Delayed Responsibility

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Posts Tagged ‘Mass Effect 2’

Impression/Review: Mass Effect 2

Posted by deckard47 on February 21, 2010

A Real Villain!

Hi there. It’s been a while. Back to work.

I’ve recently finished a game (from this year!), which makes me think that the End of Days may be upon us. This, of course, means I need to prepare myself: when you all get Raptured, I’m going to steal all of your cats and live with them in the giant treehouse at Disneyland. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sadly, I’m disappointed in Mass Effect 2. While it has its own issues regarding the way in which its characters and world are written (a clue: you can’t be gay unless you’re a hot blue alien Woman, and you can’t be a woman unless you’re Quarian, Human, or Asari), it left me unfulfilled in other ways.

There going to be spoilers here. So, yeah: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Impressions, Reviews | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Interview: Jennifer Hale is Amazing!

Posted by deckard47 on January 20, 2010

As if you didn’t know. You had better know. Really, if you don’t know, you might want to mosey on out of here. Head over to Simon’s blog, he might take your kind over there, what with loose standards and his ludic bent. Bah!

Here we have an interview with Hale (at Destructoid, strangely), in which she is funny and smart, and says things about acting in games that we all wish more people knew. It’s a cool interview, so I’ve linked to it, in my generosity, right here. Just to give you an idea of what’s being discussed, here are a few excerpts. The first is Hale explaining how she gets all of her characters to sound different from each other, and the second is her discussing working on Metal Gear Solid 4. Enjoy (or else)!

It’s nice that that has gotten across. It’s specificity. It’s all about specificity. If you’re general in your approach to playing characters, and you’re playing “a commander,” frankly that’s uninteresting. I think you’re cheating [the people] who play the games or the audiences who watch or listen. I think it’s lame. I don’t think it’s doing your job.

I think you have to be incredibly specific about who this person is, why they say what they say, why they say it how they say it, and what they want. When you get into those specifics, the writing will take care of you.

And here’s the second bit:

I did have the good fortune on Metal Gear [Solid] 4. We were brought in together. Dave [Hayter] and I worked together a lot; we had known each other for a long time…over ten years. So, it was fun working together on that. And Christopher [Randolph] and a couple of other groups of us got to work together on that in the same room at the same time, which was awesome.

Reading this, you realize A) how much Jennifer Hale rocks, and B) how great the characters in games could be if companies had both the will (apparently quite lacking, from the way companies write their characters) and the money (obviously an issue) to get actors and writers and directors together and make awesome stuff. And I still have to wait a week for Mass Effect 2!

[PS: That’s Torry Shepard up there, about to make her Paragonly way to the end of the game. She’ll be my first character in ME 2.]

Posted in Interviews | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

News and Hype: Mass Effect 2 and Save Games

Posted by deckard47 on December 29, 2009

Because I know you are all waiting, breathless, your save games clutched to your chests. You had better be.

This here (linky) is a long post on the Mass Effect 2 forums concerning what will and what will not carry over when you transfer your old Mass Effect saves into the new game. It is both practical (how do PC users do it, etc.) and exciting. It tells you about all of the little things that your previous playthrough will affect, from starting alignment and money, to slightly plot-related things. It’s not much of a thread (after the initial post, it degrades into those Internet people being rude), so I guess I’ll throw this Gametrailers ME 2 page in for good measure. It has a ton of trailers (one which I had not seen when I first linked to it, amazingly), and hopefully it will make the next 4 weeks pass less fretfully.

For everyone else (and me!), there are ME playthroughs to complete. I may not be in love with the voice of male Shepard, but I feel like I should have a character to take into ME 2 that is both a renegade (all of me women renegades are on the hideous 360 version. Bah) and a dude. As always, I’ll probably spend hours trying to create a guy (who doesn’t look like their stubbly villain) who looks like a human. This is how far I’ll go for my Mass Effect love!

