Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

This is something I felt compelled to write;
both as a gamer and the influences that helped shape me as a developer.

Almost a year from when I touched my last save file, I finally "finished" the Mass Effect series.  I played all the DLC and I beat the game, one last time.  It was a somber ending, because it put a final end to a character I have played since 2007.  I have games that I love, games stretching back to my childhood, and games that I would consider myself to be a huge fan of.  I can count on one hand though (and not using all my fingers), franchises that have sucked me in and crafted characters that made me care about them in such a way, that turns this 6'5 developer into your everyday excitable fan (not Justin Beiber level though, that'd be just plain crazy).  The Mass Effect series is one of those few titles.

I have looked up to Bioware for many years.  Combined with my love for Point & Click adventure titles, Bioware's games helped shape the direction I took in the video game industry, and how I came to Telltale Games.  Focusing on stories, cinematics, immersing the player into a world you create; this concept caused me to go to a second college and get a degree in film on top of my art degree.  What's interesting to me is that the Mass Effect series was released while I was a student, to the final release of me being an industry professional.  So when looking back, it can be hard to separate the gamer from the developer at times, normally those opinions can be of two different minds.

In short?  I loved it.  To get it out of the way though, yes, I was one of those that didn't really like the ending.   You can argue game mechanics, story, texture swaps, etc (I did love the indoctrination theory though).  In the end, as a gamer, it just didn't sit well with me.  As a developer though, getting the chance to work on a story driven game myself; giving players choices on what to say/do, I have a much greater understanding and appreciation for what Mac Walters and his team had to go through.  A game the size of the Mass Effect series, all the choices they had to track, it's just mind blowing to think about.  In the end, oddly enough, I chose to base the entire game on the last bit of DLC: "Citadel."  

In a way, this was more of an ending than anything else was (character development wise) in my opinion.  The writing was top notch, the action was awesome, this "episode" made me laugh harder and longer than all three games put together!  It had a Bruce-Willis-Die-Hard type feel about it (especially if you played as a Male Renegade Shepard).  Some of the one liners you get were pure Gold.  They even threw in a Joker narrated moment that I swear could have come from Robot Chicken.  Some of the romance moments still felt muted and not as invested.  I know it means making more cinematics with different skeleton structures, but having Shepard sitting next to his/her love interest without them holding hands while they talk, arm around their shoulder, etc, just felt…distant (but this is something that happens throughout the series and is a tiny gripe).  Overall, this DLC shows why I love the series.  Being able to interact with all the characters separately and together, hearing their opinions of each other in the same room, fighting with everyone, hanging out with Wrex one last time, it was all perfect.

I hope that whatever game Bioware continues to make based off of the Mass Effect franchise, that they take a huge page from the Citadel DLC.  Having the characters interact more, feeling more aware of their surroundings, having light-hearted moments, and fighting as a group (even if you only pick two other people to "take point") are all important moments that this DLC polished.

As both a gamer and as a developer,
if I ever get a chance to meet anyone that works at Bioware,
they shall get the highest of high-fives
as you have my respect and my thanks for all the work you have done.

:zombie::wormnomnom:Life's a game and it's meant to be played,
Add a Comment:
BanzaiSquirrel Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013
I actually broke down and bought the Citadel DLC after watching some videos on Youtube. It was the only DLC for ME3 that looked worth it. And it was. My favorite part of the mission was sneaking around the casino. It was well done, funny and cute. And it seemed more in line with Mass Effect, than the rest of ME3.

It was a great series, ME2 sits as one of my favorite games, maybe #1. And ME3 wasn't bad, it was just mediocre. And in comparison to ME1 & ME2, it doesn't look so great. But compared to other games, it's competent.

But, ME3 was incredibly weak. It wasn't the end that bothered me. It just felt so small. The character graphics were frightening at times. The story was weak. All the side characters basically abandon Shepard. The gameplay was over simplified. And this playing off a server, for a single player, is asinine. And this recent DLC, highlighted the problems with the main game, by being so good. I am glad for it, though. I love all the side characters from ME, and it was funny to see them at a party. I even liked the main mission with the clone. I thought it was pretty fun.

But, after the lame DA2 and this butchered ME3, I think we've seen the end of Bioware. We'll see some gasps of life, DA3 will come out and it will be okay (not great) just okay. What we'll get from now on will be shadows of what was, but never be as brilliant as it was before.

