So, Mass Effect movie.
Welp. There’s a good chance that I’ll go seeing as it’s gonna be the first game. I’m not too bothered that it’s going to be Male Shepard in the role, but I would have been twice as excited (not to mention extremely impressed) if they had gone for FemShep. Ah, well.
I hope they use the same voice actors for, like, Garus and Tali. Otherwise that’d be kind of weird… Then again, no matter what they do it’s probably not going to be as awesome as when I first played through that game and felt like to coolest, baddest, most awesome space-heroine ever, so. Good luck to ‘em, and I’ll be looking forward to it.
**WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS SPOILER.**
THIS. Oh my god, this. I knew I wasn’t crazy when I said I was boycotting this game, and here’s just another reason why. And as a game designer as well, this really makes me consider just…going indie. I want my own company where I make my own rules so I don’t end up with someone over my shoulder telling me how to treat the players, let alone telling me to treat them like a pile of poop. This is absurd. I am flabbergasted. Flabbergasted!
EA, you will see none of my money.
If anyone has been following me long enough to remember my unbridled outpouring of glee upon seeing the trailer for Mass Effect 3, or how mad I was when I found out the release was delayed, you’ll surely understand my love for this series.
I was so excited for Mass Effect 3. But no longer— and here’s why.
Mass Effect 3 for PC requires EA’s Origin client. Period.
I went to GameStop and preordered the Collector’s Edition with a bunch of my friends, because I found out that ME3 would not be available through Steam. “That’s fine,” I said. I had a feeling that would happen anyway, since EA’s Origin client is trying to compete with Steam. I figured I’d just get a physical copy of the game, then, to save myself the hassle of using Origin. (As you might already know, I don’t own an Xbox, PS3, or a TV. So I have no choice except PC game.)
Turns out, I’m out of luck. According to Chris Priestly, BioWare’s community coordinator:
“Origin is required for the PC versions of Mass Effect 3, both physical and digital.” [Source]
I understand that EA is trying to compete with Valve, but really? Many PC gamers don’t want Origin on their systems for various reasons. One argument is that since many PC gamers already use Steam, they would rather not have a second digital download client unnecessarily wasting space & resources on their computer. They would just rather buy the game itself and not have to deal with Origin, like me. Even if they don’t use Steam, some players just want the game direct.
Then there’s the issue of Origin datamining your PC for “specific data related to the game”. When questioned about Origin’s suspected spyware-like activities, a PR Rep from EA stated:
Origin captures limited information that is necessary to allow users to buy, download, and play games and gaming content. The information is also needed for online connections with other players and so that extra content and software updates can be delivered directly. The data is also used to detect the occurrence of smaller software errors to ensure they are repaired immediately.
We do not have access to information such as pictures, documents or personal data, which have nothing to do with the execution of the Origin program on the system of the player, neither will they be collected by us.
All information we collect with Origin and use is to ensure that our customers have the easiest possible access to their games while enjoying the full service and the best gaming experience that EA has to offer.
Apparently C:\ProgramData\Adobe\CameraRaw\LensProfiles and this German gamer’s tax files are considered necessary information. Make of that what you will. Unfortunately, this scan is done automatically by simply installing Origin (unlike Steam which asks you first, giving you the option to decline) and so has caused much uproar. Despite updating their EULA to state that they “would never share this kind of information”, this isn’t the first time EA’s been in trouble with its customer base in regards to Origin and it probably won’t be the last. Their reputation with their customers is less than awesome (for multiple reasons), which is why many users would rather not touch Origin. Many have already cancelled their preorders at BioWare’s expense and unfortunately will be trying finding their ME3 experience elsewhere. Yar har, fiddle dee dee…
(Ironic, isn’t it?)
After all of the hoops I’ve jumped through in preparation for this game’s release, this is seriously a let-down. This, along with EA’s position on the SOPA bill has made up my mind. I’m going to cancel my preorder as well. Even when that happens (as it inevitably will), I’m personally not going anywhere near Origin. Fare thee well, Commander Shepard. It was nice while it lasted.
This took me ages to figure out (and took quite a toll on my plan to catch up with these) since my favorite stories haven’t been finished yet. Mass Effect & Assassin’s Creed were both killer, but until both series are wrapped up I can’t say for sure that either story takes the cake. And I think I’ve talked about Portal way too much to pick that.
But..I honestly really, really liked Starcraft. Starcraft and it’s expansion, Brood War, were pretty epic. There was corruption, rebellion, backstabbing, betrayal…all of those things that create high-tension intrigue in a story.
What’s more, the narrative doesn’t only happen in cutscenes. They’re mostly there to make the game shiny and polished. Most of it occurs mid-mission and in briefings, which I think is a neat way to do it. Not only that, but I feel as though I am a character in this universe. As a commander, I do get to make (few) choices. And NPCs interact with me. It isn’t “me” as in a modeled character with a name and storyline. It’s actually me. I like being put into a story in the most immersive way possible, and I thinks StarCraft does that well.
Day 21, Best Story | Starcraft
Honorable Mention: Mass Effect, Portal (1 & 2)
One of my all-time favorite hobbies (aside from gaming) is reading. I love a good story. The best ones get you addicted, sometimes to the point where you can’t put the book down. Translating my passion for books into video-game terms, I adore a game with a killer narrative. If it’s got an amazing story, it’s (usually) worth suffering through crappy gameplay.
Games open up new opportunities for story. They allow the player to be immersed in a different universe and actually take part in that world. It’s amazing. Games have evolved so that players are allowed more and more flexibility with the story. The full extent of player’s effect on narrative is best expressed by the RPG.
Modern RPGs, such as Mass Effect, allow the player to have a massive amount of control over their character and the way their character affects the world around them. By interacting with the game world in different ways, one player can get a completely different play experience than the next.
Though not all RPGs have this freedom when it comes to plot, I think these specific kinds of RPGs hold a special place in my heart. I love the feeling of making an awesome story my own.
Day 20, Favorite Genre | Modern RPGs