Gears of Mass Effect

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Gears of Mass Effect

Mass Effect 2 has just the right amount of story, no matter what kind of player you are.

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Bioware is close to changing the definition of RPG to mean action with deep conversations.

I will always stand by the fact that if it doesn't have stats and levels, it isn't an RPG, no matter how much "role playing" (moral choices, dialog) there is. Bioware is getting dangerously close to just becoming action games with deep conversations. ME2 still has levels and skill points, but even less RPG elements than ME1. Which was low on them to begin with.

*wants to play KOTOR again*

Ranting aside, I LOVE Bioware. But the only full-fledged RPG they've done since KOTOR was Dragon Age.

Then again, I also enjoy the occasional non-stereotypical JRPG. You don't need choice to be an RPG. Otherwise, very few games would be RPGs.

Congrats on 500 posts, Shamus!

The funny thing is that I generally do not like shooters, but I am enjoying Mass Effect 2 simply because of everything else that is in there. The actual gameplay is my least-favorite part of the game.

I really enjoyed the gameplay in Dragon Age, on the other hand, but because the system was so flexible/expandable and RPG-like, they didn't have the same focused narrative that ME2 does.

In the end, I think I'd rather play Dragon Age, but I'd rather experience Mass Effect 2.

I completely disagree here. I think this here is a very good analysis of ME2 and the idea of combining quick gameplay with slow sory-telling but I disagree with your conclusions. For me it didn't work at all. I was really dissapointed by ME2 because I never felt I was going anywhere with my chracter and the long intervals between shooting at stuff just increased that feeling of having nothing to do without extensive leveling/ loot collecting. If this would have been a fast paced action title then I would have prefered it because the combat would have been more frequent.

I also disagree that cutscenes within action games are somehow inferior or worthless. A well paced title like U2 can grip you and still give you tremendous excitement without feeling too preachy or self-important. It's fast and fun.

ME2 combat was at such a different pacing than the story telling/character interaction that it completely ruined the balance for me. I wish that this phenomenon doesn't spread to other games but I'm sure it will. Nothing to do but wait for D3 and see how Blizzard will cock that up...

You're saying it as it's on my mind. I really enjoyed Mass Effect 2 as a "Gears of War with meaning" kind of thing, and if anything gameplay-wise, ME2 shows pretty damn clear what all these fixed ideas of genres in our heads are worth, which is nothing at all. Here we have an RPG that is stripped of most of the things that make up an RPG by conventional wisdom (excessive leveling, looting, boring combat), but is more of an RPG than I've seen ever. Because it really puts the "role playing" into RPG: When I play Mass Effect (be it 1 or 2), I am Alice Shepard (which happens to be the most carefully crafted She-Shep there is, mind you).

That isn't to say that ME2 is perfect, though. In quite a few aspects, some of them dear to my heart (overall plot and its indulgence in blatant gameplay-story segregation in the already disappointingly meaningless finale), it really drops the ball. But this one - this one it got right.

Sadly, I don't think the slobbering, rabid console-gaming demographic is very open to cinematic storytelling in their games. If the plot involves more than a five-sentence synopsis, and they actually have to use their brains, they tend to get confused and slow.

Fallacies aside, it's easier to play a game that doesn't require too much brain-work. Like you said, point-and-shoot is, amusingly, what most people seek.

I don't think just having a levling system makes an RPG, its the ability to interact with other characters in the game that makes it, sure I would have liked the old leveling system in this game because I knew how to work it but i don't have a problem with the new one. I play Mass Effect for the story and characters, plus the fact they made the combat so much better is nothing but a plus for me.

I agree strongly with you Shamus; Mass Effect 2's combat system is far better than ME1, and the simpler leveling system makes it funnier to play.

One think I DEFINITELY don't miss from ME1 is the inventory system - so much god damn micromanagement to try and make sure squadie X has the absolute maximum DPS.

CuddlyCombine:
Sadly, I don't think the slobbering, rabid console-gaming demographic is very open to cinematic storytelling in their games. If the plot involves more than a five-sentence synopsis, and they actually have to use their brains, they tend to get confused and slow.

Fallacies aside, it's easier to play a game that doesn't require too much brain-work. Like you said, point-and-shoot is, amusingly, what most people seek.

