Why Mass Effect 2 was a disappointment, but why ME3 will be great

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#51 Posted by Faint (833 posts) -

i think you've just purposely placed a negative spin on your bullet points for ME2. 
 
" Decision: Explode, or irradiate? There's no way to know how either choices will effect the game, and they only change how the Illusive Man reacts to you." 
 
isnt the point that you dont know how it will effect the next game as the game carries over your decisions from the previous installment, meaning that your betrayal/ ass kicking of Cerberus could vastly affect how you play me3? its not meant to have an instantaneous development that gives you a visual orgasm on the screen in front of you. its setting up for the final installment obviously and nothing was meant to immediately come of it.
 
i enjoyed the recruitment element of crew members for the most part. sure the games elements got tedious towards the end as it became a bit repetitive but at the start/ for the most part it was very cool. i would liken the game to any good sci fi movie out there. its a game that plays like a game, but feels like a movie (as opposed to final fantasy, a game that plays like a movie! zing!). 
 
the only thing that disappointed me about mass effect 2 was that beyond that rocking planet thingo you visit near the start of the game that is like a massive night club (its been a while since ive played it obviously, i dont recall the name) there wasnt quite the same sense of atmosphere to the other areas beyond the obviously fairly detailed interaction with characters to gain information. 
 
basically im not following you on this one. personally my vote for game of the year so far is with starcraft 2 or mass effect 2, and considering giant bomb gave it 5/5 im sure its in their thoughts as well.

#52 Posted by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

I didn't half expect you to write another load of nonsense in the vain of "Because it's on the PS3", I'm glad I was wrong.

#53 Posted by fishmicmuffin (1044 posts) -

As far as the overarching plot was concerned, I agree with you completely. It didn't move along very much in ME2, as the game was more about advancing the relationships with specific characters. I still enjoyed it immensely though, and could not be more stoked for ME3.

#54 Posted by mazik765 (2316 posts) -
@Napalm: Don't worry, I understand the concept of leveling up weapons. I've S ranked both ME1 and ME2. And the only way you can say that shooting mechanics in ME1 were better than ME2 is if you've never played one of them. ME1 suffered from the Alpha Protocol effect (do a slightly lesser extent than that game, admittedly), where somehow Earth's most skilled soldier has absolutely no ability to shoot a weapon unless you actively experience it in combat. That's a bigger story deficit than anything I saw in ME2. Even when you leveled the weapons up it never really felt like a well tuned shooter should. And the difference in your ability to take cover in the first game to the second is huge.
 
Don't get me wrong, I love ME1 and ME2 equally for different reasons. But one area where ME2 is pretty obviously superior is in it's shooting mechanics.
#55 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@mazik765 said:
" And the only way you can say that shooting mechanics in ME1 were better than ME2 is if you've never played one of them. "
Except, I never actually said this, and you are using a straw man.
 
So, yeah.
#56 Posted by nail1080 (1975 posts) -

I completely agree, and it's proven by the fact that I cleared MASS EFFECT 1 4 times and loved it each time and I'm even thinking of a 5th playthrough!.....I cleared the 3rd person shooter which was Mass Effect 2 once and didn't really enjoy it, I even stopped playing it for around a month at one stage near the end because I had no desire to play it, yuch it really was a disappointment and is severely overrated. If I want a linear shooter game in space I'll just go back and play dead space, which  has much better shooting mechanics, story line and upgrades anyway.

#57 Posted by mazik765 (2316 posts) -
@Napalm said:
" @mazik765 said:
" And the only way you can say that shooting mechanics in ME1 were better than ME2 is if you've never played one of them. "
Except, I never actually said this, and you are using a straw man.  So, yeah. "
Ummm...well actually...
 
