Mass Effect 2

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by TheOneFreeMan, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
    So, what do we think of the upcoming Mass Effect 2? Interested? I loved Mass Effect 1, although the gameplay did tend to drag at times when it came to the side quests. The main plot and missions were fantastic, but then the side quests were tedious. Great character and plot development though (what else would you expect from Bioware?)

    There's rumours that you, as the main character, may actually die at the end of the game depending on the choices you make. I'm imagining a "save yourself or your crew" situation, though knowing Bioware it won't be that predictable. But actually dying at the end of the game is a pretty bold move; I can't think of many other games that have done that.

    The mission in the original where you have to choose between which crew member to save and which to let die is, for me, an all-time great video game moment. It sounds like they're stepping it up even further now with the hard decisions which actually affect the gameplay.

    So ... looking forward to it, or think it's going to be crap?
     
  2. Adrik_Senturu

    Adrik_Senturu WIGWAMBAM!

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well they're not really rumors they've been pretty much saying that there will in fact be choices that could lead to you dying.


    But yeah I can't wait.
     
  3. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Party Escort Bot

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,085
    Likes Received:
    18
    The main plot of ME1 was about as cliched as it could get. That said, it was a great game, with decent writing and good characters, great environments and great voice acting. I'm looking forward to ME2.

    And M/M romance options.
     
  4. Kadayi

    Kadayi Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm definitely looking forward to it (presently replaying it as a Sentinel atm). However I'd say hands down The Witcher is a much RPG when it comes to player choices. The problem with Mass Effect 1 is that your decisions pay off straight away so you can quickly reload if you don't like them, where as with The Witcher the payoff to decisions (good or bad) is a much more long term thing and so you naturally become more heavily invested in them.

    I think what excites me with Mass Effect 2 is that clearly it will be a better game than 1, and that in itself is no bad thing. I'm hoping for a lot more diversity & richness in the character models, hairstyles, & environments (long hair on ladies would be no bad thing occasionally), as well as building upon the first games storyline.

    I kind of question the necessity for this reveal about Shepard potentially dying as well. I honestly can't imagine that unless its a case of either Shepard dies, or this planet populated solely by orphans & puppies gets it, that a player is going to pause for thought over taking the 'I'll live' route. Sure we'll probably all give the 'heroic death' version a look see out of morbid curiosity, but 99.99% of us will reload back to an earlier game afterwards. There has to be an advantage to a players choice, and I'm not seeing the advantage in dying (and losing 2 games worth of character development), in the same way I'm not seeing the advantage in electing to killing a team mate simply because they disagree with me. Ok I win, but suddenly I'm a man down and just lost a tonne of equipment...dumb idea...head to reload.

    You'll have a long wait I suspect.
     
  5. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's probably going to be more complex than that, knowing Bioware. Sure, you'll live ... but maybe your love interest will die instead, or your whole team, or a planet full of people will be destroyed, (or something less cliche than those ideas). Bioware are damn good at this, and they wouldn't be doing it if they didn't think they could make the decision a difficult one.

    It's also about how you view the gameplaying experience. If you're thinking about character development and such, then chances are you've not successfully been immersed in the RPG experience and the decision isn't going to have much emotional impact for you ...

    I mean, when you were faced with the decision to let Ashley or Kaiden die on the Virmire mission, was your first thought "which character's abilities are more useful"? I know that for me, my thought was "which character do I like best". Which is why I let Kaiden die. Boring git.
     
  6. Paulaner

    Paulaner Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    12
    I don't know. Still waiting for the price of ME1 on Steam switching from ridiculous to acceptable.
     
  7. PorkPi

    PorkPi Spy

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    0
    I die all the time in games. It's easy.
     
  8. Atomic_Piggy

    Atomic_Piggy Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,489
    Likes Received:
    0
    Whats cool about the second is that your decisions in the first have affects. Definatly looking forward to it.
     
