After only a few months I finished the game (yes, not much sparetime).
Gut feeling prefers Mass Effect 1. I had that fresh, innocent, don’t-know-what-to-expect feeling going for it there, and ME1 caught me unawares. Yes, it had faults, and ME2 is much more polished they say.
But I don’t really like the dumbing-down (or streamlining, if you prefer). The effect is, removing half of the combat powers, the inventory, skill development, and therefore half of the choices turns the game into a shooter, slowly. Beware what happens when shooters dress up as RPGs, or do I need to get that disfigured Fallout 3 from the dungeon?
I think it’s a shame that the game feels most like an RPG when I read about it after playing it through. The stuff that happens backstage in the finale is impressive.
Finale, I don’t know, 90% of the game feels like preparing for the end. Getting those 10 or so crew members loyal takes up about two thirds of the game at least. The other side missions are – again – not a highlight. The word Mercenary in Mass Effect 2 is alien lingo for Boring. Take out a Mercenary base is exactly as thrilling as it sounds. The Kill All Orcs of the future.
And then comes the end, and after 2 hours everything is over. Feels like I am rehearsing for a concert 90% of my time, and then comes the concert. And then nothing. The best of an actual concert, the snuggling with the fans and being celebrated afterwards and all (I should know, I had a hundred or so), is omited. A character I had with me in almost all missions died in a cutscene, with no reaction by my character and no mentioning ever after. Game ends, back to ship, life goes on. One line per character about what just happened, that’s all. Weird. ME1 was much more round in all aspects concerning story arch and ending.
I was too stupid to get laid in the game, maybe hence my frustration 😉 I now know how it feels to be a lesbian, trying to make out with a straight girl in vain until she dies. Hmm. I only tried to hit on Miranda, and a little on Jacob who didn’t really play along.
Yeah that’s weird, Miranda I really loved (they paid 5 artists just to sculp her butt), and I took her with me to every mission because of her skills (really!). After I completed her loyalty mission, she had an argument with Jack (female tatoo witch). Even though I prefered her in every way, I thought she was wrong to make fun of Jack’s torture childhood. I defended Jack with ONE dialogue option, and that was it. The other option was something like: “Buhuhu, Jack, you have been tortured every day for your entire youth, we know, now shut up about it you whiny pussy! It was your fault, because you’re ugly!” Who can take that option!? So, I lost Miranda’s loyalty again, and never got it back. I did not have enough paragon dialogue power thing to say sorry, ever, and in the end she died because she was not loyal. They assume that I don’t like her because I did not play her loyalty mission, but I did. Mean! 🙂
Do I like that? I don’t know, on one hand I think it’s great that characters fight, on the other I would have liked to somehow apologize! But, as I found out now, she is not into girls so…. If I can’t have her… 😉
I really liked that we need to live with failures in this game! Yes! One of the things I go on about. I botched a mission or two, no instant reloads, no, I had to face the results, no 2nd chance to get that character loyal, and in the end every one died who is not loyal, quite heavy but that’s life! Those life/death choices are brilliant, they make it seem that things and choice are important, and that’s good for atmosphere.
Also, I loved the cutscene interrupts, very nice, I think that’s the best Quick Time Event usage I saw so far! Rarely, you have a choice to do something good or bad by pressing left or right trigger. But it’s quick! If you miss it, nothing happens, if you hit it, you do a good or evil action to change things. Brilliant.
Nothing else to complain about, except maybe that they should have thought twice about that planet scanning stuff. A dull mini game which brings resources and in the pursuit of which you can discover missions – never a good idea. I don’t really know if I have missed a good secondary mission, I discovered about 50-70% of the planets, don’t know. We are hot for Astronomy here, don’t get me wrong. I just prefer riding through forests to find a mission over raking a planet for minerals.
Bla. And the facial animations and so on are gorgeous, and Miranda’s butt is a USP on its own.
Yes, I will play ME3, and yes I will import my old game even though Miranda is dead. Although I’d love to have a different character some time, even though I am a little in love with my female Shepard. She’s cute.
Random Bla end, I really gotta hurry, a lot to do today…
Ouch, and no update. I am still settling in, studio is not even half ready, still I work and work. I finish about a song a day.
When I have arrived completely, I will make sure to post regular updates, pick up my podcast again, tweet and facebook more and so on.
Tuesday I am in Sweden to lecture at the Uppsala University about Game Audio, and Wednesday I am at the LARA awards in Cologne. Will report.
Final day of dayjobbing. Move this weekend, then I am fulltime composer and sound designer.
Yes it’s a risk. Yes, I leave a regular income behind me. Yes, I am insane.
It would be a lie to say that I am not nervous (did I write that before? Sorry). BUT yesterday you made my day, dear audience. I received half a dozen mails, 2 calls, a tweet and 2 xing messages from current customers and potential new customers, about projects we work on but also about future projects. This might not lead to any “income”, but that made me feel so alive, so real as a full time game rocker. And as I am also quite humble, I am happy for little things like that.
Future, I salute thee.