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Review Mass Effect 3: A Narratological Review

VentilatorOfDoom

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Tags: BioWare; Mass Effect 3

For the last couple of weeks TNO did nothing else but to tirelessly play through Mass Effect 3 time and again with the noble goal to bring us the third of his narratological reviews of the Mass Effect series. Let's have a snippet:
It is worth noting that the renegade options have generally grown up a bit. Previously renegade choices were random acts of violence (such as this defenestration), or killing an NPC you just met for the greater good. The renegade choice in the Tuchanka story line involved you literally shooting a likeable NPC in the back, and potentially having the betrayal blow up horribly in your face if Wrex is around to find out. Having party members mention 'shame that Mordin had to die curing the Genophage' knowing you shot him to ensure it remained uncured was much more emotionally engaging that their canned tragedy routines.

There are other cases of similar complexity where the C&C shines. Resolving the conflict between the Quarian and the Geth is one example, talking down Ash/Kaidan at the council coup another. This sort of thing has only really been matched by Alpha Protocol, and would that other games join in.

Sadly, it isn't all that good, and the 'Bioware choices' which lead to at-best-cosmetically-different outcomes are out in force. If a party member died in previous installments, their role will be replaced by a functionally (and often word-perfect) equivalent stunt double: Mordin gets replaced with a scientist Salarian, Grunt with another Krogan Leader, Jack with a leader of biotic students, Tali with another Quarian Geth expert, etc. Supposedly important plot decisions count for little: destroy the Collector base and Cerberus still 'recovers' the human Reaper and hangs it up in their headquarters, kill the Rachni queen and you still meet another Rachni queen 'created' by the Reapers, get Anderson to be councillor and Udina takes over the role anyway. And so on. It got to the point that whenever I saw an interesting little wrinkle in the game it made me wonder 'how would things have turned out differently?' I reminded myself that, in all likelihood, the difference would have been cosmetic. There are only so many times you can offer illusory choice before you prejudice the audience against you.

Read the full article: Mass Effect 3: A Narratological Review
 

hiver

Guest
Gee,... talk about extra stamina...

Lets read, if only because the poor fellow went through such a horrible ordeal to bring this review to us.
Gas masks on! Vaseline buckets at the ready!

Dive! Dive! Diiive!
 

Stinger

Arcane
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
1,366
Just finished reading it. It's a great breakdown of the game. The only thing I'd disagree on is that his explanation of the Tuchanka C&C doesn't sound that intricate or a particularly difficult moral choice. Amd Renegade still sounds like being an utter dickbag for no good reason rather than making ruthless but necessary choices for the greater good. It sounds like plenty of RPGs have better C&C than the Tuchanka storyline rather than just Alpha Protocol- but maybe if I actually saw it in effect I'd think otherwise.

But that said, it was a really good review that seems to have covered the story quite well so TNO has my brofist if he posts here. The last two paragraphs in particular are quite glorious :salute:
 

waywardOne

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Messages
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Good analysis. I expected to cringe during the inevitable "but here's what Bioware did well" part, but I didn't.
 

hiver

Guest
Whoooaaaa....

dang...
:wipes slime and bad looking gunk from gas mask visor:

Ah,... few... Im out.


Good review, mang, of course.
:salute: :splatters bioware gunk over everyone while saluting:




I need to wash off... well, i need to desterilize really.
If youll excuse me gentlemen...


Going to the car wash...!
Going to the car Wash , WASH, WASH!
yeaaaahhh....
 

Valestein

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here Strap Yourselves In
Great Review! ME3 was horrible right from the get-go when they started having stupid shit like having the defense committee acting like clueless morons in order to metaphorically jack off the player and when they introduced the deus ex machina crucible.
 

Krraloth

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Majestic review.
Well balanced and level-headed.
I will enjoy linking to some people who are still playing ME3 to enjoy their rage sweet butt-hurt.
 

A user named cat

Guest
I think I played the first ME for about 30 minutes before I couldn't stomach any more. Why would anyone invest this much time on such a stupid game from such a stupid series? Come on, that kind of masochism could be put to better use.

Might as well write a fucking doctrine for Lionheart or Mistmare while you're at it.
 

Oriebam

Formerly M4AE1BR0-something
Joined
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Messages
6,193
could have been longer that "you should avoid ME3/the series" remark was too much, why so prejudiced against mole poppers? Why do you assume people won't just enjoy popping the moles and have a laugh at the writing?

anyway, :thumbsup:

sounds like this is the only review of the sort on the internet, you successfully fought the good fight with your words

Biodrone said:
Not gonna lie, I decided not to read this solely because it came from rpg codex; that forum is even worse than this one, which is a truly astounding achievement
Biodrone said:
finding this interview quite contrived and nitpicky ..
quoted twice for emphasis said:
finding this interview quite contrived and nitpicky ..
"LA LA LA LA I CANT HEAR YOO"

paging Volourn
 

Sul

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Doing my duty and posting it on the BSN.

