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General: Soap Box: Mass Effect 3 Part 1 - The 95%

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Mass Effect 3, the final installment of the epic BioWare trilogy originally started in 2007, has been in the news a lot these last several weeks with players rebelling against what is perceived as a poor ending. In the first of a two-part series, we examine the first 95% of Mass Effect 3 and whether or not it's actually a fun game. On Thursday, we'll take a look the controversy surrounding the final 5% and determine whether or not criticism is warranted. Played ME3? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

But the intervening month since ME3’s release has not been kind to EA and BioWare. A storm of protest erupted within days of the game’s release as players worked their way to the final and hoped for satisfyingly epic ending of the series only to find it lacking. BioWare and EA have had to go into full damage control mode and hunkered down behind the “artistic integrity” shield as the primary defense of the controversial ending.   If that isn’t enough, EA has been voted the “Worst Company in America”, numbers at least partially spiked by infuriated fans of ME 3 (and maybe even a few disgruntled SWTOR fans too). EA’s stocks continue a rocky path generally trending downward.

Read more of Suzie Ford's Soap Box: Mass Effect 3 Part 1 - The 95%.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • SunscourSunscour Grant, ALPosts: 153Member Uncommon

    Everyone has an opinion, what I am about to say is that.

    I did like the ending. I felt like my Alice Shepard did what she set out to.

    People died, people dissappeared, war is hell.

     

    Life is Short, Read a Book.

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sunscour

    Everyone has an opinion, what I am about to say is that.
    I did like the ending. I felt like my Alice Shepard did what she set out to.
    People died, people dissappeared, war is hell.
     

     Honestly, I don't have a problem with Shepard dying. But the way it was handled was bungled. Let's not even get started on the glaring issues with plot and more...well, wait until tomorrow's article. 11:00 a.m. ;)

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon

    Mass Effect 3 was a rush job. Nothing more, nothing less!

    The game is no doubt the shortest game of the three content wise.

    The animations / voice overs were also of a lesser quality compared to the first two games. Which is appaling... only adding to the rush job feel of the game.

    Eventho I was able to enjoy the first 95% of the game.... the ending was a downright insult. Felt extremely rushed!

    I don't need a "happy" ending... we knew how it was going to end.... but with such a rich universe.... all the lore and all the choices and decisions we made in the first two games! It was all for NOTHING!

    They could have come up with much much better endings, especially where the choices and decisions you made in the first two games actually MATTER!

    ME 3 endings are solely based on the amount of war assets you grind, also pretty much forcing people to grind insane amount of hours in Multiplayer to be able to get the best possible ending. Also something they said that would not be the case, that people were not forced to do multiplayer! Just another lie!

    And then lets not even talk about the whole Day 1 DLC, for EA to quickly cash grab another 10 bucks from people on top of the main game.

    A DLC that is pretty much obligatory for the Story/Lore people among us (like me), as you will otherwise miss out on a lot of background story/lore regarding the Proteans!

    All in all.... it's a downright shame that Mass Effect 3 is another victim of the ruthless EA money grab machine that needed to make unrealistic deadlines to get out of the door before EA's fiscal year ending!!

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Well said, JeroKane. Wait 'til tomorrow's article. :)

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • ConnmacartConnmacart OsloPosts: 681Member Uncommon

    I found a lot of the lesser quests to be poorly designed. 

    We will drop you in a very tiny area. Now fight your way to the other side through a massively overpopulated area to get whatever item you need and then fight your way back to the starting point.

    The citadel was a huge disappointment as it was way to small again. Being the third titlethey could have used parts of the previous 2 games to make a massive Citadel, but alas they went for extremely closed off Citadel again. The Hospital being extremely bad in my opinion. It's a hospital but it is the size of a medium sized house...

    The Squad AI seemed worse also. Any time I gave orders they went out of their way to go the long route to the target.

    I still enjoyed it for the most part, but not worth a grade above 8.

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    I didn't give it an actual number score but in my head, I was thinking 7.5 because of the cover system, side quests and too-limited dialog options. I gave them a LOT of credit for the Tuchanka, Rannoch and Paloven missions as well as the awesomeness that was the united fleets arriving into earth space. Gives me chills just thinking about it.

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • adam_noxadam_nox hays, KSPosts: 2,036Member Uncommon
    Anyone who likes the ending, or felt like it was done right, hasn't thought about it or read other people's criticisms, where it's a matter of FACTS on how inconsistent and illogical it is.
  • starstar Seattle, WAPosts: 1,101Member
    I loved everything about the game, up until the Catalyst theme started playing. I literally asked my computer 'wtf is this' repeatedly (while crying like a baby) during the speech.

