E3 2015 EA Press Conference

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jul 1, 2015

Filed under: Industry Events 58 comments

Here is a video of Josh and I talking over the EA press conference. Obviously this is going to be snarky and negative. If you’re looking for some sort of aloof, just-the-facts journalistic attachment, then… gosh. Why are you even reading my site? But this will be even more not-detached than normal. As I’ve tried to stress in the past, I’m not mad at EA because they’re an “Evil Corporation”. There are lots of companies that are way worse, and I can barely remember to be annoyed at most of them.

The reason EA drives me crazy is the wasted potential. Imagine the general manager of an American football team. Imagine he is so wealthy that he’s able to draft the greatest players in the history of the game, in the prime of their careersI guess he also has a time machine?. Then he gathers up some of the most amazingly talented coaches, all with amazing track records. Between them they have enough Superbowl rings to make some half-decent Liberace cosplay. They get the best equipment, the most lavish home stadium, and the the best doctors.

But this manager is in it to win it. So he forces his coaches to run the same play, all game, every game. Ten years ago that play made the team into superstars, and now he’s just waiting for the lightning to strike again. He keeps putting the same players in the game, regardless of age or injury, because this particular arrangement of players was part of that winning team ten years ago, and so he figures they’re ideally qualified to make it happen again.

You don’t have to know anything about footballHand Egg. to realize this team will never reach its potential. Maybe the sheer talent of the players will help them to overcome the overwhelming ineptitude of their leadership and get through the season with a modest number of wins.

To me, this team is a lot more frustrating than just a garden-variety team that sucks. They’re way worse than the worst team in the league. It’s a team run by someone who doesn’t understand the game, and doesn’t trust his coaches or players to know their jobs. It’s run by a simpleton that can’t learn from his mistakes, refuses to learn the nuances of the business, and shifts all the blame downward.

And every year people defend this guy because, “Hey, the team is making money, right? And they won a few games, right?”

Makes me so mad.

So let’s see what EA has in their playbook this year:

Link (YouTube)

Mass Effect: Andromeda: Was our snark fair? No. Of course the trailer is going to be action schlock. It’s entirely possible that the move to a new galaxy is an effort to escape the corner they painted themselves into at the end of Mass Effect 3. But I’m looking for something, anything to hint at “big idea” sci-fi. Non-upright, non-bipedal aliens. Strange cultures. Fantastic worlds. Mysteries in space. We don’t get many games like that. If space opera was as common as faux-European medieval fantasy, then the fall of Mass Effect wouldn’t sting so bad. But it was basically the only game in a very niche genre, and they turned it into Gears of War with a dialog wheel, because Bob EA remembers that was a winning play at one point.

Need for Speed: Like I said in the stream, I get why they’re aping the ultra-macho tone of the Fast and the Furious. I don’t really fault them for that. I have this strange relationship with car games. I love beautiful, well-engineered, powerful machines like sports cars. And I enjoy the sensation of driving really fast. But your typical driving game leaves me completely cold. I dislike racing in a circuit. Actually I’m not crazy about races at all. I just want a really fun car to drive in a huge world. I guess that’s why I enjoyed FUEL. I doubt there are enough people like me to constitute a “market”.

The Old Republic: The poster child for EA-style management. Let’s take a bunch of popular stuff: The gameplay of WoW, the world of Star Wars, and the storytelling of BioWare, and combine them in such a way that none of them really work. The pacing of an MMO ruins the BioWare story, the flat visuals ruin the Star Wars aesthetic, and the Star Wars / WoW gameplay mashup lacks the visceral appeal of Star Wars and the skinner box appeal of WoW. Then when it fails we’ll claim it was a success, fire most of the people who built it, and stagger away without learning anything.

Unraveled: Okay, it’s charming. I’m a little worried that the indie aesthetic is a little too forced and the design is a little too twee. And yes I’m aware that makes me sound like the worst sort of elitist indie hipster. Honestly I think I’m just cynical because the game is being shown so close to Need For Fast and Furious. If I saw this trailer outside of an EA press event it would probably melt my heart.

