Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Yes...more Mass Effect stuff..but this is BIG



You'd be forgiven for thinking this blog is actually solely for Mass Effect and my views etc on the games. Well there's the occasional other post, but fuck it, I love Mass Effect and while I'm doing this blog, for now while Mass Effect is the apple of my eye (my glowing red Renegade eye) more Mass Effect stuff you'll get.

Right well the last post told you about the Leviathans. The ancient (and by ancient I mean roughly 1 million years) race of huge cuttlefish type guys, who basically - through their lack of programming skills - created the AI we know as The Catalyst or StarBrat, who's only function was to preserve all life in the galaxy whatever the cost. Basically the AI took it's function too literally (well it is an AI with 1 function...) and ended up creating the Reapers in order to preserve life across the galaxy through brutal means of harvesting the spacefaring races and creating new Reapers in the Leviathans cuttlefish form. I could go on, but I wont. This post is about more Mass Effect as confirmed by BioWare General Manager, Aaron Flynn.

Firstly, he announced the news that BioWare founders Dr's Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka are retiring from the gaming industry after 17 years. The Docs have a fascinating back story. After graduating from Med School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the 2 friends thought "Hey, after all that hard work, how about we get out a C$100,000 loan and start a computer games company?" well they did and BioWare was born.

But again, this isn't the point of this post. I wiggle and waggle around. Like a puppies tail on the arrival of his master from a long day of work. Nice huh? The point of this post is, MORE MASS EFFECT STUFF.

Basically since ME3 was released, everyone who has played the game (and played ME2) fully expected one of the DLC packs to be based around Omega. For reference, Omega is a space station in the Terminous Systems that is a haven for the criminal scum of the galaxy - imagine Mos Eisley Spaceport from Star Wars in space. And that actually feels dark and threatening. Basically the space station is near the famed Omega-4 Relay, the unpassable relay to the home of the Collectors. After the events of ME2 enables the Normandy and then Cerberus access through the relay to all that lovely technology, Cerberus think "Hey, let's take over that criminal space station so that we have a lovely huge space station home near all our new technology."

There's a lot of "Hey let's do this..." thinking at BioWare - FACT.

For further reference, "Omega has no titled ruler and only one rule...don't...fuck with Aria."

That's Aria T'Loak the "boss, CEO, Queen if you're being dramatic" of said space station. She's sitting pretty in ME3 on the Citadel, telling Shepard that The Illusive Man (Cerberus leader) right at the top of her shit list and that she's going to take back Omega. And then we never talk to her again. That is until the Omega DLC comes out in the next couple of months, as officially announced in the recent blog from Mr Flynn the GM of BioWare.

Awesome, I'm still yet to play Leviathan to be perfectly honest. I've just started my evil Shepard playthrough of ME3 and am close to being able to activate the mission so I'll be able to give a proper insight and review of it soon.

So that means that additions to ME3 include From Ashes - Introducing us to Javik the Prothean; The Extended Cut - making the abrupt shitting endings PDG (Pretty Darn Good); Leviathan - showing the origins of the Reapers and now Omega - taking the space station back from Cerberus and probably getting some tasty War Assets as well, and hopefully some more extensions on the ending.


NO WAY FUCKERS!!! NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST!!! Instead of me mincing any words read this lovely following quote from the blog that I've mentioned a couple of times already. I'll help you out by highlighting the most important sentance in the paragraph.

"MASS EFFECT – Executive Producer Casey Hudson and his team are coming off an amazing eight-year run with the Mass Effect trilogy. But they’re not done yet. We are releasing more multiplayer content and we have more single-player stories coming throughout the next six months, including Omega which is coming in the Fall. But the Mass Effect universe is vast, and Casey and our teams have plans for another full game. “Where to go next?” with such a project has been a question a lot of us have been asking, and we’d all love to hear your ideas."

