Mass Effect, slayed
Posted at April 01, 2018
I bought Mass Effect for USD$10 back in late 2009. Nearly ten years later (roughly a month ago, now), I finally beat it.
- First things first, it has to be said that there’s a lot of wonkiness in this game. Most of the time the game is “fun” to play, aside from when you get hit with biotics and lose control of Shepard for a few seconds — it’s fair, the whole point of the attack is making someone an easy target, but taking away all control from a player in a FPS is almost painful. The inventory system is complete rubbish. It’s not often clear what choosing a particular dialog choice will do. Most of the planets you visit are entirely optional and feature tedious exploration. And yet…
- It comes together really well. It’s a case where the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
- The first few times I tried playing it I got bogged down in the Citadel. In retrospect the stuff that opens up once you reach the Citadel is available to you ‘til near the end of the game, so you’re not really meant to spend hours wandering around talking to people and opening up side quests. So that’s kinda on me, but also on the game for not communicating it to me.
- But the missions are good. They’re focused, interesting, and usually fun.
- The side quests are OK. There’s a limit to how many times I can go through the same bases with different placements of obstacles and different enemies, but I didn’t get completely bored of them.
- And it’s clearly an ambitious game. It doesn’t all work, but they tried so much.
After a bit of struggling, I got my copy of Mass Effect 2 up and running via Origin. Here’s my griping on Twitter:
Between having bought the deluxe edition on Steam and very confusing DLC options, I'm pretty sure EA doesn't actually want me to play Mass Effect 2.— nigelsezyarr (@thaeus) March 12, 2018
The DLC options on Origin are The Worst. I'm supposed to buy "Bioware points", and use those to buy the content I actually want? Uh, no.— nigelsezyarr (@thaeus) March 12, 2018
It took me long enough to figure out that the "deluxe edition" doesn't come with DLC; or rather, it comes with the "cerebus" DLC, which apparently was later made free?— nigelsezyarr (@thaeus) March 12, 2018
All that after I'd manually downloaded and installed a bunch of DLC content from a help page. Gee, starting up the game and being told that I don't have permission to play a bunch of stuff I've downloaded and installed... great UX!— nigelsezyarr (@thaeus) March 12, 2018
I ended up importing the game into Origin, which worked fine -- good job on that! Then I bought the bundle DLC which comes with everything, even though there's all this cosmetic stuff I don't care at all about. At least I could buy that with actual money.— nigelsezyarr (@thaeus) March 12, 2018
I guess what I'm trying to say is... rawr. Between not being able to buy DLC in Steam, and the awkward storefront in Origin, it was a bad experience. I'm a customer who wants to give ya'll money, just make it easy for me to do so. :(— nigelsezyarr (@thaeus) March 12, 2018
In conclusion: Yarr!— nigelsezyarr (@thaeus) March 12, 2018
The general consensus is that Mass Effect 2 is a vast step up over the first game. I’m looking forward to checking it out. “Yarr” indeed!