Mass Fatigue

Mass Effect may have close to a 400,000 words in its script.

Hoo boy.

I’m probably the only person who looks at this game and says “what fucking waste”. There is absolutely no reason for that much wordiness in a game. Did they think I came to their game to read four – five novels worth of text? This is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts, because people always seem to encourage them. I could deal with the dialogue in Planescape: Torment, because it was good and I read it at my own pace. Then Knights of the Old Republic came around, and Bioware wasted thousands of words, because I didn’t listen to a word of the excruciatingly slow spoken dialogue. I can only see Mass Effect getting even worse than that.

Still, I’m curious to see if they manage to actually improve upon KOTOR’s morality system, which always boiled down to:

“Please help me!”

> Of course, for I am a kind and gentle soul.

> That armor is pretty. I think I’ll just to kill you!

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17 years ago

I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’ve defended Super Paper Mario because the script is well written and if anything, the game needs more game, not less script. I also love Torment, Fallout, and Baldur’s Gate.

But I do fear that eventually we will be playing the reading game. There’s nothing wrong about interactive stories or text adventures, it’s just not cost effective to spend 80 million dollars on a 360 game that basically is a text adventure.

17 years ago

This announcement doesn’t bother me that much. Supposedly they’ve radically altered the conversation interface from that of KOTOR (thank God!). You no longer have to wait until the entire scripted dialogue is read before you answer, and you can even tell people to shut up if their comments have nothing to do with the story. This will come in handy with background characters, which is where I suspect at least 1/3 of those words are being written in. I have a hard time believing that they’d expect a player to pay attention to 400,000 words all important to main plot. I guess we’ll see soon enough – well, not soon enough in my opinion.