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Mass Effect 3 (BioWare)


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#1 of 46 joshEH

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Posted January 23 2012 - 02:56 PM

What with the release date fast approaching for what increasingly looks to be an astoundingly-epic finish to an incredible trilogy of stories, y'all now have an official discussion thread. The premise of the third game, straight from BioWare:

Earth is burning. Striking from beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race. As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the Earth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtfJpa_feMw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJvrN6JijuU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q10u2SIQ4pw ...A Thresher Maw taking down a fucking Reaper. God help us all if they can deliver on even half the amount of "Holy Shit" that when off in my brain when that trailer aired. I'm wondering how the "race against time" will factor into my leisurely galaxy-exploration and FemShep/Alien "Red Shoe Diary" encounters? In Mass Effect 2, the story-missions leading up to the Omega Relay weren't too time-driven. The Normandy spent more time hunting down the Collectors than vice-versa. It's going to feel weird gathering Eezo with the Reapers tearing stuff up. (At least this time around, finding time to hit on Kelly Chambers isn't going to be a problem, since that chick is dead on account of my lazy, "I'll-save-the-universe-and-my-crew-when-I-get-around-to-it" ass.) What's amazing -- especially for Xbox 360 and PC players -- is the third game's incorporation of every single little gameplay-detail from the first two games; BioWare has even confirmed that decisions from all the way back in ME1 which had no impact on ME2 will finally be coming home to roost in ME3. To be fair, it's actually quite reasonable to expect everything major to pay off in the final game. Some assholes are going to be going up against the Reapers near enough alone, while I'm going to be smashing their stupid mecha-Cthulhu faces in with my RACHNI ARMADA.

"Pablo, please take Chet's corpse into the other room, and then fix Mr. Hallenbeck a drink."


#2 of 46 joshEH

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Posted February 09 2012 - 03:01 PM

Four brand-new, sweet-ass trailers: ...My "One-Handed" skill increased to 100 while watching those. Is that Kai Leng in Trailer #1?

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#3 of 46 dmiller68

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Posted February 09 2012 - 03:22 PM

This is my next game I have pre-ordered. I can't wait for it!


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#4 of 46 joshEH

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Posted February 09 2012 - 07:07 PM

Yeah, while I've played the first Mass Effect on PC, this one's gonna be on Xbox 360, since my very first Shepard save-data (the files I've been importing through ME1 and ME2, ever since November 2007) goes all the way back to that console. It's gonna be awesome to finally see the ending of my character's storyline. Also...over at Amazon, I've been watching everyone in the forums there fumbling around like a bunch of chooks, frantically trying to share info on other stores who *MIGHT* still have the Limited Collector's Edition available for pre-order. They're sold out of the Xbox 360 version, and too many folks waited until just now to finally decide to get up off their asses and order it. Jesus Christ in a smoking birchbark canoe, people. Amazon's only had this fucker up since June.

"Pablo, please take Chet's corpse into the other room, and then fix Mr. Hallenbeck a drink."


#5 of 46 dmiller68

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Posted February 10 2012 - 11:42 AM

yeah that is the version I have pre-ordered.


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#6 of 46 joshEH

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Posted February 14 2012 - 12:55 PM

You know, I totally completely forgot that the ME3 demo was out today... http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

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#7 of 46 Gary Seven

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Posted February 15 2012 - 03:53 AM

I too am interested in the game, however, I won't be able to get it for awhile.  I understand that it will use Kinect.  I would be curious to hear anyone's review of this, paricularly if you typically play with a surround system somewhat cranked.  With a loud soundtrack, will Kinect still function or do you have to scream for orders to be heard.  If I must use Kinect at the sacrifice of good sound, then I will forgo the Kinect.



#8 of 46 Morgan Jolley

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Posted February 15 2012 - 11:51 AM

Kinect calibrates itself to the sound system in your room and then uses sound-cancelling to ignore the sound coming from your speakers. That said, if you have a game blasting then it might get in the way of its functionality, though one has to wonder if you care that much about talking at a louder-than-average volume while also rattling the house with the sounds of sci-fi gunfire. There's info about how the game uses Kinect that came out yesterday or today from Microsoft, but I don't have access to it right away. Frankly, I think ME1 and 2 were allowed to be half-games because they were announced as a trilogy but I've been generally disappointed by the first two. The story of the first one only got interesting in the last 1/4 and the second one was "you died, assemble a team, invade" and not much else. The idea of doing things in the first game that affect the second and third sounds neat, but I'm afraid its going to be either too simple to be interesting or too unimportant to be worth waiting all this time for. I feel the ME universe is well suited to an MMO-style game, but honestly the story in the grand scheme of itself hasn't impressed me beyond the first one and I'm not sure if the third will have much more than "Earth is under attack, assemble a team, get it back." The action absolutely looks amazing, the graphics are top-notch, but what will this game do that many others haven't done, aside from wrapping it in a pseudo-action-RPG gameplay aesthetic?

