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

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#101 Posted by Mystyr_E (1195 posts) -

I think the first one had better story moments and armor/weapon customization but everything that was off in ME1 was fixed in 2:
 
better pacing
faster combat
less cumbersome inventory (albeit supremely simplified)
graphics and performance
Tali as a romance option (finally!)
 
but I will agree the story is just not there in this one.

#102 Posted by Fistfulofmetal (686 posts) -

I really question people who actually think the story in ME1 was all that amazing. I found it super cheesy and narratively awkward in dialogue and characters. I will admit that ME1 does at least have a solid plot structure that ME2 doesn't. But ME2 makes up for that in superior characters, dialogue, and quest stories.

#103 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (3966 posts) -

Call me crazy, but I like the game. I don't give two shits if it
has an advanced storyline.  One of my hobbies is studying Space
Opera.  I like ME's aliens, the technology, the sterile future world,
the electronica, plus the extremely long time it takes to complete
the game, replayability & the interacton.   It's a game, it's not Star 
Wars & I hate Return of the Jedi (all Ewoks must burn!).
 
Considering the vast differences between ME1 & ME2, I expect
that if they pour in double or triple the amount of money it took to
build ME2, then it stands to reason that ME3 will be an opus. They
could hire some expensive Japanese game developers to put in their
two bits. Will it's story be as good?  I don't fuckin' care.  I'm gonna buy 
the Collector's edition & play the shit out of it.
 
ME1's ending reminded me of Classic Space Opera.  ME2 reminded
me of something you would read in a Heavy Metal magazine.  ME3?
Man who is to say.  I'm guessing some giant space creature like
Star Trek's Doomsday Machine!
 

  
The point is I'm hoping that Mass Effect will continue as a video game
& not "end after the trilogy" in order to provide story "completeness" for
the few who only care for the storyline.  It's a game, not a novel.  Best of
all it originated as a game first & was not derived from a movie or famous
TV show.
#104 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -
@fistfulofmetal said:
" I really question people who actually think the story in ME1 was all that amazing.   
I have no idea what you mean by "questioning" people who like the story of ME1. Are you saying they don't know what they are talking about? 
 
@Lind_L_Taylor: I'm sorry (sarcasm) that I have higher aspirations for games as medium than you do. 
#105 Edited by GhostlyEnigma (253 posts) -

Great, another internet argument about which game in the series was the superior.
 
To me, this is how I see it: 
 
Mass Effect had better... 

  • Plot
  • Villains
  • Role-playing elements
  • Exploration
  • Ending
  • Music
  • Pacing
 
Mass Effect 2 had better... 
  • Combat
  • Polish
  • Voice acting
  • Writing
  • Characters
  • Art design
  • Interface
 
I have to give Mass Effect 2 the slight edge over the first. Mainly for one reason: No Mako.
#106 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -
@GhostlyEnigma: The writing was so good, that they decided to only write characters, and not actual story moments.
#107 Edited by GhostlyEnigma (253 posts) -
@Jayross said:

" @GhostlyEnigma: The writing was so good, that they decided to only write characters, and not actual story moments. "

There were plenty of story moments, it's just that they revolved more around the characters than the plot. Mass Effect 2 is a more character driven, intimate story. It's not much of an epic as the original.  
 
In the end, we can all agree that both games are better than Alpha Protocol. Actually, a lot of people are going to disagree with me on that and start flaming me for it. I can't wait.... 
 
EDIT: I will say that Alpha Protocol's Dialog Wheel system is much better than both Mass Effect games. Truly impressive stuff there, too bad I can't say the same thing about the game's gameplay and performance...
#108 Posted by niamahai (1394 posts) -
@Mystyr_E said:
" I think the first one had better story moments and armor/weapon customization but everything that was off in ME1 was fixed in 2:  
better pacing 
faster combat 
less cumbersome inventory (albeit supremely simplified) 
graphics and performance 
Tali as a romance option (finally!)  
 
but I will agree the story is just not there in this one. "
damn straight. my wish list for ME3 

. FASTER FASTER FASTER combat!  (i like how in Vanquish there is a different cover animation for different height of the wall)
. better level outlay. no more 'hey! heres an elevated slope which i can use as cover!'
. There will be a questline where your romance partner can die. Unless you sacrifice Grunt.
. more outfits for the squad
. bigger/better environments (*probably won't have this, as Bioware's proficiency in UE  is not as good as Epics)
, more varied animations for the different race 
. more Keith David action.
. romanceable Keith David
#109 Posted by august (3866 posts) -
@CouncilSpectre said:
" 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. "
Everything this dude said.
 
