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Bioware - Are Their Games Actually That Good?


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#41
Pop

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That the game was replayable didn't matter because none of the playthroughs felt complete. The CNPCs became less characters and more "find the new dialogue in the loop" puzzles. Which happens, I guess. Which wouldn't be much of a problem (Bioware avoids this through meticulously railing their exposition, but it's no more satisfying) except that the ending's payoff largely hinges on your knowing these characters, no pun intended. I never unlocked the characters, even after 3 playthroughs.

#42
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Geez...these are all just opinions. For example, I think Planescape: Torment was forgettable whereas KotOR has probably the most memorable gaming experience to date. I had no frickin' clue that I was a sith lord. Wow. My jaw dropped on that one.

#43
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In the end, Bioshock was a wildly ambitious game..

Is it the lame "twist" in the middle of the game that makes you think this? Because otherwise it was just a consolified light-weight version of a ten year old game (System Shock 2) with crappier combat, five different enemies (seriously!) and the dumbest end boss (I was hoping end bosses died with Doom in the nineties..) ever. And how much fun and "ambition" did you see in the latter parts of the game? Or was it the Pipe Dreams mini-game that got to you?

Wildly ambitious.. :rolleyes:

#44
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I'm pretty sure we've gone through this routine 8 or 9 times already.

#45
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Meh, I prefer Obsidian's stories (mostly K2) than Bio's. :rolleyes:

It just seemed so much more... serious and deep than the first one.

EDIT: Excluding the Revan twist. I never saw that one coming and it was awesome.

Edited by WILL THE ALMIGHTY, 19 April 2008 - 05:10 PM.


#46
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Although I don't like all of Bioware's games equally, I will say that I've had a fun and satisfying experience with all of them. And yes, I've bought them all. :rolleyes:

That's a pretty darned good record of turning out quality games in my book. I don't think any other gaming company comes close to the number of high-quality games released over the past dozen years or so.

#47
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Bioware was a good company, one of the few that I buy games from. They are not as good as they used to be though. They haven't released a good rpg since Kotor came out. Baldur's Gate out them on the map so to speak, they should have continued to make a great interesting game like that. Now that the evil EA has bought them out, I doubt they will be good any more.

#48
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Anyway, I think what the problem here is that so many people can't seem to distuingish "good" from "entertaining". It's a very common misconception that you cannot enjoy something that is friggin' terrible. I recognize the fact that Planescape: Torment is a better game than Knights of the Old Republic. This does not mean that I have to get more enjoyment out of Planescape: Torment (if it did mean that, I would be a pretentious lugnut). Basically, it's the same as it is with movies: I recognize that American History X is a much better movie than The Mummy. Yet the Mummy's campiness entertains me, whereas American History X depresses the hell out of me. This is why, given the choice, I would much rather watch The Mummy.

And this is precisely what is wrong with gaming press in general. It ranks enternaining higher than good, George Lucas higher than Terry Gilliam.

I find this notion that the purpose of games isn't entertainment but rather artistic expression rather amusing. Artistic worth is a secondary good as far as games are concerned. We only play artistic games because they're fun, not because they're artistic. If Bioshock was just a passive Disney ride through Rapture nobody would care about it. Hell, plenty of people around here piss and moan about the gameplay, and they poo-poo the game as a result because who the **** cares if this boring game has artistic merit. The only reason I don't agree with them is because I didn't find Bioshock boring. I did, however, find Planescape: Torment to be an awful grind.


Yeah pop, you can cast disdain on artistic value if you want, but I still enjoyed the supposed 'artistic' games (Fallout, PS:T, Deus Ex) for their FUN value more than I did the Bioware games for their 'fun' value.

And Hümmelgümpf I really enjoyed Torment's combat. Maybe it was crappy as a thief or fighter but as a mage it was awesome.

#49
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Out of the bioware games I have played, the author of the article nails it. Average. He also is right about their success, you might not like their games but it's hard to argue with their productivity and business sense.

Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II plus expansions - closest to high fantasy pen and paper DnD I have ever played. Excellent

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Started and stopped this game many times, once I finally got past Taris, the story really improves. Weak combat. I can only imagine this story with combat/force powers in Jedi Academy. Half a game.
Good.

Neverwinter Nights – Most likely the biggest let down in gaming, weak OC and 2 average/terrible expansions. The fan made modules I have played were average at best. No interest in Multi-Player so I can not comment.
Shameful




Do we know anything about their upcoming games? Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO), LucasArts/BioWare Interactive Product, New Next Gen Game?

Edited by Kelverin, 19 April 2008 - 07:11 PM.


