“Cause and (Mass) Effect” (3): What happened to the reviewers?


The last ten minutes heard round the world…

While we’re all recovering from the hoop la circulating the Mass Effect 3 debacle, something hit me.

Many are disappointed by ME3’s ending and it got me to thinking where were the reviewers? And why didn’t they warn us?

When reviews for  ME3 first started to roll out and I was surfing the net for said review, strangely I don’t remember not near one reviewer stating that the ending may — at least not sit well with some, let alone “call it out” for under performing. Sooo why weren’t we warned?

As I started to look at that angle  a couple of things came up. First I actually looked at a couple more reviews of the game prior to writing this article as well as re-watching the ones I already saw just to make sure my initital memories were accurate and yep, just like I figured, no mention of what ultimately led to Bioware redoing the ending. The only person I saw clearly show distaste for the game’s finale was Angry Joe, and his review, I believe, came out right around the time the “fire” started. None of the majors — IGN, Gametrailers, Gamespot, Destructoid, etc failed to warn us — but why?

Well one of the obvious scenarios is that duh, all the aforementioned actually loved the game — even the end — who would of thunk? Especially if they did not play out the other alternate  endings — which is, what I hear is what really riled people up — the lack of  “significant” change no matter what you did. But something doesn’t match, for  a outcry that loud you would think at least one of these reviewers would of expressed their distaste, unless…which leads me to the other scenario (takes breath) dare I say, maybe they didn’t even finish the game at all!

Maybe they played a good amount of hours decided it was a good, no a great game, had to beat deadlines and never reached the infamous end, which leads me to if they didn’t, should they have? I know as reviewers there is an expected, some sort of responsibility to give potential buyers some insight and relevant information on how much bang will they receive for their hard earned buck. And I would think things like plot holes and  botched endings would come up. ‘

Now this is where it gets tricky:

Reviews of games are opinions and for that you can bank on a reviewer not feeling the way you do at all times but if said reviewer didn’t relay info based on an oversight, especially things that are unanimously regarded as significant, such as “this game is only a  half and hour”, when the expectation is  for it to be 8hrs, that could definitely pose a problem.

Do reviewers need to finish games?:

Speaking of expectations, is the expectation (general consensus) even for reviewers to finish games? I wrote a article on this very subject called, Do you believe reviewers have to end a game before reviewing it?. And those who felt like the answer was no before ME3 released, might-just-have a different stance since then. I also wrote and article Do you rely on reviews to make your video game purchases? Are you suffering from Review-itis?“. And if you answered yes before ME3 was released you-might-have-change-your-stance since then as well — lmboooo.

Who would of thought that ME3’s last 10 minutes was all it took to shake the gaming world.

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3 Comments

  1. Money, money, money…..

    MOOOOOOOOOONEEEEY!!!!!!!

    Na, seriously the problem is biased reviews. Not from being paid off(I’m not that cynical), but blind fan boyism. They rated the game highly because of the company. Because of the series it was attached to. Because they got caught up in the hype they helped create. Because they went in expecting to love it and it would have taken a downright awful game to change their mind even slightly. When if you are clearly looking at the game from an unbiased point of view, it was average leading up to an awful ending. Honestly if Mass Effect 3 was called anything else, made by another studio, and released new on the market, it would have gotten an average score at best. Across the board.

    In short, critics need to start doing their jobs. Giving unbiased reviews/ratings. Fans can then hopefully going back to being fans and stop looking at things from a critics point of view. Which it seems is happening more and more often.

  2. Yeah reviewers should have to finish the product, just imagine someone that is reviewing a movie or book and only watches the first hour or reads a couple chapters, if you cant take the time to do the research then you have no business reviewing it, simple as that

  3. Reviewers need to complete the game to gain a full sense of the game. I think the reviewers reviewed the game as journalists and not as fans. Their reviews were based on gameplay, graphics, and storyline.

    Mass Effect is a series that many fans have invested in for years. The games are based on making difficult decisions and the consequences carry over into subsequent games. Many people imported their version of Commander Shepard from previous titles. Few RPG s allow you to do this. Many familiarized themselves with the mass effect universe and the cultures and fell in love with the characters. At the end (*Spoiler Alert) none of your decisions mattered. Did you cure the genophage? Did you bring peace to the Turians and Krogans? Geth and the Quarians? At the end it did not matter because with the mass relays gone they were either destroyed or will never see each other again. There’s a scene where many favorite characters are seen crash landing on a deserted garden world where they will most likely starve to death. (and that’s one of the good endings). Lastly it’s hard to tell what happens and you don’t know what befalls characters that you have grown with for years. There is no closure.

    I think it makes fans feel like they wasted their time investing in a game series that didn’t respect them enough to close the game answering big questions and letting fans know what happened to beloved characters. This is something that only fans will care about. Journalists who review games for a living with no emotional attachment will probably just enjoy the game and move on.

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