Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

(Bad) News about Mass Effect 3

Here’s a quote from Eurogamer that makes me shiver:

“Mass Effect 3 plays, to all intents and purposes, like a straight-up third-person shooter.” – Eurogamer

Now, Mass Effect has always been more shooter-like than other RPGs (though a case can be made for newer Fallout titles) and that hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing. The difference between shooter games with role-playing elements and RPGs with shooter elements is getting smaller and smaller.

Taking an RPG and improving the combat system by making it more immersive and natural can’t be a bad thing, really, and there is no reason that an action-oriented game can’t tell a good story. What scares me is the idea of Mass Effect drifting more and more into CoDBlop territory, sacrificing too much in the story, strategy, and RPG departments in order to appeal the console mass market.

I don’t mind changes to an IP remotely as much as the next guy (I liked the streamlining in both ME2 and Dragon Age 2 for example), but that Eurogamer quote sounds like things might go too far.

In another piece of Mass Effect 3 news, ME3 will support Kinect. No, you won’t be asked to wildly wave your hands around in order to make Shepard fire, but you will be able to issue voice commands to your team. “Liara, use singularity” was an example shown at E3 which supposedly leads to pause-free combat. I can see this being extremely immersive when you are fully focused on the game, but it could get rather lame after a while. Knowing Mass Effect, there will be certain spells in high demand.

The really bad thing about this though is that they won’t offer the voice recognition to anything but 360 owners with Kinect. You know, because PCs are so awful at voice recognition and it needs the specialized hardware of the Kinect to function. Specialized hardware my ass, this is a pure advertisement for Kinect that could just as easily work on any other platform, even the PS3.


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