Lines That Blur: A Quick Take On Mass Effect 3

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With March 6th quickly approaching, Mass Effect 3 has been fully flagged on my radar, as well as many other gamers’. From everything I’ve seen, this game seems to be something that will be a well polished and smooth adventure of epic. Much of the news I’ve heard on the title looks to be focused on the Kinect features of the game, but for me there seems to be an even more curious account offered at the very beginning. Already from my last run through this universe, there’s tons of choices to make from the get go.  Such as importing your previous character, choosing your class, and customizing your look; which I’m sure you’ll be doing all over again this run. However, there was an interesting account I read in a sideline recently.

For me, personally, this account comes to credit a Game Informer cover story written by Phil Kollar.  Given this is probably my favorite franchise this generation, I’ve been trying to avoid any details that may leak story details. Just to keep my experience with the title as pure as I can. Natually that means I haven’t really kept up with too much of the news on this game. That also includes this article, to which I avoided the bulk of the story, and only kept my eyes glued to sidelines that wouldn’t really tell anything of spoilers.

In the tidbit, it describes three game modes that will be offered before firing the game up. Roleplaying, Action, and Story. To fill you in, here are how the three work.

Roleplaying: This is the gameplay Mass Effect players have come to know. Whether it contains elements from Mass Effect, that where originally said to have been brought back for the third installment, is unbeknownst to me.

Action: This mode emphasizes a focus on the combat while making the story a lot more linear, by answering the dialog options for you. A very intimidating and seemingly random sort of mode.

Story: A mode for those without a set of hangers. It puts focus on the story of the game, while REALLY softening up the gameplay. Basically a mode for the casual audience who get cross-eyed trying to work the controller, in my opinion. The idea goes, if you keep your eyes on the prize, you probably won’t die.

The main focal point is the hybrids of gameplay we are starting to see. For better or worse, it’s happening in almost any game we play. If you don’t believe me hop online for a few seconds. No matter what type of game you play online, if there’s a leveling system, you’re automatically taking part in some aspect of what an RPG is. Let’s look at the game that really capitalized on this aspect, Call of Duty. Within the online mode of play are the perks and XP system. Certain bits and pieces can’t be unlocked until you complete a certain task. Others can’t be unlocked until you reach a certain level. While this isn’t the only game to do it, and far not the best, it sure is the game that made it super addictive. All of these systems are a forms of a hybrid FPS with points on the RPG side. There once was a time when crazy gameplay and instant access to all the goods was available from the get go, in an FPS.

The question here? What happens next? Well it seems Bioware knows exactly what happens next, and kudos to them for taking such a bold step. Over the past few years I’ve seen Mass Effect go from an RPG with shooter qualities, to a shooter with RPG aspects. Now they took the next step. Offering an experience to hardcore and casual alike. It’s damn near a win-win no matter which way you slice it. You like shooters without a lot of the bullshit? Jump in the action mode. Want that classic RPG experience with tactical insanity? Hit up the Roleplaying mode. Or are you new to games like this entirely, and unsure of your awesomeness? Just go for the story. It’s truly an epic ride from my perspective.

Maybe I’m just over excited for the game, given it’s one of my favorite franchises this generation. Maybe I’m just blowing smoke out of my ass. I could just be bat shit insane. In the opinion of this low time blogger, it’s nothing short of awesome. The wheels of the free gaming market are ripe for the picking, and it should come as no surprise that if Bioware is able to pull this off successfully, you’ll see every Tom, Dick, and Harry trying to incorporate it. Either way I look forward to grinding through this adventure come March 6th. Only one thing to say to Bioware….Unlock insanity from the get go!

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