Can't understand Jeff's criticism of the side missions

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#1 Edited by Vitor (2809 posts) -

So, yeah, they use the same assets as the multiplayer mode but when I first heard him complaining, I had also assumed that you'd be performing the same tasks (wave survival, point defence and activating beacons) when, in fact, you're doing vastly different tasks with a strongly intertwined narrative (although not particularly 'important' within the grand scheme of things) and the missions themselves don't take too long. They play out very differently from the co-op stuff due to the team-mates you can order around and the fact that the objectives make different use of the space.

Sure, it's still weird that Shepard overhears so many things in the Citadel and goes out of his way to fulfill every minor inconvenience, but it's no weirder than every protagonist of every RPG ever feeling the need to walk into people's houses uninvited and talk to every single person out of the blue as if the entire universe revolved solely around them.

Am I missing something or does anyone else feel the same? I'm about 19 hours in, feel like I've pretty much done most of the main stuff and have loved the game so far, a great deal more so than I was initially expecting, especially considering all the negative talk on the Bombcast.

EDIT: Should have specified that I meant the N-7 missions mainly. I agree that the scan and deliver fetch quests are awful and dull in the worst way, especially as the quest log does an awful job of tracking that. Then again, I never felt obliged to do any of those as my Readiness rating was so high due to all the co-op I played. I don't think that the Shepard as a creepy sociopath argument is valid though - every RPG has you randomly butting into people's lives in some way after all... It's a genre convention and how those side quests are delivered doesn't matter that much to be honest.

#2 Posted by kishinfoulux (2253 posts) -

Honestly I think he's pretty harsh on the game. I get some complaints but by the games end I felt like it was a pretty damn awesome experience. I think Giantbomb is the only site that seems somewhat sour on it. Not saying that's bad or good, just worth noting I suppose.

#3 Posted by Marz (5642 posts) -

Jeff seems to have the habit of doing all quests which are presented to him and given to him. He seemed to be that way in SWTOR(he could have skipped the bonus series of quests but couldn't because he didn't want to miss some story bit that might be critical), somewhat the same during Kingdoms of Amalur (eventually he was overwhelmed by most of the lame sidquests that he stopped taking them). You really can't avoid most of these side missions in Mass Effect 3 as they just pop up in your Journal and i'm guessing he was in the habit of making sure he didn't miss anything . He's not wrong that some of these side missions are boring.

#4 Edited by Vitor (2809 posts) -

@Marz said:

Jeff seems to have the habit of doing all quests which are presented to him and given to him. He seemed to be that way in SWTOR(he could have skipped the bonus series of quests but couldn't because he didn't want to miss some story bit that might be critical), somewhat the same during Kingdoms of Amalur (eventually he was overwhelmed by most of the lame sidquests that he stopped taking them). You really can't avoid most of these side missions in Mass Effect 3 as they just pop up in your Journal and i'm guessing he was in the habit of making sure he didn't miss anything . He's not wrong that some of these side missions are boring.

A lot of the fetch quests are pretty dull - but that's just because the planet scanning is still a chore and the inability to spam your scanner in reaper infested areas is just annoying as it makes it harder to find points of interest.

But the stuff that takes place in the multiplayer arenas, which he singled out for particularly harsh condemnation, I think are actually well done. One even has a quick and nice little crane 'puzzle' that was an interesting change of pace, if hardly taxing. The story is nicely integrated and the combat scenarios interesting. He made it seem as if they were a rehash of the co-op content when they're actually fairly unique.

I might have misunderstood but I definitely feel that those bore the brunt of his ire. And I think that's a shame as I've mostly enjoyed them until now. Although, then again, I also massively preferred ME3's co-op to Syndicate's, yet Jeff loved the latter and disliked the former. We clearly don't have the same tastes and I'm happy to agree to disagree, but was just wondering if other people felt the same.

#5 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

@Vitor said:

Sure, it's still weird that Shepard overhears so many things in the Citadel and goes out of his way to fulfill every minor inconvenience

Apparently totally weird.

Sure, it's still weird that the Dovahkiin overhears so many things in Skyrim and goes out of his way to fulfill every minor inconvenience

Apparently totally okay.

Strange double standard, don't you think?

