I hope you're all enjoying the shiny new game! Mass Effect 3, by far the most critically acclaimed game of the relatively new year, was released today. Finally, Commander Shepard's fight against the apocalyptic might of the Reapers will end starting today. That's what I have to believe at least; I haven't really picked up the game myself. The demo was certainly interesting, and I might be persuaded to play if I had the opportunity to start from the beginning with the original Mass Effect. For now I will stick with Bioware's other recent release, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
While looking up the scores on Metacritic (which includes a perfect score from AtomicGamer) I noticed that after 603 user ratings, the game has had a completely opposite reception with its fans. The players on the website have given the game an abysmal average of 2.5/10 at the time of this writing. Some quick research shows some of the rating problems are caused by the possibility of watching a cutscene with implications of homosexuality. An option. That means people can avoid viewing the scene by looking up which option not to choose beforehand or shutting off the game and making a different choice. This inclusion in Mass Effect 3 has been popping up in news stories as well as reporters and writers are quick to criticize or question it for an easy news story. But should people really be surprised at this move? About a month ago, the media was mocking Bioware's option to have same-sex relationships in their Star Wars MMO.
Of course, it would be shallow for anyone to believe this gay sex scene is the sole purpose for the negative reaction to the game. Many players also cited their disappointment in the quality of the game, the lacking storyline, and the potential graphical issues. I'm not sure I understand where all the hate is coming from, but it annoys me to see such a storied trilogy crumble in this way.
I'm more bothered, yet not really surprised, by the fact that the Xbox 360 version of the game is compatible with Kinect. I guess I can't really comprehend how that works exactly. With the Wii and PS3 Move, you have something physical in your hands that you can point at the screen. I can imagine people waving their hands with invisible weapons donned in their non-sweaty palms. Perhaps I'm just naive and they are instituting video chat or voice recognition in the game. If not, then why are they trying to target casual gamers with a title like Mass Effect 3? I hope the rumors of filling in the story up to the current point are true, or else it was probably a lost cause.
ArgentStew, the Gaming Sage
Edit: After hearing more about it, the options given by the
Kinect actually sound cool. Enhancements like choosing story options by
saying them and giving verbal commands to comrades seem like they would add a new level of neat interactivity to them. Still it seems kind of lazy. Honestly, do you really need to say a command into the Kinect instead of using the left stick and pressing A?