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View Full Version : FC11: Mass Effect (Pt. 3 - endgame & sidequests)


Parish
11-27-2007, 01:57 PM
Need I say it? Mark your spoilers.

Octopus Prime
11-27-2007, 03:24 PM
Well... you start this Fun Club no sooner then I finish the game. Pretty good timing there Parish.

I got nothing snarky to say though. I'll let you go free this time.

Jakanden
11-29-2007, 06:37 AM
I finished it last night as a renegade and thought that the entire end portion was awesome. The battle through the citadel leading up to the confrontation with Saren was probably my favorite portion of the entire game and one of the coolest scenes in any game for some time.

Alixsar
11-29-2007, 03:23 PM
I haven't been posting the past week (or going to work, but I only called in sick once) because of this game. I'm at the final portion now, having done every sidequest (I think) in the entire game. My characters have the best weapons in the game, and most (but not all) of the best armors. I'm hoping to beat it tonight after I get back from class, and then maybe I'll put up my impressions of the ending etc. So far, though? Great game.

Buggy as hell though. Mass Effect is literally breaking my 360. I've gotten three disc reader errors, and my 360 makes horrible noises whenever I'm playing Mass Effect. But oh well, totally worth it.

islington
11-30-2007, 02:04 PM
Just beat it as a paragon infiltrator, and wow. The ending was great. The end song is great. The whole end sequence is great. Despite the bugs and poor design decisions, this is easily my pick for game of the year. I think it'll probably be the first 360 game I obsessively unlock every achievement for.

One thing I noticed while picking every single paragon option is that there's *far* more available paragon points than you need to max out; I wonder if it's possible to max both paragon and renegade in the same playthrough, or if they're mutually exclusive?

Jakanden
11-30-2007, 04:19 PM
Just beat it as a paragon infiltrator, and wow. The ending was great. The end song is great. The whole end sequence is great. Despite the bugs and poor design decisions, this is easily my pick for game of the year. I think it'll probably be the first 360 game I obsessively unlock every achievement for.

One thing I noticed while picking every single paragon option is that there's *far* more available paragon points than you need to max out; I wonder if it's possible to max both paragon and renegade in the same playthrough, or if they're mutually exclusive?

You can get points in both as it isn't exactly "Good" and "evil". More like "Nice Guy" and "Total Dickhead". Karen Chu has a good blog post about it: http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8503029&publicUserId=5462536

Finally, the morality stances in Mass Effect made sense to me. Renegade and Paragon aren't mutually exclusive polar opposites but rather, different facets in one's personality. You can be one or the other, you can be both, you can be neither. Being a Renegade isn't the same as becoming a bad-ass, evil, rebel killer. Being a Renegade is really acting like a douchebag. The game is essentially about saving a galaxy and your character is the person who will do it. Shepard is pre-established as the protagonist, and regardless of how many Paragon or Renegade points Shepard gets, s/he will get the job done. And you know what? I can't remember when was the last time where I actually got to mold my character's disposition through actions, decisions, and interactions with NPCs. The great part is, it feels natural and not forcibly extreme.

poetfox
11-30-2007, 07:17 PM
So I just beat it, and I must say I'm annoyed that I didn't get my "Majority of the Game" achievements... I did more side quests than I thought I would and I still didn't pull it off. Bleh. Those teammate achievements at the very least shouldn't be linked to that! Or they could tell me what the hell they mean by it so I could work towards it! Complaints! Achievement Whoring! Etc!

But oh well, so it goes. It was definitely a neat game, and I'm glad I picked it up. I hope there's a sequel, and I hope they iron out all the little stupid problems in it, cause then it will kick complete tons of all kinds of ass.

Also, it was sort of annoying that the only Renegade points I got in the game was for not letting tons of soldiers sacrifice their lives for three people, but instead have the best chance of saving all organic life. I mean, come on. That is the logical choice if you're trying to be the super good person, right? Maybe?

Alixsar
12-01-2007, 10:15 PM
So I just beat it, and I must say I'm annoyed that I didn't get my "Majority of the Game" achievements... I did more side quests than I thought I would and I still didn't pull it off. Bleh. Those teammate achievements at the very least shouldn't be linked to that! Or they could tell me what the hell they mean by it so I could work towards it! Complaints! Achievement Whoring! Etc!

But oh well, so it goes. It was definitely a neat game, and I'm glad I picked it up. I hope there's a sequel, and I hope they iron out all the little stupid problems in it, cause then it will kick complete tons of all kinds of ass.

Also, it was sort of annoying that the only Renegade points I got in the game was for not letting tons of soldiers sacrifice their lives for three people, but instead have the best chance of saving all organic life. I mean, come on. That is the logical choice if you're trying to be the super good person, right? Maybe?

Yeah, but a "good guy" doesn't do the practical thing, they do the "right" thing. That's why it's a Renegade decision. It makes total sense from a logistical standpoint to not do it, but good guys do whatever it takes to save the day, no matter the odds. Haven't you seen *insert name of every sci-fi/action movie ever here*? It's like that.

