Lots of people are excited for Mass Effect 3. As am I. But, lots of people were also excited for Mass Effect 2. That didn't stop thousands of gamers from complaining about it.
"It's no longer an RPG."
"EA is screwing over what little magic Bioware still has."
I sort of shrugged off statements like these. Personally, Mass Effect 2 improved on many things. The combat felt way more engaging and polished, I really liked all the new characters (even the, surprisingly, much-hated Jacob), I enjoyed the side activities much more (including the loyalty missions which were all awesome) and it was just a much longer game. One of my big gripes with Mass Effect was that the main campaign was way too short, especially for an RPG.
Now, Mass Effect 2 may've dumbed down the leveling up and loot system, but they were still there and people must be kidding themselves if those are the only two things they use to back up their "no longer an RPG" argument. I say again, those things are still there plus still plenty of customization for your character, choices to make that really matter, the dialogue options, the sidequests, commanding and customizing your squad, the non-linear environments to explore, all that. It's still very much an RPG.
Ask me to choose which game I'd rather play at the moment, I'll usually say Mass Effect 2.
But I did echo many of other gamers' disappointment in Dragon Age 2. Indeed. It felt really bland and the story.... "eh". Stripped down to a speck of it's former self. Of course, Dragon Age isn't made by the same team at Bioware as Mass Effect, but it proved that it was possible for Bioware to put out a game that was, while not bad, certainly less than impressive.
If Mass Effect 3 suffers the same fate, I won't know what to do with myself.
Hell, if Mass Effect 3 is anything but awesome, I'll be disappointed. Which kinda makes me sound like I'm just setting myself up to hate it's very existence, but it's true. Mass Effect 3 needs to be awesome. It's the final chapter in a, so far, very epic trilogy. It's the final battle. It needs to impress. I wouldn't of said the same thing about Mass Effect 2.
Is there anyone out there that's not a teency bit afraid of what might become of Mass Effect with it's third installment? Anyone? If you're thinking to yourself "Yeah, me you fool.", then I'd be hard-pressed to believe you.
Well, I'm a little afraid.
In fact, I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it.
So I did a little searching around YouTube, the Mass Effect Wiki and a few articles, trying to find some reassurance for my hype.
Reading up on the Mass Effect Wiki, without spoiling too much, it seems we'll be going to a lot of interesting places that are also appropriate to the story. The game will also apparently feature a bigger Normandy SR2, non-linear exploration "will be preserved" and the guy composing the game also composed Requiem for freakin' Dream.
A quick search for "Mass Effect 3 demo gameplay" on YouTube, naturally, brings up many results. A couple being the following videos:
The first one of which is demo footage, taken from a stream during E3, featuring an attack on a Geth base. It not only shows that we'll be seeing some more variety in the gameplay, but it's a great video to use to show off the improved sound design. Listen to that Reaper, listen to the weapons! I have a feeling many will be praising this game for it's excellent sound and not just because of the franchise's always fantastic soundtrack.
The second video is one that shows off the co-op MP. Which, surprisingly enough, looks to be a blast. And it feels far more than just a tacked-on gimmick as you'll being playing as other races finally and you'll even level up and improve your characters by class. This is a great incentive to keep playing ME3 for a long time because whatever level you completed ME2 on is the level you'll start at in ME3, effectively doing away with half the reason to start up a New Game+.
Finally, after playing the demo (which you should definitely try for yourself as well) and seeing the improved RPG elements (at least coming from ME2), improved shooter elements and some of the story sections, I can safely say I'll probably find ME3 to be pretty awesome.
I've learned over the last couple years that it's, usually, simply unrealistic to expect a game to be everything I want it to be. But, considering what I've seen so far... this is, more than likely, going to be a great game that I hope will maybe even satisfy those that were disappointed with Mass Effect 2.
Speaking of which, this is about where I tell you what I think will happen. What I see as the potential events that will follow Mass Effect 3's release.
Well, for starters, the nasty stuff.
There's no denying that people on the internet, as well as just people in general, love to complain. They will hold a mighty tight grudge on you, the developers, for tainting their precious game because, as the old saying goes, the internet never forgets. Exactly like an elephant. Is the internet an elephant?
Another old saying is that it's much easier to be negative rather than positive. I'm already seeing many complaints from various sites such as the game is all but completely "shooterized", the more tender moments are nothing but pure cheese, the characters don't feel right, etc.
I could spend some time addressing a few of these complaints, like the laughably stupid "shooterized" one, but that's not what I'm here to do.
As far as criticism goes, I predict (and I'm probably just being overly-optimistic here) gamers will say the story's conclusion, while slightly underwhelming and containing some cheesy as hell moments, was serviceable and, at times, incredibly epic. There also could've been a little more exploration and some more opportunities to pause the conversation to stare at Miranda's bum.
I honestly do feel most will be happy with the RPG elements. I mean, there's no denying that they're far better than what they were like in ME2, but there's no pleasing everyone. So, there's likely to be some, despite it all, still totally convinced that EA wants to ruin all that is great about Mass Effect and say that the game is still nothing but a "shooter with RPG elements" or even go as far as "a total shooter, hardly any RPG".
I'd say, personally, it's now a happy medium. An action RPG. BOOM!
Kinda like what Resident Evil: Revelations was for the Resident Evil franchise.
Finally, I'm sure more than a few will be very unhappy with the Vega character. As am I, at least for now. He's roided, dudebro soldier # 2. Nothing more. Also...
As far as praise, many will say the game's soundtrack is a good as always, the more in-depth RPG elements are very welcome after playing ME2 and that the presentation/acting was great despite the arguably underwhelming conclusion.
Finally, as strange as it may sound to some, many will applaud the MP for it's surprising amount of depth and polish. This is according to a very active forum I browse, fellow Dtoid'ers, people I've played with and, of course, myself. I love this damn MP and I would honestly buy the game just for it. The day I finally unlock the Quarian Infiltrator will be one of awesome, nerdy triumph.
Well, Dtoid'ers, what do you think?
Are we going to see a total fan backlash? Complete appraisal? A happy middle? And what are your thoughts on ME3 so far and just the ME franchise as a whole?