Mass Effect: Andromeda

Frraksurred

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I liked them all for different reasons, but I agree, none gave me the same feeling ME1 did. The dialogue captured me more than 2 & 3, and the characters I fell in love never seemed to come back as strong in the sequels. This does not mean they were bad by any means, just not as epic.
 

Frraksurred

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Initially I thought ME2 was going to suck, but the game turned out to be awesome. I didn't like Jack in any of the trailers, but she ended up being one of the most rewarding characters if you Paragon romanced her.
 

JeffBlair

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By the end of ME1 I wanted to smash that hammer into the side of a mountain... oh wait, that's the only way to drive it.

I bit the bullet, and pre-ordered ordered it. Just wish GMG had the deluxe version, and not just the base.
 

Mchart

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ME2 was my favorite. Just now finally playing ME3 and it's pretty crap. A huge downgrade from ME2 in almost every way. It doesn't even feel like a rpg. It's a cover shooter with some dialog choices.
 
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Frraksurred

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I think after ME3's ending they are being very careful, and going the extra mile to make it good. I hope it is, but I will stay my hopes and expectations until I play it for myself.
 

fdiaz78

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Day one purchase for me, no preorders though.

Same here as the pre order bonuses really don't bring much to the table to me anyway. The pet is not worth an extra ten bucks. If GMG come up with a cheap discount for the Deluxe I might buy it, might.
 

DWolvin

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At work so I can't look it up- what's the pet? Does it sound as stupid as the ME2 preorder pet that just sat in the hangar bay?
 

Dan_D

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I thought ME1 has the best story, ME2 has the best writing, and ME3 had the best gameplay but the worst story and writing.

Mass Effect 2 was the most polished and the highest qualuty game of the series. ME3 was a mess of missed opportunities and bad creative decisions. There were bad technical choices and frankly it's amazing it is a good as it is. The third game is probably the best one hands down, despite its issues until the priority Earth mission. The tone, level design, missions and story take a hard dive into the toilet at that point. The biggest problem is that the last part of the game is thematically different than the rest of the series. Not only that but the lack of a final boss encounter leaves both a hole in the story (no confrontation with the Shepard obsessed Harbinger) and no feeling of accomplishment. The ending leaves you with that "what the hell just happened?" feeling.
 

harmattan

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ME2 did have the best writing... until the gigantic Cronenberg cyber-demon at the end. The Reapers repeat a dozen in ME1 and 2 that humankind is "deficient" and "vastly inferior" to them. Why would they then have to go and steal human DNA to make a creature big and bad enough to take over the galaxy? It was a stupidly convoluted way to get a "'splosion ending". ME2 could have been an Empire Strikes back story bridge and it ended up being a cheesy Michael Bay rip off. I clearly recall cringing during the final fight since they had completely ruined the decent plot with that.

Up until that point, the game took the mixed the best aspects of Star Wars, Star Trek, BSG... the end of ME2 felt like you were playing a game made by Troma Entertainment.
 

Frraksurred

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ME2 included a change in writers. Karpyshyn left and Walter's took over late in development. I think they were struggling with where to take the story either way. Drew was building an ending around Dark Energy and Mac decided to go in another direction. No way of knowing if Drew's ideas would have ended any better; I'm guessing they were incomplete or not panning out, resulting in the switch by Mac. Either way, it was obvious they didn't have a strong plan for how to wrap up all the mystery they had created. Both ME2 & ME3's endings were weak, but ME3's felt so alien and tacked on in relation to the rest of the story that it stood out considerably more.

Andromeda has the benefit of being able to start fresh on a clean page, and the same staff of writers from beginning to end. They are not talking about a "trilogy" or anything like that yet, but they would be fools not to have a rough outline for a full arch at this point. This game is designed to be standalone, like ME1 was, but knowing EA, they are banking on success and planning for the future.
 

harmattan

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ME2 included a change in writers. Karpyshyn left and Walter's took over late in development. I think they were struggling with where to take the story either way. Drew was building an ending around Dark Energy and Mac decided to go in another direction. No way of knowing if Drew's ideas would have ended any better; I'm guessing they were incomplete or not panning out, resulting in the switch by Mac. Either way, it was obvious they didn't have a strong plan for how to wrap up all the mystery they had created. Both ME2 & ME3's endings were weak, but ME3's felt so alien and tacked on in relation to the rest of the story that it stood out considerably more.