Also that Reapers are possibly hive-minds with the intention of granting all of us fleshlings immortality by being processed by them. Which makes them way creepier than just big squids that want to blow everyone up.
#110 Posted by GlenTennis (3145 posts) -

Mass Effect 2, in my opinion, was far, far better than the first. I love story in games as much as the next guy, but gameplay always comes first for me. Also ME2 is all about interacting with the characters, doing their side missions. When you break down a story to bullet points like that, it makes any game sound shitty. ME2's side quests, the stuff that isn't in the main story, is what makes it. Same with games like Fallout 3. Fallout 3 had such an awesome universe out there for you to find, it didn't force it down your throat.

#111 Edited by Mr_Faraday (241 posts) -

Bring back the inventory and RPG elements and keep doing everything else they are doing great and ME3 will be perfect in my eyes.
#112 Edited by Lind_L_Taylor (3966 posts) -
@Jayross said:

" @fistfulofmetal said:

" I really question people who actually think the story in ME1 was all that amazing.   
I have no idea what you mean by "questioning" people who like the story of ME1. Are you saying they don't know what they are talking about? 
 
@Lind_L_Taylor: I'm sorry (sarcasm) that I have higher aspirations for games as medium than you do.  "
You're just setting yourself up for disappointment, son. If you want
aspirations, read a book.  For instance, I'm plowing through Larry 
Niven's Known Space series.  Not gonna set myself up on Mass
Effect though. Just enjoy what is given & not damn or judge the 
series, like people do with Star Trek canon for instance (which is
this hoary mess).
 
And what's with this "I'm sorry" crap?  Do you have to say that
to everyone when you disagree with something?   A meme rules
you.
#113 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -
@Lind_L_Taylor: I'm setting myself up for disappointment? What are you talking about? The original Mass Effect set me up for disappointment. Believe me, if the story in ME1 was on the same level as ME2, I would not be saying anything. But the story in ME1 was that good.
#114 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (3966 posts) -
@Jayross said:
" @Lind_L_Taylor: I'm setting myself up for disappointment? What are you talking about? The original Mass Effect set me up for disappointment. Believe me, if the story in ME1 was on the same level as ME2, I would not be saying anything. But the story in ME1 was that good. "
It means you're gonna expect  too much & end up being disappointed in ME3.
I liked both games equally, although ME1 felt more like a game than a story.
#115 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -
@Lind_L_Taylor said:
" @Jayross said:
" @Lind_L_Taylor: I'm setting myself up for disappointment? What are you talking about? The original Mass Effect set me up for disappointment. Believe me, if the story in ME1 was on the same level as ME2, I would not be saying anything. But the story in ME1 was that good. "
It means you're gonna expect  too much & end up being disappointed in ME3. I liked both games equally, although ME1 felt more like a game than a story. "
No, there is no way I can be disappointed by ME3 after ME2. Inconceivable.
#116 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (3966 posts) -
@Jayross said:
" @Lind_L_Taylor said:
" @Jayross said:
" @Lind_L_Taylor: I'm setting myself up for disappointment? What are you talking about? The original Mass Effect set me up for disappointment. Believe me, if the story in ME1 was on the same level as ME2, I would not be saying anything. But the story in ME1 was that good. "
It means you're gonna expect  too much & end up being disappointed in ME3. I liked both games equally, although ME1 felt more like a game than a story. "
No, there is no way I can be disappointed by ME3 after ME2. Inconceivable. "
I'm betting some people will...too high on expectations.
#117 Edited by Fistfulofmetal (686 posts) -

The one thing really I want in ME3 that's not in ME2 (and to some extent ME1) is LOOT. I really enjoyed opening boxes in ME1 to get random guns and weapon mods. I would like to be able to loot bodies and stuff.

#118 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

I replayed ME2, this is what I have to say:

Yep.

#119 Posted by BeachThunder (12416 posts) -

Sigh, the more I think about ME2 the less I like it in comparison to ME1 D:
 
ME1 was great, but maybe a bit rough around the edges; ME2 however, didn't address many of these issues, instead they seemed to just remove a lot of the interesting (yet flawed) aspects of the original. Example; the Mako was clunky, but planetary exploration was great. They didn't try to improve this, instead they added planet scanning, which was a mild form of torture.
 
I could go on, but I can't be bothered ranting any more about Mass Effect =(

#120 Posted by kyrieee (379 posts) -

ME2 is less about the overarching story, but it's still about story; the shorter stories of the characters.

The advantage of ME2's structure is that they can pace the game much more, in ME1 you could do the planets in any order but the planets were all supposed to further the narrative. That structure made the story feel disjointed in ME1, at least I think so.

#121 Edited by tourgen (4542 posts) -
@GhostlyEnigma:  Good bullet list, mostly agree.  But why the Mako hate?  I loved the Mako!  I just wish there was more variety and less poorly generated semi-random heightmap terrains in ME1.  Not being able to aim down didn't really bother me either.  It's just a bit you had to deal with and consider when approaching enemies.
 
