News: The Week in Gaming Has Been a Spinner’s Pitch

Mass Effect 3 Logo

Mass Effect 3 Logo

Bioware Unrepentant Over Mass Effect 3 Anticlimax

One need not take any liberties in stating that the Mass Effect fanbase has been somewhat ropeable with Bioware of late, owing to Bioware’s botched ending of the series with Mass Effect 3. Some players have been incensed over its betrayal of player choice, due to all of the game’s supposed multiple endings being virtually indistinguishable from one another. Other players have been dismayed at the fact that it does little to tie up loose plot threads, while at the same time blasting brand new plot holes through the series lore. Still other players have been upset by the way in which Bioware have managed to use the game’s ending as a flagrant sales pitch for selling DLC, while more than a few fans have merely felt letdown that such a prolific series should be given such a brief and shallow ending sequence. A more humble developer might well consider such an embittered breaking of faith with consumers to be an unmitigated PR disaster, yet it would seem that this was all part of Bioware’s plan according to thinker-in-residence, Casey Hudson.

Hudson states: “I didn’t want the game to be forgettable, and even right down to the sort of polarizing reaction that the ends have had with people – debating what the endings mean and what’s going to happen next, and what situation are the characters left in. That to me is part of what’s exciting about this story. There has always been a little bit of mystery there and a little bit of interpretation, and it’s a story that people can talk about after the fact.”

Part of the joy of reading Bioware interviews is that much of their spin is objectively truthful. It seems that the Mass Effect series will always contain an element of inherent ‘mystery’ and ‘interpretation’, due to the fact that the game’s ending does very little to wrap up many of the series overarching plot-threads; and this does indeed make for a story which people will be talking about after the fact. Whether these features could be rightly regarded as a boon is another question entirely though. Hudson goes on to state that Bioware will be happy to address player questions regarding the game’s end once more people have beaten it, a deadline which one hopes will allow them enough time to get their retcons in order. Hudson is also quick to point out to disgruntled fans that Commander Shepherd has given them “some of the best adventures we have had while playing games”, even if he does say so himself.

Project Milo

Project Milo

Molyneux: Child Grooming Sim Failed Due to Industry Inhospitability Toward Man-Child Connections

It would seem that any fleeting hope that the industry may have entertained regarding Peter Molyneux pulling his head in and holding his tongue in the wake of his split with Microsoft was this week shredded into confetti and fired into the Sun, with Molynuex delivering still more self-indulgent interviews about his time at the helm of Microsoft’s European division. According to Molyneux’s latest claims there was no problem with the aim and ambition of his Milo project, but rather it was the antipathy of an immature gaming industry which rendered the title inappropriate to bring to market.

“The problem with Milo wasn’t the ambition. It wasn’t the ambition or the technology; it was none of that. I just don’t think that this industry is ready for something as emotionally connecting as something like Milo. The real problem with Milo, and this is a problem we had lots of meetings over, was where it would be on the shelves next to all the computer games. It was just the wrong thing. It was the wrong concept for what this industry currently is. Maybe this industry one day won’t be like that, but at this particular time, having a game that celebrates the joy of inspiring something and you feel this connection, this bond; it was the wrong time for that.”

It is all very well to cite the state of the industry as being the reason that a pet project has failed, but then this is something that should be known by a competant developer before a project gets past the proof of concept stage. Besides which, one might well form the view that the real problem with the Milo Project was that Peter Molyneux was seemingly incapable of talking about it for any length of time without beginning to sound rather sinister.

Microsoft Now Too Good for Mere AAA Games

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console has never been on overly familiar terms with the humble AAA console exclusive, much less a AAA console exclusive developed in-house(unheard of for Microsoft), yet now it would seem that Microsoft wish to leapfrog this category entirely by creating their own category of the AAAA console exclusive.

Microsoft this week used the phrase “AAAA title” no less than four times in a recruitment listing for an Executive Producer for a current large-scale project. Quite how a AAAA title differs from a AAA title is unclear at the minute, though one could probably expect it having something to do with the Kinect.

