[Originally posted on FB on July 11, 2012]
This is not very relevant now, but I like having it somewhere that isn’t a Facebook status.
This is going to be kind of piecemeal and all over, as I’m still playing through ME2 with my ME1 character. I actually have managed to not know very much about ME until I started playing through the whole series this way. I’m going to try and use [G, B, N] in front of each point to note whether the comment is something good, bad, or neutral in my opinion.
1.[B] Cerberus- So I’m a paragon hero of the galaxy from the last game, who spent most of his free time destroying Cerberus terror cells, and now I wake up working for Mengele and I’m just supposed to be okay with it? To be fair, now and then I can say things like ‘I toootally don’t work for Cerberus’ while still seeing the Illusive Man after every mission and flying a ship with an AI that has unknown Cerberus programming. I don’t think I’m too far off with the Mengele reference, either- most of the ‘experiments’ I interrupted last game involved “Let’s see what happens when we put unarmed humans and Rachni in the same cage.”
2. [G] Romance- All of the personalities of possible romance options (at least for MaleShep) are more interesting than the last game.
3. [B] Romance- Can I be nice to a woman in this game without her wanting to sleep with me? Like, just because I care about someone on my crew, maybe help them with some important life event or take them on their spirit journey, maybe we could just be really good friends. This might not be true for all of the women on the crew, but so far my only positive interactions with females have led to ‘hey baby’ or ‘this is a business relationship we should never talk’.
3b. [BBB] Several hours later, I’ve confirmed what I was worried about in 3: it’s actually impossible to continue to help Jack through her psychological issues if you don’t have romantic feelings for her. I mean, I’m sure I could do a whole note on helping her work through psychological damage as an integrated part of a romance, but that issue aside, it’s pretty terrible that I can’t actually be real, true friends with Jack if I don’t want to sleep with her.
4. [G] Scanning- This minigame is pretty terrible. Luckily it replaced something worse. There is something bad about this that I’ll touch on in a later point.
5. [G] Barrier/Shield HUD- Just some UI praise; seeing a barrier/shield on top of armor on top of health is a cool touch.
6. [G] Upgrades- I still don’t entirely understand the upgrade system; luckily, I do understand that it’s about 1000 times less work than the last game’s for similar effect, so good on it. The weapon-slot system from last game almost caused me to quit a few hours before the end.
7. [B] Scale- Everything feels smaller in this game. The game puts a lot of work into telling you that things are vast, but not so much showing you. Ex: The ship is ‘bigger’ but you have to loading screen to a bunch of smaller areas, there are tons of planets but you only drop down to small interior sections of them. This problem is exacerbated by the loss of the buggy. There so far hasn’t even been something like the Presidium from the first game, a moderately open inside area; just cramped interiors separated by loading screens.
8. [G] Garrus- I actually never talked to Garrus in the first game, and didn’t know anything about ME2, so I was genuinely surprised at the Archangel reveal. Cool.
9. [B] Unity/Team Health- I could probably read what it all means, but I have no idea when to use Unity/how my team is doing until my HUD says ‘heal your team, idiot’ to me.
10. [G] Hack Minigames- Glad they’re different from last game, and they’re a little more interesting. Glad they’re still really easy.
11. [G, N] Galaxy Map- I actually like the little detail of having to move your ship around each system manually, instead of toggling through planets. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve ever manually flown to another in-nebula system not for a mission, and didn’t realize I even could for many hours.
Overall, having a good time with the second game, especially because most of my big interface gripes from the last were fixed.