Mass Effect 2′s Adept Class Detailed

By John Walker on November 27th, 2009 at 11:54 pm.

I bet both my bums this is the next companion announced.

I am so tremendously looking forward to Mass Effect 2. I wasn’t for a while – I think I lost track of it all. I adored the first game when I played it, but as time’s cruel countdown ticked away I found myself incorporating into my memory too much of how other people would describe it, and forgetting the details. “Oh, those elevators!” “The combat wasn’t as good as it could have been.” “The side quests were rubbish.” Well, all of that is true, but goshdarnit, it didn’t matter. It was a fabulous thing, and delving into all the details about for the sequel has reminded me why I enjoyed the original so very much. Which combined with what an absolute world-exploding classic Dragon Age proved to be, has me anticipating BioWare’s sequel with fervour. It’d better be good, or there will be trouble. New videos are below.

Mass Effect 2 didn’t do itself any favours with the ridiculous Subject Zero trailer. (I’m almost impressed they didn’t soundtrack it with that Meredith Brooks song.) But then BioWare also spent most of 2009 hellbent on ensuring that everyone was terrified Dragon Age was going to be seventy-storey pile of quivering shit, with one of the most atrocious campaigns ever squeezed out from the bottom cheeks of a planet-sized crap monster. And it turned out to be one of the best RPGs of all time. So it doesn’t matter how awful the promotion may get for the sci-fi sequel – I’m waiting for the game itself before I bake any opinion cakes.

Fortunately these two are inoffensive. First is a trailer dedicated to Tali, the machinist companion from the first game, showing off her rather splendid Biotic (I wrote the wrong word – hang me in the streets!) tech powers:

Second, and possibly more importantly, is a detailed description of the Adept class. This is one of six available (Adept, Infiltrator, Vanguard, Sentinel, Engineer, and Soldier), and the most able to use Biotics. Or as I like to call them, Definitely Not Force Powers, No Siree, Nothing Like Them No Matter What You Might… Oh, Look Over There, A Flamingo Wearing A Hat!

I didn’t get tired of watching enemies flying off into the air throughout that, and I can’t imagine I will playing the game itself. Oh, please be good.

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156 Comments »

  1. Tei says:

    I have to disagree. Wen on a RPG “The side quests were rubbish.” and the main quest is 6 hours. Houston, we have a problem. A mayor. Real. Tangible. Not detail at all. Problem.

    • John Walker says:

      Except the main quest was about 30 hours, so that doesn’t really apply.

    • Vinraith says:

      Umm, John? I played Mass Effect for 30 hours total, and that’s finishing the game plus doing every side quest I could lay a hand to as well as the DLC addition. I think 6 hours is a severe underestimate, but 30 is pretty clearly a severe OVERestimate. I probably took 15-20 to do the main quest line, and I’m generally considered to be a very slow player.

    • Tei says:

      Probably is more than 6 hours. So I am partly wrong on my message.

    • Orange Required says:

      If you don’t rush, but do ignore most of the sidequests and uncharted worlds, and don’t spend time standing around gawping at the gorgeous surroundings, it takes about 16-18 hours, in my experience. If you blaze through it on maximum speed… I can see ten hours, maybe? Not sure.

    • Zyrxil says:

      3 main quest worlds, each took about 3 hours, plus the endgame, 1 or 2 hours, that’s 11 hours. If you replayed the main quest, with prior knowledge of how to do everything, you could easily cut that down to 7 hours, especially if you didn’t dick around with inventory.

    • leeder_krenon says:

      23 hours for the whole game for me, i probably only dicked around with mostly irrelevant side quests for 3 or 4 hours.

    • John Walker says:

      Okay, okay, we’ll call it somewhere down the middle.

    • Carra says:

      I also thought that the game was too short. I clocked at about 23 hours (as compared to the promised 40 hours). That’s for the mainquest plus most sidequests.

      I’m currently at 50 hours in Dragon Age and still got quite a bit to do.

      I hope that Mass Effect 2 will offer a bit more content.

    • Pod says:

      They should add more maze puzzles to increase the game length. No one can rush through those! mwhaha

    • jsutcliffe says:

      I finished it in 12 hours on my first playthrough. On my second playthrough, doing all sidequests except the silly Achievement Unlocked! item collection ones, I finished it in 18 hours.

      Not that I’m complaining at all – I think 12-18 hours is pretty much the optimal range for game length — it doesn’t outstay its welcome, and doesn’t feel like it’s over too soon. The second playthrough was completed last night, to get a new Shepard ready to import into ME2 — I can’t wait!

    • jsutcliffe says:

      Addendum: But now I want him to be an adept. Damn.

  2. Rinox says:

    But then BioWare also spent most of 2009 hellbent on ensuring that everyone was terrified Dragon Age was going to be seventy-storey pile of quivering shit, with one of the most atrocious campaigns ever squeezed out from the bottom cheeks of a planet-sized crap monster. And it turned out to be one of the best RPGs of all time.

    Amen JW! I’m so glad I decided to pre-order the Deluxe Edition regardless of the new shit trailer(s). If any AAA game’s been worth my money of late it was DA.

    Also, ME2…high hopes. Double feeling on the first one, relatively confident that the second one will go above and beyond. Pre-ordering is pretty much a certainty.

    Now I gotta go sleep off the booze…gah. Damn you Duvel!

  3. Vinraith says:

    As long as Bioware has learned the necessary lessons from ME1 (better side quests, a bit better combat, better inventory system, better weapon balance etc) there’s no reason this game shouldn’t be absolutely brilliant. I’ll wait for reviews (as I did with the first one) but I can’t imagine not buying it sooner or later.

    Oh, and here’s hoping it follows Dragon Age’s DRM example, I had to hold off buying the first one for the better part of a year to be able to get it without the limited installation voodoo curse.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      They announced the other day that it’ll be CD check only. I hate fiddling with CDs, so I plan on buying from Steam.

    • Vinraith says:

      That’s good to know. The nice thing is that it gives you a choice, just have DRM via your digital distributor of choice or just have disc check. Either way, there’s no “phone home on start” nonsense (well, unless you buy it on Steam) and no limited installs.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      From everything they’ve announced so far, it seems they have learned their lesson. The combat’s been revamped to be more of a main feature and less like “something that’s sort of shitty that you unfortunately have to do in-between close-ups of SHEPARDdialogue,” the talky bits have been revamped so you no longer just stare at your own face for hours on end, the side-quests have been completely revamped with unique side-quests that have their own unique locations, the planetary exploration part no longer involves driving up impossibly vertical mountains for an hour trying to get somewhere only to be one-shotted by a thresher maw that you would have had ample chance to evade had it not just appeared next to you and clipped the Mako.

