Why Mass Effect 2 Is Not Amazing

Posted by astrodoggy (145 posts) -

There's no denying that Mass Effect 2 is universally acclaimed, and I can seriously see why. The game has high production values, excellent dialogue, and a good combat system. The game earned a number of GOTY awards and is considered by many to be in the upper echelon of games for this generation. 

Look closely... why would you need to airbrush CGI characters? Cause the game sux maybe???

 

I, however, have struggled with this game since I beat it last year. I can see that it is good, but I fail to see why it is GREAT. Mass Effect 2 is so many things, and I believe it succeeds only marginally in any of them. As a TPS it is a little stale, as a RPG it is shallow, and as an adventure it is fairly predictable. So, while I enjoyed the game, Mass Effect 2 always seemed to be "watered down" for my tastes. One of my biggest qualms with the game is it's narrow locations. It feels like a theme-park ride, where you are "pushed through" from point to point, accomplish a task and get pushed through to the next point. In stark contrast to Mass Effect 2 is the Metal Gear Solid franchise, wherein every problem allows for multiple solutions.

 
Granted, some of my complaints are grounded in my personal preference: I am increasingly bored with games that "guide" me, and Mass Effect 2's branching storylines and conversation trees only serve to highlight the dissapointingly linear combat. Perhaps a deeper customization system would've helped, or implementing some stealth combat, or larger venues for combat with many possible paths to take. We are given many choices in the game, but as a gamer I want those choices to be in gameplay FIRST, then in narrative.


I may be alone in this, but Mass Effect 2 was not a revelation, nor a truely great game. It is a good game presented very well. 
 

Now please tell me how wrong I am below... and I will attempt to defend myself.

This character is the best part about the whole game... and he's green...

 

#1 Posted by astrodoggy (145 posts) -

There's no denying that Mass Effect 2 is universally acclaimed, and I can seriously see why. The game has high production values, excellent dialogue, and a good combat system. The game earned a number of GOTY awards and is considered by many to be in the upper echelon of games for this generation. 

Look closely... why would you need to airbrush CGI characters? Cause the game sux maybe???

 

I, however, have struggled with this game since I beat it last year. I can see that it is good, but I fail to see why it is GREAT. Mass Effect 2 is so many things, and I believe it succeeds only marginally in any of them. As a TPS it is a little stale, as a RPG it is shallow, and as an adventure it is fairly predictable. So, while I enjoyed the game, Mass Effect 2 always seemed to be "watered down" for my tastes. One of my biggest qualms with the game is it's narrow locations. It feels like a theme-park ride, where you are "pushed through" from point to point, accomplish a task and get pushed through to the next point. In stark contrast to Mass Effect 2 is the Metal Gear Solid franchise, wherein every problem allows for multiple solutions.

 
Granted, some of my complaints are grounded in my personal preference: I am increasingly bored with games that "guide" me, and Mass Effect 2's branching storylines and conversation trees only serve to highlight the dissapointingly linear combat. Perhaps a deeper customization system would've helped, or implementing some stealth combat, or larger venues for combat with many possible paths to take. We are given many choices in the game, but as a gamer I want those choices to be in gameplay FIRST, then in narrative.


I may be alone in this, but Mass Effect 2 was not a revelation, nor a truely great game. It is a good game presented very well. 
 

Now please tell me how wrong I am below... and I will attempt to defend myself.

This character is the best part about the whole game... and he's green...

 

#2 Posted by Spoonman671 (4694 posts) -

You lost me at "good combat system."

#3 Posted by laserbolts (5331 posts) -

I thought it was one of the best games this generation. I really got into the setting and I was more interested in what characters had to say than any game I have ever played. I agree with your points about the combat feeling sort of boxed in but it didn't really bother me that much. The combat was sort of filler for me and I just wanted to get through it so I could do some more talking. I expect you to receive some hate for your post though. Ready your shield.

#4 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2453 posts) -

Choice is overrated.

#5 Posted by emkeighcameron (1876 posts) -

Man, I was worried we weren't going to meet the weekly quota for "I dislike ME2" threads, but thankfully we pulled through OK.

