layout changes.

They had a lot to fix no doubt. But if they actually made the environments and Mako fun, then provided more compelling quests and exploration . . . The Mako sequences would provide an awesome way to emphasize the size and scope of the Mass Effect universe.

Oh yeah I agree with you on Origin as well. That and the $10 charge to get all of the Day 1 content results in the fact that I will not buy ME3. I love the first 2 games but the fact that EA pulled a double whammy bitch move means I won't give them my money.

wtf, not even 150 comments? I was sure this would easily cross the 200 threshold between the time I saw in on my non-Flash-playing-phone and when I got home... huh.

Oh well.

I would tend to disagree with him on most parts, but maybe that's because I actually played through the game, and helped all the blokes find their car keys and whatnot. The only part I was down on was the ending. Mostly because, well, there wasn't one.

BS BS BS Blah blah blah... make your choice:

Now, I could go to great lengths and describe exactly what was wrong with the ending bit, but I feel this sums it up much better than I could... and doesn't involve a wall of text

All in all, I liked most of ME3. All the cameos were fun. Some of it was kinda cheesy (Grunt vs the Ravagers ... Shooting contest with Garrus ... Thane's last bit) but you know what ... they were fun-cheesy, and I'm okay with that. Just give me an ending worth a damn.

Pretty funny, but a major cop-out not to discuss the ending in more detail.

The Gentleman:
I'm still not exactly sure why people hate the ending so much...

me either actually. I went on youtube to see what all the fuss was about and watched them. I actually just finished a 3 book trilogy that was 1000 pages to each book that ended similarly. I however, was tear filled and full of joy at the last minute touches the author put on the wrap up (Peter F. Hamilton, The Night's Dawn series if anyone is interested, long sci fi read but worth it.) I guess a book is a bit different though. regardless, the series wraps up like most other sci fi series in a "fairy tale" ending kind of way. Its either that, or the Orwellian communists take over the world and screw you in the ass kind of way. I rather find the upbeat endings more encouraging. The graphics were nice? lol.

And of course, fantastic avatar my friend. Favorite series of all time.

Couldn't be arsed lol. To quote Dave Chappelle, Shakespeare could do no better.

yeah, we will see how the DLC will turn out for the ending. because for now it still sucks. nice review btw.

Actually... a few more gripes that Yahtzee didn't touch on

The quest system was beyond worthless. There were seriously like 150 side quests to scan a random planet, and it almost never told you what planet... or it gave you the planet name, but not the System or Cluster... so you have to wander around mindlessly scanning everything till you see it. My personal favorite was the book of Plenx (I think that was it, some religious text for a Volus) that isn't even available to find when you get the quest. Seriously, the Cluster in which it resides is not on your map until 2 or 3 Priority missions later. An NO WHERE is that mentioned. I cruised around for like 45 minutes looking for that damn thing before I just googled it.

And once you do find the planet with the MacGuffin, you don't actually DO anything to get it ... it's just, got. I had a quest to extract some pinned down mercs for the shadow broker. Sounded sweet! I'll get to fight along side some Batarians maybe, or Vorcha, or whatever, Shadow Brokers merc squad sounds freaking coo-.... probe and done. WTF is that. I launched a probe and magically they're extracted. B.S.

And after you've probed the Volus's MacGuffin (if you know what I mean) you fly back to the citadel and just look at your map... every person named "random person" is a completed quest. There's absolutely NO impact or engagement there at all. Talk to them get +5 war assets (or -5 a few times... oops) and you're done. You're not even required to stay and listen to what the say. Hit A as you run past and you're set.

These stupid fetch quests are worse that the "Gather 20 bear asses" quests from standard MMOs

.

