Electronic Entertainment

Posted: 25th February 2010 by Get No Happy in Reviews

Mass Effect 2
Having just completed it, I’m going to give it a “good” with added “meh”. It was entertaining enough for me to finish it and was gripping on occasion. But, honestly, I got pretty bored towards the end. You may find this a strange opinion due to the it’s fucking brilliant comment I made a week ago, but now the post-coital glow has died and I have begun to notice my partner has chin stubble. Here are the problems (adding to those already posted)

It was very much a middle chapter
There were only 4 or 5 story missions and the rest were crew recruitment and loyalty based. Which is fine, kinda, but for a very linear game such as this it was a problem. Either be near completely free-roaming like Fallout 3 or linear like Max Payne. Being in the middle suggests you either couldn’t be arsed putting the leg work in for the former, or felt the need to hide the straight-forward nature of the latter. As a narrative goes, it felt like watching an episode of Star Trek where you pause it every 3 minutes to look up facts and backgrounds on wiki.

‘Moral’ choices
There weren’t any, or at least none that were very apparent. There were at least three in ME1. And the end choice doesn’t count. It’s not like being a dick would make anyone leave the ship; I tried it, you could show them a pic of Shepherd raping their kitten and they’d still say “maybe your right Shepherd”. Thus, while I was offered the choice of replaying with a new character, why would I? Apart from the opportunity to dry hump a different character.

Was fun, became repetitive. Run to chest-high-wall, sit there. Shoot enemies that mostly stay behind their own CHW. Move to next combat area. Given the low damage tolerance of ME2’s Shepherd, doing anything else would be suicide.

Very little due to the lack of moral choices. The shift to action oriented game-play has made the classes too similar (I have checked most of them out) and the hacking/bypass adds nothing. This last point relates to point 1: Do something or don’t. In Fallout, hacking/bypassing could be the difference between an easy win and an hours slog through the sewers. In ME2 they were either just credit grabbers or unavoidable part of the level; is there a more cynical game-extending trick than making you hack a mission critical door?

11 mission restarts due to getting stuck on scenery…

Napoleon Total War
Speaking of moral decisions, I have decided not to buy this latest installment of the Total War franchise. From reviews and internet chatter the AI is an dated as ever (Seriously, just steal the GalCiv or Civilisation codes) and it really is just an expansions pack that got ahead of itself. Add to this the insult that is touting features promised for the original Empire, and they have lost a loyal customer.

  1. richandme says:

    Hey, some of us like chin stubble in a partner, even during the post-coital comedown.