IncGamers' Tim McDonald investigates whether or not champion developer BioWare is stuck in a a structural rut, whether or not this is a problem, and what can be done about it if so.
Brave article considering all the Mass Effect 2 love. Makes some good points, IMO.
Was gonna say the same thing, but you beat me to it. In this case I think it's as easy as just seeing what we got. WYSIWYG. :)
Mass Effect 2 is the most incredible RPG I have ever played so I disagree.
...start to diminish, then yeah, its time to try something new-if not then I would tell everyone to f*ck off...yeah.
Bioware games are my most anticipated and the sole reason I still have my 360. There is still plenty of refinement to their craft that they can make, but I can't imagine them ever getting stale. Just don't milk your franchises and you will be ok Bioware!
You don't play many RPGs? I think it's a stretch to say greatest ever on the basis of 1 day of play unless you've never played any top RPGs before... r.
Well, every game has staples. It's only natural that over time these staples can become less interesting and more predictable. I think BioWare's pretty good with mixing it up though and responding to what's become tiresome. Overall, I don't think any of their games are "cookie cutter". @Rush: There are JRPGs and there are WRPGs. The W does not mean the States. It is just a general term for the many RPGs made primarily in Europe and North America. If you want to get technical, BioWare's RPGs are mostly Canadian-made.
Well Mass Effect (Haven't played 2) is the only American RPG I have ever completed, I don't like American RPG's nearly as much a JRPG's. I guess am abit of a JRPG fanboy but Mass Effect keeping my attention long enough for me to complete it (I didn't replay it) speaks for its self in my books. If this game improves on the first in ever way like most reviews say then I may go out and buy it. Which for me if it ain't a JRPG is a very rare occasion. The only games I have completed outside of JRPG's this gen are, MGS4 Mass Effect COD4 Halo 3 (yes I enjoy halo don't all gangbang me) Valkyria chronicles So my list as a gamer is fairly shallow @below This ain't some fanboy article the same guy reviewed the game scoring it a 9.6, he's simply asking a question don't be so quick to jump to conclusions not everything is part of your pathetic console warz.
When the games are not on PS3 ;)
Have you played ME or ME2? RPGs have been my favorite and most played genre since 1992 and the original Mass Effect was up there at the top of my list. It's now been replaced by ME2, obviously. I dont want to pick favorites, but its definitely the best RPG I've played since the turn of the century. I highly suggest giving it a playthrough. However, if you're not obsessed with astronomy like I am, maybe you wont enjoy it as much as I do lol. I only wish it came out for PS3 =(. My laptop overheats sometimes!
Bioware is my favourite developers of all time, by quite a distance as well. For quite awhile all I used to play were Bioware PC RPGs. After seeing their recent work in the forms of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins the company most certainly hasn't lost any quality in their games.
This is the same as Bethesda. Fallout 3 and Oblivion use the same mechanics. And western people say JRPGs are stale and haven't evolved. Well it seems that RPGs in general are in the boat.
Bioware has been money with their games. Whenever they announce something I early look forward to it.
But it's such a GOOD rut to be stuck in! Seriously, though. If they've found a formula that works, and it clearly does, stick with it I say.
But for how long? As he says in the article, it does become possible to predict how a game is going to play out, especially the narrative.
I'm not saying that all future games should be the same, they always tweak how it works slightly by all accounts. I've only played KOTOR and am halfway through Dragon Age at the moment, though.
Yeah, I was torn on reading this too. I like their style a lot, but it's hard to deny that the games have a lot of similarities.
Sometimes you just want the good stuff, so what if it's a bit predictable. :) Now, I'm not saying ME2 is predictable, but I'm just saying, it not necessarily bad.
I agree, but what makes me mad is there is totally a double standard. Yes bioware games are different than JRPGs, yet all of there games have very much the same formula, style, and things mentioned in the article. The same people who just said what you did, will turn around and complain how "final fantasy" or JRPGS are all the same and need to "change". In reality, it works both ways. Maybe the real reason you don't like is your tastes, not that its too "predictable."
