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Bioware returns in the second game in the seminal 'Mass Effect' trilogy in which you control Commander Shepherd (either male or female) and once again you have to try and save the universe. This time it's made pending invasion from an unknown alien force.
Set a number of years from the first game, all I will say about the plot is that you are now sensibly working for a shadowy secret military organisation which we were introduced to in the first game. Obviously not everything is as it seems and you have to travel the galaxy recruiting teammates both old and new to help you on your quest.
On the subject of travelling, there have been some changes. There is a micromanaging side of your ships fuel. You can go an infinite distance without having to stop friendly fuel and various stations and spend resources. Resources are another addition, where previously planned entry explanation was conducted using a vehicle driving section this has been completely scrapped in favour of a planet scanning mini game. He you travel to your destination and move your cursor over the planet until you either find the required resource or uncover a new mission. In my opinion is probably the weakest part of the game, however everything else has been dramatically improved.
The character interactions are still the best in the business with hours of well produced and competently acted dialogue. The character models have been updated, the interactions between your crewmates has been expanded. For example you can undertake missions for your crewmates in return for upgrades or developments in their story. You also have the ability to pursue romantic engagements both male or female.
Combat has been made far more exciting than intuitive and is on par with some of the pinnacles of the third person action game is out there. Environments have been further developed, no longer do you get the feeling that you are just fighting in another generic 'cut and paste' corridor or hidden bunker.
The those missing the vehicle driving sections there is downloadable content available which introduces a special hovercraft vehicle and some new missions. The music is as rousing as it has ever been and augments the action perfectly to set the mood.
Finally, the emphasis on consequences has been brought to the fore. You can import your saved games from the previous 'Mass Effect' to continue the story. So actions you took in the first game have consequences in the second. Also within the game there are a number of occasions when the decisions you make Real gravity. I'll give you an example from an incident close to the end without revealing the plot.
I discovered that some of my crew were in danger or another planet and was told to head their as quickly as possible. I was of the arrogant assumption that the story would wake from me and so I decided to gather a bit of resources and a few side quests before heading to the required destination. Obviously when I get there I found that I was too late and some of my crew members had perished. Ordinarily I would have been okay with that and just carried on but because of the emotional attachment that had been built up over the last 70 hours or so I was willing to go back and replay the last six hours to do my mistake.
The ending of the game will leave physically and emotionally drained as it ratchets up the excitement and tension worthy of any Oscar.
With the third game on its way there has never been a better time to jump in to this ever-increasing and vibrant universe.
For regular readers of my review you will note that I'm not forthcoming in my five-star review but considering this game on his own and in conjunction with the first there is no other rating that it can be awarded.
I played the first one seems like years ago now. And it was nothing spectacular. Some high points. But overall a bit of a trudge. So I thought, dont bother with the second one. Fair enough. Over.
Then one bored day, I saw the price had dropped, checked out a couple of reviews. Saw they were uniformly enthusiastic and didnt seem to be 'paid for reviews' so I thought why not?
Inside the first five minutes, seriously. I was hooked. The game is the game. Whatever. You can read about the graphics etc.. elsewhere if you want. It was the effect that was interesting to me. When I was playing this game for the first time, it was amazing. It sucks you in farther than any other game. This is from a number of things, dialog, visuals, voice acting. But I would argue the primary mode is when you realise where you are going and you realise that your actions will actually have a real and very marked effect on the ending. You realise you can fail. You realise characters can actually die. Noone is safe. And there wont be some scripted cop out at the end.
I implore you to play this game. And to think about your actions, because in this game, finally, they matter.
It's kind of optimistic to assume that a game is going to automatically get a sequel, but fortunately for RPG fans, Mass Effect 2 has finally seen the light of day, with a third game planned. You can begin the game as a new character or import your old character from Mass Effect 1. If you choose the latter option, you'll get to see the result of some of the decisions you made in the first game. They don't affect the actual game's plot much, but it's good to see that there's some consequences to your actions.
Gameplay in Mass Effect 2 involves running around shooting things and, talking to people. Or talking to people and then shooting them - it's entirely up to you. I don't want to give too much of the game's plot away, but there's an evil force threatening the galaxy and it's up to you to recruit a team of badasses to combat it. There are a couple of characters who return from the original game, but there are another seven characters who you haven't seen before. And the cool thing is that, depending upon what you do during the game, they may not survive through to the end of ME2.
There are plenty of quests in Mass Effect 2 - most of them focusing on winning over your non-player character companions. You also get a couple of others if you buy the game new because, like Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect 2 denies you downloadable content if you buy a second hand copy of the game. It's a sneaky way of trying to ensure the publisher gets more money. But then again, there's enough content without this extra DLC to keep you going for a good twenty hours plus.