#6 Posted by Hunkulese (2640 posts) -

That's just Jeff's way. He gets really caught up on minor annoyances he has with games and spends a lot of time harping on things that really aren't that big of a deal and it sounds like he can't get over them. He's kind of the opposite of Brad who finds brilliant tidbits in games and will champion the game as the greatest ever while ignoring most of the faults.

#7 Posted by Alkaiser (358 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

@Vitor said:

Sure, it's still weird that Shepard overhears so many things in the Citadel and goes out of his way to fulfill every minor inconvenience

Apparently totally weird.

Sure, it's still weird that the Dovahkiin overhears so many things in Skyrim and goes out of his way to fulfill every minor inconvenience

Apparently totally okay.

Strange double standard, don't you think?

But... but dragons and shit!

#8 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

I kind of agree, for the N7 missions. He said there was "no story at all" when they actually did have narrative.. at least more than I would have thought. Doing them does result in callbacks and emails later too. Sure, it's not cream of the crop story stuff, but it was there. I can understand his criticism that it just feels like single player multiplayer, because that is what it is. But I definitely did not find them bad. Averagish, sure, but bad? Not really.

I honestly felt they put more work into them than they needed to.

#9 Posted by Brendan (7685 posts) -

I think Jeff likes the game more than people give him credit for, simply because his personality is such that he will spend the majority of the time harping on stuff like that.

Regardless of what he thinks, I'm having a great time with Mass Effect 3 and although I haven't come to the ending yet I think the game is mechanically superior to Mass Effect 2. The combat and movement is smoother and more intelligent, the leveling and weapons systems are both more satisfying, and the space map exploration and treasure hunting is vastly less annoying while still offering some kind of barrier to just getting all of the minerals and valuable items for free while staying in the context of the story.

As far as the story goes so far? I don't think anything in the ME series has ever been as masterful as people give it credit for. Other than the many good characters I care about the story has never been more than a sort of corny and sometimes hard to buy-into sci-fi novel targeted toward the less discerning reader. ME 3 follows the trend of being eye-rollingly convenient and transparent as a manufactured "story".

#10 Posted by Minion101 (91 posts) -

His twitter posts made it seem like he was reviewing game while having a death in the family. Not saying that has to be the reason. He always nitpicks stuff I don't care about.

#11 Posted by believer258 (11624 posts) -

I have no issue with the N7 side missions. In fact, I enjoyed them. It's those other side missions that I hated. The Citadel ones, where you heard a conversation, got a quest you didn't ask for, and then were told to go "here" and scan the planet for "this" and then return with that item, give it to the person, and voila. Those are what I hated the most, and unfortunately the game seemed to be full of them.

#12 Posted by Sackmanjones (4652 posts) -

I think te fetch quests were basically in place for you to explore. Since you don't have minerals what other reason would ya really have except to up your war asset. The fetch stuff at least gives you a touch of drive

#13 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

The N7 missions are totally fine, and Jeff's problem doesn't seem to be with them that much. That being said, it is kinda lazy to just slap on multiplayer maps as sidequests, and the story stuff to put them in place--while appropriately justifying them--doesn't make them interesting. It's just a shame that they went from the brilliant sidequest design in ME2, and to a lesser extent ME1 to something relatively barebones. While the ME2 side missions were relatively inconsequential, they usually introduced new places, and gave more info about the universe. And even though ME1's missions were bogged down by the Mako exploration, and used a total of four different environments, there was always something interesting going on story-wise. As far as the fetch quests go, I guess they're alright, aside from the relatively creepy way Shepard stalks on people. The difficulty with scanning in ME2 and ME3 is that it kind of needs to be monotonous, as otherwise it would be really easy to be fully prepared and get the best ending.

#14 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I have no issue with the N7 side missions. In fact, I enjoyed them. It's those other side missions that I hated. The Citadel ones, where you heard a conversation, got a quest you didn't ask for, and then were told to go "here" and scan the planet for "this" and then return with that item, give it to the person, and voila. Those are what I hated the most, and unfortunately the game seemed to be full of them.

Exactly. Those quests felt like padding and if you did not want to do the multiplayer you were required to completes most of them. Really dragged down the pace for me near the end.

