Thursday, 21 July 2011

mass effect 2, the unboxing

or rather, the "finally being able to install and run"

My first impressions are rather cranky. For all that people were calling DA2 "Dragon Effect"? They were totally wrong, thank goodness. DA2 still felt like a computer game. ME2 is constantly feeling like it's designed for something else. (This could be partly because I never play shooters, so perhaps the way you have to use WASD for interface navigation at times rather than the obvious mouse is not that unusual?)

Also, I have no idea what I'm doing. I never played the first game and I don't have a manual. The tutorial is generally pretty helpful at shepherding (lol) me along, but getting to the tutorial was less straightforward than I expected. Where's the minimap? IS there one? Where am I going? Argh!

Irritations - Unskippable movies. Lots of them. Unskippable movies leading up to the character creator, which you are not allowed to save before using. A character creator which is profoundly unhelpful, especially since the obvious click-and-drag to view from different angles DOES NOT WORK. (You can, once you know how, click and drag a much longer distance to get the head to shift to once of its preset poses. You cannot rotate freely, and if you were expecting free rotation, it will look like it doesn't work at all.) My first attempt at character creation, I ended up with someone whose face looked fine straight-on, but actually had a deformed alien face with cheekbones exploding out her ears. After several failed attempts at hacking the save file I had to start over and watch half an hour of cutscene again in order to be able to create someone who wasn't a complete mutant.

Trying to design someone a bit older than their perky pretty default Jane, someone who I could believe had command experience.

The tutorial gameplay, with the exception of the hackable pad I tripped over, has been pretty good about giving helpful commands for a total newbie and getting me onto my feet. We'll see how it goes.

Also, the game will only RUN if I have the download manager running as well. If you try to launch it separately, it says "Game misconfigured. Please try REINSTALLING." Luckily, I guessed what the problem really was, and therefore did not take a crowbar to my computer and the entire Origin management team.

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