How many games can you remember playing who’s stories connected you to the characters in such a way that you were genuinely sorry when one of their lives was effected badly by your actions? Mass Effect 2 forces this feeling, and others, onto to you and still has you begging for more.
Having played the first Mass Effect too many times to count I was no stranger to the ME storyline when I first started playing ME2. I was, however, unprepared for the amount of depth that was put into every character and every choice in ME2. Game play in ME2 is mechanically just like the first game. Third person shooting and clever cut scenes make up most of the things you eyes will revel in; all of which are rendered in a breath taking graphic style.
While writing this I have found myself wanting to tell you more about the characters that directly interface with Shepard’s world, so I suppose we will start there. The crew at Bioware have taken great pains to ensure that you get to meet up with some of your crew and friends from the first game; this makes for some very nostalgic moments and chance meetings. A few of your previous crew can even be brought back to serve with you on this new mission. With all of these characters hanging around some of you are probably asking yourselves,”with all of this extra crew hanging around there has to be more chances for space booty, right?” In short, yes. In long, figure it out yourself, that’s half the fun. Each of the characters on your crew has an astoundingly deep backstory that explains who they are and why they are dumb enough… I mean brave enough to follow you everywhere. Of course with the loyalty system that Bioware has put in you have to earn the trust of all of your crew in order for them to be worth their weight.
As was with Mass Effect 1 as will be for Mass Effect 2… When it comes to music and controls anyway. Nothing too new here. Music is epic and written very well, fitting the mood as situations become more tense or relaxed. Controls are the same as the first game during play with a few changes in the menus.
Bioware has changed the way that weapons are improved and the way that the Normandy travels all together. During your travels you must scan planets (a very boring mini-game where you drag a reticle over the planet’s surface looking for minerals) and send probes to mine your findings; this provides you with raw materials. Using your raw materials you can then research upgrades to your ship, armor, and weapons (you can also purchase special weapons for certain teammates and new weapons and armor for yourself).
Decisions that you make in ME2 seem to carry a much greater weight than they did in the first game and you’ll see that first hand because you defiantly have a lot more of them this time around. During certain cut scenes you will see a prompt for either a renegade or paragon action and you only have a few seconds to hit the appropriate button to make your choice (these action gain you extra points toward the renegade or paragon stats but aren’t required to continue the scene). For instance, Shepard might be interrogating someone and you see a paragon prompt, hit the button and Shepard tries to bargain with them; after they refuse you see a renegade prompt and that’s when the beatings start (in other words, don’t put down you controller during a cut scene you might miss the good part).
Overall Mass Effect 2 is a fantastic piece of gaming art. Story lovers will adore the characters and settings while shooter lovers will get their fill of bullets and explosions. Even if you haven’t played the first Mass Effect you should at least rent the second and see what you have been missing. If you have played the first then you already know what I talking about so go ahead and buy it (yes there is more game play in the second).
Some people may say that this review is shorter than my other reviews and at times can sound a little scattered…
What can I say? I just want to get done and play more Mass Effect 2…
Score: 9.8 Almost Perfect
If you have any questions regarding the game you can leave them below or email them to me @ Jesse@8daysageek.com
(Update: Bioware has confirmed that there will be a Mass Effect 3 and after seeing the ending of ME2 all I can say is that there had better be Bioware… There had better be… Please.)