    I don't/didn't mind aspects of the ending - Shepard dying I almost.... Like, but because it was tied with the whole green/blue/red bs, it only made me more angry. It she had just died with Anderson on the citadel while watching the Crucible fire, *that* would've been a near perfect ending, provided they scrapped
    A) the destruction of the relays
    B) the ditching of earth by the Normandy
    C) the grandfather and child discussing 'the Shepard legend'

    C in particular was a final slap in the face - the writers/devs/whatever didn't feel like an epilogue was needed, and felt the best way to end a series of this emotional weight, scope and personal/player investment was with a 'it was just a dream' line. That hurt. I cried again :/

    I don't think I've ever had a game make me cry this much, for both the raw beauty and heartbreak of some scenes (pretty much every scene on Rannoch with Tali) or just massive disappointment and anger at the last 15 minutes of the game.

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  • starstar Seattle, WAPosts: 1,101Member
    I just really wanted my Shepard to be able to return to earth, marry Kaidan and help the rebuilding effort :[

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  • Nadya3Nadya3 MadridPosts: 348Member

    i liked the game, right untill i got to the last 30, 20 minutes.

    i found the game, way too short.  way shorter than the previous ones.

    side quests were almost inexistent.  only 3 , mega short side quests, through out the entire game.

    War Assets,  nothing but a time sink.

    choices from previous games, etc,  meant nothing.

    bad quality textures.

    0 Exploring

    replayability 0.  pointless to play the game more than once. 

    way too many auto dialogs.  the whole game felt almost, like a movie.   player had very little controll, freedom over shepard.

     

     

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Oh believe me...this article is called THE 95% for a reason. Tomorrow's is called The 5%.

    This has been a labor of love for me. I have spent more happy hours in the ME universe than I dare admit to but every one of them has been fun and fulfilling.

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • ScorpionOneScorpionOne Mechanicville, NYPosts: 190Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Suzie_Ford

    Oh believe me...this article is called THE 95% for a reason. Tomorrow's is called The 5%.



    This has been a labor of love for me. I have spent more happy hours in the ME universe than I dare admit to but every one of them has been fun and fulfilling.


     

    Excellent, excellent article, Suzie.  I agree with you on this.

    -We are Harbinger-

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  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member
    Nice article.

    I agree completely. First 95% of ME3 was amazing/awesome in just about every way (except for a few issues with the cover system that were frustrating.)
  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    Nice article.

    I agree completely. First 95% of ME3 was amazing/awesome in just about every way (except for a few issues with the cover system that were frustrating.)

    I was killed more times than I care to count because of that f#$@$g cover system. >:(

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by ScorpionOne


    Originally posted by Suzie_Ford

    Oh believe me...this article is called THE 95% for a reason. Tomorrow's is called The 5%.



    This has been a labor of love for me. I have spent more happy hours in the ME universe than I dare admit to but every one of them has been fun and fulfilling.


     

    Excellent, excellent article, Suzie.  I agree with you on this.

    -We are Harbinger-

    *hugs* <3 to Harbinger. </p>

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • NethermancerNethermancer Toronto, ONPosts: 520Member

    Its okay to say that you liked the ending if you dont care about consistency and logic in your videogames. But anyone who takes there games a little to seriously (me) this ending was a huge let down.

    Playing: PO, EVE
    Waiting for: WoD
    Favourite MMOs: VG, EVE, FE and DDO
    Any person who expresses rage and loathing for an MMO is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

  • starstar Seattle, WAPosts: 1,101Member

    While 'I Was Lost Without You' was a heartstring tugger, nothing tops http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqTDh6wiTM8 (I'm Proud of You') for tears - the weight of the scene it accompanies... That and Vigil remain my two favorite pieces of music in the entire series.

    Any scene with Vigil = D':

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  • stragen001stragen001 ReadingPosts: 1,720Member

    Great article, well written and I agree with pretty much everything you said. We were all pissed off at the ending to ME3, but its not an MMO though. This article doesnt belong on this site. 

    Cluck Cluck, Gibber Gibber, My Old Mans A Mushroom

  • troublmakertroublmaker St. George''s, NFPosts: 337Member

    Originally posted by JeroKane

    Mass Effect 3 was a rush job. Nothing more, nothing less!

    The game is no doubt the shortest game of the three content wise.

    The animations / voice overs were also of a lesser quality compared to the first two games. Which is appaling... only adding to the rush job feel of the game.

    Eventho I was able to enjoy the first 95% of the game.... the ending was a downright insult. Felt extremely rushed!

    I don't need a "happy" ending... we knew how it was going to end.... but with such a rich universe.... all the lore and all the choices and decisions we made in the first two games! It was all for NOTHING!