      In any case, colour me overly optimistic. I’m looking forward to a good 3PS with characterisation.

      (As an aside, the combat was rather well-balanced in Mass Effect. All of the weapon classes were equally as useful and equally as powerful; the only thing is that tech abilities are a little less useful on the easier difficulties because you kill everything dead before you have a chance to debuff them.)

    • Vinraith says:

      @Alexander

      I agree with most everything you said, except the weapons balance. I thought personally found playing with the assault rifle markedly easier than playing with any other weapon in the game. Conversely, because of the dynamics of combat, I found that the sniper rifle was useless about 80% of the time due to enemies not being noticable until they were too close. On the rare occasion you actually got a perch to snipe from it was brilliant, but that almost never happened. I actually restarted the game as a soldier after getting hopelessly stuck with an infiltrator for pretty much exactly these reasons.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It’s true that the sniper rifle is a tad trickier to use due to medium-short range, but it’s perfectly feasible, and its damage output is on par with that of the other three weapon types.

      In fact, the most powerful weapon type is the pistol, and only because it does slightly more damage per second than the other three with Marksman activated. Otherwise, they made an admirable job of not gimping you in combat for picking a tech/biotic class.

      I’m looking forward to being able to use SMGs as an Adept, though.

  4. Matzerath says:

    The elevators are my favorite part! I always take the ‘Sinful Dwarf’ angle.

  5. Z says:

    Anyone else feel the adept video has the emphasis on the wrong syllable?

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    Were you concerned “RPG of the decade” didn’t get your name on enough of the publicity? ;-)

  7. skalpadda says:

    Woo! Tali was my favourite sidekick in ME1 so her returning makes me very happy. Also, dearest John Walker, those are tech abilities, not biotics :)

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I was always slightly disappointed she wasn’t available for romance in the first game. I know the fiction says it’s biologically impossible and everything, but she was a much more interesting character than Ashley or Liara.

    • Orange Required says:

      Casey Hudson recently did an interview where he basically admitted they had no idea people would like Tali as much as they do when they first wrote her. They just didn’t think anyone would be interested.

      Turns out, her and Wrex are basically everyone’s favourites. With Garrus bringing up the rear. (DON’T GIS THAT.)

    • Psychopomp says:

      I have a friend

      She’s in the middle of drawing Garrus/Wrex…stuff

      Just…Just throwing that out there.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      He has four testicles.

      Four testicles.

    • Stromko says:

      Fifth-ed. I can’t decide whether Wrex, Garrus, or Tali are my absolute favorite party members, but Tali sweeps the field for sex appeal. If it’s not the writing, I’d say it’s the voice acting. Plus she’s a bit more exotic than the Asari, and knowing you couldn’t ever actually touch her or she’d get sick and die just makes it interesting.

    • Donkeydeathtasticelastic says:

      I never liked Tali that much.

      She seemed kind of HOLY SHIT I WANT TO SEX YOUR SHIP more than anything else.

      Wrex was a true bro, though.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >I have a friend
      >She’s in the middle of drawing Garrus/Wrex…stuff
      >Just…Just throwing that out there.

      Oh! Could she send me a copy when finished? …Just out of curiosity, mind.

      Yes…. I’ll enjoy them… ironically…

  8. skalpadda says:

    I can’t imagine why people wouldn’t like her, the Quarians were an interesting race, she was cool (and useful!) to have around and they found a voice actor for her who could do an accent without getting annoying. The environment suit made her more mysterious and interesting as well :)
    edit: My first reply fail! I guess I can join the legions in complaining about the comments system now..

  9. somberlain says:

    wow the vid of the adept seems a bit over-powered no? Shepard takes 4, 5 guys instantly by himself oO

    • Arca says:

      Tech powers are pretty cheesy in the first game too, so I figure they’ll even out the ‘awesomeness’ of biotics perhaps with a lot of practical combat skills/sheer toughness/etc. for Soldiers, and equally effective Tech abilities.

  10. Magrippinho says:

    I hope they have more than two maps for the side-quest “dungeons” this time, because the “rearranged furniture” trick didn’t really work for me.

  11. Utilitygeek says:

    Um, Tali doesn’t have biotics. She has mines, Sabotage, and other tech powers. She’s the anti-Adept. The few, the proud, the engineers. Dilbert with a shotgun. No, wait, that’s Michael Douglas in Falling Down, but you get my point.

  12. Ross says:

    Nah, those are biotics, not tech abilities. Tech abilities were those such as the overheating guns, destroying shields, healing and hacking. Biotics were those such as push and throw…

    • Orange Required says:

      Yeah, and that’s what Tali was doing in the video. I saw her use what looked like Overheat, and a Hack. Amongst other things.

      She’s a Machinist. Tech! Tech! Omni-tool!

      I’m excited to see what they’ve done to the Engineer class, now that I’ve seen how nicely they’ve amped up the Adept class.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Sentinel should be loads of fun, if they keep this up.

  13. shiggz says:

    I try and remember one thing about pure calculated advertising (not something like Dev-diaries or hype trailers ) It is not meant for the majority of people watching or the majority of people who will buy said product. Actually aimed squarely at the majority of people will buy said product based soley on a single gimmicky commercial.

    The most honest book I’ve read on advertising was talking about during the 1970′s measuring eye movement rates of children during sesame street episodes for PBS. (public/govt funded) Modern advertising is light years ahead of that into the barely comprehensible territory like Neuro-linguistic programming. Or what you Brits all might think of as Derren Brown style tricks. Anyway so dont feel like calculated advertising is saying you must be an idiot for liking the game. Its saying the people who will by the product only if a commercial has some badass attitude or a car is a border-line spiritual experience are complete idiots. They do however have money and fool and his money are quickly separated.

  14. Cecil Philpot says:

    I think we can safely conclude that the Subject Zero trailer was an anomaly. All the other trailers for ME2 have been brilliant, with clear demonstrations of the enhanced abilities in combat, the dynamic camera angles in dialogue, and so on. This isn’t like the collective neurosis around Dragon Age…I’m feeling pretty confident that Mass Effect 2 WILL be good.

  15. Klaus says:

    But, isn’t Tali a child? At least I thought she was. I may be getting mixed up with Mission Vao in Kotor.

