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Gamers Have A Say as Mass Effect 3 Disappoints

Salarian image from Bioware's Fan Kit

There are several well known video game series that have been around for many years, Mario, Zelda, Call of Duty, Resident Evil, etc, and it is their familiarity that makes the endless sequels a success. If you played one of the games and like it, then you’re more likely to buy the new one, right? It’s a kind of brand-loyalty.

Sometimes the game developers can get it wrong and upset the milk-cow by daring to mess with a popular franchise. This happened with the Tombraider series. It had been merrily plodding along for years, making decent sales, then suddenly Angel of Darkness happened. The sixth game in the series initially sold well due to aggressive publicity, however it did not receive a warm welcome from gamers or reviewers. The game was panned for a number of different reasons including awkward controls, bugs, high system requirements, etc.

More recently there has been a furore about Mass Effect 3 (BBC), the action role-playing game from Bioware/Electronic Arts. The first two games were well received and critically acclaimed, however the latest installment has suffered from a backlash about the games poor plotlines. Gamers have been complaining that the game endings (of which there are several) are particularly underwhelming and have not given sufficient closure to the game. It seems the game has suffered as many movies have in the past “great film, great effects, but the ending was a bit crap”.

It’s heartening to know that some gamers actually care about the storylines, as many gamers will disregard the carefully scripted cut-scenes to get to the action. Indeed I’ve had game design students criticise a game because  it wasn’t possible to skip  the cutscenes!

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that Bioware have bowed to pressure and have promised to release additional content for the game to make up for the disappointment. That couldn’t happen with a movie, could it?

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