Product Type: Electronic Arts PS3 games
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Mass Effect 2 (PS3)
Member Name: CheesySpam
Mass Effect 2 (PS3)
Advantages: Varied gameplay; exceptional graphics; audio; lasts over 30 hours.
Rookie gamers often say that role-playing games are all about purple elves in bright robes and magical powers. But when Mass Effect was released in 2007 on Xbox 360, it proved those people wrong - it's based in space and features a huge universe. It was excellent, so making a sequel would be a huge challenge for the developer, BioWare. After all, some RPGs aren't always very lucky when it comes to sequels, as shown by the disappointing Deus Ex: Invisible War. But Mass Effect 2 is a worthy sequel, and then some.
It's 2183 and you are Commander Shepard, Captain of a huge fleet called the Normandy. When your ship is attacked, the crew are forced to evacuate in escape pods but when you stay to rescue the ship's pilot, Joker, you are pulled into space with no air to breathe in.
Two years later, Shepard is woken up in a facility under attack. After meeting Miranda and Jacob, you discover that it is a Cerberus facility and you were brought back to life by the Lazarus Project. In return, you are asked to discover why human colonies across the galaxy are disappearing.
Mass Effect to uses third-person shooter gameplay, and adds some unique features in with it. Pressing R2 brings up the 'Power Wheel', from which you select a power for any one of your squadmates, launching some devastating attacks on your enemy.
Wait, did I say squadmates? Yes, in Mass Effect 2, you bring two people along with you on every mission. You can command them to take cover or fire at a certain enemy. This system works well, making combat a bit more varied.
Different planets can be explored using the Galaxy Map. At first, this seems quite daunting; there are plenty of galaxies to explore, with loads of planets in each one. You soon get used to it though. On each of these planets, you can mine resources which you can use to develop weapons, armour upgrades and prototypes. It may be one of the weaker parts in the game, but worth your time if you have completed every mission and assignment.
Completing missions earns you 'squad points'. You can use these to level up your team's skills. There are several skills to upgrade, like ammo types and powers, but there aren't as many as there are in Mass Effect.
The game is definitely a looker, and arguably features some of the best visuals on PS3. The environments look fabulous, and the facial detail is exceptional. The graphics are much improved over the original Mass Effect on Xbox 360. However, BioWare stated that the graphics would be better here than on Xbox 360, but I don't see much differences other than lighting. There's not much more to add, but to sum up: the graphics are immense anyway.
Every aspect of the audio is great. The music is pretty epic, particularly dramatic in fierce battles but a bit softer in the quieter moments of the game. The voice acting stays consistently good throughout and with hundreds of lines acted through the whole of the game, you could think that it gets a bit worse towards the end. But it simply doesn't.
I think the BBFC 15 rating suits the game, but the PEGI 18 rating is a bit extreme, even if this is worse than the first Mass Effect in terms of content. Blood splatters on the walls and floors when you are shot and there are some scenes that may disturb people of about nine years and under. There is also a lot more swearing; there are uses of f**k, s*it and bas*ard throughout. I recommend that no one under the age of ten plays this, although I already know that the majority of gamers that age will have games more violent than this.
Mass Effect 2 is an amazing game overall. Combat is superb, and the powers system mixes things up to make it a lot different from traditional third-person shooters. The storyline is great, even if it doesn't pick up straight away. PS3 users also get an advantage over Xbox 360 owners, because the game comes with a free Cerberus Pack download which includes a comic telling you what happened in Mass Effect 2, new weapons and more. The visuals are beautiful, and the audio is perfect. Mass Effect 2 is essential RPG gaming on PS3 and at £20 with more than 30 hours of gameplay, it's definitely worth your money.
Thanks for reading! This review is also posted on Ciao under my name 'YoshiCheesePuff' :-)
Summary: One of the best experiences on PS3
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