Console: PS3, 360, PC
Publisher: Electronic Arts
When I heard Mass Effect 2 was coming to the PS3, I was torn. I had heard that Mass Effect was a must play game, one of the best of this console generation, but I really didn't want to play the sequel without being able to play the original. I'm so glad I did. Mass Effect 2 is, without a doubt, one of the greatest games I have ever played.
I had always wondered why there are so many gripes with Dragon Age's graphics. People would say, "This is the company that brought us Mass Effect?" Now I know why. The graphics are beautiful, an example of why some video games should be considered art. It's hard to give the beauty of outer space justice, but Bioware pulled it off spectacularly.
The story shocks you from the opening cutscene, and the trend continues throughout the game. The goal is clear from the beginning: Assemble a team to take down the Collector base. But this is no linear plot; instead, the story focuses on a few main quests, and the rest are side missions. As the plot progresses information about the Collectors and their connection to the Reapers (a giant group of machines that want to wipe out organic life) is leaked ever so slowly, until you think you can't wait a second longer. I can't wait to pick up where the game left off in Mass Effect 3.
Character development is where the game truly shines. There are a total of twelve companions, and each is truly unique and interesting. To gain a character's loyalty, you must complete a different sidequest for each of them. I found myself using an alias to sneak into a dinner party, defending a party member accused of treason in a hearing, and seducing an Asari at a nightclub, among other things. These missions are extremely entertaining and are a reward in themselves. The characters themselves feel like real people. They also interact with each other in surprising ways, and I had to break up more than one fight. I'm excited to see how Bioware incorporates each of them in the next game.
The gameplay in Mass Effect was suited to an RPG (unlimited ammo, hundreds of different armor and weapons, etc.) but in Mass Effect 2 system is overhauled and made into a typical third person shooter. The messy interface is gone, and the best weapons are sorted and equipped to each of your squadmates automatically. But if you want one of them using a particular weapon, you can swap weapons aboard the Normandy or at the start of each mission. The gunplay itself is fun, and I had a great time experimenting with the five different weapon types. My biggest complaint is each enemy felt kind of generic, the only difference between an elite and a regular was that the elite had shields. I feel like they did such a good job giving each my squadmates unique abilities and styles, they could have given the enemies more variety. My second and last complaint? You were only allowed to have two other characters in your squad at a time. This worked well, but I could never decide who to take with me.
The voice acting of Mass Effect 2 is superb, and the music is amazing. It has by far one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a while. Almost every track gave me chills. Some of my favorites:
I've been telling everyone that will listen to give Mass Effect a try. Listen to the reviewers, listen to fanboys, and listen to me: It's worth it. And if you have a PS3 and don't want to just jump in with the second game, watch darksydephil's playthrough on youtube. Vulgar, offensive, and hilarious.
Now who's ready for Mass Effect 3?
Last edited by Katie on Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:33 am; edited 1 time in total