    Liara is 16… oops 106. Anyway she was more interesting than Liara and Ashley. And Kaiden.

    • Klaus says:

      @somnolentsurfer

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Tali is on a coming of age quest, isn’t she? I guess that could make her a child, but I never thought she came across that way. The whole story is kind of tied up in coming of age, what with the mankind finding our place in the galaxy thing.

      Mission was one of the better characters in KotOR too. But, yes, she was definitely a child. As a side note: KotOR at £1.74? I’ve been meaning to replace my Xbox version for a while. Bought.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Coming of age occurs at different ages depending on which culture you look at. There’s absolutely nothing to say the Quarian coming of age doesn’t happen at 30, or 75, or some other ridiculous age (since IIRC we got told nothing about the Quarian life expectancy, but most of the Citadel races have very long lifespans thanks to regenerative medicine).

  16. Sagan says:

    It would be great if they had a female character for whom saying “I can’t tell you how much what you said means to me” doesn’t automatically lead to sex with said character five minutes later.

    I love romance options, but in both Mass Effect and Dragon Age they were just way too blunt.
    In Dragon Age they at least imply that some flirting happens when you aren’t playing. Like Leliana recounting an evening where you kept watch together. But obviously that doesn’t really count, because the player never experienced that evening. To him the whole romance is still just a chain of saying “You are right” to her over and over again until you get her into bed.

    • Klaus says:

      Ok. I’ll do it.

      To him the whole romance is still just a chain of saying “You are right” to her over and over again until you get her into bed.

      Just like in real life?

    • Rinox says:

      I found the Morrigan romance to be more intricate. Yes, she will sleep with you relatively easy and is a bit of a mynx, but she’s also very aloof and careful about letting anyone in. Doing the “right” thing in her romance often involves disagreeing with her and/or not choosing the option which isn’t the sweetest. Even when you’re romancing her she’ll play games, and you need to be a little…rough without being a complete dick, clearly. She respects all that more than sappy lovetalk, which (indeed) is Leliana’s thing.

      Point being: yes, many of the Bioware romances are very generic, but I’ve got a feeling they’re getting there. Morrigan was a good start, for all her flaws.

    • Rinox says:

      meant “not choosing the option which is the sweetest” or “choosing the option which isn’t the sweetest”, of course

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Interestingly, Morrigan won’t sleep with you if she loves you, because she considers sex something trashy that she does to use her body. She also won’t teach you shapeshifting if you’re her friend, because she believes that people should stand strong and help themselves.

      All in all, she was an impressively coherent character.

    • Taillefer says:

      Heh. I played it where I always turned Morrigan down, so when even after that she starts using lines like “It’s so cold and lonely over here…” it made her seem like a more desperate character, lacking some self-respect. Even so, the game assumed we had a relationship anyway and other characters would comment on it and not let me deny it. It was odd to have some lecture from Wynne about our love for each other and not let me respond with “I don’t even like the woman!”

      Playing it this way made her plan near the end seem all the more sinister and underhanded. As though that’s all she wanted all along. Which was great.

    • Tei says:

      I was a dwarf commoner, a dirty rogue tryiing to help people, and steal everything. And no one has show a romantic interest to me in the game :-/

    • Taillefer says:

      He could steal everything except a woman’s heart. :(

    • Funky Badger says:

      My own drity dwarf commoner has been busy laying dwarven pipe all the way across the elven and human kingdoms, ifyouknoworramean…

    • sinister agent says:

      It would be great if they had a female character for whom saying “I can’t tell you how much what you said means to me” doesn’t automatically lead to sex with said character five minutes later.

      I’ve not got near the end of Mass Effect yet, but I already agree. I found it quite annoying that no matter what option I chose when speaking to the human bloke (Johnny Nondescript, or whatever his name was), my character would end up blatantly flirting, unless I acted like a total dick and basically told him to shut his noise hole (which begs the question of why bother talking to him in the first place). And they should have let you flirt with the non-screwable characters. Hearing Wrex’s response to some feeble human trying it on would have amused my simple proto-brain.

      I’m glad it’s not just me who found Wrex the best character, though. The humans and blue woman were monstrously dull.

    • Sagan says:

      OK maybe it isn’t just saying “you are right” over and over again. But Taillefer nailed what I meant with it being too blunt: If you just talk normally with the character, you are suddenly in a relationship with her. And if you want the romancing stuff, then it feels disappointing, because mostly you are just talking normally to her. And then she suddenly loves you.
      The bickering between Morrigan and Leliana in the party banter started way too soon as far as I am concerned. I don’t think I talked to them any more than to any other character, but suddenly they were having discussions about not wanting to share their man.

      That’s why that trailer instantly made me think “that character is grateful, so she will want to have sex with me later.” Because that’s the way romance works in Bioware games.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Taillefer: ‘seems’ like it was the plan all along? I think it was the plan all along, but maybe you meant the same thing. As Alexander Norris said, as soon as she really starts to have feelings for you she starts to have serious second thoughts about the entire enterprise and becomes a little more distant to you for her and your safety, even though in the end she will go through with it regardless (with great reluctance if she does love you) and leave. The way her complex personality is hidden away begind that screen of cliché-sulty-cynical-sex kitten was one of the finer points of the game for me. :-) I also have a very big hunch that she and her child will be a major focus of the sequel. Which is ok, for my Dwarven Living Paragon told Anora at the celebration that he would keep on looking for Morrigan.

      @ Sagan: by normal you mean not calling her a spiteful bitch etc? Didn’t know it was that ‘easy’ to have her fall in love. Even if you don’t gift her all the items she likes?

      Btw, Zhevran is a character that is very much like Morrigan: easy to bed, hard to romance. Even though his fancy prancy business is a bit unsettling for most male players (including me), he is rather well written.

    • Funky Badger says:

      Zevran *is* awesome. I was only disappointed Alistair was off limits for male heros…

    • Rinox says:

      I can see where you’re coming from with that. Alistair struck me from the start as someone who could/might swing both ways. Even in the party banter (especially Morrigan’s) it’s more or less implied. Maybe they intended it at first and then cut it, I dunno.

    • Klaus says:

      Like I said elsewhere on this site, Morrigan first offered to sleep with me right after I gave her a gift. Meh. The game also (I imagine) bugged on me as I had to turn down Leliana three times, in three different conversations. And then Alistair accused me of being in a relationship with both of them, when I thought I was just being nice. Such a nice boy I am.

