I know gamers go nuts for multiplayer, but I’m not one of those. I’m a solo girl, making major exceptions for Rainbow Six: Vegas, bitches! As much as I trust BioWare in the RPG department, the announcement of multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 has slightly dampened my enthusiasm for the game.
Games that have great single player campaigns don’t need to tack on multiplayer to cater to the rest of the market. I’m not saying that’s what BioWare has done; I haven’t played the game therefore wouldn’t know, but the cynic in me is slightly worried.
Especially when I read this quote:
Success in multi-player will have a direct impact on the outcome of the single player campaign.
Noo! I usually skip multiplayer altogether, for various reasons, but it looks to be a crucial factor in one of my most anticipated games. Although BioWare are insistent it won’t compromise the single player campaign, and at least playing with friends solves the stupid AI issues I faced in Mass Effect 2. I really pray it doesn’t fuck up what was already a near perfect franchise.
In my last post, I mentioned lack of sidequests as one of Mass Effect 2′s downsides. At 60 hours in, I now realise there are in fact a ton of sidequests… It’s just that most of them are hidden.
Admittedly I shouldn’t have left scanning the planets for minerals until I was so close to the final mission, but I realised I needed to better upgrade my ship, and I had been holding off for so long because of the monotony of probing planets. Now I’ve spent many hours scanning the planets, I’ve come across many missions I would have otherwise missed.
I fail to understand why Bioware have tucked away many of their sidequests, and I simply can’t see how it’s beneficial to the game or the player. Hopefully this is something we won’t see with Mass Effect 3.
Since buying Mass Effect 2, it’s been the one game to solely consume my Xbox’ disc tray, which is why there’s been a distinct lack of chatter around here to do with anything other than Mass Effect 2. Hardly surprising, though, given it’s the much awaited sequel to one of my favourite 360 games to date. Even with its lengthy story (I’m currently 40 hours in and still have quite a few missions left/planets undiscovered), there’s rarely a moment my interest wavers and it doesn’t grasp 100% of my attention. Since it’s been available for a couple of months now, you’ve probably made your mind up as to whether you’re going to play it or not (and if you haven’t, the answer is yes, you do want to play it). Because of that, I’ll summarise my likes and dislikes as opposed to a full blown review.
Commander Shepard. Bioware did good by enabling those of us who had played the original to port our character over, but they stepped it up a notch by having all choices made in the original Mass Effect stored, thus certain aspects of Mass Effect 2 changing dependent on those. Not only that, but they reward those who have ported their character over with a little boost to stats. Bringing over a Level 54 Adept set me up at Level 3.
The original cast. It was nice to see familiar faces crop up in Mass Effect 2, even if recruiting most of them isn’t an option.
Romance plots. While the romance plots seem a little shallow, the option to forge relationships with members of your crew does appear to be there (although I’ve yet to have any raunchy sex scenes). I’ve been pursuing Miranda, and the attraction seems to be reciprocated. I also got drunk with the ship’s Doctor, but that didn’t seem to get me anywhere…
As always with a game that spans many hours, I like to geek out and share my initial stats and early progress status; details such as character class, level, hours spanned, and anything else worth mentioning.
With Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, there is only one character you can command as the story’s protagonist, and that character is Lieutenant Commander Shepard (with varying degrees of customisation available). Thanks to the efficient devs at Bioware, Mass Effect 2 easily enables you to import a previous character from Mass Effect, with all previous plot and dialogue choices having been cached. I ported my second character, Chris Shepard, which in return gave me a nice boost to my stats. Thanks, Bioware!
On to the intel…
Chris Shepard is a level 8 Adept, an apathetic bastard who, given the choice, will usually go for the Renegade option in both dialogue and action. He was level 53 in my original playthrough of Mass Effect, which rounded his stats at Level 3 when I ported him to Mass Effect 2. A nice boost for jumping in on Insanity difficulty (which, so far, hasn’t been too insane).
It took me ages to get around to playing the original Mass Effect, but as soon as I did it was a case of “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!”. I’ve been looking forward to the sequel ever since, and it’s not disappointing. What can I say? It’s good to have Shepard back in my life.
Okay, so I told y’all (I really can’t get away with saying that what with my Scottishness) that I’d be whoring Dragon Age: Origins up until Mass Effect 2′s release, which is now only a mere 8 days away. Well, work and life are doing what they do best and getting in the way of some serious gaming, so I haven’t played as much of it as I would have hoped. I’m about 30 hours in, however, which has given me a good enough feel of the game to share my initial impressions. 30 hours in and this is initial impressions? I hear you cry. Yep, it’s the crazy, nonsensical world of Role Playing Games.
The Devil Is In The Details
In my eyes, a significant portion of what accounts towards a successful RPG is the detail. The devil really is in the details, and the sheer scope of thought that goes into forming the foundations of the world you’ll be spending so much time in never ceases to amaze me. My Dragon Age: Origins adventure as a City Elf, Buddeigh (do you see what I did there? Huh? Female Buddy the Elf?), is currently sitting at the 30 hour mark, yet I still find myself often overwhelmed as I navigate through a deeply rich and scripted world.
A couple of people found it amusing when I casually mentioned my loose gaming schedule I’m attempting to follow. I guess this is one of many sad attributes that explain my prolonged singledom. If I don’t plan, I find it slightly unnerving not knowing what releases are ahead and how I can strategise what games to play around any up-coming titles. Take my current situation; it’s a bit of a busy one with various games vying for my attention, but with a degree of planning I should be able to coincide everything perfectly and have minimal overlap. Yes, I’m that geeky.
Christmas has just passed, and, like you, I’ve added a few new additions to my video game arsenal. To be specific, I currently have Lego Indiana Jones, Batman Arkham Asylum, and Dragon Age: Origins fresh in their wrapper. At least all three were until I decided to play Dragon Age: Origins. You see, it would have been a quick and dirty run-through of Batman (I’ve heard the story isn’t particularly long) if Mass Effect 2 wasn’t released less than 4 weeks away. Make no mistake, the Mass Effect sequel is taking well deserved priority in my schedule, and so I have to plan around that. Comprende?
This becomes tricky considering I stick to one game at a time. If a game has a story, which most do, I’ll see it through from start to finish without interruption from another game. I can break it up by playing something casual a la Trials HD or Battlefield 1943, but to swap between, say, Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2 would kill me. This is why I need a schedule!
I’m playing a PS3 game. Yes, you read that right. I couldn’t resist, though, as Ni no Kuni is a PS3 exclusive and a JRPG. It seems like I haven’t played a JRPG in forever as they’re feeling increasingly sparse on current-gen consoles, which is disheartening as they are one of my favourite genres.
I’ve added trigger pads to my PS3′s controller so it’s more suited to people who have normal sized hands. That, coupled with the fact Ni no Kuni is (so far) astonishing, is enough to have me glaze over the fact I can’t chat to my friends whilst online, or I won’t be unlocking any Achievements (Trophies just aren’t the same).
10 hours into Ni No Kuni and I’m thinking the PS3 ain’t so bad. It seems suited to JRPGs, the type of game you don’t mind shutting yourself off to play. Still, I’d like to see more traditional JRPGs on the 360.
The Tomb Raider series means a lot to me, and while I admit it has lost its footing in recent years, I’ve always stuck by Lara. The latest Tomb Raider, however, has been completely re-imagined and – at some points – doesn’t even feel like a TR game. It’s a welcome change, though, and has me well and truly hooked.