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Mass Effect 2: Disturbingly Frequent Demise

This just in: Mass Effect 2 is really hard!

I do not want to cast an accusing glance in Bioware’s direction if it is not justified, so I will try to reign in my nasty stares as much as possible whilst I attempt to figure out the true cause of the phenomenon, but let me just say that as a general rule I am decidedly not fond of sequels that decide they need to be more difficult just because there is a higher number in their title.

It is a remarkably common thing, and one that frustrates me to no end.

“Oh,” the developers seem to be saying, “clearly they beat the first game, so what they must want is more and harder, right? I mean, they can’t possibly just want more of what they already enjoyed but with new stuff added. Sureely they want to be incredibly frustrated along the way as well. We must assume their skills have become superhuman and throw all sorts of torturous walls of difficulty at them. That’s the ticket!”

This phenomenon ringing any bells? If not, then you haven’t played Left 4 Dead 2, I can be certain of that much.

If you haven’t realized it by now, I don’t play games for the challenge. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a good challenge, but I’ll turn the difficulty down in a heartbeat if it will make the experience more fun for me and remove that pesky roadblock of overly frequent death.

Followup report: Death isn’t fun!

So far all I know for sure is that I seem to be dying with a much higher rate of frequency than I ever did in the first game. I am not yet entirely sure why this is, and I don’t want to prematurely point fingers, but it is a worrying trend.

Fortunately, I am also not yet sure that it is making the game less enjoyable. The increased rate of death is notable, but not yet quite to the level of truly frustrating. Annoying would be a much better descriptor for the moment.

So we shall see where this trend goes as the game continues. I hope to keep my brain open and attempt to figure out exactly why this is happening. My class? Increased difficulty? Stupid AI? More enemies? Me doing stupid things? I have my hunches, but I don’t yet know.

Let’s just hope that it remains annoying and doesn’t escalate to frustrating. If I can manage to be that lucky, it will be more or less a non-issue.

My fingers are crossed.

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