      Zevran was interesting, I killed him the first time I met him and knew more of him from forums and comments. I was expecting this, overly aggressive man who wouldn’t stop hitting on you, even after you said ‘STOP!’ I should not be listening to the AIM.
      It’s really more like;

      Zevran: Blah blah blah, handsome one!
      PC: Not interested.
      Zevran: I see, very well.
      Zevran disapproval -5

      Makes it apparent what all those ‘Can I kill Zevran, I don’t want him hitting on me’ topics I read were about. Bah.

      Anyway, I was able to turn down Morrigan pretty easily when I wanted to, she even has dialogue saying how strange it is for her to be in a close but non-sexual relationship with a male. I should play a game and try to sleep with everyone in the game. Semi-related, but the only sex I regret doing in the game was at the Dalish camp. Worst I felt- because of a game -in a long, long, time.

    • Taillefer says:

      @Rinox
      Well, I couldn’t be sure how it looks from everybody’s perspective. I only played through it one way. For all I knew she could try and spin it more positively if you’d already been sleeping with her in a relationship. I mean, if you both apparently love each other, she could be telling you how she’s doing it for you or whatever. But after turning down her advances and then her revealing that, it has a bit more of an impact. But I guess that conversation doesn’t go any differently regardless. I’m trying not to be too spoilery.

    • Funky Badger says:

      Rinox: it wasn’t so much I thgouht Alistair “swings both ways” (not sure how you’re meant to pick that up via innocent conversation anyway) – more that I wanted him too. He’s clearly the most fun xcharacter there.

      Wynn shall be the next target anyway…

  17. invisiblejesus says:

    Yeah, I think you’re mixing her up with Mission. Tali is young for her race, but not a child.

    • Orange Required says:

      She’s 16 in ME1, I believe. If that’s right, that makes her 18 in ME2. But we don’t really know what that means, exactly, to the Quarians.

    • Choca says:

      I have fond memories of mission.

      Especially from the day I ordered her best friend to shoot her in the back.

    • Rinox says:

      Oh yeah…sweet memories. My only regret was that I didn’t get to kill Carth very, very slowly. Bastard ran like a little b*tch. :-(

  18. Bleeters says:

    You’re right.

    Sooo, doing anything later?

  19. Jugglenaut says:

    Each time you guys cover Mass Effect 2, I have to remind myself that I am not looking at any of it so I can be all wide-eyed when I start it up. But I will agree that Dragon Age surprised me at how amazing it is after the way they promoted it pre-release.

  20. Christina Norman says:

    Hey give me a break, I’m a designer, not a narrator! :(

    • Psychopomp says:

      Hey, it’s better than the Valve employees on the commentary stuff.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      For the record, the voice-over was more than adequate. I know for a fact that I’ve heard far worse, and you managed to deliver the information clearly and concisely, which is what really matters.

    • John Walker says:

      Oi you horrid oiks, there was absolutely nothing wrong with that narration! Goodness me, I’m going to be grounding a few people.

    • Cheezey says:

      Now I can’t get the image of you running down the street with a metal pipe out of my head.

  21. id says:

    I tended to play a techie Shepard in ME1, and even I wanted to keep Tali in my party.

    To quote advice from another forum: “The two correct choices for your party are Tali and Wrex. Tali because she’s awesome, and Wrex because FUCK YOU MY FRIEND IS A PSYCHIC SHARKTOAD WITH A SHOTGUN.”

  22. arlib says:

    “So it doesn’t matter how awful the promotion may get for the sci-fi sequel – I’m waiting for the game itself before I bake any opinion cakes.”

    I´ve been visiting RPS regularly since last year and I think the site – and the RPS hive mind – are amazing. I´m a lurker, yes, but when I read the sentence above I had to come out from hiding and comment.
    If I may be so bold, Mr. John Walker, sir, I´d say you should ALWAYS wait for the game itself before baking opinion cakes (I love cake), anyone should, specially if you are a games journalist.

    • John Walker says:

      Well yes, of course. I just meant I wasn’t going to allow myself to worry, as I think we all found ourselves doing with Dragon Age for a while there.

      Then again, I have opinions on Just Cause 2, say, from its promotional campaign. Opinions that will count for nothing when I’ve got the game in front of me. But if you asked me now I’d say something like, “TETHER TETHER TETHER HELICOPTERS GRAPPLING HOOK TETHER!”

    • nutterguy says:

      Comment of the month…
      John Walker says: …[About Just Cause 2] “TETHER TETHER TETHER HELICOPTERS GRAPPLING HOOK TETHER!”
      Bravo!

  23. matte_k says:

    Ten Slots for crew members, and we know about Grunt, Tali, Thane, Subject Zero, and Garrus. We’ve seen two more in the videos so far- I wonder what the other three will be like…

    Looking very polished so far, that Tali video is one of the best yet, as i’ve always wondered what the Quarian Fleet would look like. And why is she on trial?

    Colour me interested…

    • Rinox says:

      There’ll also be either Ashley or Kaidan (depending on who you chose in ME1) and I suspect Grunt is a replacement for Wrex should he have kicked the bucket in ME1. But that’s just speculation.

  24. Pseudonym says:

    That was shohreh aghdashloo in the Tali video, right? Not a bad get for Bioware.

  25. skalpadda says:

    (edit: *sigh* This was meant as a reply to Christina above.)
    Don’t mind the mean British people ;)
    So, while you’re here, how old is Tali anyway, are we wrong to want the opportunity to flirt with her?

  26. bill says:

    “I adored the first game when I played it, but as time’s cruel countdown ticked away I found myself incorporating into my memory too much of how other people would describe it, and forgetting the details. “Oh, those elevators!” “The combat wasn’t as good as it could have been.” “The side quests were rubbish.” Well, all of that is true, but goshdarnit, it didn’t matter.”

    Ahh… the internet-blog effect. It’s lucky we have that to revise our memories so that we all realise that we hated Assassin’s creed, GTA4, Bioshock, Oblivion, Fallout3, Mirror’s Edge and every game ever because of lots of nit-picky arguments.

    Don’t worry, by this time next year we’ll all have learned that we hated Dragon Age because of the blood spatter and accents….

    • Psychopomp says:

      Hey, many of us actually did hate Assassins Creed.

    • neems says:

      I didn’t hate it. Like many people, I thought it was awesome, then I thought it was a bit repetitive, and then I realised that I hadn’t played it for 6 weeks, before finally realising I was never going to finish it and uninstalling to free up hard drive space for Generic Shooter 9.

