So, now that the Mass Effect 3 Demo is out...

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So.... Did anyone else find the controls to be incredibly floaty?

I had a very hard time with getting Shep to stay in cover.

Frozengale:
Also Cerberus.... wtf... why are they trying to stop the saving of the Universe. I'm sorry Bioware you won't be able to explain that one away very well I'm sure.

I'll be interested to see exactly how they handle this too, but they've been foreshadowing it - especially if you've read the Evolution comic or, failing that, looked at the Illusive Man's eyes in ME2.

I wasn't holding my breath, but I gotta say, I was taken aback and pleasantly surprised. The combat seems to have found the best of both games, the reduced health and new enemy types make things more tactical, but it hasn't lost any flare either. The new melee attacks are fun to watch, and the increased level of violence did well to up the intensity. Now, when you pull off a headshot, you can FEEL it. I'm also happy to report that I found the writing in part 2 of the demo to be quite good. The banter between party members works well(Especially with THE RETURN OW WREX!*Applause*), and, unlike Mass Effect 2, the plot point you played through felt important and carried weight. Instead of trying to put you into a new situation, Bioware made use of the hefty back catalog of lore to not only expand on the galactic story, but reference characters you've already met, so the fast pace wouldn't make the game come off as cold and simplistic(A problem ME2 had on occasion, and Dragon Age II wallowed in)

It did start off a little rocky, the opening was clearly trying to catch up newer players(Wherever they are), and felt too linear. That part with the kid was pretty good though, even if it was kind of a cheap shot(Though it does feel a bit obligatory that they choose now to show a kid die, because, you know, there are no kids outside of earth. I'm really nitpicking here, but it makes me feel a little like the developers thought I would only respond to a human child dying, which frankly I would find a little insulting).

Overall, I was very impressed, now if the story can step up then Bioware can atone for the atrocity that was Dragon Age II at last!

Looking good besides a few graphical and animation issues. What I really don't understand is people making huge leaps about the story and dialogue you don't get much of either your looking at a 30 minute peace of whats probably a 40 hour game and your judging things beyond basic mechanics, people are crazy.

Arontala:
So.... Did anyone else find the controls to be incredibly floaty?

I had a very hard time with getting Shep to stay in cover.

Yeah a little loose. I just finished a ME2 run through to get ready for this game and my shepard was all over the place when the demo started. By the end things were better but it still felt a bit off and overly sensitive. I'll get used it the more I play but, as others have said, I think part of the "off-ness" of it is the one button/key being used for so many actions. I side rolled here and there unintentionally through out the demo just from trying to turn and run. If the movement controls are going to be sensitive I think they should lean toward running first, rolling second. Right now it feels like its the other way around.

I enjoyed the demo. Some things were jarring but I think on the whole most of that was due to me playing alot of ME2 lately and I'm just used to certain things.

Some of the things that stood out to me echo what others have already mentioned:

1) The leveling system looks like a nice compromise b/w ME1 and 2
2) Party banter = good
3) Some of the animations really did seem whacked - male shepards run in particular looked kind of robotic
4) Really like that weapon mods are in
5) As stated above, [spacebar] now controlling the roll as well seems a bit much...
6) The art style of the game remains ME1 and 2 sharp.
7) As someone else pointed out, some of the textures looked crisp and sharp while others looked low rez and splotchy. Shepard's armor for instance looks great while his clothes look kinda washed out and blurry. My first thought was that it might be a graphics card problem or something. Hoping it's just a demo thing as others have mentioned.
8) Some areas did look "over-shadowed" as did the way some light fell on various characters. ME2 was like this as well with some places being very dark. A fan posted a shader fix pretty early for that game so with ME3 using the same engine maybe that's what this one will need as well.
9) The demo represents my first Origin experience. It definitely feels like a relatively new system. It's missing a number of small QoL features that helps Steam stay hidden and out of my way.
10) I found Ashley's new look to be really, really jarring... She doesn't look bad per se but in ME1 I thought she looked more soldier-ish, in this game she seems more pin up-ish. I'll reserve judgement on the look until I get to spend some time with the full game.
11) Though I've seen them in plenty of the screenshots the cereberus soldiers look super slick
12) The enemy moving around really stood out to me post ME2 play through. I went into the fights as I would a fight in ME2 and was surprised when soldiers moved so fast to get beside and behind me. I found I had to think a bit more about the room layout and party member orders and that, to me, is a good thing.

To be honest for a while between the DA shift and some of the comments coming out of Bioware about ME3 and TOR I wasn't sure what was coming down the pipe for this one. It seemed like it had the potential to be a hit or miss in equal proportions. Guess we'll know soon enough but overall I'm now looking forward to the game more post-demo than before.

AD-Stu:

Frozengale:
Also Cerberus.... wtf... why are they trying to stop the saving of the Universe. I'm sorry Bioware you won't be able to explain that one away very well I'm sure.

I'll be interested to see exactly how they handle this too, but they've been foreshadowing it - especially if you've read the Evolution comic or, failing that, looked at the Illusive Man's eyes in ME2.

Having everyone indoctrinated seems like the easy way out so they don't have to write actual motivations. It's especially a punch in the dick to those who choose to help cerberus in ME2. Luckily i wasn't one of them. :/

I thought it kind of sucked how they leave weapon upgrades lying around for you to pick up but give you no way to equip them. I guess you have to do that in the Normandy. Okay, fine, but then why put the items in the demo? Take them out, stop teasing us. :(

Anyway, it's Mass Effect. I liked 1 and 2 just fine, so I'm not worried about 3.

Loop Stricken:
But the wait was well worth it just to see Anderson's bizarre sprinting animation!

Yeah, that was weird. It was like he was trying not to shit himself.

Ethan Isaacs:

endtherapture:
I really enjoyed the demo. More tactical than ME2, more intense than ME1, it was perhaps the perfect fusion between the two games. I was really pleasantly surprised.

It also left a really deep emotional impact on me I dunno I wanted to cry at one point in the game.

I dont think that boy was real.