Mass Effect 2's graphics haven't been improved all that much, though the main character does have more animations which is a neat touch. What is a welcome change is that the actual areas you get to explore are a hell of a lot more varied than they were in Mass Effect 1 - so you don't find yourself wandering around a bunch of identical military bases. Another good addition is the way that you can interrupt certain conversations by pressing a button in time. So if you see one of your characters going for their gun you can stop them, if you're feeling charitable. Or if you want to be a bit of a cad, one scene gives you the option of hurling someone to their deaths just as they're speaking.
That's not to say Mass Effect 2 is all about being breathlessly evil or a complete saint. Like Mass Effect 1, many of the choices you're offered are quite morally ambiguous, leaving you wondering if you did the right thing or not. The storyline's also not bad, although it feels slightly epic than Mass Effect 1's did, and there are less character abilities to play with. But it's still a hugely enjoyable game, and if you're into sci-fi or RPGs or just want a game where you can headbutt an alien - yes, really - then Mass Effect 2 is for you.
(review by me, originally posted on Freeola)
~ Overview ~
This game is truly amazing, because it's basically a big expansion pack from the first game. You fight against the same species, and another good thing is, if you played the first mass effect, you can continue it further in this game, so at the end where you ended the game, when you start this game you can expand it further, you need to fight against the people who have tried to kill you, and continue the storyline.
~ Game options ~
~Motion blur~ if you change your view rapidly, the resulting slight blur in the image may improve visual quality and realism for some people, while others may find it distracting. A comparison is provided above however this is a difficult effect to capture in screenshots.
Note that enabling Motion Blur does reduce FPS slightly, but ultimately you should decide whether to use it or not based more on how you feel about its visual impact, and bear in mind that it can also help cover up the shimmering from jagged edges in the game.
Sound: the game will automatic set your performance to you hardware compatible, however if you installed the correct drivers for your sound card, you can enable it yourself as well, but be aware choose the correct format otherwise you will end up with no sound!
you can set the mouse sensitivity as you wish, but keep in mind that you need to kill your opponent easy and quickly so set it to a average speed, you can also disable VSync because the it is known to be a issue and known to cause lag, it also reduces the performance which can make a mouse lag more.
~ Controls ~
You can adjust the controls how you like, in each game the standard movement and control keys are, w,s,a,d you can change them how you like, for e.g with the up-down-left-right buttons on the keyboard, or you can let it stay as it is your choice.
~ Gameplay ~
Basically the same as in the first game, you can choose Casual (easy) Normal, Veteran (hard), choose the one that fits with you, the opponent has the same level as you, so don't be mistaken if you choose the hardest one you will get killed, quicker than the other game types but that speaks for it, you can power up your skills and upgrade it further the higher the more change the upgraded attacker will be successful.
~ Automatic save ~
I suggest enable the automatic settings to save at each important location, if you don't enable it keep in mind to save your games yourself by pressing the f6 button, Nothing is more annoying than losing the save file, also if you managed to have allot of save files, delete allot of them and make each time let's say 2 save points in order to have a backup.
~ Single Player ~
Commander Shepard was killed, but she came back, in another form you need to re-make a new team, you can choose from different Races, allot more races than in the first game, so they thought about a good thing, also the gorgeous Yvonne Strahovski is playing in this game, I would choose her on my team for sure, see for yourself what I mean.
You need to locate and destroy and remaining geth, you will get a new starship because the one you had was lost in the battle, you will meet old friends who were your best mates, you will work for a boss called the Illusive Man, but if you had a renegade reputation he will still force you to do other things.
But you can build your renegade further so people will be afraid of you once again, isn't that nice in order to complete each task quickly people need to be afraid of you, so the task is watch your codex for the important details and basically, exclude them in the task.
If you bought the game, there are also expansive packs called (dlc) download able content. It is useful when you played this game out, well it might take you a while, but if you do you can continue it because you get a DLC, and you can continue a couple of missions each dlc package has a couple of tasks that need to be completed, build your relationships wisely but be sure to know what you're doing, don't skip the storyline because you are bored, play it with common sense and a soul, because this game rocks!
Copyrighted by Maltiking.
With Mass Effect 1 completed at around 20-30 hours I was lamenting my loss, one of the worst things about something so good is that like all things it must end. I was quite lucky though as it had taken me so long to discover ME1 that by the time I completed it ME2 was already in the shops, thankfully I didn't have a long wait between installments.
Could EA reproduce the magic of the first, could they pull another absolute stunner out of the bag? Thank god the answer was indeed yes they could.