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s a common ailment, and one I confess I don’t entirely understand. Maybe it’s contrarianism, but everyone on the internet hating on a game that I enjoyed playing just makes me defend it all the more stridently. All the games you mentioned have significant flaws, but I loved every one of them (except GTA 4, but I’ve just never liked GTA games) and Mirror’s Edge (which I haven’t gotten around to playing).

    • Taillefer says:

      People hated those games before they were even released. Why wait a year?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Assassin’s Creed was the classic example of why some games could stand to be shorter, and longer isn’t always better. The gameplay was repetitive, but you didn’t really get to see that unless you did every single side-mission, and the game gives you enough extra hearts that you don’t need to do said side-missions in order for the difficulty to be adequate.

      If you only did the bare minimum “investigations” to open up the assassination, it actually became a remarkably fun game. That doesn’t excuse its other flaws (chief among them the fact that the side-missions have next to no impact on the assassinations – someone once said that AC should have been Hitman: 1191 instead of what it was, and I agree), but I do suspect people would have been less retrospectively harsh on it if it hadn’t been padded out.

    • Funky Badger says:

      Ass Creed was candy-floss – great to nibble on for a couple of minutes at a time, but absolutely no substance.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “someone once said that AC should have been Hitman: 1191 instead of what it was”

      Very good point. There should’ve been less padding and more time assassinating, ideally.

      Also, FO 3 and Oblivion were just bad games, couldn’t play them for more than half an hour.

    • Psychopomp says:

      My main qualm with it isn’t actually the repetitiveness, I didn’t get far enough in to notice it.
      The game, to be frank, didn’t know when to shut the fuck up. I adore story driven games, and I even like the MGS cutscenes to a degree. Assassin’s Creed did a very smart thing, in that assuring that it was you in control of everything awesome that happened. Then, it screwed it all up by making every cutscene 5+ minutes of pure dialogue, and throwing a new one around every fucking corner. I’m no stranger to boring, unskippable cutscenes, but Assasins Creed was utterly ridiculous about it.

      Also, sitting on a bench was a terrible idea.

    • bill says:

      Heh. I’m at least 12% kidding. Though personally I can’t say i’ve EVER hated a game. Maybe i have somehow managed to avoid all the terrible ones… but that’s not really a hard thing to do. I’ve found a few games a bit disappointing, or a bit repetitive, or that have flaws – but nothing that would make me “hate” it. The worst that would happen would be i’d get side-tracked and never finish it… but that happened even with great games.

      “That doesn’t excuse its other flaws “. But as John said, flaws don’t really matter if the game is fun in some way. So i’d argue that having fun parts (atmosphere, free-running, core missions, etc..) totally DOES excuse it’s flaws. Many all-time classic games had many flaws… but their good points (even if totally intangible) excuse them.

    • Tei says:

      I have my own opinion. Assasin Creed was unplayable. Bioshock… I don’t finished it, but was a Ok shooter with nice rpg-ish elements. GTA4 I have not played it, but seems need 2 drm systems to work, and two separate logins..wtflol. Oblivion is less sandbox than Morrowind, and for that, is a lesser game to me. Fallout3 …I finished it, a bit of a dry game.
      Thats what I feel about these games, and I have not fear to agree or disagree with any hivemind. My problem is different..

    • Stromko says:

      Though I already DO hate Dragon Age (a little) for the blood spatters. Mostly that they seem to operate on a digital switch, either blood spatter=0 or blood spatter=1. After every fight when I look over my party, each one is either completely spattered with blood, or spotless. The effect of being covered in blood doesn’t even look that convincing, the spots never connect like a real fluid would, and it’s seemingly an identical texture every time. It wouldn’t be so noticeable if it weren’t plastered over half my party EVERY fight.

    • Taillefer says:

      You know, you can turn blood splatters off in the options…

    • Psychopomp says:

      And thank god for that

    • Klaus says:

      I like the blood spatter. Always make me smile watching the characters chat it up with rat blood right on their lips.

      The elevators were kinda long in Mass Effect. Not worth all the complaining I heard, but I would have noticed it if I weren’t told about it before hand. I enjoyed FO3, but I have not played Bioshock (travesty!) or Assassin’s Creed (meh).

  27. Dominic White says:

    The first Mass Effect was definitely on the short side (without the cheaply-assembled sidequests, it weighs in at about 10 hours which is just about fine for a pure shooter), and badly balanced (even without sidequests, adn even on higher difficulties, you WILL outlevel everything and the endgame is a joke), but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have a lot of fun with it.

    If they can take the lessons they learnt from the first game, and Dragon Age, and apply them properly here, I will be VERY happy. A longer main quest (I’d be happy with the same format, but more ‘episodes’ for the core arc), and less copy-pasted sidequests and we could be in for something special. Oh, and get the level scaling right so that it’s a constant escalating challenge, rather than a sporadic/embarrasing one. The first level should never be the hardest, and the last shouldn’t be the easiest.

    And yeah, agreeing with everyone else. The human party members were dull as dishwater, but Tali, Wrex and Garrous were easily the most interesting. Guess that captured the Star Trek-ish feel of it, where humans have become jumpsuited, homogenous lumps of prime directive, while the aliens get to embody everything vaguely interesting about people.

    • Funky Badger says:

      I quite liked the B5-ish fel they were going for with the humans, unfortunately they ween’t that well written (or, maybe the bird was, but a well written annoying character is, well, annoying), Kaiden was dull as dishwater, Scott Evil was pretty funny as well, and the military slant to the relationships was intemaresting.

      Actually think the characters stand up quite poorly to Dragon Age, and by that I mean Alistair and Zevran…

    • Alexander Norris says:

      I am one of the minority of people who really liked Kaidan. He wasn’t dull, he was professional – which for a career military CO presently serving under a higher-ranked career military CO was exactly what he should have been.

      It was refreshing to have someone on-board who just did their job without complaining while having their head screwed on straight.

  28. Heliosicle says:

    I am so tremendously looking forward to Mass Effect 2. I wasn’t for a while – I think I lost track of it all.

    ME TOO ME TOOO

  29. Optimaximal says:

    Well, the Biotics seem much more interesting and physics-based now, which would certainly draw me too them, were I not already destined to field my Infiltrator from ME.

  30. Taillefer says:

    So Quarians can’t even remove those suits on their own ships?
    They must have attachments for everything.

    • Kadayi says:

      I was pretty sure that they only wore the suits when outside the flotilla based on the conversations in ME1, so I was kind of surprised that everyone was suited up. I’d of thought they’d have made Shepard wear a hazmat suit whilst they talked to him.