I beat it the other day, and yes it was awesome. One of the best games of the year, easy. I dare say it's one of my all time favorites actually. I've never felt as attached to a main character before. I even cared about what happened to my squadmates (even Kaidan, who I NEVER used after Eden Prime). I rarely ever develop an emotional attachment to a game, so you know Mass Effect is something special if it can do that. The game also serves as a sort of tribute to sci-fi, a genre that I love. There are other, more legitimate, reasons why ME is a great game but I don't even want to get into that now.

Anyway, time to get back to my second game. Hardcore ftw

MikeDinosaur
12-02-2007, 04:37 PM
So, I was happy to play through Mass Effect, and most of the main quest is interesting. The story is sort of mundane and cliched until the end, at which point it becomes interesting and slightly less cliched. And the endgame is the best part, the part where you do feel a sense of urgency at what's happening.

There are problems, the biggest of which are the sidequests. They are mostly filler in the worst way. You spend about 90% of them going into identical buildings/mines/ships, killing everything inside, and leaving. This is repeated somewhere between thirty and fifty times if I'm remembering right, and, if you pursue them all, they take up about half the game. The only other thing that happens on these planets are absurdly easy mako fights, and scrounging for artifacts. These quests are bad, and a disappointment after the mostly quests in KOTOR, which, for every FedEx mission, had another quest with some meat to it.

KOTOR's looms large over big chunks of the game, in particular the moral choices you make. While I didn't much like the black/white morality spectrum on KOTOR, there were some interestingly grey decisions to make, whether or not I agreed with the game's judgment of my actions. I paused before deciding whether to tell allow Malak to torture Bastila or give up vital Republic information; or whether to defend the republic soldier against the sith when you knew he was guilty. There's nothing on this scale in Mass Effect.

The conversations are disappointing too. Max out charm, and you can count on it every time you use it. If it's possible to get out of a situation through conversation, you will, and if it's not, you won't. The worst example of this is
*spoiler*
at the end of the game, in the talk with Saren. Click on charm twice, and he will BLOW HIS OWN HEAD OFF.
*end spoiler*
Anyone who was on a charismatic good path and enjoyed trying to talk down Bastila on the Star Forge, navigating through thorny conversational paths, will be disappointed.

The combat is decent, but I was disappointed by the limited options. You work with basically the same skillsets throughout the game, slightly modified depending on who you bring. Combat's decent, but it starts feeling samey by the end, and, however action-packed it is, I only rarely found it as satisfying as that of KOTOR or Baldur's Gate.

If it sounds like I'm being unfair, I'm sure I am. I enjoyed KOTOR a lot more than I'd enjoyed any RPG in a long time, and I'm playing this game alongside FFT: WOTL, against which most games don't stack up. I had really high hopes for this game, and I continue to have high hopes for Mass Effect 2 and 3. I don't see any reason those couldn't be great. I'm glad everyone seems to be enjoying this so much; I'd imagine being an obsessive compulsive completist accounts for half my problems with it. Still, to me, it's just pretty good.

blinkpen
12-02-2007, 07:23 PM
Also, it was sort of annoying that the only Renegade points I got in the game was for not letting tons of soldiers sacrifice their lives for three people, but instead have the best chance of saving all organic life. I mean, come on. That is the logical choice if you're trying to be the super good person, right? Maybe?

The general impression I got from that decision was whether or not you were putting more value on human lives, or on having the humans make a noble contribution and sacrifices for the good of all the races.

In other words, yes you're sacrificing many lives to save only three, but those three are representative of the other major races whom a Paragon seeks to work together with in harmony. One of the major themes of the game is whether or not humans will prove themselves noble, heroic, and worthy enough to be a part of the galactic council. Letting the council die is more of a Renegade choice because it involve favoring humans over other species and conveniently leaving a power void for humans to fill. Choosing to rescue the council is proving that humanity is willing to go the distance for the sake of galactic harmony.

Octopus Prime
12-02-2007, 08:04 PM
Also, letting the Council die is a renegade choice since they were kind of dicks to you for the entire game, so choosing not the help them seems spiteful and petty.

Mind you, I was mighty tempted to let the Cylons kill 'em, but I chose a different path.

poetfox
12-02-2007, 08:27 PM
I personally just considered that extra incentive to save more lives than less. Heh.

blinkpen
12-03-2007, 08:26 AM
I wonder if what your teammate says prior to the decision is what helps color how you view it. For example:

I had Liara and Garrus in my group for the final confrontation and it was Garrus who said, "Are you sure you want to risk thousands of human lives just to save the council?" The way he stressed the word human, I immediately realized that this decision would be whether or not I'd be playing favorites with my own species.

Jakanden
12-03-2007, 09:43 AM
I wonder if what your teammate says prior to the decision is what helps color how you view it. For example:

SPOILERZ

I had Wrex and Tali in my group for this. Tali said pretty much the same thing as Liara, but Wrex essentially said screw them and "what have they done for you". I think it is a renegade choice regardless and I personally see it as such for the reasons stated by bloodyinkpen.

