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Default Mass Effect 2 - Preview @ RPGamer

January 5th, 2010, 10:24
RPGamer has some hands-on impressions of Mass Effect 2:
Maybe it was just me, but combat in Mass Effect sometimes felt loose and it was hard at times to get a bead on certain enemies. Mass Effect was a shooter, but it didn't quite control as well as other shooters out there. Mass Effect 2's combat instantly felt tightened up and appealed to my natural FPS skills. A new thermal clip ammo system has been added to Mass Effect 2, rather than the recharge system used in the original, so now weapons can only fire a certain amount of times before they run out. It works just fine and was added to allow better weapon balance. Gunplay has definitely been improved in Mass Effect 2.
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January 5th, 2010, 10:24
The shooting part of ME can only be improved, it was and still is the weakest part of the game (inventory management being on it's heels).

And I endorse the use of ammo clips!
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January 5th, 2010, 10:37
I agree that the shooter mechanics of ME 1 can be improved.

The question is: Should it be improved?

Because you could already win all fights using shooting only, without ever using the other, more RPG-like, mechanics.

So improving the shooter part could even worsen that issue.

Of course, if supply of ammo was really short, this could force you to change your tactics. But who expects that this kind of frustration for casual players will be implemented in a mainstream title?
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January 5th, 2010, 14:16
For me, the problem is this: if you are going to be a RPG/shooter, should you be a terrible shooter like Mass Effect or Fallout 3, a mediocre shooter like Borderlands, or a decent shooter like STALKER?

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January 5th, 2010, 15:12
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
I agree that the shooter mechanics of ME 1 can be improved.

The question is: Should it be improved?

Because you could already win all fights using shooting only, without ever using the other, more RPG-like, mechanics.

So improving the shooter part could even worsen that issue.
I could be wrong, but I thought the point was to have fun - and shooting in ME was not hugely fun. If it could be made more fun, then the game should be more fun as a result, which would be a win for everyone surely?

Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
For me, the problem is this: if you are going to be a RPG/shooter, should you be a terrible shooter like Mass Effect or Fallout 3, a mediocre shooter like Borderlands, or a decent shooter like STALKER?
I'd add bioshock to the list of decent shooters. Add in world exploration and quests to bioshocks shooting mechanics and I'd be very happy. Same engine as Mass Effect as well, so it can be done
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January 5th, 2010, 15:25
@txa and kalniel:
I agreethat making the shooting mechanics better doesn't necessarily mean to make it even more imbalanced compared to other tactics. But I still see the danger.

I would add Deus Ex to the list of games which had a good balance between shooter mechanics and other skills.
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January 5th, 2010, 16:56
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
I agree that the shooter mechanics of ME 1 can be improved.

The question is: Should it be improved?

Because you could already win all fights using shooting only, without ever using the other, more RPG-like, mechanics.

So improving the shooter part could even worsen that issue.

Of course, if supply of ammo was really short, this could force you to change your tactics. But who expects that this kind of frustration for casual players will be implemented in a mainstream title?
Surely that's what difficulty levels are for? Experienced FPS players can crank it up so that they're still challenged, malcoordinated types whose reflexes are rarely tested more than the challenge of making a cup of tea while they mull over their next move in a turn based game can turn it down and use the rpg mechanics to compensate for being rubbish.
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January 5th, 2010, 17:05
I found this a bit unsettling. The last thing I want in a RPG is to fear to get out of ammo. I HATE that kind of games. I want to shoot around and have a blast and not play "Ammo Chart Calculater 2.0" >.<
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January 5th, 2010, 17:28
Originally Posted by elikal View Post
I found this a bit unsettling. The last thing I want in a RPG is to fear to get out of ammo. I HATE that kind of games. I want to shoot around and have a blast and not play "Ammo Chart Calculater 2.0" >.<
So, you don't like RPGs with, say, finite healing potions or mana?
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January 5th, 2010, 17:45
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
Surely that's what difficulty levels are for? Experienced FPS players can crank it up so that they're still challenged, malcoordinated types whose reflexes are rarely tested more than the challenge of making a cup of tea while they mull over their next move in a turn based game can turn it down and use the rpg mechanics to compensate for being rubbish.
That is not my point. I like to play FPS and do it since Doom, did it even before I evrplayed RPgs. However, an RPG/FPS Hybrid should try to balance the gameplay in a way that playing it as a pure shooter is not the easiest way to go. But that was exectly the problem with ME. Using other skills besides pure shooting was not very useful.
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January 5th, 2010, 21:56
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
That is not my point. I like to play FPS and do it since Doom, did it even before I evrplayed RPgs. However, an RPG/FPS Hybrid should try to balance the gameplay in a way that playing it as a pure shooter is not the easiest way to go. But that was exectly the problem with ME. Using other skills besides pure shooting was not very useful.
That is a core design problem with Mass Effect

