Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
Box Art

Mass Effect - Nitpicks #1 @ Twenty Sided

by Dhruin, 2009-01-12 21:12:27

Twenty Sided continues on from their Mass Effect First Impressions with of a list of "complaints, issues and little grievances".  This first part covers dialogue and interface issues:

In the past, dialog-driven games have offered you a bunch of possible answers and left you to read each and every one of them, looking for what you want to say. This is a lot of pointless skimming if you’re just looking for the one that boils down to, “How much will you pay me for killing ten rats?” This breaks the flow of conversation, and all that prose eats up a ton of screen real estate. Mass Effect has a much better system, where you’re offered a very short summary of your answers, and the option to select it appears while the other person is still speaking, letting you get your answer ready before it’s your turn to talk. When it works right it provides a smooth conversation with lots of options that doesn’t require a lot of reading and doesn’t obscure the visuals. You choose your intent and tone, and the dialog flows naturally. Wonderful.

But there are places where the summary doesn’t match what you actually say, and others where the tone isn’t at all clear. When I see the option to say, “What do you want?”, I can’t be sure if my character is going to say, “Can I help you, sir?”, or, “What do YOU want, anus-face?” They’re usually arranged in order from “nice” to “jerk”, but there are still times where you still can’t figure out what’s going to come out of your mouth when you hit the button. And there are plenty of rail-roadish moments where all of your possible responses are variants on the same stupid question or offensive remark.

Information about

Mass Effect

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Release: Released