was wrong: It's easy to forget just how much of Mass Effect 1 was
spent in the inventory screen. Practically every enemy you killed had some sort
of present for you, whether it was a weapon mod or full suit of armor. If you
were the compulsive RPG type, every battle would send you back to the menu
screen to see if you picked up some new gear worth equipping. Even if you had
more patience than that, eventually it would come time to pare down your
one-man arsenal before you went over the 150-item limit.
"Go on, guess where I’m carrying it"
no categorization and minimal sorting, the selling interface was a major pain in
the neck. Plus, if you were down on a planet and didn't remember what your crew
up on the Normandy was geared with, there was no easy way to check if you were
selling an upgrade. Sure, you could equip everyone at their lockers every time
you were back on the ship and dump the rest to the quartermaster, but that
meant spending more time with the true villain of Mass Effect: the tortuously
slow elevator to the bottom decks.
Mass Effect 2, the inventory was cut entirely. You choose which of your 2 or 3
standard guns to take on a mission when you leave the ship, and your armors
stay up in your captain's quarters where they belong. The result is less time
navigating menus, and more time hanging out with Garrus.
Garrus wants to continue being bros, but you’re busy turning an armory into
was right: We definitely agree that menus are less fun than gunfights.
But the reason the whole idea of RPG loot is still around is that there's just
something primally satisfying about killing a guy, taking his stuff and wearing
it yourself. That makes RPG players sound like psychotic loons, but we dare you
to deny it with a straight face.
a nice little moment of satisfaction when you trawl through your cache and find
a rare armor that's way better than what you've got. That feeling of increasing
power isn't totally missing from Mass Effect 2, since you do find new guns from
time to time, but there's fewer spikes in your capabilities that make you feel
like you've turned a corner. There's also no anticipation of saving up for that
sweet HMWSG shotgun you've had your eye on.
also lost some customization when it ditched weapon mods. A clever player in
ME1 could substantially change how some of their weapons worked, like putting
explosive ammo in a sniper rifle, thereby making it a personal rocket launcher.
it was kind of nice to be able to customize your squadmates. At the very least,
you got to enjoy speculating how the Sirta Foundation ever marketed a line of
pink armor to the military.
"We've moved beyond your primitive gender stereotyping in the future, so
it's a total coincidence that I'm wearing this"
was wrong: Actually, we don't think there was really anything wrong
with this one.
ammo was a neat concept that worked well in the Mass Effect universe. Each gun
had a block of metal stored in a mass-reducing field, and "bullets"
were pieces of metal shaved off of that block and accelerated. One block would
supply thousands of rounds, and the only limiting factor was overheating.
Future tech at its best.
know what you’re thinking: 'Did he fire six
shots, or five?' Doesn’t actually
was right: The designers of Mass Effect 2 weren't quite happy with how
the unlimited ammo scheme translated into gameplay. To make every shot feel
important, they instituted a system of thermal clips, detachable heat sinks
that act as ammo.
in-game explanation for this is that thermal clips let soldiers fire faster by
obviating the need to wait for weapon cooldowns. We can sort of buy that, but
did they have to make the weapon USELESS without a clip? That definitely seems
like a step backwards.
so, as a game mechanic, ammo isn't bad,
exactly. We get why Bioware thought it would be better to make us conserve
shots. It's more that, as sci-fi dorks, we're compelled to pick on
inconsistencies in lore.