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ShaunKL

Mass Effect 3

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:doh: My bad

That said, I am firmly of the mind that 2 is a better game in almost all aspects. Just don't make my mistake the first time and buy everything in the stores right away. If you work at it, you can get a discount at nearly all of them. Second, money is very limited in Mass Effect 2. You will want to keep any eye on what you're buying.

Also, if you get any DLC, get Lair of the Shadow Broker and Arrival. Most of the DLC mission packs are pretty good this time around.

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Sweet; thanks for the advice. Yeah, I downloaded the ME2 demo and played it for about 5 seconds before deciding it was ten times better than the first; I'm about to head off to Gamestop to buy it. I decided to get it on PS3 after looking over a list of ME1 choices they allow you to make, and figuring that was plenty good enough for me. Also, I only have the 4GB 360, so all the DLC wouldn't fit on my console (and the PS3 version comes with Lair of the Shadow Broker, so yay).

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I just finished 3.

...what... ...I... what?

That probably goes down as one of the biggest WTF endings of all time.

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Bioware's basically already said, in vague terms, that they may have dropped the ball, and that they're going to do something pretty big DLC-wise to make it right with their fans. This kind of thing won't help.

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I've just started ME3. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I don't know what the ending is, and I hear it's caused some fans to lose their shit.

Like, to REALLY lose their shit.

I don't get this. I get being disappointed in how a beloved property develops to the point of becoming enraged. (Hi. I'm a Star Wars fan since the age of 3.) The sense of outrageous fucking entitlement absolutely astonishes me, however.

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(I'll completely avoid spoilers here; don't worry)

I'd have agreed with you before I reached the ending myself. I'm all for embracing works of art even if 99% of the populous hates them. I like the Star Wars prequels, after all. I'm a glass half full guy. But this isn't simply a case of fans feeling entitled to what they'd imagined in their heads beforehand; this is a case of Bioware creating an ending that doesn't fit at all with the narrative they crafted over the entire series, nor does it give any sense of closure to 90% of the characters and universe in general. In fact, it just introduces a billion questions that don't even make sense.

It was apparently meant to be an open-to-interpretation ending, but it comes off as a pretentious art-for-the-sake-of-art ending that causes more confusion than meaningful thought. Furthermore, it seems to contradict major things you've learned about the Mass Effect universe, both philosophically and factually. To be fair, the ending might actually work alright as is if not for the fact that the first 99% of Mass Effect 3 (to say nothing of the previous two games) is spent giving the player an extremely strong emotional connection to the plight of Earth, the various characters, etc. Honestly, towards the end of ME3 I felt more emotionally involved in it than in any other game I've played in years, maybe ever. But the final minutes of the game ask you to ignore all of the connections you've made. And like I said, you never get any closure whatsoever for 90% of the characters and universe. I had a friend of mine ask me a ton of questions about the game yesterday. "What happens to character X?!" "What happens to plot device B?!" And I honestly answered, "I have no idea." And not in the good way, where I'm left with curiosity about the future of the story. I'm just confused, because several major things happen in the ending that go unexplained. For a day or two after I'd finished it, I felt like I couldn't even look at anything Mass Effect-related because it just felt too devastating. At this point, nearly a week after I finished the game, I've come to terms with it, but objectively I do think that the ending was severely mishandled.

A very loose analogy would be if you dated a girl for three years, fell in love with her, got to know her family, got engaged, and then on your wedding day she randomly kicks you in the junk and runs away without explanation, never to be seen again. Sure, it'd be a dramatic twist, but that wouldn't make it good.

Saying "it's art and it can be whatever the artist wants it to be" is fine, but at some point player satisfaction has to become a factor. And with Mass Effect, Bioware has always emphasized that "this is YOUR story." The fact that they've actually made statements here and there insisting that they're taking feedback on the ending into account (even going so far as to ask the fans on the forums to politely compile their ideas for alterations or DLC into easily-readable posts for collection into Bioware's statistical database) is evidence enough that even they acknowledge they may have made a misstep in their execution. That acknowledgement is enough to make me feel happy (or at least hopeful) for the future of ME3, so I'm satisfied with things as they are for the time being. But still, don't look down on the ME fanbase for being livid. This time it's somewhat justified.

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I kinda prepared myself for some major bullshit when I (very minor spoiler) killed the Council in the first Mass Effect and they just completely ignored that decision within the first five minutes of ME3.

That said, I plan to have the game finished this week, and I'll finally be able to see what all the fuss is about and comment on it.

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I kinda prepared myself for some major bullshit when I (very minor spoiler) killed the Council in the first Mass Effect and they just completely ignored that decision within the first five minutes of ME3.