  9. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    The first game was a pretty big dissapointment for me. It was a decent game at best, and it doesnt deserve the orgasms everyone seems to have over it. I thought it was going to be a KOTOR level of goodness judging by everyone's reactions when it came out on the xbox. But I was probably only half as good as either of the KOTORs. Which means it was still a good game, but not amazing.

    I am looking forward to ME2 though. It sounds like they might have fixed all the boring, unfleshed out parts that were in the first, so that will make it a lot better. Also their artwork looks great, and I appreciate me some good arts.
     
  10. Kadayi

    Kadayi Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Did I not just say that? However given the fact that (by the end of ME2) I've probably spent 70+ hours guiding this character through the game, there would have to be pretty exceptional reason for me not to take the 'choose life' option and some significant carry through advantage in doing so onto the next game. If its not there, it ain't happening.

    Come again? Did you just say immersive in the same sentence as Mass Effect? I'm sorry but Mass Effect is an engaging fun game, but it is not in any way shape of form an immersive game. Halflife 2, that's immersive. Vampire the Masquerade: bloodlines, thats immersive. System shock 2, that's immersive. Farcry 2 & Bioshock, they are immersive. Mass effect is a 3rd person cut scene driven game, where in you make the narrative choices for the character you've created. You aren't Shepard, you drive Shepard. You play the role vicariously, there is nothing immersive about it as far as gaming goes. Immersion is much more than simply commanding your attention.
     
  11. Shift

    Shift Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,018
    Likes Received:
    7
    ME1 was very enjoyable, great single player experience, but the side quests were just completely ridiculous, a big rock of <insert color here> with the same random crap scattered about and a base full of overpowered enemies in the middle.

    If they fix the flaws and ultimately improve it I think it will be a great game. I think as someone said they should have the choice system have more of the impact they have like in The Witcher, more of a long term effect.
     
  12. Atomic_Piggy

    Atomic_Piggy Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,489
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed, the side quests were tedious and boring. I did about five before just not bothering, save for the henchmen quests.
     
  13. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
    Exactly. That's the whole point, the whole thing that'll make the decision so interesting. You've got an emotional investment in the character, having played them for so long.

    Sorry, but you can't just take one kind of immersion, the kind that first-person shooters use, and claim that's the only kind of immersion that exists. When you're playing an RPG like Mass Effect, you're immersing yourself in the plot and character interaction. You're still taking on control of the character and becoming emotionally attached through the actions you take in that guise; that is immersion. Immersion in the plot and character development via your actions as the player character, more than immersion in the world itself, which is what all those games you mentioned use.

    Just because a game is 3rd person does not mean it can't be immersive.
     
  14. Kadayi

    Kadayi Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unless you've some special insight into what Bioware are up to (which I doubt) at most I'd say you are clutching at hypothetical straws. Personally when it came to does Wrex live, does Wrex die. The simple answer was what's the advantage in killing him? There was none, so he lived.

    Actually I can, and actually I am. 1st person games are the height of immersion, anything else is secondary at best. So please don't attempt to patronise me in future with claims that I'm not immersed in the game, or not appreciating it for its true worth. I'm as much into Mass Effect as anyone else, to claim your experience is somehow grander is the high of point of folly.
     
  15. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
    That may be the experience for you, but not for many other people playing the game.

    I'm not sure why you are being aggressive about this. I have not patronised you or insulted you, or claimed that my experience is "grander".

    You claimed that immersion is a trait which is solely possessed by first-person games. I dispute that on the grounds that Mass Effect's moral decisions for the player carry emotional weight beyond mere considerations of gameplay tactics. If someone leaves a character to die, is it not possible for them to feel guilty? If a character you've been having a friendship/romance with is put in danger, does that not give you extra incentive to rescue them?

    It's simply a different kind of immersion. There's no "better" one.
     