Well, that is not a double standard actually. That is the flawed contrasting of an entire genre with *one* company assumed to represent all WRPGs. But in all honestly, I'm not too comfortable completely agreeing with either side since I like both.
He does have a point. I guess that's the problem with a formula that works so well. Anyone could end up using it a little too much. edit: I think with developers like Bioware, journalists writing articles like this is good because they do take it on board.
Agreed - as good as ME2 sounds, if people are pretty sure of the storyline/plot twists ahead of time, that's not great.
Well, we'll just measure the 'staleness' by the game's success/failure I guess ^ ^
A successful game is one that sells well, and selling well tends to have more to do with marketing and hype than game quality :p Look at Peter Molyneux's stuff - Black & White, anyone?
A successful game is one that gets solid review scores by the critics, a game that is respected by other developers in the indsustry, a game that accomplishes whatever vision the developers have, and a game that is loved by video game fans which results in good sales. Going by those definitions bioware has been successful for years.
For me anyways, I love Mass Effect2, but did not love or like Dragon Age that much.
Maybe it's just down to the genre you prefer. Personally Dragon Age was one of the best games I've ever played IMO - I didn't like the first ME game that much, although I haven't tried ME2 yet, obviously.
I actually LOVED Dragon Age. It was the first Bioware RPG I played, and they've gained my respect. Not gonna lie, I'd be thrilled to be able to play Mass Effect on my PS3. It looks brilliant.
@Ether If you've played Dragon Age then you've basically played ME2 also - they're pretty much identical in terms of overall structure and approach - only difference is setting. So instead of lightning bolt from a wand, you've got a bullet shaped bolt from a gun. Oh and the graphics are better in Dragon Age. If you have access to an Xbox 1 or even a crappy PC you can play KOTOR - that's basically the same too. r.
Is that a typo?
Did he just say Dragon Age has better graphics than Mass Effect 2? Dude clean the gunk from those glasses.
Don't listen to ryuzu he is a troll that has been trying to downplay how good the mass effect series is on the 360 and the pc. I can tell you that if you love good stories in rpg's then you can always look forward to a bioware game because they consistently deliver. I have Mass Effect which is more sci fi and Dragon Age which is more fantasy and they feel completely different gameplay and story wise. I don't see how someone could say they are similar. It would be like someone comparing star wars/star trek to lord of the rings even though sci fi and fantasy has some similarities they have noticeable differences that make them unique. And ryuzu lied when he said dragon age looks better because if you look at the pc requirements for both games mass effect 2 is higher since it is running off of a newer graphics engine.
I grew up on pen and paper dungeons and dragons, I was convinced I would love Dragon Age. I guess the story just did't grab me is all??
I'm just saddened that Mass Effect 2 has no Mako type sections. I had so much fun with them in the original that I'm seriously considering not picking up 2. I guess when you're the odd one out you never get what you want.
I loved the Mako as well, and this is the first I've heard it isn't returning. I already bought the game and am loving it so far, but no Mako isn't a problem for me.
You two might be the only two I have seen that miss that damn thing. Have you forgotten trying to traverse mountains in the Mako? It was a clunky annoyance, but it looks like you may be getting your wish with the upcoming DLC, hopefully it will be implemented better.
It was like getting to play Moon Patrol 3D!! How could you dump on that?! :D
At times it was clunky, but rarely to the point of annoyance for me. I played through Mass Effect six times, so I became pretty good with it lol.
Personally,I´d say they´re getting better and better over time.
Bioware games definitely follow a pattern... It was obvious when playing Jade Empire and KOTOR - basically the same game reskinned... I'm beginning to get a similar feeling with Dragon Age and ME2 - I had hoped after so long in devlopment that there might be some further advances. That's not to say they're not solid or fun - but I do feel there is a certain cookie cutter approach from Bioware now... r.
As opposed to all other developers? Not that I don't love Final Fantasy but aside from the last two installments (I'm including 13) they have all basically been the same thing. It is very rare to have a totally original concept. I mean most games that will come out this year are a sequel or a bin there done that type of game. Maybe Bioware has become a little "cookie cutter" but everyone else has been there for a long time.
