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Matt Peckham does it again

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Matt Peckham does it again

None - posted by Elwro on Tue 20 November 2007, 14:13:04

Tags: BioWare

Matt Peckham, whom you may remember as the internet performer who fought hard to be under spotlight with his half-witted NWN2 review or asinine concept of Bethesda as an indie, shocks the public again by clobbering Bioware's latest creation, Mass Effect.

Conspicuously titled "An Old-School Adventure Masquerading as a Role-Playing Game", the text criticizes virtually everything about the game except character models and gives it a lowly score of 60. Some excerpts:

(...)save for the old "multiple-different-endings" shtick developers have been trotting out like a reward for enduring linear gameplay for decades, choosing different responses in Mass Effect merely unlocks alternative dialogue choices that shape the narrative tone but virtually none of the game mechanics. Play Mass Effect more than once and, while you can unlock tougher difficulty settings that make the abbreviated action sequences more punitive, you'll still have the same story experience, start to finish.

(...)This is a problem in Mass Effect, where talky sections unfold like dull, flat sine waves, punctuated by sawtooth-style segments of manic action. On the one hand, the system's been nicely refined to allow more natural pacing by letting you choose a conversational approach before someone else finishes speaking. But it's still like playing the weird descendent of an old choose-your-own-adventure book, with spurts of action inelegantly sandwiched between exhaustive dialogue trees that don't change the game to speak of. Smoothly paced or no, your conversations don't shape your experience in Mass Effect so much as shuffle you along like a weirdly glib FedEx operative.

These seem like legitimate concerns to me. Add (for example) some bizarre bugs and bad AI and the score really seems to be justified. I wonder if someone played a practical joke on Peckham and gave him a different version of the game than the one other happy folks are raving about?

Note: despite the fact that Mass Effect is, as yet, officially console exclusive, some folks think we should cover it. Give us your opinion in the comments.
Spotted at: PC World

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