#6 Posted by CandiBunni (465 posts) -

I'm kind of in the same boat with you. I enjoy the game, and I think it's a pretty good game. I don't however, feel it deserves all the praise it gets. It just, to me, doesn't seem as amazing as some people would make it out to be. I might check out ME3, but then again I might not. I've kind of lost interest with the series.

#7 Posted by ajamafalous (12033 posts) -
@Spoonman671 said:
You lost me at "good combat system."
#8 Edited by kingzetta (4307 posts) -

The game is almost two years old. Why are is this crap coming up again, for the thousandth time?
The community spotlight already has it's Mass Effect 2 sucks story, so your not going to get in that way.

#9 Posted by UnrealDP (1223 posts) -

@emkeighcameron:

Tell me about it, i was getting real scarred reading this thinking "Oh god, this one might not be the same thing as all the others, oh no!", but i quickly realized this guy's just saying what all ther others say over and over, only this guy kept his shorter....

#10 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3222 posts) -

The problems with the Mass Effect series right now is the illusion of choice, linear character development, and lack of banter between squadmates- it's just you and them, not him and the others. I want that to change.

#11 Posted by astrodoggy (145 posts) -
@emkeighcameron

so then why'd you come in here to post that comment?? cause you secretly love "i dislike me2' threads???
#12 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -

This sums of this and all future Mass Effect 2 threads.
  

#13 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -

Your accusation comes down to personal taste. A dislike for linear gameplay is an argument that many people use to justify their belief that a game is bad, an argument that is really starting to get annoying. Mass Effect is amazing because of its narrative, and the way it presents that story is utterly unique to games. The dialog options, while not ultra-extensive, allow the player control over the development of Shepard's character, and over just enough elements of the plot to let the player feel truly involved, while still telling a well-structured story. The characterizations, especially when the conversations are fully explored, are excellent. The fiction is expansive, and the game's structure allows the player to be immersed in that fiction in a way that more passive entertainment media can't hope to match.  The gameplay isn't the best, certainly. But it's competent, and the differing shields, barriers, and powers allow for enough tactical considerations to keep the shootouts interesting. Also, let's all admit it, Mass Effect 2 isn't a goddamn RPG. It's a shooter. ME1 and ME2 are utterly different games. The argument that ME2 is a poor RPG could be reversed and applied to the first Mass Effect. What I mean is, I could call ME1 a shitty shooter, but people would respond "It's an RPG, the poor combat is just a result of that."  Mass Effect 1 isn't judged as a shooter, Mass Effect 2 shouldn't be judged as an RPG 
 
In short, Mass Effect 2 is amazing, and you are wrong

#15 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@Anwar said:
@kingzetta: yes, delete every game-specific forum of games which are older than a year, GB could save some money that way, excellent idea.
Giantbomb has already had it's site while Mass Effect controversy a thousand times. It's annoying at this point, get over it already. 
#16 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

People rate it so highly because many are putting narrative over mechanical excellence in importance, instead of giving them both their due as necessary for a quality game. Bioware didn't succeed at making a good RPG or shooter, so Mass Effect 2 is not the generational game it's made out to be.

#17 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5146 posts) -

Maybe you didn't like the game as much as other people but that doesn't mean it isn't good. I pretty much dislike all Blizzard games, I realise they are good but they are just not my cup of tea.

#18 Posted by nail1080 (1975 posts) -

bet you guys the op has never played the game on insanity as a vanguard. I highly recommend watching xcalizorz lets play on youtube, very entertaining and shows you a very unique and awesome way to play on insanity!

#19 Posted by Natesaint (148 posts) -

I felt as though I was playing a movie, which is why I enjoyed it. Also, I personally prefer more linear games. Most Rockstar games drive me nuts, but I realize they're still good despite my preference for linear games. I enjoy both Mass Effect games because they have both shooter and RPG elements. My personal preferences dictate that I would enjoy these games. I believe these are landmark games, however, as games evolve players develop a more head up my own ass rating system for games. I believe Mass Effect 2 is an amazing game, and I believe saying it isn't doesn't make one sound smarter.
#20 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5841 posts) -

you lost me at "excellent dialogue".

