One of the nice side effects of having a couple weeks off over the holidays was that I got to play video games for the first time in months. I have this habit of getting a new game, playing it a bit, then never getting around to finishing it. The last game I played all the way through was Uncharted 2, and mostly because it was so engrossing and entertaining that I could not put it down.
This time it was Mass Effect. I’m a fan of Bioware’s games and I had barely scratched the surface of the game and the scripted RPG elements seemed just what I was looking for. It was only the combat system that had given me pause because, frankly, I hated it. And I spent a lot of my time dying on silly encounters when what I really wanted to do was experience the story and interact with characters through dialogue and choices.
This time when I played, I checked out the settings and realized I had it set on regular difficulty. So, feeling like the combat system was getting in the way of enjoying the game, I set in on easy. And that was the right decision. I finished the game last night and had a great time doing it.
Most impressive for me, of course, was the story of the game. I know it’s no surprise to find well-written games these days, but it’s not hard to see why the game industry does so well and why games rival movies now in terms of entertainment dollars. I found myself wishing that we’d have more movies of a similar caliber instead of the constantly recycled Hollywood formula.
Normally I like to take a break between games like this. Like I would end up playing an RPG like Fallout instead or a shooter or something different. But I’m really tempted to just jump right into Mass Effect 2. I enjoyed the last game that much.
Of course there’s always Red Dead Redemption if I feel like a short break. I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of that game.
What games are you enjoying and playing? What are the best written games that you’ve played?