ME is over and so is Bioware. What we have left is EA.
RiHouston Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The thing that I love most about Bioware is the fact they create worlds and characters that I grow genuinely interested in and come to care for. I too felt like the Citadel DLC was better suited as an ending more than a near-end game DLC and playing it I got the closure I think all ME fans were searching for. We got our camaraderie and special moments with our squad that really brought out more interaction with these characters. There will be people out there always wanting more, or angry about something or another, but for me, it was a great way to say goodbye to wonderful characters by having this DLC to play through. I hope that Bioware will continue learning and growing their games rather than trying to change to attract a larger gaming base. If you do something well, the people (and profits) will come. Now, if only Bioware would create KOTOR 3 so I can see some closure on those characters my gamer life would be complete. ;)
CylenthVision Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree 100%. But no one ever seems to mention anything about the magnificent music they produced for the Mass Effect series. Never before has music in a game touched me the way it did in this franchise. I came to a point where I literally fell in love with one of the piano tracks in the game (An End, Once and For All by Clint Mansell and Sam Hulick) which was played at the ending scene of ME3. I didn't know how to play the piano, but I knew how much I loved the sound of it. So, at that point, I promised to myself that I would learn to play this track perfectly, no matter how long it took me. A couple of months later, I DID! I even learnt something very fundamental about the piano in the process and started composing my own music with it. Being a Trance producer didn't help me much with these melodies.

Then, when they released the Citadel DLC, I dedicated a music track for the Mass Effect series as a 'farewell' to the one game franchise I will never forget in my life. Anyone wanting to listen to it you're most welcome to do so HERE.

Thank you Bioware for the great few years with this franchise. It's been a big part of my life ever since, and I can't help but to wonder how it will keep on affecting my life in the future.
Seraphi91 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. Definitely my favorite and most loved game trilogy and universe.
MaevesChild Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know I was in the minority of loving the end of Mass Effect...just like I loved the end of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, but either way, Bioware has done things no other game dev has -- they've created honest to the maker PEOPLE that we've fallen in love with. Whatever else you can say, or whatever your opinion is, that can't be denied.
KaanaMoonshadow Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You, sir, clearly spoke my mind - thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings on the ME series with us. I'm also very pleased to see that you seem to the same things about a good RPG that I do, so it's good to know that with people like you in the industry, I'll never have to worry about great, new games in the future! :D
SpiritOfNature Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You took the words from my mouth :)
Brialyn Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
A fitting tribute to a franchise that will forever have my heart. Characters like Garrus do NOT come around everyday and I can't help but feel sad that I will not see Garrus in a new scenario again. It was liking really saying goodbye to an old friend. I look forward to what they will do in the future. :D
SugarplumTits Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm in love with this series so much. :heart:
shrouded-artist Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
With the Citadel DLC, I think they wanted to end it on a high note. I think they did.:)
Baka-no-Neko Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:cries: Couldn't have said it better myself =D
ezioauditore97 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Student General Artist
That was a very fitting tribute to one of the most magnificent game series in the last decade!
Dragonwyrd316 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Huzzah! I totally agree with everything you said here (except for the fact that I am not one of those who subscribes to the whole Indoctrination theory and can poke holes into it until it looks worse than a slice of swiss cheese lol).

BioWare games (especially Dragon Age and Mass Effect) are what pulled the sleeping creativity dragon out of its slumber and has brought me to a point where I have a few too many fanfics in progress. The games just inspire me to a point where ideas pop up and I just have to write them and it's all thanks to the worlds that the people at BioWare have created.

I also adore this last DLC from BioWare for ME3. The camaraderie between Shep and the others is just pure gold (need to see what it's like with a renegade Shep - such as the convo with Brooks where she's talking about the camaraderie - need to try the "It was mostly me" dialogue option to see what pops). The fact you get to team up with Wrex again is bliss and the comedic moments they added into it gave me the feeling of a Die Hard meets Rush Hour action adventure.

I shall leave with this one last parting shot... "Uncle Urdnot has a present for you!"
Add a Comment:

:iconbiowarefanclub: More from BiowareFanClub


Submitted on
March 26, 2013


2,926 (1 today)
11 (who?)