Reason 1 when he climbed onto the ship no one helped him not even the soliders, now I think its a little odd no one noticed him at all or interacted with him.

Reason 2 when you meet him he vanishes as soon as you look away.

Reason 3 the distance he would have to cross would be too much for him to handle

I said that later in the thread, also Anderson didn't seem to notice him either.

Aside from the combat, which has been greatly improved (aside from the over-burdened spacebar), I've got to say that I'm extremely disapointed. The intro just feels very weak.

Who is James Vega, and why is he chummy with Shepard when we've never met him before?

Why aren't I allowed to choose Shepard's dialogue?

Why is Anderson on Earth?

What happened in Shepard's trial? Why has Shepard's trial been skipped for that matter? That would have been such an engaging scene, not to mention an excellent opportunity for some needed exposition.

Anderson claims Shepard hasn't been court martialled, so why has he been relieved of his rank, duty and ship?

What is Ashley doing on Earth? What's with the make-up and hair? That style is frankly impractical and hazardous for someone on combat duty, and it seems utterly out of character for someone with the no-nonsense attitude she had in Mass Effect 1.

Why is the Defence Council full of useless idiots? The dialogue in this scene is awfully cheesy as well. "We fight or we die" indeed...

The Reapers shouldn't be invading Earth so early in the game. We've had no opportunity to develop an emotional investment in the location and population beyond what we already possess innately as humans. Because of this and because the invasion has been so heavily hyped in the marketing, the actual moment is frightfully dull. There's just no impact to it, no sense of surprise.

Oh look, they've killed everyone attending the Defence Council session, making the previous scene pretty much pointless except to showcase the invasion. I don't even care that everyone died because, once again, we have no attachment to them. I also don't buy that the only survivors were Shepard and Anderson. It's just too convenient that the two named characters escaped with a few scratches and some bruising while everyone else got pulped. We should see people pulling themselves to their feet, screaming for help, trying to clear the doorway.

Why is all the cool stuff happening in the background? Sure we get a few stray blasts headed in our direction but for the most part all the major action is seperate from the player. We should be on the streets, not wandering about atop a skyscraper. We ought to be in the thick of things, fighting through waves of husks, leading survivors to safety, fleeing and hiding, dodgeing the concrete shattering steps of a Reaper. The sort of thing that might actually generate some excitement. In it's current state the opening manages to feel very rushed, whilst paradoxically lacking any real urgency. The lack of emotional investment I mentioned earlier? Being removed from the action like this doesn't help.

So heat sinks are being reffered to as ammo now? It was annoying enough when they were introduced in a pointless attempt to make the gunplay feel more like a traditional shooter. Now it's as if the writers don't even care enough to keep up the pretense.

The scene with the kid is a weak and obvious attempt at tugging on our heart strings. It fails because his dialogue and behaviour doesn't really gel with the image of a terrified child.

"Everyone's dying" the kid whines, and yet we've barely seen anyone since before the invasion. Look off the edge of the skyscraper and aside from the collossal Reapers (which I'll admit are really cool) and a handful of painfully low resolution 2d humans, the streets look deserted. Where are all the vehicles, the mobilising soldiers, the crowds of fleeing civillians, the wreckage, or the corpses?

Why is Shepard acting so Earth-centric? Paragon Shepard has always recognised that the Reapers represented a threat to the entire galaxy, not just to Humans, and that we couldn't stand by ourselves and expect to survive. I really hate that I'm not allowed to pick what Shepard is saying. Apparently a lot of dialogue options were cut from the demo to save space, but the result doesn't represent what I expect from a Mass Effect game. Couldn't they have cut Character Creation instead? I certainly wouldn't have minded.

This whole gameplay sequence feels too quiet. Aside from the distant explosions, occasional set-pieces and the infrequent action sequences, there are long stretches where not a lot is happening in the audio department. Couldn't we have had some pulse-pounding background music, maybe some panicked radio chatter from the beleaguered defenders? At the very least that might have helped with the urgency problems.

Ashley says over the radio that the Reapers are about to take down a dreadnought. We then see a Reaper blow up what looks to be a relatively small Alliance ship. Certainly it doesn't look much larger than the Normandy. In previous games dreadnoughts were described as being a kilometer long and incapable of generating a mass effect field strong enough allow entry into a planet's atmosphere.

Why does Anderson want to stay ground side? He's too old to be worth much fighting on the front lines, while his high level of military and political experience makes him more valuable in an administration position. He should be taken to the Citadel in order to organise the other races, or otherwise taken to an Alliance millitary installation where he can rally and direct Earth's defenders. Is he still on the Citadel Council? I've heard some sources claim he resigned, but the demo never mentions his position.

And that kid shows up again, and shortly thereafter gets vaporised by a Reaper. Again, an attempt at creating emotional impact, but again it fails because we have no reason to care about him. We barely know him. He had maybe three lines of bad dialogue. We don't even know his name for pity's sake.

Why didn't the child-killing Reaper or any of the others in the area even try to shoot down the Normandy during that overly soppy sequence? It got the shuttles easily enough, and the Normandy was virtually stationary in front of it the whole time. Surely Harbinger has labelled Shepard and the Normandy as high priority targets after the events of the previous games. And why prioritise the civillian targets over the Normandy anyway? I thought the Reapers goal was to harvest organic life, especially humanity if Mass Effect 2 was any indication. I suspect that organics become significantly harder to harvest when they're reduced to so many vaporised particles drifting in the wind. The Reapers should be performing surgical strikes on millitary targets while limiting collateral damage. Instead it almost looks like they're doing the opposite.

Okay well that grew into something rather more...thorough...than I'd intended, but I hope I got my feeling's across. I know some of those point's look rather nitpicky, but as they say, the devil is in the details. While I did enjoy the combat, I can't really say that I've got high hopes for the story quality after this.

DrWilhelm:
Aside from the combat, which has been greatly improved (aside from the over-burdened spacebar), I've got to say that I'm extremely disapointed. The intro just feels very weak.

Who is James Vega, and why is he chummy with Shepard when we've never met him before?

Why aren't I allowed to choose Shepard's dialogue?

