Review by EpicKingdom_
"Combat Took A Mass Effect."
Mass Effect 2 is a Action role-playing game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts. The game is a sequel to Mass Effect, and the second game of the series. The game was released on PC and Xbox 360 in January 2010, and on PlayStation 3 on 18 January 2011. -This review is detailed for and will greatly inform you of it's features if your new to the series.
STORY: 8 out of 10.
Starting off I will easily admit that the first installment (Mass Effect) of the trilogy had the best story compared towards the second installment but only by a couple of steps. Moving on, this is section of the game is the main reason people love the Mass Effect series so much. At the start of this story, you find yourself (Commander Shepard) searching area's of the galaxy for the Geth but you quickly discover that they aren't the only big threat out their. Bombarded by a surprise attack from The Collectors, your vessel (SSV Normandy) and half the crew is destroyed as well as you.. Re-acquired and brought back to life from a well funded project known as the Lazarus Project that takes up two years thanks to a highly hated human organization named Cerberus and it's leader The Illusive man. Pretty much everything I have told you so far comes from cinematic movies. The real start of action comes from the player awakening in a medical station very confused and left with a huge sleight of problems the galaxy tends to ignore.. Due to this sneaky tactic (that I didn't really like) by the developers for temporarily killing off Commander Shepard leaves the excuse of providing the player with a chance to alter his/her character's appearance and class after Cerberus brings him back to life. From here you can chose one of the six classes (Soldier, Sentinel, Vanguard, Engineer, Adept or Infiltrator). Each providing their own uniqueness and approach towards strategy. Although either way, you can still gain other powers not available to your specific class through other party members (NPC characters within the game that join you in missions) as if you really have it all.. Many people except the default appearance of Commander Shepard but probably because he is a real lovable and fitting character to the atmosphere. You are aloud to completely change the appearance and gender of your character although like I said it seems rather pointless compared to how well default fits. As in previous titles from Bioware like Knights of The Old Republic their is a similar "bad guy/good guy" atmosphere towards the main character depending on your in game decisions. Responding to NPC's in a negative, aggressive way will earn you Renegade points which award you with the ability to intimidate others to accepting you way and vice verse for good actions earning you Paragon points. A radial command menu, divided into six equal sections like a pie chart, is shown at the bottom of the screen when a conversation is initiated. Each section is assigned a brief description of the response's intent, usually a short phrase such as "What's going on?" The response is selected by moving the analog stick onto the response you want and clicking "A".
Through this system, you are presented throughout the story with major decisions that effect the game and carry over to future Mass Effect titles. For example, in (Mass Effect) you are given the opportunity to save one of two party members, the one you save can be seen in the next game (Mass Effect 2) but the one you didn't save is written in history books as deceased from so on and so on and speaking of carrying over all of this can be done by importing your saved file/complete game file. Doing this will carry over your Mass Effect 1 character and decisions towards the next game and it has been announced that the same can be done for the upcoming Mass Effect 3. One little thing to mention is before I stop talking about the story is that just like the first game there are tons of side missions to complete and things to explore within the galaxy when you don't want to do main story related things.
GAMEPLAY: 9 out of 10.
I favored the first installment with the story aspect but the gameplay championship title easily goes to the second installment. Compared to the first it's obvious that there was nice improvements to combat but it feels more like a re-haul. Combat in Mass Effect takes place in real time, but the player can pause at any time to change the squad's weapons, select different abilities for the squad members to use, or to give general squad orders like move here or hold their. Players directly control their character's actions as well as their squad-mates attacks, but cannot take direct command of their squad-mates. The player and his allies use firearms modifiable with various upgrades throughout the game. Weapons and abilities of the squad members are selected via the use of two "wheel" interfaces: one for the weapons (LB) at the squad's disposal, and the other listing the available powers (RB) of each squad member and their respective recharge time. The abilities and special powers characters have at their disposal are determined by the skill sets assigned to them at the beginning of the game and how further earned experience points have been allotted since then by you. Some special abilities for example, include a biotic lift that can be used to pick up objects and enemies, and a tech abilities like Overload that reduces the shields of enemies. You have a basic set of weapons at your disposal like Handguns, Sub Machine Guns, Shotguns, Snipers, Assault Rifles and Heavy Weapons. These weapons you obtain can be modified or upgraded for improvement. In addition, weapons now use ammunition and no longer rely on the overheat system of the first game. Choosing the correct equipment can mean the difference between a quick victory and defeat. Equipped items are visible on the characters; the armors have different appearances and all weapons fold up into compact versions that are stored on the character's back. Mass Effect 2 features regenerating health as its primary health mechanic, instead of the ability to heal with "medi-gel" as in the first game. However, "medi-gel" is still used to revive downed allies. The cover system as been greatly improved as well making things far more simple to quickly get into cover.
GRAPHICS & SOUND: 10 out of 10.
I said it before in my past review for the original game and I'll say it again. When it comes to Mass Effect and the rest of 360. It can simply be admitted that this game provides the best experience visually for 360 and definitely shows the consoles max potential. Moving on to the game itself character models were always beautiful in Mass Effect games but in the original there were slow texture load up issues but within ME2 that has been improved. As for the sound everything is spot on when it comes to ambient effects like combat. I wouldn't say that there is anything special when it comes to music since Mass Effect music is rare and it's more like sounds.
This game is cheap now and definitely worth the purchase even if it still was a full sixty bucks. The story is solid and continues in a good way from were the original left off and the gameplay like you just read was greatly improved.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/10/11
Game Release: Mass Effect 2 (US, 01/26/10)
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