Review by Foreman22
A big step backwards.
The first Mass Effect was hailed as a sci-fi outer space RPG. It was a solid 9 game. BioWare created a whole new universe and it had a solid foundation. All it needed was a few minor changes and things would have been fine. At last that is not what happened in Mass Effect/2.
Character Creation Mass Effect/2 took away half the powers that your Mass Effect/1 character had. How BioWare thought that this is an improvement is beyond me. Many claimed that your Mass Effect/1 character was too powerful so why not simply level the enemies to match instead of subtracting from the first game? The ironic part is that while your character is weaker the enemies are more powerful in Mass Effect/2. This unbalances game play and can leave you frustrated. Another problem is that BioWare actualy took items, aka ammo from Mass Effect/1 and turn it into powers. This is crazy to say the least and I have not seen this done in any other game. Items just don't magically become powers. So Mass Effect/2 leaves you with half the character you had in the first game while pitting you against tougher foes.
Gameplay I found very little problems with the combat in the first game. BioWare however for yet another unknown reason could not leave well enough alone. Gone is unlimited ammo and now we have thermal clips. Thermal clips that are not as common place as many want to make them out to be. Many times through out the game you will run out and be forced to use another weapon. Head shots now do extra damage thus making the sniper rifle almost a must. Assault rifles the best weapon from the first game has been toned down a good bit. The new heavy weapons are excellent if you have the ammo and the thermal clips. Over all this is still shoot duck cover and shoot some more type of combat. While the Mako and elevator rides are gone they have been replaced by something far worst planet scanning. This is something that you cannot avoid if you want to live through the final mission. You actually lock on to a planet which is divided into small square grids and search each grid for much needed minerals that provide your ship's upgrades. Strangely enough you have to mine element zero to gain your bonus power once it's unlocked.
Party Members Only Garrus and Tali return as usable party members from the first game. The new party members Jacob, Miranda, Grunt, Thane, Samara all seem dull and boring almost robotic. Only Mordin, Jack, and Legion seemed interesting. The conversations are limited with your party members also and after their loyalty quests they have very little if anything new to say.
Story line Shepard dies and is brought back to life by Cerberus who sends him out discover why human colonies are disappearing. Along the way you recruit your crew members who each comes with their own loyalty quest. Your main focus however is the party members and upgrades for the Normandy. You then are sent off on what is considered a suicide mission to attack a Collector base through the Omega four mass relay which no ship has returned from. The story itself is not to bad. It's well written, clear and pretty straight forward.
Graphics and sound This series has always had top notch people graphics. Mass Effect/2 extends those graphics to it's surrounding. It is visually stunning. The in game sound is excellent although the music does not compare to the first game's.
Over all This is still a good game. It's just not as good as the first one. It stripped down the RPG elements to the point that it's pretty much just an action TPS. It changed things that did not needed changed. I do not care for the direction Mass Effect/2 took. To me it's a stripped down version of the first game while not adding anything of real value.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Mass Effect 2 (US, 01/26/10)
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