The council has been re-appointed since ME2. Unless you're saying they were the exact same characters?

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A note from Bioware on future content (spoiler-free):

(important sections bolded)

To Mass Effect 3 players, from Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare

As co-founder and GM of BioWare, I’m very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we’ve yet created. So, it’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations. Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.

I believe passionately that games are an art form, and that the power of our medium flows from our audience, who are deeply involved in how the story unfolds, and who have the uncontested right to provide constructive criticism. At the same time, I also believe in and support the artistic choices made by the development team. The team and I have been thinking hard about how to best address the comments on ME3’s endings from players, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the game.

Mass Effect 3 concludes a trilogy with so much player control and ownership of the story that it was hard for us to predict the range of emotions players would feel when they finished playing through it. The journey you undertake in Mass Effect provokes an intense range of highly personal emotions in the player; even so, the passionate reaction of some of our most loyal players to the current endings in Mass Effect 3 is something that has genuinely surprised us. This is an issue we care about deeply, and we will respond to it in a fair and timely way. We’re already working hard to do that.

To that end, since the game launched, the team has been poring over everything they can find about reactions to the game – industry press, forums, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few. The Mass Effect team, like other teams across the BioWare Label within EA, consists of passionate people who work hard for the love of creating experiences that excite and delight our fans. I’m honored to work with them because they have the courage and strength to respond to constructive feedback.

Building on their research, Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. You’ll hear more on this in April. We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received. This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.

The reaction to the release of Mass Effect 3 has been unprecedented. On one hand, some of our loyal fans are passionately expressing their displeasure about how their game concluded; we care about this feedback, and we’re planning to directly address it. However, most folks appear to agree that the game as a whole is exceptional, with more than 75 critics giving it a perfect review score and a review average in the mid-90s. Net, I’m proud of the team, but we can and must always strive to do better.

Some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles, such as seeking more clarity to questions or looking for more closure, for example – has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive. We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary.

If you are a Mass Effect fan and have input for the team – we respect your opinion and want to hear it. We’re committed to address your constructive feedback as best we can. In return, I’d ask that you help us do that by supporting what I truly believe is the best game BioWare has yet crafted. I urge you to do your own research: play the game, finish it and tell us what you think. Tell your friends if you feel it’s a good game as a whole. Trust that we are doing our damndest, as always, to address your feedback. As artists, we care about our fans deeply and we appreciate your support.

Thank you for your feedback – we are listening.

Ray

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I'm very impressed with Bioware and their handling of all this. They seem genuinely sympathetic to the fans who have "legitimate" problems, but are pretty clear that they're not in any way tolerant of the dickbags who are being stupid.

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Hmm. That sorta ended exactly the way I expected it to.

For the record, I expected it to end horribly.

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More now that I've slept on it.

I knew within the first ten minutes of the game that two things were going to happen.

1) Shepard was going to die, no matter what I did, Paragon or Renegade (different endings, LOL).

2) There was going to be some Matrix architect bullshit at the end. Writers can't help themselves.

There were just way too many flaws in the execution. At the end of the game, you only have three options, which are all the same option, with the exception of different coloured lights. There is no reason there shouldn't be an ending where Shepard said "look, Starchild, your circular logic not only spits in the face of ME1, but I got the fucking Geth and the Quarians to live in peace. Fuck off, I'm just going to shut the Reapers down. I'm not going to turn myself into the Lawnmower Man, I'm just going to shut them down and prove you wrong."

The thing that bothered me the most was the destruction of the mass relays.

- Without the mass relays, everyone in the final battle, all of those races you worked so hard to unite, they're stranded on a charred Earth that can't support them. Turians and Quarians can't even eat human food, so they're all going to starve to death. All of them.

- It was established in the ME2 Arrival DLC that destroying ONE mass relay would destroy a galaxy.

- All of Shepard's crew are fucked, stranded on that island planet forever. Tali will never have her home on Rannoch, Garrus will never see his family, EDI is either dead or will be when the Normandy goes up.

I'm really interested to see how the damage control goes next month.

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Actually, there is a way to have Shepard survive the end. You have to not kill the Illusive Man when he's trying to kill Anderson (but then kill him literally one second later AFTER he kills Anderson), or, alternately, use full 100% Paragon or Renegade to Charm/Intimidate IM into killing himself before that even happens.

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Yeah, I got the 'takes half a breath then cut away' thing. That's just them being non-committal about it. Dude is dead.

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That makes me wonder. So they already introduced the idea that Shepard as he is now may be a VI or a clone of the original Shepard. Maybe if they do more story content post-ending, they'll introduce a clone Shep unless you had him survive, in which case it's still the original version.

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