Review by Myrdraal8

"Mass Satisfaction"

Concept: Reprise the role of Commander Shepard as you recruit a ragtag team of humans and aliens to go on a suicide mission to save the humanity . The game play is a very successful mixture of role-playing and first person shooter as one blasts away enemies and creates the plot with Shepards' choices.

Graphics: Awe-inspiring graphics are displayed for the worlds and characters throughout the whole game instead of only the main quest story line as seen the first Mass Effect. Facial animations, lighting, and cinematography are all improved over its predecessor.

Sound: Excellent voice work brings the characters and world to life. The sound effects of battle are standard. The music score in Mass Effect 2 actually evokes emotion and is worthy of note this time around.

Control: The controls are greatly improved and more intuitive than the first Mass Effect. Combat training videos within the game help teach the finer points of combat. The hovercraft is a fantastic improvement over the failed Mako tank of Mass Effect in that is it fun and easy to control. Menus are condensed and simpler to access. Gathering materials from planets is fun in that it makes one feel like the commander of a spaceship.

Game Time: 50 hours to accomplish all the quests and DLC in a single campaign.

The reputation of Mass Effect – an awesome sci-fi story that incorporates your decisions to weave an epic plot is captured, created by Mass Effect 2. Anyone who played the first game and found themselves disappointed by its lack of polish will be pleased that its sequel preserves what worked in Mass Effect while improving all of the originals flaws.

However due to the limitations of current video game consoles only so much freedom can be given to the player. Yes, Shepard will make decisions, and this time around will have the opportunity to deeply interact and change the lives of all his/her crewmembers. However, due to memory and writing restrictions the plots of the characters are only loosely tied to the main plot line. It is fun, but other RPGs that have a pre-written script can use their characters in more interesting and dramatic fashions. Thus the game feels like a TV series with several great episodes rather than one epic tale. It should also be noted that in one of the DLCs options for a dramatic decision is not given to the player, disappointing considering the premise of the franchise is to enable choice. However the main plot line is under control by the player, and it becomes what the players makes of it.

The control and menus of Mass Effect 2 are greatly improved and intuitive. Abilities have been stream lined, and accessing menus is easy. The FPS controls are responsive and fluid to anyone who has played FPS games before. Using your powers is now done with the press of a button, no menus are necessary, so battles are much more fluid and enjoyable.

Recommendation: Although Mass Effect 2 lives up to its lofty reputation more enjoyment would be gained by playing through Mass Effect first. The world is developed in the first game and decisions from the first entry echo through out this sequel. Mass Effect is not a perfect game, but be patient, since all the flaws of the original are corrected in this sequel to deliver a fantastic science fiction role-playing FPS game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/10/12

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

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