Mass Effect follows on from the first (in both story and character, by that I mean you get a bonus of money and experience if you import a premade character from the first game to play through the second). I won't give anything about the story away as it's a big part of the whole experience. In a nutshell Shepard (the hero of the title) is involved in an explosion, he is bought back to life by a sinister company (easy to guess who if you've played the first), the geth are no longer the formidable force they once were and a new threat has arisen in the form of the collector. A new threat but a familiar source, are the collectors linked with the reapers? And so a new chapter within the ME universe begins.
Thankfully the game is similar in style and content to the first, it just feels bigger and more expanded this time around. Many more interesting alien environments and characters, with a slightly more streamlined cover system, more exciting missions and a new research /mining element where rare elements are mined from planets and used in the research and manufacture of new weapons, armours and upgrades.
For those who haven't had any experience with the series so far, the game is an rpg action hybrid with plenty of conversation options. It features a spectacular storyline and a wonderfully atmospheric musical score. Controls are simple yet effective and theres plenty of character customization.
If you loved the first theres more to love in the second, if you never played the first don't even thiking about skipping the first one like I almost did. Playing through the first will make the second even better.
If you are into gaming (even in a casual capacity) then there is no question, ME1 and ME2 are two of the best games ever released pure and simple, Bring on ME3 baby!!!
I had been following this game for a very long time before it's release because I found that the original Mass Effect was truly amazing. The story continues on directly after the events of the previous game. It follows the path of Commander Shepherd as he commences on his mission to wipe out a new threat that is harassing the galaxy.
As soon as I put the CD in the computer, I could not wait to play it. I had very high hopes for this game as my friend told me it was amazing. This was definitely true. With some games, you have parts that you enjoy, and parts that you don't; with this game, it gripped me right through and never failed to disappoint.
This game definetely looks best on the PC version. With a powerful enough PC, this game looks absolutely stunning. Everything that you would expect to have improved from the first game, has by no doubt. The animations are more fluid and realistic, the characters look amazing and the landscapes have their moments too.
As quoted by one of the developers of the game, "the weapons feel much more powerful" in the game. This was one problem that I always had with the first game; the weapons did not feel powerful enough and too light for their size. In Mass Effect 2, the weapons have definitely improved and even the pistol packs quite a punch and you can almost "feel" the recoil. Furthermore, the combat seems to flow and happen more realistically and enemies do not simply run towards you.
I have always loved the story and ideas behind these games. This one is by all means extraordinary. Each character you work with/meet has an interesting background story. The whole universe has interesting facts about it that you can learn from the codex which returns from the original game. The main story is full of plot twists and once again your actions seriously (i mean it) have an impact on the story line. It's simply great.
This is one of the most epic/brilliant games I have played in a long time. Bioware continues to create top quality product. I loved every aspect of this game and can't imagine if the third episode in the saga will top it. I recommend it to anyone who like a great sci-fi story whilst also enjoying a great game. Hope you like it as much as I did.!
What can I say, I have been waiting for the release of mass effect two since I completed and played Mass Effect, in Mass Effect 2 you once again take on the role of Commander Shepard, you can choose to play a male version, or like me choose to play a female version. What I love most about this game is that it remembers the choices that you have made from Mass Effect and rolls them over into the second version of the game, this completely changes the way other characters react to you for example for me I saved the council at the end of Mass Effect so the game starts, "She saved the council blah blah blah" yet if you start a new game with no saved data it "The council are dead, humanity has it place blah blah." I wont spoil it to much but I find it touches like that that make the game and once again though out the game you get to choose your own responses to situations which will have a good (Paragon) effect or a negative (Renegade) effect, for example you can choose to be sympathetic and stern or choose to be a bully and push someone out of a window, of course depending on your options the other people in your team will react differently to you. Build up enough points in Paragon or Renegade and it unlocks extra choices later on in the game which are highlighted in blue for Paragon or Red for Renegade, these can be quick fixes in situations without going through an entire conversation and trying to convince someone to do something.
The map in Mass Effect two is completely different and gives you more control over the game in whole, it will show you which sectors you have explored by giving you a percentage marker which is really handy, another feature in the game that can affect your endgame is if you choose to get a team member to become loyal to you, this usually involves further missions to help them out and to get them onside and once again in these missions the game with throw up some interesting choices. As in Mass Effect you can also develop in game relationships, I've completed the game twice, the first time I was completely faithful to my love "Kaiden, sorry Ashley, I had to choose " which will be saved to my save game file and then the second time I tried to go out with everyone but once again the game makes you choose only one, but the choice is yours. Overall this game is fantastic, ten out of ten, I can't wait for the ultimate climate with Mass Effect 3, but guess that's a couple of years off yet.
