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Mass Effect Andromeda


davejm
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**Takes deep breath*

The premise of 3 completely undermines everything the player achieved in ME1.

Cerberus are the worst, you fight them more than the Reapers, they field armies of millions during a war for the survival of the Galaxy, despite humanity being a small new power in the Galaxy. There's no consistent motivation to anything they do, they're all over the place because it's convenient - this is Gears of War level stuff from a company whose oeuvre is supposed to be storytelling.

Something that was key main story content was cut out and sold as Day 1 DLC.

They had no fucking idea what to do with the Reapers. Their dramatic weight as a looming apocalypse is completely wasted, they get nerfed so you can have an on-foot boss fight with them. They seemed to want to walk back the "they're biomechanical uploaded hive minds" thing from 2, and stick that as the heroic "Synthesis third-way", because they sure acted like a horde of Terminators and they really tried to dial down on the "organics vs synthetics" thing from ME1.

The game is about you building a literal Deus Ex Machina that Space Jesus comes out of.

...

They're making a Mass Effect film apparently, and I have no fucking clue how that's going to work when 3 is the only game where anything relevant happens now and that's the worst muddled mess that has no idea of what story it's actually telling or what theme the series is actually about.

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I loved ME3, but I'm not sure I want to play a sequel. I really loved the original ending, with all the relays being destroyed and the various races being marooned in their respective star systems until somebody works out how to build new ones. That idea - along with the rest of the ending that I really liked - seems to have been massively watered down by the outcry from the 'fans', to the extent that Bioware pretty much crowdsourced a new one.

They also seem to be crowdsourcing a sequel, and I don't really want to play a game that's been put together in order to please the largest percentage of self-identifying rabid Mass Effect TruFans - ME felt like a labour of love, with all the resultant weird, unpopular, bits that some people don't like. It felt like a game the developers absolutely had to make, rather than one they're putting out to mollify their shouty entitled stinkbeard fanbase and I don't really want to play that game, if for no other reason than it would probably contain a scene where Tali puts on some horrifying space lingerie or something equally creepy.

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I think you'd really struggle to blame the "fixing the relays" thing on the fans, if anything that shakeup of the status quo was actually welcomed and consistent with the whole "inherited technology is bad" motif from ME2.

I get the feeling that it was someone at the studio going, "oh fuck, we've basically created huge obstacles to future exploitation of this franchise, better walk that shit back".

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I think you'd really struggle to blame the "fixing the relays" thing on the fans, if anything that shakeup of the status quo was actually welcomed and consistent with the whole "inherited technology is bad" motif from ME2.

I get the feeling that it was someone at the studio going, "oh fuck, we've basically created huge obstacles to future exploitation of this franchise, better walk that shit back".

Whichever way round it happened, it was bad – especially the spin doctor-style “I think what the minister meant to say was that the relays were only damaged and that Vega subsequently died on the way back to his home planet”. I would say that the fanrage probably had something to do with it, because if they wanted to produce more games in the series they could have retconned it later on rather than doing it pretty much as they go, like one of those live episodes of The Bill they inexplicably do occasionally. And they could have done more games in the post-ME3 universe - they just would have been pretty different to the old ones, which again goes back to the idea of just pandering to the fans.

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Let's not forget that the entire galaxy's armada was essentially stranded at Earth. That's gonna be a hell of a problem to deal with.

The sort of problem that would make an excellent jumping-off point for a new Mass Effect game IMO. Setting a game 50, 100 years after The Cataclysm (or whatever they call the end of ME3), with the solar system groaning under the strain of a once-unified fleet breaking apart as starvation, infighting, blame (seriously, aren't a few races going to go TOTALLY human-phobic after Shepard doomed them to be trapped in Sol?) and so on. Limit the scope of exploration to travelling between the rag-tag colonies stretching from the baking surfaces of Mercury and Venus to the icy wastes of the Oort Cloud via watery Europa.

Make an origin story about someone born in a solar system ill-equipped to deal with the consequences of the original Mass Effect trilogy. Then when you've got enough set-up done have Space Magic reintroduce inter-stellar travel and spend another couple of games working back to the homeworlds of the original trilogy for narrative reasons and introduce some new things to make it more interesting.

