Deconstructing the Game: Mass Effect 2

Too simple?: Now don’t get me wrong, I liked the ease of choice for all of the little nuts and bolts such as weapons, armor and leveling in ME2 to a large extent, but something about the way all of the potential stat based sections were handled just felt too dumbed down, I guess you could say less RPG like, than I would have preferred. For all of the missteps in ME1, including many that were inherent to all things dealing with dropped loot and inventory, I didn’t think Bioware would just scrap it all and say to hell with it.

Instead of further working on crafting an RPG game that could be played on both an intricate or shallow level, either focusing on stats, armor and the such or just putting it all on auto, Bioware created a dialog tree heavy FPS devoid of any sense of meaningful upgrades (because stats aren’t that noticeable) for the tinkering lot that normally dive into RPGs. One could argue that focusing so heavily on pandering to the casual base, while largely ignoring trying to innovate in how to create a dual presentation, could be the most beneficial change to Mass Effect’s long term viability as a product, but it just seems like a shame to ditch creating a balanced and deep stat based upgrade system with a thoughtful inventory structure and a rewarding loot drop system.

The end result is I spent less time mucking about in the menus of Mass Effect 2 than in part 1, but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I felt less invested in customizing my teams equipment than ever before, and that’s just a shame for an RPG.

Load outs? What load outs?Maybe I missed a slew of weapons to upgrade but I really only had 2 or 3 choices for guns in each category and the choices all lead to a similar conclusion and end effect (except the heavy weapons, all of those were great and varied feeling). The lack of any real choice made the load out screen seem like a superfluous facade of gameplay rather than a dedicated aspect of the game. I mean honestly, why would I choose a gun that is inferior to another in every way shape or form?