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Journal unity100's Journal: Mass Effect 2 : Can you say 'Eye f@ck ' ? Dumbed down ? 5

Someone needs to teach the development team of Mass Effect 2 that changing camera angle every 0.5 seconds during dialogue routines does not make your game more 'cinematic' or 'artsy', it just fucks up the player's eye during dialogues and introduces nausea.

Imagine you are following a long conversation with many options, and the camera is changing its point of view on every 0.5 seconds on average. AND on top of that camera is set to look at very odd angles, like very close to someone's elbow looking towards their head. And add to that the conversation target constantly moving about here and there, trying to create a more 'cinematic' environment, and you can imagine the eye sorrow you will endure after 30-45 minutes of play.

Its like watching a low grade porn, in which the directors think that shaking the camera while shooting makes the film more 'art' than 'porn', ending up with neither art, nor porn in the end.

Not to mention that, the 3rd person camera mode makes you feel like you have climbed onto Shephard's shoulders and sitting there like a 9 year old in a football match, while obscuring roughly 20% of the screen at all times. It makes you feel like you are 'playing' Shepard more than you are playing the game through him. Doesnt matter even if you have a 32'' huge monitor, or a huge Plasma, or any weird, gigantic display setup - 20% of your screen will always be wasted on something which will never change - Shepard.

What is actually disturbing in the end is not these design mistakes, but how did bioware prevent you from changing anything to your preference. You cant change camera angle during combat, or out of combat, you cant change the 0.5 sec on average camera angle change during dialogues, you cant change pretty much any positioning/camera related thing in the game. This stems more from their desire to cater to consoles apparently, where you have little possibilities for changing anything related to camera. However it is appalling that they have ported the thing exactly like this to PC, where people have more ability to change to their preference.

Not that in its current state, the game would be 'rational' in regard to human eye capabilities even if on a console + TV setup though.

When we look at its other aspects, we see another design flaw - when you are using the Galaxy map, you are actually prevented from zooming in/ zooming out. What this means is, if you want to get out of a certain level of zoom (ie, in planet or system levels), you will have to actually fly your ship towards the edge of the system in order to be able to zoom out, spending fuel in the process. Silly. Still, spending fuel is not much of a problem (despite being insanely stupid - imagine, you are using a top notch spaceship, but you can only zoom out to see your ship's galaxy map projection if you get out of a system), however, the problem is having to fly towards places you cant see. There is no way to change this either - you have to suffer through this.

Game is also extremely dumbed down. Despite teammate ai working well and this being good, the RPG elements, customization of the game is SO dumbed down that you neednt look at what kind of weapon you are using, how many clips you have left, or upgrade them. Actually, you dont even need to pay much attention to character development of shepard or your team mates. Just pile up points here and there, and it will do just fine.

All the other stuff in the game is dumbed down too - picking up stuff, what you can pick up, what you can use for what, ANYthing is so dumb that you can just click space if you see a blue rectangle highlighting something, and it will be alright. The only thing that is rather distorting such an idyllic object interaction format is rare terminal hacking or case opening sequences. They are also rather simple.

Story also is weak. Its rather like Dragon Age's "Hey, a new blight has come, AGAIN, so lets get a team together and end it, until the next blight comes and Bioware has to put out a game in DA universe again !" format - in this case 'another evil' has come to the universe - and this time its a plague.

One thing ME2 shines, just like DA:O shines is, the execution.

The game's dialogues, graphic presentations, scenery, ALL the items except the big picture (main story) and user friendliness aspects are implemented SO well that, it makes the game enjoyable minus the eyesore it inflicts due to camera woes.

I dont know what hit Bioware in the head that they have started to include user unfriendliness in their games as a fundamental element, despite i can guess what caused them to dumb the game down, and come up with rinse-and-repeatable main stories for their games. However, in order to be able to make great, perfect games like they used to, they need to iron out these issues, asap.
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Mass Effect 2 : Can you say 'Eye f@ck ' ? Dumbed down ?

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