It is entirely possible that this listing is part of a Microsoft initiative to upgrade their internal studios ahead of the launch of their next Xbox console; the fabled (pun intended) download only Xbox console, fated to destroy the used game trade forever etc. Then again, Microsoft might just be looking to fill some of the vacancies left by Peter Molyneux’s departure. At any rate, Microsoft better get cracking with their game before Sony can beat them to market with a AAAAA title.

18 Comments

  1. RootBeerKing
    Posted 2012.03.17 at 19:28 | Permalink

    AAAA doesn’t sound as good as AAA in my opinion. 

    Project Milo would have succeeded if it was made in Japan and featured loli anime girls instead of a kid that looks like he has fetal alcohol syndrome.

  2. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.03.17 at 21:31 | Permalink

    Triple A sounds like a car towing service ..

  3. epy
    Posted 2012.03.17 at 23:50 | Permalink

    Pay for your ending is finally here! Sure, FFXIII-2 beat them to the punch, but pretty sure Bioware will be releasing  an expanded REAL ending “for the fans” (all of this planned from the very beginning of course).

  4. RootBeerKing
    Posted 2012.03.18 at 02:30 | Permalink

    Don’t forget about Prince of Persia(2008)! You had to pay extra for the *real* ending in that game too.

  5. Ethos
    Posted 2012.03.18 at 18:55 | Permalink

    @RootBeerKing:disqus Which was so much worse than the regular on-disc ending. That’s probably the worst DLC in existence. 

  6. Ethos
    Posted 2012.03.18 at 19:16 | Permalink

    Also, Hudson, let people talk about your ending BY MAKING A GOOD ENDING.

  7. Paul Dougherty
    Posted 2012.03.18 at 19:50 | Permalink

    The ME3 ending is just so disappointing. After playing ME2 I was expecting so much more. ME2′s intro sequence I’d put on par with FF7′s intro playing it back when it came out in 1997. And then whatever parts of ME3′s ending weren’t poorly thought-out were patently retarded. /sigh

    I hadn’t heard about Milo before, but is men touching children not frowned upon in the UK? “You’re an adult man, you shouldn’t be touching boys.” seemed pretty obvious to me. And saying something about how emotional or whatever it is sounds like venturing into NAMBLA territory. I guess they probably announced Project Milo at last years E3, but I was too busy laughing about the Disney Kinect game that seemed to suggest they only let white people into Disney Land.

    Also, I’m pretty sure we’re witnessing the dawn of the A War. It’ll unfold like the shaving razor Razor War. Isn’t Triple A like an established rating used in lots of industries? Does any industry use Quadruple A? I can’t say I’ve heard of any.

  8. Mel
    Posted 2012.03.18 at 21:39 | Permalink

     I think what happens with big franchises is that they start out as a new IP with a lot of roughness around the edges, but a good idea at its core that endears people to it and makes them hopeful for some sequels. Then the second entry comes out and it’s all of what the first had with a ton of corrections fixed thanks to a bigger budget, plus more content and bigger set pieces in the game. And by the third entry the game gets SO high profile that the publisher can’t help but append a whole load money making aspects to the game. Give the players fewer free things and force in things that didn’t belong (multiplayer, motion controls, voice controls, etc.) to “appeal” to an even wider base. Meanwhile the development team has more resources than ever to make their game, but also more THINGS than ever to put into their game. So either they become overloaded or they increase their production team to a ridiculous number. Neither of those things are good.

    This basically outlines what happened to both the Uncharted series and (from what I’m hearing) the Mass Effect series. Both are good games still, but littered with problems more insufferable than the first rough entry in the respective trilogies.

  9. RootBeerKing
    Posted 2012.03.19 at 04:33 | Permalink

    @Etho_Star:disqus  The on-disc ending was terrible, so I can’t imagine how bad the DLC was if it was WORSE than that.