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Hmm, yeah. The new Mass Effect should have been set in the after the war, maybe a hundred years or so. Shit loads of aliens stuck in our Solar System, loads of fucked up Repaer tech everywhere, new outposts being set up around the planets to go and explore, all the races trying to get on in the cramped confines of our system, opposing groups of for and against trying to rebuild the relays etc... Ingredients there for a great story to be told. Easy to set up a decent ending as well with basically some new big bad suddenly appearing in our Solar System based around all the Reaper tech in other systems.

Edit: Great minds and all that, Spacehost...

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The sort of problem that would make an excellent jumping-off point for a new Mass Effect game IMO. Setting a game 50, 100 years after The Cataclysm (or whatever they call the end of ME3), with the solar system groaning under the strain of a once-unified fleet breaking apart as starvation, infighting, blame (seriously, aren't a few races going to go TOTALLY human-phobic after Shepard doomed them to be trapped in Sol?) and so on. Limit the scope of exploration to travelling between the rag-tag colonies stretching from the baking surfaces of Mercury and Venus to the icy wastes of the Oort Cloud via watery Europa.

Make an origin story about someone born in a solar system ill-equipped to deal with the consequences of the original Mass Effect trilogy. Then when you've got enough set-up done have Space Magic reintroduce inter-stellar travel and spend another couple of games working back to the homeworlds of the original trilogy for narrative reasons and introduce some new things to make it more interesting.

resident-evil-4-merchant-meme-generator-

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I don't give a toss about N7s, ancient evils*, mad terrorist organisations, post apocalyptic settings or any of that done to death bobbins, I just want to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to face ethical dilemmas, and to boldly put my boot up a krogan's ass.

While bitchin' 80s-style synth tunes play.

That's not too much to ask, is it?

* Seriously, NO MORE ANCIENT EVILS EVER, EVER.

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That's why corruption from Reaper Tech would be the obvious way to go. Would love to see the Asari absolutely enslaved by it into some weird Reaper style hybrid.

I think that you could do a lot of stuff with the dextro-DNA species getting desperate and trying to reverse-engineer Reaper and Catalyst technology just to try and stop their people starving to death. Cue well-intentioned but ultimately disastrous situation.
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I don't give a toss about N7s, ancient evils*, mad terrorist organisations, post apocalyptic settings or any of that done to death bobbins, I just want to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to face ethical dilemmas, and to boldly put my boot up a krogan's ass.

While bitchin' 80s-style synth tunes play.

That's not too much to ask, is it?

* Seriously, NO MORE ANCIENT EVILS EVER, EVER.

They really can't go anywhere with Ancient Evil after the Reapers. "I'm Sovereign's brother Simon Reaper, I have arrived with my all-star team of intergalactic terrorists and will make you solve a series of riddles that force you to run across the galaxy in an elaborate attempt to steal all the Dark Matter from the Citadel Dark Matter Repository!"
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Nope, I agree with Smitty; I'd be happier if they just left it at that. ME2 was fun and all, but lost a lot of the nerve of the first game and much of its potential for genuine originality, and BW seemed by that point to be seduced by fan service a little too much, which was all good fun and that but took the edge off the storyline, the sense of exploration and otherness (most creatures basically becoming part of a wisecracking cop/buddy routine), then 3 jumped a shark or two on the way to some really bad writing at the end. But like K, one thing I liked about that ending was the 'ah well, you're fucked anyway' destruction of the relays and turning the clock back to pre-Prothean discovery times. I liked the bleakness of it, not knowing just how fucked everyone was, but knowing they were fairly fucked. I didn't think the rewritten ending added anything worthwhile, and didn't fix any of the actual problems; it just diluted the bits of the ending that did have impact by saying 'oh look, here's what happened to all those people - see, they're ok after all!'. Which I thought was cobblers, but more importantly sends a message about the team's approach to the 'universe' of ME that doesn't instill any confidence in their commitment to doing something worthwhile with it.