#15 Posted by WVUEers (110 posts) -

I had issue with the pacing myself. It's funny because I picked up ME3 release date and didn't listen to the bombcast until days later to avoid spoilers and such and I found myself echoing a lot of Jeff's sentiments. The game kind of starts of with a "HOLY SHIT!" Bang, I think they were kind of trying to match the pull in that ME2 had, but they over shot it. It sets up this whole tense feeling that earth is going to be obliterated in hours. Now apparently the games lore says other wise, but you seriously watch a city pretty much get destroyed in 10 minutes, so it's kind of hard to understand why it would take "Years and years" for that to happen to all of Earth. So right off the bat I kind of felt like, "Well fuck, shit is going down, can't pussy foot this thing." In previous games I think the tone seemed perhaps a little less heavy on the "SHIT IS HAPPENING NOW!" vibe. ME1 I kind of felt like I was more or less playing detective for a a good portion of the game so picking up quests like getting some dude to the front of the line with an Asari hooker (or whatever that shit was) seemed less stupid.

Secondly the way you pick up quests is just lame as shit. I think i've probably completely 100% of the "fetch" quests and I don't think I know the story to any of them, you kind of just magically get them unless you hang around to eaves drop. I don't get why you wouldn't just throw in an interaction of Shep being like "I think I could help you..." etc. It would make the situation less stupid. The N7 quests seem fine. I get the complaint about the generic quality of them, they do have story qualities, but some can be very standard military shooter in things like "Secure comm. base" or whatever. I did all of those too, but none of them ever stuck out to me as not fitting in with the flow of the game. They all seemed to make sense in the general order of things, I think the problem goes back to again the pace set by the game in the very beginning. If it wasn't made to seem like such an urgent thing the idea of Sheperd helping out scientists and shit would make plenty of sense, but again they set this tone that leaves the gamer to feel like "Couldn't some other scrub do this shit? I've got to save the universe". For a 20-30 hour game I really don't enjoy the decision they made to make the entire back drop of the game the destruction, er "war" on earth. I think if they dropped the first 20 minutes into the last 10 hours of the game that would have honestly kicked shit up a notch.

#16 Posted by HadesTimes (802 posts) -

Jeff was just really disappointed by the game. As am I quite frankly. It's not as bad as he says but it certainly isn't as good as ME2.

#17 Posted by Irvandus (2808 posts) -

@kishinfoulux said:

Honestly I think he's pretty harsh on the game. I get some complaints but by the games end I felt like it was a pretty damn awesome experience. I think Giantbomb is the only site that seems somewhat sour on it. Not saying that's bad or good, just worth noting I suppose.

Agreed but he's that way with all games that aren't indie or Saints Row The Third. He generally likes most games he plays but he's a critic and a damn good one. Just make sure you understand that he actually enjoys it and is just nit picking.

#18 Posted by Shun_Akiyama (490 posts) -
@believer258 said:

I have no issue with the N7 side missions. In fact, I enjoyed them. It's those other side missions that I hated. The Citadel ones, where you heard a conversation, got a quest you didn't ask for, and then were told to go "here" and scan the planet for "this" and then return with that item, give it to the person, and voila. Those are what I hated the most, and unfortunately the game seemed to be full of them.

this
#19 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

People that like scanning shit and think that it's a good use of their time are insane. I'll fucking take the Mako over sitting on my seat and scanning planets. Boring as fuck. The lack of any interesting side quests is a shame and detracts from the main game.

#20 Posted by Korolev (1700 posts) -

@HadesTimes said:

Jeff was just really disappointed by the game. As am I quite frankly. It's not as bad as he says but it certainly isn't as good as ME2.

This sums up my feelings as well. The Side-Mission stuff isn't exactly bad, but compared to what you had in ME2 and ME1, it's a joke. Most of the side-quests are nothing but "Go to this planet, scan, immediately get item, go give it to an NPC stuck in an infinite conversation loop". You compare that to the wealth of side quests in ME2 and ME1, which involved exploring new areas, new environments, new planets, and it's not hard to see Jeff's point. ME3 seems like a shorter game - hell, it IS a shorter game than ME2 and ME1. They said that the Multiplayer wouldn't affect the amount of content in the Single-player, but then they go ahead and use the Multiplayer maps and the structure in the Single Player, which seems to me like they're cutting corners.