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January 5th, 2010, 22:30
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
So, you don't like RPGs with, say, finite healing potions or mana?
I wouldn't mind if they ditched potions alltogether in RPGs, no. Whenever something is finite in a game, I end up hoarding like there's no tomorrow, just in case I get to a point in the game which is really tough.

I do the same with ammo, so in FO3 or similar I end up killing stuff with melee attacks more often than not, just for the sake of saving ammo for the tough guys.

Bottom line: I like stuff that regenerates, so I have a finite amount per battle (perhaps with some regeneration during that battle), but where I don't suddenly need something I collected 10 hours ago.

I've seen too many games where they assume you've collected X by the end of the game, so the actual amount of drops during that part of the game is much lower than what you need to clear that particular part. For most shooters, this is not an issue, as they're level based - just make sure every level has a good amount of ammo/explosives/whatever. If you run out, you can reload to the start of that level, and just do it more carefully. For open RPGs, it's entirely different - you risk either ending up with way too much, or not enough, depending on how the game is balanced and how you play the game.

In ME2 I suspect it won't be an issue though, as I'll surely play a biotic whose powers regenerate. They can probably take care of most battles without using weapons at all.

Of course, it might become an issue if the NPCs fire thousands of rounds into walls like they do in ME1…
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January 5th, 2010, 23:26
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I wouldn't mind if they ditched potions alltogether in RPGs, no. Whenever something is finite in a game, I end up hoarding like there's no tomorrow, just in case I get to a point in the game which is really tough.

I do the same with ammo, so in FO3 or similar I end up killing stuff with melee attacks more often than not, just for the sake of saving ammo for the tough guys.

Bottom line: I like stuff that regenerates, so I have a finite amount per battle (perhaps with some regeneration during that battle), but where I don't suddenly need something I collected 10 hours ago.

I've seen too many games where they assume you've collected X by the end of the game, so the actual amount of drops during that part of the game is much lower than what you need to clear that particular part. For most shooters, this is not an issue, as they're level based - just make sure every level has a good amount of ammo/explosives/whatever. If you run out, you can reload to the start of that level, and just do it more carefully. For open RPGs, it's entirely different - you risk either ending up with way too much, or not enough, depending on how the game is balanced and how you play the game.

In ME2 I suspect it won't be an issue though, as I'll surely play a biotic whose powers regenerate. They can probably take care of most battles without using weapons at all.

Of course, it might become an issue if the NPCs fire thousands of rounds into walls like they do in ME1
Fair enough and to each his own.

Personally, I greatly enjoy the scrounging and "optimising" aspect of resource management. Especially in games that become tense, and in a game like System Shock it was vital.

It adds a layer of decision making that I enjoy - but the implementation needs to be sound. Ammo should never be a hassle in terms of weight or an inventory hazard. But I really love the idea of various types of ammo for various purposes - and I like being forced into tough decisions.

I also happen to despise the idea of "universal ammo" - like in Mass Effect and Deus Ex: Invisible War. I find it to be a design cop-out that oversimplifies something that I know many find interesting and enjoyable.

As for the health potions, I tend to agree - but that's because there's a limit to the decisions you'll make. You either heal or you don't - and you don't really have any other option if you're low on health. For ammo, you can deal with enemies in different and more creative ways. That said, I like the idea of being left with 100 healing potions for the final boss, because it's a little medal on the chest for being tactical and careful - or quick loading a lot

So I'm fine with regenerating health, as long as it isn't too forgiving.
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