Posts Tagged ‘Mass Effect 3’

In the midst of finding a new job, preparing to move and dealing with the ins and outs of everyday life I haven’t had a ton of time for gaming lately. That’s sad because Mass Effect 3 is out and I’ve been dying to play it for a while. Actually, my wife has been wanting it worse than I have, and has subsequently declared the Xbox as her own. As a result, I’ve only put in about seven hours on the game, but I’ve been hearing grumblings all over the Internet about the ending. So here’s my two cents on the matter as someone who has loved this series for years but is nowhere near the end.

First off, understand that I DO NOT know how the game ends nor do I want to. Given the general outrage I can piece together what I expect is going to happen, but I’m not aware of specifics. Still, I assume it’s pretty bleak.

My thought on the matter is simply this; have you enjoyed the Mass Effect experience up until now? If so then shut up and enjoy the ride. This is one of the deepest, most nuanced and complex trilogies in modern gaming, with such rich lore and characters that I’m already planning to rerun the entire series at least one more time when I’m done to see some of the different ways things can work out. I’ve become invested in the game’s cast, even feeling bad when I had to break the heart of one former romantic interest in order to repair my relationship with another. I’ve spent countless hours talking to crew members and learning their histories, their hopes and their fears; I’ve struggled over choices in missions where neither outcome was particularly welcome but I was forced to make a tough call anyway. I’ve sent friends off to die and wondered down the line if I made the right call. In short, this is the first franchise that I’ve ever invested so heavily in and felt true ownership of MY story.

With all that in mind, I don’t believe my love for the franchise can be undone with an ending, regardless of what it may be. Yes, I want to stop the Reapers and see the Normandy and her crew land safely back on Earth to a heroes’ welcome. But I don’t expect that to happen, because it wouldn’t fit with the franchise. Mass Effect has always been about the struggle to survive against impossible odds. There have been sacrifices along the way, and I expect there will be more. The “happy ending” doesn’t fit here, it just can’t be that simple. As long as the races of the galaxy somehow hold on, I’m going to be okay, and that’s why I don’t care how Mass Effect ends.

Of course, if the Reapers win and everyone dies I’m going to be pissed, and will be right there railing against it all and demanding the ending be changed.


No, it's not on the list; yes, it will be reviewed.

Hey there folks! As you can see the poll has changed so it’s time to vote on the next batch of reviews! I’ll be announcing the second Broke Game review in a couple days, but for now you can start voting on what’s coming in March. Now, before you freak out and say “Hey, there’s no Mass Effect 3, on this poll! What sort of shoddy operation are you running?” Don’t! I’m already buying ME3 and will be reviewing it as well in March. Think of it as a sort of bonus for you all being so nice. Also, the answer to what sort of shoddy operation I’m running is simple… “very.”

Also, you’ll see that right now we have a big, fat goose egg in the donations tally, and if it stays that way then I can’t buy any games to review no matter how you vote. If you’ve donated before then I thank you and come to you hat in hand and humbly ask for you to chip in a few bucks again. If you’ve never contributed then quit your lollygagging and help out already would ya! Remember, the name of the site isn’t “Brad the Well-Funded Gamer,” so without your contributions I really can’t keep the reviews coming.

Alright, enough admonishment, get to voting!

My wife and I hate Valentine’s Day, mostly due to the fact that because of Christmas, birthdays, the Super Bowl and the like we’re really tired of going out and would rather just have a quiet evening at home. What made staying in truly worthwhile this year was the promise of the Mass Effect 3 demo, which we have both been eagerly awaiting. While she opted for a more traditional approach to the game I decided to take full advantage of the the Kinect offerings, because Microsoft promises the game is better that way and why on Earth would they be inclined to lie? So here are my unfiltered and unapproved views of voice commands for everything from dramatic dialogue reads, to combat, to opening doors.

The first several minutes of the Mass Effect 3 demo feature a lot of chatterboxes blabbering about how they’re probably all going to die instead of, you know, actual doing something useful about it. Thus, the very first time players are presented with the opportunity to use Kinect it’s to respond to a dialogue choice. Fully immersing myself in the experience, I read the line with as much dramatic flair as I could muster… and nothing happened. I tried again with the very weight of the universe in my three word response, but again there was no response. Finally, I gave in and read the line with no inflection whatsoever, as if I were back in 4th grade reading from the textbook when it was my turn, and the sensor finally registered. I proceeded through the rest of the conversations alternating between dramatic readings and straight reads with mixed results, but the whole time I could never shake the feeling that it just felt awkward. Randomly yelling a single non-curse word at my television seems strange, and the fact that my own voice is so different from that of Commander Shepard completely broke the sense of immersion. I think for dialogue I’ll go back to pressing buttons.

Things heat up in the second half of the demo as you finally get control of a full team in a combat situation, and it’s here where the Kinect controls shine. In one room a surge of enemies came through the door, and before they had time to fan out a yell of “Liara, Singularity!” sent a couple of them helplessly floating through the air as we ripped them to shreds with assault rifle rounds. Later on we came up against some hard-charging, heavily armored foes, but calling out Garrus to use his Concussive Shot stopped their forward charge and gave us the moment we needed to coordinate fire and bring the baddie down. Also, being able to run up to an enemy and scream “shotgun!” and then watch my character pull out a short-range death dealer was particularly satisfying, and now I foresee myself playing the game as some sort of crazed death-dealer, calling out the names of the weapons I’m going to use to obliterate foes. I wish I could see the look on their face when some unknown voice far in the distance lets out a cry of “sniper rifle!” and they spend the next few moments cowering in fear before the bullet rips their skull apart.

Oh, and you can also use the voice commands to open doors or activate terminals but really, why bother?

Though Kinect integration still felt bolted on for parts of the Mass Effect 3 demo, as a core piece of combat I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. If implementation into the full game is as smooth and enjoyable as the demo then I expect many entertaining (and loud) evenings ahead.