Author Topic: Mass Effect: Discussion - Spoilers  (Read 21689 times)

Offline Jimi James

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Re: Mass Effect: Discussion - Spoilers
« Reply #125 on: March 12, 2012, 07:49:54 AM »
I've seen a lot of people online who didn't like the ending and felt it was completely out of nowhere.  I guess some people wanted a straight up showdown between the Reapers and the alliance you had assembled, though given how difficult one Reaper is to defeat and how many were at Earth, that seems somewhat unrealistic.  I've also read a lot of people are upset that not enough choices from the previous games carried over and it all came down to whether or not you destroyed the Collector base, though regardless of that you still end up having to choose one of three choices at the end.

I liked the ending, particularly the more sci-fi nature of it.  It felt more like something from Star Trek or Babylon 5, as opposed to Star Wars where it could have been just a straight up show down between good and evil.  Even with my ending of Sheppard dieing, I felt like it was a fitting end to the story, because it tied back to the beginning of the game when Sheppard tells the council that everyone has to be willing to give their lives.  That's who Sheppard is, or in my case was.

I will say though that the bit with the crew stuck on the planet was a bit strange, particularly the scene of the Normandy trying to out run the shockwave.  I'm not sure why that was needed and all in all, it didn't really offer the closure I was hoping for, so I'm hoping they do something with that in the DLC. 

Also, I'm interested in how they're going to continue in this universe now that all the ME Relays have been destroyed.  Even with FTL travel, the loss of the relays will make travel times significantly longer.

As for the multiplayer, I played for a couple hours a few nights ago, and it didn't raise my rating at all.  Maybe I didn't do well enough or progress far enough.  It still annoys me that it's tied to the single player.
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Offline Data007

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Re: Mass Effect: Discussion - Spoilers
« Reply #126 on: March 12, 2012, 02:07:01 PM »
Can you tell us what the navigation and resource aspect is like this time around? I've seen a couple screens, but I want an opinion from someone who's played the game.
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Offline Jimi James

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Re: Mass Effect: Discussion - Spoilers
« Reply #127 on: March 12, 2012, 04:11:42 PM »
Navigation is pretty much the same.  You still have to buy fuel for when you're cruising between systems, though you can also scavenge some fuel from various wrecks.  There is no mining for specific resources now though like in ME 2 in order to complete upgrades. (upgrades are simply purchased at various venders with credits and don't require any other involvement on your part, except to equip them to your weapons or armor.)  When you arrive in a system, you perform a general scan from space without having to go into orbit of the planet and perform detailed scans and launch probes.  If the planet has something you need, your sensors will pick it up automatically and you can then enter the more detailed scanning and probe launch minigame, though the searching function has been refined so that you're not blindly scanning the planet with no idea where the resources are.  You're scanner leads you in the direction where the resource is located in the same way that EDI would announce there was an Anomaly on some planets which led to some side quests.
 
The trick now is that the more you use the scanner within a solar system, the faster Reapers will be attracted to the solar system, eventually showing up in several ships.  When they arrive, you have to evade them by leaving the system through the ME Relay or going to another star system.  If they catch the Normandy, you die, though once you've fled the system, you can return later to finish scanning and picking up resources.  Resources found on planets via this method include fuel, credits, war assets, and relics which can be used to trade or complete various quests on the citadel.

It's a good improvement, overall.  It's really streamlined to the point you'll spend only a fraction of the time from the previous games looking for resources.  This was done I think to add to the overall drive of the main story.  Everything in the game, even the majority of the side quests and the resource gathering, is aimed at moving the main story forward and getting you to the final battle to retake Earth.  It's also meant I think to convey that you're not supposed to be hanging around wasting time while others are off fighting and dieing.  There's a sense of urgency to things that doesn't let you linger doing anything anywhere for too long before you're on to the next mission.

It work for the most part, but in a way to it makes it feel somewhat like a smaller game.  I felt it made the game feel more linear than any of the previous games.  There is still the ability to go where you please and do things in pretty much any order you want, but overall I felt it was much more clear I was being told a story and guided towards a specific ending.

On another note, there's now a petition to force Bioware to change the ending of the game. 
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Offline Data007

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Re: Mass Effect: Discussion - Spoilers
« Reply #128 on: March 12, 2012, 04:17:24 PM »
I'm not terribly dissuaded by the idea of making the plot seem more urgent this time around. Each of my playthroughs, I browsed through each and every system prior to doing the IFF mission, and basically strip mined every planet I could. That, however, didn't have the invasion hanging over my head like it does in this game. I'm also interested in seeing how the mechanics working out with the Reapers more or less following you when you trawl the galaxy.

Is the Citadel more of a hub this time around, compared to ME2? I wasn't terribly pleased that I had to go to all these little outlet depots to find the upgrades, as though I was constantly buying the last copy in existence.
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Offline Jimi James

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Re: Mass Effect: Discussion - Spoilers
« Reply #129 on: March 12, 2012, 10:18:10 PM »
Yeah, you can buy most of the upgrades either on the Citadel or in the launch bay of the Normandy.  There are a crazy amount of guns and upgrades to buy though and you'll also find guns (not sure about upgrades) spread throughout many of the levels.  It seems they really wanted to make up for the lack of guns and customization in ME 2, almost to the point of it being too much.  By the end of the game, I had five or six weapons for each type of weapon you can carry, all with upgrades.  Once I found a set I liked, I pretty much stayed with them and stopped buying new weapons and upgrades because keeping track of them all was getting to be a bit much.  I'd only change things up when I ran across a new weapon that I didn't have to buy and use it just long enough to test it out.

There are also more armor types that you can purchase or find in various levels.  By the end, I had a suit that was very reminiscent of a Halo Reach era Spartan armor, minus the helmet of course.

