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February 28th, 2010, 19:54
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
I find this hard to really address since I haven't played ME2, but I'll assume in RPG-level it's similar to Mass Effect 1. In which case: I don't think your comparison is correct. BioShock 1 and 2 are RPG-lite compared even to FPS/RPGs like Deus Ex or Vampire: Bloodlines. You could called Mass Effect a TPS/RPG or action RPG, but it has a lot more going for it on the RPG front than BioShock 2; varied choices with varied, in-game consequences, separate side- and main-quests, dialogue system, non-combat skills, stats having more of an influence on combat.

I think I get your point, as far as critiquing seeing ME2 as the "next evolution in RPGs" goes, obviously both BioShock 2 and ME2 share that they're simply less RPG than the RPG of old. Is that an evolution? I wouldn't say so. Is it where mainstream "RPGs" are going? Sure.
I think with ME2 its even more apparent. With respect to story choice, ME2 does a better job of creating the illusion of meaningful choice, but in the end those choices affect the way you play or experience the game (other than cutscenes) to, in reality, only a slightly more significant degree than the "choices" in Bioshock 2 to save or kill certain people and whether to harvest or rescue the little sisters.

With respect to character development, one could even argue that Bioshock 2 requires more meaningful choice. At least in Bioshock you have to choose which passive and active powers you carry and this at least nominally affects the way you play and approach the game. In ME2, other than initial class choice, you simply choose to max out power A before power B. In the case of Bioshock 2, I would argue that the loadout doesn't really matter because you simply end up shooting repeatedly at everything (whether it be right click or left click) regardless of which powers are equipped. However, the same could be argued for ME2, the choice of class or powers maxed out first doesn't really change the game from hide, shoot, hide, shoot, activate power x, hide, shoot.

I'm sure I will be vilified as an elitist with an agenda for saying these things. And I know I should just shutup, but I find this deification of ME2 among certain reviewers and members of the rpg community particularly irksome as contradictory opinions about other games seem to be held at the same time. IMO both Bioshock 2 and ME2 are decent games, ME2 is better experience probably overall, but IMO, they are, in reality, cut from much the same cloth. IMO both are "shooters with a story" and not much beyond that.
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