Will Mass Effect 3 suffer from Uncharted 3 syndrome.

On the game of the year awards podcast the bombsquad talked about sequelitis and why Uncharted 3 made very little impact on them, but is there a way they can make a second sequel without this happening?

I feel once you get passed the first sequel of a game, unless the game is a hugely different game, it will never be as good. Uncharted was fun, Uncharted 2 was the perfection of Uncharted. There was nowhere else to go without completely changing the formula. The same happened with Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3 and so on. But this did not happen with Skyrim. Why? because with each iteration the elder scrolls games have been very different games in a completely new area of the world but still keeping the feel of an elder scroll game. Say what you will about the Final Fantasy series but the only reason they are up to such a high number is that each game is dramatically different.

Mass Effect was decent and Mass Effect 2 was the perfection of the formula so this has me and a lot of other people worried. It is possible that Mass Effect will still be a great game, but the odds are against it getting the praise of the original. What I would like to see is a simple yet deep character perk system or the return of loot. Something to freshen up the gameplay in a way that is not 'We made the shooting better' or 'we're making this more accessible for the mainstream'. You did all that last time round! I guess I'll have to wait and see.

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Posted by benspyda

On the game of the year awards podcast the bombsquad talked about sequelitis and why Uncharted 3 made very little impact on them, but is there a way they can make a second sequel without this happening?

I feel once you get passed the first sequel of a game, unless the game is a hugely different game, it will never be as good. Uncharted was fun, Uncharted 2 was the perfection of Uncharted. There was nowhere else to go without completely changing the formula. The same happened with Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3 and so on. But this did not happen with Skyrim. Why? because with each iteration the elder scrolls games have been very different games in a completely new area of the world but still keeping the feel of an elder scroll game. Say what you will about the Final Fantasy series but the only reason they are up to such a high number is that each game is dramatically different.

Mass Effect was decent and Mass Effect 2 was the perfection of the formula so this has me and a lot of other people worried. It is possible that Mass Effect will still be a great game, but the odds are against it getting the praise of the original. What I would like to see is a simple yet deep character perk system or the return of loot. Something to freshen up the gameplay in a way that is not 'We made the shooting better' or 'we're making this more accessible for the mainstream'. You did all that last time round! I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Posted by Lagaroth

I don't think Mass Effect 2 was better than the first.

Posted by Bam_D_Leprechaun

Mass Effect 1 = better story

Mass Effect 2 = better mechanics

Mass Effect 3 should = best game in trilogy

Posted by Mikemcn

@Lagaroth said:

I don't think Mass Effect 2 was better than the first.

Mass Effect 2 was its own style of game, you can't compare ME1 to it except on story, and I think ME1 did that better, still loved ME2 with a passion.

Also, I don't know what ME3 will be like because i'm doing everything in my power to not find out anything about it, i'll wait and see what it's like when it comes out.

Posted by Tennmuerti
@benspyda said:
But this did not happen with Skyrim. Why? because with each iteration the elder scrolls games have been very different games in a completely new area of the world but still keeping the feel of an elder scroll game.
ES games are actually very simmilar to each other. Mechanics an all. Just the setting is different.
Compared to annual or bi annual franchises of course they are addmitedly further apart in terms of changes.
Biggest reason for non fatigue of ES series is time. Oblivion came out at the start of the generation, Skyrim just now. Plus they had Fallout 3 to dilute the waters as well.
MW3 and Uncharted 3 are such huge offenders because they are basically the exact same game as their predecessors.

Mass Effect was decent and Mass Effect 2 was the perfection of the formula so this has me and a lot of other people worried.