#9 of 46 joshEH

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Posted February 17 2012 - 05:13 AM

Goddamn, the multiplayer is fun with a team of micced people. Setting up killzones, designating perimeter-defenders, having a group snipe from afar while a Sentinel and Vanguard tear shit up in the middle of things...insanely fun and addictive. Oh, and in that scenario? I'm the Vanguard. Because hiding behind cover while waiting for shield-recharge is for pussies and the Volus. "So Your Friend Is A Vanguard": A helpful guide for those who have never before encountered the blue berserkers.

"Pablo, please take Chet's corpse into the other room, and then fix Mr. Hallenbeck a drink."


#10 of 46 dmiller68

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Posted February 17 2012 - 03:00 PM

I'll have to try it out. I really play this game for SP though.


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#11 of 46 joshEH

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Posted February 20 2012 - 05:05 AM

I recently obtained a new headset, and have Gold access for the next couple of months -- if anyone wants to try out some "Galaxy At War" co-op, I'd be more than willing to posse up. Just caught that new "Take Earth Back" trailer last on The Walking Dead. It's ridiculous how pumped that got me for this baby. Two more weeks till my sweet, sexy N7 Collector's Edition enters my life, and all social recreation goes out the fucking window. Anyone else hoping for a Renegade, "Not-noticing-Ashley's-new-hairdo" option? (I kinda wish BioWare would fuck with everyone's heads, and let her introduce her new Hanar boyfriend in this game.) Everything I've read says you can certainly get the "best" ending from playing single-player only, simply by doing all the side-quests (why anybody skips side-quests in RPGs has long been a mystery to me). The multiplayer and iOS games will apparently just give you a leg up in the single-player campaign. Anyway, yeah, there's no need to fret over the "multiplayer = best ending" thing, because it's more likely been implemented to help first-time and/or Action Mode players have a chance of getting the "best" ending. Anyone importing their ME1/ME2 Shep and/or doing full RPG-mode and questing like a mofo has very little to worry about.

"Pablo, please take Chet's corpse into the other room, and then fix Mr. Hallenbeck a drink."


#12 of 46 joshEH

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Posted February 22 2012 - 11:21 AM

Here's a rather delicious spoiler regarding the race of the "From Ashes" DLC squadmate: [SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]It's a Prothean! Named "Vigil."[/SPOILER] Awwwwww...I wanted Melty-Face, Nuclear-Blasted Kaidan. It would be great if it was Kaidan, and you literally carried around a shoebox of his ashes with a crudely-drawn face on it. Some more spoilers: [SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]Supposedly, he's highly pissed off about his situation/predicament (last of his race, and all that), and is basically a Prothean version of Renegade Shep/Zaeed, going around being an awesome asshole to idiots and an all-'round badass.[/SPOILER] I kinda wish I had a ME2 save where only Zaeed is left alive. He'll hatefuck the Reapers into submission.

"Pablo, please take Chet's corpse into the other room, and then fix Mr. Hallenbeck a drink."


#13 of 46 Josh Dial

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Posted February 22 2012 - 06:02 PM

Mass Effect is the best new IP to come along in over a decade.  While each episode has had some major hits and a few misses, the series has stayed consistently-good throughout.  Very few games reward the player who is also a fan (if that makes sense) like Mass Effect does.


Plus, it's great to see a home-grown studio like Bioware succeed.  It's not easy doing what Muzyka and Zeschuk did, and in Alberta, to boot.


Major kudos.