Andromeda has the benefit of being able to start fresh on a clean page, and the same staff of writers from beginning to end. They are not talking about a "trilogy" or anything like that yet, but they would be fools not to have a rough outline for a full arch at this point. This game is designed to be standalone, like ME1 was, but knowing EA, they are banking on success and planning for the future.

At least they took a risk in the ME3 ending, albeit the denouement was clumsy and a bit off key. It at least somewhat matched the grandeur they had been working towards in the story with clin d'oeils to Tarkovsky's Solaris, 2001 and the Matrix. You can at least respect that when compared to the clichéd cringe-fest that was the ending of ME2. I have a feeling Walter in ME2 was either trying to build a blockbuster tick on his resume or Bioware execs were meddling.
 

Armenius

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ME2 included a change in writers. Karpyshyn left and Walter's took over late in development. I think they were struggling with where to take the story either way. Drew was building an ending around Dark Energy and Mac decided to go in another direction. No way of knowing if Drew's ideas would have ended any better; I'm guessing they were incomplete or not panning out, resulting in the switch by Mac. Either way, it was obvious they didn't have a strong plan for how to wrap up all the mystery they had created. Both ME2 & ME3's endings were weak, but ME3's felt so alien and tacked on in relation to the rest of the story that it stood out considerably more.

Andromeda has the benefit of being able to start fresh on a clean page, and the same staff of writers from beginning to end. They are not talking about a "trilogy" or anything like that yet, but they would be fools not to have a rough outline for a full arch at this point. This game is designed to be standalone, like ME1 was, but knowing EA, they are banking on success and planning for the future.
Speaking of Karpyshyn, everyone here who is a fan of Mass Effect needs to go out and read his book trilogy if you haven't already. If there ever is a Mass Effect theatrical movie it needs to be based on one of his books. Revelation would be an excellent start to a movie franchise.
 

harmattan

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I'd rather have a clichéd ending that worked over the incongruent and retarded mess we ended up with.

Fair enough, and I'm all for clichéd endings when they're well executed (ME1, for example). But the pace-breaking gaudiness in the ME2 ending was turned up so far past 11 it was gut wrenching. I just can't imagine any well-versed, literary person sitting in a storyboard session thinking: "Let's have the protag shoot a giant cyborg skeleton in the eye repeatedly to end the game - this really ties the plot together".

IMHO, I would have Empire Strikes the crap out of the ME2 ending with some sort of loss and hope-outlook for the next game. I think you catch hallmarks that this is what they were actually leading up to earlier in the game, but at some point -- and this is just a guess -- a suit got a hold of the story and made the change because it was the more sellable ending.

All I'm saying is ME3's ending was at least interesting and it seemed like they were actually. It wasn't caviar, but I'd still give the writers a B+ for effort.
 
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Dan_D

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Fair enough, and I'm all for clichéd endings when they're well executed (ME1, for example). But the pace-breaking gaudiness in the ME2 ending was turned up so far past 11 it was gut wrenching. I just can't imagine any well-versed, literary person sitting in a storyboard session thinking: "Let's have the protag shoot a giant cyborg skeleton in the eye repeatedly to end the game - this really ties the plot together".

IMHO, I would have Empire Strikes the crap out of the ME2 ending with some sort of loss and hope-outlook for the next game. I think you catch hallmarks that this is what they were actually leading up to earlier in the game, but at some point -- and this is just a guess -- a suit got a hold of the story and made the change because it was the more sellable ending.

All I'm saying is ME3's ending was at least interesting and it seemed like they were actually. It wasn't caviar, but I'd still give the writers a B+ for effort.