  16. Apocalypse89

    Apocalypse89 Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    0
    As someone who recently started playing ME1(and should probably stay away from this thread until he's done), I have to agree with TheOneFreeman. To me the game is just as immersive as, say, HL2, because of the sheer amount of choices you have in the game and the incredible detail of the universe and backstory(just read the Codex). It has a lot more to do than just where the camera is sitting.
     
  17. Kadayi

    Kadayi Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Never yet met a person who killed Wrex, or if they did, didn't reload back to change their decision because there was no quantifiable advantage in doing so. Its not like he's an obnoxious character, or that you are forced to have to use him as a companion, so there seems little reason to kill him, esp when you've no idea whether you might need him later on.

    Oh really?


    Not successfully immersed? Oh was I missing that. Please do tell? :dozey:

    *universal sigh of wankerage

    As for immersion, being in the game space is fully immersive, anything that steps away from that is secondary as outlined before. There is no dispute or negotiation to that, it simply is the truth of things.
     
  18. 63

    63 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    8,959
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faaaanboi.
     
  19. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    I killed Wrex both times I played through the game.

    And your argument about immersion is idiotic. If what you're saying is true, then immersion in movies and books would also be impossible. Dont be stupid, being in third person and playing through a set story does not mean its not immersive. Not only that, but you're being hypocritical. You said that ME isnt immersive because you simply "drive" shepherd. How is halflife any different? You simply drive gordon. You make no decisions for yourself, every action is chosen for you by the story.

    So really, it seems like your only argument is that the game's camera is what makes game immersive or not. And if that is the claim you're making, then I am completely dumbfounded.

    Also, Far Cry 2 is immersive? You're opinion on this matter is just awful.
     
  20. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
    The level of arrogant "wankerage" as you put it in putting your opinion on a grand abstract title like immersion and then claiming that opinion as fact is, quite frankly, astonishing.

    I'm sorry if you feel I'm attacking you in some way, but the fact is that Bioware wrote these kind of moral decisions into the game and accompanied them with such complex and vivid character development in order to give the situations emotional meaning for us, to emotionally immerse us in the plot and the choices we make in the game. If you're going through the game looking at every situation merely in terms of "hm, which response will give me the best loot/tactical advantage so I can play my way through the game easier", then I'm very sorry, but you have missed something in terms of immersion in the game.

    You also seem to be claiming that everybody plays through the game as you are doing, when that's clearly not the case.
     
  21. Kadayi

    Kadayi Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sure you did Kyrnn, just to spite me hey. ;)

    *sigh

    If only I wasn't referencing an academic paper on the very subject of what is widely accepted as the definition of immersion in games......


    http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~pcairns/papers/Cairns_Immersion06.pdf

    Engagement, engrossment, (total) immersion, in that order, and the 1st person shooter is the only one that delivers the last.

    Don't like it, care to dispute it, take it up with the academics. Personally I find when discussing games, having the ability to distinguish between what is engaging and what is truly (totally) immersive makes a big difference. It helps clarify in the mind and in discussion why Dead space isn't System shock 2, and never will be, although it is still a good game.

    So yes Kyrnn, Farcry 2 is truly immersive. However Mass Effect not so much, although I'd say it is engrossing at times.
     
  22. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you very much for linking to that article; I'm currently researching a paper on emotional immersion and engagement in games, and I'm sure that will prove most interesting reading later on. My brother studied at UCL, fine university.

    A couple of points:
    This does actually support my previous point:
    I've been saying from the start that it's all about different kinds of immersion. I'm rather pleased to see some factual evidence to back that up hunch.

    I suppose you would classify the immersion present in 3rd person games (like Mass Effect) as "engagement" or "engrossment" under your terminology. Those are very good boundaries to establish, and I thank you for doing so. However, I do feel the need to point out that you haven't demonstrated that total immersion necessarily makes a better game than other immersive techniques, as you implied with your last comment. It certainly makes for more emotionally stimulating possibilities within the game, but I would argue that the limitations placed upon it make certain emotional situations more accessible when using a different form of immersion.