Why is Anderson on Earth?

What happened in Shepard's trial? Why has Shepard's trial been skipped for that matter? That would have been such an engaging scene, not to mention an excellent opportunity for some needed exposition.

Anderson claims Shepard hasn't been court martialled, so why has he been relieved of his rank, duty and ship?

And so on and so on...

Your post is WAAAAAAAAAAY too big for a forum of this manner so I'm just going to address some of your earlier issues. It's a fucking demo, you're not going to get all the intro sequences that will be present in the actual game. Use your noggin please.

Gerishnakov:

DrWilhelm:
Aside from the combat, which has been greatly improved (aside from the over-burdened spacebar), I've got to say that I'm extremely disapointed. The intro just feels very weak.

Who is James Vega, and why is he chummy with Shepard when we've never met him before?

Why aren't I allowed to choose Shepard's dialogue?

Why is Anderson on Earth?

What happened in Shepard's trial? Why has Shepard's trial been skipped for that matter? That would have been such an engaging scene, not to mention an excellent opportunity for some needed exposition.

Anderson claims Shepard hasn't been court martialled, so why has he been relieved of his rank, duty and ship?

And so on and so on...

Your post is WAAAAAAAAAAY too big for a forum of this manner so I'm just going to address some of your earlier issues. It's a fucking demo, you're not going to get all the intro sequences that will be present in the actual game. Use your noggin please.

Wow, thanks for being insulting and dismissive, that was so necessary. I'd justify my issues further but your tone has reminded me why I hate posting on forums.

DrWilhelm:
Wow, thanks for being insulting and dismissive, that was so necessary. I'd justify my issues further but your tone has reminded me why I hate posting on forums.

Come on, look at the length of your post compared to previous ones. You honestly don't think you went a bit over the top?

Toughen up a bit, my criticism of your criticisms are founded. You can't find fault with a demo because it didn't include the entire game.

Looked like the entire game is going to be focused on Earth. I.e. even though you may explore the galaxy, it is all with the aim of saving Earth. This is the dumbest thing they could have done. Earth is the least interesting location in the game by a country mile but I get the feeling even though there are millions of reapers attacking across the universe the main battle will only happen around Earth. Visits to other races may well only be single token missions.

Everything did look a little... oily. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but just kinda scummy.

The intro felt a little unimpactfull, at least it did in the demo. In the full game this is obviously meant to set the stage and slowly get into flow of things, but seeing as this was a demo it cuts away right afterwards making the whole thing seem a bit superfluous.

Ashley looks really glammed up though. Almost too much. I don't mind that Bioware tried to give her some flair, but she almost looks like she should be a some futuristic Bollywood movie. It just feels a bit overzelous.

The combat and powers have a great punch to them, and I found the enemy forces to be much tougher. They had a nice sense to them, not just being opponents, but truly being out for my blood.

I do however hope that the lack of conversation options were representative of the demo and not the full game.

I'd also like to add that there seems to be almost no wieght to anything.
I mean you see a reaper pretty much crashing into the river in front of you, and theres no shockwaves what so ever. all the explosions felt rather meh aswell, which kinda ruins the cinimatic feel there are going for

Gerishnakov:

DrWilhelm:
Wow, thanks for being insulting and dismissive, that was so necessary. I'd justify my issues further but your tone has reminded me why I hate posting on forums.

Come on, look at the length of your post compared to previous ones. You honestly don't think you went a bit over the top?

Toughen up a bit, my criticism of your criticisms are founded. You can't find fault with a demo because it didn't include the entire game.

If you'd bothered to read my post you'd have seen that I do think I went over the top. After I'd written it though I decided it was a waste not to post it. Why should I toughen up? I entered the thread's discussion expecting civility and you respond to me by swearing and calling me an idiot. Now I'm angry and feel like crap. There was absolutely no need for that.

I find fault with the issues you picked from my post because according to Bioware the demo contains the entire opening to the game, bar apparently some dialogue choices. It uses an in medias res opening in order to create urgency and impact, but it ultimately creates neither. If the game had instead begun more slowly they would have been better able to create the intended urgency and impact once the reapers invaded, whilst also answering the questions I'm left asking. These aren't mysterious questions that are vital to the plot and tension whose answers will be revalatory, they're little niggly questions that leave me wondering what the hell is going on, unable to fully engage. The player, who for all intents and purposes is Shepard, should already have the answers to at least some of these questions.

Frankly I suspect that you only picked out my first few issues because they were the easiest to criticise.

DrWilhelm:
Snip

It honestly feels as though you've taken the words out of my mouth with about half of your complaints. Although hearing that the dialogue options may have simply been taken out due to size restraints puts me a little more at ease

Gerishnakov:

Your post is WAAAAAAAAAAY too big for a forum of this manner so I'm just going to address some of your earlier issues. It's a fucking demo, you're not going to get all the intro sequences that will be present in the actual game. Use your noggin please.

And what exactly is wrong with making a thought out, well written post? Considering that the purpose of this thread was to explain what your thoughts on the new Mass Effect demo were, be them good or bad, not simply give praise and write off whatever concerns one may have as "Simply due to it being a demo". Also given that he bothered to actually space out his paragraphs as to avoid the "Wall of text" look, berating him for the size of his post seems a rather ridiculous complaint, given that users are encouraged to write thought out posts such as his on this forum.

DrWilhelm:

Gerishnakov:

DrWilhelm:
Wow, thanks for being insulting and dismissive, that was so necessary. I'd justify my issues further but your tone has reminded me why I hate posting on forums.

Come on, look at the length of your post compared to previous ones. You honestly don't think you went a bit over the top?

Toughen up a bit, my criticism of your criticisms are founded. You can't find fault with a demo because it didn't include the entire game.

If you'd bothered to read my post you'd have seen that I do think I went over the top. After I'd written it though I decided it was a waste not to post it. Why should I toughen up? I entered the thread's discussion expecting civility and you respond to me by swearing and calling me an idiot. Now I'm angry and feel like crap. There was absolutely no need for that.

