Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Video Game Review - Mass Effect 3

I recently finished Mass Effect 3, and I am left conflicted. On the one hand I've greatly enjoyed the series, and feel that the content team has created a very rich universe with a detailed and interesting history to learn about. That being said, I had a few issues that I wanted to get up on my soapbox about:

  • First, a pet peeve: Decimate (v) - to reduce by ONE TENTH. See the first two definitions here. I get that people are trying to change the meaning of the word because they don't understand it, but this shit should have been caught during the "peer review" process Bioware is so proud of (the same one that failed them on the ending, according to reports). Just because a word sounds cool, that doesn't mean it's OK to completely bastardize its definition, regardless of what the unwashed masses have come to believe that the word means! Looking for a cool synonym for destroyed? Why not try demolished, or annihilated, or eliminated, or ravaged., or any of the actual synonyms for destroyed?
  • That being said, there were some truly moving moments in the game's story. There were also some areas in which the dialog sounded like it was written by a 14-year-old Call of Duty fanboy. The sad part is that the quality of the rest of the writing makes the inferior text stand out, tearing at my eyes with horrible use of invective. I swear at one point I saw Shepard say something along the lines of "Git 'er done!" I know the game was delayed for six months, but that doesn't mean you give up on quality control completely!
  • Finally, another pet peeve of mine: if I'm playing a game with achievements, why not give me those awards when I actually, I don't know... achieve something?! Kill 100 enemies with Incinerate? Cool, that's actually something worth striving for. However, doling out gamer points like breadcrumbs as you advance through the story doing things you have to do anyway only calls attention to the fact that your game's gameplay sequences serve as nothing more than interstitials between cutscenes. The time spent designing these bogus achievements (things along the lines of "Completed story mission 1, completed story mission 2, completed...") could have been used to design achievements that actually add something to the game. It would have given me something to do while muddling through your combat system (which made the mistake of trying to be one of the standard brown shooters that are so popular with the kiddies lately), which could only have added to the gameplay. Instead, as a result, the entire experience just comes out flat.
  • Along those same lines - maybe it's the way I play, but I only found the gameplay exciting once - right at the end of the game. All the rest of the time was "hide, shoot, hide, shoot, move, shoot, yawm." That being said, I do like the new movement options as opposed to prior games in the series, and I feel that the combat system has come a long way.
Some of these are kinda nit-picky. I'll admit to that. Like I said - I did overall enjoy the game, but it was definitely not gaming perfection. What are your thoughts?

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