ME3 is a good game (aside from the lack-luster ending), but it's just not as good as the other ME games. Whenever you see a series take a step BACK, it's always disappointing. They focused too much on the Combat and "LOOK! SHEPARD CAN ROLL NOW!" instead of making the single player as big as it could have been.

#21 Posted by StrainedEyes (1321 posts) -

The overall lack of compelling side missions makes the N7 missions stand out even more as corner cutting.

#22 Posted by CrystaljDesign (148 posts) -

The system-scanning/Reaper meter is incredibly annoying and pointless. It reeks of: "Well, people hated planet scanning, but we still need to have some sort of challenge or consequence for exploring...and we don't have time to build something that's actually new and interesting."

#23 Posted by arch4non (444 posts) -

The collection missions were basically filler, they added nothing to the story and were only there to pad out the play time. They weren't even done correctly, there was no way to tell which ones you had completed from the mission menu.

Mass Effect 2 made the planet scanning a little interesting, but it took a patch (to make the scanning process faster) to not make it a boring and repetitive activity. It didn't really have a place in Mass Effect 3 and probably should have been cut entirely rather than retrofitted with the terrible Reaper alertness thing.

#24 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1230 posts) -

The game would be so much better if they ditched every fucking shitty misc quest (Citadel etc) that are only there for filler (for the EPIC XX HOUR ADVENTURE feature point), and all the shitty N7 missions and just made 1-2 more proper side missions. As there is right now there are very very very few side missions that are proper in comparison to ME1 and ME2, which really sucks. Unfortunately this seems to be the new BioWare direction, as DA2 is pretty much exactly the same.

I never really loved the huge story arcs in RPGs myself, I love the smaller intrigues and the smaller problems, and generally find these to be the best content. Actually, I'd love the shit out of a Mass Effect which was basically Agent Shepard: Galactic Problemsolver, and nothing more.

#25 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

He liked Mass Effect 2 a lot, as somebody that also loved that game I found 3 disappointing in pretty much every way. The only good thing it really brought to the table was having your crew hang out on the Citadel when you docked, that made for some good scenes.

Honestly the fact every other review site is jizzing over the game just confuses me, that game deserves criticism and it's not on the same level as 2 was, but nope, 9.5!

#26 Posted by TheHT (10871 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Sackmanjones said:

I think te fetch quests were basically in place for you to explore. Since you don't have minerals what other reason would ya really have except to up your war asset. The fetch stuff at least gives you a touch of drive

There is no reason to explore except to find artifacts for those quests. You don't run into anything interesting while searching, in fact you run into nothing but the artifacts and credits.

I've got more war assets from scanning than either of those. You also get upgrades from planet scanning. Like credits though, there aren't many.

#27 Posted by Brodehouse (9569 posts) -

Scanning for war assets is horseshit, just like scanning for minerals was horseshit and driving the Mako around collecting minerals was horseshit.

The N7 missions were okay, the 'found an anomaly' side missions were good, and the driving around and finding another base was repetitive and dumb.

The non-Priority missions were great, and the loyalty missions were incredible and the original didn't have anything similar.

The Priority missions were great, the main story missions in 2 were okay, and the main story missions in 1 were pretty good.

#28 Posted by Brodehouse (9569 posts) -

Also, people forget how long Mass Effect 1 really was. I played that entire game, got the 'completed the majority' achievement, without subtitles and listening to all the dialogue; and it took 23 hours and 57 minutes.

Mass Effect 2 took me 33 and Mass Effect 3 took me 30.

#29 Posted by MildMolasses (3213 posts) -

My only complaint with the side missions, and think everyone can agree on this, is how poorly the quest log/journal is implemented. They never updated well and it simply wasn't possible to know if you had the item or not. It came down to running around the citadel hoping for the best. I realise that there was a lot of citadel running in the previous games, but it really stuck out as being unpolished in a game that is otherewise amazing

#30 Posted by drag (1223 posts) -

so ... seems like you understand perfectly?

#31 Posted by Humanity (8800 posts) -

I didn't find them to have much narrative. I played the multiplayer a lot before getting to that point in single player and it was even more jarring. I knew the map layouts perfectly and it was basically a different take on the horde mode only in single player. Theres that mission where you just fire a gun and have to turn on the power as your only other side narrative. You go rescue TWO civilians from an entire city in the other one and face literally way too many waves of reapers. In the lab you just scan some artifacts - they don't have anything special to them.