I find fault with the issues you picked from my post because according to Bioware the demo contains the entire opening to the game, bar apparently some dialogue choices. It uses an in medias res opening in order to create urgency and impact, but it ultimately creates neither. If the game had instead begun more slowly they would have been better able to create the intended urgency and impact once the reapers invaded, whilst also answering the questions I'm left asking. These aren't mysterious questions that are vital to the plot and tension whose answers will be revalatory, they're little niggly questions that leave me wondering what the hell is going on, unable to fully engage. The player, who for all intents and purposes is Shepard, should already have the answers to at least some of these questions.

Frankly I suspect that you only picked out my first few issues because they were the easiest to criticise.

I agree with the things you've said, but I don't recall Bioware saying that the demo contained the complete opening of the game. Do you have a source for that?

boag:

garjian:
im really disappointed...

Whos this "James" guy and why can i already imagine tearing out his internal organs for fun?
Why are we back to the Mass Effect 1 team again? They were boring the first time and the only people missing are whoever-died and Tali. Cant they be bothered to make some new characters, who would at least be interesting for a little while because they are new? :/

I dont understand, first you complain about the new character being there, then you complain about no new characters.

Can you make up your mind please

I did say that in a weird order.
James isn't very interesting, despite being new... I'm not sure why, but he's really aggravating me already. When I say new characters, I think I meant those with at least a ounce of personality to delve into.

That's why I don't like him, and now, why I hate him.

Everyone in that scene, including Shepard, is wearing a uniform, James is not. James has a different body type which no human in Mass Effect has had before, as far as I can remember.
Both of these highlight areas of control over my character that I would not have even thought about if he weren't there, like in previous Mass Effects. James becomes a symbol of that lack of control. So when I can't decide wether or not my Shepard gives a crap about some annoying brat dying, it's James' fault. When I can't select my dialogue and I'm forced to say random, cheesy action movie crap, it's James' fault. That's what's happened here.
Again, I am aware that this is a demo, but he makes a terrible first impression. I hope it turns out he's just Andersons personal trainer and never escaped earth.

The Single Player part was what most people here said.
I have to say that i really like the character. It's pretty hard to get a full team right now, but i think that's because the multiplayer is exclusive right now.
There are some misstakes in it, but i overall really liked it and will play it allot when me3 comes out. The only think that keeps me from playing it now, is that i will most likely have to unlock all the characters and weapons again after the full game comes out.

What's kind of interressting is that you can see how the upgrade system will most likely work in the singleplayer.
It's really like the first one. When you suceed at special mission between fighting of the waves of enemys then you get credits as a reward. with these credits you can buy equipment packs. It's pretty random what you get, but you can get upgrades that you can put in your weapons just like in ME 1, 2 upgrade slots per weapon. You can also get upgraded versions of weapons like the avenger II, which then overrides the avenger I that you have.
But i don't really know if you get upgraded versions of the weapont in singleplayer too.

Redingold:

I agree with the things you've said, but I don't recall Bioware saying that the demo contained the complete opening of the game. Do you have a source for that?

Hmm, I can't find anything at the moment, though I'm sure I read it somewhere, either on Bioware's twitter feed or from a Bioware official on their forums. Not that it wouldn't be the first time that my brain has played tricks on me. Nevertheless the demo imples to me that we have seen more or less the full opening. I mean, we don't see a loading screen in the opening like the one that prefaces the Sur'Kesh section, helping to bridge the gaps created by cut content.

I'll keep looking for an official confirmation on the demo contents, but it's probably buried somewhere on the Bioware forums if I saw it all. Take what I said on that point with a pinch of salt I guess.

Did find this thread though: http://social.bioware.com/forums/forum/1/topic/323/index/9243095/1 where a lot of people seem to be implying that there originally was a trial in the game, or at least there was intended to be one, but it got cut for whatever reason. That could explain why a lot of us feel that the intro felt rushed and a little confusing.

Edit: The ME3 demo also fits the format of the ME2 demo. Full opening sequence, followed by a cut to a later level. So that sort of implies that it's full opening as well. A bit, anyway.

i am hoping this is just a small piece of the pie. and no reflection on the finished product. more what it was 6 months ago or something. just a beta type demo to keep us interested and blow out minds when we see the finished product

Thoughts on some of your points below:

DrWilhelm:
Who is James Vega, and why is he chummy with Shepard when we've never met him before?

Why is Anderson on Earth?

What happened in Shepard's trial? Why has Shepard's trial been skipped for that matter? That would have been such an engaging scene, not to mention an excellent opportunity for some needed exposition.

Anderson claims Shepard hasn't been court martialled, so why has he been relieved of his rank, duty and ship?

I'm assuming this isn't the complete intro to the game and there'll at least be a cinematic or some other section explaining how we got from Arrival to here that covers all this stuff - just like there was in ME2. Keep in mind too that not everything needs to be spelled out in explicit terms right at the start.

DrWilhelm:
What is Ashley doing on Earth? What's with the make-up and hair? That style is frankly impractical and hazardous for someone on combat duty, and it seems utterly out of character for someone with the no-nonsense attitude she had in Mass Effect 1.

Maybe she always wanted to look this way, but it's only since she's been promoted to Spectre that she's had the freedom to do so? Plus we're talking about the franchise that gave us Miranda and Jack in ME2, so this is hardly a surprise.

DrWilhelm:
The Reapers shouldn't be invading Earth so early in the game. We've had no opportunity to develop an emotional investment in the location and population beyond what we already possess innately as humans. Because of this and because the invasion has been so heavily hyped in the marketing, the actual moment is frightfully dull. There's just no impact to it, no sense of surprise.

I think it's fair for Bioware to rely on our innate attachment to Earth as humans when it comes to emotional investment - after all, it's not like anyone will be playing this game thinking "Huh - sucks to be Earth, but it's not my planet". Plus we've known since day dot with this game that the Reapers are going to invade Earth, so putting the invasion off for too long would just be silly. Also, I suspect knowing it was going to happen is most likely the reason it lacked impact for you.

