Review by farbod21
After Playing The Entire Game = Best. Game. Ever.
At first I was a bit sad. It was not a sweeping RPG like the first one. It didnt have as much customization as the first one. Not as much planet exploration. ME2 does trim down the customization and loot that exists in ME1, but if you think about it, how many different weapons in ME1 did you use? Were the weapons any different functionally? Or was it just hidden stats? Didnt you end up selling or getting rid of 90% of the loot you picked up in ME1? Didnt you max out credits pretty quick and never needed money again?... Once I stopped holding onto ME1, I realized, ME2 did it much better...
The graphics of Mass Effect 2 were fantastic. They made ME1 look like a previous gen game. They were detailed, well thought out and beautiful. Top to bottom this was one of the most gorgeous games on any console. There is very little difference between cut scenes and game action, just closer up. Each world is completely different but equally gorgeous, be it in an underground mine or on a crashed space cruiser teetering on the side on a cliff. ME2 is truly gorgeous to watch. The characters are all beautifully planned. Id take the ME universe visually over Star Wars, Star Trek, or any other Space Sci Fi universe.
The simple fact is that even as a pure FPS, ME2 is clearly top notch. The action is as good as Halo, CoD, or GoW. The cover system is perfectly done and the feedback and intensity are flawless. The advancement from ME1 to ME2 is remarkable. In ME1 I used the same weapon the entire game, while in ME2 I used every weapon almost equally. They all were well planned out and served their purpose. Each gun has a specific use that is both realistic and fun. From shooting melee enemies with a shotgun, to picking off snipers with a hand cannon, ME2 balances the weapon system perfectly. While I did miss the remote grenades at first, the heavy weapon system is a much better replacement. Each heavy weapon is completely different and gives a much richer experience than simple remote explosions that were clumsy to use anyway.
The simple point and go travel method has been revamped to include flying from planet to planet. While simplistic and easy, it does give you a bit more sense of involvement than simplying choosing where to go. Also the annoying mako is replaced with a tedious planet scanning feature. While both have serious drawbacks, the planet Exploration in ME2 is much richer, more diverse, and better developed than 1. Each level is beautiful and deep. Story wise, driving a car around planets didnt make much sense to begin with when you can just fly to your destination. Overall I think it was a good tradeoff.
The conversations and interaction with NPCs are a bit cleaner than in ME1 and I would say that they are the most well done in any RPG. You can be good (paragon) or bad (renagade) or a mix of the two. There is no sliding scale as you can be both instead of none (neutral) which opens up new dialogue options. Plus the interrupt feature works great. I just wish they gave you options instead of only being able to interrupt with one action.
The music is not quite as good as ME1. The ending music for ME1 was perfection. The music in ME2 was still very good. What makes this a 10/10 is the voice acting. The talent and diversity of the voices is fantastic. Martin Sheen is perfect in his role and Shepard is inspiring as a leader. I dont know why a lot of games make the main character mute. A characters voice is one of the best ways to give him depth and personality. No one does that better than Bioware did it here.
I wont give any spoilers, but I will say that this game is darker and edgier than ME1. The story of ME is right up there with any sci fi epic and is just fantastic. The depth and quality of the ME universe is simply breathtaking. All the alien races and worlds are thought out and executed really well. ME2 really fleshes out the backstories of the different races and characters.
Mass Effect 2 is a greatly superior game to Mass Effect. While its not perfect, it is simply the greatest game I have ever played. It might not be the most in depth and customizable RPG, but the aspects it does have is what makes RPG so great. There is not much that is tedious or annoying about ME2. In fact, while I beat the entire game, along with all side missions and items, the game seemed a bit brief. Maybe thats because I didnt want to stop playing or leave the ME universe. Hopefully some more DLC will come out so I wont have to. Cant wait for ME3....
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Mass Effect 2 (Collectors Edition) (US, 01/26/10)
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