Also you can't even complain about planet scanning anymore - there is no more scanning. You get a big THERES SOMETHING HERE sign when you Left Trigger on the map and when the Planet Scan comes up theres that big arrow and it on average takes 2 seconds to zero in on the artifact. The worst part about scanning - which is a re-occuring problem in ME3 everywhere - is the amount of screens you have to go through to get to anything. Spam the trigger, detect anomaly, yes investigate, yes scan, open up the scanner, move it around and launch probe, watch the animation, wait that 2 second delay before anything pops up, ok accept, go back to planet view, yes leave orbit - when you know exactly how this dance will play out those steps get so infuriating. It's the same thing when doing certain things on the Normandy/Citadel. Go to floor 3, load, talk, go back to floor 2, load, go into map, go through several windows even though you just came back from the citadel it still spits you out to galaxy view and you have to select the citadel again, orbit, yes dock etc etc. In Mass Effect 1 everyone made fun of those elevators and they just took them out and put in loading screens not seeing the fundamental problem.

#32 Posted by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

I really appreciated the journey that is the Mass Effect trilogy.

#33 Posted by warxsnake (2635 posts) -

The fetch quests and quest tracking is garbage. It makes Shepard look like the ultimate stalker, like Jeff pointed out. That's how I felt when handing in quests to NPCs Shepard doesn't even know or didn't talk to. 

#34 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

What I don't get is why they keep going on about the whole 'overhearing someone, and then getting them what they want' thing. The exact same thing happened in ME2, where you'd hear someone talking on the phone, go on a mission and find the item they're looking for. Then you'd just leisurely walk up and give them what they need. Exactly the same as it is in ME3. I don't see the problem with it.

#35 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Vitor: I agree with you. There's lots of varied locations, and there were only a small handful of instances where the end goal was, "survive". I think the combat is fantastic, so any opportunity to bask in that is fine by me.

#36 Posted by NTM (7263 posts) -

While I think all of Jeff's points are valid, and I wouldn't disagree by saying the aspects he disliked are perfect, 'cause they're not, I really just didn't have as much of a problem with them as he did, or at least I felt like the main quest was strong enough for me to forgive the problems it had. Also OP, I think you're misunderstanding what he was talking about with the multiplayer single player stage cross-over's.

#37 Edited by Vitor (2809 posts) -

@warxsnake said:

The fetch quests and quest tracking is garbage. It makes Shepard look like the ultimate stalker, like Jeff pointed out. That's how I felt when handing in quests to NPCs Shepard doesn't even know or didn't talk to.

How is that any less weird than randomly talking to every NPC in an area and acting like you can solve deep personal issues/save their lives etc.? It's different levels of sociopath that we're happy to excuse in other games but as soon as this one plays to convention, suddenly it's a bad thing. All RPGs do this, just in different degrees. If you question the side-quest delivery system here, then surely all games of this type are at fault in some way.

@NTM said:

While I think all of Jeff's points are valid, and I wouldn't disagree by saying the aspects he disliked are perfect, 'cause they're not, I really just didn't have as much of a problem with them as he did, or at least I felt like the main quest was strong enough for me to forgive the problems it had. Also OP, I think you're misunderstanding what he was talking about with the multiplayer single player stage cross-over's.

It's never an issue in FPS games where the online maps are almost always levels ripped from the campaign and reshuffled. Sure, they're never complete copy and pastes as they are here, but the objectives were varied enough that the flow of each map did feel different to the co-op stuff.

Also, for people who would never touch the MP side of things, I don't think it's obvious that they're playing the MP maps. It just feels like someone actually took some time to craft each environment for the combat side missions, unlike the dozens of identi-kit labs that plagued the first game.

#38 Edited by Beiken (20 posts) -

The side missions are fine, they are very much like the ones you find in ME2, problem is, there is ONLY 6 side missions in total, ME2 had tons of side missions, I especially loved the "hidden" side missions wich you could only find if you scanned a planet and found a white dot, sort of like the silly "overhear conversation, grab a thingy, return to the citadel" in ME3, you actually got a fully fleshed out side mission with paragon / renegade choices and alittle story around them.

