Product Type: Electronic Arts PC games
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Mass Effect 2 (PC)
Member Name: Hannard
Mass Effect 2 (PC)
Date: 19/05/11, updated on 19/05/11 (2 review reads)
Advantages: It's got a great story. There are some really grey moral choices in the game.
Disadvantages: If you haven't played the previous game, it won't make quite as much sense.
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)
Summary: A great action RPG - roll on number 3!