Maybe the slobbering, rabid console-gaming demographic cant afford a gaming PC on top of a xbox or PS3, that broad generalization makes you sound stuck up

Cody211282:

Maybe the slobbering, rabid console-gaming demographic cant afford a gaming PC on top of a xbox or PS3, that broad generalization makes you sound stuck up

CuddlyCombine:
Fallacies aside...

Edit: In case that's not clear enough, I'm trying to indicate that I was joking. I don't generalize. And I only have a $600 laptop.

CuddlyCombine:

Cody211282:

Maybe the slobbering, rabid console-gaming demographic cant afford a gaming PC on top of a xbox or PS3, that broad generalization makes you sound stuck up

CuddlyCombine:
Fallacies aside...

Well damn now I sound like an ass, sorry just got back from actualy debating this very topic at the computer club at school, so i was a but fired up already

Cody211282:
Well damn now I sound like an ass, sorry just got back from actualy debating this very topic at the computer club at school, so i was a but fired up already

That's OK. My apologies for not being clear enough.

Cody211282:

CuddlyCombine:

Cody211282:

Maybe the slobbering, rabid console-gaming demographic cant afford a gaming PC on top of a xbox or PS3, that broad generalization makes you sound stuck up

CuddlyCombine:
Fallacies aside...

Well damn now I sound like an ass, sorry just got back from actualy debating this very topic at the computer club at school, so i was a but fired up already

Fair enough - not a console player myself, and even I thought you where alittle...yeah...

Anywho, peace made now, I think that Mass Effect 2 is excellent myself, and I've played it far too much; I don't think I've played something this intensely since Dragon Age - and before that, I hadn't played something so intensely in years.

Either way, I think I'm Biowares bitch now. Not that thats a bad thing, heh.

Having only played Dragon Age and Mass Effect...i've got little experience in which to fully judge BioWare on their style but from what i know they have the talent to tell a good story but it sometimes takes a little long to tell story and then getting to the part where i push buttons and take on the enemy of the game

Exactly, the fact that Mass Effect's multiple dialogue trees allow you to control your own character means that games finally have an edge over movies in the story-telling department. Seeing this in other games, even fast-paced action titles (note that not every game needs the extensive background and lore that ME has) would be a big boost for the medium.

/opinion stated as fact.

Common complaints.

The reality is mass effect was a pretty terrible game with half-decent story, characters, dialogue, and voice acting. All the loot system boiled down to was praying for higher level weapons, heat sinks, and shredder/tungsten ammo. Which meant the inventory system was nothing but swapping out equipment for incremental upgrades and switching between shredder and tungsten ammo. Then the sequel streamlines the mess (ammo abilities are triggered in game, only 2-4 of each weapon) and people ... complain? No, sorry, you are wrong. I'm a fan of the old tetris style inventory management, but mass effect's inventory was just half-assed shit.

And I don't know what crack you're smoking, but the leveling system is nearly identical to me1, just less shitty. Instead of having something around 90 points to spread 10 useless skills after you've already maxed out your weapon/class/specter skills, you're given 50 points to spread across shit that actually does something. While its pretty easy to see which directions to go, this doesn't mean its worse than me1, just means the interface is less obtuse.

You can bang the "dumbing down" drum all you want, but dumbing down mass effect isn't fucking possible. Its already one of the dumbest games in existence. The only thing that made the leveling/inventory take even a modicum of thought was how atrociously designed it was Insisting otherwise is essentially complaining because the game is better.

I don't see how the leveling system being different makes it dumbed down.

You unlock however many skills for Shepard (about 8 from what I remember), which isn't much less than the first - you need to take into account that two of the first game's skills were intimidate and charm (which are handled much better this time around).

Nor do I see how the shooting elements of the game being improved makes it less of an RPG - its what they were going for in the first game, they just didn't do it very well.

I really love shooters and I really love story so MassEffect was great.

I could take a break from all this shooting by experiencing a mixture of a movie and a book. You can ask or you can give a shit. But I just love to discover the story to slowly understand how this works universe works.
Fallout 3 as the last RPG I played before MassEffect2 had a great story but the other roleplay features just anoyed me. Organizing inventar. Looking and skill trees and loads of other things. And in the end the shooting didn't feel right. Of course this crounching behind a box and shooting all the time might be boring but I didn't thought so because I fought to save humanity and not fought and saved humanity just by accident. I work for the story and not the story works for me.

