What Mass Effect 2 Could Teach MMORPGs
I’ve been a bit of a late starter with Mass Effect 2 as it’s been out for a few weeks already yet I only started playing it just over a week ago. I’ve been busier than a Japanese beaver so I haven’t completed it yet but I’m slowly working through it, soaking up every moment of it and loving it more than a fat boy loves cake.
Here’s a few things MMORPGs could learn from ME2:
I’m A Good Guy/I’m A Bad Man
I adored the Paragon/Renegade morality system in the original Mass Effect and ME2 continues it’s implementation and adds the ability to intervene during certain cut scenes. Regular readers know I have a thing for being the “bad guy” in RPG games (probably because I’m secretly frustrated with being so nice in real life) and being able to actually roleplay a character and make immoral decisions that affect the game and the outcome helps build my immersion and connection.
Fast & Fun Combat
ME2 is a lot more action based than the original and streamlines much of the game to keep it more combat focused. Although I lament the loss of the the inventory system from the original, ME2 gives great combat pleasure. There’s no real reason why we need to stick with the traditional 1-2-3 combat system that most MMORPGs offer these days. This doesn’t mean going full hog twitched based but something a tad more heart-pumping would be nice.
I care about the characters in ME2. I feel like they have their own personalities and characteristics and it draws me further into the game and makes deciding who’s going to be on my squad even harder. All of this is a refreshing change from not giving a flying toss about NPCs in MMOs. In ME2 they are my comrades, in MMORPGs they’re just pixel meat.
Tell Me a Story And Take Me Away
I feel immersed when I played ME2. I can’t quite explain exactly why but it’s a combination of atmosphere, background lore, setting and story. The universe in ME2 feels real and vibrant and when I play the game I forget all of my real life stresses and strains and for a brief few moments I am Hansel Shepard, Renegade Spectre out to save the galaxy. When I played World of Wacraft, I’m just a geek with a mic. Let’s learn from ME2, find the key to immersion and pile it on to MMORPGs in spades.