I reckon whatever it is, it'll just be fan service predicated on some lame even bigger threat - I think the Leviathan DLC, although it played ok, was a sure sign that they couldn't help piling on more bigger, badder uber-entities on top of the existing ones; that they'd run out of steam with the original ideas, and/or buggered them up, but still wanted to keep piling on more, MOAR epic, by which time it'd lost all its epicness anyway, and just felt tired.

They're still great games, and I enjoyed all three of them in different ways. I certainly don't think any was a disaster. But things have their time, and they pass. When you think about it, that story arc in ME1 - all the way from small-scale, through genuinely gripping and fairly natural-feeling twists and turns of plot, and revelations that gradually turned up the intensity - was pretty much an ideally-drawn plot, a lesson in how to do this sort of thing. And it all played out, and it all ended, just about perfectly. It was self-contained, and everything else that came after it, thematically or dramatically, was kind of broken, or retreading what had gone before. Some interesting, and some loveable, characters came in with ME2 and the odd storyline and character arc (Tuchanka in ME3) was brilliant, but the overall arc was really more or less played out at the end of ME1. Obviously a new start could give them a clean break from at least some of those issues, but the way they handled ME3 (and to a lesser extent ME2) persuades me that this story's over. The universe was great and all, but I'd rather just leave my memories of the place with the fist-pumping end of what was a great movie - ME1 - and regard 2 and 3 as a spin-off TV adaptation that went all jokey and hokey and was good fun, but shot the shit out of the original premise so that by the time it'd finished I didn't really want to see it again.

ME4 would just be like the adventures of Ralph Malph or something. The Fonz is dead, man. Let him rest in peace.

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Yes, but everyone* was crying 'all the Turians will starve!' and stuff. The point was, it was gloomy as fuck, and there was no certainty of a 'happy ending'. Many people specifically complained about that, saying that it was a total downer, and a betrayal of all their hard work. I didn't agree; I liked the bleakness of it, and the lack of certainty.

* Not everyone. But lots of people.

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There are so many other things that could be done with the Mass Effect universe but after being burned by Dragon Age 2 (leaving aside the cookie cutter dungeons the central concept was sound) I doubt Bioware could do it without being burned by fans.

Imagine a Mass Effect game where you played a cop/detective on The Citadel? Or maybe ran a nightclub as Aria T'Loak? Or even a prequel with Saren and Nihlus fighting together.

But if it's called Mass Effect 4 there will be the expectation that it will be a universe spanning epic. I loved the journey of my Shephard, it's one of the highlights of my gaming history. But I worry that she'll be diluted by being revived in much the same way Ripley was in later Alien movies.

As for the mooted Mass Effect movie I'm dreading that.

Scene opens on the citadel. Some balding dude is talking to an alien shopkeeper.

Alien: That will be 400 thanks.

Bald dude: How about a discount. Something like "I'm Commander Shephard and this is my favourite store on the Citadel."

The bald dude turns to the screen and gives a thumbs up. And I get up and leave the theatre tearing my ticket up in disgust.

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Spoilers seem to be all over this thread for anyone who hasn't already played the trilogy, but just in case...

In my Mass Effect universe, Sheperd told Space Jesus to go fuck himself, and the Reapers wiped out every species capable of space travel. Every last one.

All that was left was a concealed beacon containing everything we'd learned about the Reapers, for the next cycle of races to find, and hopefully do better. And you know what? When we'd been up against a race of immortal, malignant killing machines that had been farming the known universe for eons, that felt exactly how it was supposed to end.

A sequel to that? New races, new worlds, nods to the original trilogy in pieces of buried tech, and maybe a few hundred years before the Reapers come again. Maybe even with the Citadel rediscovered, and inhabited by a whole new cycle of characters, with only you as the player knowing the awful truth...

I'd lap that up. It would leave the original trilogy well alone, give them a familiar, yet almost entirely blank canvas to work with, and they could leave the Reapers completely by the wayside for as long as they wanted.

That's not how it will be, of course, but I can dream.

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  • 7 months later...

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