There’s something about Mass Effect 2 not having an obvious key bind for screenshots that is nagging at me. Silly, I know, but it does. It’s like a small dog, yip yip yipping away in the back yard of my mind, bouncing up and down at the fence of my reason and trying to get my attention. The problem is that it sets off all the other dogs of deliberation in my mind. Now I have cause to think about the fact that Bioware have streamlined the inventory system to almost non-existence, something which veers very much towards the console end of the Console – Normal – Fiddly – Needs A PC With Seven Input Peripherals end of the HCI spectrum; that’s a big shaggy dog, hoof hoof hoofing while standing on its hind legs with two huge paws pulling at the fence of reason. Then there’s the general lack of micromanagement required of your team members when in combat: simply point and assign one key or, more importantly, one scarce button resource, for each of the two companions; a scrawny mutt, howling and trying to dig its way under the fence. There’s also the combat, which flatters the fast action of Gears of War with its imitation whilst paying only token respect to the tactical deliberations of Knights of the Old Republic; a sleek dog that spends its time running in ever faster circles around the fence line, barking all the while.
This canine cacophony is driving me to distraction, and so I have to feed the dogs of deliberation, in order to silence them, if only for a little while. So excuse me while I publicly deliver them their food for thought: Bioware are going to bring Star Wars: The Old Republic to the consoles. I know. I know. There’s no evidence for it, and what little evidence there is points against the fact – for example, HeroEngine offers no support for anything other than the Windows platform, as far as we know – and yet the thought persists. Blizzard have always supported the Mac platform with their games wherever they could, and World of Warcraft was faithfully released for that platform, and a fine implementation it was too. Bioware are consistently getting their RPGs onto the console platform with considerable success; wouldn’t it make sense for them to release their biggest undertaking yet on those platforms too, and thus reap the benefits of a wider audience?
Bioware could take MMO popularity to even greater heights, as Blizzard did before them, if they can deliver a top tier MMO to both the PC and the console market.
Ah, peace: the dogs of deliberation are muzzled once more.
Until the next foolish notion lets them out.