I agree with you to a degree about Mass Effect 2's ending. It wasn't so bad as to prevent me from enjoying the game or replaying the game. I still looked forward to finishing the series after playing the game. After Mass Effect 3's ending, I wished I hadn't ever heard of the series much less wasted so many hours on it. Some BioWare apologists on various forums tried to defend BioWare stating that the journey is more important than the ending. I strongly disagreed as the original ending was so bad as to retroactively ruin the entire experience of playing the series. I can't give the writers a B+ for effort or anything like that because the ending was a retarded Deus Ex Machina type ending which showed no thought and even less writing skill. The ending was totally incongruent with what came before it and didn't fit the tone of the series. It's like the bad foot cheese or gross import beers that can only be appreciated by some Fedora wearing, Apple worshipping, Starbucks slurping hipster douche who considers anything expressing futility and nihilism to be the only forms of art worth appreciation. Those are people that will tell you that you are an idiot if you didn't like it or that you are somehow stupid for not having an appreciation for it.

I get that not all stories need or even should have a happy ending. That said, I don't think anyone expected Shepard to live through the trilogy. I would have been fine with Shepard living or dying. I think all most fans really wanted was for the Galaxy to be left better off for all the character did and achieved. The original endings didn't do that. They left the galaxy set back centuries technologically, soldiers isolated from their homes only to die on worlds that can't support them. It left the Normandy destroyed and its crew marooned in a "fuck you very much" kind of ending. The universe we spent so much time exploring and playing in is basically destroyed leaving you crushed. So not only does Shepard get fucked over but so did all the NPC characters you spend so many hours with and came to love throughout the series. It didn't need to be a happy ending but it didn't need to be a total shit show that made you want to throw up. Endings like that do not show originality or effort. Endings that either leave you with no payoff or tell you nothing are a cop out by people who can't write their way out of a greasy fast food bag running through a car wash.

Despite their contributions to the series, Mac Walters and Casey Hudson get a big fat fucking F- from me. Different doesn't mean desirable. Different doesn't equal good. Now, after having ranted about that I do have to say the revised versions provide just enough information to change the tone of the ending substantially. I still feel as though BioWare polished a turd and I still don't like what we got. However, it's "good enough" that I've been able to go back and replay the game after those changes were implemented.
 

Mchart

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I didn't mind the ending in both.

What I didn't like was that they forced you to play the stupid multiplayer or mobile app in me3 to get the different endings.
 

Frraksurred

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At least they took a risk in the ME3 ending, albeit the denouement was clumsy and a bit off key. It at least somewhat matched the grandeur they had been working towards in the story with clin d'oeils to Tarkovsky's Solaris, 2001 and the Matrix. You can at least respect that when compared to the clichéd cringe-fest that was the ending of ME2. I have a feeling Walter in ME2 was either trying to build a blockbuster tick on his resume or Bioware execs were meddling.

One of the biggest fan complaints about ME2 was the final boss battle. The word "cliche" was thrown around to a memeable degree. Consequently they tried to avoid that with ME3. Admirable I guess, but I didn't find anything "epic" about ME3's ending. To me it was flimsy, shallow and full of plot holes. It felt tacked on and about one board meeting deep. That however is my opinion, and a subject that has been discussed to death. I'm eager to move on.

BioWare gave the series a solid effort and only whiffed in a few areas. I consider it as a whole one of the best IP's created, with 3 games that achieved what few singular games accomplished. I've got a great deal of respect for them as a Dev house. My complaints don't diminish that.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Having recently replayed all three, including DLC, I can say this- there is a DLC called Leviathan that explains why the endings which can eventually be chosen from were essentially inevitable.

Retroactive, I know, but overall the series as it currently stands more or less 'fits'.
 

Frraksurred

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Having recently replayed all three, including DLC, I can say this- there is a DLC called Leviathan that explains why the endings which can eventually be chosen from were essentially inevitable.

Retroactive, I know, but overall the series as it currently stands more or less 'fits'.

The Leviathan DLC helped, but it didn't remove all the issues Dan_D mentioned in his first two paragraphs. The last game allowed us to wrap up all the giant story lines that had spanned 3 games, saving races, bringing previously impossible peace... and then trapping everybody in a solar system that is already barely managing over population with its native race. The DLC tried to dress it up and make it sound like everyone comes together to repair the Relays, even though the lore and dialogue from previous games stated the Keepers were the only ones capable. Plot holes aside, how long before the Krogan (at least) would have splintered and gone immediately into survival mode; where did we come up with the "unknown alloys" the Citadel and Relays were made out of? There was a lot of Codex rewriting going on to make this ending work (but then ammoless weapons suddenly needed heat sinks to serve for magazines, so not a new practice. At least that change added to gameplay).