Finally, more on the ending. Where are the old squadmates for that bit? All the cameos from the story line ... and nothing in the Huge Finale. Why can't I have just a quick clip of Grunt or Wrex (OR BOTH) leading a wave of Krogans... gunning down husks and generally being badass Krogans. P.S. Wrex is a Vanguard. Give his ass Biotic Charge! How about a quick mention of Jack's students if you saved them. Imagine: you're pinned down, omg what ever will you do. *BOOOM* Biotic artillery strike saves you (or the students show up to provide barriers, depending on what you chose.) How about we see Jacob being a proud leader guy, directing troops and giving orders. Simple things, could even be just cut-scenes. Wouldn't fix the whole thing, but would have been a step in the right direction.

I'd offer a suggestion for Miranda, but we all know the camera would just be glued to her ass the whole time anyway.

And while you're adding things to the final battle, can we at least throw in some token aliens. You got the Batarians on your side? Sweet, see them running around killing things in London. Vorcha? Quarians, Geth, Krogans, Slarians, FREAKING HANNAR and ELCOR. Nothing major, no huge investment required, just acknowledge their existence. Reuse models, draw it up in MSPaint for all I care. Just pretend like they matter, a little bit. I've spent the last 5 years getting them to play nice for this one major climactic battle... can they at least make an appearance? That's the whole point of the series, right? Everyone coming together, putting aside past grudges to combat the Reaper threat.

.

Okay, one last last thing ... Some say he's the strongest of the reapers, and that he wants to harvest Shepard's body to dress you up in lacy womens underwear, all we know is: he's called HARBINGER, and he's relegated to less than a cameo in this game. WTF. He spent the entirety of ME2 taunting you, following you, taunting you some more, and annoying the bloody piss out of you until you roll Infiltrator and just blast his stupid head off while he does the possession animation thing ... and in this game, he gets mentioned once in passing by some other reaper you just destroyed, and is accused of blasting you with a giant lazer beam at the end. I'm still skeptical of that last bit, because after all the fuss he made in ME2 about gathering up your body... well now your body is broken and bloody on the ground and he just doesn't seem to give a crap anymore. Did he even have any lines? I can't remember him saying anything... but that might just be a natural response blocking out painful memories.

.

As for the whole red/green/blue thing ... well, fixing that is going to require *MAJOR* help that I can't be bothered to offer at this hour, and BAC.

Zachary Amaranth:

Quite possibly because the Nintendo fanboy lacks the faculty to admit a Nintendo product sucks. If Bioware fans are like Star Wars fans, Nintendo fans are like radical terrorists who froth madly at cartoon depictions of Shigeru Miyamoto (pbuh)

Haha very true indeed

I find it wild that so many people are ripping ME3 for its ending. I mean really? Who plays video games for the story? Talk about doing it wrong. Video games writers are, with rare exceptions, people who weren't good enough for books, movies, tv, or even something as lowly as comic books. Video games are the bottom of the barrel of story driven media.

"Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important."
-John Carmack

marshmallowSDA:
I find it wild that so many people are ripping ME3 for its ending. I mean really? Who plays video games for the story? Talk about doing it wrong. Video games writers are, with rare exceptions, people who weren't good enough for books, movies, tv, or even something as lowly as comic books. Video games are the bottom of the barrel of story driven media.

"Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important."
-John Carmack

That's the problem with opinions apparently I and a good many others became quite invested in this world and it's characters.

My question is who goes into games with no intention to experience the story? games without story are boring mindless grinds with no dressing, it's tetris is what it is fun for 30 mins before your brain wants to crawl off to find anything to occupy itself.

Labcoat Samurai:

Abedeus:

Nicolairigel:

Again - it's a freaking beam made of molten metal traveling with, if I check codex

Even if he was hit by a shockwave of 132 kilotons... that's 131 kilotons too many to survive, even with kinetic barriers and armor.

Eh. There are a lot of places where the gameplay doesn't match up with the codex. The Hiroshima bomb was at most 18 kilotons. So if Harbinger's beam released that kind of energy, every single time it fired, it would obliterate everything within sight. That would not only invalidate the entire ending push to the Citadel beam, but it would also invalidate the earlier fight with the Destroyer on Rannoch.

