Mass Effect: An End Once and For All

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by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

When I was given an XBox for Christmas two years ago, I started a journey through a universe of intriguing alien races, fantastic technologies, friends, enemies, beneficent good, and destructive evil. And not only was I allowed to travel the stars via ancient technological wonders called mass relays, and harness godlike powers (well, at least mutant-like powers) called biotics, but I was given the opportunity to impact this universe and the inhabitants thereof through the decisions I made. I’m speaking, of course, of the science fiction epic, Mass Effect.

It seems, as we approach March 6, the one year anniversary of the release of the final installment in the Mass Effect trilogy, that we may also be approaching the end of a journey that has been the source of so much joy, frustration, obsession, sorrow, and delight. Tweets coming from producer Mike Gamble, writer Patrick Weekes, composer Sam Hulick, and FemShep Jennifer Hale all confirm that some pretty epic DLC love is coming our way, and it just may be the last for the Mass Effect 3 team according to a tweet from Bioware Community Rep, Chris Priestly, dated January 13: “The Edmonton Mass Effect team had their final design meeting today remembering three amazing games. The feels are strong in the office today.”

We don’t know a lot about what the new single player DLC will consist of or what part of the narrative will be expanded upon, although there are numerous opinions, wants, beggings, pleadings, gripes, and complaints running throughout the Bioware Social Network. A couple of the oft repeated requests are for more interaction with the Mass Effect 2 squadmates that were not featured in the latest iteration, most notably, Kasumi, Jack, and Miranda. Another loud, collective cry is for post-ending DLC, though Bioware has steadfastly maintained the endings are the endings, and that’s that. Whatever one’s opinion about the endings, love ‘em or hate ‘em, more is always a good thing in my book. With a dearth of information about what’s actually in the new DLC, two teaser pics were released to fuel speculation and foaming at the mouth. This one is by executive producer, Casey Hudson:



The setting looks to be one of the wards on the Citadel, though that is by no means a definite. It could just as easily be one of a hundred different places Shepard has been to. We can see a very Wrex-like Krogan having a leisurely talk with a Shepard figure. The only hint from Hudson is, “Looks like a nice place for some R&R…” Enigmatic? Yes. Frustrating as hell? Yes. But it also made me pull out the first two games for the first time in months. I got on XBox Live and made sure that I have every piece of DLC available for all 3 games because I am getting totally stoked to go through the whole story again.

The other screenshot was tweeted by Mike Gamble:



Although it is heavily speculated that this screenshot is an indication of Krogans in multiplayer, I’m not so sure, as there hasn’t been any confirmation that this is the case. I’ll admit, though, I haven’t played the multiplayer as much as I would’ve liked, but you give me a head-butting Krogan wielding a big ol’ hammer, and I might just go all Mass Effect Thor on those Reaper goons.

Regardless of the expanded storyline that we will see in the new DLC, it will be a gloriously sad day when it is released. I’m very much looking forward to anything that will expand the story and the universe Bioware has created, but at the same time, I’ll know there won’t be anything else for Shepard’s story. I try to console myself, and tell myself that it’ll be okay. And too right it will, because I can go back and play through the entire series numerous times as different classes and different styles, each one different than the previous. And as I’m doing all those play-throughs, not to mention grabbing up the forthcoming Tomb Raider, and Gears of War: Judgement, Bioware will have ample time to work on Mass Effect 4, and we can start a new journey.

Will you be getting the new Mass Effect 3 DLC?


    11 Comments

  1. Joshua FlitcroftJanuary 30th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I’m a little torn about getting the next DLC as I still haven’t got Omega yet. I love the ME series but hands down my favourite is ME2 it was just so brilliantly done and all the things I loved about it, were missing in ME3. I suppose I’ll decide closer to the time.

  2. Chuck and Firefly fanJanuary 30th, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Mass effect 3 was epic. Mass effect 2 was brilliant too but i seemed to get quite repetitive with missions and things u had too. ME3 got rid of everything that was annoying in ME2. The upgrades actually made a difference to weapons, and although the minerals thing was cool, it got very repetitive since u needed alot for upgrades. And also i think the ME3 storyline seemed to flow better. Like everything u did mad a difference whereas in ME2 it didnt seem so fluent. Regards this is me picking minor things i thought were problems and i dont understand why people complianed about the ME3 ending. I loved it. It had a fitting ending to brilliant story. I picked control by the way and i loved the ending. It was a fitting end. Only problem i had with ME3 was why Grunt wasn’t on my team. Grunt was awesome

  3. Mattie KornetaJanuary 30th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I’m really hoping there’s more ME2 character time in this DLC. It would just be more fitting. Them being so left out of it just seemed ridiculous. Like, “here’s an entirely new team with their own loyalty missions so you really grow to love them (most of them), but we aren’t going to include them much in the next game. Actually, we’re going to revert back to ME1 and then throw in some new randoms for fun.” It just wasn’t what I was expecting when I put in that 3rd game.
    Anything including more LI interaction would be phenomenal as well, in my opinion.
    So overall, I’m pumped for this DLC. It’s bittersweet knowing that it’s probably the last one, but I’m still pumped for it.