And combining this with shooter makes it just perfect for me as the traditional RPG thing and Skill trees are quite interesting but for me it was the right amount in Mass Effect.

wow you hit the nail on the head with what makes mass effect 2 a thousand times better than its predecessor. i agree with every point you made, particularly that dialog tree mechanics could find their way into action-heavy games.

Just to spin it on it's head for a second I really hope this is the direction of Gears 3! Take out some of the "Bromance" add a female character who isn't just a window dressing.

Anyway Mass Effect 2 to me is as near to a perfect game as you can get! I am playing it a second time as we speak

I hate shooters. Never been very good at them, everybody's better than me at them, and the people who play them online act their shoe size, rather than their age. *vomits*

That said, I love Mass Effect 2. And Shamus has got it right: the game's flexible narrative and storytelling makes it attractive to action gamers and RPG fanatics (my camp) alike.

Fallacies aside, it's easier to play a game that doesn't require too much brain-work. Like you said, point-and-shoot is, amusingly, what most people seek.[/quote]

It's funny to me that you use the term point and shoot, because when I hear that term, the first thing I think of is in the context of cameras.

Now ok, I was raised by a photograher, so I knew how to use an SLR pretty much before I could walk, but the fact remains that the vast majority of people out there will get plenty of enjoyment out of just using a point and shoot, and let's face it, in many cases it fits into their lifestyle better.

Bear with me here. Yes, I will probably get better results if I drag my SLR, tripod, etc etc with me everywhere I go. However, how quick will I be able to pull that all together? Likely not in time to catch a shot of something spur of the moment with my friends, where as the small Nikon point and shoot my sister got me a while ago is PERFECT for that, while still being of reasonable quality.

I think one of the editors made a post about this recently, something about ME2 being a really big game to get into and therefore it being somewhat intimidating, and therefore pushing him away from it. It's the same thing here, it just comes down to what fits in our lifestyle.

What I'm trying to say is, yes, I'm an RPG fan, and the drooling retards on Xbox Live I ocasionally brave Modern Warfare in spite of make me want to begin work on some kind of massive doomsday device for dumbasses, but I think there's room for everyone here, and Mass Effect 2 might just be the kind of thing to bridge the gap.

For my part, as a guy who's put up with absolutely shitty gameplay just because I liked the story/immersion, ( Looking at you Indigo Prophecy, Assassin's Creed, Enchanted Arms ), Mass Effect 2 is fresh strawberry creme pie on Anne Hathaway's naked breasts awesome.

Doug:
I agree strongly with you Shamus; Mass Effect 2's combat system is far better than ME1, and the simpler leveling system makes it funnier to play.

One think I DEFINITELY don't miss from ME1 is the inventory system - so much god damn micromanagement to try and make sure squadie X has the absolute maximum DPS.

Much the same here, to borrow a term from Yahtzee it was a "Fractal Spreedsheet Nightmare" . They certainly did refine and tweak it though, otta give em points for making it actually bearbale now by not been there lol

I pretty much said all the same things on a number of sites.

I was very disappointed with the removal of so many RPG aspects from Mass Effect 2. I see no real reason why there can't be more than one kind of game, and I get rather miffed when I see RPG developers who should stay RPG developers trying to cater to a shooter crowd due to the belief that they can make more cash that way.

I think there is some confusion over the definition of RPG in many people's minds. An RPG is a game where the stats of the character your playing matter more than your own personal abillities. Things are resolved by skill levels and die rolls, rather than your abillity to twitch and/or react quickly.

Truthfully, the level of storytelling and such has little to do with it. Indeed RPGs developed in a very bare bones "dungeon crawling" type way that descended from wargames (ie taking control of one person rather than an army or unit, and dealing with fantasy material rather than historical or pseudo-historical scenarios based in reality).

Honestly, I find it a bit disturbing that a lot of people think that having a deep storyline makes something an RPG. As someone who did PnP RPGs decades ago, I can say that I find this unusually disturbing as I started out as one of those who agreed with the idea of adding more detail and storylines to adventures and campaigns in PnP games, but gradually became sort of disenfranchised to the way the industry started to get lazy and figure that they could cover up a lack of playability with the plotline. I saw adventures morph from "sandbox" type formats where you could go anywhere or try anything in the contraints of the scenario, like say "The Isle Of Dread" to increasingly linear productions where instead of gradually moving accross and exploring hex maps and such, you pretty much get lead from plot point/encounter to plot point/encounter. I actually began to miss characters doing things like climbing down into chasms or pit traps (as opposed to circumventing them) looking for hidden out of the way treasure, in lieu of more "story based" behavior for example. Someone who say managed to explore every inch of "Chateau D'Amberville" (which did have a storyline) could walk away with like tons of sweet loot, some of which (like a Spear +3 hidden inside a smoking chasm) was massively potent for the level.