Eh, we could relive this debate ad nauseum. It's past. This game has a lot riding on it (no pun intended), and BioWare knows it.
 

Mchart

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I agree with you to a degree about Mass Effect 2's ending. It wasn't so bad as to prevent me from enjoying the game or replaying the game. I still looked forward to finishing the series after playing the game. After Mass Effect 3's ending, I wished I hadn't ever heard of the series much less wasted so many hours on it. Some BioWare apologists on various forums tried to defend BioWare stating that the journey is more important than the ending. I strongly disagreed as the original ending was so bad as to retroactively ruin the entire experience of playing the series. I can't give the writers a B+ for effort or anything like that because the ending was a retarded Deus Ex Machina type ending which showed no thought and even less writing skill. The ending was totally incongruent with what came before it and didn't fit the tone of the series. It's like the bad foot cheese or gross import beers that can only be appreciated by some Fedora wearing, Apple worshipping, Starbucks slurping hipster douche who considers anything expressing futility and nihilism to be the only forms of art worth appreciation. Those are people that will tell you that you are an idiot if you didn't like it or that you are somehow stupid for not having an appreciation for it.

I get that not all stories need or even should have a happy ending. That said, I don't think anyone expected Shepard to live through the trilogy. I would have been fine with Shepard living or dying. I think all most fans really wanted was for the Galaxy to be left better off for all the character did and achieved. The original endings didn't do that. They left the galaxy set back centuries technologically, soldiers isolated from their homes only to die on worlds that can't support them. It left the Normandy destroyed and its crew marooned in a "fuck you very much" kind of ending. The universe we spent so much time exploring and playing in is basically destroyed leaving you crushed. So not only does Shepard get fucked over but so did all the NPC characters you spend so many hours with and came to love throughout the series. It didn't need to be a happy ending but it didn't need to be a total shit show that made you want to throw up. Endings like that do not show originality or effort. Endings that either leave you with no payoff or tell you nothing are a cop out by people who can't write their way out of a greasy fast food bag running through a car wash.

Despite their contributions to the series, Mac Walters and Casey Hudson get a big fat fucking F- from me. Different doesn't mean desirable. Different doesn't equal good. Now, after having ranted about that I do have to say the revised versions provide just enough information to change the tone of the ending substantially. I still feel as though BioWare polished a turd and I still don't like what we got. However, it's "good enough" that I've been able to go back and replay the game after those changes were implemented.

I don't apologize for the shit ending, but I do agree that what makes Mass Effect so good (And why I liked ME2 the most) were all the cool side plots / character development that happens in between. The Jack mission, the shadow broker mission, the Garrus mission, etc were all my favorites, and they really had nothing to do with the overarching plot.

My hope is that with Andromeda they basically ditch the idea of needing a game where there is some huge story the game needs to tie into, and instead focus on having all sorts of different locations each with a cool little story to tell / case to solve.
 

Flogger23m

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...Deus Ex Machina type ending which showed no thought and even less writing skill.

I don't think you can count it as one, as from the get go the plot of the 3rd game largely revolved around what was going to occur in the end.
 

Dan_D

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I don't think you can count it as one, as from the get go the plot of the 3rd game largely revolved around what was going to occur in the end.

Seriously, its just like the ending(s) to the original Deus Ex game. You can take my comment about the ending virtually either way. It's shit.
 

DWolvin

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Not really Dan_D, Deus Ex Machina has a specific meaning that is really separate from what happened in ME3. You spent the entire storyline building the crucible, and it was expected to be the ending. Bad writing in may ways, but Deus Ex Machina is when the story or problem is suddenly solved by a new item/event/character that was never in the story.
 

Domingo

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I don't mind the revised version of ME3's ending. It wasn't great, but it didn't bother me. My wife was pissed off at both versions, though. I think I just had low expectation for the carry-overs from the previous games. She bought into the idea that "your decisions matter" a bit more than I did.
My issue with that game was all of the B.S. related to the app and online multiplayer. Up until the final patches, you got saddled with even lesser versions of the ending if you didn't play MP or use that stupid app every day. Even worse, both followed a timer and you had to play them regularly...not just once or twice.
Had the final version of the game been the shipping version I think at least some of the hate wouldn't have been there.
 