Somehow, I’d managed to stay away from the Mass Effect 2 site until tonight. I’m not sure how that is even possible. As you all know, in the weeks and days preceding Dragon Age‘s release, I was almost intolerably obsessed with the site and its codex. Now, I discover a similar trove (an evil trove) of delights on the ME 2 page. Here, for instance, is a link to Tali’s page (with, of course, a video). No need to thank me. Slightly less exciting (but still exciting) than Tali’s page is the page on the Vorcha, one of ME 2‘s new races. Not only do they look cool and scary, but their name also sounds quite similar to a certain class of Kilngon warship.

Maybe I should stop now. There’s a whole page detailing the Mass Effect 2 armory, but what I really want are lore entries. Of course, most of the lore is already in place, thanks to Mass Effect. Still, there are new races and enemies, weapons and vehicles, so I hope they reveal some of that stuff closer to the drop date (January 26th). That’s a long way off, but I’m sure that commander Tom Shepard (it’s actually really weird to give a character your own name, I’ve discovered) can keep me company until then.

Posted in Hype, News | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Impressions: Dragon Age and that other Bioware game…

Posted by deckard47 on November 6, 2009

So I played an unhealthy amount of Dragon Age last night. I now have two characters, a female City Elf Warrior (dual wield, thinking of going Templar and Berserker for her) and a male human noble Rogue (dual wield backstab specialist, going assassin and dualist). I liked both origin stories, although I’m still unsure what I think about the City Elf origin. It was extremely unpleasant in its subject matter, and the way the bad things were portrayed (rape, murder, and racist oppression) were very abrupt and matter-of-fact. It was very George R. R. Martin, which I don’t really mean as a compliment (to Martin, that is). I’m not sure, as I said, how I feel about it. Another playthrough is in order before I come down hard on Bioware (if I come down hard).

I think he brutalizes his characters just to show how REAL his world is, and I got tired of watching him murder, rape, and abuse them after a few books. Bioware likes its characters more, and isn’t as willing to destroy them to keep their world Dark, which endears them to me. I like people who like the fictional worlds and people they create.

I also love Alistair and the Dog. Alistair is hilarious (the actor who plays him does a great job), and the Dog is really impressive in how it is animated and characterized. I already like it better than the Fable 2 dog. But back to the origin stories. It is obvious that Bioware was keen to create emotionally charged stories, and I think they succeeded. As a City Elf, I was perfectly happy to murder the man who had my friends murdered and raped, and my fiancée killed. My only complaint was that we didn’t get to know any of the elves in the alienage. As a noble, I met and got to know my whole family. Thus, when they were murdered while I slept, and their murderer escaped, I was ready to track him down and kill him. And then stupid Duncan whisks me off to fight the Blight. It made sense as a delaying tactic narratively, but I wanted to get straight to the revenge. I still don’t know what happened to my brother. Is he dead too?

The combat is uniformly excellent all of the skills have their place, as do the spells, potions, poisons, and various abilities. I’m still trying to figure out how to use traps well… I suspect I’m not being sneaky enough with them. I really enjoy playing as a back stabbing Rogue. It’s much more complex tactically than playing my fighter is. I can already tell that I want to play certain classes as certain races. Right now, it breaks down like this: Dalish Elf/Warrior Sword Shield, Dwarf Commoner/Ranger, Elven Mage. I will of course play all of the origins eventually, but I want to do it too much for fear of overplaying Ostragar and the Korcari Wilds.

Finally, I think I like the morality system better in this game: it doesn’t exist. Instead, you can make people in your party like you or not like you, just by doing things they would or would not like. So far I’m sucking up to everyone, but I might make my human be a little more picky. Also, I love Sten. I really need to talk to him more. It’s a huge game, and I love wandering about and fiddling with things, talking to my party members for hours (really, I spent an hour buttering up Morrigan, Alistair and Leliana), and fighting tough, exciting battles. Oh, and as expected, the lore is deep, well-written, and very fun to read. I’ve read every one, from the religious songs and histories of the chantry to the constantly-updated history of my doomed noble house.