#21 Posted by RichMeisterMan (70 posts) -
@marlow83: I'm so glad that every time I see one of these, "Why "insert awesome critically acclaimed game here*" isn't awesome" posts that  there is someone inside talking some goddamn sense.
#22 Posted by DillonWerner (1528 posts) -

Yay yet more Mass Effect 2 threads!

#23 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

Your opinion is different than my opinion on this.

Weird how two different people can can have two different thoughts on the game.

#24 Posted by astrodoggy (145 posts) -
@Natesaint
 
Being that I love GTA (IV especially) I think it is a preference thing for sure... thanks for your intelligent post.
 
 @Mr. Skeleton:
 
I actually did say it's good, just pointed out things that kept it from being great
 
and if you people are sick of these posts, why are you in here reading and posting on one??? go wack off to the sims or something
#25 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

I had fun with the game. RPG was stripped down, maybe too much but I loved the characters, Thane and Samera are great additions to a fantastic team (except jacob, he is boring) THe progression of the game is very stilted and feels planned all the ay through which I liked. Shepard needed to accomplish a goal and knew the steps needed to attempt it.

Also, some of your complaints appear like they will be answered in the third game from the look and sound of it.

#26 Posted by jillsandwich (762 posts) -
@kingzetta said:
This sums of this and all future Mass Effect 2 threads.
  
HEY YOU GUYS WANT TO TALK ABOUT KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC?
#27 Posted by RaikohBlade (593 posts) -

I must say, Mass Effect 2 is one of my favorite games ever. I can't wait for Mass Effect 3!

#28 Posted by HistoryInRust (6334 posts) -

@astrodoggy said:

and if you people are sick of these posts, why are you in here reading and posting on one??? go wack off to the sims or something

This is probably the best way to foster intelligent discussion.

#29 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

Its great, but it could have been a hundred times better in my opinion.
It satisfied the ME itch, but it took away some of the grander aspects of ME1.
 
Now I won't say its a bad game, hell, I cried while playing the intro, I was so into it, it felt so amazing to see the Normandy and Shep go down, really hit a note.
But I will say that some of the freedom (no matter how fake that freedom in the  end turned out to be) was lost in the way ME2 handled the missions and companions, it was still an awesome game with an awesome universe and I will not compare it to anything else since I just can't.
 
Game's one of a kind, one of my favorites, just the knowledge that it could have been a little different is all that's bugging me, a little.

#30 Posted by JeanLuc (3590 posts) -
@jillsandwich said:
@kingzetta said:
This sums of this and all future Mass Effect 2 threads.
  
HEY YOU GUYS WANT TO TALK ABOUT KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC?
Hell yeah, I love that game.
#31 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@astrodoggy: Interesting. My first initial dislike was mainly because the combat felt a bit clunky, and the cover system felt poorly implemented. You are right, though. Mass Effect 2 is much more mission-based and streamlined than Mass Effect, almost to a fault. The removal of upgrades and the inventory system was a bit disappointing, and I feel a handful of other changes were changes in the wrong direction. I ended up loving the game, though. It's not really a game you'll fall in love with because of the combat, mainly for the characters, locals and incredible music.
#32 Posted by Infininja (881 posts) -

@marlow83 said:

In short, Mass Effect 2 is amazing, and you are wrong

Your accusation comes down to personal taste.

#33 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2695 posts) -

I sometimes wonder if Giant Bomb is almost entirely made up of hipsters.

Nothing against hipsters, but there's more "good things are bad" and "bad things are good" on GB than anywhere else.

#34 Posted by musclerider (590 posts) -

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

I sometimes wonder if Giant Bomb is almost entirely made up of hipsters.

Nothing against hipsters, but there's more "good things are bad" and "bad things are good" on GB than anywhere else.

#35 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@Infininja said:

@marlow83 said:

In short, Mass Effect 2 is amazing, and you are wrong

Your accusation comes down to personal taste.

