Mass Effect 3 Won’t Reference The First Two Games In the First Thirty Minutes Or Something

So a BioWare employee, Nick Clifford, told IGN something interesting about Mass Effect 3. I’ll just give you the quote without comment:

In all honesty, we didn’t do a really good job of new player orientation. If you didn’t play the first game then 2 was pretty jarring for the first half hour.

If I’m a new player and some guy walks up to me and is like ‘Ohhhh Shepard! Remember that one time?’ I would be like ‘No. I don’t remember that one time.’

So we wanted to make sure that there aren’t those moments that the player is like, ‘Who is this? What’s going on? What are they talking about?’

Look, guy… I’m so furious about this I can’t even form a coherent thought.

How do you make a third game in a trilogy without referencing the other games? Is this real life? Is BioWare messing with me? What’s going on?

Hey, no offense, but F–K NEW PLAYERS. You can’t gear a game like this — a game which has a story that is dependent on choices players made in the first two games — toward new players. You can catch them up to speed, but you can’t just write this thing in such a way that you act like the events of the first two games aren’t INCREDIBLY RELEVANT to what is going on in this one.

Believe it or not, there are going to be characters in this game that Shepard knows from previous games. New players won’t know who those people are. That’s tough for them. In light of that fact, I don’t even understand the statement Clifford is making. How do you avoid situations in which new players don’t know who Liara is? This makes no sense.

But, ultimately, my main gripe with this idea is that the Mass Effect games are telling one story. One. Not three. One. You can’t walk into a story 40 hours in and expect to know what the hell is going on. And if you’re the storyteller, you can’t pretend that those people who come in midway are the target audience. They aren’t. The target audience is people who have saved games they’ll be importing into ME3.

Maybe I’m going over the top here in response to something that doesn’t really mean all that much. But the implication here is that they’re gearing the game toward new players, and I just can’t abide by that, considering the whole marketing for the three games is that  it would be a trilogy in which all your choices would carry over from one game to the next.

Here’s what it comes down to, though. It’s one thing to write a sequel well so that folks who are immersed in the story already and newcomers can all enjoy it, and it’s another thing to hold everybody’s hand through everything so nobody gets confused. I’m worried Mass Effect 3 is going to be the latter case.


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3 Comments on Mass Effect 3 Won’t Reference The First Two Games In the First Thirty Minutes Or Something


On January 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

Actually, the article specifies that this only happens if you start the game *without importing an ME2 save*. So this only occurs for players who are actually new (or players who choose not to import anything I suppose).


On January 24, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Every news i read about ME3 makes me believe is not going to be as good or amazing as they pictured it.


On January 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Calm down, twonks. This doesn’t mean anything. It’d be thoroughly easy to craft a tutorial area that doesn’t depend on previous knowledge, be that through a purely-combat zone, or by having SHepard commanding a group of new recruits.

There’s plenty to whinge about in this industry, so let’s not manufacture things.