Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ME2, pt.12: Team Powers

While thinking back on combat, I realized that my attention on teamwork was pretty weak. My team members were "around," I did my best to survive while they did whatever, and only if my situation got hairy would I open my power menu to pause and browse through my bailout options. The exact functionality of powers was largely ignored, the ability to use them was spotty because the AI would use them without me (I wonder if this decision made to capture the attention of players that ignored powers), and the concept of "Team" was mentally isolated to the d.pad (despite team functionality being present in the "Weapons" and "Powers" menus).

Power Alternatives?
Regarding powers, I wish combos seemed more useful. The one combo the designers point out is shooting at lifted enemies while they are vulnerable, but the enemy still takes shots at me while I do it, and my own interest in followup turns dim when my allies do a fine job of turning baddies into flying corpses. I wish time slowed down to help me aim at the spinning body, or that certain enemies had protected weak spots exposed while they spun, or that more ravines existed between myself and the enemy to drop them into.

And my suggestion yesterday to have one unique power per character springs back to mind. From a design perspective, less options might make mean less variables for designers to build combos around, and with the added benefit of simplifying controls.

Control Alternatives?
But simplifying controls is far more complicated, and probably foolish to tackle with quick suggestions. I'll be foolish tomorrow.

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