#14 of 46 Ted Van Duyn

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Posted February 23 2012 - 02:07 AM

As a year and a half long Mass Effect fan (started with PS3 version, went PC two months ago), I'm kind of hesitant to show my excitement for Bioware's latest treatment of the Mass Effect universe. First and foremost, I'm a femshep who is pro paragon. I cannot play it any other way. I hate main characters who are jerks, and I'm bored with the over dominant male leading games we have out there. When I played the first Mass Effect game a month and a half ago, I started to see more of the flaws that were inherited in it's sequel. There was a large sense of scale in how the many cultures of the galaxy co-existed with one another, and how humanity was just entering the scene to soon joining the members of the council races. The game even teased the player into believing that Saren was out to destroy humanity because he hates humans, when the truth is far from that. When I mention ME2's flawed story, I am of course talking about the constant "humanity is under attack" drivel that Shepard is now dedicated to stopping. The tacked on "Humanity's cells are special" and that embarrassing TERMINATOR battle at the end just felt like EA wanted humanity to be the central focus of the Mass Effect universe when it's already been established that it wasn't. I know Shepard is human and the main character of the story, but no where in any of the games does it state that it was because Shepard was human that we are now able to fight the Reapers. The Turians, Assari, Krogan and even the Salarians all had a hand in defeating Sovereign's forces and eventually, Sovereign himself. Now onto ME3. My problems started out with the very first trailer showcasing a ruined london. Putting aside my views that the entire trailer felt like it belonged to some other game series like Resistance, Halo or any of the super popular war-games, I was content enough to let all of that slide since it's Mass Effect. It wasn't until the last line in the end "If Shepard doesn't bring help soon, there won't be an Earth left to save" that sealed the deal. My main problem with Mass Effect 3 is EARTH. Why Earth? In ME1 and ME2, Earth never played a role in anything. The only thing you could do with Earth was orbit it and learn that this is where humans originated from. You got to play around in Earth's moon more than you did Earth itself. And now, for the final installment of the Mass Effect series, we've gone from saving the galaxy, to saving humanity, to finally saving.... Earth. I know a lot about the workings of the Mass Effect galaxy, and I can honestly say that if my Shepard, Paragon though she may be had a button that would blow up the entire planet with every single Reaper on it, I wouldn't hesitate a minute. I am so sick and tired of "Earth is being invaded by aliens!" story lines, especially when the real danger is supposed to be all life in the whole freaking galaxy. Even after playing the single player demo, I'm still not convinced as to why Earth is so important. Hear me out. We have dozens of uninhabited planets that humans can thrive on, we have Bekenstein, a human controlled world in the Serpent Nebula (Where the Citadel is located) that houses millions of humans AND many genuine Earth artifacts, we have humans living on the Citadel, Noveria, Omega, Illium, and many other worlds. And these worlds have all sorts of aliens living and working together. Even the Krogan home world allows aliens to live there, even if most Krogan would not approve. What does Earth have? Humans, humans, humans and more humans. You would think that there would be at least ONE alien on the planet since their admission as a council race, but no. We're fighting for a planet that doesn't have any species diversity on it next to planets that do! Even the newest trailers showcase only the human characters fighting the Reapers with no alien aid to be seen. It's like Mass Effect, but without any of it's alien characters. This is a pretty non-epic way to showcase the grand finale installment of a galactic wide series. This doesn't mean I hate Earth, I just think having Earth be the center of everything was a bad idea. I want to help the Quanari take back or find a new home world, I want to fight along side the Turians, I want to help the Krogan with their genophage, I want to fight alongside the Salarians like I did on Virmire, I want to protect the Citadel and all it's inhabitants from the Reaper threat, I want to take back Omega for Aria, I want to destroy Cerberus, I want to see what a Volas looks like under those suits, I want to be a part of something more than just Earth. Earth is boring.

#15 of 46 Josh Dial

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Posted February 23 2012 - 05:45 AM

Ted,


For me, a major theme has been--from the beginning--humanity's place in the universe.  Yes, the game deals with other races, but often it's only to reinforce the concept that humans are a fledgling race, mere children in a universe of adult races.  Indeed, the very fact that--as you pointed out--Earth is virtually a homo-sapiens-only club (to mis-quote Star Trek VI), demonstrates just how naive and, well, ignorant, Humanity is of the grand scheme of things.


The present attack by the Reapers is jeopardizing all the progress Humanity has made in recent years.  This reinforces the above theme by acting as the backdrop for the ultimate question: can the saviour of the universe, despite all their flaws and ignorance, be human?


That all being said, I think you are over-stating the focus on Earth.  First, Earth is just "first stop" (more-or-less) in the Reapers' ultimate goal.  Why not stop them at stage one?  Second, most of the actual gameplay takes place off Earth, and indeed pursues many of the things you listed above (eg helping the Krogan with their "female problem").  Third, you aren't merely saving Earth  (if indeed you even can--who knows how it ends?), you are saving the universe.