At any rate I have noticed that computer RPGs have followed a similar format, going from very intense, stat based, and variable experiences, to an increasingly story driven format even if they are another genere all together. I sort of suspect it's because it's easier to do things this way, much like it was with PnP RPGs. Even if you have interactive dialogue if a game is fairly linear (even if you get to choose which area to explore in what order) it's much easier than say developing a fully fleshed out sandbox or hex map, and having people figure things out as they gather clues, and decide their own direction.

I guess part of it is that the "casual gamer" wants to be lead around by the nose. Give them too much of a genuine option or control over what to do, and they freak out. Partially due to not being able to do it, and partially due to wanting to be able to max everything out and be '1337' even if the entire point of that being impressive is that it's not something everyone can do. If everyone playing an RPG can be '1337' in the way they finish the game, what does it matter anymore?

Mass Effect 2 is a decent game, but I think we should start calling such games "customizable shooters" Rather than RPGs, which they most assuredly are not. Dialogue and a storyline are just part of good game design, and do not dictate a genere.

This one was a bit short.

I'm not sure exactly what you were trying to say besides "I hope Bioware helps action games have better stories." I also couldn't tell if you approved of the way they approached it or not.

Anyway, I suppose I agree.

I think you have hit upon the truth of the game.

I think the problem with ME2 is that the movie/story takes over. On replays, I find I remember just too much of the story to enjoy the dialogue.

Good points and all, but there's one fundamental problem here that seems to be missing from your analysis. The problem I have is that while ME2 has a lot of merits on its own worth, and I'm thankful for the idea of introducing strong storytelling elements into the modern shooter, ME2 is a sequel. And as a sequel, it will inevitably be bought by people who enjoyed ME1 and want a continuation. I personally was a big fan of the first game, and I haven't played ME2 yet (due to technical issues with my 360, whatever), but I'm very, very concerned about the new direction. From what I can tell,ME2 is barely an RPG any more (see posts by Onyx Oblivion, Therumancer). This concerns me: ME1 was a solid action-oriented RPG, and I wanted to see a development of its system. Instead what I got was a move in the exact opposite direction: instead of a developed RPG, I'm getting a deeper (?), more character-oriented version of the modern shooters I have no interest in whatsoever. I'm a bit of an extreme case, perhaps, and I'm sure I'll get and enjoy ME2, but the idea of taking a series in a completely different direction from title to tile is bothersome to me - especially since I, and probably plenty of other people, am on the hook due to the excellence of the world-building and story in ME1. Thus I'll almost certainly buy and play a game which I would be unlikely to spend $60 on if it weren't a sequel to an RPG I greatly enjoyed. It just feels exploitative and disappointing to me, especially from a company that made a very deep and excellent RPG last year (Dragon Age)

Onyx Oblivion:
Bioware is close to changing the definition of RPG to mean action with deep conversations.

By allowing one to define the character that they play with actions, dialogue and choices that fundamentally change the route the game takes, I'd say they have come quite close to actually generating an experience where one can truly roleplay.

Onyx Oblivion:

I will always stand by the fact that if it doesn't have stats and levels, it isn't an RPG, no matter how much "role playing" (moral choices, dialog) there is. Bioware is getting dangerously close to just becoming action games with deep conversations. ME2 still has levels and skill points, but even less RPG elements than ME1. Which was low on them to begin with.

I think this is a problem where the lexicon has failed us. Without those systems in place, by all standard definitions one does not have a role playing game. That said, such systems are relics of pen and paper, where the only difference between a communial story and an RPG lay in the systems that give rules and structure to the player's interactions in the world.

The question is, are the trappings truly necessay? Afterall, any video game, even if one removes any of the familiar RPG systems, maintains a system of it's own - rules that define the ways the player can interact with the world. The only thing one loses in most games is that their characters do not advance with distinct "ding" moments. While most action games (say half-life) the character does gradually become more powerful in general thanks to the ever increasing arsenal they possess, and the skill the character portreys is instead that which the player develops. Often, by removing extraneous rules and systems, the player has more freedom to do what they want and are no longer bound by arbitray constraints born from a pen and paper world where the rulebook is often only consulted as an arbiter of disputes.