#50
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Bioware was a good company, one of the few that I buy games from. They are not as good as they used to be though. They haven't released a good rpg since Kotor came out. Baldur's Gate out them on the map so to speak, they should have continued to make a great interesting game like that. Now that the evil EA has bought them out, I doubt they will be good any more.


Um...they've released like two games since KotOR. And have you actually played Mass Effect? It just seems like a pretty small sample size to say that they are not as good as they used to be. It sounds like you are saying Jade Empire was not as good as KotOR, so clearly the company has gone down the drain.

Personally I enjoyed JE, although I will say it's probably at the bottom of my Bioware list.

#51
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I admit I haven't played Mass Effect or Jade Empire. I look forward to them though.

And NWN1 OC might have sucked but I thoroughly enjoyed SoU and HotU, especially SoU.

#52
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I've often been extremely critical of bioware, I loved Baldurs Gate, but I have never been too keen on Baldurs Gate 2, a game which is often held up as some kind of golden classic of PC gaming history, sure it had some great things, but the art direction, and flow of the game often to me feels somewhat gut wrenchingly horrid... That's not to say its a bad game, but I sure as hell don't think its as good as the average fan makes out.

Then along came NWN's, which was seriously dire, a step backwards you may even say, as a single player game it just never worked for me. I could never get on with the interface, it looked so tacky and weak, like it was bolted on by a bunch of n00bs, that's said NWN's isn't that bad I'd say "Don't ever play this pile of poo", its just not of an extremely high standard, as a single player game its the worst game Bioware have ever released. I can never help but think perhaps the issues surrounding the game, with the demise of interplay, switch publishers, and the five year or so dev cycle had a negative impact on the game and hence why it is not of the same kind of high standard.

I'd certainly lost faith in ever experiencing anything like the original Baldurs Gate had achieved for me, though obviously in retrospect it's heavily flawed, but when I first played it it truely grabbed me.

KoToR I merely picked up one day, I was never overly impressed with it... It certainly had this gimped NWN's feel in regards to its interface and general interaction. Jade Empire is another game that has actually totally and untterly failed to pull me in, probably due to my time constraints when I actually procured a copy.

So if you'd have spoken to me about Bioware about a month ago I would have probably said something along the lines of "A once great company that somehow managed to loose its formula, and now produces average to above average games".

Then I played Mass Effect... And then I played it again, and again, and again... And it felt the same as when I played the orginal Baldurs Gate, its like gears of war with a purpose, and much better level design. Now I don't expect that everyone will feel the same about the game as I do, but if anything its restored my faith in Bioware that they're still able to produce games which enthrall me. Mass Effect is probably the best game I have played since Baldurs Gate, there's just something about it that makes me tingle.

#53
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I wasn't interested in Jade Empire... I mean, what RPG lover cares about a martial arts game set in feudal China???... so at the time I didn't care that it was an X-Box exclusive. I shrugged it off and went on about my business. However, it came out for PC at a time when I was totally desperate for something, anything new to play. So I bought it.

And guess what? I truly had fun with it. It was bright, colorful with some interesting characters and a story that held my interest. The combat, once I got the hang of it, was really some of the most fun combat I've seen in a game. Now it's not RPG Of The Year material, true, but it was really a fresh, fun game that was more than worth the money, in my opinion, and has good replayability.

Mass Effect is, of course, on my must-buy list! It'll be out the end of next month, and I'm snapping that baby right up!

#54
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I will most likely pick up Mass Effect when I finish the games I have that are not finished yet,

As for Jade Empire, I do not know much about it. But I have as much interest as I did in the old Oriental Adventures DnD game = None at all

#55
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I didn't even care about Mass Effect till I played it, I'd kept myself so ignorant... It has flaws, but it is the first game EVER that the moment I finished it I literally started again, that's never happend to me before. I look Forwards to Mass Effect 2, they've crafted an awesome world, that's nice and freeform just like Baldurs Gate.

The only thing that bothers me really are, that the Inventory is a bit naff, you tend to end up a bit overloaded, and the mako sucks.

#56
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I've often been extremely critical of bioware, I loved Baldurs Gate, but I have never been too keen on Baldurs Gate 2, a game which is often held up as some kind of golden classic of PC gaming history, sure it had some great things, but the art direction, and flow of the game often to me feels somewhat gut wrenchingly horrid... That's not to say its a bad game, but I sure as hell don't think its as good as the average fan makes out.