Also had a few "chain quests" like the blue suns side missions that ends with the hijacked spaceship.

Feels like they had to cut alot of stuff out due to the short development time compared to the two games prior.

And honestly, might be abit harsh, but ME3 feels like what an expansion would be like 6-8years ago, content wise and not to mention the extremely similar gameplay mechanics with some updates etc. Best comparison I could think is what The Frozen Throne was to Reign of Chaos (Warcraft 3 Expansion).

Come to think of it, most "3s" thats come out the last few years has felt like expansions with minor tweaks here and there with a few new things added in and the continuation of the story, add some pretty graphics in aswell.

#39 Posted by NTM (7263 posts) -

@Vitor said:

@warxsnake said:

The fetch quests and quest tracking is garbage. It makes Shepard look like the ultimate stalker, like Jeff pointed out. That's how I felt when handing in quests to NPCs Shepard doesn't even know or didn't talk to.

How is that any less weird than randomly talking to every NPC in an area and acting like you can solve deep personal issues/save their lives etc.? It's different levels of sociopath that we're happy to excuse in other games but as soon as this one plays to convention, suddenly it's a bad thing. All RPGs do this, just in different degrees. If you question the side-quest delivery system here, then surely all games of this type are at fault in some way.

@NTM said:

While I think all of Jeff's points are valid, and I wouldn't disagree by saying the aspects he disliked are perfect, 'cause they're not, I really just didn't have as much of a problem with them as he did, or at least I felt like the main quest was strong enough for me to forgive the problems it had. Also OP, I think you're misunderstanding what he was talking about with the multiplayer single player stage cross-over's.

It's never an issue in FPS games where the online maps are almost always levels ripped from the campaign and reshuffled. Sure, they're never complete copy and pastes as they are here, but the objectives were varied enough that the flow of each map did feel different to the co-op stuff.

Also, for people who would never touch the MP side of things, I don't think it's obvious that they're playing the MP maps. It just feels like someone actually took some time to craft each environment for the combat side missions, unlike the dozens of identi-kit labs that plagued the first game.

No, I haven't played the multiplayer, I did see it in the quick look though, and I thought the side mission stages seemed pretty multiplayer stage-like where it was just an arena, or a big boxed area. I was saying, he said the area's were similar, that's as far as the similarities went when he was talking about it.

#40 Edited by Beiken (20 posts) -

Uhm, the Multiplayer maps and the side mission versions are identical, with maybe a few paths blocked off. So yeah, playing the MP maps before I did the side missions i instantly recognised them and could navigate them just as I did in Multiplayer. Didn't really bothered me since they added a reasoning for the multiplayer part of the maps, basicly you secure the areas as Shepard in the single player, Hackett will tell you its not totally secure so he is gonna place a garrison in the area, wich is basicly the squad you play as in multiplayer. Once you hit the MP max level on a class you can even promote it to the War Assets map in the single player, thought that was cool, if only your war assets actually mattered, shame about that =)

#41 Edited by warxsnake (2635 posts) -
@Vitor: When did I compare this to other RPGs and when did I say I accept fetch quests in general? I hate all types of fetch quests in all RPGs, and the way it's implemented in ME3 makes it even more apparent and awkward.  
Bioware always has this "problem" of giving you an end of the world main quest full of urgency, and marrying that with the most mundane fetch quests and the mechanics involved in carrying out said fetch quests.  
#42 Edited by Vitor (2809 posts) -

@warxsnake said:

@Vitor: When did I compare this to other RPGs and when did I say I accept fetch quests in general? I hate all types of fetch quests in all RPGs, and the way it's implemented in ME3 makes it even more apparent and awkward. Bioware always has this "problem" of giving you an end of the world main quest full of urgency, and marrying that with the most mundane fetch quests and the mechanics involved in carrying out said fetch quests.

You didn't, but it just seems like an odd thing to nitpick about over ME3 when soooooo many other games do this regularly.

And I agree with you 100% - the fetch quests that purely involve scanning a planet for 'assets' or 'relics' are garbage. But the over-hearing conversation thing? That's no weirder than talking to every NPC and offering to be their errand boy in every other RPG. I don't think it makes it any weirder here. In fact, with Shepard's Shadow Broker connections and all the military channels available to him, that sort of thing hardly seems too out of place. If it would help the war effort and he overhears about it, why not? He's in a position to do something after all. Although I do wish you could delegate fetch quests to allies, TOR-style.

