Let me begin by saying I love(d?) Bioware. Starwars Knights of the Old Republic and KOTOR 2 were some of the best games I've ever played. I still get chills thinking about the big plot twist of the first game. The second has some of the best dark conjecture about the nature of the Force that I've seen- enough to darken all the usual bright and shiny depictions of the Force to a nice dismal grey. I vowed to play as many KOTOR's as they would make. Then I played The Old Republic beta. (More on that later.)
The elements that Bioware tried to combine were a little transparent which I'm fine with. They tried to make Shepard out to be a legendary savior of the people not unlike Halo's Master Chief John 117. I don't know what it is about Shepard but he never quite lived up to that image for me until the third game. I guess the best analogy is their use of the N7 as his symbol when the game doesn't even really mention what that means apart from codex entries. It's not treated as a big deal and yet it is the symbol used to embody the galaxy's savior. Even the marketing campaign for the third installment reminded me of Halo 3 but in a good way. I can't help but get amped up when I remember the old man on the brink of tears stuttering out "If there is one reason we're here, I'd have to say it's because of the chief." followed by one simple word: Believe. So much loaded into one word. I felt the same way when I saw a young girl playing in a garden suddenly eclipsed in the shadow of a reaper followed by the call to action: Take Earth Back.
On the whole I enjoyed Mass Effect 3. As I said before, I was not a true fan until the third installment. It was darker and the stakes felt high for the first time in the series. I did enjoy seeing how decisions played out during the game... However.... Bioware obviously cut corners and in the places they cut corners, they did so in the most insulting way. As a Tali fanboy I can't understand why they wouldn't just take a photo, any photo, any photo that can be taken of any girl with any phone on the market, that isn't public domain to spend 5 minutes in photoshop with. I believe I read somewhere that the asshole responsible isn't with them anymore.
So the Tali thing isn't even a huge deal really. The game's actual ending is. Why after such an epic journey spanning years would Bioware provide so little closure? The entire series is about choice. In the end, the choices you make don't matter at all? Of the choices presented to you in the end not even they are fully realized in the initial launch of the game. We'll see what the extended cut brings. I would buy the artistic integrity excuse if the 3 endings didn't play out so similarly and were actually fully realized.
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So in the grand scheme of things the game's ending isn't really that big of a deal either. Bioware's code of ethics is. Censoring the fanbase is not damage control. It is not a best practice and it is not something that can be kept under wraps.
When you have Day 1 DLC that is ON THE DISC, it is NOT Downloadable content. Seriously, change one line of code on the PC version and you have the Prothean squadmate. The breakdown of games is seriously starting to look like this:
I remember how exciting DLC was on the days of the original Xbox. "Aw sweet! New maps for this game I love!" Now games are being shaved ever thinner and sold in smaller and smaller portions. I honestly miss expansion packs. Sell me everything at once for a big price and I won't notice how many tiny crappy things are included when paired with all the good things involved. When I see $10 for 1 mission, 1 squadmate, 1 weapon, and 6 outfits, I am insulted. If I see $30 for a lot of missions with some equipment I feel better about the fact that I'm paying less than the price of a full game for hours of extra content in a game I love. Look at Morrowind's Tribunal expansion pack versus ANY DLC for Final Fantasy XIII-2 and you'll see what I mean. When you break down content into such small packages, the price is just too high for what you're getting.
The industry is buzzing about the word "entitlement" as a cop out to sell us smaller chunks at bigger profit margins but throwing the word "entitlement" out will not protect their profits when consumers stop buying games as they get progressively worse. Honestly video games were a lot better when there were more small companies competing against one another. Give me back the days when there was a Square and there was an Enix and they were competitors making GOOD games. With Bioware under the EA umbrella, I can see that "just push it out the door" mentality and the games suffer for it. Which brings me to TORtanic. This is just another transparent attempt to make money with no concern for quality. I loved both KOTOR's. The company had set the stage for an epic third installment involving the return of one or both both protagonists from the first 2 games. Instead of that awesome game, the company elects to throw out a generic World of Warcraft clone. Just because WOW is the most popular MMO out there doesn't mean that you have to throw away everything good about your franchise and copy them. Now I hear the Elder Scrolls is following suit. This is the problem with big corporations monopolizing gaming. They only look at money and disregard quality and it has been the end of many great franchises. I'm entitled to a better standard of games because I write your check. Take gaming back. Believe.