Two reasons why I’m not worried about Mass Effect 3’s delay

Don't worry Earth, Shephard will still make it in time to save every one of us

So Mass Effect 3 is delayed into the early part of 2012, making us wait several more months before we can save the galaxy. But it’s not the end of the universe.

It’s not even a cause for worry although I won’t lie about having some concern when Riccitiello said the reason was to tweak it for the “larger market”. Usually this means dumbing something down and at this point, I wonder if ME3 is going to be more like Borderlands – only with a deeper skill system and storyline. Which wouldn’t be too bad, I guess, as long as people don’t start comparing it to RPGs like Wizardry or Planescape.

But I’ll be picking up a copy as I like closure to my stories and this is supposed to end Shephard’s arc. They’ve already hinted that this isn’t the end of Mass Effect’s world, though, but it’s probably going to be a good while before they bring out a new Mass Effect idea with a new batch of heroes to take their own starring roles.

So here are two reasons why I think it’s a really good idea:

  1. It won’t compete against Skyrim
    November 1st will already see the release for Uncharted 3 on the PS3, and ME3 is also headed for Sony’s console this time out at the same time it is supposed to hit the 360. And we can’t forget about the new Call of Duty that’s supposed to be out in time for the holidays.But the biggest elephant in the room is Skyrim, Bethesda’s fifth flagship title to their Elder Scrolls line (Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion). That’s slated for 11.11.11. And by anyone’s estimate, will probably be the biggest RPG sandbox of the year with a userbase that has spent hundreds of hours alone in Oblivion’s world. Does Mass Effect really want to go head to head with that? I know that my wallet is breathing a big sigh of relief right now.
  2. Extra polish time
    One of the criticisms brought to the table was that of feeling as if DA2 had been rushed trough the door. The critical remarks made of DA2 over that of DA:O probably underscored that while change itself isn’t bad, certain changes were still seen as bad ideas. Like copy pasted dungeons.Still, at 2 million plus sales, it’s not a fiscal failure and to a corporation like EA, that’s probably all that might matter to their bottom line.But the damage to the brand’s reputation might be a little harder to fix and that’s probably what EA wants to avoid with ME3. After all, if you have a decent IP out there, the last thing you want to do is tarnish whatever cred it has among your biggest fans – the customers. So why not devote a little extra time towards more content? It sounds like the RPG elements are going to be expanded, but that combat will be more action oriented. Suddenly I’m thinking about Borderlands, Risen, or Fallout: New Vegas – which might not make the changes as bad as they might sound.

In the meantime, this holiday season already looks packed with a lot of great titles. This month alone is going to get several hotly anticipated games – LA Noire, Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and Brink – soon with news from E3 to stir the pot and even more titles dropping in as we ramp up for another holiday smorgasbord of gaming. There’s plenty of play coming ahead to keep our minds off of Mass Effect 3 for awhile longer. Plenty of play, and plenty of time to build the save you want to carry over to it when it finally arrives.

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