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BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original

The Mass Effect 2 Interview on Computer and Video Games chats with Adrien Cho, producer on Mass Effect 2, BioWare's upcoming RPG sequel. They discuss various aspects of the game, including his feeling that the game should be complete and off to manufacturing by Christmas. He also expresses optimism that the game will be better reviewed than its well-received predecessor: "Yeah [I'm optimistic]. Not in an egotistical way but from the sheer joy of craftsman knowing that the hard work that we put into it really shows through," he told them. "We're just so sure that we've made a solid, good product." There's also a Mass Effect 2 Interview on Strategy Informer that talks with Adrien as well.

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32. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 19, 2009, 12:52 Kedyn
 
Also check out Vernor Vinge's - A Fire Upon the Deep. Very much a classic.

I don't think I've ever read a book that had such a well done sense of subtle foreboding that grew the further you got into the book. You really did feel that the galaxy was coming to an end. He did an awesome job with that.
 
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31. Re: Game Reviews Dec 19, 2009, 02:12 Creston
 
Seriously man. According to you there's Fallout, and nothing else was ever created that was worth anything. Calling Mass Effect's writing "shit" is just insane.

I freely admit that my all time favorite games are all about a decade old. That said games still come out that I really enjoy. Of games that were released in the last few years I absolutely loved Supreme Commander, The Orange Box, Left 4 Dead, NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. I also enjoyed Command and Conquer 3, Crysis, F.E.A.R. 2, STALKER, Bioshock, and the WoW expansions. I still like video games, there are just fewer and fewer that really wow me.

Eh, fair enough, obviously everyone has their own favorites. Many of the games on your list I also loved. I think you're being ridiculously critical of Bioware's games, but to each their own.

Creston
 
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30. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 19, 2009, 02:10 Creston
 
Please. Asimov? Are you serious? If you want to read awesome sci-fi, read Peter F Hamilton's Pandora's Star. Or Zahn's "The Conqueror's Trilogy."

Creston
I would suggest Asimov first, he laid the foundational points for most modern sci-fi in it's current genre.

I'm not gainsaying that, but he's been surpassed many, many, many times by now. The top names in sci fi today are creating worlds that Asimov couldn't even dream of.

Creston
 
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29. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 23:50 Jerykk
 
The only thing I did like about the dialog system in ME was that good, bad or indifferent was ALWAYS in the same location.

I HATED that. Where's the subtlety? Where's the part where you have to actually think about what you're going to say? With the dialog pie, you don't have to think. If you're playing a Paragon, you choose the option in the upper right-hand corner. If you're playing a Renegade, you choose the option in the lower right-hand corner. You don't even have to read the options. It's pathetic and the epitome of dumbing down.

It's dumbed down because of what's possible- e.g. nothing beyond the Good/Neutral/Asshole and 2 slots for Paragon/Renegade response. There's no room for NWN/Baldur's Gate style of using skills in dialogue.

This is a big issue too. Dialog pies severely limit your choices. Do you think PST would have worked with a dialog pie system? No.

Dialog pies need to burn in hell. I don't see how any RPG enthusiasts can actually condone it.

The problem is many game don't tell you when they get rude or snarky, or just plain move the position of a style of dialog.

Do you actually read the dialog in the RPGs you play? If you do, it's usually not that hard to tell when something is rude or snarky. In some cases, it isn't as clear and these are the best cases because they make you actually think. You have to consider who you are talking to, their personality, their history, their current situation, etc. Dragon Age had a lot of this and that was great. The dialog pie system is simply a step back in every regard.

This comment was edited on Dec 19, 2009, 00:01.
 
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28. Re: On ME2 Reviews Dec 18, 2009, 20:12 Acleacius
 
The biggest failures of ME at least imo, is the lack of mod support. Look at what's already happened to DA (500 mods) or how Fallout 3 (several thousand)was made into a much better game than the average quality at release.  
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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27. Re: Game Reviews Dec 18, 2009, 17:25 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Seriously man. According to you there's Fallout, and nothing else was ever created that was worth anything. Calling Mass Effect's writing "shit" is just insane.

