I really have fond memories of the original Mass Effect. Sure, it had its silly moments. (“This evidence is irrefutable!”) But it still felt like a season of a really good sci-fi show. Each planet was an interesting place to discover. Like an episode of Trek, you visited a new place, got to know it, and solved some problems. And in each episode, you moved the overarching plot forward a step, building up to a season finale.
And yes, we really did savage Mass Effect 2. Over time, my opinion of the game has grown worse: It was weak in exactly the way it needed to be strong. The gunplay changes made sense to me from a marketing perspective – popup shooters really are king of the world right now – but there was no reason to turn the story into hash the way they did.
But even after unloading all this hate onto Mass Effect 2, EA, and BioWare, I still feel a certain connection with the game. I still love the original, and I still hold out hope that Mass Effect 3 could give me what I was hoping to get from Mass Effect 2. And so I find myself defending the game from its own publisher. (Protip: This link leads to the actual article.)
The Mass Effect 3 campaign and DLC circus is just really sleazy. I understand that EA doesn’t value their products as anything other than a source of revenue, and doesn’t regard them as artistic endeavors at all. I get that. But aren’t they supposed to pretend their stuff has some sort of merit?
A lot of this goes back to the Extra Credits Open Letter to EA Marketing. It’s not that these people are shallow and money-grubbing. I can understand the grubbing of money. But their own marketing seems almost infused with this raw contempt not just for the medium, but for the audience itself.
A Star is Born
Remember the superhero MMO from 2009? Neither does anyone else. It was dumb. So dumb I was compelled to write this.
The game was a dud, and I'm convinced a big part of that is due to the way the game leaned into its story. Its terrible, cringe-inducing story.
What did web browsers look like 20 years ago, and what kind of crazy features did they have?
Shamus Plays WOW
Ever wondered what's in all those quest boxes you've never bothered to read? Get ready: They're more insane than you might expect.
Grand Theft Auto Retrospective
This series began as a cheap little 2D overhead game and grew into the most profitable entertainment product ever made. I have a love / hate relationship with the series.