Posted by jsslifelike on February 4, 2010
Mass Effect 2 Is Not A Better Iteration- It Is Simply A Different Game
Categories: Featured Articles, News | 3 responses
My playthrough of Mass Effect 2 clocks in at roughly 15 hours at the moment, and may not include all that the title has to offer… yet. However, what remains in the forefront of my mind is that if so much has changed, is the game actually a sequel or just a re-imagining of the franchise with a number attached to the end?
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Interesting take. I have two comments for this. One, this is the game that Bioware promissed with the first Mass Effect. Going back to that game in comparison it now feels very broken. Secondly, while much has changed the core mechanics, back story and overall feel are the same. The changes made in this game are on a whole fundemental changes to make the mechanics of the game work correctly. Not the flawed way they worked back in the first. This game is still VERY much an RPG at its core, it just uses a real shooter mechanic versus dice rolls. Accuracy, damage and selection of upgrades/ammo type and powers use all still take place and all still matters.
If you think of this as just a shooter you are dead wrong.
I read the full article over at gamesmen. It would seem that you and I had very different experiences with ME2 and ME1. This is an interesting piece. We both agree that the game is amazing. You are absolutely right that they streamlined the character customization and armor/weapon inventory. But, having finished it on normal and started working on insanity, I think they really ramped up the “elemental” damage. In ME1, no matter what kind of ammo you had, you could just mow down the enemies with your assault rifle (this is how I got through insanity on that one). In ME2, especially on the insanity difficulty, you have to use your powers to get through the enemies shields/barriers/armor. Failing that, you at least need to use the right kind of ammo to break it down. If you try to just hammer you way through, you are going to run out of ammo, and quickly. If anything, I think making you manage your ammo pushes it more towards an RPG because you have to rely more on your squad’s powers. And really, at the core of it, you are still playing the roll of Commander Shepard. If it was a third person shooter, you would just puppeteer as you watched Marcus Fenix’s or Scott Mitchell’s stories play out before you. Just my thoughts.
I concur that the game is not simply a shooter, but let’s face it- its paradigm has shifted from Action-RPG to an Adventure/Shooter game with RPG elements and what game DOESN’T have them these days? ME2 is a great game at its core, it’s just that I feel BioWare sold me a false bill of goods in primarily calling this a role-playing game. There’s barely anything role-playing left in it.
In RPGs, you get XP per kill. In ME2, everyone gets the same flat amount of XP by finishing the mission(which should more accurately be called a “stage” or “level”). In RPGs, you collect various enchancements for your weapons and armor and can micromanage them on-the-fly. In ME2, once you obtain these augmentations, they are static(a la Adventure games). I agree that the back story and overall feel do remain, and for that I am grateful. It would appear that, if Insanity difficulty is truly what has mentioned, then and only then would this feel more like a paper-rock-scissors RPG.
It’s funny- to replace all of the awkwardly missing RPG-ness, I have invented some on my own. Once I scan a planet for a landing zone, I read about and check the climate. If it is and ice-based environment, then I change my armor to a white-ish Stormtrooper look with the full mask. If the world is hot, I would make it reddish or orange with an open face. A steamy jungle gaia would call for camouflage and targeting eyepiece. I just feel that I shouldn’t have to go to these lengths to get my RPG fix. I wonder if the rebuilt Shepard in the beginning of the game was intended to draw a paralell- looks familiar on the surface, but nothing is the same underneath. It is indeed a great game, just not the one I was expecting.