This Is Happening: Mass Effect 3

Blue ladies are sexy, right guys? Guys?
Someone at EA isn’t having a good day. Mass Effect 3, which will presumably be announced in a blaze of hyperbole this weekend at those VGA things, got posted up on the EA Store. Oops. It’s gone now, but at least we know for sure what all that teaser nonsense was about.

VG247 snagged the blurb: “Earth is burning. Striking from beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race. As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the Earth.” I bet there will be some guns and/or chat involved in doing that. Maybe some zooming about in a spaceship to mix it up. Something like that.


  1. Josh Brandt says:

    Plus, I’m sure, a lot of randomly doing other people’s chores for them. I’m hoping for a “doing the dishes in the space restaurant” option, or perhaps a totally vital “Carrying a piece of paper from one side of the room to another” quest.

    • Wizlah says:

      I’m pretty sure I already got the achievement for that last one.

    • Tei says:

      “space restaurant”

      *substring pattern mach alert*
      * ! *
      *activate brain superior functions*
      *think about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy *
      *feel good*

    • vanarbulax says:

      So Tei is a sentient AI after all.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I knew it, he’s a Reaper!!

    • MDevonB says:

      First, happy doors and elevators.
      Then, paranoid, chronically depressed androids.
      Finally, the robotic equivalent of the Krikkits.

      The reapers do seem quite up Serious Cybernetics Corporations alley. Maybe they should’ve listened to their sign. Thanks for the spoilers, Tei.

    • Bret says:

      Well, now we know why the revolution came, at least.

    • Tei says:

      ME3 will be awesome.
      What other thing is awesome?

      link to

    • Tei says:

      Of course, I am a AI. What else?

      What are you guys, meat? talking meat?

    • mlaskus says:

      Thank you Tei, that was awesome.

  2. Lizardman says:

    Ah, I can’t wait, Mass Effect 2 is one of my favourite games ever. Here’s hoping 3 is even better!

    • Deston says:

      I’m with you Lizardman – Mass Effect 2 is still my favourite game this year, I cannot wait for this.

      I can understand everyone’s complaints with the RPG elements they removed in ME2, but let’s face it, they simply didn’t get them right in ME1 at all. They actively got in the way of enjoying the game. The sequel was better off without them, and that choice to focus their attention elsewhere noticeably gave them an abundance of effort to spend on making the rest of the game shine.

      That aside, c’mon! Epic galaxy-spanning sci-fi action role playing pew-pew shooty bangs which carries over your character and saves from two prequels! You know you all really want a piece, even if you aren’t quite ready to admit it in front of your often-hard-to-please RPS peers. :)

  3. Miker says:

    I wonder what the (inevitable) multiplayer side of Mass Effect 3 will include. As much as the powers are fun to use, the actual movement of the ME games is rather clunky, which I can’t see fitting well in a multiplayer environment.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I guess we’re all hoping for co-op.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      No, we’re certainly not all hoping for co-op.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Inevitable? Hardly.

    • Miker says:

      I’d be more surprised if ME3 didn’t have a multiplayer component than if it did, honestly. 2K added multiplayer to Bioshock 2, EA added multiplayer to Dead Space 2, and given that Mass Effect is a shooter, it would make sense for EA.

    • Lilliput King says:


      Given the way the rumour mill has been churning concerning ME3’s multiplayer component it seems pretty likely. And given that there is a multiplayer component, I’d vastly prefer co-op to the alternative.

      I’d prefer no multiplayer at all, obviously, which I guess it what you mean too. I guess I wasn’t particularly clear.

    • Jack says:

      You’re crazy, Lilliput! Co-op conversations will never work!

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      please please no co-op / multiplayer.

    • Rich says:

      “Mass Effect is a shooter”
      Really? I thought it was an action RPG. What with all the talking, quests, levelling up and collecting stuff.

    • Rodney says:

      ME is a talkie (adventure with voiced dialogue) and 99% ultraboring legwork, with brief interruptions of almost self-resolving battles(boss battles being the exceptions) and some figures tallying themselves up in the background without much connection to the ongoing bla dee blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

      Oh and in the first one, there was also ultraboring jeepwork to create the illusion of not only legwork existing between dialogue.

      Calling any of the MEs either an RPG in the sense of leveling/xp/looting/upgrade joy rather than trying to “roleplay” “being “some plonk, is completely off, and calling combat combat is also a huuuuuge stretch.
      Neither fish nor meat that not-TBS-but-also-not-really-FPS bollocks.

      If you try to dumb-down compromise everything to heck and back, you end up in the grayish middle ground of mediocrity(for combat).

      Any kind of honest advertisement would read:
      Mass Effect: Game wot has people talking lots and at times even alien sex. Don’t mind the noise(combat+leveling).