DWolvin

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True- I played the heck out of the multiplayer to make sure I got the 'good' ending, and then went back about a year later after all the patches and was able to max out the story numbers without any MP at all.
 

polonyc2

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the biggest issue I had with ME3 was that your choices throughout the previous games had little to no impact...they kept hyping up how all your choices would have major consequences and I was excited to see the results of my actions...but in the end nothing really mattered all that much...
 

Flogger23m

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the biggest issue I had with ME3 was that your choices throughout the previous games had little to no impact...they kept hyping up how all your choices would have major consequences and I was excited to see the results of my actions...but in the end nothing really mattered all that much...

Agreed, but we saw this in ME2 and I expected the same for ME3. Anyone who played the first two games should have seen that coming. Nothing (of importance) mattered from ME1 to ME2, save for which characters you decided to save. Which itself had almost zero impact on ME2. Just a few minor lines of dialogue really. Another reason why I think the 2nd game was easily the most over rated of the series. 3 had some issues, but some of the main story missions were excellent. ME2 had some nice flash and scenery, but few of the time spent built up worthwhile and epic moments like ME3's Tuchanka or Rannoch missions.
 

M76

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ME2 included a change in writers. Karpyshyn left and Walter's took over late in development. I think they were struggling with where to take the story either way. Drew was building an ending around Dark Energy and Mac decided to go in another direction. No way of knowing if Drew's ideas would have ended any better; I'm guessing they were incomplete or not panning out, resulting in the switch by Mac. Either way, it was obvious they didn't have a strong plan for how to wrap up all the mystery they had created. Both ME2 & ME3's endings were weak, but ME3's felt so alien and tacked on in relation to the rest of the story that it stood out considerably more.
If I remember correctly they dumped the dark energy story because it was leaked prematurely. I think when they finished ME2 they were still committed to it. Tali's recruitment mission even hints at it, why would they include that if it wasn't the planned story? I think ME2's ending is just fine. And I still think that the Dark Energy story would've turned out much better, than some space magic wielding starchild that hid in the very centre and biggest hub of the known galactic civilizations for ages. That and the keepers are the worst plot holes in the series. As far as Drew Karpyshin stating after the fact the other story wasn't fleshed out is more of a result of some contract that prevented him from bashing his former employeer. I wouldn't find it beyond reason if he left during ME2, because they disagreed on how the story should pan out.
Agreed, but we saw this in ME2 and I expected the same for ME3. Anyone who played the first two games should have seen that coming. Nothing (of importance) mattered from ME1 to ME2, save for which characters you decided to save. Which itself had almost zero impact on ME2. Just a few minor lines of dialogue really. Another reason why I think the 2nd game was easily the most over rated of the series. 3 had some issues, but some of the main story missions were excellent. ME2 had some nice flash and scenery, but few of the time spent built up worthwhile and epic moments like ME3's Tuchanka or Rannoch missions.
Except in ME2 all your choices within ME2 mattered in the end. As opposed to ME3 where nothing really mattered, not even what you did 10 seconds from the end. If you had enough war assets you could choose any ending, regardless of what you did who you saved before. If the choices in ME1 would have really had an impact on 2, then they'd probably had to make a separate storyline for each choice. Those were unrealistic expectations. They still did more than any sequels of other franchises I can think of.
 
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Dan_D

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True- I played the heck out of the multiplayer to make sure I got the 'good' ending, and then went back about a year later after all the patches and was able to max out the story numbers without any MP at all.

All the DLC content counted for quite a bit in your overall galactic readiness rating. You never did need the MP component to get the "good" ending but you did have to be pretty close to a completionist to do it without multiplayer.
 

Flogger23m

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Except in ME2 all your choices within ME2 mattered in the end. As opposed to ME3 where nothing really mattered, not even what you did 10 seconds from the end. If you had enough war assets you could choose any ending, regardless of what you did who you saved before. If the choices in ME1 would have really had an impact on 2, then they'd probably had to make a separate storyline for each choice. Those were unrealistic expectations. They still did more than any sequels of other franchises I can think of.