And yeah, even ME2 suffered from the weird pacing issues. Especially at the end when suddenly there is a real countdown, but you're so used to ignoring it that it didn't register for many people (like Brad or myself). But then, that's been a complaint addressed at Skyrim and many other major RPGs. It's an issue, but not the most pressing one that ME3 has.

#43 Edited by Mnemoidian (955 posts) -

I liked how the N7 missions had some kind of setup for why there would be future Alliance activity in the region. It paints the areas as locations of interest to both you and the enemy.

It pretty much explains the reason for the Multiplayer.

I like that.

edit: Also, I'm not sure how much Jeff paid attention to parts of the game. re: his opinion on why Thane couldn't join Shepard ("I'm busy!" vs actually being "I'm dying!")

#44 Posted by CrystaljDesign (148 posts) -

@MildMolasses said:

My only complaint with the side missions, and think everyone can agree on this, is how poorly the quest log/journal is implemented. They never updated well and it simply wasn't possible to know if you had the item or not. It came down to running around the citadel hoping for the best. I realise that there was a lot of citadel running in the previous games, but it really stuck out as being unpolished in a game that is otherewise amazing

I am 13 hours in and I am HATING that I have to run around every level of the citadel because the quest log is complete ass at letting you know what you have and where to go. I wish they looked at Skyrim.

#45 Posted by Clonedzero (4091 posts) -

one thing i noticed. jeff and the rest of the crew said ME2's side missions and N7 missions were better. which to me is CRAZY.

in ME2 you had no dialogue in any of them (except for the 3-part robot virus one). and you got them from randomly scanning a planet. you had no reason to see them. like you'd get a tiny paragraph of text "yo, i guess scans show blue suns are doing something fishy on the planet! you should go murder them all i guess!" they felt like crap and pointless. at least ME3's N7 missions have story reasons for you to attack them.

#46 Posted by leinad44 (503 posts) -

Jeff argues that it is his duty to do everything in a game and evaluate the package as a whole. Just ignoring parts of the game and then writing a review on it is stupid

#47 Edited by Deathpooky (1373 posts) -

The problem is the ratio in this game versus ME2 or even something like Skyrim. There's hardly any story-driven, interesting side quests, and most of the big "optional" quests I'd consider to be part of the main story. The rest is N7 missions, which aren't bad, but are very light on the story, and terrible fetch quests. Add that to the fact that the scanning and exploration has only become a vehicle for the fetch quests and you'll never happen upon something interesting, and it makes for a much shallower experience. Compare that to Skryim, where there are tons of quests with their own story, and exploration meant you could actually find something interesting. There were fetch quests, but you could easily ignore them because of all the good story stuff to do. Hell, beyond the Citadel, there isn't a single non-mission area for you to walk around in.

Like Jeff, I've been doing everything to try to wring every drop out of the game, but mostly I've been coming up disappointed with the non-mainline stuff you find. And if you mainlined the game, it seems like it'd be pretty damn short. It's evident that this game was somewhat rushed and more time spent on things like multiplayer. Luckily the big story quests have been good.

#48 Posted by Geralt (315 posts) -

Personally, I felt this weird changes in the GB crew since last year GOTY deliberation. The argument between "games should be games" and "games should be more realistic" school of thoughts, where Jeff, Vinny and Patrick support the first idea while Brad hold his own on the latter.

To be fair, games that wish to be more realistic got the short end of the stick since they have infinite possibilities to be aware of.

I'll wait for a "Mass Effect 3" spoiler-cast and see how it all goes down but I just want someone to defend this game so bad.

#49 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5137 posts) -

I think Jeff was very harsh to the game, overall I think it is much better than Mass Effect 2. But I do agree that people who haven't played Mass Effect 2 or the first one shouldn't play this game.

#50 Posted by DeadDorf (388 posts) -

Yeah, not sure why he's so negative on the game. There has been so much bitching on the podcasts about minor issues, what happened to enthusiasm about great games? Talk about the positives as well, it's still an amazing game, best so far this year by far.

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