The Reaper beam is as strong as the plot demands that it be. People who try to logically reason from this that what we're shown at the end isn't what happened, let's be charitable... are really reaching.

Reapers aren't just dreadnoughts, the Destroyers (those crabs on land) have weaker firepower. They're also smaller than the likes of Harbinger or Sovereign.

But it's one thing to say "Oh, shields held up against shockwave, it wasn't a direct hit", because if you are even scratched on Rannoch, you die. Here you get a blast to the face from a ship that can destroy space ships.

marshmallowSDA:
I find it wild that so many people are ripping ME3 for its ending. I mean really? Who plays video games for the story? Talk about doing it wrong. Video games writers are, with rare exceptions, people who weren't good enough for books, movies, tv, or even something as lowly as comic books. Video games are the bottom of the barrel of story driven media.

"Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important."
-John Carmack

So, when was the last time Carmack released a well-selling, AAA title that sold even if half of what any of the ME or Dragon Age games sold?

Doom 3 had 88% average, that was 2005. None of his later games even got close. So why should we listen to him, we stopped listening to Molyneux a while ago.

Kermi:

L34dP1LL:
Well I'm surprised about the fact that he didn't mention that not playing MP directly affects you in SP.

If he said that he'd be lying. Playing multiplayer makes it easier to get your effective military strength up, but you don't need to play the multiplayer.

However you should, because it's pretty fun.

I dare you to get the FULL ending without multiplayer. Let's see if you gett an EMS above 3900.

marshmallowSDA:
I find it wild that so many people are ripping ME3 for its ending. I mean really? Who plays video games for the story? Talk about doing it wrong. Video games writers are, with rare exceptions, people who weren't good enough for books, movies, tv, or even something as lowly as comic books. Video games are the bottom of the barrel of story driven media.

"Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important."
-John Carmack

I'm preeeetty sure you must be trolling, 'cause dismissing a game story in this day and age is just plain nonsense. Games have the advantage over any other media because of the amount of interactivity and in some cases, (ME is a great example of this) player input.

Kanatatsu:
Pretty funny, but a major cop-out not to discuss the ending in more detail.

Not really, since Yahtzee is not quite as Jim over there. He is no activist, he is an agent provocateur. He just calculated this time he will get more clicks if he provoked fans instead.

His opinion on Ending-O-Tron was posted in Deus Ex video. :)

You know, I was watching the video and after the first sentence on how you had one word-bollocks-and that was it, the ad kicked in. I though for a moment that really was it for the video and it was some kind of joke :P

Wait, someone doing an Escapist article that doesn't paint the Mass Effect 3 protests as childish and stupid?
HOLY CRAP!
Well, I guess Jim didn't. I don't think. Maybe. I really couldn't tell through half of that, I'm pretty sure he was still insulting us, but saying we were doing the right thing?

And I mean, no offence to the Escapist staff, but please don't try to make any protest about Video games sound childish. This is possibly the first person writing an article or video that I KNOW has played the game, and he goes without calling us 'rediculous', 'crazy' or other such things. Oh, I remember! The Escapist Podcast crew is on our side!
But seriously, most articles I read on this either imply or state 'I haven't played the game personally, but I think this whole thing is rediculous'. I think you should not insult us, especially if you haven't played the game. Say you don't understand why we're upset, but don't go so far as to insult the cause. As said, no offence meant - I am sure you don't mean to be rude to anyone, but it is the way I feel you are often coming off, and I thought you might like to know.