Regardless, like some have said, having a "formula" that works, most devs will stay with until it's time to come up with the next project. You look at Bioware and you say "man they make very good WRPG" but who else is there to challenge them strictly in this GENRE? The way I see it, once a company find something that works, like lets say a hot sauce company has this "secret sauce" that everyone loves and is big time success, with no other sauces coming close, why would they tweak the "secret sauce"? Unless another company comes out with a better tasting sauce that gives them a run for their money,, then you gonna start tweaking. It happens a lot with Music artist when they make that album that doe snot sound like what they are used to sounding like. But that is based more of personal inspiration then competiton.
Bethesda for one although they've gone quiet after big hits with Fallout & Oblivion. How about The Witcher for example - in fact there are quite a few when I think about it. I suppose the problem is that most western RPGs are MMOs now. ME2 and even Dragon Age feel a bit like MMOs but have no MP. They feel that way because they have small areas to explore, a few enemies, lots of dialog and increasingly simplistic RPG elements. Without the MP part though that can mean they feel empty and lifeless.
yeah bethesda is good, but sadly all of their games that ive played the same can be said about them, BUT that doesnt stop oblivion and fallout from being 2 of the best games ive ever played.
Despite arguably being the top WRPG devs, Bethesda and BioWare almost never compete. Which is cool. Because each have such wildly different ideas of the RPG and both are wildly popular and critically acclaimed. Obsidian are probably the devs to give BioWare the run *if* they ever get their stuff together. I think they have great ideas, but their execution is often lacking. Shame.
The only BioWare games I have played is Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II. They were both great.
And the dumbest article of the day award goes to: THIS ONE
i disagree, mass effect 2 could not be any fresher
yeah they definitely shook it up a bit with mass effect 2, but it still has that bioware charm.
I think that pretty much every genre is getting stale. The last games that imo defined their genre were Oblivion 4, RE4, GTA III and Halo 1. Im sure that there are more but these are the ones ive played. As for Bioware they are my favorite developers. Ive enjoyed thouroghly every game theyve made and plan on enjoying Mass Effect 2 just as much.
A game gets fantastic reviews, and there's always the "objective" writer who wants to piss on your cereal, just to be different...*sigh*
I've never really been a fan of their games. KOTOR 1 was okay but I never could bring myself to beat it. Same thing happened with Dragon Age: Origins and the first Mass Effect. I enjoyed Mass Effect the most but the visuals were glitch on my PC (my PC completely outdoes the recommended specs too) and the gameplay wasn't as good as I hoped. So far I'm enjoying Mass Effect 2 and it's definitely an improvement over the first. However, it's hard to ignore that it once again feels like a rehashed KOTOR. I love the sci-fi atmosphere but gameplay still isn't completely fleshed out. Still a solid title, though.
I agree with some of the article and disagree with a lot. I have just about every Bioware game that has been made for the PC. So I am biased when stories come out about them. But they will know when to change and the time to change is when the all mighty green backs stop coming in.
dont try to fix it, the formula works, look at the zelda series, god of war, yeah i know i said series and not 'games' so it makes more sense for a game of the same title to have the same formula, but is it really bad for different games to have the same formula? no
This article screams STFU, i wonder if it would even exist if me2 was on the ps3? god damn fanboys
its good, but I'm disappointed they have strayed away from multiplayer. I think SW:TOR will fix that though, really looking forward to it.
I definitely agree that they need to change their formula. But Mass Effect 2 is too good for me to care. I noticed it a lot more in Dragon Age and found it obnoxious, but Mass Effect 2.. just... too... good.... *fires up Steam*
Only played 1 Bioware game, and that was Dragon Age on the PS3. It's a really good game, but i prefer JRPGS. Dragon Age was better than Fallout 3 and Oblivion IMO. All good but Dragon Age actually had a story line. EDIT: Forgot about KOTOR. I still have that somewhere, good game.
This article is just a grab for attention given the MASSive sells and MASSIVELY great reviews of the newest BIOWARE game.
Is incgamers getting stale? I think so, and this is the first article ive read from them.
N4G is a community of gamers posting and discussing the latest game news. It’s part of NewsBoiler, a network of social news sites covering today’s pop culture.