@Napalm said:
" @ajamafalous said: 
I would even go so far as to argue that the "shooting mechanics" in Mass Effect 2 are less accurate and more bothersome. They are not actively bad, but there's a huge accuracy issue with most of the weapons, as well as I frequently run out of ammunition for a few choice guns, which is annoying. "
That's actually exactly what you said. Unless 'less accurate and more bothersome' are pros?
#58 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@mazik765: Re-read that because it's not what I said. Mass Effect 2 still has superior shooting mechanics, but there are things about the mechanics and the various gun aspects that are probably a lot less enjoyable than the worst mechanic-related things in Mass Effect.
#59 Posted by mazik765 (2316 posts) -
@Napalm:  Actually it is. You might have said that the mechanics aren't bad, but you did say that ME1 has better mechanics than ME2.
#60 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@mazik765:  This is fucking stupid.
#61 Posted by GoonerGod (38 posts) -

bullet pointing a story so it intentionally sounds bad is easy for anything despite the quality of said story for example:  
Saving Private Ryan 

  • They find out they need to save private ryan
  • A lot of them die
  • The remaining soldiers save private ryan
OR 
Shawshank redemption 
  • guy goes to prison
  • he makes friends there
  • escapes prison after 20 years of wasting time
  • meets his friend again
 
Two great stories turned into boring summaries much as you did with ME2
#62 Posted by ajamafalous (12161 posts) -
@Napalm said:
" @ajamafalous said:
" @mazik765 said:
" @ajamafalous said:
" I don't think I can think of anything in ME2 that I liked more than a comparable part in ME1.   ME2 was a huge letdown for me, and I'm super glad I only paid $20 for it. "
Really? You enjoyed the shooting in ME1 more than ME2? I loved ME1, but I do not love broken shooter mechanics. "
I played a Vanguard, so I used pistols and shotguns.  I had no qualms with the aiming at all. "
I don't understand the sentiment of "broken shooting mechanics" in Mass Effect 1. The only way I can see someone actively feeling that way is if they never upgraded their weapons, never bothered to switch out to more powerful/accurate weapons, and never installed performance mods on their guns. The mechanics aren't broken - you just suck at distributing points and using what the game gives you. I would even go so far as to argue that the "shooting mechanics" in Mass Effect 2 are less accurate and more bothersome. They are not actively bad, but there's a huge accuracy issue with most of the weapons, as well as I frequently run out of ammunition for a few choice guns, which is annoying. "
I agree with everything you said.
#63 Posted by EliminatoR (247 posts) -

well it scored beter then the first,so it did something better.
#64 Posted by LiquidPrince (16181 posts) -

I disagree. The only valid argument I would accept is that the first game had a set villain to hate in Saren, where as the second game, the whole thing was shrouded in secrecy. However the second game was far more personal becuase you ended up caring for your crew more. If Jacob died fuck. If Mordin died, fucking fuck. If Miranda died fucking mother fuck. You cared.

#65 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -
@GoonerGod said:
" bullet pointing a story so it intentionally sounds bad is easy for anything despite the quality of said story for example:  
Saving Private Ryan 
  • They find out they need to save private ryan
  • A lot of them die
  • The remaining soldiers save private ryan
OR 
Shawshank redemption 
  • guy goes to prison
  • he makes friends there
  • escapes prison after 20 years of wasting time
  • meets his friend again
 
Two great stories turned into boring summaries much as you did with ME2
"
To be honest, I tried to recap the ME2 story from my memory over my two playthroughs. I didn't really remember too much about the ME2 story that I thought was significant.
#66 Posted by threeve (199 posts) -
@LiquidPrince said:
" I disagree. The only valid argument I would accept is that the first game had a set villain to hate in Saren, where as the second game, the whole thing was shrouded in secrecy. However the second game was far more personal becuase you ended up caring for your crew more. If Jacob died fuck. If Mordin died, fucking fuck. If Miranda died fucking mother fuck. You cared. "
Hmm. I hadn't even really thought of this.  Jack was the only of my crew who died on my first playthrough and I didn't really like her anyway.  Now I will admit that I was invested in my crew, particularly Garrus, Miranda, and Thane, but the others were similarly well developed, if I picked them up early enough.  In the final mission I would select teammates to do certain jobs based on a combination of who I thought was best for the job and who was expendable (legion for crawling the duct for example).  So I can see this side as well.
#67 Posted by hollitz (1624 posts) -

Before I get into criticism turf, I'll say that ME2 has been without a doubt the most enjoyable gaming experience of the year for me.  I really just could not put it down.
Now on to the story concerns.
I've never found a Western RPG with a good story.  Bioware games have fantastic characters and dialogue, but the stories are rarely interesting and the presentation is always lacking.  All of the cut scenes and animations feel very amateur hour.  And I, personally, have never been emotionally invested in a custom character.
 