  4. FranciscoJanuary 31st, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I really felt betrayed by the story of ME2: I spent a lot of time and effort in ME1 to completely get rid of the terrorist cell called “Cerberus” and they really did terrible things like brain wash, mind control, kidnapping, genetic mutations to provide armies of mind controlled drones and so on. They were painted as really evil and I got rid of every last one of them. Then, on ME2 my invisible space ship gets blown out of nowhere by some creatures noone had ever seen, and I discover that not only Cerbelus is still alive and kicking, but suddenly they are the good guys, and they ahve more money than God. Seriously? And you are forced through the whole game to like cerberus and agree with them and do what you’re told. Also, I didn’t like one bit the fact that they must have spent a considerable amount of money to hire Yvonne Strahovski ( the blond from Chuck) and display here basically naked and take every possible opportunity to show close up shots of her breasts or her bottom. So is this where the money went? Throw away story and exploration for a bit of T&A? Maybe they should have called it ME:Fap edition.

  5. FranciscoJanuary 31st, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I finished my rant before I could go back to my originally intended point, I didn’t play ME3 after all that. I think the only game that has an interesting story is ME1, since it didn’t have EA meddling.

  6. Kevin RigdonJanuary 31st, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Francisco,
    I can understand your frustration. I didn’t get that with ME2. It’s actually my favorite of the 3. On my playthroughs I questioned Cerberus every step of the way (you actually gain Paragon by doing this a couple times throughout the game). I didn’t treat them as good guys. I thought TIM was properly devious and was presented as someone we couldn’t trust. In the end, I blew up the Collector Base and told TIM to…well, to go away in a creative manner.
    As for the voice acting, I thought it was top notch. Actually having Yvonne Strahovski as Miranda and Adam Baldwin as Kal Reegar got me interested in Chuck.

  7. LeBerridgeJanuary 31st, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I had a similar introduction to Mass Effect. I got my brother’s old X-Box when he upgraded and he bought me Mass Effect 1 and 2 for a Christmas and then a birthday because he had enjoyed them so much and I’m not a hardcore gamer by any means but these games just sucked me in. The first one was a godsend when I was home sick for a couple of days and I looked forward to playing it through many, many times and choosing differently to see where a different Sheperd would take me.

    There was a problem, though. Of course the flaws in ME3’s ending have been churned over and people are far more passionate than I am over how disappointing it was (my brother included). It was a bummer.

    But that’s not the issue. The issue is I am so damned attached to MY Sheperd and her story and love interest I can’t bear to do it differently. I can’t even change her background or class (granted I’m pish as anything else). And it’s just interminable if I try to get around this by changing her appearance or use the male Sheperd. It’s just wrong to my eyes and ears.

    I haven’t played since the release of the ‘Extended Edition’ and if the new DLC promised an addition to my Sheperd’s story I’d get it in a heartbeat. If it’s just allowing me to spend another hour or so with the story then I probably won’t spend the cash until a few years have gone by and I feel like going through the same story again. If it’s just another hour of shooter gameplay with little to no narrative (as I’ve heard said of Omega) then I’ll give it a miss.

  8. FranciscoJanuary 31st, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Kevin, first of all thanks for a civil response. Secondly, I didn’t had a problem with the voice acting, it was as good or better than ME1 and I already knew Strahovski from Chuck, and love the show, no complaints there. My problem was having a shallow character, that was “engineered to be perfect” and the camera showed up close that “perfect” bottom and breasts in almost all cutscenes she is involved. That was unnecessary and degrading cheesecake. Actually, all female characters introduced in ME2, with exception of the ship’s aide, look like playmates with skimpy clothing. The Justicar had large visible boobs and red huge high heels for Pete’s sake. Was that really necessary? Aside from that, I really didn’t like TIM, because I do not like to be forced to one path. From the very beginning I had no choice in the matter of working for cerberus. Okay, you can give them a couple of unpolite responses during the whole game, but that’s it: you’re forced to work for cerberus whether you like it or not.
    Another thing I didn’t like is that you don’t get to play with most of the characters from ME1, you can only have Garrus and Tali. Why not continue with the story from the first game?
    I really think they pulled a highlander 2 on ME2.

  9. Kevin RigdonJanuary 31st, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Francisco,
    Totally agree that the camera angles on Miranda and Samara were completely gratuitous and unnecessary.

    LeBerridge,
    I feel your pain. When ME3 was first released, my Shep didn’t get imported properly and I had to recreate him. Most likely I will probably start a new campaign, rebuild the same Shep, with a different class and whatnot. But he’ll still be Paragon. If the new DLC expands on the ending, I’ll buy it the moment it is released.

  10. FranciscoJanuary 31st, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Kevin, LeBerridge: the import in ME3 does not work? Is this something that happens always?

  11. Kevin RigdonJanuary 31st, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Originally, on some profiles, the character data would import, but some of the faces didn’t. They patched it pretty early on so now everything works right. After they patched it, i restarted ME3 with my original Shep fully intact.

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