DrWilhelm:
We should be on the streets, not wandering about atop a skyscraper. We ought to be in the thick of things, fighting through waves of husks, leading survivors to safety, fleeing and hiding, dodgeing the concrete shattering steps of a Reaper. The sort of thing that might actually generate some excitement.

The previews have shown we will get to do that sort of stuff at later stages in the game. So I dunno about you, but I'm OK with the game not exhausting its entire bag of tricks in the first 30 minutes.

DrWilhelm:
So heat sinks are being reffered to as ammo now? It was annoying enough when they were introduced in a pointless attempt to make the gunplay feel more like a traditional shooter. Now it's as if the writers don't even care enough to keep up the pretense.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... seriously, I can imagine soldiers in that univers coming to refer to heat sinks as ammo. It's always going to be something where they screwed with the canon for the sake of gameplay enhancement anyway, we may as well get over it.

DrWilhelm:
The scene with the kid is a weak and obvious attempt at tugging on our heart strings. It fails because his dialogue and behaviour doesn't really gel with the image of a terrified child.

It didn't do a lot for me either, but judging by the reactions it worked a treat for a lot of other people. Your Mileage May Vary, I guess.

DrWilhelm:
Why is Shepard acting so Earth-centric? Paragon Shepard has always recognised that the Reapers represented a threat to the entire galaxy, not just to Humans, and that we couldn't stand by ourselves and expect to survive.

For one thing, I think it's fair for Shepard to prioritise his/her own species. Nothing wrong with that. For another thing, Earth is where the Reapers are right now so it makes sense. And for another, you're talking to humans in the demo so it makes sense for him/her to be speaking that way. We don't know how the conversations with other races will go.

DrWilhelm:
In previous games dreadnoughts were described as being a kilometer long and incapable of generating a mass effect field strong enough allow entry into a planet's atmosphere.

I could be wrong, but I think the discussion in previous games was just that dreadnaughts were incapable of landing, not necessarily entering atmosphere. Plus if you were to ever send one into atmosphere, it seems like this would be the time and damn the consequences, right?

By the same token, we could complain that Reapers are supposed to be about two kilometres long - they certainly don't look that tall in the demo.

DrWilhelm:
Why does Anderson want to stay ground side? He's too old to be worth much fighting on the front lines, while his high level of military and political experience makes him more valuable in an administration position... Is he still on the Citadel Council?

No - if he was on the Council then he no longer is. The Retribution novel and Inquisition comic both refer to Udina as the human Councilor, and both are set after ME2. They don't explain how / when the change happened, wouldn't be surprised if there's some throwaway line to explain it in the game though. I mean, Anderson clearly hated the job...

DrWilhelm:
And that kid shows up again, and shortly thereafter gets vaporised by a Reaper. Again, an attempt at creating emotional impact, but again it fails because we have no reason to care about him. We barely know him. He had maybe three lines of bad dialogue. We don't even know his name for pity's sake.

It's a kid. It had a life and a future and now it doesn't. Again, I don't think it's unfair for Bioware to expect that the majority of its audience will react in the desired way, regardless of the fact that we don't know its name - it probably works better if we don't know it, actually. I really think this is another case of Your Mileage Varying.

DrWilhelm:
Aside from the combat, which has been greatly improved (aside from the over-burdened spacebar), I've got to say that I'm extremely disapointed. The intro just feels very weak.

I thought so too, but allow me to offer some clarification.

DrWilhelm:

Who is James Vega, and why is he chummy with Shepard when we've never met him before?

Book. "Mass Effect: Conviction"

DrWilhelm:

Why aren't I allowed to choose Shepard's dialogue?

The demo was slightly chopped to avoid spoilers/account for lack of proper backstory.

DrWilhelm:

Why is Anderson on Earth?

You got me there.

DrWilhelm:

What happened in Shepard's trial? Why has Shepard's trial been skipped for that matter? That would have been such an engaging scene, not to mention an excellent opportunity for some needed exposition.

I have a deft feeling that a trial is only in the scene if your shepard played Arrival. Joining Cerberus is treason, reason enough for incarceration but not for a trial.

DrWilhelm:

Anderson claims Shepard hasn't been court martialled, so why has he been relieved of his rank, duty and ship?

Because they want to keep an eye on Shepard but still want him/her in case shit hits the fan.

DrWilhelm:

What is Ashley doing on Earth? What's with the make-up and hair? That style is frankly impractical and hazardous for someone on combat duty, and it seems utterly out of character for someone with the no-nonsense attitude she had in Mass Effect 1.

She's a spectre now, they don't have equipment regs. She also has armor for missions, but she isn't in actual combat in the demo.

DrWilhelm:

Why is the Defence Council full of useless idiots? The dialogue in this scene is awfully cheesy as well. "We fight or we die" indeed...

I've heard worse I assure you.

DrWilhelm:

The Reapers shouldn't be invading Earth so early in the game. We've had no opportunity to develop an emotional investment in the location and population beyond what we already possess innately as humans. Because of this and because the invasion has been so heavily hyped in the marketing, the actual moment is frightfully dull. There's just no impact to it, no sense of surprise.

Agreed 100%. I also love how the reapers just breeze through all of the human defenses. It gives an incredible sense of forced tension.

DrWilhelm:

So heat sinks are being reffered to as ammo now? It was annoying enough when they were introduced in a pointless attempt to make the gunplay feel more like a traditional shooter. Now it's as if the writers don't even care enough to keep up the pretense.

In defense of the mechanic, the balance issues present with the old system were game breaking. At the beginning of ME1 you could get 10 shots out of an assault rifle before it over-heated; halfway in you could fire nonstop with perfect accuracy. I will not however defend them being called ammo. Fuck you EA marketing.

DrWilhelm:

The scene with the kid is a weak and obvious attempt at tugging on our heart strings. It fails because his dialogue and behaviour doesn't really gel with the image of a terrified child.

Agreed again. Anyone with 2 functioning brain cells would know to go with the damn solider.

DrWilhelm:

"Everyone's dying" the kid whines, and yet we've barely seen anyone since before the invasion. Look off the edge of the skyscraper and aside from the collossal Reapers (which I'll admit are really cool) and a handful of painfully low resolution 2d humans, the streets look deserted. Where are all the vehicles, the mobilising soldiers, the crowds of fleeing civillians, the wreckage, or the corpses?