That's right. There will be a 4th Mass Effect game. At the moment, that confirmation is enough. It's obviously still in it's preliminary stages, hence the "Where to go next?" question tacked onto it, and if you scour the BSN forums you'll no doubt find an awful lot of suggestions, one of my favourites being the now infamous Dinosaur DLC - the theory that Dinosaurs weren't just wild big reptiles that acted like wild big reptiles, but that they were sentient, that they were advanced and that they traveled between the stars - only to be wiped out by the Reapers - not ended by a big arsed asteroid.

But seriously how to go on? A prequel would be alright, but has been met with a lot of negativity from the fans - mainly due to the almost pointlessness of it. Yeah it would be cool to play as John Grissom or even David Anderson and play through a game that helps set the scene for ME1, but that would be a better area for another medium - books most likely.

Some have suggested that yes a game set after the climax of ME3 would be awesome, but make it thousands of years after so that you could iron out the effects of Control, Synthesis, Destroy or Refuse into a new storyline, but doing anything set too far off wouldn't appeal because quite frankly the technology is already massively advanced from what we have now, setting it even further ahead of time might make things a smidge ridiculous, and you wont feel like what happened in ME3 had any real effect.

For me, there is only 1 option. And that is to first look back at ME2. They gave you the option to play the game in such a way that when you destroyed the Human-Reaper embryo, Shepard then died. They said that this ending would be the end of YOUR Commander Shepard, and that that story-arch would end there and any playthrough of ME3 would be a stand-alone experience detached from the first 2 games. However, if you played ME2 and your Shep survived, then you could import him/her into ME3 and continue that story.

Therefore, to continue YOUR Shepards story, you need to pick Destroy. Destroy is the only ending of ME3 that provides a "Shepard Lives" cutscene at the end (providing you have a sufficient EMS) and it would provide a perfect platform for a new ME game set maybe still a few decades after ME3 (so Shepard could be a "Anderson" character as opposed to the protagonist) and set just far enough off to show that the relays had been repaired and also the newly placed Citadel could still be a "hub".

Basically the other 3 endings just don't leave a lot to be desired so far as a 4th game goes. 1st - Refuse. Everybody's dead Dave and it's up to the next cycle to finish what the Protheans and the Human Cycle started - to kick the Reapers arse to such a degree that they end up eradicated. So it would involve a whole new set of races, and no humans. Nothing familar in the slightest, apart from the relays and the Citadel. So no thank you.

2nd - Control. Control was the option of choice for The Illusive Man, who was clearly indoctrinated and it would also result in Shepard being dissolved into the Reaper consciousness and using them to fix the galaxy and protect everyone - so kinda pointless to have a game where Shepard is knocking about in the Reapers heads stopping anything shit happening for all of time. 

3rd - Synthesis. Just no. It's stupid. It's shite. It's also kinda what Saren wanted. Well kinda. Ish. He talks about forging alliances between Organics and Machines, and also about the joining of the 2, the advantages of both, the weaknesses of neither. It does tend to lean to the thought that if Saren was stood with StarBrat on the Citadel he'd have leapt into the Crucible Beam without hesitation. This ending as well would result in Shepard dissolving and everyone in the galaxy sharing some lovely DNA. No thanks, it doesn't really give you much scope to create bad guys in way. Everyone is fairly much the same, even the geth and EDI, everyone I would assume have the same strengths and weaknesses - even squirrels. So no.

So I think that they say this - The only way to continue your story from your ME3 save-game, is to choose Destroy with a high EMS. If you choose the other 3 endings then that's perfectly valid, but that would result in the end of YOUR Mass Effect playthrough. This is why I think they are giving us more War Assets for the DLCs (Eden Prime Resistence Movement and the Leviathans to name a couple) and it's why they changed the amount of EMS that you need to get the "Shepard Lives" ending to be more attainable with the normal 50% Galactic Readiness.

Mark my words. THIS.

Anyway, it's late and I need to go off and play....Football Manager. Happy Hunting.

Toolbox 24

EDIT: PS Here is a LINK to the blog post from Aaron Flynn that sparked this post.