But perhaps the biggest disappointment in Mass Effect 2 was how, once again, poorly the love-interest relationship was handled.  
Step 1: Flirt with Tali.
Step 2: Flirt with Tali more.
Step 3: Tali likes you and wants to bang, but not until right before the final mission!
Step 4: Banging commences and both of the characters immediately act like it never happened.  There's no special dialogue or cutscenes at the end.  The game barely acknowledges it.  Such a missed opportunity.

#68 Posted by niamahai (1394 posts) -

anybody saw the new Vanguish trailer?
 
I wish ME3's combat will be like that. TONS of enemies and extremely crazy fast.

#69 Posted by TheNotoriousKDV (4 posts) -

The story was much better in ME1 but the gameplay was much better in ME2. Hopefully ME3 will have superior gameplay and story compared to both ME1 and ME2.  
 
I think the thing about ME2 that I disliked the most was how the Alliance and Council are too far in the background. I would have liked to have seen more conversation between Shep and the Alliance/Council. ME is all about making choices but it seems like Bioware made the choice for us in this situation. Shep is working with Cerberus no matter what and the Alliance and Council(with the exception of Anderson) don't care much for Shep at all any more.  I mean I never get the impression that the Alliance and Council understand that Shep was dead for 2 years and that he was rezzed by Cerberus. Maybe it's just me but I get the impression that they think he never died and that was just a cover story for his defection to Cerberus. Or maybe they don't even care that he died. Regardless, it all led to the Alliance and Council playing no role whatsoever in ME2.
 
I would have liked the option of convincing the Alliance that my allegiance was still with them and that I was just being forced to work for Cerberus since they were the ones that brought me back to life. That way I could work both sides during ME2. I mean sure, you can tell TIM that you're done working with him at the end of ME2 if you want but that doesn't mean that the Alliance will take you back. But if the Alliance played a bigger role in ME2 then you could have convinced them through words and actions that your loyalty is still with them. Or even have the option of playing both sides and convincing both sides that your loyalty is with them. Instead of the Alliance and Cerberus using Shep, Shep uses both of them. That would have been nice. But somehow, someway, the Alliance should have had a role in ME2 instead of being irrelevant. 

#70 Posted by ConallStarrs (37 posts) -

Never really thought about this(just enjoyed the game) but I completely agree with you.Can't wait to see what the story's like in the 3rd game,hoping for some dramatic deaths.I wonder if you'll get another new team,although considering the development of ME2's team that doesn't seem likely.

#71 Edited by Bagga (76 posts) -

I agree completely, I liked ME1 alot more then ME2.
Cant wait for ME3, I just dont hope they dumb down the RPG elements even more.

#72 Posted by Wasara88 (332 posts) -
@GoonerGod said:
" bullet pointing a story so it intentionally sounds bad is easy for anything despite the quality of said story for example:  
Saving Private Ryan 
  • They find out they need to save private ryan
  • A lot of them die
  • The remaining soldiers save private ryan
OR 
Shawshank redemption 
  • guy goes to prison
  • he makes friends there
  • escapes prison after 20 years of wasting time
  • meets his friend again
 
Two great stories turned into boring summaries much as you did with ME2
"
That. And to the OP, i see your points and agree with some of them. I have to admit that i too was disappointed a little in ME2,but it was more of the pacing that bothered me.The majority of playtime went to recruiting your team and although they threw the collector ship level there i thought there should have been something else too. In the end i didn' felt the collectors as big of a threat as the geth were in ME1.
 Me2 is still a great game in my books and i love it and still play it.
#73 Edited by sear (371 posts) -

Decent, if short and rather obvious analysis, but I have to disagree about Mass Effect 2 fleshing out the characters.  All we got were a few lame excuses as to why some of the characters weren't going to party up with you (read: BioWare didn't want to have player choices affect the game too significantly, since it means spending more effort on content lots of people may not see), and pretty much all the characters are totally new to the series.  Garrus doesn't get any more depth to him at all (they just turned him into a bad boy to satiate the fangirls/boys), Wrex is more or less the same but a bit more world-weary, etc.  Pretty much the only development in any of them is seen in Liara, and that doesn't at all depend on any of your actions in Mass Effect 1. 
 