The DLC hover craft levels in ME2 were great.  I hope it was a testbed for a full-on vehicle system in ME3.-
 
EDIT: OK someone said it better than me and really nailed what I loved about the Mako - it gave me the chance to explore alien planets. While the actual implementation in ME1 was pretty bare and not all that great, I could see how it could be Really great with a little work and more to do.  It felt really cool to me to be able to explore and random planet I wanted in the middle of this awesome space-epic story.  Also, some of the skyboxes for the planets were really good ;)
#122 Posted by Bouke (1402 posts) -

I agree that the story in the original Mass Effect is way better then in the sequal, however the sequal made the whole experience much more streamlined so you didn't have to runaround the Citadel for hours. The side missions and the extra planets you can go to are much more fleshed out and more fun to play. I like both games for different things and i hope the third game can combine all the great things from the first two games.
#123 Posted by CptChiken (1987 posts) -

I agree with your points on why ME3 will be the best. Its like in movies the middle of the trilogy always gets shafted storywise. I dont think mass effect was disappointing though.

#124 Posted by Turtlefuzz (257 posts) -

My only problem with ME2's story was that it had no clear villain.
Sarren was an awesome, interesting, threatening villain. The story revolved around him, but also created a huge mystery plot involving the reapers. 
ME2's villains is more of a presence, which can work in some instances, but there's no real confrontation at the end of ME2. Just some big robot dude.

#125 Edited by SpacePenguin (479 posts) -

Well the problam about the story of the first Mass Effect was it was ridiculous how similar some elements of the story were to Biowares other RPG The old repuplic. I'l tell you what I mean. In the Old republic You create your character and stand infront of a Council (Jedi) and ask to become a Jedi,its the same  in Mass Effact, you stand infront of a council and ask to become a spectar, then in both games you need to hunt down a person how was once a spectar or jedi but has betrayed the council, then choosing what planet to go to from a map of the planets.

#126 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

Dies anyone feel that ME2 had very little decisions to make? I can't really remember anything significant except the computer program thing and the radiate/destroy option.

#127 Posted by valrog (3648 posts) -

Implying that they will stop at 3 and won't milked it to death. Yeah...

#128 Edited by Cusseta (107 posts) -

Great post!  ME1 had me by the balls (story-wise), but ME2 was more enjoyable as a whole (in my opinion).

#129 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

The Official Xbox Magazine actually criticized ME2 for having a weak story. That is the only review that even mentioned that.

Also, the lead writer of Bad Company 2 believes that the story in ME2 wasn't that great.

#130 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1773 posts) -

 Oh noes, a lot of ships be attacking teh universe!  
 
Especially on that point I thing you underestimate what it means. Think about it: Playing ME1 and ME2, in each game there was a single Reaper. And even those two Reapers caused massive chaos bringing in Galaxy (ME1) and Humanity (ME2) on the brink of destruction.  
 
Now jump to the end of ME2 when you can see a massive fleet of Reapers entering citadel space. Think about it. If only two Reapers cause that much chaos, how is it possible to defeat a whole fleet of them? ... That what made me go "oh sh*t" when I saw those 10 seconds. 

#131 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -
@2HeadedNinja Good question. How -will- they defeat them? The entire ME3 story could fall apart depending on the answer to that question.
#132 Posted by Djeffers03 (2545 posts) -

Good post!

#133 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

Alright, I'm calling it now: Mass Effect 2 for Giant Bomb GOTY 2010.

Unfortunately.

#134 Edited by Hashbrowns (662 posts) -
@Jayross said:

"Alright, I'm calling it now: Mass Effect 2 for Giant Bomb GOTY 2010.Unfortunately. "


I sympathize with nearly all your critiques of Mass Effect 2, but at the same time I can't really think of another game that I feel is obviously more deserving, at least not without reservation.  Heck, I think Alan Wake was the best game I played this year, but I doubt that's a popular choice. 
 
Bioware and Bethesda are in a unique situation.  Their games are riddled with faults, but no one else is really making games like they do, so it's nearly impossible to point to another game and say "make it like that one".  Elements here and there, sure, but The Elder Scrolls, Fallouts, and Mass Effects really don't have many if any similar games as a whole.  Alpha Protocol, maybe, but that's not a shining example.
#135 Posted by fjor (304 posts) -

lol...u nuts?....me1 better then m2 ???? :/.......i loved both of them ...but ME2 was EPIC

#136 Posted by SuperBuster (175 posts) -

I don't know if it counts as part of the story but going from ME to ME 2 I was most dissapointed in how little the Mass Effect setting and universe were developed. Excluding books, we still have only seen one gender of every race except for the humans and the Quarians (though some races have fitting explanations), the only home world we've been to is Tuchanka, we haven't met any leaders except for the Council, Wrex and the Quarian leaders, and the places we actually get to visit have such little space to explore that they're hardly worth visiting except for the missions. The original Mass Effect introduced one of the most interesting universes in the history of gaming (imo) and I just think it's a shame that we get to explore so little of it.