It is an entire city, people could start running before they died. I mainly blame system limitations though. The cutscene where you fly away is much better at displaying the total scene.

DrWilhelm:

Why is Shepard acting so Earth-centric? Paragon Shepard has always recognised that the Reapers represented a threat to the entire galaxy, not just to Humans, and that we couldn't stand by ourselves and expect to survive. I really hate that I'm not allowed to pick what Shepard is saying. Apparently a lot of dialogue options were cut from the demo to save space, but the result doesn't represent what I expect from a Mass Effect game. Couldn't they have cut Character Creation instead? I certainly wouldn't have minded.

I think you set it to action mode.

DrWilhelm:

This whole gameplay sequence feels too quiet. Aside from the distant explosions, occasional set-pieces and the infrequent action sequences, there are long stretches where not a lot is happening in the audio department. Couldn't we have had some pulse-pounding background music, maybe some panicked radio chatter from the beleaguered defenders? At the very least that might have helped with the urgency problems.

You got me there. It may be a demo thing though.

DrWilhelm:

Ashley says over the radio that the Reapers are about to take down a dreadnought. We then see a Reaper blow up what looks to be a relatively small Alliance ship. Certainly it doesn't look much larger than the Normandy. In previous games dreadnoughts were described as being a kilometer long and incapable of generating a mass effect field strong enough allow entry into a planet's atmosphere.

Gotta love plot holes. It was most likely a "OH MY GOD LOOK AT WHAT THE REAPER CAN DO" thing for people who didn't play ME1.

DrWilhelm:

Why does Anderson want to stay ground side? He's too old to be worth much fighting on the front lines, while his high level of military and political experience makes him more valuable in an administration position. He should be taken to the Citadel in order to organise the other races, or otherwise taken to an Alliance millitary installation where he can rally and direct Earth's defenders. Is he still on the Citadel Council? I've heard some sources claim he resigned, but the demo never mentions his position.

If you chose Anderson he resigns after you blow up the relay. He is an admiral, James calls him by rank at the beginning. He is an experienced soldier, and reapers could likely jam coms so it would be good to have a high ranking officer around to rally the forces that are still on Earth.

DrWilhelm:

And that kid shows up again, and shortly thereafter gets vaporised by a Reaper. Again, an attempt at creating emotional impact, but again it fails because we have no reason to care about him. We barely know him. He had maybe three lines of bad dialogue. We don't even know his name for pity's sake.

A lot of people apparently found the scene to be some kind of masterpiece. I however agree with you.

DrWilhelm:

Why didn't the child-killing Reaper or any of the others in the area even try to shoot down the Normandy during that overly soppy sequence? It got the shuttles easily enough, and the Normandy was virtually stationary in front of it the whole time. Surely Harbinger has labelled Shepard and the Normandy as high priority targets after the events of the previous games. And why prioritise the civillian targets over the Normandy anyway? I thought the Reapers goal was to harvest organic life, especially humanity if Mass Effect 2 was any indication. I suspect that organics become significantly harder to harvest when they're reduced to so many vaporised particles drifting in the wind. The Reapers should be performing surgical strikes on millitary targets while limiting collateral damage. Instead it almost looks like they're doing the opposite.

Agreed again. But through exposition it is surmised that the reapers are just wrecking everything's shit at the same time. There are thousands of them after all.

DrWilhelm:

Okay well that grew into something rather more...thorough...than I'd intended, but I hope I got my feeling's across. I know some of those point's look rather nitpicky, but as they say, the devil is in the details. While I did enjoy the combat, I can't really say that I've got high hopes for the story quality after this.

Marketing is a bitch isn't it? They had to make the opening scene t.v. spot eye candy. The level on Ser'kesh revived my hopes however.

My Pros v cons of the demo:

Pros:
-Not 100% regenerating Health. The way it is done works well for me, and I enjoy it.
-No shared cooldown on abilities so far as I can tell. My one wish was for Charge and Nova to be able to be used in a combo sort of thing. They can. My life is complete.
-Music is great
-I picked up a weapons attachment. Instant +1 right there.
-Manoeuvrability on the battlefield. Being able to crawl around the same 1 bit of cover to outrun the Atlas is funny, but being able to roll and such is also quite nice (Even if roll detection is on a sugar high or something). Jumping and such also adds some more interesting stuff to the game itself beyond walking around a level. Yeah, its not much, but its novel the first couple of times.
-Levelling system is nice, though on PC not being able to double click to enter - or it having very bad double click detection if you can - is quite annoying.
-Some actual enemy variety. I'm talking beyond your basic heavy hitting high health, moderate hitting moderate health, low hitting low health, boss and melee/melee exploding enemy line up. Added some variety to the gameplay
-Melee is quite useful. Didn't find myself using the heavy melee much, but melee itself is useful enough.
-Child death handled well. Shown as a tragedy - more because you met and somewhat knew the kid, as opposed to they were a kid that died, and was used effectively to show how merciless the Reapers are, and how powerful they are.

