Review by Merphy06

"The Good, The Ba... No wait, just the Good."

Lets cut to the chase, shall we?

To start, Mass Effect 2 took a lot of the good aspects of the first game and made them great. It took a few and made them worse. Lets face it; it's all a matter of opinion. But I'm going to touch on some topics that may help you to understand some issues and some of the benefits.

Sound and Graphics: 10/10. Bioware usually produces games that are stunning to watch. They have delivered again in this department. In standard definition the game looks fantastic. In high definition, it only gets better. The music variety is large, there are many different musical scores. And with an all star voice cast with the likes of Martin Sheen, Adam Baldwin and Carrie-Anne Moss, you know there is nothing to argue about here. In this department, Bioware has gone above and beyond expectations.

Control: 7/10. The original felt very stiff during combat. In the sequel, it is improved, but not perfected. I have repeatedly had problems with Shepard snapping in and out of cover. Also, occasionally while directing your squad, they will not enter cover where you tell them to, resulting in much more Medi-Gel use unless you can oust the enemy until the end of combat.

Story: 8/10. My only real complaint here is at some points the game may progress when you are not ready. There are a few minor things that really can get old, for example the endless talks with some of the crew. On the other hand, it's well presented. There are many games out there that fail to deliver the story in a seamless manor but this is not one of them.

Gameplay: 8/10. Personally, I'm only docking points here because of the planet-scanning system. I never enjoyed the Mako, however it gave you more sense of freedom than the planet-scanning system does. It would have been much more impressive and entertaining if they would have changed the Mako to make it less tedious and repetitive. Not to mention, the mountain scaling was very annoying. The combat has been refined and improved. A lot of people are complaining about thermal clips. I disagree with them. Having unlimited ammo means that you can spray and pray, without a care. Now, you must look for ammunition and in some cases make every shot count. Your powers are a bit more linear this time but overall they are improved. Many are complaining about lack of variety, my argument here is that you do not need as many. There is nothing more satisfying than chaining together a powerful biotic attack and watching an enemy soar, crumple, singe or many other possibilities. My other complaint here is you are no longer able to purchase or sell weapons. Credits seem much more scarce here, so pick and choose wisely. Instead of acquiring many new weapons, you upgrade the old. There are a couple of different choices in every weapon category, but the old weapon system (minus unlimited ammo) was better.

Replay Value: 7/10: While you can replay as one of many different classes or pursue a different style (paragon or renegade) there is still only so many options that you have.

In closure, it's worth the 60$. I've played through the game three times. There are a few bugs, but nothing that makes it unplayable. Some minor flaws do not make the game shine any less. Unless you are trying to find reasons to nit-pick about the game, you'll end thoroughly satisfied and possibly even ready to start again.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 02/17/10

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

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