Addditionally, Mass Effect 1 has some character development for Shepard - albeit not much  - that is totally lacking in Mass Effect 2.  During the first game, Shepard goes from being a veteran soldier to a cybernetic prophet who is able to learn ancient mysteries and use old knowledge to defeat evil.  In Mass Effect 2, Shepard is... Shepard, and stays that way.  He/she learns nothing new, there's no personality change or greater realisation, heck, he/she isn't even all that different despite being literally killed and brought back to life!  While I thought that sequence was kind of an arbitrary and silly way to create hype (SHEPARD DIES, OH GNOES, HOW WILL THE STORY GO ON?!), it could have been used well if it had some sort of impact on the story.  Instead we get nothing but the occasional "I thought you were dead!" / "nope" exchange.
 
Perhaps the greatest sin of all against Mass Effect 2 is that it contributes absolutely nothing to the overarching plot.  At the end of Mass Effect 1, we have learned about the Protheans, the Reapers, and the whole cycle of extinction thing, and a Reaper fleet is on its way to kick some ass.  At the end of Mass Effect  2 we know... exactly the same thing, except something new about the nature of the Collectors, who were included in the game solely so that people who didn't play the first game could have the same sort "mystery foe" plot, and so that they wouldn't be utterly confused by the game assuming they already knew what was going on.  There is literally no progression of events whatsoever.  Every single thing that happens in Mass Effect 2 is inconsequential.
 
I'm pretty certain that since just about everyone can die in Mass Effect 2, we won't see any of the Mass Effect 2 characters return in any significant capacity.  We can expect cameos from people like Garrus and Wrex again, I'm sure, and the ones that survived your play-through will no doubt show up as well, but given that BioWare have claimed Mass Effect 3 will be a smaller game, and there's increasing pressure on them to come out with yearly blockbusters thanks to their overlords at EA, I really do not think Mass Effect 3 will be the stunning return to form that fans hope for.  BioWare has repeatedly shown that their response to fans' complaints with the RPG mechanics of their games has been to simply reduce or remove them (Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age 2), and I don't expect Mass Effect 3 to be any different.  But hey, the visuals will be shinier and there will be even more giant robots!

#74 Posted by SpliTTMark (51 posts) -
@Jayross said:
" @GoonerGod said:
" bullet pointing a story so it intentionally sounds bad is easy for anything despite the quality of said story for example:  
Saving Private Ryan 
  • They find out they need to save private ryan
  • A lot of them die
  • The remaining soldiers save private ryan
OR 
Shawshank redemption 
  • guy goes to prison
  • he makes friends there
  • escapes prison after 20 years of wasting time
  • meets his friend again
 
Two great stories turned into boring summaries much as you did with ME2
"
To be honest, I tried to recap the ME2 story from my memory over my two playthroughs. I didn't really remember too much about the ME2 story that I thought was significant. "
i wanted to make a statement like gooner as well.  in your ME1 section you mentioned a lot of story aspects and a couple things that are slightly just there. i mean you make saren being a puppet want that big of a deal. plus you have NO control over saren its all story based. but with the recruits in ME2 you can make them hate or like you. that gives you more control and to me is better than ME1's dialogue of yes no punch face. its no doubt that ME1 had a better story and ME2 was just an action setup for ME3. but in these ME1 vs ME2 threads the story is always brought up. its like a contest of two guys and the left guy wins always because of the his looks. i loved meeting wrex in me2 you didn't bring that up "its the little things". and having discussions with the crew after every mission to see what they had to say. even i missed a few confrontations. ME1 was lucky because while it didn't have interactive character development people still love(d) the characters. 
 