Plants Versus Zombies Garden Warfare: I’m reminded of what Al Lowe said when he found out they were making more Leisure Suit Larry games: “It’s like getting a picture of your loved ones from the kidnappers. It’s nice to know he’s still alive, but look what they’ve done to him!” This game tries so hard to capture just a tiny mote of the charm that Popcap originally created so effortlessly. It’s almost as if artistic work isn’t fungible and artists aren’t interchangeable.

I can’t believe how long this goes on.

NHL 16: No comment.

Madden: No comment.

NBA Live: No comment.

NBA Live: No comment.

Minions: All of my thoughts on Plants vs. Zombies applies here: It’s a charming original property that they turned into a rote and derivative game, while losing the soul of the original work but keeping the most superficial elements.

FIFA: No comment. Note that my comments about Pele are based entirely on what I was told about the guy as a child. Apparently he’s a somewhat controversial figure? I wouldn’t know. I do know his interview was really awkward.

Mirror’s Edge: I’ve already heard that they plan to “fix” the problems of the original by “improving” the gunplay. I sort of lost interest at that point.

Battlefront: And the stream broke before we could see it. Oh well.



[1] I guess he also has a time machine?

[2] Hand Egg.

From The Archives:

58 thoughts on “E3 2015 EA Press Conference

  1. General Karthos says:

    I like what I’ve seen of “Battlefront” so far. This is what I hate most about EA; that they produce games that I really, really want to own that almost always wind up being somewhat more than what I feared, but so much less than what I wanted.

    1. This is EXACTLY how I feel. :P

    2. Kerethos says:

      I’m not excited about Battlefront at all, because everyone who’s played it seems to repeat the same things: Kind of fun on foot – horrible and awful in the air.

      Issues with flying include:
      Weapons do minimal damage (you’re more effective on foot).
      You spend most of the time turning around to make another pass and shoot for a few seconds before spending a long time turning around again (basically – flying is boring and mostly consists of turning the ship around).
      Maps are too small for flying, you constantly hit the edge.
      Invisible walls kill you at the edge of the small map (and other places).
      The controls for flying are really bad.

  2. I was so shocked to hear all the talk about Pelé and not one mention the pinnacle event of his career in 1981: Pelé’s Soccer for the Atari 2600 cartridge.

  3. Simplex says:

    “I've already heard that they plan to “fix” the problems of the original by “improving” the gunplay. I sort of lost interest at that point.”



    1. Shamus says:

      That is good news. About six-ish months ago one of the devs said they were working to improve the gunplay. (No, I don’t remember the context, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t hallucinate it.)

      EDIT: I snarked about it in a Twitter conversation, but didn’t give a link to the source:


      Looks like this was said last October. I’m just going to assume they saw my Tweet and decided to change the game.

      1. Simplex says:

        Yeah, I just remembered this part in the wikipedia page for the game: “the sequel will focus on the first-person combat mechanics”

        Also mentioned here:

      2. guy says:

        They’d been speaking vaguely about improving the “combat”. Everyone figured they meant shooting because EA.

        Honestly, I would personally be up for Mirror’s Edge having guns so long as the guns and the parkour cooperated. I remember parts of the original where you could get a pistol and keep doing your free running while also shooting things, and that was fun.

      3. Nimas says:

        Yeah, I actually think the first person combat could be good here if it’s less about stopping and kung fu fighting as a 50kg or something woman vs heavyset 90-100kg men and instead using momentum of movement to both take down and alter how you move about the environment (note: I kind of loved the first Mirror’s Edge despite its flaws, it was too far up my alley ><

      4. Diego says:

        No gunplay is definitely good news. But focus on combat doesn’t ease my spirit that much. At least in the original ME, combat breaks the running/parkour flow, at least that’s the general criticism. It’s not impossible to improve the combat and fix the issues, by any means! but it’s still not what I would like to hear. Not the most elegant solution to the first game’s design issues. Personally, what I would do is incorporate enemies into what was fun about that game: flow. Using enemies to climb higher, change direction quickly by bumping into them, that sort of stuff.