Other than that, I agree with Yahtzee for most of this. There is... nothing... about the gameplay. Just a feeling of emptiness. The Mako was cool and fun, and should have been refined rather than turned into tissue paper [Anyone who listened to that Vega/Cortez chat will know what I'm talking about], and the romances, to me, felt extremely meh. Extremely. Apparently the Liara one is better, but I felt absolutely nothing for most of the romances in this. They just seemed like excuses to say 'Yeah, Shepard shags his love then runs off' and utter fanfic then something meaningful. I'm surprised he didn't mention the Dream sequences though. They were utter crap. I hated every second of them. You couldn't even run to make it feel like it went faster. Wasted time to me. I get what you were trying to do, but you didn't have to make it so slow. I got a galaxy to save, and interesting stuff to do, and I don't want to waste the little time I have left tonight walking after some kid in a dream.

Abedeus:

Reapers aren't just dreadnoughts, the Destroyers (those crabs on land) have weaker firepower. They're also smaller than the likes of Harbinger or Sovereign.

Sure, so would you say they have at least 10% the firepower? Because if so, it's still like a Hiroshima bomb every shot. The codex sets up a pretty scientifically interesting world for space combat. The game shows something entirely different. That's somewhat to be expected, I think, given that the space combat of the codex would look nothing like what most people are used to from sci-fi films.

But it's one thing to say "Oh, shields held up against shockwave, it wasn't a direct hit", because if you are even scratched on Rannoch, you die. Here you get a blast to the face from a ship that can destroy space ships.

The whole time you're running up to the gate, you're getting beams that are striking right next to you and, at most, slow your stride slightly. I think you're missing the forest for the trees. No amount of debating over reaper beam continuity is going to trump plot necessity. It just isn't a compelling argument.

Actually I'm pretty sure "It could have been worse" - Ben "Yahtzee" Crowshaw WILL end up on EA marketing material. Enough people think Yahtzee hates everything that they will think it's a ringing endorsement.

Joccaren:
Wait, someone doing an Escapist article that doesn't paint the Mass Effect 3 protests as childish and stupid?
HOLY CRAP!

Er, didn't you hear him say "Are you sure not not upset about the ending because it IS an ending" (or word to that effect).

schwegburt:

I agree the idea behind the Mako had a lot of potential.

But they totally biffed the execution by using repetitive, bland but frustrating to navigate environments. Then they made the damn vehicle itself handle like a drunk ballerina with bricks strapped to her feet. They topped it off with equally bad exploration music and hidden objectives that seldom gave an indication of their existence. Once inside of planet's primary objective they provided 3 carbon copy interior designs that had minor layout changes.

They had a lot to fix no doubt. But if they actually made the environments and Mako fun, then provided more compelling quests and exploration . . . The Mako sequences would provide an awesome way to emphasize the size and scope of the Mass Effect universe.

I LOVED tha Mako. If they'd just made the environments interesting and fun then I'm sure that most people wounldn't have minded the handling, and maybe spent more time trying to exploit it to get over terrain.

And you can't say they just spent 5 minutes in a procedural terrain generator, because they carefully created easy paths to even the most apparently inaccessible objectives.

Experimental:
And I still don't know how does this game ends...

Well, I wasn't discouraged with the bashing it got, but for once, it's good someone talked about it without the fanboy rage. Not that I expected you to be the same.

If you still want to know, the game basically ends with choice A, B, C no matter what choices you make through out the last two games that's the three you get not to bad i suppose...... but each ending is exactly the same and no matter what the mass relays get destroyed stranding every race who came to help earth as it would take hundreds of years to get back, not to bad for the Asari but the others not so much and the majority do not eat human food as it could kill them. Bioware is calling it artistic but if every ending is exactly the same that's lazy, it boils down to which color of explosion you like most RED, BLUE or GREEN I love the game till the end so i play till the last second then save turn it off and imagine how the ending should of gone, not the garbage they gave, it seems to me they ran out of time on development and rushed the last bit not thinking they were identical.

L34dP1LL:

Kermi:

L34dP1LL:
Well I'm surprised about the fact that he didn't mention that not playing MP directly affects you in SP.

If he said that he'd be lying. Playing multiplayer makes it easier to get your effective military strength up, but you don't need to play the multiplayer.