      Still good news that Tali is back. Her & Garrius were my favourite team up.

  31. c-Row says:

    It would be great if they had a female character for whom saying “I can’t tell you how much what you said means to me” doesn’t automatically lead to sex with said character five minutes later.

    In real life, however, …

  32. shiggz says:

    Regarding Tali if they are old enough to take weapons training leave the flotilla join Shepherd kill the bad guys etc shes old enough for me. But about sex, its been some time but i recall they are not able to leave their suits since they have no immune system. Thus Romance is of course possible sex may be a the late-night Cinemax version of “boy in the bubble”

    • Lobotomist says:

      I love Tali. Its probably the only Bioware character i wanted to have romantic option.

      Maybe it was because there was none?

    • Slaphead says:

      It’d actually be rather interesting if you’d have the option to romance Tali with both parties knowing full well that you have no chance of teh sexy time. Ever.
      That’d take some writing to pull off effectively, but would be interesting, thought provoking and possibly impressively adult for a computer game.

      On another subject, I do hope they fix the DRM crud and actually go with just a disk check. I’d rather see them skip that too. I pirated the first ME, and after playing it for a while, went “Hey, this stuff is worth money!”, and bought it. I still haven’t re-installed from the legit media though, with all the DRM wankery it requires, and probably never will.
      I’ll be buying ME2, based on what I’ve seen so far, so I’m hoping they’ll seriously cut back on the painful stuff you need to do to actually play the damn thing.

    • Lobotomist says:

      They are. Like DAO it will be just plain and simple disk check. Guess they learned something

  33. bill says:

    I wish there were more short RPGs.

    Right now i’m steering clear of pretty much all RPGs because I don’t have the free time to devote to them… if i have 30minutes to an hour a week to game, and i start a 30-40 hour RPG, that’s gonna take me almost a year to finish! Hence I’ll probably get bored or lose motivation and never finish it.

    And really, most RPGs are totally padded out with random encounters, filler missions, etc.. that are just there to waste time.

    • Tei says:

      this why we can’t have nice things anymore

    • Tei says:

      games sould be made for people that play games.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Tei, I can’t even begin to list the number of ways [in which I believe in galactic squirrels]

    • Slaphead says:

      It’s also pretty much the truth. People are not demanding that ice hockey matches should be made shorter if they don’t have the time to watch one. If you don’t have time to play a 40 hour RPG, don’t start playing it and then complain.

    • Tei says:

      The good news is that some games are made short, and others long (people that want short RPG games can buy games like ME1). The side quest mechanism helps make a short game longer. But It don’t work wen is soo poorly done like in ME1.

  34. Ravenger says:

    I loved the original game, except for the cookie-cutter sidequest planets. Why bother making ships/bases/caves out of what look like pre-fab parts if you use exactly the same layout every time except for a few differently placed crates? It looked like they could have created lots of different interiors using a set of basic parts.

    The thing that drove me through the game was the utterly engrossing story and characters (despite there being a big logical hole in the main quest). The ending has to rank amongst the most epic I’ve ever played. A definite lump-in-throat holding-back-the tears moment.

    Looking forward to the sequel, but trying not to read too much about it in advance, as I don’t want to spoil it. Glad to hear that Tali is back, because she was my favourite character. The voice actress who played her did an amazing job at bringing her to life.

  35. rsherhod says:

    This gonna be fun on a bun.
    Unfortunately, since ME1 is pretty choppy at times on my ol’ coal fired PC, I think it’ll have to be chalked down as one I’ll try when I’ve got a new one.

  36. Alex Hopkinson says:

    I have new found love for the man that is John Walker. We seem to share the love of both Mass Effect and Dragon Age in ways the miserable hordes of the internet just can’t understand. Because they’re miserable, you see.

  37. Lobotomist says:

    I dont know what drugs are you guys taking , calling DAO best RPG of all times. But I want some!

    Its good. As expected from Bioware. But really not the best of what they done so far.

    Mass Effect is where their big guns are. And it shows :)

    • Langman says:

      Yep, DA:O is accomplished and quite fun, in its own way – but I’m struggling to see how any PC-RPG fan could seriously rate it ‘best of the decade’ when it falls short in areas of the game that seem to me to be quite obvious.

      I do get the feeling it’s a needlessly silly hyperbole-statement, but I guess that’s the nature of things these days. No doubt I’ll be accused of being overly pessimistic.

    • Choca says:

      I may be on my fourth (or is it fifth) playtrought of Dragon Age but I do agree with you.

      It’s got great gameplay mechanics and does everything you expect from a RPG but that’s it.

      Almost everything is good in Dragon Age, but nothing feels legendary.

      The plot isn’t bad but is too generic, the music is good but I’ve been playing about 7 hours yesterday and still can’t remember a single theme, the dialogue is nice but lacks the incredible one-liners quotes Baldur’s Gate II had, the cast is not that bad but Edwin Odesseiron had more charisma that all of them put together and the architecture of the game is still the very same than in every other Bioware game (play the intro, go to the four planet’s/cities/regions in whatever order you want to solve a problem only you can solve, join one of the two factions bickering over the issue, leave as their savior, repeat until you reach the last chapter which always takes place in the capital/citadel, etc.)

      It feels to me like a lot of thought went into the game’s creation, but very little love. It’s still a good game, a very good one even, but I expected a lot more.

  38. Carra says:

    Makes me want to replay KOTOR. Which is now incredicheap at £1.74 on steam!

  39. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Are they not adding new clases to the game this time round? Shame :(

  40. Kadayi says:

    God I hope the inventory system is seriously revised. The worst part for me personally was the buying and selling. Firstly whenever you want to sell stuff you’re presented with one great big list of everything you’ve got and no comparison chart, so you have to constantly scroll up and down to figure out whether it’s a good idea to sell those incendiary IV shells, because you have a whole bunch of incendiary V . Secondly whenever buying equipment from a trader, unless you had the team member with you, you never knew whether what was on offer was better than your team already had. Buying from the Normandy Quartermaster was a constant case of running back and forth between him and the ships lockers to check on who had what…painful

    Dragon Age is certainly a big step up, but even that has some problems, like that fact that when you mouse over a weapon it only compares it to the one that a player has deployed rather than equipped. Also they could do with a category for Gifts & other stuff (wolf pelts/Gemstones/oddities). That stuff just loiters around the bottom end of the ‘everything’ pile like an unwanted step child.

