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Why Mass Effect 2 isn't as good as its predecessor

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Posted 05-17-2010 at 12:02 PM by December Man
Updated 08-03-2010 at 08:04 AM by December Man

I admit, I have to get it out of my system. As much as I like the game, it's a lot worse than the first one. It's not a bad game by any means, but it could've been much better. Everything, from the plot structure to gameplay elements, is flawed in a major way.

The story. It is not a part of the overarching plot - the Reapers as a threat to the galaxy. Instead we get a new villain, who was not even mentioned in the previous installment. It's established and finished with in this one single game. The story did not progress at all - it ends EXACTLY the same way like the first one; the immediate threat has been defeated, but the Reapers are still out there, waiting to strike. What's more, the Collectors are poorly fleshed out villains. The Geth in ME1 were being encountered literally everywhere, and felt a genuine threat. Not so much with the Collectors. You meet with them on three occasions, outside the suicide mission. That's it.

Besides that, the plot is primarily about the companions. The developers admitted that, which makes it fail even more spectacularly. Out of 10 companions you get out of the box(not counting Zaeed and Kasumi), I actually cared a tad about 4. Thane, Jack, Grunt, Legion, Miranda and Jacob might have as well not been in this game. I couldn't care less what happens to them which, in a game centered around them, is really really bad. And even those I cared for - Samara, Tali, Garrus and Mordin, are nothing compared to ANYONE in Dragon Age. A game made by the very same company.

Now onto gameplay elements. The inventory in ME1 was a clusterf*ck to manage, true, but completely removing it is NOT a way to solve the problem. Same with the Mako. Tweak it's handling and physics and voila. Instead they remove it and add planet scanning - a minigame so boring and tedious, it wouldn't work even as a free cell phone game.

The character skill trees are poor compared to... well, any decent RPG. Overly simplistic. The armor pieces give little bonuses that barely affect the player. Hell, I know people who finished the game on Insanity(the highest difficulty level) without using any of them. What's the point then? Don't get me started on companions having no customizable armor whatsoever. Weapons have no statistics - you only need to know that pistol X9 is better than pistol X7. Big f*cking whoop.

The N7 missions are generally extremely short\boring\not fun. Only a couple are a nice distraction from the main storyline.

Those are my major gripes about the game. After finishing it three times, I don't think I'll ever return to it. Even the DLC won't make me reinstall it. Really poor job Bioware. Though I know very well this will get a crapload of GOTY awards...
Posted in Games, Rants
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  1. Old Comment
    ZuljinRaynor's Avatar
    I agree. ME2 is a shooter basically. I like ME1 a lot more, even though they fixed the shooting in ME2.
    Posted 05-25-2010 at 08:04 PM by ZuljinRaynor ZuljinRaynor is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Kalki's Avatar
    I haven't heard many contrary opinions about this game. Interesting post. I've yet to play ME2 and wouldn't mind a shooter if it's interesting enough but I did enjoy ME1(except for the repetitive planet missions) so it's good to have more reasonable expectations about this.
    Posted 06-13-2010 at 08:46 AM by Kalki Kalki is offline

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