Well I polished off my first playthrough of Mass Effect 2 last weekend on hardcore. I enjoyed it very much. The universe is safe again...for now...dun dun dun. The last section of Mass Effect 2 is actually one the better endings to an RPG out there, even though it's a cliffhanger. I'd love to discuss the plot and what happens to characters but I don't want to spoil it for anyone else.
I decided to begin a whole new character in the ME-verse and downloaded Mass Effect. Last night I created "The Inquisitor" - a ruthless Earthborn adept with nothing but disdain for xenos and weakness in humans. I'm gonna play him pure Renegade (my other character is a Paragon...for the most part). He's a really ugly fucker, scarred and beady-eyed, with a potato nose.
Now the first time I played through ME I was kind of disappointed. This time around I am really enjoying myself and have been noticing some remarkable differences between ME and ME2. The main difference is in the first game there's a great deal of control over your character's skills, armor capabilities, combat prowess, even what kind of upgrades and gizmos you can equip on weapons and armor. Personally I love tinkering with my character and equipment - it goes with the territory of being an RPG-hound and is still one of favorite things about Elder Scrolls IV.
In comparison there is minmal tinkering with any item, armor, or character in Mass Effect 2. Sure you can upgrade weapons and armor to a certain extent, however you cannot change any character's armor. You can equip some different types of armor on your PC but once you get decent armor you never change it again.
This may sound like a petty argument to most of you but I view it as one of the downsides of blockbuster games. In order to make a game accessable to the masses (no pun intended) fiddly elements (item selection/equipment/character stats) need to be streamlined. In some cases it works, in ME2 skills and biotics are far easier and faster to use than in ME. However, removing in-depth customization of a character and their gear takes a major element of challenge out of a RPG, tactically and otherwise.
I will make one more complaint about ME2. There ain't grenades! There are grenades in ME! Jeez, Bioware - did the grenades not test well?
Okay one more gripe, squad control stinks and especially stinks in comparison to ME.
More reviews to follow re: ME & ME2
ps: the story of ME2 is truly great and one of the best I've ever played through despite gripes about gameplay.
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