        I like to think of Thief because it looks like a similar case. The first thief’s problem was that the level design, midway in the campaign, becomes too hard for stealth and forces the player to do some running and fighting. It wasn’t fun, by comparison with the rest of the game. But Looking Glass realized that so, for Thief 2, the entire campaign does not stray away from stealth not even a bit, and it became the pinnacle of the series to this day. They focused on removing what made the game not fun, not trying to improve those aspects.

        There are no rules in game design. What they are doing could very well work. But I am, unfortunately, skeptic it will.

        (wow, I wrote a lot on what was initially a quick comment. I think I should start a blog or something)

        1. guy says:

          I felt that unarmed combat in the original worked pretty well; it was fast and energetic and you could easily smash people out of the way and keep going.

          I’m a little concerned by the details I’m reading; it sounds like you’ll have to burn your momentum to actually take someone out of the fight. That seems unfun.

          1. Diego says:

            Yeah, some people even enjoyed the combat. I didn’t but I get it.

            You know what *really* sounds like they want to do? It bothers me so much I didn’t even mention before. I think they want to exploit Mirror’s Edge Ip to compete with Batman. Let’s make a bet! I say it will be open world and the improved combat they are referring to is the free-flow combat we know from Batman. Worst case scenario they will even pull the player from first person to a third person view.

            I like Batman, but going from original idea to mediocre copy of another game would be depressing.

            But that’s just a bad feeling and nothing more.

            1. diegzumillo says:

              I knew I made this comment somewhere! Found it.

              Anyway, I called it. ME is a Batman wannabe.

    2. Lanthanide says:

      Yeah, I really have no idea what Shamus is talking about with that one.

      The new Mirror’s Edge sounds exactly like what the first one should have been – all about fluid movement. Once you get momentum up, the control scheme is simplified so any action that will take your character ‘up’ in the environment requires you to press the up control. Anything that will take you down requires you to press the ‘down’ control – so the control scheme becomes very simplified and fluid.

      You use your momentum against enemies – there are two basic attacks, one that briefly stuns them and lets you carry on with your momentum, and the other one lets you transfer all of your momentum in knocking them out cold. But then you have to speed up again to start running.

      Sounds very strategic and awesome.

      1. SougoXIII says:

        Shamus definitely did not hallucinate that information, I distinctly remember DICE saying that they’ll focus on refining the first-person combat some time last year and that the game will ‘focus more heavily on first-person combat than its predecessor,’ which is the last thing Mirror’s Edge should focus on and it rightly set off many alarm bells for people. Luckily, it seems that they managed to found common sense and decided to drop the gunplay altogether.


        1. Orillion says:

          The martial arts were done in first-person too.

    3. Tsi says:

      I guess we have their producer to thank for that. : )

  4. Vipermagi says:

    31:00 ish, about Unravel: it’s not a stock photo though, it’s a photo of him and his sibling if memory serves. He explains, but neither of you were listening :p Oh well.
    I found his talk kinda endearing when I first listened to it. Not terribly sold on the gameplay though.

  5. Mephane says:

    I actually do like the current Garden Warfare and am very much looking forward to the sequel. The only big change from the first game they absolutely should do is to ditch the challenge mechanic for level-ups, and replace it with a decent XP system.

    I say this as someone who has also played the very original Plant Vs Zombies, and who was very skeptical of Garden Warfare being a multiplayer shooter. But then I saw it in action, not on Youtube but in person, and realized this is a lovely and mechanically decent approach at the FPS genre that even manages to implement two completely asymmetric teams in a very well-balanced manner.

    I am a Star Wars fan and still between Battlefront and Garden Warfare 2, the former leaves me rather cold but the latter gets me positively excited.