  10. Lusipurr
    Posted 2012.03.19 at 05:28 | Permalink

    The more A in a title, the better, apparently.
    Perhaps a name change is upcoming for some of our favourite companies?
    EAAAAAAAAAAAAAA? AAAAAAAAAAAAActivision?

  11. Ethos
    Posted 2012.03.19 at 07:42 | Permalink

    @RootBeerKing:disqus That was my gut reaction to the on-disc ending too, but I actually think it makes the most sense for the characters. What else does the prince have in his life except Elika? Why wouldn’t he risk the chance to save both her and the world? If he lives and she doesn’t, he has nothing. If she lives and they both dies, he has something, and she was supposed to die anyway. There are many issues with that game, but I don’t think the ending is one of them.

    @Lusipurr:disqus lolololol

  12. Mel
    Posted 2012.03.19 at 21:29 | Permalink

     It’s funny because it almost worked out that way. There was Atari back in the day, then people spun off of them, but they wanted to get their names higher up on alphabetical listings. So they made…Activision. Then people spun off from them, and what company did they start? Acclaim! LOL

  13. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.03.20 at 03:28 | Permalink

    After reading the Reaper indoctrination ending of Mass Effect 3 I have been forced to alter opinion of the ending.

    http://www.giantbomb.com/mass-effect-3/61-29935/the-truth-behind-the-mass-effect-3-ending-sequence/35-539298/

  14. Ethos
    Posted 2012.03.20 at 09:13 | Permalink

    That is better in a lot of ways. And lines up way more with the way Bioware handled the writing and tone of the series. Still, in that case, it’s less that the ending sucks and more that there is no ending. What happens after Shepard wakes up on Earth? She breaks the indoctrination, sure, but that doesn’t kill the reapers. What about the Mass Relays? That was the part that upset me the most and seemed to be the biggest factor in creating an antithetical ending. If they are still destroyed, I hardly think the ending is much better.

    Still, that all does fit. But if it’s the case, it means they didn’t include an ending in the game, which in more offensive in some ways. It’d be like ending Fight Club at the scene when the twist is revealed.

  15. Paul Dougherty
    Posted 2012.03.20 at 11:06 | Permalink

    The it was a dream or it was in Shepard’s mind as she battled indoctrination while they seem to make some sense of the insane nonsense still are shit as endings. During that final charge through No Man’s Land where you have the feeling you just might overcome the insane odds, activate the Crucible, and defeat the Reapers (who’ve so far been killed on-screen only one at a time by an entire goddamned fleet’s focused fire) only to be cut down at the last second. That would have been a good ending. I would have been OK with Shepard dying and the cycle continuing. There was never much hope to start with. I went into ME3 expecting that Shepard wasn’t going to live. I figured that Shepard dies in a Heroic Sacrifice, I get to murder the shit out of that ****-talking Harbinger ***hole, and somehow, against the odds organic sapient life continues to life throughout the galaxy. It was overwhelming odds with no clear strategy for victory much less survival. I would have been happy with the Crucible somehow disables the Reapers akin to the effect Saren offing himself had on Sovereign which allowed the reinforced gallactic fleet to breech his shields in the first game. 

    So while I agree that the dream sequence nonsensical quality of the ending makes more sense if it didn’t actually happen…my assistant Tryanor (however it’s spelled), Joker, and Garrus fleeing midbattle (Garrus and Liara were my 100% squad, basically) and starting some Eden planet still makes no goddamned sense. There’s so much more nonsense in the ending than can be explained.

  16. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.03.20 at 13:05 | Permalink

    I just find it difficult to imagine that THAT many continuity errors could make it into one twenty minute ending by accident ..

    I mean heavy traffic on the abandoned Citadel and invisible Admiral whathisface? I think I’ll have to watch the whole thing on YouTube.

  17. Deimosion
    Posted 2012.03.20 at 13:32 | Permalink

    I for one can’t WAIT for Finaaaaaaaaaaaal Faaaaaaaaaaantaaaaaaaaaaaaasy XV!

  18. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.03.21 at 03:29 | Permalink

    I think SE should make VSXIII their FFXV.