Review by hellslinger

"BioWare shows why they are the dominant Developer for RPGs."

I loved the first Mass Effect. It was my favorite BioWare game, one of my favorite RPGs, and one of my favorite 360 games. But I will be the first to admit that for all its triumphs the game had many flaws. So I am happy to say that everything that was great in the first game has been made even better and everything that was wrong was improved so much.

So let's start out with what has been improved the most in the game. Combat. The first Mass Effect was an RPG with some shooter elements that for the most part was bad. Instead of taking skill into shooting a dice roll determined if you hit the opponent. Now this works for most RPGs but when the RPG also is a shooter it works terribly. Thankfully they leave that behind and make it more skill to the point that it is on par and better than most Third-Person Shooters. So point at their head and you get a head shot. Another thing that thankfully was improved was the use of abilities. Before they tried to make it more an RPG were to use most of your powers (as only one could be mapped) you had to pause combat to select yours or even your teammate's powers which greatly broke up the combat. Again works well in most RPGs but not one that is a shooter. So now instead of one you can map three powers to buttons which is much better now cause you rarely have to stop combat.

But as good as combat is most people who will be playing this game are doing so to find out what happens to their Shepard that they spent a great deal of time making their own in the first game. So it is good that BioWare put out all the stops to make one hell of a story. You have to create a team to take on a group that has aligned themselves with the Reapers taking entire Human Colonies. This team consists of scientist, assassins, convicts, and even some old friends. And now with having over ten teammates instead of the six as in the previous you have a lot of relationships to maintain. As you learn more about them you might sympathize with them. You might disagree with them. And you might even fall in love with them. But to me the most shocking thing is that I grew to love all of them. With most RPGs you will find a character or two that are there for filler and has no personality. Not so in this even ones that might be called fillers are still fleshed out characters that have hopes and fears. As you try to gain their loyalty you will learn surprising things. Be it a perfect woman who tries to do too much. Or maybe a Krogan that tries to find his place within his people. Each character is as interesting as the next and provides with some outright funny at times to almost tearful conversations.

Though any great game isn't without flaws, but thankfully they are few and far between. The biggest I see people complaining the most about the game is its way to collecting materials needed to improve your ship and gear. Having to go to a single planet while always holding down the left trigger searching for strong pockets of the stuff you need takes up time and is tedious. But is necessary or people would stock up on it and never do it. It breaks up the gameplay for all you need to do is set aside a bit of time every time you play and you should come up with enough to get all the upgrades.

So here you find yourself holding to me is one of the greatest RPGs of all time and hopefully you will enjoy every single second of the game as I did. You will find yourself wanting to start again after you beat it the first time to see all the missions you missed or maybe you want to try a mission a different way. I don't blame you I plan on playing this game many times through. Now the hardest part of all with this game is knowing you have to wait a few years to be able to finish the story of your Commander Shepard.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/02/10

Game Release: Mass Effect 2 (US, 01/26/10)

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