Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When epic games fail

Alright this blog post is going to be about video games, one in specific: Mass Effect 3. And warning there will be some slight spoilers! For those of you who aren't familiar with the series, here is a rundown:
Mass Effect is a RPG (Role-playing game) Shooter. You control the main character in 3rd person mode and are able to give basic commands to your squad. As you progress through the story your character levels up and gives you the ability to customize his/her skills and damage.

Now what makes Mass Effect so different from other RPG shooters, is that you can make certain choices during the story and it will affect the characters around you, the ending, but more importantly it will affect the story in the succeeding games in the series. That's right your choices actually make a difference. For example in ME1, there is a scenario where two of your squad mates are in danger and you have to choose which one to save.... the one that dies is dead in everyone of your games with that charcter through ME2 and ME3 (while for someone else the other character might be dead).

Truly an amazing game, that Mariko and I both love to play (it's probably Mariko's favorite game). We've spent hours making sure that our characters have made all the exact choices that we would want.... interestingly enough both our characters are near identical.

Here is the problem though, in the latest (and final) installment of the game they ruin all your choices. They take a game that used to have so many small ripples from all your choices and converted it into a generic ending that came in three colors!! You could tell that the designers had a specific idea of what they wanted to happen, and then they brutally forced the story onto that tracks regardless of the previous decisions made.... and sometimes with no reasonable explanation.

Hmm what color do I want to end with today?

Mariko was so disgusted with the ending, that she hasn't played it since finishing the game. And she wasn't the only one. The outcry from the gaming community was the largest I have ever seen! Some fans even calling for a boycott on what was once their most loved game series.

And Biowares reaction was surprising to many, but desired by everyone. They annouced that they would be releasing a a DLC (downloadable content) to better explain all the choices and ending... but not change it.  They have only announced that it would be release in the summer, but as of yet we have not seen this new info. We shall see if ME returns its love for the fans, or if things are bleak indeed for those of us that have invested so much time and thought in the game. Either way this event is not one that the gaming community will likely forget anytime soon... for better or worse.

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