Review by timmyv38
"Yet another step backwards for Bioware"
If this was a stand-alone game, I would give it a higher score - probably 9/10. But when you look at it's predecessor, Mass Effect 2 falls well short.
1) Graphics - 10/10. Graphics have not been an issue in any of Bioware's games I have played to date, and Mass Effect 2 might even be better than the original in this.
2) Story - 6/10. The storyline in Mass Effect was one of it's strongest points, and was expertly done. Bioware dropped the ball on this in Mass Effect 2. There is much less exploration than ME1, and the interaction with NPC's is also much less. ME1 was one of the best RPG's made, but Bioware decided to go more towards the shooter route with ME2, and lost what truly set ME1 apart.
3) Gameplay - 7/10. The change to the powers system was a horrible mistake. The number of powers per character is halved, except for Shephard, making for much less party customization. All the other characters only have 3 powers each, and their class specialty - which only raises stats. What happened to the wonderful array of powers from Mass Effect?
The other major gameplay failing is combat. A large part of this is due to the new powers system, but the other bad change that was made was to power regeneration. In ME1, characters could use their powers one after another, allowing for easy combinations of powers. Now, when a character uses a power, they cannot use any more powers until 6-8 seconds later. It allows for more frequent use of the same power, but at the cost of the chain of effects that could be done before. Instead, Bioware made combat mainly shooter-style.
4) Character customization - 2/10. Gone is the huge selection of weapons and armors, and all the add-ons that let you set characters up the way you wanted to. Now, there are only 6 types of weapons, and only about 25 weapons in total. As for armor, the only character the armor can be changed on is Shephard - and even that is hardly worth doing. When you look at the almost non-existent armament choices and horrible new powers system, character customization is practically gone.
Bioware games used to be among my favorites, especially Jade Empire and Mass Effect. But with their last two releases - Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2 - I am going to have to seriously debate whether to get future Bioware games, because their game quality has taken a severe drop.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 02/24/10
Game Release: Mass Effect 2 (US, 01/26/10)
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