Mass Effect 2 is one of the best games i've ever played; the only annoying thing is that despite a liberal attitude and the fact that female Shephards can sleep with their personal assistant, they can't have a meaningful relationship with a female team mate and the same is true of the male Shephards with male team mates. The recurring characters are nice, as is decisions in Mass Effect 1 carrying over. There are some nicely brutal combat situations and a much improved upgrade / weaponry system. The mining is a good sub game and the loyalty plot twist is helpful. The development of histories of various races and Cerberus is excellent - however the human characters are a little one dimensional and Jacob in particular is just wooden. I guess he was supposed to be a Kaiden style character but he was a little flat and expressionless, even during his loyalty mission. That said, an entirely engrossing game that kept me occupied for weeks.
Mass Effect 2 is a science fiction role-playing game, in which you take on the role of Commander Shepherd, a human hero seeking to protect mankind from a sinister alien threat.
Mass Effect 2 is set in a custom sci fi universe created solely for the game. The universe in question is a detailed an interesting one, the various alien races, the technology, the institutions are all well though out. It is also beautifully rendered with some very impressive graphics.
The plot, without going into too much detail, revolves around Shepherds efforts to recruit a crew of
humans and aliens, the best the galaxy has to offer, in order to fight off a threat to the human colonies that lie outside the control of the central government. For each crew member there is a mission to recruit them, and then a further mission to secure their loyalty and unlock extra powers. Slowly you can build up a loyal team from which to choose your sidekicks. You will also find extra technology as your missions progress.
In terms of game play Mass Effect is pretty basic. It's a first person shooter in which you control shepherd and can give orders to two squad mates. Each has up to four powers, but it has to be said they are pretty basic. The levelling system allows you to advance these powers, but by the scope of most role-playing games, the selection of abilities and the levelling options are very limited.
Where Mass Effect 2 shines is ins excellent plot, dialogue, and tie ins to the original mass effect. If you played the first game you can load not just your character, but the "game universe" as you left it, and Mass Effect 2 will reflect the big decisions you made in Mass Effect. Voice acting is also excellent and features an all star cast.
All in all, Mass Effect two looks is highly polished, and entertaining as far as the plot and graphics are concerned, game play is acceptable, but by no means outstanding. If you're the sort of person who likes to tinker a lot with your characters though, you'll be somewhat disappointed. Definitely an improvement over the original Mass Effect , but still falls short of the game Bioware are trying to emulate, KOTOR.
Wow! Brilliant, mass effect 2 is possible the best game ever made. Mass Effect 2 picks up from were Mass Effect left off, you once again assume the role of the heroic, and sometimes not so heroic commander Sheppard in order to save the galaxy from evil. Everything about this game is amazing, the RPG element of the game has been streamlined from the first game to make it faster paced and more enjoyable, the plot decisions you made from the first game also can be carried over to this game and you get to see, in full glory the ramifications of your actions. Not only is it an awesome RPG with memorable characters and great dialogue but it is also and epic third person shooter. It has once of the best combat systems I've ever seen in a game, which makes for an adrenaline fuelled ride from the word go. If you play one game this year it should be this one. I recommend this to all.
Following on the excellent Xbox 360 and PC game Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 is every bit the brilliant game that original was, and then some. Gone are the irritating glitches that made the first game a bit of a pain to play, and this is just a thoroughly entertaining experience from start to finish.
The game has you again controlling Commander Shepherd, but the twist is that you can import your save from the first game, and it will remember the choices you've made and people you've met. It doesn't have a huge impact, but it will alter dialogues and minor situations, which is a lovely touch. The main plot of the game has you attempting to assemble a team to take on the mighty Collectors, who are threatening the humans. You travel all over the galaxy to convince the toughest of the toughest to join you in what is a glorified suicide mission.
Presentationally, this is an amazing game throughout; the sci-fi style is torn right out of Blade Runner, but has firmly managed to imprint its own stamp on the genre also, from the alien strip clubs to the space exploration areas. The graphics are superb, and I was amazed that even on my aging rig, this still looked fantastic and had a fast frame-rate. Aurally, the game is also stunning; the voice acting is among the best of the generation, and the electronic soundtrack has a fair few nods to Blade Runner's score by Vangelis.
My only complaint is that the process of recruiting people for the final battle is fairly repetitive, and you spend most of the time doing this. It makes it feel much ado about nothing, but the juice is worth the squeeze, as the epic battle of all battles is an excellent payoff.
With Hollywood-grade presentation, excellent gameplay and having addressed the issues that marred the previous game, this is a cracking title that you HAVE to get.