So, after reading this, I hope you get the sense of how big and varied this game is. All of that was just me rambling about what I like. I could have talked about a dozen other things (gifts, armor set bonuses, shape changing!), and lauded those things just as much. It’s a great game, and it has its faults, but it’s the best RPG I’ve played since Mass Effect, and it’s great in a way that is very different from Mass Effect.

Which reminds me. Here is an absolutely amazing set of videos from Mass Effect 2. Things to note: Garrus, I love you! The dialogue and cutscenes look even better this time, as do the character’s reactions and expressions. I can’t wait for this to drop!

Posted in Impressions, Videos | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

No! Where are You Going Wrex?

Posted by deckard47 on June 12, 2009

These two bits just in from Casey Hudson, awesome-fantastic Mass Effect 2 guy (all via Kotaku):

All the squad members that you pick up are completely new characters. Some of them from races that have never been in your squad before.

It’s going to be larger squad, a lot more varied and very, very different kinds of characters. Everyone that you can take with you is a different character from before.

Which sounds bad. It makes me sad. I worked so hard not to kill Wrex and Ashley (and conversely, I worked even harder to kill Kaiden). But wait:

In some cases, it is possible that squad members from ME1 could end up in your ME2 squad. Again, we’re trying to approach this with respect for the characters. Nobody is being clumsily shoehorned in or casually written out. All surviving squad members are at least present as NPCs with important story roles.

Interesting. I guess I understand. If they used all of the old characters, then the would either have to do it Harry Potter style (every single characters is reintroduced, along with their strengths and weaknesses, at blinding speed), or they would have to have a “last time on Mass Effect” thing and have it be loooonng. This is going to be weird. But it should work out. I’m actually excited that they can create a whole new cast of characters, using the already established world. It should save a few of them from being the “giant  narrative mouth of exhibition.” That’s right Bioware, I’m waiting to judge you on stuff I’ve only heard of, let alone seen. Watch yourself.

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Also, if you’re interested, here is a long, cool interview with Gabe Newel at G4 about lots of Valve stuff. I suggest you read it this instant.

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Oh, and here is a totally awesome post by Ron Gilbert where he travels slowly through The Secret of Monkey Island, explaining a bunch of cool behind-the-scenes stuff as he goes. If you know most of the game front and back, you really should read it, it’s funny and it will make you want to play the game again.

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

I Take it All Back

Posted by deckard47 on June 4, 2009

Well, part of it. I just came back from spending 30 minutes on Dragon Age and Mass Effect each. Weirdly (although not surprisingly, considering how long they’ve each been in development and when they’re both being released), Dragon Age was much more polished, and much more fun. Let me tell you (although others have already done this), this is Baldur’s Gate 3. Screw that Manson Hardcore shit. I owe Marc Laidlaw some kind of apology I suppose, across the vast, meaningless media wasteland of the Internet. He’s been asked to sell a sweet game using childish tricks and tools. I don’t envy him one bit, although when I think about the fact that he’s working on Dragon Age, I kind of do envy him. More later, back to the salt mines. Salt mines made of Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Among Thieves a multiplayer, that is!

Posted in Impressions | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Mass Effect 2 Intrerview and Pre-E3 Trailer!

Posted by deckard47 on May 15, 2009

Update:

New Mass Effect 2 trailer! Sorry, but you had to know! The ending of this trailer is so amazing. I should just shut up now, before I lose the half of you who aren’t mindless Mass Effect fans. But I can’t. In case you needed more reasons to watch this video, it features a man with an absolutely amazing mustache.

Actual Post About ME 2 Interview:

Shit go read it. Now come back. I’m excited, depsite the fact that this is going to be “Mass Effect‘s dark, brutal second act.” I’ll keep on telling myself they’re going the Empire route, and not the  Condemned 2 route. Pray with me. Then read this, and be happy (oh, I basically quote most of the article in my post, so sorry… I had to!):

One of the places we mentioned in the [second] book, we talked about a place called Omega, which is basically the opposite of the Citadel. Where the Citadel is the elite and the best of the galaxy, Omega is a huge space station that is really rough and tough, the ultimate representation of crime, and a dangerous place to be in. But there’s that, and many different places you go to.