I freely admit that my all time favorite games are all about a decade old. That said games still come out that I really enjoy. Of games that were released in the last few years I absolutely loved Supreme Commander, The Orange Box, Left 4 Dead, NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. I also enjoyed Command and Conquer 3, Crysis, F.E.A.R. 2, STALKER, Bioshock, and the WoW expansions. I still like video games, there are just fewer and fewer that really wow me.
 
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26. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 15:27 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Please. Asimov? Are you serious? If you want to read awesome sci-fi, read Peter F Hamilton's Pandora's Star. Or Zahn's "The Conqueror's Trilogy."

Creston
I would suggest Asimov first, he laid the foundational points for most modern sci-fi in it's current genre.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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25. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 15:14 Drayth
 
Also check out Vernor Vinge's - A Fire Upon the Deep. Very much a classic.

 
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24. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 14:11 Creston
 
For sci-fi/fantasy, read guys like Roger Zelazny, Harlan Ellison, Asimov, etc. Zelazny probably was the best for writing dialogue.



Please. Asimov? Are you serious? If you want to read awesome sci-fi, read Peter F Hamilton's Pandora's Star. Or Zahn's "The Conqueror's Trilogy."

Creston
 
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23. Re: Game Reviews Dec 18, 2009, 14:04 Creston
 
Let's hope it doesn't exceed the original's excessive dialogue. More action less talk please.

Hear, hear. Either that or hire writers who can actually write dialogue. It's bad enough that they recycle the characters and plot from game to game, but on top of that they give us tons of terribly written and voiced dialogue to suffer through. I often wonder if their writers have ever read anything other than shared-fiction sci-fi and fantasy series, because that's the only explanation I can come up with for a "writer" to actually write this shit.


Why don't you just simply admit that you've turned bitter, and there is NOTHING that even gets a marginal "meh" from you anymore?

Seriously man. According to you there's Fallout, and nothing else was ever created that was worth anything. Calling Mass Effect's writing "shit" is just insane.

Creston

 
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22. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 11:11 Prez
 
When I play videogame, especially a sci-fi one, I don't expect Chaucer. I didn't have any problem with the writing myself.  
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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21. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 10:50 dryden555
 
I know a lot of folks love ME1 here, but other than the excellent conversation engine, I thought it was a rushed RPG-lite.  
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20. Re: Game Reviews Dec 18, 2009, 10:07 Zyrxil
 
Let's hope it doesn't exceed the original's excessive dialogue. More action less talk please.
Fuck off and go play a pure shooter. Mass Effect had the least dialogue and content of any Bioware game, ever.

I hope (but know they won't) they'll eventually replace the god-awful dialog pie system. I'll take the traditional dialog tree any day over that dumbed down filth.
I can understand not liking it, but it didn't seem "dumbed down" to me. If anything a list of responses labeled 1 through 4 is about as dumbed down as you can get.
It's dumbed down because of what's possible- e.g. nothing beyond the Good/Neutral/Asshole and 2 slots for Paragon/Renegade response. There's no room for NWN/Baldur's Gate style of using skills in dialogue.

This comment was edited on Dec 18, 2009, 10:19.
 
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19. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 10:02 Cutter
 
That's it, as gaming gains more popularity the geek factor diminishes. I'd say overwhelmingly that any of us who have been gamers for the last 10-20 years are all pretty sharp, pretty educated people, who all walk slightly off the beaten path. Now as gaming has become big business the dumbening down must ensue in order to bring in the masses. Most of the games that are popular these days are shite from a critical standpoint when it comes to story and dialogue. That's because the masses aren't well read, and would rather watch some reality TV BS than pick up a good book. So, spending the money to hire real writers is a waste when that good writing would be lost on the majority anyway.

With EA behidn them and the ridiculous amount of money they spend on advertising, I'm sure the reviews will be better, just like they were for DAO, which in no way came close to the stellar reviews it recieved. I'd be much more interested in reviews where there are no advertising dollars involved.

And for you poor souls that believe games like Mass Effect and DAO are good writing you really need to start reading consdierably more.

The Harvard Classics List
http://www.bartleby.com/hc/

For sci-fi/fantasy, read guys like Roger Zelazny, Harlan Ellison, Asimov, etc. Zelazny probably was the best for writing dialogue.