:lol: :salute:

Popcorn, anyone?
Didn't take long.:lol:

Oh, yes, RPGCodex, guys that call themselves "rpger elites" just because they bash every new "rpg" around. All their arguments are usually based on rethorics, clichés and masses' opinions stated as "new asounding facts", plus astounding doses of "I never debate anything because what I say it's obviously true because I say it" and "who cares about the truth? What it matters is what I make people-sheeps believe to".

They consider themselves "elites" and yet two of the fundamental points ob being really considered as such are: A) having an IQ above average (better if MUCH above average), B) have a somewhat perfect background and knowledge on the things you are about to judge. Since they have none of the above, more than "elites" they result only as snobbish pretenders to someone with a little more brain.

There's nothing worse than pretending yourself to be a genius when you are just a mediocre guy in the way you act and reason.

Ezra Pound said that the mark of a genius is on making connections where others cannot. In the case of these guys the only connections they can make are those that the snobbish mass can came up with, recycling them with as their own and then pretending to be taken seriously for it.
 

CrustyBot

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http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/323/index/11622803#11624157

Amioran said:
Oh, yes, RPGCodex, guys that call themselves "rpger elites" just because they bash every new "rpg" around. All their arguments are usually based on rethorics, clichés and masses' opinions stated as "new asounding facts", plus astounding doses of "I never debate anything because what I say it's obviously true because I say it" and "who cares about the truth? What it matters is what I make people-sheeps believe to".

They consider themselves "elites" and yet two of the fundamental points ob being really considered as such are: A) having an IQ above average (better if MUCH above average), B) have a somewhat perfect background and knowledge on the things you are about to judge. Since they have none of the above, more than "elites" they result only as snobbish pretenders to someone with a little more brain.

There's nothing worse than pretending yourself to be a genius when you are just a mediocre guy in the way you act and reason.

Ezra Pound said that the mark of a genius is on making connections where others cannot. In the case of these guys the only connections they can make are those that the snobbish mass can came up with, recycling them with as their own and then pretending to be taken seriously for it.

Looks like your review has it's fans, TNO.

:troll:

edit: Dammit Sul. :lol:
 

Oriebam

Formerly M4AE1BR0-something
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Messages
6,193
someone invite Amioran over here, for assimilation
 

Oriebam

Formerly M4AE1BR0-something
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Messages
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He didn't like Kirrahe's Hold the Line speech. His opinions are invalid.
ME series a space opera akin to Star Wars. With this in mind, all three stories were not the greatest writing ever seen to be in games. It follows tonnes of tropes and cliches in the story. From what I have seen from them is the same of the movie critics that can break down a movie to it's very core and say it sucks by repeating cliches and jumping the shark, while trying to make them seem they are smarter than you.

While the parts of the story of ME3 are weak it is still overall ver good compared to what I have seen in other games I have seen recently.


hope no one ninja's me this time

edit: yes
 

Oriebam

Formerly M4AE1BR0-something
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Messages
6,193
:lol:
Just because they copy/paste: I want to ask this TNO if he knows anything at all about the philosophical theme "order vs. chaos". It seems to me he knows nothing about it (as 90% of the people here that pretends to judge the narrative of ME, that's ENTIRELY based upon it) and lacking this knowledge all his judgements on the narrative is completely faulted from beginning, no matter if what he says can be right or wrong.

Since the reply is obviously NO (if he is not lying about it) he cannot pretend to state a judgment on a thing he has NO BACKGROUND at all upon and that's at the root of all the narrative. It would be like pretending to judge Rimbaud without knowing anything about symbolism.

You should expect every review that can be called as such should know these things; alas that's not so.
 

CrustyBot

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:lol:

If the "drones" are those that all the time try to debate openly about things and all they get is "no, you lie, it's only as I say" even in front of evidence of the contrary, then there's nothing to laugh at and if you do so you just play the part of the idiot to yourself.

The fact is that I've proven wrong in many threads a lot of people about the ending and their supposed "expertise" about how to judge it and the narrative of ME in the complex.

An intelligent person (but maybe it is asking too much for a "drone", isn't it?) would have just acknowledged that maybe s/he was wrong and research a little more about the thing to understand if what I said was correct or not. Yet all I got here where people that simply the second after said things as if nothing ever happened or those that started yelling "no, it's as I say, you - insert your preferred insult here - are wrong because I say so".

So, who is the "drone"? The one that gets called as such or the one that act as such? And being called "drone" by those that act as such is really a bad thing after all?