You know what that sounds like? A wretched hive of scum and villainy! It had better be. Also, this next bit means something mysterious, but I don’t know what. What could it mean!? Read on! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Interviews | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Stuff to Talk About (like no more White Wolf!)

Posted by deckard47 on April 30, 2009

First, the good news: Kotaku has 3 Mass Effect 2 screens to look at. And by screens I mean concept art. I know, it’s not too exciting. But it really is. One shows a ruined set of rooms, with palm trees outside. Mass Effect 2 will have palm trees. Sweet.

Second, it looks like The Witcher: Console Edition The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf is being put on hold, because CD Projekt ran out of money to pay the guys who they contracted to make it (if you listen to those guys) or because those guys (Widescreen Games) failed to meet deadlines repeatedly (according to a CD Projekt spokesperson. Either way, that’s too bad. I would have liked to see The Witcher reach a new audience that might have missed it the first time around. But since I have it already on my PC (and can run it), I’m not too broken up.

For specifics (if you care), why don’t you take a look at this (linked from Evil Avatar):

Details are sketchy, but the following facts have been confirmed: after the release of The Witcher, CD Projekt Red took the financial obligation of starting 3 projects simultaneously, a console port of The Witcher, and two more titles based on The Witcher intellectual property, one of which was The Witcher 2.

As the financial crisis hit, the studio was affected as well, finding itself incapable of managing all three projects and forced to lay off a significant portion of its staff. The third Witcher IP project was canceled, and its entire crew was let go or left of their own volition. A second round of layoffs followed as The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf was canceled, including around two dozen people losing their jobs yesterday.

Well shit, I hope that The Witcher 2 is still on track… That would be unfortunate if everything went badly over there. And I figured these guys were doing ok after selling a ton of Witcher copies? I guess no one is safe, not even the guys who spell “project” like badasses.

Update: From the EvAv forums:

“All funds and manpower have been redirected to a single project, The Witcher 2, which will be a multi-platform title for PC and consoles.”

YES! Kind of. Still shitty for all of the people who got fired. Huh, if you care to read, there’s some interesting PR work being done by Widescreen, the French company who was handling the port. After the break, if you are so inclined: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in News, Screens | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Hype/News/Impressions: 2 Things!

Posted by deckard47 on April 14, 2009

I stumbled across two interesting things today.

The first is an article on 1up’s RPG blog, about the Mass Effect 2 panel at GDC. I’ve seen the video before, but the writeup they did is really interesting. Apparently there was originally a whole extra mission/planet for Liara’s introduction (akin to the Feros or other large mission planets), but it was scrapped at the last minute due to its bad quality. This is really too bad, and explains why the mission to pick up Liara is so brief when compared to the others. It’s also too bad that they completely scrapped it. I’d love to see what it was like, flaws and all, because I’m sure it would still be really interesting. Really, this is just an excuse for me to wonder dreamily about Mass Effect 2. What will it be like? I’m so excited, and I have to wait so long for it.

Second, an article by L. B. Jeffries at my beloved Popmatters, discussing what’s so cool about Far Cry 2. It contains spoilers, as I found out to my detriment, but it also makes a lot of good points. The great thing for me right now about this game is the way it allows me to change my style of play to suite my mood. To be sure, in RPGs like  Fallout 3 I can play however I want, but it’s great to be able to do this on the fly, without having to level for 10 years before I can make a choice. As I mentioned earlier, I had thic cool stealth build all set up, but found that the game is just a little too punishing when it comes to enemy AI. They’re smarter than the simpletons in Deus Ex, Thief 3 (which I’m, playing on the new computer… more later) or even the original Far Cry. Anyway, in response I’m decking myself out with an upgraded shotgun, Mac-10, and so, a mortar launcher and machine gun. Exciting. Oh, and as Insult Swordfighting reminded me, there’s nothing like that first floppy, misfired rocket launch. It’s such a great “oh shit new plan before I die” moment, and I can’t remember anything like it recently.

Posted in Hype, Impressions, Links, News | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »