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What makes an RPG worth playing over again? Is it the characters? The story? The gameplay or the scope of the game’s universe? Well, we preview both Alpha Protocol and Mass Effect 2’s replay factors in Round 2 of our weekly battle bout here at Blend Games.







We’re joined once again by the staff at Electronic Theatre, including l.m.h and head-honcho Kev. J, as we break down the elements of what makes a game replayable and how those factors will play into both the quality aspects of Mass Effect 2 and Alpha Protocol. All right, the time for wasting words is over with, let’s get this battle started.


Mass Effect 2


ET – Kev. J: Mass Effect offered numerous opportunities for multiple play-throughs. While the main storyline may have changed little with each new experience, a number of twists and turns will have been missed without varying your chosen squad members and experiencing a number of plot-heavy side-missions. And then factoring in those all-important Achievements, many gamers saw Mass Effect through to those closing credits several times. Mass Effect 2 has pledged to be no different, tasking the player with squad selection and promising a greater affect on the final outcome depending on your decisions. Not such in that you may receive a different reward or ability through making different decisions, but that the story arc will irreparably alter later in the game given a different decision early on. The biggest teaser offered so far? That of one Commander Sheppard of course, with BioWare having stated that our hero “may” not make it to the final chapter. Who will decide whether he makes it or not? You.

BG – William: I’m not going to call it bias but I will say that based on what the original Mass Effect established the sequel is something that any RPG fan should be looking forward to. One reason is its massive scope on an epic story that’s actually worth replaying. It’s like watching a season of Lost all over again but with the option to change important aspects of the story and character development. What’s more is that by replaying the original Mass Effect and importing your saved game into Mass Effect 2 it opens up even more opportunities for various outcomes and effects throughout the sequel. BioWare has really stepped up their game and it will be interesting to see how the final product makes use of these replay factors.


Alpha Protocol


l.m.h While the spy-based Role-Playing Game that is Alpha Protocol is suggested to offer a multitude of outcomes depending on player’s decisions, we are of course yet to see any of them. Little is yet known about exactly how players’ choices will affect not only the structure of the game, but the lead character himself. It’s been said that personality traits will differ – be nice to people and they’ll believe in you, be unpleasant and they’ll question whether or not they should be helping you – but to what extent this will affect the games’ objectives remains to be seen. Alpha Protocol offers a lot of potential for repeated play-throughs, though unlike Mass Effect, there’s currently no precedent to signify how greatly the core game itself will vary.

BG – William: It’s true that Alpha Protocol has little revealed about its replayability. However, Obsidian has readily admitted that the game is designed to offer players a lot of opportunities to replay the game with various effects: charming different ladies may render new outcomes for certain missions; interrogating an individual in a nice or harsh manner could alter another outcome; choosing who to kill and who to save opens up yet another door for replayability. The choices in Alpha Protocol add a distinguishing factor for replay that nearly puts this round at a tie between it and Mass Effect 2.

Voting Time!


You’ve read the previews and the details and you can check out two trailers of each game below. After you’re done with that it’s time to lay down your vote.



Mass Effect 2 Vs Alpha Protocol Round 2
RESULTS


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