    1. Shamus says:

      That’s good to hear. The only thing I ever heard about GW was that it was “flat” and “boring”. I had assumed it was just an empty also-ran. The fact that you’re genuinely a fan is a good sign.

      1. Mephane says:

        Well it certainly does not have the complexity of a Battlefield – but it never aimed at that position, nor did it ever claim that. The much more appropriate comparison would be Team Fortress 2 – wacky cartoony style, very different classes, and of course hats (and other bits you can stick onto your plants and zombies).

        The primary game mode (as in, most often played) “Gardens&Graveyards” works like a seamless series of capture&hold, with always a single active capture point which the plants hold in the beginning, and the zombies need to capture it; any capture progress the zombies have achieved cannot be undone, and capturing goes by majority on the point, if 3 zombies and 2 plants are standing on it, the zombies are winning. When the point is captured, the next point further down the map becomes active (plant-owned, again) and the current one disabled, and the corresponding areas of the map are opened. This way a match moves across different parts of a large map towards an ultimate goal which the zombies must destroy (the goal and the game mechanic to destroy it is different for each map). The plants win if the zombies fail to capure any of the points or destroy the final goal within a time limit, the zombies win when the goal is destroyed.

        I find this a very clever setup, as it successfully captures the overall idea of the plants fighting a retreating battle against the approaching zombie horde, and facilitates the asymmetric teams and classes rather well.

        There is also a nice coop survival mode “Garden Ops” where the players (as plants) defend a garden against a increasingly difficult waves of zombie NPCs, and ultimately themselves before extraction.

        The other game modes are not bad, either, but I find they pale in comparison to Gardens&Graveyards and Garden Ops.

        P.S.: It is the only game which I ever bought in the Origin store, and which made me install Origin in the first place.

  6. krellen says:

    EA Sports is why EA continues to exist. It is the bread-and-butter of the company. Of course they devoted a huge portion of their conference to sports; why would you expect otherwise?

    Frankly, I’m surprised it was only 1/3rd of the conference.

    1. Torsten says:

      But are the people who buy those games the kind of people who follow E3 press conferences? Granted these are as much for investors and industry specialists, but they are probably not interested in game features that the conference spends several minutes talking about.

      1. boz says:

        Check EA’s stock price during June, you can see the increase trend between 15th and 20th. Those announcements are for investors.

      2. Supahewok says:

        Investors don’t care about the details, but they want to know that there are details, so they want to hear them anyway.

        No news is not good news in the world of investment. You want constant growth, and constant updates on that growth. If EA didn’t mention the updates to their sports titles, I guarantee that their stock would plummet over night.

      3. Alexander The 1st says:

        There’s also the new Women’s National Teams for FIFA 2015, which is a thing they’d be proud to announce since the Women’s finals is a thing in Vancouver, and the Vancouver EA studio has a scanner that helps them bring certain characters into the game (The way they do the more cynically phrased “roster update”.).

        That link, by the way, somewhat references in the comments the idea that the FIFA executives are trying to avoid corruption charges; so if there’s any time for EA to get that out there to as many people as possible, it’s before FIFA gets a massive PR backlash that would make EA investors want to remove the IP from their license or association with FIFA in general. If there’s a possibility they might not be talking about FIFA 2016 next year, I’m fine with them pulling the big guns out now with Pele and such.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Mass Effect: Andromeda: Was our snark fair?

    Yes.Because everything they say is that they are going for quantity instead of quality.

    1. Mass Effect: Now Set in a Different New Galaxy! (that looks exactly like the old galaxy)

      They could have shown me gameplay from ME3 and it would have looked right at home with that prerendered trailer.

  8. Deadpool says:

    So about Pele…

    The “controversy” is that while Pele is an amazing player, calling him (or anyone) the best ever, ever, ever is always going to be an exaggeration. Over the years people have scrutinized his record in every possible way and there are lots of other options.

