GameInformer hasn't just made the bold claim that Baldur's Gate II is the best RPG of all time, but they've backed it up with "science" by pitting BioWare's finest masterpiece against the likes of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Mass Effect, and Final Fantasy X:
Well, for one thing, BG2 is an RPG with progression and equipment that actually matter and aren't vague nods to those games we used to play in ages past. For another, BG2 has fun, lighthearted bits in it and doesn't rely solely on testosterone-fueled WE HAVE TO SAVE THE GALAXY RIGHT NOW EVERYTHING IS DOOMED BUT SHEPARD IS THE UBERMENSCH HOORAY FASCISM. I dare you to find anything in Mass Effect or the sequel that's as flat-out amusing as Edwin's poorly researched work on the Nether Scroll (spoilers: He turns himself into a girl and is simultaneously upset and intrigued at his new.attributes). And while I lament the fact that you never get a chance to strap Jan and his unbearable turnip blather to a nuclear bomb, you do at least get to rat him out to the cops and go taunt him in his jail cell. More BG2 articles, please. Thanks.
Do I even need to bring up combat? Because there's more to BG2 than "point gun, pull trigger." So that's a plus. You can summon up meat shields to tie up the enemy melee while harassing their spellcasters with ranged attacks. You can stealth up, backstab a dude, and lure his friends into a trap-filled ambush. You can drop entangling webs to block off an enemy group's attack vector while engaging another party. Your creativity is the primary limiting factor in how battles play out.
As for Mass Effect, I'm not saying that there's more tactical thinking in Call of Duty single-player.no wait, that's exactly what I'm saying.