10. Mass Effect: Andromeda
Its a Sad thing to see, When a developer has so much potential squandered because of a few people that are a bad batch and even more infuriating when companies care more about profits than production. This obviously hasn’t been the first time EA has treated it’s developers terrible and their IP’s Worse. Many have already desensitized themselves from the abysmal “Devil’s Cartel” that sunk any success in the “Army of Two” franchise and Lets not forget how both, “Maxis” and “Pandemic” studios were treated after their games underperformed.
Despite lackluster facial animations, the environmental animations/scenery can still be killer, and major cutscenes still look slick and detailed.
So we have come full circle it seems, I am not one to find joy in the misfortune of others. However, Electronic Arts (EA) had this coming. This is what happens when you try and pander to the so-called Social Justice Warriors and the video game press and media who support them. No matter how much you pander to them no matter how much you give to them they will always want more and never be happy with what was given to them. Case in point; gay and transgender “representation” in Mass Affect Andromeda. Video game journalists and Social Justice Warriors have been complaining about a lack of diversity in video games for years.
Most every BioWare game, up to and including Inquisition and Andromeda, is at its best and most memorable when it focuses on three interconnected components: strong storytelling, level design and moral choices. The open-world design of Inquisition and Andromeda not only fails to support these things, but also it actively makes them worse. The problem is simple: it’s extremely difficult to maintain a storyline across multiple parts because you have no idea when a player’s gonna do them. You know what’s possible? A quest that takes place across a specific range of geography, started here, ended there, and the writing in the middle. You know this because you used to actually do it.
While combat may be the most competent part of Mass Effect: Andromeda, it’s held back by too many bad decisions. They put a lot of effort into making combat feel fun and engaging, and it mostly works. The wonky cover system can be forgiven by the freshness boost jumps and dashing brings to combat. Guns feel better than they ever have, and there’s a lot of variety there to really cater to your play-style. Unfortunately, most enemy encounters play out on the open world maps, where the level design is generic and simple. The combat only really shines in the far less common, meticulously designed main-story levels that feel more like classic Mass Effect. It’s a shame that the heavy reliance on open-world encounters – Andromeda’s only substantial addition to the Mass Effect formula – fails to take full advantage of its strongest mechanics.
9. Dragon Age 2
Ultimately, Dragon Age 2 still manages to be a good game, but it will also be a VERY divisive title among RPG fans. As a game, its streamlined mechanics and more action-oriented combat should appeal to console players, but hardcore fans of RPGs will most likely feel disappointed.
8. Dragon Age Inquisition
With a huge, expansive world, a simple story, and choices that leaves a significant mark on the world around you, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a good game. However, the gameplay feels clunky and the story (although grand) lacks character depth and the absence of emotional investment anchors this game down.
7. Star Wars: The Old Republic
BioWare has largely delivered and will have answered many of its critics, but there is not much in the way of innovation here. The Force alignment structure may be systemically unsalvageable, and with little end-game content currently available for those characters who have reached level 50, one wonders whether BioWare will be able to hold on to the more serious gamers and guilds who yearn for a variety of large-scale challenges. This is definitely a good game. However it lacks any ambition, depth, or originality. EA is always on the pursuit of financial gain, regardless of quality.
Dear EA, who do you want to be? Do you want to be a company that tries to cash in on other companies’ successes, or do you want to be a company that tries to create the best and most epic goddamn role-playing games in the world? Because if it’s the latter, open-world games and leftist political agendas are working against you.
Dear BioWare, We fans will always love and remember you. EA may have bought and destroyed your company, but even in death, your legacy will forever live on.
In your honor, we shall now commemorate your ultimate achievements, your greatest masterpieces.
Rest In Peace, old friends
6. Baldur’s Gate (Series)
It’s a huge, sprawling, wonderfully involved game that makes you feel as though you’ve read a fantasy trilogy by game’s end.