One little thing I liked as well in the Collectors Edition, is that EDI buys you an N7 hoodie as a welcome back gift, that you can wear when you're off duty and walking around the ship.  I thought it was sort of cool considering it's the same hoodie that Bioware sells.  I wore mine while playing ME3, just to enhance the overall experience.  8)
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Offline Jimi James

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Re: Mass Effect: Discussion - Spoilers
« Reply #130 on: March 13, 2012, 12:01:59 PM »
I'm beginning to see more and more people talk about how the ending we saw wasn't really what happened, but rather Shepard being Indoctrinated by the Reapers and your choices represent different levels of control.  If you choose synthesis then the Reapers win because you become apart of them, and if you choose control the Reapers win because it's not really you making the decision or something.  Either way is beneficial to the Reapers because it doesn't break the cycle and continues the war.  Destroying all synthetic life is the only way to actually win because it breaks the cycle and afterwards you see Shepard waking up on earth...if you get that ending.

Whatever the ending means, I think it's incomplete and hope/think they intend to do something tying it up with the DLC.
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Offline The Unbound

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Re: Mass Effect: Discussion - Spoilers
« Reply #131 on: March 16, 2012, 10:44:52 AM »
I'll give BioWare one thing: when they decide to end a trilogy, they don't mess around.

I liked the ending sequence when I played through it the first time. The way it dispensed with the usual way gameplay runs, and undercuts the expectation you will have after playing the second game, that the details of you preparations will have obvious effects in how it plays out. It ties up the mythology arc satisfactorily, although a few notable elements do seem to jump out from nowhere (I especially don't see how the point from the first game, that the Citadel had stopped responding to remote commands from the Reapers, ties in with what we now know about it). It's also a bit puzzling how everyone but Shepard gets written off as unworthy of further attention. I was especially puzzled by those three beats of Joker, Liara and Anderson right before the end, especially since that particular selection doesn't seem to have any bearing on the situation: one is already dead (in a satisfying and appropriate manner, I thought), one will show up later, and the fate of the last one is ambiguous. Although I like the shot of Liara quite a bit. Whoever did that did great work. It's only a shame the the in-game engine can't handle that level of facial expressiveness. (On a tangential note, the funniest moment in the game to me was when EDI remarks that she only forgets to recycle the ship's air when she comes across something truly interesting, the look of (I'm guessing) horror and dismay on Shepard's face reminded me of Sam, out of Sam and Max (the tall, brown one).) I guess that means that they succeeded in making me care about that character. Which is why it's so odd that the team are the ones whos' threads are left dangling. They were the ones with actual characterisation. Shepard was (to me, at least) not much more than a puppet. That's my only real problem with the ending (apart from being a bit dull in places the second time through).

It has dented my satisfaction somewhat going on the internet afterwards, and reading a detailed dissection of all of the possible outcomes, because it does reduce what felt at the time like a (mostly) natural end to the story I've seen unfold to a beancounter's view of getting these minor tweaks in response to the size of a specific number. It takes the natural feeling out of what I otherwise feel is an ingenious and effective form of storytelling. Looking back, I think I was happier not knowing what choices made differently could have led to what other outcomes. But there you are.

(This just reminded me of the holonovel/training scenario in one Voyager episode, which is kind of similar, although the Voyager crew are able to refrain from picking apart the plot tree in obsessive detail. But it has caused me to wonder what would happen if you pointed out a plot hole in a holonovel?)

I've noticed that this game is also being criticised for having the role-play element dumbed down, which I don't really understand. It seems to mainly center around there usually being only two responses ("good" and "bad") in a conversation, down from a monumental three in previous games. People seem to forget that the third option usually consisted of Shepard sidestepping an issue, or refusing to express an opinion. I don't recall it ever being different in a useful way. It is perhaps true that there's less opportunity to ask people about their culture or history or personal opinions, but ME3 is trying to convey a mood where there's not so much call for exploring the galaxy as there is for whipping it into line. I certainly felt that mood when walking about the Normandy. I'm not really seeing the dramatic drop in quality that people are shouting about on the 'net. I suspect that people are remembering a feeling of freedom in the first two games (the first one especially) that is no longer present. I don't recall the first two games offering any greater variety in conversation paths than this one. I do recall it having much less glitchy character animations. I've never seen people bounce around so much, twist their necks so far trying to look at you, or stand in so many tables after walking away after you've said goodbye. That's just inexcusable.

But I don't like the way the Galaxy map works. Didn't in the second game either (although the absence of the mineral scanning portion is a massive relief, especially when, like me, you're a bit compulsive about it, and just cannot let a planet with "good" or above written on it be, or a system with less than 100% written on it. It felt like a trap crafted specifically to get me to spend more time on the game than it was strictly speaking worth. I wound up with piles of minerals that I couldn't use for anything. I couldn't even sell them. Although I liked that they showed up in this game as a war asset). The way you're moving a model ship around a model galaxy just feels wrong, especially when, at the same time, your position is important for fuel consumption and (in this game) evading reapers or correctly placing scan pulses, and apparently not important in terms of flying around inside stars! I preferred the system from the first game, where I could at least pretend that all I did was give destinations, and then someone competent did the actual flying. Even if trying to find those little flashing things got very annoying very quickly. But that's just a personal little niggle.

I also miss the Mako sections. Although any environment that wasn't barren rock did wind up looking a bit disappointing (including the very standardised buildings you could run across), but they were fun, they did (oddly enough) give a sense of scale to the universe, and those environments that were varieties of barren rocks did wind up looking quite pretty.

Oh, and it bugs me immensely that the elevator claims that Purgatory is on a wards level, but you can clearly see the Presidium outside it. That's just thoughtless.
Steady on.