lol i bet I'll go to bed tonight with a little more on my mind to mention and (grammar errors).
 
also the DLC for ME2 is AWWWWSSSomeeee. pinnacle station lol
#75 Posted by jorbear (2517 posts) -
@Bagga: Same here. 
#76 Edited by Dtat (1630 posts) -

I'll buy that arguement. I loved Mass Effect 2 because of the way it fleshed out characters and the universe in general. To me that's even more engaging than the story itself. But I will agree that the story was better in ME1. ME3 will be absolutely fantastic, and I think you've hit the nail on the head for why.
#77 Posted by Edwardryu (440 posts) -

you can't compare with ME 1 for story line. ME 2 has only one purpose... destroy collectors. that's all. it is the whole story. recruit mission, loyalty mission are just additional bonus. but gameplay, combat system, graphic level, various enemies, lots of DLC in there. with this fact, ME 1 is just a joke.  

#78 Posted by rjayb89 (7729 posts) -

Lovely read.  Don't know why I was avoiding this topic altogether 'til now.

#79 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

To me, Mass Effect 2 and 1 went for very different tones. The story of Mass Effect 1 was a lot like a typical Sci-fi movie, yet Mass Effect 2 had more self-contained story and character-driven missions. It's Firefly versus Star Wars, and I think both approaches are equally valid. 
Yes, the overall story in Mass Effect 1 was better, but that doesn't make Mass Effect 2 disappointing in any way.

#80 Posted by Brendan (8155 posts) -

I agree that the main story elements were weaker in ME2 than in ME1, but the second game was mostly centered around the character stories, which were awesome :)
#81 Edited by CouncilSpectre (311 posts) -

Awesome story revelations in ME2:
 
*  The Reapers have fixated on Shepard as he is the only being to have thwarted their plans in millions of years.
*  The Reapers had twisted what remained of the Prothiens into their slaves. 
*  Cerberus has been behind more than it seemed (eg :the construction of the first Normandy) 
*  The Reapers harvest the galaxy every fifty thousand years because they construct their own kind from the liquified remains of the higher organic lifeforms that have evolved over that time. 
*  The Quarians are on the verge of war with the Geth. 
*  The Geth from Mass Effect 1 were just a splinter group of that race. 
*  The true Geth simply want to exist in peace.   
*  Someone is using Dark Matter technology to damage stars (Tali's mission when you collect her,and  the undercover agent's next mission after Illium).
*  The Reapers hold humanity up as the greatest threat in the galaxy (greater than the Asari, Turians, Krogan... ect), hence their plan to recreate themselves in the Earthlings image.  

And finally 

*  You can't keep a good Spectre down. 
 
 
Cue the third game.

#82 Posted by Tonic7 (240 posts) -

I enjoyed both games immensely, but I also agree that ME1's story was much more powerful overall. I was extremely glad that I didn't have anybody die on me at the end of ME2, so I look forward to maintaining that same group in ME3. Honestly, as long as Bioware keeps your current group members together for ME3, I will be happy. 
 
For me, the most disappointing part of ME2's story was the inability to really reconnect with Liara (until the DLC, that is). Impressively, though, Bioware managed to make me care about Liara enough not to cheat on her because I believed there would be repercussions in ME3 (and frankly it just felt wrong). That's powerful and impressive stuff right there, storytelling wise.    

#83 Posted by armaan8014 (5452 posts) -
@Jayross:  I agree with you 100%. I was pretty disappointed with ME2, and even halfway through I could see that it was all about recruiting people.
Being a fan of a good story over good gameplay, I felt betrayed when I finished this game :(
#84 Edited by tourgen (4542 posts) -
@adam_grif said:

" ME2 was not a disappointment overall, but it had disappointing elements.  The human-slushee machine bit was awful, I laughed out loud when that was "revealed". The other awful things are the extreme character derailment for your crewmembers ("Oh yeah, I know that Cerberus is a mass murdering psychopathic organization I would rather die than join, but dude, LEATHER SEATS!") and the rampant idiocy of every character involved in taking the collectors down.  Basically, prior to the O4 relay jump, the characters were under the following impression:  - There is an entire civilization of people called the collectors. - They probably have a home planet, or if not, lots of ships and space stations shielded. - We have to wipe out the collectors in order to stop them.  Their plan was:  - Jump through. - Figure it out when we get there.  DAMN. I mean seriously, that makes MacGuyver look like a chess grandmaster. THEY DIDN'T EVEN BRING ANY BIG BOMBS WITH THEM, and had to rely on the station overload in the end to wipe them out! So not only did they expect to be facing down a WHOLE CIVILIZATION, they DIDN'T EVEN BRING ANY BIG GUNS WITH THEM. Nobody brings this up at any of the little staff meetings you hold. Not even once. Nobody asks Shepard wtf they're going to do when they get there, but everybody is confident they can stop the collectors, they just think that they'll probably die when they do it.   WHAT THE HELL BIOWARE? "

I just read this today after playing back through ME1 and 2.  Yeah, you hit it right on.  ME2's plot is pretty silly and the humanoid giant people-paste-eating robot made me laugh too.
 
Also, ME1 actually played a little better.  Each power has it's own cool-down instead of 1 global cool down.  There is more room to customize your character and better power selections.  Ammo upgrades make more sense as Upgrades and not powers.  Armor options are awesome.  Also, females get armor in ME1.  Probably a good idea.  Mines/gernades - not even in Me2.  Lift > Pull.  Shockwave feels weak.  cover seems to work better in ME1.  I know that sounds crazy but moving left or popping out of cover every time I use the power wheel in ME2 is Broken.  ME1 didn't do that.  Mako battles were fun.  Exploring planets > scanning planets.  No infinite enemy spawn points in ME1.  Almost like the game designers knew what they were doing.
#85 Posted by rethla (845 posts) -

More engaging story and less character recruitment in ME3. Those words brings a tear to my eye.
ME2 was the biggest letdown ever in all my years of gaming :(
 About 10 playthroughs of ME1 and 1 playthrough of ME2 pretty much sums it up

#86 Posted by Pibo47 (3166 posts) -

My problem with ME2 was that the story didnt have any "Oh shit" moments like in the 1st one.  On virmire, the who  sovereign is thing....and it actually being more than just a machine...That all blew my mind out of my ass. And ME2 didnt have those moments, I felt 1 step ahead of the story. Which kinda killed it for me.

#87 Posted by Dork_Metamorphosis (251 posts) -

The ME2 forum is easily the whiniest one on this site.  What the fuck. 

#88 Posted by tranquilchaos (576 posts) -

I find it odd that almost everyone views the merits of ME1 and ME2 in almost 100 percent the opposite way that I do. Personally, I always view a tighter more intimate story (ME2) as a better one. 

#89 Edited by Aetheldod (3735 posts) -

For me both games have equal amounts of story value (excelent stuff ) , is just that must people only care for the BIG PICTURE which was ME1 and dont care for CHARACTERS as in ME2 , I blame hollywood ..... but the one thing I think Im alone is that I thought the reaper human was awesome , heck theres a lot of cultural stuff on it of the reapers  , a small glimpse of how they work , how is that not cool??? Ohh well to each its own I suppose ..... assumming control .... we are legion....... 
 
 One last thing , why should a stat tell me that a extremely well aimed shot will miss because of a dice roll as in ME1????? Thats just  a silly RPG mechanic that needs to be erradicated for good. 

#90 Posted by Tiger1535 (24 posts) -

Yep, ME2 wasnt a better game story wise but gameplay wise it blows ME out of the water. I missed the saren type villain in ME2, yeah the collectors and harbinger were cool and all but they were terrible compared to saren and sovereign.  

#91 Posted by kraken613 (2 posts) -

Mass Effect 2 really didn't move the story as far because it seemed the whole game was getting your crew to do this one "story" mission.  
 
I really love ME2 though, one of my favorite games for sure.

#92 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

ME2 is not my GoTY for 2010, that's for sure :(

#93 Posted by Captainlunchbox (445 posts) -

 You don't take into account any of the interactions with ANY of the characters which, arguably, are the highest point of the story. An interesting read, and I'm not knocking you, but I feel like that should be considered.

