Review by Rue2003
"Well darn my socks and call me an Asari Matriarch!"
Mass Effect 2 is a great game with amazing cinematics. Everything is great, the way they amped up the action this time around, the way the characters interact more and the way your choices effect the game.
The gameplay is a bit more actiony this time around, you don't level up from killing enemies, which I really miss because who doesn't like getting XP from killing things? Instead, you get experience only from completing missions. The leveling system has been simplified to, you get a lot less stuff to level up. They practically removed inventory from the game, so now all you have to worry about is what weapons you have equipped, which can only be changed at weapon lockers throughout the game. While it's less rpg and more action game, the new gameplay system works, and biotic powers comes in handy when your in a tough spot. Oh and also theirs ammo.
One of the things that makes the game so unique is the ability to import your character from the previous game into this one, like the Quest for Glory series but more indepth. Choices you make in the first game will change things in the second, but not to a very large extent as you might expect. But, I enjoyed seeing my Sheps again all new and shinier, I feel as if the game is made for me and my Sheppard.
The difficulty is great, I found it to be a bit challenging on normal, a lot more than the original. Theirs also more variety in enemies and the AI is a lot better now. Your squad members fight like true soldiers and die a lot less than in ME1.
The graphics are probably the best so far on the 360. Characters are detailed, most textures look great, and everyone shows a lot more expression in the face now. There also more cutscenes this time, but they're never drawn out or boring. They remind me of big budget Square Enix games, but less over the top. I guess they focused more on the actual role-playing aspect of game rather than the rpg elements of the game, because there is so much you can say to people or ask them about it's simply baffling. You can ask anyone about almost anything, which I like. I always choose everything I can during conversations because it's always interesting to hear what people have to say about this and that.
The frame rate is a lot more steadier now, it never ends up looking like a slide show presentation like in ME1, but the frame rate does dip a bit when there is a lot of stuff going on, but that might be because I don't have the game installed. It's all good though, because they really added a lot more special effects to this game, explosions are stylish and all the particles look cool.
Voice acting is great to, everyone sounds believable and it just adds to the great motion capture work the characters have. The music is great to, from what you can hear. But it's hard to hear over all the gunfire. Speaking of which, the sound effects are great to.
That's a word I've used a lot to describe this game; It's great. Everything is great. Except Planet Scanning.
To make things, you have to have elements you get from scanning planets. There are 4 in all. You have to use this small cursor to scan the planet for spots you launch a probe to, which will extract the elements from the planet. This target moves very slow while scanning, and it's pretty small. It's like cleaning a bathroom with only a toothbrush at your disposal. One thing I don't understand is why everyone expects Shep to do all the scanning, like can't anyone else scan the planet? The AI on the Normandy can't I guess, it must not be that smart enough, even though it's an artificial intelligence. It takes like 10 minutes to scan planets for the majority of their probe spots, but it gets really boring really quick. I dread planet scanning. The Mako is 100 times better in comparison.
Don't let that turn you off though. ME2 is a great game for anyone, even if your don't have a Shep from ME1. It's a game any sci-fi fan will love, and I for one love sci- fi.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/05/10
Game Release: Mass Effect 2 (Collectors Edition) (US, 01/26/10)
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