Well, I took a slightly longer break than advertised, but I put the time to good use, I swear. Let's finish this fucker off.
Shut down machines! Break fans!
The game starts with Shepard in lockup. It's a cushy lockup, but she's been grounded and the Normandy taken away due to blowing up 300,000 Batarians in Arrival. If you didn't do Arrival then it's jail for working with Cerberus. Then the Reapers finally show up and are absolutely destroying everything. We have to get to the Citadel and ask the Council for help. Hahaha. Like every time before they basically tell us to get fucked and it's up to us to unite everyone and get help for Earth. The rest of the game is trying to fix all the ills of the galaxy. Pretty much what we've always done, but this time on a macro scale.
For the LP I decided to try something different. I've already played through the game once with a Butts import and will re-import that save for our game. This means we're already level 60, have all the guns, upgrades, and armors unlocked. And we're playing on Insanity
So what's new?
Combat, very much unlike ME1 and somewhat unlike ME2 is a goddamn delight. In 2 triggering a combo was difficult at best, and the only thing it would work with is biotics. In this game, you can combo off of almost anything. Tech, biotics, ammo powers, you name it. You just need to prime something and then hit it with a detonator. The detonator doesn't need to be of the same type as the primer, so everything synergizes. For example, a squadmate could prime with fire ammo (tech) and then you could detonate it with charge (biotic). The resulting explosion not only does massive damage to the target, but also to anything around it. Because of this even insanity is no longer a slog and you don't have to worry about bringing weapons or teammates to handle individual defenses. Just do your thing and death will follow. They also added a heavy melee to wreck things and an over-cover instakill grab which I lovingly refer to as the reacharound.
And if you thought Charge was good, they went and added goddamn Nova. Nova is a detonator power that involves Shep slamming her fist into the ground and knocking back enemies in addition to doing fucktons of damage. Shep also screams when she does it, making Angry Shepard the most destructive force in the galaxy right behind Harbinger's honk beam.
There's a new mechanic called War Assets. There is a minimum you need to beat the game and you unlock them by completing missions. The higher your score, the better you do (well, technically, but we'll get into that). You can also raise them by playing multiplayer, which was a new addition and will have its own section.
Paragon and Renegade are still around, but they work much differently now. You get an overall reputation score from interacting with people, and P/R is really just there for flavor. As long as you've done enough talking to folks then it doesn't matter if you want to be an asshole which is a very good improvement, IMO. Now you're not locked out of options or forced to pick a response so you can pass a check later.
I heard this game sucks and the ends are bad
ME3 released on March 6th, 2012. It concludes the story of Commander Shepard and was originally intended to be an end to the IP altogether. Now the latter part isn't true since the release of Andromeda, but for now the former part stands. So what's the problem you ask? Well, in reality there were two problems.
Mac Walters and Casey Hudson.
I mentioned in my ME2 LP that the original idea was that the galaxy was getting fucked by the overuse of dark energy, causing stars to die prematurely. There was that whole thing on Haestrom about it. This info got leaked, and in a fit of pique Walters decided they weren't going to use it. As they couldn't decide what the ending would actually be and with the rest of the game sitting there ready to go while the clock ticked down to going gold, Hudson and Walters literally locked themselves in a room and crapped out the ending. This was corroborated by Patrick Weekes, one of the major writers of the trilogy a while after the game came out. They didn't ask any of the writing staff for input or even have someone look it over. And the results were...less than stellar. Things that made no sense. Glaring plot holes. Lore contradictions. And the canonical death of Shepard.
To add insult to injury, about a week before the release, Hudson did a press release stating that you wouldn't just have a choice of ending A, B, or C, but that all of the decisions you'd made over the course of 3 games would make your ending special and unique. After all, if you'd imported the same character all the way across there were over 1000 flags to take into account. Critics gave the game high reviews. And then the game came out. People played it, and they shit. My personal reaction after mainlining the game for 3 days was pretty much
What you got after all was just ending A, B, or C (actually red, blue, or green) referred to as Destroy, Control, or Synthesis which were little more than palette swaps of each other. There was no end boss, the last thing you fought was a mid-tier Reaper critter leading to internet memes about Marauder Shields. Other idiotic shit like Joker looking back over his shoulder as he tried to outrace the explosion or EDI stepping off the crashed Normandy even if you picked Destroy which the also-idiotic Star Kid warned would destroy all AI in the galaxy. No answer as to what happened to any of the races or your squadmates. Just an explosion, a stupid interstitial, and then a message to Buy Our DLC. Hudson's/Walters's response was to double down and accuse its fans of being entitled whiny bitches who didn't understand ART. The backlash was so bad that people made complaints to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. Ultimately the FTC took no action, but the BBB agreed with the complaint and said that Bioware's advertising and claims were "false and misleading." After a month or so of wailing and gnashing of teeth, BW announced they'd be releasing a free DLC to deal with some of the issues. Their "fix" was a new expansion of the ending cinematic called the Extended Cut.
The EC did fill in some of the holes big enough to drive a Reaper through, but you were still stuck with 3 endings that really had fuckall to do with anything you'd done in the trilogy. However, it elevated the conclusion from brain-damagingly stupid to just "meh." You can still find the originals on YouTube, so go look 'em up if you're curious. It also lowered the requirement to get the "best" ending from 8k War Assets to 4k. Now if you have shitty assets your teammates get obliterated on the run to the beam. If you have really high assets (now or pre-EC) and choose Destroy you're treated to a cutaway of Shepard taking a breath in the wreckage so she's maybe not dead after all.