Not only has the game shown that you can build a statistics heavy game without making it boring or confusing, but it has shown that it’s possible to build them with style and beauty.
Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn
It’s not just vast, but flooded with quests and side adventures. There is always something to do in this game and, after that, there’s always something more.
A diversely beautiful and deadly environment filled with amazing characters and a myriad of possibilities. For any fan of the original, this is a must have – it’s just too good to pass up.
Great quests, solid story, very good voice acting, challenging battles, and engaging dialogue and characters make this an RPG that stands head and shoulders above the competition.
5. Neverwinter Nights
It’s hard to fathom, but what it really boils down to is the fact that gamers may never really have grasped just how faithful an adaptation of the D&D ruleset we are looking at. It is totally accurate in every, single detail.
If you’re going to play on your own there is enough to keep you playing for days, take it online and you have a masterpiece that could last you a lifetime.
This game is terrific and engrossing.
4. Jade Empire
Jade Empire is a beautiful, resounding triumph, much like the strong, highly polished gemstone the game takes its name from.
A game of such rare emotion that we became attached to our characters to the point of missing them now it’s all over.
3. Dragon Age: Origins
For the true RPG gamer, this game is of a level that has never been seen before. It is the new benchmark. The story is rich and engaging, the characters are memorable, and the journey is one that pulls you in, captivates you and compels you to move forward toward the conclusion.
Overall Dragon Age: Origins is fantastic, and is a must play for any fan of the genre. Doubly so since it readily promotes multiple play throughs. It’s the player that controls the game more than the story , so everyone can look forward to spending endless hours in a wonderfully fleshed out fantasy realm.
2. Mass Effect Trilogy
Mass Effect is a transcendent experience, the new standard-setter for what a game can be. You have to play it, and that’s why we’re kinda jealous of you. Even if you memorized all the previews and trailers, you’re not ready for how awesome this game is.
Mass Effect 2 stands represents near-perfection in the genre. How the story plays out is really up to you. Choices are presented throughout the game, both large and small, that completely change the future of the series. What you say to different people can effect how they treat you in the future, and which characters you side with will change the galaxy’s perception of your Shepard. It’s empowering to know how much of an influence you have over the events of a game, and made us feel much more connected to the story than we may otherwise have been. The improvements to the combat, the robust, interesting story, and the absurdly powerful ending made for one of the most memorable gaming experiences ever crafted.
Mass Effect 3 will force you to make tough decisions on a galactic scale. You have to think them through and you feel bad about yourself afterwards. The story is emotional, hard hitting, and diverse. BioWare once again delivers a masterpiece.
1. Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic (Series)
Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) accomplished what virtually no other Star Wars game has: it created a story that’s even better than anything in the movies. The tale of your character’s growth as a Jedi and the story’s big twist are still beloved today. No other Star Wars game other than it’s own sequel Knights of the Old Republic II has given you as much power over the fate of the galaxy either, allowing you to choose whether to save the Republic or rule it with an iron fist.
Star Wars is escapism. It’s a space fantasy, not just science fiction, and more often than not it attempts to paint a picture of a world that is easy to understand and feel comfortable with. That black-and-white portrait is a demonstration of how we wished our world would be, with good and evil and a clear dividing line between them. KOTOR collapses that construct, humanizing evil and obscuring that dividing line. Whereas other Star Wars stories provides surface-level enjoyment, KOTOR goes deep enough to be intellectually stimulating.
What makes KOTOR earn its spot among the greatest games ever made is its engrossing, epic story.
The difference between the KOTOR games and other Star Wars fiction is apparent in their basic premises. In most Star Wars stories, you are someone important/powerful who is trying to save the galaxy. In KOTOR nobody knows you nor cares about what you’re doing. Most Star Wars fiction is fun and simple and earnest, and KOTOR is heady and heavy and noir-ish.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Bioware managed to completely capture the essence of the Star Wars Universe, build upon it, and create it’s own identity in Star Wars lore and video game history.
May the Force be with you