No, I made the argument that when the quality standards for semi-linear third person shooters, and for storytelling in games are taken into account, Mass Effect excels for the most part. And I don't feel like continuing this conversation. I posted that two god damn weeks ago. So feel free to fuck off, I'm really not in the mood. 
#36 Posted by Infininja (881 posts) -

@marlow83 said:

@Infininja said:

@marlow83 said:

In short, Mass Effect 2 is amazing, and you are wrong

Your accusation comes down to personal taste.

No, I made the argument that when the quality standards for semi-linear third person shooters, and for storytelling in games are taken into account, Mass Effect excels for the most part. And I don't feel like continuing this conversation. I posted that two god damn weeks ago. So feel free to fuck off, I'm really not in the mood.

That was a rude response.

#37 Posted by TheMasterDS (2082 posts) -

Problem with Mass Effect 2 is that it has no idea how to pace the combat or make the player engaged throughout the game. It fails almost completely to do that, resulting in gameplay which becomes tired long before the game ends. To be frank, I feel they need to learn a thing or two from Starcraft II in how to keep missions feeling unique in gameplay.

#38 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

I wish I cared enough about your opinion to refute you, but I honestly don't.

I would question why people feel the need to write a dissertation on why their opinion is more valid than someone else's, but I'll probably just put that down to idiocy and get on with my life.

#39 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@Infininja said:

@marlow83 said:

@Infininja said:

@marlow83 said:

In short, Mass Effect 2 is amazing, and you are wrong

Your accusation comes down to personal taste.

No, I made the argument that when the quality standards for semi-linear third person shooters, and for storytelling in games are taken into account, Mass Effect excels for the most part. And I don't feel like continuing this conversation. I posted that two god damn weeks ago. So feel free to fuck off, I'm really not in the mood.

That was a rude response.

Sorry, you caught me at a bad time. Been dealing with irritating shit all day, and being refuted in a thread I forgot about just pissed me off more. Don't take it personally
#40 Posted by bartok (2541 posts) -

Awesome!!! another thread about why we are wrong about liking a game!!!  Is there a quest for starting one of these threads? 

#41 Posted by Teran (877 posts) -
@astrodoggy: I think you make a few good points, but you aren't very clear about some of them either.

You said the game feels watered down, but what are you comparing it to?  ME1?  If so, I have to disagree.  ME1 gave you more choices in customization, but the majority of these choices weren't worth taking advantage of.  The shooting in ME2 is more functional, and in my opinion, better than any other TPS I've played.. but each individual's opinion on this is highly dependent on what class they played in ME2.  Vanguard offered some very unique and unusual options for a cover based TPS game.

As far as the game guiding you goes... not really any more than any sandbox game out there.  I mean in GTA, Assassin's Creed, Saboteur, and others you are free to roam the world fooling around but as soon as you want to advance the story you still get stuck doing a specific mission.  In ME2 you can skip a whole lot of the optional stuff which is about the same level of choice you get an any game.

As far as the conversation trees go, I'm not sure what you could have expected, or what example you have from the real world of a system that doesn't appear to be lienar.  Most games don't give the player any input on what is said, ME2 at least gives a few choices which can alter the game significantly depending on what is said/done.

The only way to put choices in gameplay ahead of narrative is to get rid of the narrative entirely.
#42 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -
@astrodoggy: I agree with most of your points.  I should also say I loved ME2 despite it flaws and despite Bioware cutting out so much of what was good in ME1.  I think ME2 is about the best you can expect from this generation of hardware consoles and the tools devs are using to build games.  The only fault I have trouble overlooking is the limited and heavily restricted gameplay, which you pointed out.  That may have been simply a design choice to save time and money, knowing that it was "good enough" for joe blow gamer.
 
mostly I'm just happy we get a decent sci-fi game every now and then.
#43 Posted by FmeDry69 (58 posts) -

I've always though that Mass Effect was a disappointing game. I completely agree with the lackluster shooting mechanics and the dumbed down rpg elements lending to an overall far less than amazing game in combination with a basicplot that wasn;'t as good as the original

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