Review by oblivax
"Mass Effect: The mini game"
With so much hype around a game it was sure to fail like Halo 2 and Gears 2 however Mass Effect 2 falls short of nearly all expectations. The game play, story, graphics, virtually everything has mildly improved.
Story - 5/10 - The story is much darker, and shorter. All the sidequests for your characters are dark and sad and very easy. Garrus has greatly changed, Samara is deep, but all the others are just boring and really don't draw you in. The only really fascinating team member is Legion, in this particular character Bioware actually managed to capture my attention; speaking to a Geth that isn't trying to kill me was simply amazing, the level of conversation that occurs between Legion and Sheppard is mind blowing. For the main plot, it is very rich, easily drawing you in and then letting you fall like a rock. For those who played Mass Effect 1 it hits home so much better. You get to see the consequences of your decisions in this game and how it affects the galaxy as a whole. Two discs hardly added much to the story.
Gameplay -8/10 - The biggest change and improvement is with how you fight. The controls mirror and Gears and seem just more natural. Running into cover, pistol whipping, everything is simply better. The ammo/overheat system is annoying and makes combat more of a challenge. Its much closer to a shooter than the first one was. The hacking and decryption mini-games make much more sense and are better than the simple push random buttons. No more fun driving around on alien planets though. Now you must scan a planet for either resources or a sidequest that is completely pointless (if you are lucky someone sends you a thank you message for doing them).
Sound - 10/10 - Again ME2 has an awesome soundtrack not comprised of annoying classical music that we saw in Halo. The voice acting is spot on and amazing. Good to know that they took the job very seriously.
Graphics- 8.5/10 - The graphics have slightly improved from the first Mass Effect but the first ME had amazing graphics to boot so it was hard to have improved. There subtle changes though, more detail, more facial expressions (except Miranda, who looks permanently disgusted or emotionless), tears, and realism has been added to the eyes. The are also short cinematic scenes that seem totally worthless.
Overall - 7/10 - It is difficult to see how this game could improve aside from the obvious idea of making it longer!!! The game is a mild improvement over the first and it is simply an amazing game with outstanding graphics, a compelling and brief story, and awesome game play (unless you own Gears of war 2, in that case it is the same). This feels like more of a game that should be rented, rather than owned (Especially given the $60 price tag).
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/02/10
Game Release: Mass Effect 2 (US, 01/26/10)
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