    • Rinox says:

      Agree. Only major problem of the first game for me. Inventory was purely console-minded and was very bad PC-wise. Pretty hopeful that’ll be changed though. :-)

  41. Jon.J says:

    I feel like a schoolboy who’s just had his knuckles rapped *hangs head in shame* I’m sorry for having a go at your narrating skills :(

  42. Demaith says:

    Have to disagree with John Walker’s assessment of DA:O. It is an enjoyable RPG (I’m still making my way through the campaign and feel no need to rush things, which is a good sign), but it’s not a classic. It is the first truly cohesive and satisfying Bioware RPG since they left the realms of 2D and D&D behind them, but in terms of innovation, combat system, the quality of the writing/memorable party members etc. it’s certainly no Baldur’s Gate.

    Dragon Age is basically Bioware by the numbers, except good. Which is great in and of itself but doesn’t qualify for classic status in my book…

  43. Peace of Eight says:

    If you like your games hackneyed, predictable, and heavily consolized, Mass Effect was great. I became utterly bored after about six hours of gameplay and went looking for something else. But to each his own, (yes, and “her,” if you insist. Though I prefer to keep her locked in the closet, subsisting on a diet of dry oatmeal).

  44. Lilliput King says:

    I feel the need to leap to DAO’s defence yet again, but I feel doing so would be a waste of time for all involved.

    Also, I can’t really be arsed.

    Still, I do get tired of this “bioware by numbers” crap. I know it’s what all the cool kids say, and it has a modicum of justification, but it’s not really particularly valid. Various things stay the same with only slight variation;

    (a dramatic event is the catalyst for a big ole quest, you have to visit usually 4 places, you are sometimes in an elite order of some description by birth or by selection [kinda a stretch - Bhaalspawn?], and at some point somebody will probably fall in love with you)

    But these ideas are hardly uncommon – we rarely complain that FPS X involves being part of some kind of military organisation, shooting men in the face in linear levels as a reaction to something bad they’ve done to you/your family/your country. They also barely impinge upon plot or backstory, and they really don’t in DA.

    Same thing for this ‘traditional fantasy setting’ blather. I know it’s not exactly Gormenghast, but it has enough to it if you’re willing to look. Unless you think all fantasy with elves is essentially the same, in which case, well, you don’t know enough about fantasy to come to a sound conclusion.

    Good gosh darnit, I ended up defending DAO again.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Party members can be repetitive too – they fit their archetypes a ‘lil bit too well. Erm, not always though – there was in some cases more than was obvious to the characters in DA, and some Bioware games don’t fit that mould at all. Probably can be added to the hypothetical formula though, with the understanding that it isn’t always used in every game.

    • Slaphead says:

      Heh. Yeah, it was a waste of time. Nobody was seriously attacking DAO, and you trot out the “stop hating on it cuz it’s popular!” defense. Since you expended all that effort, I’ll come out and say that I found DAO the worst Bioware game to date.
      It’s not that it was bad. It wasn’t even bad. I was assaulted with utter blandness for 5-6 hours, after which I stopped playing. I wanted to like the game and deliberately ignored the hype, so that I’d have no expectations. And yet the game managed to disappoint me. It just doesn’t offer a single thing that would make you care about the people, or the fate of the world.
      For the record, I don’t play the WWII/modern warfare shooters either. I guess I’m just one of those cool kids…

    • Rinox says:

      “Utter blandness”? Compared to what other recent RPG’s? NWN2 (haha)? I actually have a friend who said that NWN2 was a more epic and moving experience – I almost fell of my chair laughing. I guess nostalgia, even fresh nostalgia, makes for rosy-colored glasses.

      I wouldn’t judge a game with the scope and setup of DA (easily 40+ hours) on 5-6 hours of gameplay, but hey.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    • Slaphead says:

      @Rinox:

      I found NWN2 painfully dull too. (It was made by Obsidian and not Bioware btw.) I guess I’m just burned out with fantasy cliches after consuming the stuff since the eighties.

      And yes, I’d consider 6 hours to be a sufficient time to find out if a game has anything to offer. How long would you personally keep playing a boring game before you decide it’s not worth it?
      Unless your name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, starting a loooong epic story with hours of boring, flaccid drivel isn’t going to cut it.

    • Rinox says:

      If I know it’s from Bioware and set up as a huge epic quest then I’d give it longer than that, at the very least. I actually thought DA tried (and succeeded rather well) to avoid the biggest high-fantasy clichés with its low magic setting, but I guess that doesn’t always means much beyond my personal opinion.

      Maybe it would be better to ask what CRPG’s you did like in the past few years, if you’re tired of the fantasy stuff? The Witcher (fantasy, but not very)? Bloodlines? Just curious.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Yea. I wasn’t arguing that the game was objectively good. You’re free to dislike it, dunna fret.

      “Nobody was seriously attacking DAO”

      More musing than a response to anyone in particular. It wouldn’t be fair to pick on anyone in particular, to be honest. Games are art, hence subjective, etc.

      “and you trot out the “stop hating on it cuz it’s popular!” defense”

      I’m not sure. Do I? Do you mean the “stop hating DA because DA is popular” defence, or the “stop hating DA because hating DA is popular” defence? In response to the first, I mentioned “cool kids” because concepts like the “bioware formula” are pervasive and infectious, and ‘cos, yunno, rhetoric. That wasn’t a defence, just general mudslinging.

      If you mean the second, well, fair enough. I just don’t think there’s enough justification, I suppose.

      “I found NWN2 painfully dull too. (It was made by Obsidian and not Bioware btw.)”

      That was why Rinox brought it up. That said, I’d say Witcher has a better beginning 5 or 6 hours. Later it descends into a right old mess, but so it goes.

    • Slaphead says:

      Both VtM: Bloodlines and The Witcher are actually on my list of the Best Games Ever.
      To my shame, I used to dismiss Vampire the Masquerade as “that game the goth kids play” before I played Bloodlines. Turned out to be a brilliant game that managed to play all the Vampire stuff seriously and never once turn into camp.
      I wasn’t really expecting much of The Witcher either, with the card collecting and brooding albino hero, etc. But it ended up showing a realistic take on a medieval society where all the mytholical creatures just happen to really exist. It also did the dwarves and elves as the victims of racism thing much better than DA. I was even motivated to buy Sapkowski’s The Last Wish after finishing the game.

