First off the bat, I am not a fan of IGN. For a time Gamespot and IGN were my 2 gaming sites. Then the whole Kane and Lynch issue hit Gamespot and I stopped visiting them and moved to GiantBomb. IGN used to have quality articles but around the same time I stopped with Gamespot, IGN started putting out the oddest reviews. Games with major flaws were scoring 9s. Recently, they’ve been doing “reviews in progress” where the play a pre-release game and put up a 5-8 page review before their official review. You know, the same content you can find from any beta player. I remember the TOR pre-review and how the final review score really didn’t match what his experience was. Oddly enough, their movie section I like. Go figure.
Back on topic! This is an op-ed piece from one of the more controversial IGNers on the whole Mass Effect 3 social issue. First, that the ending sucked and players are petitioning and second that the day 1 DLC (on disk no less) are akin to robbery.
While I agree in principle that the ending is the ownership of the game company, the whole premise of the Mass Effect games was that your decisions mattered. The ending has next to no reflection of that. It’s sort of like selling a Star Wars game without Lightsabers (hello Star Wars Galaxies!) or a Call of Duty game without guns. You’re going to piss people off. Aside from that, the “link” novel Deception, that put Mass Effect 2 into 3, was so poorly written and flawed that readers actually built a codex of errors. So bad in fact that BioWare is going to fix the book and re-release it. But really, you don’t build up a space opera (it is) and then kill everyone off.
Second and this is more endemic to the gaming situation than the actual game, is day 1 DLC that is on the game. Games are cheaper today than they were a year ago due to inflation. I get that. I payed 100$ in 1991 for Final Fantasy 4 – that’s about 170$ today. Point – game devs. Second step, day 1 DLC makes people buy new games. True, if the DLC is actually included in the new game. It wasn’t here and wasn’t in quite a few other EA games. Point – players. Third, if you don’t like it, vote with your wallet. I certainly am waiting until everything goes on sale later on and I can get the game from something other than the EA store. Point – me.
I wouldn’t say the Mass Effect universe is dead now but it’s certainly left a sour taste in people’s mouths. BW had planned on releasing more games in that universe and I’d be willing to bet that those efforts are on the backburner now. This isn’t Halo where the game mechanics are more important than the story. Mass Effect is all about the story and people are feeling cheated.
It just feels odd that a company like BioWare, who espouses the value of story to a near sickening degree, would let something like this go by. There’s something rotten in Denmark.