Here's the debut teaser.
It's scheduled for Q4 2011, so hopefully the shorter dev cycle hasn't affected the quality.Earth is burning. Striking from beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race. As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the Earth.
2011 looks to be a very promising year for RPGs, there's this, Deus Ex 3, Witcher 2, SW:TOR and Guild Wars 2. Dragon Age 2 is still looking quite pants, my expectations will be low. Skyrim though? Based on my experiences with Fallout 3, I do expect fairly bad writing. I highly doubt their technology will have come a long way either, another iterative build of their buggy arse, unstable engine, with the same limitations on character animation and the like.
Last edited by EvaUnit02; 4th Jan 2011 at 21:43.
The first 2 games had good writing overall. So I wouldn't worry too much.
Looking forward to ME3 as I loved the first 2 games.
Last edited by icemann; 11th Dec 2010 at 22:35.
Wait. They had the entire galaxy at their disposal but the writers decide that it comes down to 'save the world'?
Ah, Christ. When will you grow a pair, BioWare.
Well, I dunno. Is Mass Effect intended to be only a trilogy? Because if not, then I don't see how a story less epic in scope could be a detriment.
It is supposed to be a trilogy, but I don't see why EA wouldn't want to run it into the ground.
I wasn't talking about scope so much as it's the most cliched attention-getting premise in the entire history of fiction.
The problem is that this actually is less epic then they could go for. A lot less epic. The adversaries in ME have been established as destroying the entire population of the galaxy, repeatedly. Compared to that, just blowing up Earth is unimpressive.
Scope is one thing, but 'save the galaxy' is just an extension of 'save the world'. They could have made it far more unique a teaser by just destroying Earth for once and making it about empty revenge, or shunting the story of the Reapers to another galaxy/dimension with different rules, or made the game about fighting off motherfucking entropy and come off less cliched.
I agree but this is only a teaser. Surely they're not going to lay all of their cards out in it.
I'd have much rathered they not have it centered around Earth as well. Been done sooooooooo many times.
The same thing pissed me off about the newer Doctor Who's versus the 50s-80s counterparts who had alot of episodes that had nothing to do with Earth at all, and were all the better because of it.
If we take the conservative estimate of 200 billion stars in the galaxy, the rate the Reapers seem to be going at the cleaning process in the trailer seems a bit unrealistic. Sure, they can take their time, but the universe does have a limited age and unless there are billions of Reapers out there (not the impression they've given), the fiction that they've done the same countless times before starts to break down. Just doesn't seem like they could spare much effort on one shitty planet when you've got hundreds of billions to worry about and the heat death of the universe looming.
I haven't even watched the trailer, honestly. So done with Bioware. It's too bad- their games are fun, and in many ways well designed (I think the combat system in Dragon Age is one of the better RPG systems I've seen). But they are unwilling to do originaility - I say unwilling and not unable because it doesn't take a brilliant mind to come up with more original story arcs and characters than Bioware does.
But hey - they do what they do, they sell a bunch of copies, they get massive critical praise and get called the Master Storytellers of Gaming - so why the hell would they change their ways?
A bit derivative? Dragon Age is Middle Earth with a couple of the archetypes given a shake. Mass Effect is space opera complete with a looming galactic threat and an intrepid crew and its charismatic captain ready to take it on single handedly.
I'm not too sure what the third universe is, though it surely can't be Star Wars. If it's Jade Empire, I haven't played it, and the world of Chinese mythology might look like a step up, but I'm sure it's brimming with the usual BioWare archetypes including black/white moral choices.
Jade Empire is the exception to the rule, in that it's actually a shit game (narrative aside), such that I couldn't get far enough into it to see if the universe was more interesting.
As for "how they tell they're story," the problem is that they always tell their story the same way. I've actually considered making a sort of "narrative map" for Bioware games, because they all follow the exact same structure down to the smallest details (what the subquests are, how you build relationships with NPC companions, etc). I dunno, maybe it's just because I'm tuned in to pattern recognition and thus can't immerse myself in a game whose structure is so blatant.
I was actually going to write a chapter on this in my book, but KOTOR hates my Windows 7 machine and it didn't really make sense to use a later game as an example.
Y'all are pretty hard on Bioware. Mass Effect 2 had compelling, well-written characters that more than compensated for a predictable plot. And since all we care about is that our "moral choices" involve being evil no matter what, we should appreciate the fact that ME2 did have several no-win situations.
I wonder what they stole those characters from.
Mass Effect's characters are based on stereotypes again, but the dialogue and many of the quests are fun.
Compelling, though? Rarely. A couple of those character-based choices had the potential to be (for example, ME2's choose Samara-or-her-daughter confrontation would have worked if I actually knew Samara's character better than 'slightly psychotic blue alien zen monk'.) Maybe because it's because of the sheer number of characters, but not one of them is an actual, complex, rounded out person.
I wholeheartly agree with that Bioware knows HOW to tell stories but unfortunately their stories and characters suck. I loved ME2 for all its pomp and fistpumping and stolen forcepowers. It was a good TPS with a few RPG traits thrown in, but pales even in comparison to ... MW2 on the "RPG" side. Shepard is a complete moron and his "renegade" actions are not renegade, they are despicable idiocy. the main plot's integration into the loyalty missions - or the other way around - was not that good, still - played it many times and enjoy many bits and pieces of it. DragonAge - that game aint even fixed yet so I can't say anything about their combat system cause it still is broken as hell and needs mods to fix it. It's just like many say: there are not many RPGs out per year - at least single-player RPGs with or without parties and big, long sprawling stories set in distant galaxies or different universes. Nobody seems to try and just let BIOWARE take all the money so they set the standard. that it is not a very high one despite their resources is another story. And Bioware does not build worlds. They write boring codex entries. TheWitcher created a world. DragonAge/MassEffect are just corridors with windows.
There's nothing inherently wrong genre work or characters based on established archetypes*. When it's done well, and Bioware do do it well, it can be immensely entertaining. I mean, I play games like The Void, read books like Infinite Jest, watch films like 8 1/2 because I love originality and being challenged but I still have time, and hope I always will, for good old fashioned genre work. I couldn't give two shits that they're not 'complex, rounded out people' because they are interesting/likeable and have their compelling moments, and basically it's just a blast to get swept up in the operatic pomp of it all and save the world with them.
So yeah, I'm excited for the next slice of epic story telling from Bioware and since it's gonna sell shitloads, I'll have plenty more to look forward to as well.
*Deus Ex and Thief are chock full of them and that includes Garret.
Whatever works for you, bub. Deus Ex and Thief are fine because they actually did something interesting with your archetypes.
Me, I'm tired of seeing the writers do the same characters in every Bioware game so far with a bit of reshuffling here and there, so compelling to you they may be, but I'm all Biowared out because all they seem capable of doing is genre work, which isn't exactly rare these days to begin with.