Eh debatable overall. ME2 was a perfection of the originals TPS formula for sure. But a downgrade in RPG aspects. (which ME3 seems to rectify)
It is possible that Mass Effect will still be a great game, but the odds are against it getting the praise of the original. What I would like to see is a simple yet deep character perk system or the return of loot. Something to freshen up the gameplay in a way that is not 'We made the shooting better' or 'we're making this more accessible for the mainstream'. You did all that last time round! I guess I'll have to wait and see.
The biggest factor at this juncture is actually the story/plot/ending of the game. Not the mechanics in my opinion.
They can't deviate too much from the mechanics anyway. And regardless of the minor changes, the meat of the game will remain unchanged.
ME3 imo will live and die by how it handles it's narative and player agency. If it fails at that it will just be another entry that people will dislike. If it makes people feel great about the resolutions it will solidify the trilogy and make people like it that much more.
That's how it seems in my mind anyway.
Posted by benspyda

@Tennmuerti: I guess a sequel has to feel fresh, whether that is a change to the formula or big jump it time.

Posted by Jasta

  I don't think dramatically changing the gameplay mechanics is what is needed to make this game a success.  Mass Effect is a story driven game, it just also happens to be a 3rd person shooter. They already have an amazing story, it just needs to be concluded properly. 

Posted by Irvandus

Probably, except for the case of Gears Of War the third game in a trilogy tends to be kind of meh. Diminishing returns and all.

Edited by Captain_Felafel

The thing that Mass Effect 3 has going for it in regards to sequelitis is that, like Gears of War 3 before it, this should mark the conclusion of the Mass Effect trilogy; while with Uncharted, each of those games are self-contained, and thus the laws of diminishing returns come into play much quicker.

Posted by Tennmuerti
@benspyda said:

@Tennmuerti: I guess a sequel has to feel fresh, whether that is a change to the formula or big jump it time.

In regards to that, ME3 will not be fresh. (at least in terms of formula)
From the coverage so far it's ME2 with a return of slightly deeper RPG mechanics.
 
But since narative in ME2 was so limited (most of the game is babysitting your team) ME3 could potentially be fresh in terms of offering something that actually feels epic, interesting and meaningfull.
Will they pull it off? Kind of difficult considering we kinda already know that the Reaper invasion needs to be stopped, making it less interesting by default.
Posted by SpencerTucksen

So, just because it can't change, it isn't going to be as good? People need to get past the fact that groundbreaking can only happen so much. Getting more of the same sounds pretty nice to me actually.

Posted by benspyda

@SpencerTucksen: I'm not saying its not going to be good, hell I still think Uncharted 3 is a good game, but amazing is where developers really need to push themselves. And when they do you get something like RE4.

Posted by lavaman77

@Lagaroth said:

I don't think Mass Effect 2 was better than the first.

This, i liked the first better.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Why the hell should the system rely on changes made from another game to determine a game's quality? IT MAKES NO SENSE.

Posted by benspyda

@Video_Game_King said:

Why the hell should the system rely on changes made from another game to determine a game's quality? IT MAKES NO SENSE.

You can't rely on changes made by other games to determine a games quality but you can learn from they're successes and/or failures.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@benspyda:

I'm not arguing against that; I'm just saying that there's a way to say that without actually mentioning the games you're learning from, if that makes any sense.

Edited by BoG

Most people have said it better than I can. Mass Effect 3 has an advantage (and, in some ways, disadvantage) over Uncharted as it is a conclusion, and not another episode in a saga that doesn't need an end. I also agree with those who preferred the original. The RPG elements were superior, as was the story. Not to say I didn't enjoy ME2, because I did. ME3 simply needs to add a little more polish, strengthen the RPG elements, and it should be great. The primary focus ought to be a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. They should do this with good storytelling and dialogue, not just big battles on Earth. Without the story to back it, the setting will end up feeling cheap.

@benspyda said:

@SpencerTucksen: I'm not saying its not going to be good, hell I still think Uncharted 3 is a good game, but amazing is where developers really need to push themselves. And when they do you get something like RE4.

Oh, yes, very true.

Posted by benspyda

@Video_Game_King: Like comparing Apples to Oranges do you mean? I can see that comparing it to something like MW3 is a bit crazy, it's just Uncharted had a similar track record and I'm just a little worried history may repeat itself. But I do have faith in Bioware.