    • Rich says:

      Nobody cares Rodney.

    • Lilliput King says:


    • StingingVelvet says:

      @ Lilliput

      In my experience unless a game is designed around co-op the co-op sucks, and if it’s designed around co-op the singleplayer sucks. I don’t want ME3’s singleplayer to be worse because of forced-in co-op play which I will never bother with. On the other hand if they just throw in some shitty deathmatch mode to get a line on the box then I can safley ignore it and it has no effect on me.

      As for the old “is it an RPG” argument, the term RPG is so very diluted and broad now that I don’t even know what an RPG is anymore. There was a time where only the strictest interpretation of pen and paper roleplaying on a computer was a true RPG, everything else was a hybrid, but the genre has changed so much the lines are damn blurry now. Is GTA: Sand Andreas an RPG? Is Modern Warfare multiplayer? Is God of War? All of them have stats and character progression. Is it choice and consequence that make an RPG? Because if so we have to eliminate a lot of games that are thoroughly RPG at their core but quite linear. ME2 has a lot of choice moments but their actual impact is minimal, it most just means a different dialogue response or a slightly different cutscene, there is no real consequence or world change as a result.

      In the end the main gameplay element of ME2 is shooting dudes and the dialogue, while robust, is mostly for flavor and not for real choice and consequence. So I call it a shooter with RPG elements.


    • Cooper says:

      I desperately hope it’s NOT co-op.

      A tagged on multiplayer mode I can ignore is fine.

      I’m always of the opinion that a game should be able stand on its singleplayer mode only, if it has a singleplayer mode. Too often a ‘optional’ co-op mode severely reduces the fun of playing it alone, as you bump up against numerous points where it’s obvious the game-space was designed for more players.

      Which is one of the reasons I worry about Portal 2

    • Rich says:

      With Portal 2, Valve have always said that the co-op and single-player are totally separate. You can’t play the single-player story with two characters, and it isn’t intended for it, and you can’t play the co-op alone, as most of the puzzles require cooperation.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @StingingVelvet, Cooper

      Fair enough.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I would really like a co op action RPG game like Mass Effect or in the series. But it would be a little strange to suddenly make it multiplayer. Leave it for a spin off. I don’t mind them adding in some kind of deathmatch though, if I don’t like it I don’t have to play it.

  4. coldwave says:

    Mass of Duty: Halo Effect 3

  5. Jsnuk says:


  6. V says:

    Hell yes.

  7. Koozer says:

    So, it”ll be a dramatic tutorial trying to save a colony from the aforementioned terrifying machines (whoever could it be?) which ends up a pyrrhic victory, followed by a branching mission to gain the support of a few planet’s/private army’s leaders via long quest chains to gain their respect, finally concluding with an epic battle on Earth against Mother Brain, with a few heart-wrenching choices and sacrifices along the way to the final boss battle?

    And no I’m not a grumpy git, I’ll still be buying it with eternal hope in my heart. Well, maybe a little grumpy.

    • Jsnuk says:

      Yeah, that sounds like a typical story/ game structure to me, and there’s a reason it’s typical.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Grumpy? That game you described sounds awesome.

    • Ludden says:


      It’s easy?

    • panther says:

      In the same way it’s easy to write I hereos story I suppose. Doesn’t mean it’s bad.

  8. Christopher M. says:

    Anyone want to check how well all those hints Bioware gave out on Twitter match up with this synopsis?

  9. Coins says:

    Yaaay. About time, too. This is a great moment to replay both games for save-games. Hooray.

    EDIT: Awww, don’t be so grumpy, guys! Mass Effect 2 might’ve been less than Mass Effect, it was also more.

  10. BobDicks says:

    I thought they were making Mass Effect 3 a fantasy game and calling it Dragon Age 2?

  11. Ex Lion Tamer says:

    In a mildly strange bit of timing, I had just intoned “THIS. IS. HAPPENING.” while looking at the LCD Soundsystem album of the same name…and then looked at the top RPS story.

    This does not sound like a plotline that will lend itself to leisurely space exploration. Sigh.

  12. Risingson says:

    I’m eager to do that “now that you’re going to the city bring me some onions” kind of missions again WITH GUNS!

    And I hope that now Shepard will do, at least, the Homer dance.

  13. ZIGS says:

    Bioware games are of surprising good quality considering the short time of development (gotta get those sequels out the door fast!) while they’re working on a freaking MMO

    • Amadeus says:

      You have to remember, BioWare has three separate studios – the Austin studio is the one doing the MMO, while the others work independently on their other titles. Still impressive, but not unbelievable :P

  14. geldonyetich says:

    “Lets see, we killed the main character at the beginning of Mass Effect 2, and that worked out pretty well. Can we think of anything to kill at the start of Mass Effect 3 that will be even bigger than that?”
    “Hmmm… how about the Planet Earth?”
    “Get this man a raise.”