The choices that mattered in ME2 were if your crew members died or not in the last 10 minutes. And those were determined by two things:

1) Playing all the side missions or not. Better, but similar to ME3's "play some of this" method.
2) Who you choose for what role in the final mission. And the choices were fairly obvious which would be better or not.

And in the end, it really didn't matter. The ending of the game remains the same, and the beginning of the 3rd game likewise remains the same.

I would have liked some bigger influences personally even though it is hard to implement. ME2 felt like a slap in the face in that regard, but I was half expecting it. ME3 just continued what was already established. With the current title this situation will be avoided entirely as this sounds like a standalone game, and other possible sequels will not carry over. Shame, because I would have liked to see them improve this area rather than drop it.
 

M76

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All the DLC content counted for quite a bit in your overall galactic readiness rating. You never did need the MP component to get the "good" ending but you did have to be pretty close to a completionist to do it without multiplayer.
If you played before the DLCs came out, you did need multiplayer to get the best possible ending. But I'll reluctantly admit that I even liked it, so I ended up playing much more than what was needed, and even went back to play it later.
The choices that mattered in ME2 were if your crew members died or not in the last 10 minutes. And those were determined by two things:

1) Playing all the side missions or not. Better, but similar to ME3's "play some of this" method.
2) Who you choose for what role in the final mission. And the choices were fairly obvious which would be better or not.

And in the end, it really didn't matter. The ending of the game remains the same, and the beginning of the 3rd game likewise remains the same.

I would have liked some bigger influences personally even though it is hard to implement. ME2 felt like a slap in the face in that regard, but I was half expecting it. ME3 just continued what was already established. With the current title this situation will be avoided entirely as this sounds like a standalone game, and other possible sequels will not carry over. Shame, because I would have liked to see them improve this area rather than drop it.
I'd say that the game was about the characters first and the main mission was just the backdrop. So it's only fitting that your choices affect them. And yes the choices for roles at the end were obvious to anyone who paid attention to the story. But I'd think we'd both be shocked to see how many people got it wrong still. I take it as a nod from the game acknowledging our investment in the characters.

Also the main mission of the game was to defeat the collectors. So I don't see what other outcome would've been possible than defeating them? And there was the choice of blowing up the base or keeping it for studying. Which also had no effect on the main events in me3, but at least affect some side mission. Even through the "good" choice there was destroying the base according to the story. I always kept it. Because it's better to understand the enemy technology than to try to sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away.

Anyhow the only choice they choose to ignore that actually bothered me was the rachni. That reallly felt shoehorned in. And made you feel that even so big impact choices of your were reversed and made irrelevant. They could've easily made that choice matter, but they didn't and that's all on ME3, not 2.
 

Flogger23m

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If you played before the DLCs came out, you did need multiplayer to get the best possible ending. But I'll reluctantly admit that I even liked it, so I ended up playing much more than what was needed, and even went back to play it later.

I'd say that the game was about the characters first and the main mission was just the backdrop. So it's only fitting that your choices affect them. And yes the choices for roles at the end were obvious to anyone who paid attention to the story. But I'd think we'd both be shocked to see how many people got it wrong still. I take it as a nod from the game acknowledging our investment in the characters.

Also the main mission of the game was to defeat the collectors. So I don't see what other outcome would've been possible than defeating them? And there was the choice of blowing up the base or keeping it for studying. Which also had no effect on the main events in me3, but at least affect some side mission. Even through the "good" choice there was destroying the base according to the story. I always kept it. Because it's better to understand the enemy technology than to try to sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away.

Anyhow the only choice they choose to ignore that actually bothered me was the rachni. That reallly felt shoehorned in. And made you feel that even so big impact choices of your were reversed and made irrelevant. They could've easily made that choice matter, but they didn't and that's all on ME3, not 2.

More or less, my point was I couldn't get too worked up about the not so great ME3 ending in regards to player because the writing was on the wall with the 2nd game. Doesn't mean either were terrible (IMO), but I already saw it coming. But the ending of ME3 certainly felt and seemed a bit off even ignoring that. And a lot of other areas simply felt rushed. But it certainly had some amazing moments.

It seems like the new spin offs will avoid these issues entirely. Lets hope the individual stories are strong and the game doesn't turn too much into a Borderlands / Ubisoft game of constantly upgrading gear and doing similar mini game tasks over and over again.
 
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