    • Wulf says:

      I find that the main strengths of the Neverwinter Nights 2 campaign mostly concentrated on being charming and having thoroughly fleshed out characters (something Bioware could learn from, as none of their characters have come even marginally close to being a Sand or a Khelgar, to the contrary I find that Bioware characters are almost invariably one-dimensional), it wasn’t particularly “epic” (is that like “kewl”, these days?), but it was enjoyable. It was the Doctor Who of RPGs, it was more about the characters and their journey, rather than the World, some epic quest, or even the destination.

      They ramped that up though with a compelling and highly emotional storyline in Mask of the Betrayer, a storyline that was so surprisingly powerful that it jerked a number of strong emotional reactions out of me, the tragic nature of the characters had me sob once or twice, and I still remember Okku, Gann-of-Dreams, Kaelyn the Dove, and Safiya fondly as templates for how beautiful, layered, and well written an RPG’s cast could be (and how to properly handle females characters without turning them into femnazis, sluts, or a mix of the aforementioned).

      In fact, Mask of the Betrayer was one of those few, special little games where you could find yourself thinking about the journey and the characters for months, maybe even years after. I’ve had that experience with very few games, The Longest Journey was another that comes to mind.

      it was a game in which I really wanted to make the characters happy and I cared what they thought of my representation in their world, because they were, indeed, very real to me. At every turn I would try to do something to please one of them, and how often does one care about doing that in an RPG? How often does the morale of these digital creations actually matter? How rare it is that an RPG pulls one in enough for it to matter.

      Mask of the Betrayer was even likened to Planescape; Torment by many critics, because of its clever writing. If you missed out on it, more fool you, and if you didn’t get it, well… I’d feel very sorry for you, I don’t say this often but it would take the bluest of blue collar idiots to not be able to enjoy Mask of the Betrayer on some level, simply because of how compelling it was on every level.

      That’s why I still say that Mask of the Betrayer is the true RPG of the decade. It was beautiful, that’s all there is to it. It was a testament to the potential of the PC RPG.

      These days, the RPG has fallen to the mainstream, and it’s “epic”, it’s all bout how slutty a developer can get away with making the females that the main character lays, and how much clumsy gore they can get in, and how utterly unchallenging a World could be. And that’s another crime that makes me seethe, as a good RPG can challenge your beliefs, it can challenge your philosophies, and it can make you sit and think on certain topics for a good hour, about the nature of ethics and empathy. After all, has tearing down the Wall of the Faithless ever been topped as the most ethically righteous quest?

      I think maybe the only sin of Mask of the Betrayer was that aside from a few real atrocities (like killing Okku and feeding his soul to a conglomerate of evil spirits) there wasn’t much of an opportunity to be a total douchebag, and that’s what the majority wants these days, they want to be douchebags, lay the sluts, bring on the blood… and that makes me :/. But if you’ve the mind for it, Mask of the Betrayer is one of the most rewarding RPGs you’ll find on the PC. Or indeed, anywhere.

    • Funky Badger says:

      NWN2 was utter turd, even for a game set in the FOrgottn Realms. Urgh.

      ++Bioware *heart* Joseph Campbell

    • Rinox says:

      Agree to a point on MotB, but not really on NWN2. The NPC’s didn’t do much for me, but maybe that’s just personal. Almost everything about NWN2 felt so clumsy and generic (Amon Jerro being an exception), and I don’t think anyone can deny the first half of the game is an absolute drudgefest (after that it gets entertaining though).

      I like what you wrote about challenging beliefs and changing viewpoints, The Witcher and MotB certainly did that for me. Dragon Age didn’t do it as much, but as a game, I find it superior to both, personally.

  45. Rinox says:

    Oh and @ Liliput King: you’re right, they’re not ‘Bioware Templates’, they’re universal storytelling templates. Every major myth, quest or story plays along the same lines. They are universal. A good read on it is the classic ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces”.

  46. LionsPhil says:

    Great AI there. “A huge glowy thing! It just sucked in my friend and killed them! I shall run towards it also! And me!”

  47. Devan says:

    Yeah, that kept distracting me too. I was thinking “How can you be responsible for a feature you don’t know how to pronounce? Have I been saying it wrong all this time?”
    (shrug)

    • Springy says:

      To be fair, the AI for those things that got sucked into the singularity (they were husks) is intentionally one-dimensional, considering they’re essentially zombies… in space!

    • Springy says:

      Err, that was meant to be a reply to LionsPhil, I don’t know what happened there.

      *shambles off bashfully*

  48. Lacero says:

    I thought the blood splatters were hilarious. I grinned my way through the entire game with them.
    The setting was so utterly serious, and the plot so dark, everyone walking around looking like something out of Carrie just pushed it over the edge into farce.

    I especially liked that you can ask the dog to lick them off.

  49. bill says:

    Huh?

    I’m not saying ALL rpgs should be short, but i wish there were at least a few of them. 70+ hour RPGs were great when i was at school, or at college and I could devote entire weekends to them… but when you grow up you’ll realise that very few people can continue to do that.

    If you think about it, there’s no logical reason why we expect RPGs to be 70hrs, FPS games to be 10 hours, etc… it’s just a convention that developed due to the way the games were made. Imagine if Sci-fi movies were expected to be 3 hours, but fantasy movies were expected to be 6. It makes no sense. (plus it seems much more financially viable for the development companies).

    I can think of a lot of games that’d have been improved by being shorter, but few that should have been padded out more.
    (and the hockey comment makes no sense, considering most sports ARE designed to fit in around people’s lives. That’s why they have breaks. That’s why they’re usually on weekends. Etc..)

    What would be fine would be if the core game was focused and of a reasonable length, and the side quests were truely optional. Sometimes they are, but too often you have to trudge through loads of repetitive side quests just to be able to complete the main quest…

  50. NegativeZero says:

    I get the impression I’m the only one who really liked the side questing in Mass Effect. I’m a big astronomy fan and stuff, so the idea of exploring uncharted worlds and discovering random stuff all over the place was really enjoyable for me, though admittedly the execution could have been a bit better. More variation maybe.

    • Kester says:

      I really enjoyed the space exploring. I spent ages reading the blurb about each planet you could find: some of them had really interesting histories. Actually landing on most planets was a bit dull though, as they mostly lacked character. The skyscapes were amazing on some of them (the red giant planet was terrifying) but the landscapes were lacking.

    • Michael says:

      Nope you’re not the only one, I think I went through pretty much every side quest and enjoyed it. True, they were a bit repetetive, but I still liked them. Some interesting stories hidden away there. If I were to criticise one thing it would be that all building looked the same inside though.