However you should, because it's pretty fun.

I dare you to get the FULL ending without multiplayer. Let's see if you gett an EMS above 3900.

It's perfectly possible to get an EMS of 4k(which would be a TMS of 8k. I think some people are confusing Total Military Strength, which is the combined might of Sword and Hammer, with Effective Military Strength, which is the individual strength of both forces) without playing multiplayer. However, it requires you to play a specific way throughout all three games. Choosing the options that gain you the most points from the first 2 games, combined with doing the best in 3, will net you around 5k EMS, give or take a few hundred. In other words, if you don't play multiplayer, but you want the super special ending, you either need the perfect game, which lets them say that you can get all possible endings without playing multiplayer(even though, in all actuality that's pure bullshit), or you're SOL.

DarkPheonix13:
I'm shocked that there was no mention of how many times you had to switch the disks in ME3. If you're someone who likes side missions (and I am.), then it was hard to tell when you had to switch. They only made you switch the disks in ME2 3 times that I counted. In ME3, I've already counted 6 times, and I don't think I'm halfway through the game yet. This breaks game flow, and takes away from the game as a whole.

Overall, from what I've played, I like ME3. I like how that the gameplay seems to move faster, BUT I haven't seen this "ending" everyone is talking about, so I might want to hold back on my full opinion of the game until then... To me, the ending of a game is supposed to be the climax, and in most cases, it's what makes the most impact on someone, and what most people will remember from their gaming experience, so if the ending is truly bad enough, it can ruin the entire thing as a whole.

Switching disc's? That on Xbox? if it is LOL.

I've never played Mass Effect 1 and 2 but 3rd game did not impress me at all :S ... I thought that writing was plain god awful and cliched at times.
Dreadful ending to the side, the biggest "beef" I have with this game is that none of the aliens actually FEEL...you know...alien! They think and talk like any generic american with a latex mask on... it's like a really bad scifi fan convention.

I can't help but remember Dragon Age:Origins and the character of Sten. Whilst not being strictly "alien" his outlook on life was a stark difference compared to "conventional" outlook of all the other characters. He was masterfully written, and that is something I have truly missed in Mass Effect - I just did not feel as if aliens had any particularly unique culture to them. All the difference in "aliens" was nothing more then skin deep...which is sickening in it's ignorant political correctness -.-'

Yep, that's on Xbox, but I'm not getting into PC vs. console, so I'll just say this. I like console systems... that's it.

So his opinion pretty much came down to "meh".

That's the most unentertaining kind of review of him to watch, but the internet is full of reactions to this title, so I don't mind that much.
I thought the game was throwing him a lot of bones he didn't pick up tho. ME3 must've really really bored him.

I posted my own article about what went wrong with Mass Effect 3:

http://www.gamestooge.com/2012/03/21/mass-effect-3-what-really-went-wrong-and-how-to-fix-it/

Let me know what you think, Mr. Croshaw and others. :p

Return of the King was better than the second LOTR movie. But beyond that I cant really think of too many ends of trilogies that live up to the expectation.

pandorum:
If you still want to know, the game basically ends with choice A, B, C no matter what choices you make through out the last two games that's the three you get not to bad i suppose...... but each ending is exactly the same and no matter what the mass relays get destroyed stranding every race who came to help earth as it would take hundreds of years to get back, not to bad for the Asari but the others not so much and the majority do not eat human food as it could kill them. Bioware is calling it artistic but if every ending is exactly the same that's lazy, it boils down to which color of explosion you like most RED, BLUE or GREEN I love the game till the end so i play till the last second then save turn it off and imagine how the ending should of gone, not the garbage they gave, it seems to me they ran out of time on development and rushed the last bit not thinking they were identical.

Well, isn't this pretty much what happened with Deus Ex: HR? The relevance of your choices had no impact in the ending except for the last choice, it was really a downer, but we survived, so why is people still getting mad with ME3?

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