Originally Posted by Tmplt
One of the worst news that hit me with ME3 was that the ability to holster your weapon was removed. According to multiple forums I've seen. This feature was removed due to RAM limitations. Which sounds like utter BS for me. How can an animation-state be the feather which breaks the mule's ability to stand?
Yeah that's annoying. Thank Bioware and also Playstation 3 and its 256 MB RAM.
Originally Posted by doomlord52
That's the problem; the choices are insane. What made Mass Effect 1 so good was that the choices were realistic; do you let the scientist on vermire live? Do you shoot Wrex? Mass Effect 3 just went completely insane: "You must choose which rave lives and dies (Geth, Quarian)" - but it only works if you have enough Renegade/Paragon points (or an interrupt). "You must choose to make the Geth Hyper intelligent" - "You must choose...." The list goes on. It felt fake; all just to make it seem like the player was making big choices. Even if you were basically a space-god (you basically are after ME2), you still don't have an influence over everyone ALL the time.
Mass Effect 1 did it much MUCH better. There were a few big choices, but they weren't absolutely insane - the order of missions, wrex, the rachni, etc. While large choices, they all logically made sense. The commander gets to chose mission order. You're standing RIGHT THERE with a gun with Wrex. All you had to do was press the button for the Rachni. ME2, and then ME3 decided to give Shepard an absolutely insane level of influence which ends up hurting the game more than helping it.
Playing through ME1, you'll run into on a very select few cases where you couldn't think "Yea, they forced this choice for the story". ME2 and 3 had so many forced choices for the sake of the story that it made the game far less immersive. Put it this way: I beat ME1 in two days - well over 10hrs a day - and then I immediately did a new game+. It took me over a MONTH to beat ME2 and 3 months for ME3. I've yet to play either through again - they're just far worse games.
One of the best examples is the council vs. reapers. In ME1, no one believes Shepard; that makes sense. He had insane hallucinations (according to the council) about an ancient myth - but then you talk to one, it tries to kill everything, you finally kill it, Saren admits to all of this stuff. There's literally a mountain of proof. But in ME2, we still need a conflict, just so that we can have the most POINTLESS mid-point to a story in recent time; so.... "ah yes. Reapers." And that's another thing - the entire plot of ME2 is entirely pointless. You can literally play ME1 and then ME3 and get 99% of the overarching story.
Then there's the gameplay... oh wow. Where did my RPG go? Minor armor changes? Only a few stats? About 5 guns? No squad armor? Seriously? And then thermal clips. Wow. Let's make it even more of your average military-FPS game - we need space ammo. Was it possible to exploit ME1's system with heatsinks? Yea. But it was easily fixable. ME2/3 just took the easy way out.
Now, does that mean ME2/3 are bad games? No - they're still very good. The problem is, they diverged so insanely far from the original formula that it makes fans of the first have a hard time liking 2 and 3 (at least I do). It's the exact same problem the Crysis series had.
That's not what they are saying at all, but it's nice to have a comprehensive argument for a change. ME3 is the final part of the series so I expected the decisions to get bigger, the costs to get bigger. I like it, to each his own. I suspect DA:I will be the same way.
I didn't find any choices in ME2 or ME3 to be "forced" though. They were more immersive for me due to the higher levels of character development than ME1, and the more difficult choices made them more powerful. You're right about ME2's plot though, that game is mostly about building a team and the character development that comes along with it. Skipping it would make you unaware of many of your companions in ME3, and you'd be less involved with the decision-making that affects their lives.
I too was disappointed by the removable of RPG elements in ME2 and 3. ME3 tried to put some back at least. Still, they didn't deviate from the original formula that much. The original formula was to make a character-driven RPG with a more focused story than others, and where decisions really matter. All three games do this. They only deviated when making the gameplay more like a shooter opposed to more like an RPG, but even then I found ME3's gameplay to be far more enjoyable than the previous two, due to the awful AI in ME1 and the improvements it has over ME2.
In the end I look at Mass Effect as one game split into three different parts, since neither one of them is complete without the other, and together they all make one story. I really liked how gradually, the decisions became more difficult to make. But for the sake of comparison, I favor ME2 and ME3 over ME1 slightly, mostly due to the character development and the added depth to this factor in ME2/ME3.
I do hope that ME4 will be more of an RPG and less of a shooter, ideally it would have race choices and would be like DA:O... but in Mass Effect's universe. Either way there's no way we'll see ME4 in 2014.