Huh. Seems that as more and more time goes on, I’m falling into the increasingly small minority of people who think that Mass Effect 1 is still the best game in the series.
True, it’s mechanics are clunkier than the Mako trying to drive over a slight bump, but that clunkiness gives it a certain character. Something I feel that the other two games scrubbed out for the sake of ‘streamlining’ the experience.
The shooting is not as sharp as Gears of War, okay. But it’s okay because it’s an RPG where you can dump some numbers into shooting bucket and get better at it, you know, like you’re supposed to in an RPG. Being one shot killed by higher level enemies is another one those things that is actually supposed to happen in these games, otherwise why else would you bother leveling up. There’s a sense of growth and satisfaction that comes from breezing through an area that wouldn’t even let you peek out from behind cover initially. And since your guns would never actually run out of ammo, you could always brute-force your way.
But instead of working on building a system that worked as an RPG mechanic, they just ripped of the Gears of War system like everyone else.
The possibility space you mentioned seemed to the part that took the worst hit though. Instead of you being a character in a living, breathing world, everything seems to be designed to lead you to the next encounter or story point. Admittedly ME2 did sharpen up the character dialogues and animations, the loss of character just seems too high a cost.