Quick note, when you quote a spoilered text, it is readable in the quote without highlighting (at least on my screen it is) and kinda defeats the purpose of hiding it.

ringworm
12-03-2007, 02:10 PM
I finished the game and surprised myself by getting the Tactician and Completist Achievements. I'm extremely upset that I did not get either the Asari or Krogan Ally Achievements since I played almost the entire goddamn game with Liara and Wrex as my teammates. Even more disappointing was I finished the game with less than 2000 XP until getting level 50. If only I had done those optional quests at Zhu's Hope...

I absolutely loved the hell out of being an Infiltrator, especially once I started getting good sniper rifles (the prototype one from getting the Rich Achievement was amazing). That final, totally awesome, combat segment was a breeze for my long-range death bullets. Throwing in the highest rank of Assassination on a given shot could take down almost anything.

I played as a Renegade, and true to myself I chose not to save the Council, although in the ensuing discussion with the Ambassador I tried to shy away from humanity being overlords. The game actually wouldn't let me force the discussion in that direction, the Ambassador would just be like, "Whatever, everything you've done up to this point says otherwise, who do you want to be the King of the Galaxy?" (I chose Anderson).

I really, really liked the game, despite all its many flaws. Once I started getting a wider array of powers for all of my team I felt like the combat coalesced a bit near the end too. In particular I really enjoyed Ilos. The Mako stuff was still mostly a pain though, the recharge on shields definitely needed adjustments. Still there's a ton to love about this game and the universe it created, and that just makes me more excited for Mass Effect 2 when they iron out the wrinkles.

I want to play it again using a male character going down the Paragon path (probably a biotics using character too), but I will probably put it off for a bit.

Alixsar
12-03-2007, 03:36 PM
I finished the game and surprised myself by getting the Tactician and Completist Achievements. I'm extremely upset that I did not get either the Turian Ally Achievement since I played almost the entire goddamn game with Garrus as my teammate. Even more disappointing was I finished the game with less than 500 XP until getting level 50. If only I had done that one optional quest at Zhu's Hope...

I absolutely loved the hell out of being an Vanguard, especially once I started getting good shotguns and pistols (the prototype ones from getting the Rich Achievement were amazing). That final, totally awesome, combat segment was a breeze for my death bullets. Throw in the highest rank of Marksman and I could take down almost anything.

*spoilers go here*

I really, really liked the game, despite all its many flaws. Once I started getting a wider array of powers for all of my team I felt like the combat coalesced a bit near the end too. In particular I really enjoyed Ilos and Virmire. The Mako stuff was still mostly a pain though, the recharge on shields definitely needed adjustments. Still there's a ton to love about this game and the universe it created, and that just makes me more excited for Mass Effect 2 when they iron out the wrinkles.

I want to play it again using a female character going down the Renegade path (probably a Solider character too), but I will probably put it off for a bit because of finals.

Fixed. It's kind of funny that we have almost the exact same opinion about the game in general, even though it took me a few minutes to alter the details of your post to match my play experience. Which I think is just a testament to how awesome this game really is.

Parish
12-09-2007, 08:36 PM
Heeeey so I finished this evening. I, uh, guess I really goofed on coming up with the discussion separations, huh?

Anyway, I played a Paragon Infiltrator (Commando specialization) and I agree about the combat coming together at the end. Once I had a decent sniper rifle and found the High Explosive VIII ammo, I was taking out Geth Destroyers in two hits and polishing off most battles from a distance. My squadmates basically just served as diversions, doing little damage as they drew fire, letting me take out enemies in a single shot one after the other. Very, very satisfying.

I agree that the charm options lacked any sort of subtlety, but those trigger points happened so abruptly that they worked anyway. I knew going in that Wrex was going to freak out about the genophage cure, but it came up much sooner than I expected, which was really in keeping with his hair-trigger temper. Likewise, I did not expect that outcome with Saren. At all. But I bought it, because the dialogue that had come before (both there and on Virmire) made it a logical outcome.

I was wholly satisfied by the game. It's hardly perfect, but it came together nicely in the end and left plenty to be resolved in the sequels -- it's a trilogy by design rather than by happenstance. I'm just annoyed that so many ideas for the story I've been developing for the past six or seven years were already here. Like the quarians. I'm seriously gonna cry about them.

(Speaking of which, I earned the Quarian Ally achievement because Tali was awesome. That should come in handy for the Renegade/Ruthless/Earth-born character I rolled for a second playthrough. But... BioShock first, I think.)

Parish
12-09-2007, 08:43 PM
And re: that parenthetical aside at the end, the idea of giving you in-game rewards for Achievements is one whose time has come. Developers: do this always, please.

Zeroneight
12-09-2007, 11:00 PM
What do the ally Achievements get you? And is it true that the weapons expert Achievements let you use that weapon for a new character if the class doesn't support it?

Parish
12-09-2007, 11:38 PM
Different ally Achievements do different things. Tali, I think, gives new characters a 10% shield bonus. And yeah, hitting the Achievements for weapons and skills opens them up as selectable abilities for new characters (a new Shepard can choose a single unlocked ability that isn't native to their class).

Zeroneight
12-10-2007, 12:47 AM
Cool, I may try an assault rifle-wielding Adept for my second playthrough.