    The thing is, Pele’s life is a GOOD narrative. He came from extreme poverty, was INCREDIBLY young (he won his first World Cup at 16, youngest player in the tournament)… AND he’s just a genuinely nice guy. Soft spoken, humble, devout catholic. He makes for a good public face.

    His rivals are not. Garrincha, Pele’s partner scorer and often the choice for “true best”, is considered one of the other contenders, but he was a drunk and womanizer with 14 legitimate sons from several women, Maradona had drug issues and family problems, etc etc…

    Are they BETTER players? That’s a tough thing to judge. No one will ever argue they are amazing (Garrincha and Pele have NEVER lost a match when the two played together) and certainly contenders for the top spot. Who is truly the best is too complicated a question for anyone to assert without argument. And hence, controversy.

    Also, no one knows who invented the bicycle kick for sure, but we do know it was NOT Pele.

    1. RCN says:

      Yeah, he is a nice narrative, though he is certainly out-of-touch nowadays. One of these days he was being driven through one of the favelas in Rio and some thugs stopped the car and robbed him. He showed his face, saying “hey, it is me, Pelé”.

      The thugs, who were young teenagers, didn’t even know who he was. He basically forgot how isolated life in the favelas can be and how selective the knowledge people get of the outside world was. And the fact he was outraged that the thugs didn’t immediately stop the robbery because he was a celebrity really shows how out-of-touch he was. Knowledge of history, in particular, seems to falter a lot, even if it is the history of a ridiculously popular sport. If it was Robinho, or Neymar, then they’d probably have recognized.

      Also, it was really weird to hear Shamus say he was like the what’s-his-name of Hockey, some guy I never heard about. Then again, anything about Hockey is pretty much unheard of in places that never get bellow 0 Celsius. The more able comparison would be comparing him to Micheal Jordan.

      EDIT: That’ll teach me to comment before finishing the video, literally seconds after Shamus says “Yeah, he was the Michael Jordan of Football”

      1. Otters34 says:

        Look, I’m just saying…maybe use “narrative” about fifteen-thousand more times, I couldn’t make it out among the blur of all those other, lesser words.

        1. Deadpool says:

          I am not quite sure what you mean…

      2. Deadpool says:

        Old people get out-of-touch. It’s a thing.

        Do you know what favela?

        1. RCN says:

          It was in a Favela in Santos, Sà£o Paulo, in 2008.

          To be fair, ten year earlier he was also victim of attempted robbery, but that time he disclosed his identity and the robbers let him go, but it is not just because it happened one time that it means it was his right to not ever be robbed. That’s not how it works and he should have known, growing up in a favela. But he was outraged that anyone would ever dare rob him, much less a Brazilian.

          It really makes sense that he practically never visits Brazil anymore, considering he was victimized twice in ten years, but if you drive a nice car in certain areas, regardless of where you are (ok, maybe except in Europe), you should expect a robbery.

          1. Felblood says:

            ” if you drive a nice car in certain areas, regardless of where you are (ok, maybe except in Europe), you should expect a robbery.”

            That’s a very … Brazilian way to look at it.

            Even if you aren’t specifically from Brazil, this isn’t a normal attitude to hear from someone who grows up in a place where the government can make a reasonable assertion of actual statehood.*

            * That is to say that said government does not assert a significant monopoly on the distribution of violence within that region of it’s borders. Traditionally, this is put forward as one of the basic requirements of calling yourself a “real” country, but in reality most sizeable nations have a few slums, ghettos or other bad neighborhoods where the official government can see considerable competition in the extortion industry.

  9. Darren says:

    What do we say about Dragon Age? DA2 was clearly rushed out the door and paid the price in player opinion (I love it, myself, in spite of its flaws), but other than that one instance they seem to have been left alone. Set aside the medieval fantasy trappings and increasingly MMO-like gameplay and look at some of the series trademarks:

    1) Class-based combat where each class is very different in abilities and survivability
    2) Emphasis on alternate sexualities and religious, racial, and ethnic diversity (granted, mostly fantasy races, ethnicities, and religions)
    3) Ability to solve many situations without combat, including end-mission encounters that would otherwise entail a boss fight
    4) Following from 3, increasingly obscured mechanisms for triggering alternate solutions, making it difficult for players to choose their preferred outcome by looking for provided cues

    I’m not saying that EA just doesn’t care what Bioware does, but the Dragon Age games seem a lot less interested in catering to the lowest common denominator, shooter-bro mentality than the Mass Effect games (and yeah, I’m being more than a little harsh to Mass Effect there, but still). It’s weird to me. Or do people think I’m giving the series too much credit?

