Read a Game?: Mass Effect 2

February 5, 2010

Gamerscore after 1 playthrough: 815/1015

For those of you thinking that 1015 is an abnormal number, Mass Effect 2 is the first game to really take advantage of my newly Interweb connected X-Box 360. One of the “Week 1” DLC featured a 15 point achievement (REVENGE!). If I could find the image of Homer Simpson brandishing a bat and yelling “REVENGE!”, I would put it here.

Mass Effect 2 is the sequel to arguably one of the best RPGs of all time. An RPG that I played over 6 times.

The biggest dock I have on the game is what most reviewers consider the biggest improvement. Instead of the game being an RPG wrapped in a thin, crunchy shooter shell, Mass Effect 2 is a shooter with light RPG elements. I am no fan of shooters. I freely admit it, so please take this with a grain of salt if you are one of those Frat Boy Bromancing FPS players. I can live with some of the combat improvements: it’s nice to have body position specific damage, ammo types switching on the fly, and hits not being dependent on dice rolls. What royally sucks? Having to mess with reloading. The first game had a cooldown meter if you fired too much at once. You sit in cover and wait for the meter to go down. This new game has heat exchangers. When the gun overheats, you dislodge the heat exchanger and put another one in. If you run out, you cannot fire that weapon until you find one to pick up. This especially blows when you play as a soldier (like I started out as in the original) because your powers are dependent on HAVING AMMO and there is one gun to rule them all (the battle rifle)! I had to fight the final boss using the sniper rifle because I run out of battle rifle clips.

The rest of my thoughts will be presented in the typical bullet form:

The Good

  • Gameplay: They made mineral collection worthwhile by integrating upgrades as research projects. Those “find doodads” on uncharted worlds were the first I stopped bothering to do in the first game.
  • Gameplay: Side missions are not in one of three cookie cutter locations like in the last game.
  • Presentation: No more visual pop-ups.
  • Presentation: The background music is cool enough to get added to the collection (just like the first one!)
  • Interface: The Cerberus network is a semi-convenient way to get informed on DLC. It would be very convenient if it was not for my Scylla, Charybdis, and Charazard conundrum.
  • Interface: They cleaned up the various inventory interfaces to where inventory management is not an issue.
  • Interface: One of your powers is automatically mapped to the Y button, which is nice.
  • Replay: Despite the fact that I hate shooters, I’m jonesing to start a second playthough right now.

The Bad

  • Gameplay: Kelly does not count for the paramour achievement. Kelly! She is the only (how do you say…) emotionally attractive crew member that you can pursue a relationship with.
  • Morality: There is unavoidable violence and language. There is avoidable gore, nakedness, evil pursuits, and sexual issues.

The Meh

  • Gameplay: They got rid of the Mako sequences.
  • Gameplay: They streamlined the skill tree
  • Gameplay: Experience is only earned by completing missions.

Total Time:

Gameplay: 4/5

Presentation: 5/5

Interface: 5/5

Replay: 5/5

Morality: 2.75/5

Total: 4.35/5


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