It seems to me, a game like Mass Effect 2 comes close to the basic premise of the old pen and paper games where the character is able to affect virtually every aspect of the game's plot in a signifcant way. Yes, the familiar systems have been more or less discarded to the improvement (per the general consensus of the gaming community) of the game as a whole.

Many people object to the continued classification of Mass Effect 2 as an RPG and the argument does have some merit. A game like ME2 is distinctly different from a game like Baldur's Gate and as such some distinction should be made. The question is, which needs to change - the game that presents a more or less linear story from start to finish where the player's "role playing" is primarily concentrated in the managment of a complex system of statistics, or the game that actually let's you quite literally play a role?

Onyx Oblivion:

*wants to play KOTOR again*

Ranting aside, I LOVE Bioware. But the only full-fledged RPG they've done since KOTOR was Dragon Age.

Then again, I also enjoy the occasional non-stereotypical JRPG. You don't need choice to be an RPG. Otherwise, very few games would be RPGs.

Congrats on 500 posts, Shamus!

This is the problem I see - because of the generally linear nature of a video game, the very idea of what "Role Playing" means has been changed. It was the interaction players had with one another and the dungeon master (and consequently with the world) that role playing finds itself. There are literally dozens of Pen and Paper RPGs, and depending upon the system, and the game master, and the group, entire chunks of the rules can be discarded. Yes, it is these rules that give structure to the "game" part of RPG, but in most any group you'll find that the "role playing" portion rarely requires any sort of rule check or dice roll. Yes, some systems are known for creating a rule about everything (D20 for example) but even in the most straight laced system you'll find a note that any rule can be discarded if it's invocation gets in the way of the game you want to play.

When it comes to video games, the limitations of developers over the years has altered the meaning of RPG for most players. I too enjoy fiddling with the complex systems found in Dragon Age, or Icewind Dale, but I would never, even for a moment, suspect that either game produced a better "role playing" experience than ME2.

As I said, it is a failure of the language we use to describe games, since genres are broadly defined based upon core gameplay principles rather than narrative content. To put this in perspective, this is akin to classifying movies based on most often used camera techniques, shot composition and technical execution. For the most part, the system works just fine since the core narratives in most games would easily fit into the broadly defined "action" category of movies. Yet, as developers push the medium forward, eventually defining games in technical terms will increasingly result in ambiguity. Already we commonly see the FPSRPG (System Shock, Deus Ex, Borderlands etc), the Action RPG (Diablo II, Dungeon Siege, Torchlight), the FPSRTS(Battlezone notably) and so on.

Cody211282:
I don't think just having a levling system makes an RPG, its the ability to interact with other characters in the game that makes it...I play Mass Effect for the story and characters, plus the fact they made the combat so much better is nothing but a plus for me.

THIS.

The last time I checked, the "RP" part of "RPG" stood for "role-playing"--you know, like that stuff you do with the dialogue wheel and the characters with the talky bits. Personally, I've never given a crap about endlessly futzing around with spreadsheets or comparing this +15 Magical Spork of Awesomeness with that +17 Shiny Pickaxe of Demonrape. No, the simpler that stuff is, the better, and frankly, my ideal RPG wouldn't bother me with any numbers at all. Isn't that the main benefit of making electronic RPGs in the first place: that we can focus on the story while the computer deals with the number-crunching?

Fuck this, I'm leaving. These forums are just batshit insane.

Love the article as usual samus, I think you hit the nail on the head.

Hmm, I was going to agree with some of your points and disagree with others, until I realized something fundamental - Role Playing used to mean more in a gameplay sense than just getting to pick and manage your character's abilities. It used to mean getting those abilities as a part of the story via interacting with the characters. So your character grew according to how you played him in the story, not just what you did in game.

Mass Effect (haven't played 2 yet) is the ideal game for this, but they didn't go there, unfortunately. Your advancement in abilities could absolutely have been done via other characters instead of the whole points system :(

Eclectic Dreck:

Many people object to the continued classification of Mass Effect 2 as an RPG and the argument does have some merit. A game like ME2 is distinctly different from a game like Baldur's Gate and as such some distinction should be made. The question is, which needs to change - the game that presents a more or less linear story from start to finish where the player's "role playing" is primarily concentrated in the managment of a complex system of statistics, or the game that actually let's you quite literally play a role?