    Think of it this way; some of the most important and moving pieces of literature in history have been told in the first-person. It makes you feel connected to the narrator; you see through their eyes, you hear their words, you live their experiences. But is a book written in the third-person any less of an emotional and immersive experience? Do we not feel the same connection to characters, while at the same time having the ability to view narrative plot points out of the perceptual range of some of the characters, to create that sense of dramatic irony?

    Also, extending from that point, the boundaries of technology make these first-person "total immersive" games a victim of their own limitations when it comes to functionality. If you are aiming for total immersion, then you set yourself a number of limitations on what your game can do, one of the most major of which being the ability for the player-character to speak in the game; it's just not technological possible at the moment without breaking immersion with a self-auto talk mechanism (which is notoriously disruptive to immersion).

    Ask yourself this question; how exactly would the love scenes in Mass Effect function if you were limited to the total immersion model of gameplaying? How do you even begin to have an effective love scene involving your character when your ability to speak and make complex movements is neutered?

    Character development in games is not just about characters interacting with each other, it's about them interacting with you as well. And if you are immersing yourself within the narrative of a game, sometimes you have a better ability to do that when you take control of a character already within the game, instead of actively projecting your own presence. You can have more functionality within the game world that way to affect the narrative, and ultimately that narrative is what is providing the emotional impact to you, the player. It is not better nor worse an emotional experience than a "total immersion" experience. It is simply a different one.

    Incidentally, I have done nothing to you to encourage you to act like an ass in regards to this. Why you are is beyond me, because this is a very good discussion we're having which I am thankful for.
     
  23. Kadayi

    Kadayi Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Game play is clearly tiered in terms of immersiveness and in that respect the deeper realm of total immersion has to judged to be the pinnacle, or desired mode.

    One accepts that the optimal of immersion mode might not necessarily provide all of the range and diversity that one might like within a game at present, however it would be foolhardy to make judgements regarding its long term suitability based on short term technological constraints, especially as we move into realms of greater and greater physical interaction in games (consider Project Natal as an example). How we play games now, and how we play games in ten years could be wildly different things, esp with touch screen technology emerging.

    As regards RPGs, both Oblivion and VTM:B are relatively good examples of highly immersive FP games. The real direction though for the FP as RPG experience lies in building upon the simple open world model demonstrated in Farcry 2, where in the player is kept entirely in the game space and not in the interface (dropping to interface is always a step back in immersion) and where the gains are externalised for the player (better equipment, vehicles, money etc) rather than internalised through abstract statistical points gain, which are by and large wholly redundant hangovers from the days of P&P RPGs, where in such information was required to arrive at action conclusion/resolution.
     
  24. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    Do you have the Slater article that the paper references to by chance? The words "format" and "interface" are very vague and I'd like to see it clarified to see if hes actually talking about camera perspective.
     
  25. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes indeed, I make no claims that the field of technological interactivity with games isn't massively exciting, and I believe it will iinstigate a revolution in the way we play games in years to come. But at the same time, I don't believe that the development of these immersive systems is going to render all dramatic devices games such as Mass Effect currently use obsolete.

    There are certain stories where it is desirable from a narrative viewpoint to have the player as the constant active, which happens throughout most total immersion games. But some stories, especially epics, are made massively more effective by their use of dramatic techniques which don't use perspective-based immersion techniques. If you're trying to acheive total immersion, there's simply some dramatic devices which will always be off-limits to you, ones which have artistic and dramatic merit.

    I think the key point here is, you're right when you say that people tend to judge a game in terms of its immersiveness. And first-person games can create a level of immersiveness more complete than any other. But also, some stories simply can't work in first-person, not when you're using total immersion techniques, and these narratives use dramatic techniques which you can't emulate in a first-person perspective game. And these dramatic and characterisation techniques can instil emotion just as powerful as any "total immersion" game. So they both have their own merits, and will both continue to thrive in the technological future, for which I'm very happy because both methods create fantastic games.
     