#137 Posted by nukkajdav (21 posts) -

ME2 had much less to do with moving the central story forward for sure, but are you forgetting all the amazing characters introduced? That is how I view ME2, as a character piece more than anything. It serves to make the story much more intimate whilst fleshing out the universe and building tension. I have a hard time considering it a disappointment, but in the end it's all up to personal taste, eh?

#138 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

Anyone listen to the recent podcast? They spoke a little about the weaknesses of ME2's story.

I'm glad I'm not crazy.

#139 Edited by CouncilSpectre (311 posts) -
@Jayross:   Brad only spoke about the weakness because he has developed a set against the game and wants RDR to win GOTY.  But when you look at his own review he gave it 5/5 stars and raved about the story. 
http://www.giantbomb.com/mass-effect-2/61-21590/reviews/
 
In short, you are crazy.
#140 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

The structure of ME2 was to embrace the sqaudmates more then shepards story. Sure it was different but it was as good in my oppinion

#141 Posted by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

I actually liked Mass Effect 2's style of story better, as it felt like a series of self contained events, and made it feel more like a bitchin' sci-fi TV show, and less like a movie. 

#142 Edited by morosemode (51 posts) -

@Jayross: You're dumbing down the plot of Mass Effect 2 to try and make your point. I can't abide that. 
  
Let me use the same respect you give ME1 and apply it to ME2, like you should have done in the opening post.  

- Normandy gets attacked and Shepard effectively sacrifices his life to save the crew.
- Cerberus (the shadey organisation behind several lesser evils in the first game that were never properly introduced) are brought into the light.
- They've also not only found, but rebuilt Shepard over a 2 year period.
- Shepard is revived during a large scale attack on the Cerberus station he occupies.
- It is revealed Normandy 2.0 has been built with Joker recruited as pilot, and EDI (an AI).
- Shepard is introduced to the Illusive Man, who tells him entire human colonies are going missing.
- Shepard investigates, finds out the Collectors (a mysterious and recluse race) are attacking and taking human colonies.
- The Collectors live beyond the Omega 4 Relay, but no non-collector ship ever returns after using the Relay.
- Shepard is to recruit a new, more capable team, to go through the Omega 4 Relay to stop the Collectors. Labelled a Suicide Mission.
- As Shepard builds his squad, Horizon (another Human colony) is attacked by the Collectors.
- Shepard goes to save the colony, but only repels the Collectors after they abduct half of the colony.
- Shepard continues to build his crack team.
- Turrians apparently disable a Collector ship before being destroy, Normandy is sent to investigate.
- Revealed Collectors were once Protheans. Enslaved and effectively remade as workers for the Reapers.
- A Reaper named Harbinger has been behind the recent Collector attacks.
- Derelict Reaper has been found, IFF can be used to navigate the Omega 4 Relay.
- Shepard's squad take shuttle and IFF is tested. Collectors track Normandy and the crew is attacked and abducted. Joker and ship escape thanks to EDI. 
- Omega 4 Relay is used.
- Shepard's team infiltrate Collector station, find crew and collonists being reprocessed to build a Reaper. Reapers appparently made out of harvested superior races. Millions needed for one Reaper.
- Human Reaper destroyed, Collectors defeated.
- Crew and Squad may live or die. Collector Base may be destroyed or captured.
- Reapers Awaken En-masse and descend on the Galaxy.
- End Credits. 

 
This game's story is getting a bum rap because it focuses much more heavily on the characters and their stories this time round, so the main story does get overshadowed. 
 
It's not because it's a bad main story, or even that it's lacking. It's because the character subplot's are so exceptional and varied compared to the first game.    

#143 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -
@CouncilSpectre I heard the words from his mouth...

@XII_Sniper I re-watch movies, but rarely re-watch TV shows. TV shows are much weaker than movies in how they tell their stories.
#144 Posted by L3atHaFaC3 (8 posts) -
@CouncilSpectre:
Amen! I can't believe the OP either missed these or did not care much about them.
#145 Posted by owenneil (124 posts) -

I only played ME2 up to the i think last mission, and never played it again. i need to beat it, but I wasn't into it. But then again I didn't think the first one was amazing either, they are just both ok to me.
#147 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

UPDATE: Okay, I was wrong about the whole "Mass Effect 3 will be amazing" thing. Whops!

#148 Posted by Skytylz (4039 posts) -

@Jayross said:

UPDATE: Okay, I was wrong about the whole "Mass Effect 3 will be amazing" thing. Whops!

Haha, I don't think anyone would have noticed if you hadn't bumped it yourself!

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