Your entire post reminded me of a conversation I had just today. I was discussing the differences between Dragon Age, ME2 and various JRPGs and why I was drawn to one type more than another. The idea came up that perhaps we put too much emphasis on choice when we decide whether or not something should be called an RPG. Yes, JRPGs can be extremely limiting and linear, but you are still playing a role when you pick up that controller. Granted, it is a role that has been designed and written from beginning to end and you cannot deviate from that set path, but it is a role nonetheless. You just can't put your own personal stamp on it.

Games like Dragon Age, Oblivion and ME2 are more of a role participation game rather than just a role playing game. I know this is just more semantics, but it is a distinction that I think many RPG players intrinsically know when they, for instance, pick up a Bioware game versus a Square game. They know the Square game is going to have a rich storyline with lavish settings and colorful characters but that the game will end the same way no matter what they do. They know the Bioware game will allow them to make choices that could affect the outcome of the game as well as how other characters within that game react to you. In Bioware games you actually get to participate in story decisions, rather than just play them. I don't really think the gamer who buys RPGs is so ignorant that they don't what to expect when buying a game labeled RPG. So slapping the label RPG on something that doesn't fit a particular gamer's definition of "Role Playing" is a minor offense at best.

On a side note, I personally would say ME2 did not give the player as large a range of choices as Dragon Age, simply because you essentially had three types of options when responding to situations in ME2. Dragon age allowed for a little more subtlety, particularly when it came to the relationships. Characters would like the things you said to varying degrees, making the whole relationship building facet of DA much deeper than that of ME2. ME2 was a little too simple in that aspect for me. I knew exactly what the companion characters wanted me to say to get them to like Shepard ("I want you" isn't exactly subtle :P). I actually had fun figuring out the quirky personalities of the characters in DA. It wasn't quite so black and white (note I said quite so black and white. Clearly certain characters were easier to finesse than others). That being said, I agree that the "Role Playing Experience" was no better or worse in either game, I liked both for different reasons. As a matter of fact, I felt the removal of the inventory control actually streamlined the "role" playing aspect of ME2. I was broken out of my character far less often in ME2 than in ME1. Now if they could just do something about all that scanning, I'd be a happy camper.

I enjoyed reading your post.

I agree with the courting the GoW and Halo crowds. One of my friends LOVES shooters like that and was kinda disillusioned about Mass Effect 1. I managed to talk up ME2 and how much I liked it, so he rented it and now is raving about it and loves it. I attribute it to the imporved shooter-esque combat system.

Hell, I am currently playing through ME1 for for a renegade female Shepard to transfer to ME2 and I miss the combat of the second game.

Or maybe because I am playing on hard with a Adept.....nah.

EDIT: I still love the inventory system of ME1 though. Nice to be able to get money for ALL my freaking upgrades, unlike ME2.

The word that's most applicable to Mass Effect 2's leveling/stat system is "Streamlined". While it was fun playing around with equipment in ME, most of it was a waste of time, even moreso when you unlocked Spectre Master Gear.

One thing I wish loot-based games would realize is that if you're going to drown us in loot give us proper tools to sort it all out. The ME loot system was a complete mess, and I've seen more recent RPG's and MMO's have clunky loot systems where you spend more time sorting through flotsam than playing the game.

Having come straight off playing ME before playing ME2 I will say that the shared cooldown took a lot of getting used to, as well as the Rock-Scissor-Paper nature of the weapons.

The only thing I wish ME2 had was slightly more options for the Armor, and that the "extra" armors didn't have a mandatory helmet.

The action is more fast paced in 2 than 1, which is ironic since the powers for any given character shares a golbal cooldown, I liked in ME1 you could be a biotic god. Rarely if ever had to use an actual weapon.

Why was ME2 level capped at 30 even on the harder settings? ME1 had a higher cap on each setting allowing you to become even more powerful, and while powerful may not seem as much of a challenge, the enemies were right there with you, constantly throwing up their Immunity. Having to time your neural shocks to prevent them from being almost unkillable added an extra layer of tactical thinking.

Now its shoot, hide, reload, shoot, hide, reload. No challenge. Even the element/resource grinding was over simplified in 2. The hacking puzzles and scanning are pretty weak substitutes for the rotating puzzles.

Trying to get new players is fine, but dumbing down the game as a whole so people wont be sitting there scratching their heads thinking "Screw this, gonna play Halo instead." seems to be the wrong way of doing it.

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