We need a Classification for "Dumbed Down for Consoles".

User Rating: 5 | Mass Effect 2 PC
Mass Effect 2 isn't a bad game; it simply isn't worth much praise. It's certainly not worth $50. Wait until it's on sale for $9 on Steam.

There seems to be a pattern in the past year of releasing games that seek to appeal to the average instead of the exceptional. You can't really say that anything happens to be bad. Graphics are good. Voice acting is good. Plots are OK. Gameplay is... ok.

What is there to complain about?

ME2 reminds me very strongly of the kind of schlock console gamers are accustomed to. Linear games whose plot is a series of checkpoints from one level's beginning to its end. Run here, kill this, run there. Throw in some good voice acting and that's an RPG, right? But there's an overarching plot! What more could anyone want?

I realize that this is a very different culture; one which PC gamers are going to have to learn to endure until the industry stops churning out games with "Ok" everything to hide the mass production behind most game development. But it's disconcerting to me, because these games feel empty. I don't really play games to look at pretty scenery; otherwise my drive home every day would be more thrilling than what it is. I don't want to run around pulling out a gun as a solution to every problem; otherwise, why bother thinking or caring about PCs? I don't want to feel like I have to clock so many hours out of an empty game to feel like less of an idiot for throwing away $50 on the same experience I could have had waiting in line at the DMV. I want more than that. If I'm a space warrior on a mission to jump through time-space in an effort to save mankind, shouldn't that be by far more engaging? Where are the storytelling elements that make me look past pretty packaging and feel the gravity (no pun intended) of the situation? Even the characters themselves seem apathetic about their conundrum.

The bottom line is this: the 'average' PC game that I wrote off two years ago as being unworthy of $10 in a Best Buy bargain bin suddenly hit the upper limit on the quality curve. Really, Bioware? Is this how it's going to be?

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