  26. jet_porkins

    jet_porkins Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,459
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I am looking forward to Mass Effect 2.
     
  27. Saturos

    Saturos Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,076
    Likes Received:
    1
    ^This

    ...and 3rd to say Kadayi's opinion on the definition of an immersive game is silly.
     
  28. jet_porkins

    jet_porkins Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,459
    Likes Received:
    0
    Honestly, I understand where Kadayi is coming from. But who cares?

    IF YOU EMOTIONALLY REACT TO THE EVENTS UNFOLDED IN A GAME THEN CALL IT WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT
     
  29. Saturos

    Saturos Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,076
    Likes Received:
    1
    How "immersive" a game needs to be really depends on the user's imagination tbh as well as what defines "immersive". As kids, we didn't need realistic looking toy guns to play soldier. We just used a fold-up chair which more than seemed like an M-60 to us back in the day.

    Whether or not the user needs to play from 1st person perspective or 3rd, or whether or not he/she needs surround sound or a believable, evolving storyline for a game to be immersive depends on player preference so no one definition can accurately describe what exactly is "immersive" because it's solely a matter of opinion.

    It's my opinion that immersive can be defined as anything that can take one's complete attention away from their immediate surroundings. I knew people who thought Tetris was immersive.

    There is no one rigid, unquestionable definition of immersion. I love people like Kadayi who reads and quotes everything from a book or source and believe it to be the absolute, truth. It's like saying being a masterful artist takes years of study from a book entitled, "Art 101". It's baloney.
     
  30. Paulaner

    Paulaner Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    12
    Agreed. (Good) text adventures are still very immersive, to me.
     
  31. AHA-Lambda

    AHA-Lambda Newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did :)
     
  32. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's not silly, it's actually very well grounded. We're really just getting caught up on terminology between the different kinds of immersion that exist in games.
     
  33. Atomic_Piggy

    Atomic_Piggy Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,489
    Likes Received:
    0
    How the **** can you kill Wrex? That guy was a total badass.
     
  34. Kadayi

    Kadayi Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best I can find is this. Though they talk about it at the beginning:-

    http://www.cs.ucy.ac.cy/~yiorgos/publications/influence_of_shadows95.pdf

    In the earlier article, it should be noted that the 1st person frame is the ideal in that is the closest we presently have to the total VR experience.

    Clarification of definition is an important issue when entering a discussion on a tricky subject like immersion. Whether you think it is 'Silly' or 'who cares' really doesn't matter tbh. You're not providing a better or more agreeable model for discussion.

    Would you say that watching a head cam from a person skydiving is equally as immersive an experience as skydiving itself, or that reading about a persons recollection of a skydive is more immersive than those? If not then one has to accept that there are different degrees of immersion, and what the paper outlines is a suitable model for assessing those degrees?
     
  35. Shift

    Shift Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,018
    Likes Received:
    7
    I also killed Wrex, the guy was a cheeky ****er.
     
  36. AHA-Lambda

    AHA-Lambda Newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly. Everyone loved wrex so I thought I was the only one who hated him :)
     
  37. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    I hated him too. I killed him both times, but during the second one, I killed ashley first to check it out, then reloaded and killed wrex again.
     
  38. TheOneFreeMan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1
  39. Reginald

    Reginald Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    6,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    I still haven't read Ascension or played Mass Effect Galaxy. And then there's the forthcoming comic and Mass Effect 1 DLC as well. Lots of things to do before I get properly excited about 2.
     
  40. Acepilotf14

    Acepilotf14 Sucked so much dick for this title

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    13,012
    Likes Received:
    42
    I read both books. They've led me to believe Cerberus will have a bigger role in ME2. Hopefully. They're pretty badass.
     

Share This Page