#16 of 46 joshEH

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Posted February 23 2012 - 03:05 PM

This doesn't mean I hate Earth, I just think having Earth be the center of everything was a bad idea. I want to help the Quanari take back or find a new home world, I want to fight along side the Turians, I want to help the Krogan with their genophage, I want to fight alongside the Salarians like I did on Virmire, I want to protect the Citadel and all it's inhabitants from the Reaper threat, I want to take back Omega for Aria, I want to destroy Cerberus, I want to see what a Volas looks like under those suits, I want to be a part of something more than just Earth. Earth is boring.

Agreed with what The Other HTF Josh™ just said -- Earth is basically the focal-point of the marketing campaign, the "hook" to get new players interested (reportedly, something EA is pushing hard for with this particular title). It's not where the bulk of the game proper will take place. If you're trying to bring new gamers into the franchise, showing an Earth under attack is the perfect emotional angle...something relatively grounded and relatable.

Mass Effect is the best new IP to come along in over a decade. While each episode has had some major hits and a few misses, the series has stayed consistently-good throughout. Very few games reward the player who is also a fan (if that makes sense) like Mass Effect does. Plus, it's great to see a home-grown studio like Bioware succeed. It's not easy doing what Muzyka and Zeschuk did, and in Alberta, to boot. Major kudos.

Hear, hear. Mass Effect 2 set a mighty high bar for the third game to overcome, but if anyone can do it, it's these guys. (Or else it'll be a "fail" so epic, it'll bend back around the space-time continuum to its point of origin and still end up as pure "win.") Having played through ME2 twice now, I decided to get back with Liara at the end of "Shadow Broker" on my Insanity runthrough-- it gives the ending of that DLC a nicer feel. It's nothing plot-related, but felt good from a character standpoint. Having played my ManShep as an inveterate pussy-hound up to that point, the idea of going into ME3 as a one-woman man feels satisfying, character-wise. Well, maybe apart from the odd flirting-session with Kelly. He's a Spectre, not a monk.

"Pablo, please take Chet's corpse into the other room, and then fix Mr. Hallenbeck a drink."


#17 of 46 Ted Van Duyn

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Posted February 24 2012 - 02:23 AM

The present attack by the Reapers is jeopardizing all the progress Humanity has made in recent years.  This reinforces the above theme by acting as the backdrop for the ultimate question: can the saviour of the universe, despite all their flaws and ignorance, be human?

I can certainly see how that can play out in a game like this. Unfortunately, NONE OF THAT seems to be an issue with Shepard or any other human character seen thus far. The only focus so far, both in the game and the marketing, is that aliens have Earth and we need to take it back. This isn't about humanity being set back, this is just about humanity being the centralized victim with every other species survival being a secondary concern (Shepard even tells the female Krogan that she's vital to Earth's survival......). Those kids in the game's opening and trailers are an example on how focused this game is to Earth being the victim, and I hate pathos for the sake of pathos. Now, I'm not trying to boycott this release or cancel my pre-order (even though Origin is an inconvenience), I still want to see what this game has to offer.

Agreed with what The Other HTF Josh™ just said -- Earth is basically the focal-point of the marketing campaign, the "hook" to get new players interested (reportedly, something EA is pushing hard for with this particular title). It's not where the bulk of the game proper will take place. If you're trying to bring new gamers into the franchise, showing an Earth under attack is the perfect emotional angle...something relatively grounded and relatable.

Nothing wrong in trying to appeal to new gamers. I remember that laserdisc interview with James Cameron regarding ALIENS on how he wanted to make the sequel be a true continuation of Alien, but not be so dependent on it that it would leave newer audiences who haven't seen the first movie in the dark. That's not exactly what I'm getting from Bioware. There are dozens of interviews and quotes from the higher ups saying that Mass Effect 3 is the perfect starting point for the series. Really? I would argue that the perfect starting point starting point to the Mass Effect franchise is the original game! The fact that new gamers have to select who lived and who died from the previous games is really short changing the new gamers, like how I felt short changed when I had to make the same decision in the Genesis Comic for the PS3 version of ME2. Imagine if Peter Jackson said that Return of the King is a perfect entry point to the Lord of the Rings series where you didn't need to know what happened in the previous two movies/books. Stand by your games, man. They're good, they're cheap and they run great today!