    They could have come up with much much better endings, especially where the choices and decisions you made in the first two games actually MATTER!

    ME 3 endings are solely based on the amount of war assets you grind, also pretty much forcing people to grind insane amount of hours in Multiplayer to be able to get the best possible ending. Also something they said that would not be the case, that people were not forced to do multiplayer! Just another lie!

    And then lets not even talk about the whole Day 1 DLC, for EA to quickly cash grab another 10 bucks from people on top of the main game.

    A DLC that is pretty much obligatory for the Story/Lore people among us (like me), as you will otherwise miss out on a lot of background story/lore regarding the Proteans!

    All in all.... it's a downright shame that Mass Effect 3 is another victim of the ruthless EA money grab machine that needed to make unrealistic deadlines to get out of the door before EA's fiscal year ending!!




     

    Mass Effect 1 was 15 hours of play

    Mass Effect 2 was 30 hours of play

    Mass Effect 3 was 40 hours of play

    This is all without DLCs.  The Protheian DLC was not obligatory by any means.  People who downloaded it played it for 30 minutes and felt it really did not add anything to the plot that was essential.  People FELT like it would be a big deal... but it really wasn't.

    The problem with Mass Effect 3 is that Bioware promised a lot of stuff and eventually had to remove it from the game because it just did not work.

    The ending was fine.  This lies another main problem with trilogies, the last one will have a crappy ending guaranteed.

    Indianna Jones decides to settle down.

    Luke Skywalker tells his sister they're brother/sister

    John Connor locks himself in a bomb shelter and the world ends.

    Frodo goes to the land of elves.

    Rippley kills herself.

    Doc Brown starts a family

    Neo dies

    Spider-man forgives Sandman

    Wolverine becomes the head of the X-Men

    Ash wakes up as just a employee at S-Mart

    When you build up a completely epic first two parts it is really hard to end something when it is planned for just three parts.  If it is planned to go further all they have to do is leave tones of shit open and close off nothing.

    It is very common for trilogies to have very simple endings specifically designed so that fans can go back and look at why this happens.

    Website: http://www.thegameguru.me / YouTube:

  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member
    They had to destroy the mass relays so they can introduce a mass effect mmorpg that is set on one planet only. A lot easier to manage and no need to make "little planets" like in SWTOR. Didnt they bring most of the iconic races to the final battle also? There, we have now base for a mmo that features most iconic ME races, tech, etc, and it can be done in one planet only. ME Online: Teh crapped earth.



    Side note: I havent played the third game, so there might be a glitch in my theory, feel free to correct if so.
  • HurricanePipHurricanePip Sommerille, MAPosts: 167Member
    I've been trying to decide whether to actually buy the game despite the let down I know is coming or spend those $$ elsewhere (other games, books, etc).

    I actually never finished ME1. It felt, for lack of a better word, clunky to me. ME2 on the other hand was a lot of fun. It was a much smoother experience and the story was good enough that it kept the game moving along.

    As for ME3, I downloaded the demo, so I kinda of have an idea of what the author here was saying about the vistas. I did find myself panning the camera to take in the surrounding on more than one occasion. The story pieces from the demo didn't really resonate though. It just felt very flat. The combat was ok, but just felt like more of the same ... although the branching skill trees added a nice touch of depth to the character customization. As for the cover system, it didn't feel as smooth, but I don't know if it was a game problem or my fat fingers.

    I'm intrigued to read tomorrow's column. I wouldn't be sad or disappointed if the main character dies at the end, but ending the game as if it were a story being told from a grandfather to a grandchild doesn't make any sense. It sounds like they were trying to do something like AC maybe?

    If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.

  • dronfwardronfwar Shitty, DEPosts: 316Member

    Originally posted by Kuinn

    They had to destroy the mass relays so they can introduce a mass effect mmorpg that is set on one planet only. A lot easier to manage and no need to make "little planets" like in SWTOR. Didnt they bring most of the iconic races to the final battle also? There, we have now base for a mmo that features most iconic ME races, tech, etc, and it can be done in one planet only. ME Online: Teh crapped earth. Side note: I havent played the third game, so there might be a glitch in my theory, feel free to correct if so.

    That's right so far, but you got the title wrong. It's going to be called 

    (M)ass Shi(f)t

  • zhivikzhivik SofiaPosts: 38Member

    I'll limit myself only to the first 95% of the game, as I think there will be quite a lot of heated argument on the last 5%. Just so you know, there will be some spoilers, so don't read if you haven't played the game yet.

