Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Video Games: What I Want to see in Mass Effect 3

I've been playing the Mass Effect series after I purchased Mass Effect and Mas Effect 2 in the 2010-2011 Steam Holiday Sale. So far I have not downloaded any content beyond the original game and have not played any difficulty other than normal. I've played through Mass Effect twice with a soldier and an infiltrator and I'm currently in the process of a second playthrough with the soldier. I've taken the same two characters through Mass Effect 2. It's tempting to review the first two games, but since I'm probably going to get Mass Effect 3 I'm hoping that EA and Bioware will find the perfect balance.


So a lot of this stuff has been revealed already (seeing as the game is due for release in less than a year) and there's not too much for me to say here. I've read on IGN that they would appreciate being able to fly the Normandy. Honestly I think the Normandy is best left in Joker's capable hands, but it would be cool to experience futuristic dog fights in atmospheric fighter craft (although the Normandy is hardly big enough to carry more than a few such craft).

I'll be honest, the Mako was a little irritating, but overall I loved the exploration on the first Mass Effect way more than the second. Being able to drive through valleys, plains, and mountains with the Mako made each world seem so much larger. I also thought the inclusion of thresher maw nests was a great element and it always scared me pretty good when they popped up (before I began to recognize the warning signs). Overall, I'd just appreciate it if they found some way to make each world seem like an actual planet instead of one barren wasteland or one tiny mining camp. Perhaps the ability to jump to locations of significance on a single planet would work. I just miss the feel of Mass Effect 1; it made each world seem so much more expansive.

Story Mechanics
Bottom line: Don't screw it up. Mass Effect 3's story will literally make or break the franchise for me so it better be good. At least 20 different sorts of endings would be awesome, as long as there's some difference for the player to analyze. I was very glad to hear that Mass Effect 3 will feature team members and characters from both games as well as at least one new team member. There's really not much to say here that hasn't already been said.

Bring back the elevator sequences. For me, it was entertaining enough to watch stuff go on out the window while listening to your two squadmates talk about something. The news reports were less interesting and the scenery in Mass Effect could've been better, but I'm really counting on Mass Effect 3 to step it up in this department. I would also support getting rid of the planet mining system in Mass Effect 2 and simply reverting to the way gathering resources in Mass Effect worked. I also was a little irritated at having to fly the Normandy over the galaxy map instead of just mousing over each location although I don't see this is a big issue, just a matter of personal preference.

RPG vs. Combat Orientation
I would've put this under logistics, but there's too much here. While I enjoyed the combat in Mass Effect 2 to an extent (I thought it was better than Mass Effect), it certainly lacked the RPG element that made Mass Effect so addicting. Personally, I really don't mind flipping through inventory and selecting upgrades for each weapon. I admit the method for doing this in Mass Effect 1 is cumbersome in a lot of ways, but I liked it otherwise and I think making the RPG menu in Mass Effect 3 easier to navigate, but with the complexity of Mass Effect would go a long way. To summarize: the RPG genre is addictive, keep it complex, just make it easier to navigate and select.


I like Clint Mansell, but I'm really hoping he carries over a lot of the themes established in the first two games by Jack Wall. I own the soundtracks for Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and the additional atmospheric and combat albums for Mass Effect 2 and I'm pretty happy with how it sounds. Mansell should throw out some very epic music, but I'm hoping he'll continue to use a lot of electronic sounds, especially in combat. The track Legion in the Mass Effect 2 soundtrack was probably one of my favorites for combat and the mission aboard the dormant reaper was really enhanced because of it. Overall, I'm sure Mansell will deliver and I'm excited for the soundtrack's release.

I'm looking forward to this a lot. Any additional suggestions that I approve of will be added here.

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