If you bought Mass Effect 2 new, then you are already familiar with the slew of free DLC via the Cerberus Network that has been released in the relatively short time the game has been out. Most games that even see DLC only get one or two installments at most, and rarely are they ever free. While the ME2 Cerberus Network DLC has been a little hit or miss, lets be honest: its free. Being such a huge fan of Mass Effect 2, and the first game as well, I was more than happy to shell out a few bucks for the Kasumi DLC pack. Continue reading
BioWare is one of those special developers that makes waves with every release. So it should be no surprise that Mass Effect 2, the sequel to one of the most successful new IPs of 2007, saw more hype than ever. Given how much I enjoyed the first game, I tried to avoid whenever possible any videos, photos, news, or spoilers of Mass Effect 2 until I had that green plastic box in my hands. First impressions? Creepy box art straight out of a SciFi Channel original movie. Continue reading
A lot has changed since the days of Everquest, Asheron’s Call, and Ultima Online. The MMORPG market today is far larger, and yet, I would argue, far more homogenous than ever. World of Warcraft has certainly expanded the appeal for MMO’s, however its stranglehold on the MMO userbase has been unhealthy for the market, with almost every new IP struggling to survive. For most players, a large player population is the first sign of a healthy MMO. Some players are certainly satisfied with their niche titles, which appeal to player numbering in thousands, not millions. World of Warcraft, however, has proved that mainstream appeal for MMOs is possible.
Even if you don’t want to play WoW, the decision of which online timesink to play these days is largely dependent on which game is least likely to be on life support a year after launch. Many of the other MMOs have been released as “WoW killers”, featuring new IPs, new gameplay modes, etc, some of which have found great niche success, but never to the levels that WoW has enjoyed these past 5 years. I am referring of course to games like Guild Wars (no subscription), Warhammer: Age of Reckoning (PVP centric), and others. I tried several of these titles, yet most lacked much of a competitive advantage to WoW…simply no one can compete with the established userbase and widely recognizeable IP that Blizzard has….no one, except Star Wars: The Old Republic. Continue reading
I had the chance to play through Mass Effect more than a year ago, but I sidelined it in favor of other titles at the time; Fallout 3, Fable 2, and others. RPGs, especially those that deviate from the typical turn based gameplay often put me off. I think it has something to do with the “insurmountable journey” you are about to embark on when you start an RPG. Most of the decent titles have 50 or more hours of gameplay in them; there is some degree of risk when you begin an RPG with unfamiliar or unconventional gameplay mechanics. So you can imagine my hesitation with giving Mass Effect a try, but the Platinum Hits edition’s $20 price tag gave me little reason to say no. Continue reading
I had the pleasure of visiting the Bioware booth at PAX this past weekend. One of the highlights of the expo for me was the playable Mass Effect 2 demo. I only recently picked up the original Mass Effect (the review of which you can expect later this week), but while I was impressed with the game’s engaging plot, the combat left much to be desired. Continue reading