TSA Talks #4

We’re back again with our weekly goss round-up and in this edition I’m joined by TSA Talks regulars Aran and Kris as we let off steam on the industry’s hottest topics. Tuffcub is also on-hand, giving us an insight into his Game of the Year predictions which turn up quite an unexpected nominee. This week it’s short, but still just as sweet, it’s number four!

BioWare had fans in a bit of a tizzy after numerous stories began to emerge last week, confirming that the last chapter in Commander Shepard’s trilogy will include online multiplayer. However it was later revealed that only co-operative side missions would be making it into Mass Effect 3 and not an all-out competitive underpinning of the fabled franchise that followers had been fearing.


Aran: No, no, and no, the Mass Effect series is an epic story that is meant for single player.  To me it really feels like Bioware are chucking in multiplayer for the sake of it. If they want multiplayer then they should just concentrate that effort on SWTOR.

Also, I’d say no to competitive multiplayer in ME. The campaign itself will have enough replay value. One playthrough could easily take 30-plus hours. Leave the multiplayer for the games with shorter campaigns, like CoD, or for sports games.

Kris: With Mass Effect I think co-op is the logical way to go. With the squad you normally find yourself with (I haven’t played any titles in the series, but this is my understanding at least) it seems like co-op is almost a no-brainer. The fact that it’s developed by a BioWare splinter isn’t really a big deal to me, almost no games are developed at just one studio any more. Aspects of almost everything gets outsourced now and it’s, at the very least, difficult to produce a game entirely within one dev house.

As for the link up with the single player it makes me uneasy. Now that it’s been confirmed that you don’t have to beat the co-op to get the best ending I’m a little happier with it, but it still feels like an odd decision. Not everyone wants to play games with others, for many it can be a solitary experience. Punishing those users just seems unfair, even if it is only a case of difficulty.

Jim: If it adds variation to the overall experiences (which it certainly will) then I’m all for annexing a multiplayer component. Hell, I was even hoping that BioWare would take a plunge and develop a competitive online component too; if it flopped, no biggy, the core game would still be just as good.

Whiny fanboys said the same about BioShock 2 and how its multiplayer had even undone the success of the original game. Nonsense. Compared to this year, there was a real lack of unique online shooters in 2010, Halo: Reach, BFBC 2 and Black Ops all being updated version of games we had already picked at for hours on end. For me BioShock 2 was the definitive competitive multiplayer experience last year.

It works both ways really. Some fans want developers to try new directions with their franchises and others want them to remain exactly where they are.

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  1. that mass effect 3 artwork, remind me of something from the demotivational poster thread in the forums.
    don’t worry it’s safe.

    makes me wonder what bioware where thinking about when they made the decision to include multiplayer. >_>

    with the multiplayer though, who chooses who gets to be shepard and who are the sidekicks?

    or will there be mutliple shepards running around.
    if shepard is the only person who can save the galaxy why not clone an army of shepards?

    who’s the poor sod that’s got to be mordin?

    • I think no one plays as Shepard. You create your own character (including race and class.)

    • I think EA said at a corporate event a while back that all there games had to have multiplayer. Doubt it was biowares decision to make.

      • Just a year ago I was singing EA’s praises as compared to Acti they seemed to be of much more interest to me. That notion is quite dead, I think EA will be the death of Bioware, in my eyes at least. I can’t believe they would try to stuff multiplayer into everything but their actions seem to speak for themselves.

        The whole Catwoman online pass thing was absolute bullshit, though Gamestop seems to have emerged an unlikely saviour.

  2. They sent me an email. You don’t play as shepard or any of the main story characters, you’re all generic marine types fighting “galactic battles”. The outcome of your battle will influence events in the main story.

  3. I’m just hoping Kris is right when he says about Warner and Gamestop teaming up, It’d be great if it all went that way, so that it charged the retailers, as opposed to the Gamers, as it always should have.
    I do however, think that the single player catwoman pass is a total dick move anyway.

  4. I agree with your comments on Batman – very unfair to people who haven’t got an Internet connection. Online Passes, I can understand; locking out parts of a single-player only game is just wrong.

    Mind you, when your game’s sitting happily on a Metascore of 95, maybe it doesn’t matter.

    • I think this is a very entitled view, not just you Darth, but when people think they will be “missing out” on part of a game because of an Online Pass or 1st Purchaser Code.

      It’s their game, only they get to say who can have more or less. It’s not unfair when you tell people beforehand that these are the conditions for purchase.

      This is an evolving market. Games makers are adapting to change. The want to reward 1st purchasers because they are better for business.

      That’s my view anyway.

      • I wouldn’t say they’re adapting to change. They’re making the change themselves, and purely for themselves. Preowned has been around since the master system days!

  5. Woo, Renegade Ops. I won it off of the PlayStation Blog last week. XD

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