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      “Set aside… the increasingly MMO like gameplay…”

      Other than the ending, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

      1. Darren says:

        But is the gameplay being modified because EA dictates it or because at the end of the day the DA team is more interested in writing characters than in making engaging combat? I mean, DA2 has copy-pasted levels and just a few tweaks from Origins, but the characters and story are fully written, speaking to where the development priority lay. And let’s not forget that the primary focus shifted from the PC to consoles–which can be blamed on EA–so the gameplay may have been altered just to work better on a controller more than to specifically appeal to a certain demographic.

      2. Wide And Nerdy says:

        Exactly, you can’t set that aside because it, along with the botched open world design, killed the pacing of the story.

        I’m not excited for Andromeda at all. Inquisition killed my enthusiasm for all things Bioware.

        1. Supahewok says:

          Little late to the party, aint’cha? :P

  10. Joe Leigh says:

    Having not watched the Xbox conference, I had no frigging idea what that mascot was supposed to be. You guys mentioned that maybe they just didn’t have enough mics on the audience, but it struck me that there was absolutely no reaction from the crowd. It took the whole conference to a new cringe-worthy level of terrible.

    1. AileTheAlien says:

      If they had just had the non-mascot dude walk on stage and say, “Hi, I’m Bob! I’ll be talking about Plants vs Zombies.”, that would have been better. Mascots work in sports, because they’re essentially the clowns, helping the cheerleaders rile up the crowds, and provide levity in an otherwise reasonably-serious setting. Plants vs Zombies is already whimsical, so there’s no real counterpoint there. I guess the super-cape zombie was supposed to be more like a mascot at Disney? [shrug]

  11. Tsi says:

    Basically, EA is all : Turn this into CoD, this as well, sports, sports, more sports, put more CoD in that, sports again, a racing game even more talkative than the previous one and for those who think we only do this stuf, here is a cute little game. Oh and here is some more sports and CoD like stuff.

    I wish they would make a NfS closer to NfS 3 hot pursuit in 1998. I enjoyed the menus where you could read and listen to tracks information :
    and cars information :
    While listening to good bg music.

    This was (still is) AWESOME and i can’t believe no game has done this since then …

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      The music in the older NFS games was really, really, really good. It’s so sad that they decided to go with mostly mediocre licensed soundtracks ever since Underground.

      Some of those older tracks ended up in Mass Effect as well, which made me very happy.


    2. Oh man! I loved NFS3: Hot Pursuit. I still have the soundtrack in my music library and everything. My favorite race track was the snowy one (I think with the direction reversed) where there was a really sweet jump at the end of a long tunnel. My brother and I spent many hours playing that game in split-screen mode.

      1. Tsi says:

        Yes, the amount of love poured into this game… It was like porn for people who liked cars.

  12. AileTheAlien says:

    OK, so Cilantro (aka Coriander) is one of those divisive herbs, and it might be because of differences between the people tasting it. Scishow explains here. Similar to highschool biology class, where you taste the little paper strips, and 75% of the class doesn’t taste anything, and the rest wish they hadn’t done the experiment… ^^;

  13. I really can’t believe Mirror’s Edge doesn’t play up what I thought was the purpose of the couriers: To avoid electronic surveillance of communications.

    I wonder if it’s the irony of EA promoting that kind of message that keeps them from emphasizing a rather timely and relevant concept for a sci-fi dystopia.

