Author Topic: [Video Game] Mass Effect 2 (PC/Steam)  (Read 862 times)

00XJ

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[Video Game] Mass Effect 2 (PC/Steam)
« on: December 05, 2011, 11:50:49 AM »
I've heard a lot about how great Mass Effect is, but I just never thought I'd be interested in it. The whole space/fantasy thing got old with me after my childhood obsession with Star Wars wore off. Watching the show Firefly sort of reignited that interest in me, and since Mass Effect 2 was recently up for sale on Steam for only $5 (not to mention the raving reviews), it just seemed like there was no reason NOT to give it a try.

In a way, I'm glad I waited this long to get into it, because now I don't have as long to wait for Mass Effect 3 to be released, and for the story to be wrapped up. That's a good thing, because I'm dying to see what happens.

Mass Effect 2 is obviously a sequel, but it's more than just a continuation of a story line, it's a continuation of the very game you were playing when you played Mass Effect 1. I mean, there have been changes an upgrades, apparently... I hear ME1 had a lot of RPG elements that are not present in ME2. But Bioware has done an incredible job of giving the player choices to make, and ensuring that those choices actually matter.

Importing your ME1 profile into ME2 continues the game precisely where you left it when ME1 ended, all decisions intact.

For example, if you kill a character or let a character die in ME1, they won't be around in ME2. Piss off someone in ME1, they might have a beef with you in ME2. There are some key decisions that you have to make that impact your standing with certain people.

Since I never played ME1, a lot of those revelations were lost on me, but I was able to assume that a few things were happening because of whatever occurred in ME1 (if you start ME2 with a new character, a default story is automatically applied to you).

But throughout the story, there are some major decision making points that often have serious consequences, so by the end of the story you really start to feel the weight of what could happen if you choose to do A or B.

There are warnings on loading screens that remind you that every decision you make will have a profound effect on your experience in ME3 (if you choose to import your profile), so barring the fact that you could just play the game over again and make different choices, your decisions DO matter, and for many of them, you have a while before you learn what will happen.

The writing is excellent. Bioware have created a Universe here with various species and cultures, and some very cool sci-fi technology that is right on par with the stuff you see in major sci-fi movies.

Expertly written characters and professional voice actors really make it easy to grow attached to your crew. It's not hard to sympathize with Jack, the former prisoner/test subject of a Biotic laboratory who seems strong and angry on the surface, but shows vulnerability and loneliness the more you prod her for information. Even the genetically "perfect" (as she was engineered to be) Miranda shows vulnerability at times.

I grew very attached to several characters that I took with me on every mission. This made the later part of the game very nerve-wracking as I had to make decisions that could have potentially cost them their lives, meaning they wouldn't be around in ME3. To make me really care about these characters in that way, that I actually sat there contemplating what effect my decisions would have... that's incredible writing.

The combat is fun, but the controls are a bit clunky (at least on PC). Like most cover systems in games, sometimes it just doesn't respond to exactly what you want it to do, and that can mean the difference between life and death.

Each squad member has their own Biotic powers, so you need to choose whose particular skill set will be most useful depending on the mission you're about to begin. The main problem with this is that you usually don't know what type of enemies you're going to face on a given mission unless it was mentioned in a cut-scene, or in the briefing.

There are some key moments in the story that might require immediate action, and they seem to happen unexpectedly in my two playthroughs so far. I mean they happen roughly around the same period in time, but because you get to prioritize your objectives, sometimes you get caught with your pants down, so to speak, and you're not entirely ready to deal with the situation that has just come up. Your decision to deal with it immediately, or put it off until you're better prepared can drastically change the outcome, as well.

The end mission...
(click to show/hide)

Graphics? Beautiful. Sound? Excellent.

What more do I need to say? This game has one of the most captivating stories and unlike any other game I've played before, it puts you in charge of what happens.

I can't wait to see what happens next... and whatever does happen next will be largely based on what I did in ME2. That's amazing.

10/10