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Like every gamer these days, the Mass Effect franchise is one of my favorites. Its scope, setting, and fascinating plot hook you quickly and don't let go. The fact that you could make game-defining decisions regarding your game just made a good thing great. Plus, the ability to transfer your personal, customized Shepard to the sequels to let you continue the story your way is unlike anything else in gaming. Your choices, your decisions, and even small interactions that you and your crew members made had a ripple effect on the upcoming sequel.
Making you the Hannibal Smith of the video game world.
Naturally, when a game franchise is so beloved by, well, everyone, the third entry in the series is perhaps the most anticipated of them all. The Reapers are here and it's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum! And conveniently, America is all out of bubblegum! And with less than two months until the release of ME3, now here are 7 Things I Want to See in Mass Effect 3.
More RPG Stuff
Mass Effect 2 was a significant step down from the original Mass Effect in terms of gameplay. It stripped away much of what made the first memorable, like collecting twenty different weapon upgrades and armors that I can't ever use. It also stripped away that godawful Mako tank that I can never drive correctly.
And replaced it with mining, because, why not?
It's not only the immense inventory that I want back; it's also the ability to level up people as you see fit. Mass Effect 2 had an awkward leveling system where there were only a few upgrades but with an increased amount of experience needed to unlock them (Full disclosure: I don't exactly know if this is abnormal. I don't play many "hardcore" RPGs). I'd like to be able to have the item management and leveling of more mainstream RPGs so I can get the RPG flavor for my Mass Effect 3, please.
Mass Effect 1 had seven characters that you could bring along with you on your merry adventures. Mass Effect 2 had ten (eleven if you count Morinth as a separate one from Samara and thirteen if you got all the DLC). In games like Fire Emblem, you can have almost 30 people to choose from. I'm not saying we need to have a veritable baseball roster to go along with us, but the overall number of squad mates should be proportional to the galactic stakes. If Shepard's crew is going to be the super powered A-Team of the galaxy, I demand more than just Face, B.A. and Murdock.
One of you will be played by Bradley Cooper. End of story.
But to have twentysome characters, you'd need like a hundred hours to level them all up, you say? There's a simple solution to that, which I'll get to. These hypothetical characters don't even need to be brand new for me; if we could be able to choose from Wrex and Grunt while going into battle, I'd be satisfied. And isn't there a whole bunch of people from the books?
Like the Illusive Man and...white Storm from X-Men? I don't know.
Having new, interesting characters goes double for your adversaries. The Illusive Man is not gonna be happy, so I'm assuming he'll be in the third one, but aside from Saren, possibly the Council, and the Harbinger (ugh), there aren't any more serious adversaries. In a galaxy full of people, not everyone is just gonna go with Shepard all willy-nilly. Heck, some people might even oppose his views and decisions. These people need to be documented to a fuller degree!
More Big Decisions
The fate of humanity is in your hands in Mass Effect 1. In a totally unrelated incident, the fate of humanity is in your hands in Mass Effect 2 too (as in also). Lo and behold, the fate of humanity is in your hands in Mass Effect 3.
You saved the rachni queen. You spared Ashley and killed off Kaiden "Redshirt" Alenko. Or it was the other way around depending on your playthrough. Regardless, in terms of gameplay, you only had one defining decision to make every fifteen hours. And that wasn't fair, considering the fate of humanity was in my hands.
I'm gonna need new hands.
I don't wish for the game to be physically heavier. I'd like to see Mass Effect 3 make me weigh each option more carefully. In the past two games it was easy for me to just hit 'renegade' because the only decision I'd likely regret would be at the end when things matter. Mass Effect 2 had the right idea where they incorporated decisions and feuds among the members of your crew. At random times on your adventures two members of your crew would be in a disagreement and you were tasked with solving their problems
Making you the Maury Povich of the video game world.
Like being the king in Fable 3, I'd like to be tasked with deciding the fate of an entire race at least once every half hour. Or having my loved ones be held hostage at least once every hour. These decisions, and more, that have serious weight and serious consequences, would be awesome and should be in Mass Effect 3.
For a game where you globetrot around the galaxy like a caravan of hippies, you sure do a sorry amount of exploring. Whenever you want to fly across the galaxy, you don't take the controls of the Normandy and fly around yourself, you tell Seth Green where to go and he flies there for you like your stop-motion chauffer. In games like Grand Theft Auto or Skyrim, you have a vast expanse that is yours to explore.
Or not explore.
While it's not practical to go flying around the galaxy in between every mission like a cold, lifeless Great Sea from Wind Waker, I think the Mass Effect 2 system of having a map to drive a mini-Normandy around on when you want to go to destinations fits in the Mass Effect world well. But without the ability to detract from your path in some way or actually more or less fly around the galaxy makes it handicapped, like if you could do nothing but fast travel in Skyrim, turning the 'open-world' experience into a mundane menu.
In Mass Effect 1, you were given your own multi-purpose tank to drive around each planet. However, each one looked like a different colored desert with some serious (and implausible) mountain ranges.
Seriously? Is there not a *** highway in the galaxy?
Mass Effect 2 allowed you to walk around a little bit on these really linear paths. Is it too much to ask that I can "explore" like a tourist in Skyrim, where I can just walk around for a while and take in all the landmarks? Or can I just do that in the three cities you provide? C'mon BioWare...you can do better.
More Places to Visit
We've been to the Citadel. We've been to Virmire. We still haven't been to Earth. In a galaxy in need of rescuing, I want to be able to get my fill of the galaxy so much that I can navigate it in my sleep and never want to see it again. And it would go hand in hand with your exploration, it'd make the game more memorable for sure, and it would be totally awesome to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Making you the James T. Kirk or Kathryn Janeway of the video game world.
Plain and simple. A lot of what happens in Mass Effect is just getting your characters together and doing their loyalty missions. The plot starts out slow enough to begin with and then gets put on the back burner until the very end. While I guess that's kinda what happens in typical RPGs, there only seem to be an average of six main plot missions.
One for every planet with a population over ten.
And as I've stressed several times during this blog, the fate of humanity is in your hands. No, I'm not interested in having side missions for every character in the game. I'd like to see a story that rivals stuff like Batman: Arkham City or Deus Ex: Human Revolution in terms of length. As it's one of the most popular games out there, the story should (and already kinda does) floor me in terms of awesomeness. I'm saying it here; a ratio of three point of awesomeness for every hour of the story mission (which had better be a lot).
We can measure it in number of Commandos per hour.
I'm sure you now agree that we need story-driven missions out the shiny metal ass if we're going to be saving the galaxy.
FamilyGuyGuy7 has force-fed you his opinion on upcoming games before. To read his crackpot theories, click here. Also stay tuned to his 52 Weeks, 52 Blogs if classic reviews are kinda your thing. If he missed something, or you don't agree with what he says, leave a comment calling him out about it, because that's what the Internet does.