There's two things I'd like to address in this post. One, the article itself. Two, some of the comments by people here which I'll lump together as "Obsidian bashers", who typically direct their bile towards Obsidian either for the perceived bugginess of their games, or for "desecrating" their beloved BioWare/Bethesda titles.
I cannot agree with the sentiment Mr. Pitts puts forward. First off, yes, Obsidian games have bugs. Some of them are pretty big, and occasionally game-breaking. It shouldn't happen. Second, yes, Obsidian have a reputation they have developed over the years of releasing buggy or incomplete software, and it isn't entirely untrue, although in most cases it has been the result of them being fucked over by their publishers - LucasArts and Atari specifically.
But what I do not understand at all is why Obsidian are somehow the ones to blame here when their contemporaries release even buggier products on a near-constant basis. The games industry is no stranger to buggy software that is released incomplete, and for just about all time, RPGs, being far larger and more complex games to make than your average shooter or action title, have struggled with bugs - even the classic Black Isle and BioWare games were full of them, despite what some have said (Fallout 2 was almost unplayable when it first released). If you want to direct your ire at Western RPG developers, let's look to the two patron saints and media darlings...
Bethesda? Fallout 3 was a fucking nightmare when it came out, especially on the PlayStation 3, with constant lock-ups, save corruption problems, unfinishable quests, disappearing world geometry, and all sorts of other issues you would expect from an amateur studio. When it came time to support the game, they did so... with even buggier, more game-breaking DLCs, and patches which introduced more bugs than they fixed, and were never officially acknowledged by Bethesda despite them being well documented.
BioWare? I admit their games tend to at least run smoothly and are largely free from error, but there isn't a BioWare game that doesn't have a quest that can't break fairly easily, and they almost never fix any of these scripting problems. There are hundreds still remaining in Dragon Age, Knights of the Old Republic, etc. that prevent parts of the game content from being seen. Furthermore, Dragon Age on PC has major issues with DLC authentication, it has spells which have a 50% chance of causing crashes to desktop, it has persistent memory leaks, etc.
Please, credit where credit is due. If you want to lambaste buggy games, go right ahead. The bugs we see in Obsidian games are often inexcusable, but this is no different from other RPG developers, who are rarely if ever called out on it. Does Themis Media have a fat advertising contract (and by that, I mean "free review copies", since The Escapist is nothing but another mouthpiece) with EA that prevent them from the same sorts of slander? I bet it's easier to criticise people when they don't hold you by the balls, huh?
As for those talking about how New Vegas "ruined" Fallout and how The Sith Lords "ruined" Knights of the Old Republic...
First off, Fallout 3 ruined Fallout. The cornerstone of the first two Fallout games was a well-thought-out, believable post-nuclear world. They had their faults, but their character systems and world are some of the best in CRPG history. Fallout 3 took all of that and turned it into a cartoon theme park, with no class, subtlety or substance. It featured an idiot plot full of retarded characters, with more holes in it than just about any other game universally praised for its narrative I have ever seen. On top of wrecking the things Fallout was known for, it also grossly simplified many of the game mechanics and turned it into a shallow and superficial first-person shooter/hiking simulator; Bethesda's lack of ability and desire to cater to a mass market sucked most of the depth and challenge from the game.
New Vegas was built on the ruins of Fallout 3, and considering what Obsidian had to work with, I think they did a pretty good job. While bringing back quality gameplay was largely out of the question given the new expectations of the fanbase, they did the best they could to inject the game with a healthy, plausible world full of people and factions with believable motivations. Gameplay-wise, they did a good job in adding some new systems, like crafting and survival, that were completely absent from Fallout 3. Game balance was also improved, but of course, being a mass market game it's still nowhere near as challenging as the first two Fallouts. If you thought Fallout 3 was "mad cool" because it had "a fuckin' nuke catapult, yo" then I can understand why the prospect of a story, world, and characters that actually make sense might turn you off. I'd also probably say you have no business playing a Fallout game.
As for Knights of the Old Republic II... I just don't get it. KotOR was a fucking abortion of a game, a broken RPG with piss-easy combat, an idiot-proof character system, lack of game balance and obviously over/underpowered classes, abilities and weapons, and most importantly, it had a terrible, railroaded story full of horrible, amateurish dialogue, completely uninspired and cliched quest design, a lack of choice and consequence, and wasn't so much creative, original or interesting as it was just an exploitation of the things that people remember from the original Star Wars films. You remember the Millennium Falcon? Well guess what, bitches, we've got the same fucking thing in our game, but it's called the Ebon Hawk instead! Oh look, it's Yoda's twin! Darth Vader? He was pretty cool, so check out Darth Malak, who is almost the same fucking character! Yeah, fucking Star Wars, brah.
The Sith Lords, despite its rushed ending, did just about everything right. While it kept the easy combat (adding some ancillary gameplay systems on on top for added depth, but those didn't help much), it didn't resort to diddling fan service, and instead decided to inject the Star Wars mythology with more depth, ambiguity and philosophy than just about the entire Expanded Universe combined couldn't do. It featured real choice and consequence allowing for the player to shape his or her followers in far more significant ways, it featured a sliding scale of moral choice rather than obvious good or evil (and even had "good" choices backfire on many occasions), and it featured a story that was important to the Star Wars canon without resorting to "epic, bro" pandering. Most importantly, it dispensed with the completely unfounded melodrama and contrived, boring characters in the first game by giving the player a heap of unlikely allies that actually had logical reasons for accompanying the Disciple, even though they may have hated him/her. Again, not a perfect game, but it was an improvement over everything in the original game, save for the ending, which, a few dropped plot threads aside, wasn't even that bad. At least it wasn't a fucking carbon copy of the movies!
Anyway, long post. I don't post here often, but when I see more than the usual amount of idiocy, I generally have to come out of hiding to at least try to stem the tide. Russ, nice try being witty and dramatic, but your article points the finger in the wrong places and comes off as unnecessarily petty. Readers who bash Obsidian, enjoy the autofellatio simulators and Awesome Buttons BioWare and Bethesda are happy to sell you. I'm sure the illusion of quality and inflated sense of superiority that comes with playing games barely more narratively advanced than Twilight more than makes up for the lack of actual quality.