Mass Effect 2 review
Bioware proves it's all about the little things

The good:

Characters are interesting and you will want to learn more about them
Story's great
Combat has been greatly improved
Writing is amazing Bioware knocked dialouge out of the park
A very personal game especially if you import from ME1
Graphics are amazing
Takes away the techniqual problems that haunted it's predecessor

The bad:

No grenades WTF!!
Might be a little too simplified for some RPG fans
Final boss fight is... ridiculous (in a bad way)
Planet Mining


The original Mass Effect was the greatest advancement in video game story telling, since the original Metal Gear Solid introduced us to real time cutscenes with high quality voice acting. Sure Bioware had created the foundations (and an amazing game in it's own right) for it in Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic , but in Mass Effect they nailed the feeling of a living breathing universe where your decisions mattered.

Unfortunatly it was also plauged by glitches, framerate issues, an overly complicated inventory system, and a number of other things that held it back from being as great as it could of been. Still there was no denying that as a whole the game was an unquestioned masterpiece.

Which makes me shamed to admit i only played through it once. All the bugs combined with a dull intro, never really compelled me to play through it again. Playing through Mass Effect 2 makes me think I made the right choice. All of your choices are remembered creating a personal story and making Mass Effect 2 feel like it's your game. You will connect with your Shepard and crew in ways not thought possible in a video game. And it finally plays as well as it looks with all the hiccups gone.

Now the actual main story isnt as good as it was in the first, but it's pretty hard to follow a game like that. The threat is known from the beginning and it's pretty straightforward. However there are some great moments in it including an "OMFG" moment when you learn the fate of a certain race. However the collector threat isn't the main draw here, that belongs to the characters.

Each of your teammates feels real with thier own motivations, back stories, and flaws. Learning more about these characters is engaging and you will bond (or loathe) with your virtual companions, in a way no games outside of the Sims has ever managed. The writing is dead on and the voice acting is incredible. I have to spotlight the Illusive Man, a character who will likely end up on many top 10 lists at the end of the year.
Luckily combat has been greatly improved. No longer will you find yourself wishing the next dialouge section was here already the combat is much more fun than it was in the original. It's easier to take cover and coordinate your squad into an effective ass kickin machine. Now powers have been signifigantly stripped down and grenades are gone but everybody but the RPG die hards should find alot to love here.
And you will battle across some breathtaking locations. Bioware has crafted some of the most amazing worlds ever made, and dropping down in your normandy or shuttle always looks amazing. The level design is pretty simple with cover always being abundant in 4 ft walls but the fact that the enviorments each have a different feel will keep you from getting bored.

In a similiar way mission objectives are also pretty simple. Most of the main missions involve going to a planet to recruit somebody for your crew, and then doing a loyalty mission for them. The fact that you won't mind the similiar mission objectives is a testament to Biowares storytelling and ability to make fun games. You will also find other smaller assignments such as getting some proper food for the cook, or helping a quarian whose being wrongly accused by a racist human and volus.

My only significant complaint is the final boss. It does not fit in with the rest of the game and will revoke feelings of the final boss from Matrix Path of Neo. However even that is not enough to blemish this masterpiece. Some fans also had a problem with planet mining. Personally I didnt mind it, but to some people it could be tedious as you are litterally just sweeping over a planet, trying to find resources which will then be used for upgrades. You can also find rescources during missions, but if you want to survive this suicide mission your going to need to mine alot of planets.

Mass Effect 2 is my favorite game on the xbox 360. If you didnt play ME1 your definatly missing out, but even that shouldnt stop you from picking this up. As a whole the game is without a doubt one of (if not the) greatest game ever made. Your not simply along for the ride in this epic tale, your in control of it. The game is smart, funny, touching, and improves on Mass Effect in almost every possible way. It's everything a sequel should be and then some. From start to the amazing ending Mass Effect 2 hits all the right notes. But most importantly it will make you count down the days untill Mass Effect 3 comes out which can't be soon enough.

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ProKiller Dec 31, 13
Your review is very informative. This is my favorite game of this generation. The Last of Us is up there but it doesn't touch Mass Effect 2. It is also my favorite Bioware game. It is simply a masterpiece in both story and game design. At least in my opinion. Finished it 8 times and I'm thinking of playing it again.
Last edited by ProKiller :: Dec 31, 13
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