Posted by wjb

Maybe, but the Uncharted games had stand-alone stories with minor character progression. The Mass Effect series feels more like an actual trilogy, in the sense that all the games' stories are connected and I want to see what happens at the end. I could have played Uncharted 3 without playing the first two and I probably wouldn't have missed a ton of back-story.

Uncharted 3 had some problems, though, besides the lackluster story and character interaction compared to 2. The gunplay was still bad; enemies were bulletproof; Drake was still difficult to move around; parts where it encouraged you to use stealth but stealth was impossible at times (couldn't figure out how to stealth kill the pirates in the cruise ship's ballroom); the whole conflict with the pirates -- although the ship boneyard was cool -- could've been cut without any effect on the overall story; and several aspects in 3 resembled aspects in 2 a little too often.

I don't expect ME3 to be better than 2 -- the third installment in a trilogy hardly is -- but I'll buy it day one to see what happens.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@benspyda:

No. I'm saying that when you're reviewing, say, Mass Effect 3, you shouldn't have to reference the previous Mass Effect games to explain why it's a good or bad game. (Of course, the decisions thing throws a monkey wrench into the whole thing, but that's just a single aspect of a larger game.)

Posted by Hunkulese

@benspyda: Mass Effect 2 was far from perfection. It still plays like a crappy 3rd person shooter and also Gears 3 was easily the best Gears game.

Posted by benspyda

@will_leisure: I guess ending a trilogy is a difficult task all on its own. I absolutely agree with everyone's points about how Uncharted 3 and Mass Effect are quite different cases based on story focus

@Video_Game_King said:

@benspyda:

No. I'm saying that when you're reviewing, say, Mass Effect 3, you shouldn't have to reference the previous Mass Effect games to explain why it's a good or bad game. (Of course, the decisions thing throws a monkey wrench into the whole thing, but that's just a single aspect of a larger game.)

It will no doubt happen though and it is almost impossible to judge a sequel without comparing it too its prequels even if it is subconsciously.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@benspyda:

It's not impossible; just very hard.

Edited by benspyda

@Hunkulese: Gears was a bad example, that's my bad. It did freshen things up with the four player co-op, added a dearth of content and concluded the story well. Its still not many peoples game of the year like the original was though.

Posted by MrBelmont

I think with ME it would be impossible. You could review the game mechanics, but if you leave out the story (which has to be referenced to ME1 and ME2) then youre not getting a real review of the game. Ive had friends with PS3s ask me if they should even play ME2 with not being able to play 1, and its honestly a hard answer for me to give. Obviously you could play it and get a lot of enjoyment, but having played ME1 and transfering my game over im not sure that I would want to just dive into 2 and have generic decisions from 1 made. The way Bioware did these games you dont get the full effect unless you treat them as one experience.

Posted by Aus_azn

That's because Uncharted 3 was rubbish compared to the previous two games, inclusive of removed singleplayer content (read: unlockables), a more lackluster story and an (allegedly) control-plagued multiplayer (I never touched it, hence the allegedly). It was a marked departure from Uncharted 2, which improved on its predecessor in every regard.

HOPEFULLY, ME3 will not go down this route. I thought ME2 was a better game in every respect short of the story. Here's hoping that ME3 can outdo ME1's story and ME2's mechanics.

Posted by RedRoach

Mass Effect 2 was in no way a perfect Mass Effect game. Nearly all the RPG mechanics were stripped out or heavily simplified. People argue that it was a good decision because some things, like inventory, were bad in ME1, but they should have been improved, not removed. There's also the part where the stroy didn't add a whole lot to the overall arch. Think about what actually happened in that game, not a whole lot, because 85% of the game were character short stories.

Also, U3 was worse than U2 in almost every aspect. They developed the game backwards, they came up with amazing set pieces first, and force the writer to come up with some story reason to have it there. That's what lead to the completely unnecessary ship part of the game. Not to mention the shooting mechanics didn't feel as good.

Posted by Enigma777

Uncharted 3 has a syndrome now? Wow.