    Overall, I'd say that the first 95% was a very good game, probably not an excellent one, but still worth your time. What I liked the most was the urgency of the story - you are deseparate in getting allies, you see how everything around you goes to ruin, and yet you make attempts to keep some semblance of peace. There were some small story snippets thrown around. For example, I loved when I got to spend time with Garrus shooting cannisters from a rooftop - despite all the grief, sorrow and fear around - it was a perfect moment.

    The main missions were interesting, as well as the planet-wide missions - the subdivisions of the main plotline, where you are trying to rally more allies under your banner. To be fair, this looked very much like the approach of SWTOR - you have a main class quest (in ME3, the Reaper war mission), then you have planet-wide missions (in ME3 examples include curing the Krogans from the genophage, or uniting the Quarrians and the Geth), and then some side quests.

    And here I must point out one of the big disappointments - side missions. Initially, I liked the idea that you get a quest when you overhear some conversation - it was a nice touch, and certainly innovative. However, I got increasingly frustrated when I realised that most side missions are received this way, without even talking to people to get them. You still get some through your e-mail (don't remember what was called exactly), which is ok, but the rest is simply sloppy work.

    Furthermore, I was appalled to see the new mission organisation in the menu. Unexplicably, the Codex and the Mission Log are united into one screen. Thus, when you see there is a change, you don't know if you have a new mission or a changed objective, or simply a new Codex entry. Even worse, the main and side missions are not put separately, as in both ME1 and ME2, but at one place. Since you can get quite a few side missions by simply running around the Citadel, at one point I got about a dozen, and my main missions were burried in a very long list - thank God there was a "Priority:" tag in front.

    Regarding variety of enemies, this problem is directly related to mission design. In ME3, side missions are just attached, as if someone thought at the last minute - "Wait, we need to have some side missions!" I mean, most of them are simply attached to the main or planet missions, and you need to look around constantly, in order not to miss a mission objective (and there are no hints where the thing you need to fetch may be). Since the side missions are just attached to the more important ones, this explains quite well why you meet only Reaper husk varieties (with some notable exceptions, of course), and Cerberus troops. Speaking of the notable exception, though, I admit that my skin started to crawl every time I heard a Banshee scream - man, I hate these things. In ME1 and ME2, where you had true side missions, you got to fight quite a variety of enemies - criminal syndicates, mad scientists, pirates, etc. so it wasn't a surprise you get to meet all kinds of races and classes.

    Still, I must admit that I liked a lot most of the main missions. I may also outline the very last mission in London (before the last 5% of the game), which truly recreated the desolation of war, the urgency of imminent defeat, and the desperation of one more push against the enemy. This was a beautifully crafted mission, and I give Bioware that. It was also decently hard (I played at normal difficulty) - not too hard to throw you in despair, but certainly not as easy as 99% of the previous content, which was certainly a nice touch. By the way, I didn't feel that much the lack of a final boss, as the final confrontation before these notorious 5% of the game was actually quite an insane one - you get FOUR of those nasty Banshees (hope they never see the light of day again) and a bunch of whole other mobs, which really pushes you to the limit.

    At any rate, if the game was only these 95%, then I guess I would be entirely happy with it. The members of the Normandy crew were presented well, there were some memorable sights and scenes, and quite a few nice personal story arcs. Even though the game is far from being polished, it was a very good effort up to that point. I guess I'll ready myself for tomorrow, when the gates of hell are going to open here :)

  • StormwindXStormwindX LondonPosts: 168Member

    Originally posted by Suzie_Ford

    I didn't give it an actual number score but in my head, I was thinking 7.5 because of the cover system, side quests and too-limited dialog options. I gave them a LOT of credit for the Tuchanka, Rannoch and Paloven missions as well as the awesomeness that was the united fleets arriving into earth space. Gives me chills just thinking about it.

     

    Oh, good. I feel kind of relieved to learn that I wasn't the only one who thought the dialogue choices were a lot worse than in the previous titles.

     

    Now, really. I enjoyed the games, but failed to see what's so great about the story. Sure, Bioware managed to create a rich and expansive universe, with a lot of backstory, but the plot of the games themselves was... uninspiring to me, to say the least. It all felt like just another case of "you're THE CHOSEN ONE. Now go grab your gear, go gather up some friends and go save the world from the ANCIENT EVIL OF THE AGES WHO WILL DESTROY US ALL... in space".

     

    I'm thinking that maybe my years of writing and of literary criticism have made me a tad cynical?

  • Matticus75Matticus75 Posts: 396Member Uncommon

    Im 37 years old, and over the many years of gaming im not suprised

     

    I will say I am a Mass Effect fan, and you know I have not even bought the game

    I may get it when its has a all inclusive game of the year edition, or gold edition for $39.99

     

    :(

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