Review by IamTakkun

"Revolutionary -Intergalactic- Road"

Let me set the stage.

The first title was mind-blowing. It broke all the rules of engagement and left you wanting so much more, even after multiple play-throughs. I will begin with the foundation, the blue-prints if you will; the quick glance of an experience. These are factors that your little brother will care about solely. If you're that little brother and you care for more than just glittery screen shots and aliens being blow to pieces, then stay tuned.

-Graphics- This game does not put on the illusive mask most games will use: CGI. It was fully developed in "in game", which means for the consumer that it will not have the glamour that some out there have, but don't discredit it yet. The entire game flowing like a stream is flawless. The action seamlessly moving into a dialog under fire will astound. I, much like everyone else, still enjoy a CGI moment, but it encourages disappointment among otherwise "ordinary" scenes. I rate the final graphic appeal at a high 9/10. As important as visuals, but seldom acknowledged, we'll move to audio.

-Sound- The audio will be recognizable every moment after playing this game. It will define the sci-fi genre of gaming. By no means are the tunes epic in comparison to such widely known files as Star Wars or Dune, but it has its own flavor. The eerie sounds from deep space will encourage wonder and exploration. Even in battle you feel the adrenaline rush of the beat flowing into you, driving you to survive. This being one of the many overlooked aspects of gaming today, I will rate this category an enthusiastic 8/10. These two subjects are going to be noticed by any passer-by, but something that needs hands-on attention is next.

-Playability- One of the first signs of a fruitful game is a solid control. When at title doesn't clearly allow movement or exploration it's a death sentence. This game, fortunately, has plenty of playability. The moment you take up controls you can feel the ease of your character and his/her abilities. Mass Effect 2 involves a lot of buttons to maximize the game, but don't allow this to scare you off; it requires very little effort to get what you need out of it. I believe this game flows as smoothly as some of the best on the market. If only it was as quick as my thoughts in an immense battle. With this in mind I rate the playability of Mass Effect 2 as a 9/10. First, it's great to have the ability to play the game without struggle, but it's a whole other ball game to feel immersed in the world.

-Story- A major revelation to new gamers lately has been that it's actually important to be emotionally involved in the world they're playing in. If the developers had one mantra with this title it would be "Story Counts". They poured their blood, sweat, and tears into this game by making you WANT to be there. Shifting from world to world, uncovering mystery, and overturning evil-doers are common tasks. You are faced against impossible odds and are bent on overcoming them even if it means your own peril. Mass Effect 2 will never short you on twists and turns of emotion and curiosity about what awaits you around the next corner! It may seems cliche to be "saving the world", but when the hard fact arises that this indeed is a looming possibility you feel encouraged to achieve your goal- and quickly. A story can make or break the bond a gamer has with a game and this one is rock solid. The only aspect that was missing in my opinion was a truly depressing moment that would drive a man to cry. All factors considered, I'm awarding Mass Effect 2 a 9/10. A great story can be ruined by an annoying "gungan" who won't allow you to become attached to any other character. Good thing Bioware took notes.

-Characters- The game's main plot revolves around creating a team of individuals whom possess the strength, abilities, and know-how to overcome impossible odds. This team will be obliged to join, but you don't get off scott free. Each character has their own story, something they are dealing with emotionally. These plot lines do not become apparent unless you gain their trust. In doing so you must stray away from your main goal and put their mind at ease, thereby focusing it on the mission. These characters will grow on you and even cause you to make decisions purely based on the relationship you've built with them already. If one of your teammates is to die, you truly feel the loss. A title with connectible characters and believable personalities really drives your attachment to the game itself, and this is why I'm rating this category a 10/10. With a winning combination like this game you've got a great 30 hours on your hands, but what about picking it up again...

-Replayability- A large portion of games are great first time around, and completely redundant the following time. With Mass Effect 2 you will discover that the choices you make are not always a temporary detour from any other options. The movements and actions you take will mold your play-through with a dramatic impact on characters, events, and the galaxy as you know it. Pull the trigger and eliminate a struggle light years away. This game has many paths to travel, including betraying your own teammates for personal gain. Playing through a title like this once would be a mistake; you'd be missing more than half of the possibilities Mass Effect 2 has to offer. Finding a gem like this is rare so I rate it a 10/10.

-Final Score- After careful deliberation and enough time for the hype and hysteria to fade away I have decided to rate this game a near perfect 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/21/10

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

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