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ME2 quick impressions

Now that I've got the first few hours of play under my belt, I might as well post what I think so far. I'm sure I'll do a more in-depth post once I finish the game (or have played much farther into it), but for now, these are just some things from the first bit. No spoilers. Unless you consider design changes and so on as "spoilers."



1) I'm not sure about some of the display decisions this time around. Like the health/shields display, which isn't all that intuitive (especially since it only pops up in active fighting), and as far as I can't tell you can't really monitor your teammates' health at all. Or the unfortunate placement of your teammates' faces for that matter, since I get distracted by constantly having faces plastered on "my" asscheeks.

2) Also don't like the fact that, as far as I can tell, you can't actually heal yourself in combat? Blah!

3) Grr, I want more powers! It looks like they're a lot more stingy on the points and things you can actually do with them, this time around, which I don't like.

4) Not sure how I feel about the equipment this time around. In general, I like getting loot from enemies, etc., and doling it out to my characters. And being able to do it on the fly. On the other hand, it was done badly last game. Too much crap, too annoying to toggle between all the party members, all the categories, try to figure out just which ones to use, AND which upgrades, try to figure out what to break down, what to sell....plus what to equip on people back on the ship since they weren't with you at the time. meh. So in general, I'm currently just enjoying the fact that it's something *different* this time.

5) I like the redesign of the ship, the fact that you can customize your cabin, the larger spaces that are more dedicated to different aspects of ship life, etc.

6) The little touches that crop up from your first playthrough if you load ME1 data even thus far are awesome! I feel so... remembered! *sniff* At the same time, you get to redecide on some things like class and all, which is nice if you want to make use of the new system.

7) While I don't like the redesign of the points/powers aspect of the classes, I at least like the fact that they made them more distinct, and each has a purpose, rather than just making it a "agents are watered down versions of two other classes and not that good at each" type thing. Which it pretty much was, last game.

8) But who's bright idea was it to add fucking ammo management to an RPG, and let you run out? Yes yes, I know, not *technically* ammo, but same difference. Grrr. I much preferred the overheating thing from last game.

9) Some of the new systems look like they'll be nice. Like email, researching, stuff like that. I just haven't gotten too far in to be sure, yet. But at least it looks there will be a reason to track down specific materials, other than "slightly increment a number on a side quest tracker." Which is nice.

10) It definitely feels like this game is more mature from the outset than ME1. In the first game, it felt like they were trying to mostly keep it on the "teen" side, but got smacked with Mature for the sex stuff, and accepted it. This time, it feels like they figured they were going to have a Mature game (and could sell one, anyhow) from the outset, so they might as well let loose. Normally I wouldn't enjoy this, because it'd feel like they were being "mature" just for the sake of shock value or whatever, but here it feels more like that's how the game should be, what with dealing with military types, wretched hives of scum and villainy, and all that. It feels more natural.

11) I also like that they added different minigames for the hacking and other electronic stuff. Now, don't get me wrong, I suspect they are going to get very old very quick, especially if they don't increase in difficulty later on in the game. But it's still better than damn button presses. Gah. So I guess it's "still not good, but better."

12) Don't really have much to say about the space exploration aspects or anything yet, since I haven't really done them. But from the sounds of it, it'll probably be more interesting.

13) The paragon/renegade system seems neater this time. It looks like conversation options come from just your rating in that, without having to put points into charm/intimidate. And the new "interruption" options are a neat twist.

14) Not sure though about the mission system though, where there's a definite start, an ending screen where you finish up, etc. I kinda like being able to come and go as I like. It's not *that* bad, since it doesn't seem to be railroading me so far, but it's still a step in the wrong direction, I think.

15) Also... I totally want a blue drink! Pretty!

16) Almost forgot: Argh, do not like the new cursoring system and all. I mean, it's not really new, but it seems like the reticule is smaller and a lot dimmer, when you mouse over things, and the text is smaller and hard to read, and basically you'll skim over things and then have a hell of a time trying to figure out what it is, and where, and where you need to go to interact with it. It's driving me nuts!



I think that should do it for my impressions so far. Yeah, a bit blathery, but they're just impressions, so what do you expect? So yeah, some good, some bad. Overall I'm pleased with the game in general, but I do think they made some royally stupid design decisions when they changed some things (ie, having to pick up the heat sinks and being able to run out, the lack of health/healing, etc.), and am hoping those don't get to be too much of an annoyance later on, to where they overwhelm the good stuff.

Comments

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khaman
Jan. 27th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's all the Borderlands I was playing, but 1 through 3 don't bother me at all. Mass Effect 1 was originally going to hybridize between an RPG and a shooter and honestly it just ended up feeling more like something between KOTOR and the old Fallouts.

This time they said they were going for the same goal... THIS feels like a hybrid RPG shooter. The stat management, team building, plot, interaction, inventory/look customization, are all there, but the combat is within a hair of being a pure and relatively easy shooter. That's where the ammo management comes in, and as I say, I got used to that prior. I'm not even a shooter fan, but it wasn't hard to get used to.

To 8 - Ammo drops happen often enough and in ME1 I overheated those damn guns all the time. I don't mind this at all. Until they get Residential Evil stingy with this, I'm not worried.

I like the inventory this time. I was deathly afraid they were going to pull in elements of Dragon Age for team control and inventory, and... yeah, I'm kindly surprised.

13. vs the comment above - I like that my personality skills adapt to how I'm actually playing the game. Putting in points? Way to break the illusion. And I've been able to take the high road, snot off regally at every Cerberus dude and station tyrant and still get paragon points, so it's no worry.

Although now I vaguely wish I played renegade so I could see how fucked up my face can get.


14. The mission screen hasn't railroaded me at all except for adding a bit extra loading as I go BACK to this one space station to grab the other guy/mission I was there to do. It adds an extra sense of the Illusive Man watching everything I do, so it's both information and bonus game related paranoia.

16, though.... man, reticle. Fuck you. Just... fuck you. Should have added a glitter or something.
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