#94 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

Agreed with this fully. The game structurally focused way too much on collecting badasses instead of actually putting them to work. Sure the characters were well-written and some of the moments were cool, but the experience feels like less than the sum of its parts because it puts everything into the suicide mission without building it up properly. It's like they forgot the event half of plotting entirely.
Also, the way they handled loot, classes/skills, etc. in ME2 seemed rather extreme. Its combat isn't good enough to compare with top-tier shooters and it is a bit lite on RPG aspects to make up for it.

#95 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -
@Captainlunchbox: You are correct, there were some interesting interactions with your crew, better than ME1.
#96 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

I have another question for you guys:

Despite the disappointing story in Mass Effect 2, is it still your Game of the Year?

For me, I can't pick it as my GotY, as I feel it is a downgrade from ME1.

#97 Posted by HubrisRanger (488 posts) -

Didn't read all of this, but figured seeing how I just found this thread, I might as well respond. I'll keep it short and sweet: Mass Effect's narrative is best seen as a film, Mass Effect 2's narrative is best seen as a television series. 
 
The first game's central plot was its driving force, that motivated you to keep moving forward. Each of the main worlds you had to visit before you headed to the final world was captivating in unique ways, and it constantly forced you to wonder what was going to happen next. The flip-side is that anything that almost anything that wasn't part of that main storyline quest was kinda garbage. Once you come across your third or fourth bunker that is the exact same layout, you realize that these missions, no matter how well written, were a clear afterthought and had little purpose other than fill out the playtime and give you something to level up with. Yes, there are a few exceptions (the mission with the AI on the moon comes to mind), but overall if you went off of the main storyline quest, the reward was pretty minimal from a narrative perspective. 
 
Conversely, the central narrative of Mass Effect 2 is fairly thin: the Illusive Man is researching the Collector's, resurrects Shepard to do his dirty work for him and has him recruit a Dirty Dozen team to get the job done. There are some interesting story beats in there (the fact that the Collector's were the Protheans repurposed by the Reapers was pretty big, as well as further information on what the Reapers are ultimately up to,) but overall it was a pretty thin skeleton to hang the rest of the story on. The thing is, the rest of that story is incredible, some of the best character work in any video game ever, as well as countless locations that each have their own unique flavors. With overarching themes of family, death and having to make hard decisions when in the face of adversity, Mass Effect 2 tells an amazing collection of short stories that all enhance the drama not by raising the stakes on a macro level, but on a micro level; when I finally travel through the Omega 4 relay, I care about what the fate of these characters is. I love some, I hate some, but overall they have become flesh-on-bone real people. They have been established through countless conversations, their pasts expertly studied.  
 
To go back to my main point, Mass Effect tells a central tale very well, focusing on the race between Saren and the Geth and the crew of the Normandy. Mass Effect 2 has a very thin central narrative, but each individual moment of it is incredible, engrossing and occasionally very moving (both the Miranda and Garrus loyalty missions were extremely emotional for my personally). It is a larger story told in smaller interludes, which culminates in a final mission that forces me to think about all of what I've learned about these characters. If that isn't among the best storytelling in games, I can't imagine what is.

#98 Edited by Siphillis (1298 posts) -

There's actually even more to Mass Effect's story, and less to Mass Effect 2's.

#99 Posted by csl316 (9485 posts) -

I definitely agree.  ME1 had a ton of amazing moments (speaking with Sovereign and Vigil, the whole friggin' end sequence), while ME2 seemed like a side quest for most of the game (collecting dudes...). 
 
I posted before about focusing on the main plot, and that's definitely what I expect ME3 to do.  Granted, 2 had some good character development, but who knows how many crewmates will return in the finale.  i assume they won't be too prominent, considering they have to work around some of them dying.

#100 Posted by Fistfulofmetal (686 posts) -

The strength in ME2's narrative is in the character stories. They are the focus of the story.
 
ME1 has a plot driven narrative
ME2 has a character driven narrative. 
 
I found the stories of the recruits far more interesting than the story presented in ME1.

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