My resistance to Mass Effect 2 has softened somewhat. Shepard is still unable to engage in a conversation without my attention wandering, but the other characters are sometimes able to bring me back; Garrus in particular. I loved him in the first game, and his devil may care attitude and convincing animation often steal the show. Carly has made the observation that the alien characters are animated to a much higher standard than that of the human characters. What I would argue however is that we know how humans should move, and in most cases with Mass Effect 2, it is slightly off the mark. Particularly eye movements. Shepard moves just about right, but characters like Jacob and Miranda sometimes look as though they are about to pass out or are in dire need of an exorcist. Garrus, Mordin and Grunt are a joy to behold though, and I relish the opportunity to converse with them.
Then there is Jack. What an offensively cliched character they have proven to be. I won't go into any more detail for fear of spoiling the plot, but I've skipped through some of the more tiresome dialogue they have spouted on my ship. Zaeed is also unworthy of the Normandy's oxygen as far as I am concerned. Imagine if a member of the Barmy Army became a space pirate and you have him in a nutshell. He has however presented one of the more interesting quandaries on his character specific, loyalty mission. In my relentless quest to be the most vanilla flavoured space commander of all time, my purely Paragon (read: goody goody) actions actually resulted in what I would conclude to be failure. Yet still the story progresses, the mission was deemed to be "complete," and the Normandy sped off into the great expanse of space. It was refreshing for heroic choices to have negative consequences, as you can't save the day with great intentions. Sometimes it would seem, good people have to die for the job to get done.
The combat is still a bit awkward for my tastes. My brother insists that it is because I am going about it wrong way, considering my choice of class rather than any fault on the part of the developers. I understand his argument, but I still reject that the gunplay is anything other than competent. The boss fights are repetitive, my biotic powers (still in their infancy) are not the game changers I perceived them to be, worst of all, the AI is pretty woeful. Harbingers, pirates and other galactic purveyors of evil are more than happy for you to litter them with bullets provided that they can not see you. With some effective camera movements, you can shoot your opponents with little fear of reprisal.
There is a good game to play here, and hopefully the PS3 version will address some of the niggling issues I have encountered. Despite all my complaints, it can easily steal 3 or 4 hours from you, if you aren't watching the clock.
What are you guys playing this weekend? I'm in Brisbane this weekend, so that means portables. Whatever you are up to, enjoy it and stay safe.