Usually sheeps are those that follow others, not those that contrast them. Where the herd stands now?

:hero:
 

Zed

Codex Staff
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So I actually read the whole thing and I gotta say TNO sums it up very well. ME2 was the least poor game in the series, and the series overall felt like a missed opportunity.
Brahfist, brah.
 

jiduthie

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Oct 5, 2006
Messages
94
In the entire series I've played about 60% of the first and watched a roommate play quite a bit of the second. Being vaguely aware of the rage surrounding ME3's ending, I have been somewhat surprised by it. None of the characters seemed to have any depth, not even on the level of the standouts in KOTORs, and the story line was obviously one built for a 3 part video game. It demonstrated no comfort or awareness within its constraints and didn't seem to aspire to the grand themes that are the typical wheelhouse of these types of stories. I'm not sure what is philosophical about "order vs chaos," as one is a recognizable value and the other isn't. I'm unaware of any philosopher who held chaos to be a force for good in society. Even Serenity, a movie I found ham-fisted in its handling of theme, aspired to tell us something about what it is to be human.

Having read the description and watched the youtube video linked here of the ending of ME3, I'm still not sure what exactly happened or why people are angry (A fault I'll attribute to the ending rather than the reviewer), but I can't help feeling that the series got the ending it deserved. The game was an average cover shooter held together by simple character improvement systems and an admirable technical attempt at improving facial expressions in console games. The ending seems to be series of simple choices, good looking explosions, and a nice shot of a pilot attempting to escape the mayhem of it all. Where exactly is the disconnect?

I suppose the hope here should be that developers in the future reconsider using "a force which threatens all of existence" as an easy device with which to make a game compelling, but people around here having been using failed games to generate that hope for years and I don't think any Codexer will be holding his breath.
 
Self-Ejected

Ulminati

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The first was a lost oppertunity. The second was carried mainly by the BRO moments with Wrex, Mordin and Garrus. The third looked like a steaming pile of shit, set off warning bells. If everything i've read and seen on the internet so far is even remotely correct, I dodged a bullet by not even contaminating my interwebz with a pirated copy.

the biodrone butthurt is delicious, mind you. I like how they accuse us of liking no games whatsoever, even though this forum has a long and prestigious list of things we generally love :obviously:

Link for butthurt biodrones who are too afraid to search the forum on their own:
http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/list-of-the-must-play-games.55367/

You can add Jagged Alliance 2, Vampire the masquerade bloodlines, Deus Ex, System Shock 1+2, thief 1+2 and UFO: Enemy unknown (XCom UFO defense in kwanzania) to the list of games that we generally :love: around here.
 

861129

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gone, not around any longer
So they can make a little of fun of them and play the part of the "victims", for sure.

Just because they copy/paste: I want to ask this TNO if he knows anything at all about the philosophical theme "order vs. chaos". It seems to me he knows nothing about it (as 90% of the people here that pretends to judge the narrative of ME, that's ENTIRELY based upon it) and lacking this knowledge all his judgements on the narrative are completely faulted from beginning, no matter if what he says can be right or wrong.

Since the reply is obviously NO (if he is not lying about it) he cannot pretend to state a judgment on a thing he has NO BACKGROUND at all upon and that's at the root of all the narrative. It would be like pretending to judge Rimbaud without knowing anything about symbolism and/or latin.

You should expect every review that can be called as such to know these things; alas that's not so.

What a cunt. Too bad it's in the game owners' circle jerk section. It would be fun to hear him explain exactly how he thinks Mass Effect treats 'the philosophical theme "order vs. chaos"' meaningfully.
 

CrustyBot

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Joined
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Messages
814
Codex 2012
So they can make a little of fun of them and play the part of the "victims", for sure.

Just because they copy/paste: I want to ask this TNO if he knows anything at all about the philosophical theme "order vs. chaos". It seems to me he knows nothing about it (as 90% of the people here that pretends to judge the narrative of ME, that's ENTIRELY based upon it) and lacking this knowledge all his judgements on the narrative are completely faulted from beginning, no matter if what he says can be right or wrong.

Since the reply is obviously NO (if he is not lying about it) he cannot pretend to state a judgment on a thing he has NO BACKGROUND at all upon and that's at the root of all the narrative. It would be like pretending to judge Rimbaud without knowing anything about symbolism and/or latin.

You should expect every review that can be called as such to know these things; alas that's not so.

What a cunt. Too bad it's in the game owners' circle jerk section. It would be fun to hear him explain exactly how he thinks Mass Effect treats 'the philosophical theme "order vs. chaos"' meaningfully.

I've never bought (or even played) Mass Effect 3.

:smug:

It's in the general section where anyone with an account can post.
 

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