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Thursday, February 18, 2010

What I HATE About Mass Effect 2

I love the Mass Effect series. I want to make that clear right from the start, because one could easily read the rest of this post and think that I don't. I bought both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 the day they came out. In fact, I attended midnight launch events for both of them. I played through Mass Effect seven times, got 1200/1200 gamerscore, and started my first playthrough of Mass Effect 2 by importing my Level 60 Mass Effect character.
With all that said, I have a problem with Mass Effect 2, and I really hope BioWare does something about it, or my 2nd playthrough of Mass Effect 2 (which I am currently in the middle of) just might be my last. Why? Three words: scanning for resources.
Let me explain, for any of you who have not played Mass Effect 2 or who have played, but who have not had a chance yet to "enjoy" the "wonderful" experience that is scanning for resources. In Mass Effect 2, like in Mass Effect, you can scan various planets throughout the galaxy to gather resources. The difference is that while in Mass Effect all you did was select a planet from the galaxy map and hit the Y button to reveal what it was you found on the planet and earn some credits and experience points, in Mass Effect 2 you are put through a planet-scanning minigame that

entails staring at a rotating planet and line graph for up to 30 minutes or more searching for resource deposits into which to fire your probes (which harvest the resources that you then spend on research projects). Even with the sizable amount of extra resources I received at the start of my second playthrough, I have still spent literally hours scanning for resources to research the various upgrades, and I'm still not done yet!
Now, I like that resources are actually used now, and the research mechanic is nice. I also admit that scanning for resources in the first game was far too simplistic, especially considering the research mechanic in Mass Effect 2, but there needs to be some kind of middle ground. if I wanted to spend hour after hour gathering resources, I'd be playing World of Warcraft, Star Wars: Galaxies, Everquest II, or some other MMO. At least then I would have the option of setting up some kind of macro program (even if it was in violation of said MMO's Terms of Service) to eliminate some of the tedium.
Please comment below to let me know what you think. How did you cope with the tedium? Have an idea how BioWare could make it better? Please share!

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