UpdatesI fucking told you so (post)
Mars needs women (post)
Where da at (post)
"Ah yes, the 'Reapers'" (post)
The Love Boat (post)
Ancient Assholes (post)
Meet n' greet (post)
Mooning about (post)
The uncanniest valley (post)
Hot for teacher (post)
Sidequest for fire (post)
Mad World (post)
Aw yiss (post)
It's ok to be a failson (post)
The doctor is in (post)
Orkin Man (post)
Anthropocentric bag of dicks (post)
Dropping the C-bomb (post)
Tuchanka. Doom. Krogan planet. (post)
Joke's on you (post)
The ending isn't the dumbest part of ME3 (post)
(Don't) Fuck the Batarians (post)
Blue by you (post)
Nuthin' but a she thang (post)
Shoots and ladders (post)
Adjudicative proceedings (post)
Come on Nyreen (post)
Hitting the bottle (post)
You dumb motherfuckers (post)
Normandy nonsense (post)
505 error (post)
Halleluja Koris (post)
More like 300 beers in the making (post)
Blah blah blah (post)
Jerry's kids (post)
Fuck Dis shit (post)
Garneau no no (post)
Getting ahead (post)
This would be funny if you hadn't fucked us all (post)
This takes me back (post)
Fuck this, eat shit, blow me (post)
The last time I have to do this shit, hooray (post)
Dude, where's my Citadel? (post)
The beginning of the end (post)
Kleenex Krew (post)
I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite war for the Citadel (post)
Kissing our Butts goodbye (post)
Just another day (post)
Wrex in effect (post)
I? Should go? (post)
Go fuck yourself (post)
R and R (post)
Veni, vidi, victuals (post)
We party down (post)
Shooting (the) shit (post)
Mr. Freeze (post)
Bonus MP #3 (post)
Not long before ME3 was released, info leaked that there would be the inclusion of multiplayer. I was kind of annoyed about this, as a lot of games were tacking on MP at the time and most of them were garbage. I figured it would be dumb and boring and the resources could be expended elsewhere to better use.
I was wrong.
They released a beta of the MP a couple weeks before the game proper came out. In an unusual move, EA made it so you could play the beta without an XBL/GFW sub. PS3 didn't need it anyway. It's a horde mode, with 10 rounds of increasingly difficult enemies. Rounds 3, 6, and 10 also have an objective. This could be assassinating targets, hacking an objective, or deactivating devices. If you failed the objective the game ended. Bonuses were awarded for completing it faster. You then had an 11th wave - extraction. Everyone needed to get to the extraction point and hold off the enemies until the shuttle arrived. Extraction lasts for 2 minutes. It's possible to die or have no one make it to the point and extraction to fail, but you'll still get all the credits and XP you earned through wave 10 even if you don't make it out. There were also 3 difficulties; Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Only 1 faction (Cerberus) and 2 of the maps were available for the beta, but it was enough. Many goons got together and played the shit out of it on all platforms. I remember the night before launch we managed to make it through a full game of gold and everyone was yelling and screaming as we barely survived.
You can choose one of the following classes: Adept, Soldier, Infiltrator, Sentinel, Vanguard, or Engineer. Each class has several different characters with their own powers. Weapons range from common to ultra rare. At first there were only 5 maps, but later expansions added more maps, characters, weapons, even a new harder difficulty and faction. Everything was free. The game does have lootboxes that you can purchase with real money, but you earn plenty of credits just by playing. It's probably the least-annoying lootbox system ever, and they made so much from impatient folks that even to this day the servers are still running - 7 years after the fact. On PS3 you can find a game in under 10 seconds. They stopped patching it a long time ago, and there isn't anyone monitoring the game. The servers are laggy even when hosting and the N7 HQ takes forever to load. But it still works.
For a year after launch they also had weekend events with special goals or conditions. Holiday events were themed, like on Halloween the packages were pumpkins They also added in nameplates and titles for reaching certain milestones or participating in the events. The most difficult was Best of the Best, wherein you had to complete all of the other challenges, plus solo 10 bronze, 5 silver, and 2 gold matches. I didn't realize higher counted for lower so I did every single one Look upon my works, ye mighty and despair:
As of right now, the big ol' dummy who thought this would be a stupid tacked-on waste of time has played 887 hours, 20 minutes (and 19 seconds) over 2320 games. I'm ranked in the top 1% of all players worldwide for both promotions and challenges. However, RNGeezus hates my guts and my manifest still isn't fucking maxed out. I have all the weapons but some are languishing at III or IV.
MP affects SP by how much you've played. Once a character hits level 20, you get the option of "promoting" that class. All of the characters in the class get reset to level 1, but it adds to your score. This results in a number, which is divided by the Galaxy at War percentage we saw in the opening. It defaults to 50%, and goes up the more you play. So if your base score was 1000 but you hadn't played in 6 months, it would only be 500 for war assets. I've been playing a fair bit the past couple of weeks so I'm close to 100%. We'll be able to take a look at this score after we deal with Mars and get sent out on our own. Since they lowered the number needed for the ending, you can ignore MP altogether though only losers do that
Butts needs you!
I want to do bonus videos with MP. Now I can manage with pubbies, but I'd like to include goons. So if you have this on PS3 and want to participate, please let me know in the thread. We'll schedule a time to get together and I'll record the matches. If you're worried about not having played, don't. Even low-level characters can do fine on higher difficulties as long as you know what you're doing (and if you don't, just follow instructions ).