Review by BLAZE32crisco
"Mass Effect 2 - Better than the first, but by how much?"
Mass Effect 2...honestly, I loved this game. I still got the thrill of playing this game. The cut scenes gave me absolute chills. But BioWare didn't really hit all my flaws from the first. NOTE: I tried to exclude an spoiler. There are no story line points.
I loved how in ME2 you don't find 3 versions of every weapon. It was really annoying finding a ton of weapons during a mission that I didn't need. Instead, they made it where you researched weapons, and you could assign the weapons to which ever squad member you (as long as they can use it). But no customizing? Granted the weapon customization was boring, you could still customize. You had control of what your weapons did (in a sense). On a side note, it would have been cool to customize the color of the weapon (little random).
Some had kind of the same criticism towards armor as weapons, that you can't apply those little upgrades. BUT you can change the look of the armor, which is super cool. Not only the special aspects of it, but the color, style, material. I like it a lot. And, like with weapons, I don't have 50 upgrades on my screen that are all the same.
This is probably the most criticized part of the game from what I read. Yes, you don't get a lot of powers. Bit of a buzz kill if you ask me. I liked having all those powers. BUT I liked the 4 level of the power. You could choose the final stage of how it worked. I did like that. But if BioWare had kept the same leveling system, it would have seen kind of lazy to me. Maybe in ME3 they will integrate the two together to make it PERFECT. Speaking of leveling up...
Level 30? Really? Another buzz kill I had with this game. I loved having to play through and hitting 50, then replaying it again to hit the 60 (which requires like 4 times as much experience if you break down the math of EXP points). But capping it off at 30 just makes me feel like I didn't accomplish anything, even though the EXP point system is different. It was good that it pretty much requires a second play through to hit the 30 mark. I know some hit it the first play through, but I sadly had 29 so I was lucky enough to require that second play through.
You only get two of your original squad. A little sad, but honestly, I like it. It gives you a chance to "meet new people." Loyalty missions were amazing! Each was different and you could affect the outcome if you chose to go against what your squad member might have wanted (which sucks because you miss an achievement but nice to know you really make an impact). All the squad members were different, you can get more personal, multiple relationship "targets" and, most importantly, MORE SQUAD MEMBERS. In ME1, you got two humans, four aliens. In ME2, you get six aliens, four humans, and a geth. All how have different personalities and bring different aspects to the team. To relate back to Powers, your squad members have three powers, a class specific and two others. I don't like how Legion and Tali are the same. (To those who have played, I know the fourth is different)
I'm going to break this part down into a "Pros and Cons" list for easy reading. These are just random little points I noticed.
Pros: 1. Normandy has an awesome new design that adds more complexity to the game.
2. Scanning planets is all new and more exciting than simply clicking the planet and hitting a button.
3. Graphics are incredible. Enough said.
4. Storyline is amazing and sticks true to Shepard's mission. BioWare wanted to continue the story and they did.
5. Missions are all unique. You don't just fly to a planet, explore a base or whatever, kill a couple guys, and leave. Each has different aspects.
6. Captions Quarters is kind of has a customization to it. You can buy fish, a "space hamster" and model ships. Not significant to game play but kind of cool.
7. Opening safes and accessing computers has a sweet little mini game.
Cons: 1. I miss my sweet "Land Rover"!! Granted the Mako was a little over used. It was still part of the experience.
2. There's not a lot of side quests.
3. Minus areas that you should go to, all other areas are "unexplored" which means there's tons of places to find a few side quest missions. This was a little annoying since missions aren't presented to you. You just have to hope to find a planet that has a landing area.
4. Some say AI is way better, but in ME1 my squad didn't keep running to spots. They stayed where I wanted them. In ME2, they seem to walk in front of fire. Maybe this is just a personal issue, so feel free to disregard.
5. Shopping for research schematics then going to find the material to build it wasn't a high point for me.
6. Fuel was an interesting add on. But didn't really like it too much.
So.....even though I might have been critical, don't let this discourage you. This game was amazing. I love BioWare games and this game is no exception to that. It's got new aspects that are well needed, and maybe a few it could have left out. I would recommend getting this game for anyone who just likes to shot some aliens (and some humans). You really just want to kick some Reaper butt!!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/02/10
Game Release: Mass Effect 2 (US, 01/26/10)
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