Posted by Napalm

Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 are markedly different titles. For this reason, the expectation is Mass Effect 3 will combine what made both of those games great. However, the more I hear about the story beats, the more worried I get. This is why I have a hunch that Mass Effect 3 will go the way of having a mechanically superior game with a severely inferior story to that of the first two games. Maybe it truly is about the journey and not the destination, especially the conclusive beats of 3.

Posted by AndrewB

@Bam_D_Leprechaun said:

Mass Effect 1 = better story

Mass Effect 2 = better mechanics

Mass Effect 3 should = best game in trilogy

Wrong. It goes like this:

Mass Effect 1 = better story

Mass Effect 2 = better mechanics

Mass Effect 3 = ?

Mass Effect 4 = profit!

Posted by jackelbeaver

I think ME3 will work because its the true sequel to ME1. ME2 was kind of a side story "New Beginning" to make the gameplay better and make people give a shit about the series. ME3 will be fine because it isnt doing something thats been done before in the series, and from the looks of it they're bringing some new stuff to the table with crew interaction that will make the game feel more interesting.

Posted by Boboblaw

I'm pretty sure Mass Effect 2 is my favourite game of this generation (thus far) so I couldn't give a shit if ME3 is the same.
 
Also the problem with Uncharted 3 was also that the story was weaker, the scripted set pieces were weaker and even the shooting was supposedely worse(I thought it was fine). The things they made better in it though was Multiplayer and removing retarded aliens/zombies. 
 
But to answer you question yeah its definitely possible but the main problem with UC3 was not being the same as UC2 it was just simply a weaker game (although it didn't help its case)

Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG

I thought Uncharted 3 was a much better game than the second one....  

Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

While i liked ME 1, i thought ME 2 was far and away superior. I haven't seen any coverage of ME 3, but if I had to speculate based on no information, my guess is that it will have very similar combat to ME 2 with few adjustments, deeper RPG mechanics to appease fans (although I doubt it will match ME1), and a story that is serviceable, but not the best in the series.

Posted by xyzygy

@Lagaroth said:

I don't think Mass Effect 2 was better than the first.

Posted by kingzetta

yes

Posted by Encephalon

Yes, this will happen.

Posted by stryker1121

Well I don't agree that ME2 was better than ME1. The first game had a better story and as a loot whore I actually enjoyed sorting thru all the junk I picked up. Hell, I liked tooling around planets on the Mako. ME2 refined the combat and convo mechanics, but it got rid of loot and exploration and added by God planet scanning. I want to play 3 but I want a deeper experience than what 2 offered.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

Do you mean easily be better than the first two? I hope so. Loved Mass Effect 1&2, and I would love to be blown away again.

By the way, I liked Uncharted 3 a lot more than the first two. If you didn't figure that out.

Moderator
Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie

More likely it will suffer from Bioshock 2 syndrome. The wasted resources on an unnecessary multiplayer seriously concern me.

Posted by ShadowConqueror

I'll buy it so I guess it doesn't matter.

Posted by joshthebear

I've got it preordered but am not confident it will be good. They seem hell bent on simplifying everything and turning it into an action game, instead of a deep RPG which it started as.

Posted by Vinny_Says

Besides a few games out there (Gears of War 3, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory) which have sequels on the same console/generation, most trilogies just run out of juice by the third game. Sure the game will be good but the magic will be gone. I'm still excited for ME3 because it's a very unique video game experiment that hasn't been attempted before (at least I don't think it has). Three whole games where every previous decision matters is worth it to me.

Posted by Red

No, because the Mass Effect series has an overarching story. There has been a ramp up to Mass Effect 3, and undoubtedly a lot of story stuff will go on that will straight-up matter.

Posted by Suedehead

Mass Effect is better than Uncharted. So no.

