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Wishlist for Mass Effect 3

03/20/2011

One of my brothers is currently playing through Mass Effect 2 for the second time. I’ve beaten both Mass Effect 1 and 2, thought they were both great games with some flaws. The first game suffered from horrible vehicle controls and planets that felt randomly generated with some minerals to mine and maybe a rebel base or two to subdue. Mass Effect 2 had some tremendous improvements, but also some downsides, such as the planet mining minigame, as well as a story that felt entirely too short and not suitably epic.

PC Gamer has a list of 15 things we want to see in Mass Effect 3. This point in particular is one I agree with wholeheartedly:

7. A mix of the personal and epic

ME2’s actual story only happens in a few brief bursts, and the rest of the game is just team-building exercises. It’s mostly good stuff, but it can feel like enforced time-wasting when there’s a world to save. It’s pretty obvious you’re not actually going to need ten companions in-game to complete it, but you have to appease them simply because that’s the game – once you’re done, there’s not much plot left to play.

Conversely, the quest to track down Saren in the first game felt vast in scope. There just wasn’t a whole lot of squad development along the way. I’d love to see Mass Effect 3 combine the two: a substantial mission to track a truly loathesome villain across the galaxy, with optional squad development missions like Mass Effect 2’s loyalty quests. The main plot should introduce us to characters who already have good reason to join us, and spend its time developing a larger story rather than forcing us to do favours for them if we don’t want to.

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