I never played the original game or the sequel, and I wasn’t following DX:HR any more closely than to be aware it was in development and planned for release this year. When it came out and was getting rave reviews from the press and more importantly from internet friends, I decided to buy it through Steam.
About five hours into the game and I’ve stalled out.
Initially, I thought it was going to love this game. With the strong story, hacking mini-games, and shooter combat, I was getting a strong Mass Effect vibe. But I switched to playing a few other games over the weekend and haven’t had any burning desire to go back. That usually means I’m done with the game. I have an awful track record for picking up games again and doing more than dabbling.
So what happened? Why did DX:HR fizzle when ME has kept me enthralled enough to play two games to completion?
Characters. ME 1 and 2 are not just the story of Sheppard. It’s the story of his crew and teammates. Were it not for Sheppard’s interactions with Tali, Miranda, Mordin, Wrex, and the rest, I don’t think I would’ve finished either game. DX:HR has none of that. Jensen is a loner with only minimal contact with others via comms and some face to face with his helicopter pilot.
I wrote the above during lunch Monday and then that night decided to give it another shot. I had apparently nearly gotten to the first boss battle in the game, which should explain why my playtime on Monday was sixteen minutes. After ten minutes of running in, skipping the cutscene (I did watch it the first time), and then getting plugged full of lead, I quit. It was not fun. It’s pretty disappointing to me to leave yet another game unfinished, but I have too many other demands on my time to play something I’m not enjoying.
Who on earth thought it would be a good idea to put a boss battle in which you fight a heavily armored maniac with an automatic rifle in a game that’s all about stealth and cover? I really, really hate it when a game switches gears like that. If the first five hours of a game are training you to play carefully and stealthily, you don’t then drop the player into a sealed room with scant cover and your enemy standing ten feet away and perfectly aware of you.
Anyway, I quit in frustration and went and played some nice relaxing Star Trek Online instead. Klingons made an excellent target for my frustration.
After getting a good night’s sleep, I was thinking about trying again and just bumping the difficulty down a notch (I’ve been playing on the middle/normal setting). But after reading Jon’s experiences with the game at howtomurdertime.com, I don’t think I’ll bother.