You would be thinking that with the Mass Effect slip up over there at BioWare (or was it Microsoft's fault? Either way.) gamers around the globe would be rejoicing at their good luck and celebrating the fact that they have more control over their gaming experience than ever before. Many are, but I'm not as what was leaked shows a disturbing idea: publishers might think you're either too lazy (or stupid) to enjoy a game as it was intended.
Now, of course they won't outright say it and I hope I'm wrong but it seems pretty crystal clear that the trend is quickly, and I mean now quickly, altering core elements of the gaming experience for the sake of flexibility. Remember that terrible game The Bouncer that came out during PS2's dawn? Remember how there was tidbits of actual gaming in between 3-5 minutes of (albeit then beautiful) cinematics?
Fast forward to Final Fantasy 13, or as I like to call it, 'shoestring cinema reminiscent of a 7-11 taquito' and how irregardless of how expansive the world was you kept a tow line straight enough to impress an Army drill sergeant. I don't care what the reviews said, that game was terrible. Gorgeous, but fundamentally wrong. Mass Effect 3 will more than likely get Game of the Year award from some--or all--publications but what I'm saying's deeper than that and I hope they change direction post haste.
What's all the fuss about? Allowing gamers to decide themselves how they want to play the game. I'm not even saying that the new feature is a bad thing to do; there are plenty of people who loved the story from the first two games that would rather not spend all day trying to beat a boss. And there are those who cared less for the 'extras' that came along with blowing crap up. It all evens out in the wash, right?
Not really. The three modes (Action, Story and RPG) sounds as though they deliver alternate styles of play, something I can't quite see as all three modes must have exactly the same beginning, middle and end to guarantee the player doesn't miss anything crucial. A few more conversational options or battles is hardly warranting of this idea. There has to be more to this than what's been released. There is no +game so the replayability is pretty low in my book. After the first time you beat the campaign, what would make me want to play the others?
I love the Mass Effect games. I bought the others and I'll buy this one. I don't need BioWare to reinvent the wheel; making sure it still rolls after all this time is fine by me. Tell me a good story and I don't really care about how involved in how it's told I am.