Cons:
-Terrible lip sync. Terrible.
-Terrible animations and such in general.
-Not enough dialogue choices. I had to check to make sure Dialogue was enabled. I swear to god half the first mission was a non interactive cutscene. In the demo I think I talked 6 times, and went through at least 15 minutes of cutscenes - probably more. Seriously, I hope this is just a demo thing. If its not, I'll probably just turn action mode on and play it like it seems to be intended. Shepard's tone, responses, ect. seem to be fixed except for at a small number of points, as opposed to you choosing the majority of what he said in the previous games.
-Lack of proper tool-tips or descriptions, and general poor UI colouring. It took me a while to notice the red ring of intractability back-dropped against the semi-red colouring of the nearby area more than once. Even then, it had poor detection for me actually selecting it. Not only do you have to be out of cover first, but half the time it would decide that you wanted to re-enter cover instead of using whatever was there to be used. Bioware, I get consoles have limited buttons. With the PC, you have more than you could ever want. USE THEM (It is EXTREMELY annoying not being able to map sprint to shift, as I want use to be E. Makes me settle for everything as E, but I'm constantly hitting shift to sprint instead)
-New voice actor for Mordin. Even though its not greatly noticeable, I can still tell a difference, and my mind interprets it as wrong, as it has already established Mordin's voice, and this is not it (Very close, I'm being pedantic on it, but to me it just feels very wrong).
-I did not see Joker. If that... thing talking to you on your way to the surface in the beginning of the second mission is Joker... I am going to murder whoever had the great idea to do that to him.
-Vega is a tool. Absolutely 0 personality. Seems to live to serve Shepard.
-Too short overall to get a proper indication of all aspects of the game. A couple of short missions filled with cutscenes really isn't the sort of Demo I'd have expected. I wanted Interrupts, I wanted choices, I wanted to see the weapon's crafting mechanic at work, I wanted to see more than simply Vega, Ashley, Garrus, Wrex, Liara, Anderson, Mordin and Kirrahe. Now, that might sound like a lot, but remember this is two separate missions, with different Squad Mates, and the majority of these people were simply in a cutscene. Really, it was almost complete, but some more of the Normandy crew would have been nice. Meetings with some of them were also... Awkward for me. The run in with Ash felt Awkward for me due to the way I viewed my character, and a lack of way to express it in the long cutscene shown at the start of the game. He didn't even say hi, and that does not work for me.

I personally don't see how that boy dying wasn't common knowledge. I don't browse Bioware Forums, am not subscribed to any Newsfeeds or anything related to ME3, didn't read the spoilers - and even I knew his ship got blown up. Handled well though, as said above.

Anyways, that's my impression of the demo. Not changed my mind on it, and I will still be getting it, but was interesting to play through.

a couple of spoiler tags about the boy wouldn't have gone a miss here people.
Yet to play the demo, and something that seems to have had a deep impact on you is now totally expected by the rest of us who are yet to play it. Basically destroying what that moment could have been for us.

DrWilhelm:
Aside from the combat, which has been greatly improved (aside from the over-burdened spacebar), I've got to say that I'm extremely disapointed. The intro just feels very weak.

[...]

Okay well that grew into something rather more...thorough...than I'd intended, but I hope I got my feeling's across. I know some of those point's look rather nitpicky, but as they say, the devil is in the details. While I did enjoy the combat, I can't really say that I've got high hopes for the story quality after this.

Just to say thanks for the elaborate thoughts and that you really wrote everything I would write about the demo.

ESPECAILLY with the Child issue, where I think endtherapture is on to something, hopefully!

endtherapture:

Ethan Isaacs:

endtherapture:
I really enjoyed the demo. More tactical than ME2, more intense than ME1, it was perhaps the perfect fusion between the two games. I was really pleasantly surprised.

It also left a really deep emotional impact on me I dunno I wanted to cry at one point in the game.

I dont think that boy was real.

Reason 1 when he climbed onto the ship no one helped him not even the soliders, now I think its a little odd no one noticed him at all or interacted with him.

Reason 2 when you meet him he vanishes as soon as you look away.

Reason 3 the distance he would have to cross would be too much for him to handle

I said that later in the thread, also Anderson didn't seem to notice him either.

erttheking:
I'm enjoying it, though the multiplayer has it's foot jammed firmly up my rear, even on bronze I keep getting my ass kicked.

It's actually refreshing this way. You have to work together if you plan to get anything done. If you have four lone wolves, you will get your face smashed in.

And I do love me some teamplay.

DrWilhelm:
Snip

You know, the point of a demo is to entice you to get the full game. Not to answer any and all questions you might have.

I thought I'd clarify since you seem to be confused about a demo's purpose.

Frozengale:
Also Cerberus.... wtf... why are they trying to stop the saving of the Universe. I'm sorry Bioware you won't be able to explain that one away very well I'm sure.

In the books, the Illusive Man has been toying with Reaper tech for a while, installing it into living subjects so they can be manipulated by the Reapers and then be observed so that Cerberus can "counteract" it. It's possible the Reapers are indoctrinating the Illusive Man and members of Cerberus subtley purely from them having this technology.

It's not too impossible to pull off. Also, everyone asks about the Illusive Man's eyes. Just what is he?

Maybe Cerberus are using Reaper tech to "improve" themselves and therefore making themselves a back door for the Reapers to possess them. They are obsessed with improving humanity afterall...

I think Ashley looks so much like Miranda that its ridiculous them being different characters now.

AD-Stu:
Thoughts on some of your points below:

I'm assuming this isn't the complete intro to the game and there'll at least be a cinematic or some other section explaining how we got from Arrival to here that covers all this stuff - just like there was in ME2. Keep in mind too that not everything needs to be spelled out in explicit terms right at the start.

Oh no, I get that not everything needs to be obvious, but I feel like the player is being distracted with too many unnecessary questions. It's compounded by the failure (in my opinion; I know how subjective all this is) of the in medias res effect, whereas if the opening had a more leisurely pace, giving us more time to be filled in, that would likely have been less of an issue.

AD-Stu:
Maybe she always wanted to look this way, but it's only since she's been promoted to Spectre that she's had the freedom to do so? Plus we're talking about the franchise that gave us Miranda and Jack in ME2, so this is hardly a surprise.

It's interesting that I never really got that vibe from Jack. Miranda was odd certainly, though it makes a little more sense if her usual job involved a lot of intimidation and manipulation. Jack though felt to me like a classic punk rebel. Everything about her was an overt statement, and her clothes or lack thereof were part of that. It helps that I didn't see her as particularly sexy anyway, and that to me her tatoos covered enough skin to have the same effect as clothing.

I hadn't realised that Ashley was a Spectre now though, which does make her new look easier to buy. I still think it's an odd change to her characterisation, and I hope it's addressed in the full game.