Then along came NWN's, which was seriously dire, a step backwards you may even say, as a single player game it just never worked for me. I could never get on with the interface, it looked so tacky and weak, like it was bolted on by a bunch of n00bs, that's said NWN's isn't that bad I'd say "Don't ever play this pile of poo", its just not of an extremely high standard, as a single player game its the worst game Bioware have ever released. I can never help but think perhaps the issues surrounding the game, with the demise of interplay, switch publishers, and the five year or so dev cycle had a negative impact on the game and hence why it is not of the same kind of high standard.

I'd certainly lost faith in ever experiencing anything like the original Baldurs Gate had achieved for me, though obviously in retrospect it's heavily flawed, but when I first played it it truely grabbed me.

KoToR I merely picked up one day, I was never overly impressed with it... It certainly had this gimped NWN's feel in regards to its interface and general interaction. Jade Empire is another game that has actually totally and untterly failed to pull me in, probably due to my time constraints when I actually procured a copy.

So if you'd have spoken to me about Bioware about a month ago I would have probably said something along the lines of "A once great company that somehow managed to loose its formula, and now produces average to above average games".

Then I played Mass Effect... And then I played it again, and again, and again... And it felt the same as when I played the orginal Baldurs Gate, its like gears of war with a purpose, and much better level design. Now I don't expect that everyone will feel the same about the game as I do, but if anything its restored my faith in Bioware that they're still able to produce games which enthrall me. Mass Effect is probably the best game I have played since Baldurs Gate, there's just something about it that makes me tingle.


Ahhhh, BG 1 was the love of my life too. I must have played that game 20+ times... no exaggeration. I liked BG2/Throne of Bhaal probably better than you did, but I was missing that "thrill" that I had every time I fired of BG 1 and heard that BG theme music. Sent chills down my spine. I also liked KoToR better than you did, more for the story than the game play. I thought it a good game. Frankly, I liked much about Obsidian's KoToR 2 better... better story, more interesting characters, but a more flawed presentation in many ways.

NWN1 was my biggest BioWare disappointment. Even the much-better expansion packs couldn't totally take the sour taste away. It wasn't really a bad game. It was a dull game, and so far beneath what I expected from BioWare.

You've really got me excited about Mass Effect now! Can't wait!

#57
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I admit I haven't played Mass Effect or Jade Empire. I look forward to them though.

What do you mean you look forward to them? JE has been out for PC for some time now... But yeah, I'm getting ME ASAP. From what I've seen and read here, looks like my kind of game. :teehee:

As for BIO... I don't think there's any other company that has produced nearly so many games I have liked. I don't know if their games are *that* good, but I sure have spent more hours than I can count playing them...

#58
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I mean once I upgrade my computer.

The list:
STALKER
Bioshock
NWN2
MotB
Mass Effect
Jade Empire
The Witcher
Oblivion
NOLF2 (doesn't really work on this machine for some reason)

I think that's it.

#59
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What I find interesting is that a lot of people say that they loved BG1 and not BG2. I'm not going to argue on this, though it seems that most people that say so have played the original title first. I, on the other hand, had my first Bioware experience with BG2. I loved that game. It had a far better story than anything I had played at that time (I was fairly young back then) and the whole way the game was played was totally captivating. As I see it now, it's not a jewel of gaming; it doesn't do anything exceptional but still it does everything right and that's why I enjoy it still. BG1 I played years later (when I found some sort of special edition with it). It was still fun but I had to force myself through a lot of occasions mostly because of the game design.

I think I agree with the general notion here. It's not that Bioware's games are bad, they are fairly good titles (with the exception of NWN1 - that was atrocious, almost unplayable) but still they always seem overrated as games. They are not jewels of gaming and I think that's mostly because they lack originality.

Also differentiating "artistic value" from fun is a rather arbitrary act. Fun can be "manifested" in a lot of ways. Can games be sheer "artistic" objects? Probably not, they need mechanics for the player to use (for example) but so do movies need good direction, books need a writer that knows how to write and so on.

#60
Tigranes

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It does seem that there are many cases of people enjoying BG1 more than BG2, Fallout 1 more than 2, IWD1 more than 2, NWN-(uh, oh wait) when they have played the original first. I actually ended up playing all three of those backwards, and like the sequel more. I guess its' about the first one you get into. To be fair, though, BG1 and BG2 had a number of crucial differences, so you can see how one can enjoy one and not the other. I still play both games, of course, but it seems that every game has a little 'peeve' for me that I end up finding an expedient loophole to bypass, like a cheat. Having seen all the scenery there is I Ctrl+J (insta-teleport) or use area code teleport in IE games to avoid backtracking and going back and forth in quests; I godmode the Warehouse Of the Thieves of the Black Silhouette Guild in NWN2; so forth.




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