    Anywho, yes, Mass Effect 3. I knew it was coming, and good to hear it’s coming sooner rather than later. However, I was disappointed with the direction Mass Effect 2 seemed to go. Sure, the MAKO handled rather ponderously, but driving around on planet surfaces just makes for a whole lot more immersive space opera. Sure, the inventory was streamlined of a lot of tedious micromanagement, but removing it completely kills a great deal of the RPG immersion of toting around junk.

    In my mind, if Mass Effect 3 is to Mass Effect 2 what Mass Effect 2 was to mass Effect 1, then Mass Effect 3 will be a completely linear shooter with the depth of a rice cracker. (And probably 75% of the content will be DLC.)

    • Christopher M. says:

      On the other hand, maybe now that they’ve gotten the gameplay where they want it, they can focus on an entire year of content and depth?

    • Koozer says:

      Oh god I hope gameplay isn’t where they want it.

    • Bluebreaker says:

      Mass effect 1 had some annoying flaws. But in me2 they just cut too low.
      For example, removing the Mako also made planets a bunch of short unconnected and uninteresting areas.

    • Ringwraith says:

      They’ve said that ME3 will be quicker to make than ME2 as they don’t have to worry so much about how the plot threads tie up together later on, being the end of the trilogy.
      They also promised that there will be more of the RPG-elements that people slagged them off for removing between 1 and 2.

    • noodlecake says:

      You hope the game play isn’t where they want it? It’s already a totally original RPG/Shooter unlike any other game that’s ever been made. I think you’re just being picky. :P

      Mass Effect 2 was a huge improvement on the 1st one. The way it all came together at the end with your choices affecting who lives and dies was very clever and I thought the game handled pretty well. Could’ve done without the giant skull machine thing end boss though. :S

    • geldonyetich says:

      > You hope the game play isn’t where they want it? It’s already a totally original RPG/Shooter unlike any other game that’s ever been made. I think you’re just being picky. :P

      They’ve certainly the right to put the gameplay where they want it. Just as I’ve the right, as a player, to decide I’m not going to buy their game if the gameplay isn’t where I want it.

      Suffice to say, coming at Mass Effect 2 with Mass Effect 1 expectations was disappointing for me. It wasn’t a bad sequel, but it indicated it was going in directions I didn’t particularly care for, and I’m going to be a lot more cautious before dropping my cash this time.

    • KillahMate says:

      Toting around junk does not equal RPG immersion.

    • Pew says:

      They played around a lot with the Hammerhead in the DLC though, which handles a lot better than the Mako. I doubt they’ll go back to full planet exploration for minerals and collectables, but some more ground floating like in Overlord looks like an easy bet.

      After going “wait a minute, no inventory at all?” in the first hour of ME2, I can’t say I really missed it at all in the 3 playthroughs. A bit more than nothing would still be nice. And after Alpha Protocol, I wouldn’t mind having a bit more skill points to spend either. Who doesn’t want to spend skill points? It’s crack.

    • geldonyetich says:

      > Toting around junk does not equal RPG immersion.
      Loss context and jumping to conclusions is the all-too-predictable cancer of Internet communication: “a great deal of the RPG immersion,” does not equal, “RPG immersion.” The context was that I was comparing a particular part of Mass Effect 1 to 2 and how the change affected me, not all RPG junk everywhere.

      I agree that there’s definitely other ways you can pull RPG immersion off, but clutter can be a supporting feature if done right.

      Mass Effect 2’s approach eliminated a substantial headache, and that was good… but at the cost of only picking up vague categories of things (resources, blueprints) and never really the thing itself. I would have preferred a middle ground.

      At times, it was a bit immersion breaking. For example, you’d often run across a giant pile of crude resources and retrieve it. You could say that the resources are retrieved later after the mission and you’ve tagged them, but sometimes the map became completely inaccessible later.

    • Jack says:

      I don’t think you can really make a case that the stuff they cut out for ME2 was a fantastic part of ME1. I certainly miss the kind of things that an inventory system and planet exploration REPRESENT, and I would have loved to have seen those things done well, but when it comes to the way they actually used them in ME1 I was glad to see them go.

      You could definetly say it would have been better to improve them rather then cut them out entirely, though. Hopefully that’s what they’re going to do for Mass Effect 3.

    • DrGonzo says:

      “In my mind, if Mass Effect 3 is to Mass Effect 2 what Mass Effect 2 was to mass Effect 1, then Mass Effect 3 will be a completely linear shooter with the depth of a rice cracker. (And probably 75% of the content will be DLC.)”