AD-Stu:
I think it's fair for Bioware to rely on our innate attachment to Earth as humans when it comes to emotional investment - after all, it's not like anyone will be playing this game thinking "Huh - sucks to be Earth, but it's not my planet". Plus we've known since day dot with this game that the Reapers are going to invade Earth, so putting the invasion off for too long would just be silly. Also, I suspect knowing it was going to happen is most likely the reason it lacked impact for you.

That's kind of what I was getting at. I feel that the whole invasion of Earth should have been kept under wraps, though I can see why they didn't from a marketing perspective. It would have been better if they'd chosen a more easily recognisable location. I'd assumed from the very first trailer that we'd be in London, which would have been very effective for me and my fellow Brits particularly, but instead we get what is too easily dismissed as genric sci-fi city number 274. It's a partly a personal thing I susepct, but a few trashed up famous landmarks would have gone a long way.

AD-Stu:
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... seriously, I can imagine soldiers in that univers coming to refer to heat sinks as ammo. It's always going to be something where they screwed with the canon for the sake of gameplay enhancement anyway, we may as well get over it.

This makes it easier to swallow I guess, though I still dislike it. But, assuming the time line in my head isn't way off, wasn't the discovery of mass effect made before Shepard's birth? I seem to recall that Anderson was fairly young at the start of the first book, though I never read more than the preview so I'm not sure on that. Has Shepard's generation ever actually had to deal with ammo in the same fashion as previous generations would have? Then again I think it's Anderson who first said "I'm out of ammo" in the demo. It's ultimately one of the the more nitpicky issues anyway.

AD-Stu:
No - if he was on the Council then he no longer is. The Retribution novel and Inquisition comic both refer to Udina as the human Councilor, and both are set after ME2. They don't explain how / when the change happened, wouldn't be surprised if there's some throwaway line to explain it in the game though. I mean, Anderson clearly hated the job...

I forgot that he isn't always the councilor. I think I only played a renegade Shepard once, and every other time I felt that Udina was too much of a jackass to let him have the position, so in my head Anderson is the councilor and Udina can go suck eggs. I cant say that I like how theres a canon decision here, it makes me feel like my own playthroughs are cheapened, though I guess the books might have been tricky to write otherwise. As you've said, your mileage may vary.

AD-Stu:
It's a kid. It had a life and a future and now it doesn't. Again, I don't think it's unfair for Bioware to expect that the majority of its audience will react in the desired way, regardless of the fact that we don't know its name - it probably works better if we don't know it, actually. I really think this is another case of Your Mileage Varying.

For me a fictional character has to earn my affection (or any emotion really, beyond loathing if it's a really annoying character) before I really give a damn about their fate. As a student writer it's too obvious to me that characters in games and books or what have you are just fictional constructs created to manipulate the readers emotions in some way. The author has to work to convince me they're real enough first, though a name and a quarter of a page of characterisation is often enough. I think that there was too much potential impact riding on the kid for Bioware to have, in my opinion, half assed the job. I've not really phrased this paragraph very well, but it's close.

ImmortalDrifter:

Book. "Mass Effect: Conviction"

When I read a Dresden Files book (to choose what is probably an awful example) I want to know that I'm going to understand what's going on if I haven't read the pen and paper RPG or watched the TV series. In my opinion ancillary works shouldn't be required reading to enjoy the primary work.

I imagine there will be an explanation for Vega's presence, but I reckon it should have been in the longer intro I'm convinced the game needs.

ImmortalDrifter:
It is an entire city, people could start running before they died. I mainly blame system limitations though. The cutscene where you fly away is much better at displaying the total scene.

I think if Shepard had been moved onto tight streets this would probably have worked better. There'd could have been more hectic action without overly stressing the system, while you'd still have the awesome spectacle of the Reapers smashing stuff up. And those Reapers really do steal the show in the intro. Most everything else might dissapoint, but boy are they cool.

ImmortalDrifter:
I think you set it to action mode.

Nah, I just expressed myself poorly. I did have it on role-play mode. I hate that I'm being given so very few choices, is more accurate.

The points that you two made which I didn't address are ones to which I feel are very much variable to your own personal preferences, or ones where I sort of agree, sort of don't, but elaborating wouldn't really add much to what is already a long post (yet another, yay logorrhea). Going to disapear now to try and catch some much needed sleep. Ah, the trials of the lesser insomniac.

I really liked the demo. My own little list of pros and cons:

Pros:
1. Weapon restrictions gone, I love it. I prefer someone with a bit of biotic punch, and I prefer having a sniper rifle, now I can do that I suppose.
2. Skill tree system. I was apparently one of the 5 people on earth who liked the change #2 made to skill tree and cooldown system, which favoured lavelling one skill fully as opposed to #1's favouring of taking one point in each skill and throwing everything at them as soon as cooldown was up. Now they have added some more debth without screwing that up, and I am relieved.
3. It's still Mass Effect, it still plays the same.

Cons:
1. Who the hell decided Ashley needed to be more like Miranda? We didn't like her because she was a xenophobe and whined, not because she didn't have enough cleavage. Bet she's gotten over her grandfather and her love for poetry as well now...
2. Not sure I like the rolling system. I keep diving here and there and it's unusual. I don't like change. I expect I won't mind at all a week after the game releases.
3. I hope they aren't gonna pull a Dragon Age 2 on us with moral choices. The demo showed little, but I hope that little kid was the last time that game gives us a choice of dialogue/action where the result is the same regardless.
4. FemShep. I get it, you want her "hotter" so you can use her to market the game, but at least give me the OPTION to play her with the look she's had for two games prior.

the27thvoice:
I
4. FemShep. I get it, you want her "hotter" so you can use her to market the game, but at least give me the OPTION to play her with the look she's had for two games prior.

yh it seems like they really improved the male creator (its now possible to make someone handsome). but the female... i used to be able to make some pretty attractive characters now when i tried it i could only make shit

also whats up with the reaper invasion? it seems like they just land with no fuss, no resistance fromt the humans or anything. yet they seem totally nerfed. remember the utter destruction only one of them unleashed in ME1? now they can bearly destroy a building

ps, to all those saying we cant judge it because its a demo, if we had said it was the best experience of all time you wouldnt be telling us its just a demo

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