 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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18. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 07:04 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Ever heard the phrase "Brevity is the soul of wit"? That applies here. Hearing characters drone on and on with hackneyed, laughably bad lines is hardly an entertaining experience.
Sure. Let me add in something, I like my dialogue. I like it a lot, I like it well written too. There's a problem we've run into, the majority of the population reads so little these days they don't understand what's written let alone spoken. Most don't understand wit, rather they take wit as an attack.

 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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17. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 06:06 Scottish Martial Arts
 
It's one of the better written games out there...

Which says a lot more about the abysmal standard of writing of video games than it does about whether or not the writing in Mass Effect was any good. Hint: It wasn't.

there's just flat out no way that you can call the game terribly voiced.

Uh, male Shepard voice? Any of the non-major NPCs? Any of the alien characters? Keith David, Lance Henrickson, and Jennifer Hale were all fine, but the rest of the voice was pretty middling.

If you want a shooter, play a shooter. RPG's have dialog

I didn't say I wanted a shooter, I said I wanted better writing. For the record, I've played through the entire Ultima series, the Gold Box series, the Infinity engine games, both Fallouts, both Neverwinter Nights, Darklands, KotOR series, and a smattering of the Might and Magic and Wizardry series, so I think it's safe to say I know what an RPG is and can be called a fan of the genre. Oh and I played through Mass Effect too.

All that said, dialogue has to serve a purpose, otherwise it's boring. Dialogue becomes interesting when it is full of characterization, establishes dramatic tension or releases it, or advances the plot. If you're dialogue isn't actively DOING something, if every word doesn't serve some greater purpose, then the reader/viewer quickly loses interest. By and large, video game dialogue tends to exist just to advance the plot where the speakers are just interchangable mouth pieces for the player's next objective. With this in mind, video game dialogue needs to get to the fucking point so that the action of the story can move along. Ever heard the phrase "Brevity is the soul of wit"? That applies here. Hearing characters drone on and on with hackneyed, laughably bad lines is hardly an entertaining experience.

Bioware needs to either take an editor's pen to their script and slash the bloated dialogue to the bare essentials, or higher more talented writers who can actually come up with something interesting for the characters to say for all their lines, and not just a few.
 
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16. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 05:27 PropheT
 
Hear, hear. Either that or hire writers who can actually write dialogue. It's bad enough that they recycle the characters and plot from game to game, but on top of that they give us tons of terribly written and voiced dialogue to suffer through. I often wonder if their writers have ever read anything other than shared-fiction sci-fi and fantasy series, because that's the only explanation I can come up with for a "writer" to actually write this shit.

Wow. Just no.

It's one of the better written games out there... it's as well written as any sci-fi television show that's been around (which maybe isn't saying much, but there you go) And there is no way in hell that you can call Mass Effect terribly voiced.

If you want a shooter, play a shooter. RPG's have dialog... and even if you don't like the dialog, there's just flat out no way that you can call the game terribly voiced. Did you even play it?
 
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15. Re: Game Reviews Dec 18, 2009, 05:16 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Let's hope it doesn't exceed the original's excessive dialogue. More action less talk please.

Hear, hear. Either that or hire writers who can actually write dialogue. It's bad enough that they recycle the characters and plot from game to game, but on top of that they give us tons of terribly written and voiced dialogue to suffer through. I often wonder if their writers have ever read anything other than shared-fiction sci-fi and fantasy series, because that's the only explanation I can come up with for a "writer" to actually write this shit.

 
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14. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 05:03 NKD
 
I hope (but know they won't) they'll eventually replace the god-awful dialog pie system. I'll take the traditional dialog tree any day over that dumbed down filth.

I can understand not liking it, but it didn't seem "dumbed down" to me. If anything a list of responses labeled 1 through 4 is about as dumbed down as you can get.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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13. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 2 Reviews Will Exceed the Original Dec 18, 2009, 03:54 Tanto Edge
 
Well... I'm convinced. I'll take two.  
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=705LEH3j2g0&t=0m24s
http://www.youtube.com/user/tantoedge
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