      See I think Mass Effect 3 will be similar to Mass Effect 2 in that they saw the flaws in the game and then try to correct them. Everything they changed needed changing but as you said it became overly simplified. But I think they will learn from that mistake and find a balance between the first and second games. I think Mass Effect 2 showed they learn from their mistakes.

  15. 8-bit says:

    When it was posted on the EA store was it listed under rpg or as a shooter/action game?

    • Auspex says:

      “Genre: Action, Role Playing”

      Action first! OMG! THEY RUINED IT etc.

    • 8-bit says:

      D: oh noes.

    • Ringwraith says:

      …or just using alphabetical order.

    • Danarchist says:

      We need to somehow figure out how to make this leak RPS’s fault, or we can just wait to they review it and pounce on them then like digital zombies with laserz.

    • 8-bit says:

      Obviously but that kind of thinking ruins any opportunity for overreaction and calls of bioware being sell-outs to the console crowd.

    • Auspex says:

      Interestingly on the EA store the first 2 Mass Effects have only “Action” listed as their genre. No “Role Playing”.

      Not really that interesting was it?

    • Ravenger says:

      In some ways CODBLOPS multiplayer is more of an RPG than ME2. It’s got experience points for one thing.

  16. Kaira- says:

    I somehow messed up this comment. Move on!

  17. Kaira- says:

    I never understood what all the fuss about ME series is about, they’re rather mediocre RPGs with tolerable shooting. In my opinion, that is. I played them both through once, because the dialogue has always been BioWare’s strong point, but story is so tearjerkingly boring that I can’t force another playthrough. Especially with such meaningless choices.

    • mlaskus says:

      I kind of always hoped, still do, that all the choices would start to make the difference in the third game. Making them affect the story profoundly in ME2 would make developing ME3 a nightmare, or force them to make a smaller game because of it.

    • CreepingDeath says:

      I have to admit that, as a massive fan of pretty much everything else Bioware has done, I REALLY have to force myself to sit down and play Mass Effect.

      It was such a challenge to drag myself through the first game, it took over a year, and I’ve no idea why I picked up the second… never mind the fact I bought the collectors edition of it! Still haven’t got round to finishing it.

      I feel kind of left out when people start singing the virtues of the series, I keep asking myself if I’ve missed out on something.

    • Jsnuk says:

      It’s simple, you guys have no souls.

    • noodlecake says:

      That’s pretty much how I feel when going through most other RPGs! I think Dragon Age and Mass Effect 1 and 2 are the only ones that haven’t bored me to tears within the first 20% to 40% of the game. RPGs need well written characters, engrossing storylines, choices that matter and most importantly reasonably paced fights that don’t drag on and require an obscene level of micromanagement. It’s okay managing a whole party for a while but when you’re on your 30th fight in a row and all you’ve managed to do is talk to a prisoner and go and fetch a key to break him out it’s just like… uh! Come on! I’ve been playing for 2 hours and nothing’s happened!

    • CreepingDeath says:

      @noodlecake: Oh, I loved Dragon Age. Reminded me quite a lot of the first Kotor game in a lot of ways. There’s just something about Mass Effect that just… repels me. As such, I’m kinda worried about the direction the next Dragon Age has gone. It went from being a first day purchase to a “hmm… we’ll see”

    • jackflash says:

      I liked the first one somewhat, though I thought it was deeply flawed. The second one, I just don’t understand what it has to recommend it other than the graphics. It’s AAA boredom, there is little to no actual interactivity. Straight up interactive cinema.

    • Jack says:

      Mass Effect defense brigade reporting in!

      Mass effect 2’s got great acting, writing, and shooting, basically, and it ties them together in an incredibly polished way. That’s about it. You can disagree, but that’s what I thought, and why I liked it. I assume everyone else had similar reasons.

      I did hate KoTOR, though. Such mechanical dialogue. You could tell everything was taken directly from some huge story chart up in the writers office.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Mass Effect is far better than Dragon Age. That game was so mind numbingly boring and full of uninteresting characters. The combat was also rather shoddy. I’m a big fan of Planescape and Baldur’s Gate 2, but I couldn’t enjoy Dragon Age at all for some reason.

  18. Vinraith says:

    I want to be angry at the ME series for what Bioware’s done to Dragon Age. I want to be annoyed with it for being incredibly shallow in its mechanical RPG elements. But dammit, what it does it does so well I can’t really be angry at it for either of those things, even as I can’t help but be concerned about the message its success sends to the industry.

    • Jsnuk says:

      While cloning every game off of Mass Effect 2 would obviously be bad, Mass Effect 2 is great in its own right, as PC gamers it can be easy for us to be repelled by its simplicity, but truly, in the case it doesn’t take anything away from what I love about RPGs. It isn’t bogged down with tedious min-maxing and inventory management and the combat isn’t awful, this allows the focus to be heavily on the story and characters, which is what I want in an RPG. After playing ME, Dragon Age felt like a massive step backward. I honestly think it’s only the Grognards who dislike it.

    • Vinraith says:

      It isn’t bogged down with tedious min-maxing and inventory management and the combat isn’t awful, this allows the focus to be heavily on the story and characters, which is what I want in an RPG. After playing ME, Dragon Age felt like a massive step backward. I honestly think it’s only the Grognards who dislike it.

      The down side to no inventory management is that it has almost no meaningful collecting and a poverty of interesting weapons and options. The down side of no min-maxing is that there’s little diversity in character development options, and a dramatic reduction in replayability and diversification within a given class. Speaking as a proud grognard, there’s a lot to dislike, the truth of it is that it’s a terrible RPG in a lot of ways. On the up side, as you say, the story is decent, the characters well written and presented, and the illusion of meaningful choice within the confines of said plot and characters is masterfully executed. The whole thing is just phenomenally engrossing, and at the end of the day that’s what makes it a great game. My concern is that other RPG developers will learn “less mechanical complexity = success” without noticing the things that actually make the game good.

    • Archonsod says:

      Nah, the grognards like it too. I think it’s just the usual “let’s complain about everything because it makes us seem individual and cool” brigade who don’t like it.

    • Vinraith says:

      I think it’s fairly obvious that anyone who wasn’t grabbed by the characters and setting probably wouldn’t enjoy the game. Mechanically it’s just a run of the mill cover shooter strapped to a conversational adventure game of sorts with some bad minigames in between. If you’re not in it for the cinematic experience there’s really nothing to love.

    • Nick says:

      I wish people would stop using that pathetic excuse for an argument, Archonsod.

    • Spud says:

      There are those who believe having three figure amounts of guns available to them IS what makes fiddling and faddling about in an RPG/Strategy Game so darn interesting => Jagged Alliance.

      If you take everything away that might resemble a requirement for individual thought, you end up with Mass Effect. Er, I mean a basically semi-interactive movie. I.e. click once for YALOD = Yet Another Line Of Dialogue.

      If someone had told me that in order to be allowed to watch a Sci-Fi movie I would have to click once every 5-60 seconds in order to advance the movie, and that it would run for 8 hours before it made sense, I would have figured it for a terrible, nightmarish idea.

      Here it seems to be a great videogame.

    • DrGonzo says:


      That’s one way of looking at it. A more positive one is that it shows shooters with more depth and complexity sell well. I’ve always thought Mass Effect more of a shooter first than an RPG.

    • Vinraith says:


      I definitely prefer your interpretation, I just worry that the industry sees that “RPG” label on the game and gets the wrong idea.

  19. Fistulator says:

    How unexpected!

  20. bleeters says:

    I will now commence squeeing. You may wish to cover any glass surfaces.


    (I look forward to helping Farmer Gitznog with his pyjak problem, or collecting herbal tea for the ships’ janitor-cook whilst EARTH BURNS)

  21. Shagittarius says:

    I think I’ll just read a book or watch a soap opera and have pretty much the same experience as Ass Effect 3 , only with a better plot.

    • BloatedGuppy says:

      Wow. Ass Effect 3. That is comedy gold.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      My (somewhat immature) circle of friends refer to Mass Effect without the “m” but (or is it “butt”) mean it fairly endearingly. After all, there is plenty of butt in Mass effect.

  22. Gaff says:

    Interesting that they refer to Shepard as an “Alliance Marine” instead of a Spectre.

    Either way, ME3 was as inevitable as anything gets in the gaming industry. BioWare always said that the series was envisioned as a trilogy, and I believe some of the devs posted that ME3 was being worked on even before ME2 was completed. I suspect that parts of them dovetailed quite nicely in order to help with some cross-title work.

    Hopefully we’ll get more information from the VGAs tomorrow, and not just a 20 second trailer (I’m looking at you, Uncharted 3).

    • stahlwerk says:

      They won’t kill off the other character options, their customers expect them to support character import, so they’re kind of bound to that. Also, keeping the other classes in gives them the bragging rights to call it an RPG with Meaningful Choices®.

      Edit: haha, oh my, brain fart on my part. But wasn’t shepard still an alliance marine while having Spectre status? With the navy giving her/him missions and things like that, I think of her/his role more in a “military attaché” way.

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      *Bowtie spins.*

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Interesting that they refer to Shepard as an “Alliance Marine” instead of a Spectre.

      Probably just covering their bases there as Shepherd isn’t necessarily in the Spectres anymore. His/her membership kinda lapsed when he/she kicked the bucket and post-resurrection it’s possible that he/she didn’t re-enlist, instead simply telling the Council where to stick it one last time.

  23. Evil otto says:

    That synopsis doesn’t sound good at all. It looks like it will be a lot less conversation and a lot more killing.

    • Jsnuk says:

      That’s probably just to appeal to the great unwashed masses, I really don’t see (as someone who thought ME1 was great and ME2 brilliant) they can fuck up ME3 (unless they put ewoks in it).

    • DrazharLn says:

      Ewoks are almost as bad as Ludo. Fucking Ludo.

    • Sop says:

      “looks like it will be a lot less conversation and a lot more killing.”

      Which would be a great thing, if they actually knew how to make killing fun.
      Which they do not.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I hope you mean the game and not Ludo from Labyrinth. He’s sooo cute.

  24. CMaster says:

    So the game that they announced they were going to announce with cryptic messages was Mass Effect 3, which everybody knows they are working on anyway. Hardly surprising, but certainly irritating.

    • stahlwerk says:

      sure looks like it. I’m excited, if only for the faint possibility of ME 2 appearing in the xmas steam sale to hype up 3.

  25. stahlwerk says:

    Blue lips, blue veins
    Blue, the color of our planet
    From far, far away

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Going on the picture at the head of the article shouldn’t Regina’s lyrics be changed to:

      ‘Blue skin, blue veins’ etc?

    • stahlwerk says:

      Nah, pars pro toto is still upheld. Ansari lips are blue, are they not?

      Btw, was there ever an explanation given in the codex for the Ansari’s azure complexion? Understandably though, with all the hubbub about their lifespan, gender and (a)sexuality taking front stage they really could afford fridge logic on that one.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      @ Stahlwerk

      Good point, I revise the lyrics to:

      Blue everything, Blue everything,
      Blue, the colour of everything,
      from any distance away

    • Bart says:

      I see your blah and raise you

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      @ Bart

      Ouch! You should really put an ear worm alert on that link before someone else clicks on it and has that song in their head FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK!

  26. lurkalisk says:

    I like the Mass Effect games but I can’t understand much of the praise it gets. People will go on at length about how compelling the dialogue is, or how “epic” the story is, and I found those to be… Objectionable. The dialogue, for example, is cringe-worthy most of the time, and I found the story boring.

    Ah well, I guess I’m looking forward to another installment anyway…

    • kyrieee says:

      Most of the dialogue is cringe worthy? Really?
      It has some of the best dialogue you’re going to hear in a game, even if there are some bad lines here and there.

    • Jsnuk says:

      Mordin singing Gilbert and Sullivan, that is all.

    • noodlecake says:

      Yeah… Name some other RPG games with better dialogue.

    • cjlr says:

      Well, yeah, but dialogue is bad in every video game. But when it’s significantly better than average that’s worth appreciating.

      There are some quite sharply done character bits in ME 1/2, even if most of the plot-related bits do tend towards a right plodding clip.

    • S says:

      having better dialogue than most other RPGs definitely does not mean that the dialogue is good, at all. There’s a reason games have a reputation for absolutely terrible writing.

    • lurkalisk says:


      I can’t, but that’s not the point. As RPG dialogue goes Mass Effect does well enough, but that’s not saying much. “Cringe-worthy” is standard fare for RPG character interaction.

      My point was more about how so many seem to think that ME 1&2 had magnificent, genre changing dialogue and voice acting, but I saw it as average for an RPG (TPS for #2).

    • Kaira- says:


      I would say The Witcher, PlaneScape: Torment and Vampire the Masquerade – Bloodlines have better dialogue than ME-series, but yeah, BioWare IMHO can write some very good dialogue. It’s their storys that are… well, bad.

    • Mort says:

      Kaira- beat me to it, so +1 there. And while being asleep and both hands tied behind their backs.

    • Lilliput King says:

      The Witcher? Don’t make me sick, then weep, then be sick again. It’s awful. Maybe it’s better if you are fluent in Polish.

      I agree with the rest of your list and would humbly add Arcanum.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yeah I was going to say, the dialogue in The Witcher was pretty bad. It was an all right game for about the first quarter, then I got rather bored and stopped. For some reason I think I will buy the second one though.

  27. Tonamel says:

    Titling your post with an LCD Soundsystem album? Are you sure doing the Sunday Papers isn’t slowly turning you into Keiron?

    • Lilliput King says:

      I had to double check it wasn’t Quinns.

      Quinns, Jim.

  28. James G says:

    Well I can’t say I’m surprised at the existence of ME3, given that it was pretty much always on the cards for the get go, and the little synopsis sound to be pretty much in line with what everyone had been expecting. Still:


    ME2 is a very close contender for my GotY, with only Minecraft looking to challenge. (I’m not sure minecraft even qualities for GotY, while I purchased it this year, I’m not sure when I started playing about with creative mode.)

    • Wizlah says:

      I am absolutely certain that minecraft will take number one/24 slot on the advent calendar, with mass effect arriving a day earlier.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      You’re the first people I’ve noticed bringing this up but yes: can a game still in alpha be considered a game, let alone voted as game of the year in it’s current state?

      The answer is, of course, if no further improvements were made it would still be the best release of the year, but if more’s to come are we allowed to steal 2011’s game of the year and vote it 2010’s game of the year just because we’ve all been privy to the alpha code?

      Will be interesting to see how RPS decide to view it. If it’s allowed it’s game of the year, but if it’s not I’d understand.

    • Jsnuk says:

      One of the loading screens in ME2 even told you to remember that your actions will have consequences in ME3 or something similar.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      I was talking about Minecraft, sorry, could have at least mentioned what I was talking about!

  29. Inglourious Badger says:

    Am I only the one who read the blurb and thought ”that sounds like the plot for ME2, that does”?

    ME1 made humans the new kids on the block and had all the awesome ‘let’s prove to the rest of the cosmos how good/shitty us humans can be’, but then ME2 (and now ME3 by the sounds of it) said ignore the interesting, unconventional, sci-fi stuff, lets just focus on aliens versus humans fisticuffs. I’m already disappointed and they haven’t even announced it (for the second time)!

    • Colthor says:

      @Inglorious Badger:
      I thought “Dragon Age”.

      Anyway, I loved Mass Effect, I liked ME2 a lot (in that gah-but-if-only way that means you bitch about a game a hell of a lot more than if you didn’t care about it at all), so hopefully this’ll be good too.

      If for some reason they decided to ditch the Gears-Of-War-Clone-With-Spells combat for STALKER-With-Spells combat I would be a very happy bunny.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      A person after my own heart.

      Don’t get me wrong, I loved playing ME2, I am fully, unashamedley in the “RPGs were crap until you could actually fight people rather than choosing fighting options from a menu” person, but ME2 bugged me because its plot wasn’t very good.

      The Seven Samurai recruitment plotline was a good one to steal but once it was introduced it was too obvious, concise and boring regardless of how interesting a few of the characters you recruited were.

      And I found there was no motivation to work for Martin Sheen (apart from the fact you HAD to) because he was obviously dodgy except you were meant to factor in the fact he’d SAVED YOUR LIFE but I couldn’t feel any sympathy for him because he’d saved my life in the first 10 minutes of the game and so that fact was promptly forgotten.

      ME1 had a much better story and whilst games are rarely judged on plot, story and dialogue the Mass Effect games are striving for story telling brilliance so must be judged as such, and with every leaf they take from hollywood’s book they manage to reduce the best epic sci-fi creation since Star Wars.

      Anyway, rant over. Probably best to reserve judgement on ME3 until it’s at least announced, let alone released.

    • Frosty says:

      @Colthor @Inglorious Badger
      You good sirs hit the nail on the head for me. It sounds odd but it’s like Oblivion in that way-feels like a lesser game to it’s predecessor and because of that I bitch and moan about it but at the end of the day I still played it a lot.

      Also with you on the dislike of the SAVE THE HUMAN RACE/HUMANS ARE BEST thing.

  30. Skusey says:

    I’m never disappointed by the announcement of more gossip-n-guns games.

  31. Fox89 says:

    And mineral mining, Jim! You can’t save the world from certain destruction without stockpiling your fair share of platinum ore!

  32. Chalcas says:

    What did Earth ever do to Sci-Fi writers?

  33. Freud says:

    As far as pop-a-mole goes, ME2 was pretty good. It’s probably somewhere between 5th-10th on my GOTY list. So I’ll pick up and play the third one.

  34. Lambchops says:

    Looking forward to it. Although is playing as a woman with gun somehow betraying the brotherhood?

    • Wizlah says:

      you’re not a male computer gamer unless you’ve played shepard as a burd.

    • Jsnuk says:

      This feels like the appropriate place to say that Baldur’s Gate is overated.

  35. Ricky says:

    Ah yes, Mass Effect 2 is now officially old enough that the internet bitterly hates it and jumps at the chance to point out it’s shit. Stop being such a bunch of grumpy old farts, mass effect 2 was bloody fantastic and improves on ME1 dramatically. Really looking forward to ME3. :)

    • KillahMate says:

      Don’t worry, we’re almost due for the backlash on the backlash.

    • poop says:


    • Lilliput King says:

      Forget it, poop. It’s Chinatown.

  36. the blueprint project says:

    i love the content on this site

  37. Veret says:

    Did anyone else actually go to the store page? I saw a $59.95 price tag.

    • Oak says:

      Wouldn’t surprise me. Regardless, here’s hoping that was the fancy edition.

    • Jack says:

      I think I’ll just go cry into my inevitable $100 + price tag now.

  38. Memph says:

    Playing through ME2 on Insanity was tremendous, challenging fun. Sure there’s some particularly dodgy scenes and dialogue, but i just loved the way the story played out as a whole.
    I must have clocked that game 6 times, most of the DLC and all, which unfortunately made playing it all again with Shadow Broker not much of an option after playing it to death, so I passed on that one.
    I hope they again get Jennifer Hale for the female Shep option, her voice acting’s so vastly superior to bloke Shep, who sounds like he should be selling tupperware on QVC. And Mordin, oh please, give moar Mordin!

    I think (and hope) it would be safe to say ME2 took so much stick for it’s rescource gathering minigame ‘feature’ that Bioware just might not balls this one up with anything remotely similar. They did in the least listen to the criticism and nerf the hell out of how much mining actually had to be done if i recall correctly. My only real complaint was the complete lack of inventory and tweaking of gear. This from someone who mostly despises micromanagement, especially for a full party of characters. Yet wheras reducing stacks of accrued crap to omni-gel every so often may have been a chore ‘n’ bore, they streamlined it a little too much for my tastes, taking so much off the top you could see bone and leaving next to nothing to scratch any loot itch.
    Some more weapons/gadgets/armour options would have been great (dlc does not count tyvm).
    Anyhoo, 1 and 2 were great games. I’m in for 3. Let’s be having it.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      I saw this comment on Youtube today:

      “It’s simple: Mark Meer’s MaleShep has a different character than Jennifer Hale’s FemShep.

      MaleShep is a badass stoic professional man (Clint Eastwood). FemShep is a badass feisty tomboy (Uma Thurman).”

      I like MaleShep much more than FemShep, which is cheesy and artificial IMO…

    • bleeters says:

      If “badass stoic professional man” translates into ’emotionless, talentless robot delivering every line in the same painful monotone’, sure. Even the romance scene lines trigger uncanny vally style repulsion in me, bereft as they are of any tangible human emotion.

    • august says:

      @ SirKicksalot – The very fact that you’re quoting a youtube comment as something you agree with should be the tipoff that you’re totally wrong.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’ve got to say I agree. The woman is completely unconvincing and I can’t stand playing as her. But then I feel exactly the same about the guy. I find it strange that the main character is terribly voiced when the rest of the game has pretty good voice acting.

  39. Wooly says:

    B-but everyone I know is on the earth! :(

  40. Arthur Barnhouse says:

    Funny that Shepard never got a promotion. (S)he did save the universe twice. Seems like they’d give a bump for that.

  41. Kaltano says:

    you forgot space coitus.

  42. Devan says:

    Dang.. I guess I should finish ME2 one of these days then. I just didn’t find it as compelling as ME1; and I guess I can expect the third installment to be more of the same.

    Still, I guess it’s better to have them available than not.

    • jalf says:

      You just have to get through the recruiting part which is a bit of a chore. The final mission is nothing short of epic (and is *much* longer than the individual recruitment/loyalty missions)

  43. Miles of the Machination says:

    “Earth is burning. Striking from beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race” I didn’t know William Shatner was writing beat-poetry for Mass Effect 3.

  44. Fergus says:

    I don’t suppose there’s any indication of what this means for a potential release schedule?

    • Springy says:

      I, random internet man, will tell you with all the authority that status bestows that it’s going to come out somewhere between Nov 2011 – March 2012.

  45. Wootles says:

    Come on everyone, grab a stick! We have a horse to beat!

  46. kibayasu says:

    If they can strike some sort of balance between the god awful inventory and mostly pointless differing equipment of the first, and the straight upgrade path of the second’s equipment, I’ll be a happy camper. They can leave out looting as it was done in the first game. They can bring back finding equipment as it was in the second. But there needs to be some kind of branching paths, pro and cons, to bring the RPG back to Mass Effect outside the dialogue.

  47. Pijama says:


    Now I need to wrap up some saves for maximum epicness.

  48. Megazver says:

    I am way too excited about this. And I do not care.

  49. Commander Shepard says:

    I’m Commander Shepard, and this is favourite sequel on the citadel.

  50. kutkh says:

    Who’d have thought that the circle of backlash would ever get incredibly, incredibly tiresome?

    On the topic of Mark Meer, incidentally, I noticed a profound stepping-up of his game in Lair of the Shadow Broker, assisted in part by the generally higher quality of the script. He’s a good actor, but I suspect that he can’t sustain it across a whole game’s worth of dialogue like Jennifer Hale can. I certainly think he’s unfairly targeted – he undersells a lot of lines, sure, but Jennifer Hale is just as guilty of clunky delivery. More often than not, the writing’s to blame.

    Having played through with both, I found myself pretty attached to Everyone’s Canadian Space Dad, is all I’m saying.