Lately I’ve been playing quite a bit of Mass Effect 3, namely the multiplayer. It’s been good fun and I’ve gotten a lot more into it than I did last time - I’ve enjoyed taking on the more difficult levels with friends. I really like the game and I’ll keep playing it for a good while yet - however I really dislike their levelling up implementation.
It’s the random element to it that I hate, I really dislike the idea that you’re not in direct control of how to level up. In games you earn credits and they can be spent on ‘packs’ - these contain semi-randomly assigned pieces of kit and unlocks. There are different types of packs, allowing you to vaguely steer out your path but there’s still next to no control. Basically you have to put up with what you get - there’s no player influence what so ever.
I don’t think they’ve done it to be different or original either - I think they’re just trying to make it addictive. The chance element keeps you coming back - I guess they hope that sometimes that involves spending some Microsoft points to fast track. It’s like trading card packs - you might get the best player in the league or the god card, but most likely you’ll only get rubbish or cards you don’t want.
Not only do I think it’s marginally exploitative but I don’t l also dislike the lack of any foresight or goal. In other games you save up for certain items - Mass Effect 3 lacks the motivation of a long term goal. I think this is really important to keep me interested, and is perhaps the reason I stopped playing the first time round.
Once you’ve got a few good weapons and characters the gameplay is very good, and great fun to play with friends. It’s just all the time spent in the lobby, out of game, that really lets the experience down.