Posted by BlatantNinja23

For me, I didn't like Uncharted 3 as much because I honestly thought it was worse game than 2. The shooting was god awful, and when they finally patched (sadly after i beat it) it still was just on par with 2's mechanics which also wasn't that great to begin with. I never enjoyed when I actually had to shoot someone, drakes movement wasn't as smooth as it should be at times (honestly i prefer traversal and climbing in a game like PoP, or AC), and I'm sick of uncharted's "Hey here's the answer to the puzzle in your journal" mechanic its always had. Those three things are pretty good chunk of the game. The writing/character development is still great, (the overall story still remains poor) but that's just not enough to make it an overall great experience. I find more people disliking 3 and calling it "fatigue"just shows how much the "movie like moments" as people describe them kind of hid the fact that 2, and especially 1 really weren't that great mechanically to begin with.

Now with ME 3, obviously I haven't played it so it is kind of hard to talk about. But they could just give me ME 2 again with a different story (well if it's a good story) and i'd still fall in love with it. I enjoy those games to much to really have fatigue with them. Which is saying a lot because I get sick of games really easily.

I also disagree with what you said about Gears 3. I thought 3 was clearly the best game in the series, bringing it almost to perfection. (especially mechanically wise)

Posted by rjayb89

From what I've gathered on Uncharted 3's gameplay hitches concerning wave-based combat and frequent flanking enemies, should these exact "annoyances" arise in Mass Effect 3, I would welcome them with open arms. However, I have no idea how they'll handle Mass Effect 3 since it isn't even out yet nor have I been following any trinkling news aside from the few threads here and there.

Worst thing that could happen to me in Mass Effect 3 is how the story will tie itself together. Did my choices really matter in the long run? Will there truly be "hard" choices for me to make?

Things I've done in the game in my "true" playthrough have always been met will little forethought and the consequences have been entirely devoid of any everlasting impact in my universe, as far as the franchise stands now (with only Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 out). So hopefully me saving the Rachni and purging the Geth actually matter in the third game. Mass Effect 2 felt like what was pretty much the first half of a new book in that universe, similar to how The Girl Who Played With Fire film, in which I, during the ending, thought the good stuff had only just begun (relatively good stuff, with most missions dealing with loyalty - a huge chunk of Mass Effect 2, really) and felt usurped of any closure within the second installment.

If it's really gonna be "another Mass Effect game" how Uncharted 3 was "another Uncharted game," the story aspect will hopefully not disappoint rather than be another adventure into Shepard's crazy shit storm of a life. Hopefully, BioWare truly finish Shepard's story arc unlike, what I assume, Uncharted 3 which is open-ended. I will get Uncharted 3 someday to see the truth of the whole lukewarm response to it from the staff here and the community, life has recently been unkind to me.

Also, sorry if I don't make any sense. I'm tired as shit.

Posted by ajamafalous

Mass Effect 2 suffered from Dragon Age 2 syndrome.

Posted by Prince_VLAD

Well I doubt you can think things with Mass Effect 3 as if there was any resemblence at all with "Uncharted" games. Mass effect 2 was awsome and a step forward concerning quality and all. Even if Mass Effect 3 will be as good as ME2 it's a win-win. Comparing a masterpiece as ME franchise with ...a console game (personally I consider console and console's games beneath me. I'll never abandon the magic of a PC) is even insulting in my eyes.

Posted by csl316

The changes are going to be a lot more drastic than Uncharted 2 to 3, imo.

ME 1 had the RPG stuff going for it, but crap combat. ME 2 had awesome combat, but simplified down RPG mechanics. ME 3 looks to have great combat that's even tighter. The character customization looks to be deeper than 2. The graphics are better, and it's also got set pieces on a scale that have only been glimpsed at before (like Sovereign doing his thing).

Even the multiplayer stuff has me excited. I don't have the extended gameplay walkthrough demo handy right now, but the actual game part looks to be in excellent shape. If the narrative is on the level of the first game... this may just be my favorite game of the generation. Higher stakes, trilogy-ending events, finally having the Reaper war, and the culmination of all the choices and relationships you've established.

Uncharted was another treasure-hunting story with some kick ass set pieces. ME 3 can be a potential Return of the King situation, since I believe the narrative will put you in situations the series has never done before.

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