#18 of 46 Ted Van Duyn

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Posted February 29 2012 - 02:16 PM

Oh, no....... I've been uh, researching things trying to see if my fears about Earth being such a big part in this game are unfounded and.... it's worse. It's much worse. It's worse in the sense that I WISH it was about just taking back the Earth. At least with a story like that there's some chance of .... well, Vague Spoiler [SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]You know how Bioware said this was the last part in the Mass Effect universe? Well, they meant it. And not in a way where it's like "Oh, any doors left open?" or "Do the characters hang up their hats that leaves the door open for other characters venture out?". Nope. They are sealing the deal with this game.[/SPOILER] Detailed Vague Spoiler [SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]Let me give you an example on how Bioware is treating ME3 as the last game in the series. Say there is a circus you really like. The Circus has announced that this will be their last show. It's not because they're not making a profit, it's not because they've run out of idesa, and it's not because they've been getting bad reviews. They just want to end this part of their work. Very understandable. So with all the hype and excitement going towards this final performance, you'd think they're going to give it their absolute best with what they've got. Well, telling everyone that this will be their last show isn't enough. During the final act of the show, every one of the performers gather all the material from the show like the set pieces, costumes, props, tools and everything that makes this show what it is, and burn it all in front of the crowd. They are literally destroying the very things that would keep this performance going just to emphasize that this is their last show.[/SPOILER] REAL SPOILER!!! [SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!]Basically, the ending will involve the total destruction of every piece of Reaper technology in the galaxy. The Citadel, the Mass Relays and the ability to use Mass Effect Fields (No more biotics). All gone. Many colonies around the galaxy that depended on the Mass Relays for shipments of food and supplies are now doomed to die. Families and friends who are at different parts of the galaxy will never see each other again. As for the Normandy and her crew, well. The ship gets shot somewhere out into the unknown with no hope of getting home. This is how a series ends. By making sure everything that made the universe work is destroyed beyond repair so that it cannot possibly have a follow up. And the real downer? This is the *GOOD* ending. [/SPOILER] So if you have many saved Shepards waiting to go through the grand conclusion of Mass Effect 3, start with the one you're most attached to. Chances are, you won't have any interest in doing it again.

#19 of 46 joshEH

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Posted March 01 2012 - 02:42 PM

Believe it or not, I actually sorta like those (Debbie Downer) ending-elements, and just the simple fact that they actually exist. In this day and age of endless corporate-milked sequels, it would take some real brass balls to convince a company like EA to permanently end a major, moneymaking franchise like this. A willingness to close it all out with a literal bang would pretty much cement the artistic-cred of the studio in the public's eyes. The BioWare developers figuratively burning their ships on the beach like Cortez would send a hell of a message to the rest of the gaming industry -- no turning back, onward to new challenges, etc. Which doesn't rule out side-quel type games, of course. I call ten months as the "over/under" before we see an "Adventures of Blasto: Hanar Spectre" spinoff title.

"Pablo, please take Chet's corpse into the other room, and then fix Mr. Hallenbeck a drink."


#20 of 46 Ted Van Duyn

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Posted March 01 2012 - 09:45 PM

Believe it or not, I actually sorta like those (Debbie Downer) ending-elements, and just the simple fact that they actually exist. In this day and age of endless corporate-milked sequels, it would take some real brass balls to convince a company like EA to permanently end a major, moneymaking franchise like this. A willingness to close it all out with a literal bang would pretty much cement the artistic-cred of the studio in the public's eyes.

I'm not about to praise Bioware for doing something for the sake of doing it. Whats bothering a lot of players out there is that this ending is being forced on them. Kind of like what happened with Dragon Age II. No matter which path you took, who's side you picked, it all ends with the same exact results. Now compare that to Mass Effect 2 where you can have all your squad mates killed including Shepard on the suicide mission with the Collector's Base in the hands of Cerberus. Too dark? Well, if your Shepard makes the right choices, you can save everyone and destroy the collector base to prevent Cerberus from potentially using it against the races of the galaxy. See how big of a difference there is between the two endings? Now here we are, playing a Mass Effect game where the choices can have much broader consequences since there won't be any need to follow any of it up with the next game, and the route they're going to go with.... is the Dragon Age II ending. Nothing you do will matter because it will all lead to the same result.

The BioWare developers figuratively burning their ships on the beach like Cortez would send a hell of a message to the rest of the gaming industry -- no turning back, onward to new challenges, etc.

Because nothing spells out new and bold challenges like.... Command & Conquer Generals 2....




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