  14. Warclam says:

    Wikipedia say, “soccer” originated in England. Apparently the game’s full name is “association football”, so if you play it you’re an ‘assoc’er.

    Thanks so much for handegg. I always like using words that avoid confusion, so it’s soccer for me, but I didn’t know anything other than “american football”, except that Canada and Australia have their own versions, so that’s not really what I want to say…

    Yeah, soccer and handegg. Done. New language pack successfully installed.

    1. AileTheAlien says:

      Canada’s pretty similar, except it’s all bigger because of 1 m = 1.09 yd. At least, more similar than Australia. Do they play rugby, or something that’s different from rugby and football too?

      1. McNutcase says:

        Australia has “Australian Rules Football”, the rules of which appear to be
        1. No weapons which cannot be concealed.
        2. Don’t actually kill the other team.

        Seriously, it’s scarily violent. And I say that as a rugby player, someone who considers handegg to be a sport for the timid because they wear padding and keep taking rest breaks.

        1. RCN says:

          You’d think there’d be a rule somewhere about the murderous fauna. Either about avoiding being killed by it, or forbidding using it as a weapon.

          Guess not. Throwing Orb Spiders at your opponents seems to be fair play then.

    2. Blackbird71 says:

      I knew a few guys from New Zealand who always referred to American football as “gridiron”. While this is a technically correct designation, they were the only ones I knew who called it by that name, so I don’t know how widespread use of the term is in other countries.

  15. SlothfulCobra says:

    I always thought the setting of Mass Effect was sort of brilliant for what they wanted the games to be. That’s not to say that their worldbuilding was all that much better than any other sci-fi universe., but the way the game was made, most of the meaningful interaction with the rest of the universe would be through the barrel of a gun and who you decided to point it at, so of course the best way to make sense of that in the game world was to devise a galaxy where war is common.

    There’s a whole society of robots out there who are considered to be hostile to organics, and the rest of the galaxy is just glad they keep to themselves, although there is an alien race anxious to get their planets back. There’s an entire species of disenfranchised warriors who were put out to pasture after they helped eliminate the threat of genocidal bugs. Humans stumbled into a war right when they got introduced to the rest of the galaxy. An entire species is shunning the space-UN because their practice of slave raids was condemned. A sector of the galaxy is considered to be “wild” and not under citadel jurisdiction. Turians are a military-led society. There are all sorts of pirates and brigands bouncing about, and more mercenary companies than you can shake an omnitool at.

    And then, the games never did much with the prominence of war in their setting other than use it as an excuse for why there’s dudes for you to shoot. Mercenary companies are just factories that churn out targets to shoot at. The Geth are no better than goblins or kobolds in the first game. The military prowess of the Krogan and Turians all just boils down to so many war asset points. Shepard has to worry about an unrelated third party coming round to munch on the galaxy rather than engage in galactic politics for their own sake.

    And now it’s all gone and they’re starting from scratch again. I would really have preferred if they made a game about before the ending of ME3 where you just command a simple mercenary company. No need for vast schemes to save the universe, just some interpersonal relationships and smaller scale politics for you to muck around in. That’s where Bioware used to be at its best.

    1. So you’re saying you want to play Cerberus: Rogue Cell?

      Because that was pretty much Mass Effect 2.

      1. Richard H says:

        Suddenly, I understand why so many people are fans of Mass Effect 2.

        For context, I found ME2 to be incredibly frustrating to play and liked both ME1 (for the ways that you could avoid stand-up fights altogether through recon and positioning) and ME3 (because it was just smoother to play) better… and I didn’t think the second game’s metaplot was any less stupid than the third game’s ending.

  16. Now that I’ve seen the Need for Speed trailer, I’m like…eh. I’ve played Underground 2 and Most Wanted (both of them) and I’m just tired of that aesthetic with the eye-searing neon and the rainy, smudgy, blurry visuals. Can we have some races that don’t happen in a city at night in the rain? Please? Or is NFS too entrenched now in the Fast & Furious culture to have anything else?

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.