Friday, June 3, 2011
Mass Effect 2 Review! 9.5/10
Hello, and welcome to my very first game review. I chose Mass Effect 2 for a couple of reasons. The first being that it's still fairly new, and with Mass Effect 3 coming out, I'm sure there will be people who still have not experienced this incredible series. Secondly, this game really is just that, incredible. It's one of the best games I have ever played in my life. I'd hardly even classify this as a "game" it's more or less an "experience." It's a must play for any RPG/Science Fiction fan.
Gameplay: For those of you that have played Mass Effect 1, you may remember combat being somewhat "lacking." Well, for ME2 they have definitely revamped the way battles are fought. For starters, there is no heath meter. ME2 uses the "CoD style" regenerating health, which I know I know, is usually pretty lame when used in RPG's, but Bioware seem to have nailed it perfectly. Medi-gel is now used to revive downed team members, and you can only carry about 3 to start with (which can be upgraded later on). B-b-but only 3? Yes, I know that's a low number, but it seems Bioware has improved AI functionality as well. There are still those moments where you wonder if your companions are off baking cookies, but for the most part they very capable allies. Usually it comes down to preference when choosing your team, but if you're hardcore and decide to play on the hardest setting, you will need to choose your team wisely.
Now, let's talk about items and customization, because what's an RPG without items, upgrades, and customization? The character creation is pretty much unchanged from ME1. The one exception being that you can import your character from the first game! All the standard classes are still available as seen below.
But aside from that, pretty much everything else in this category has completely changed from the first game. You no longer need to loot bodies, and search every nook and cranny, or scour every planet in the solar system! Wait... But.... What? Yes, you heard me right. No more looting, in fact, no more inventory for that matter. Now, before you get all up in arms here me out. THIS SYSTEM IS AMAZING! I mean it. I love looting and upgrading just as much as the next RPG gamer, but here Bioware has created something special. Looting has been reduced to finding boxes of "minerals" or credits laying around each level. The credits can be used to buy special upgrades you wont find on your ship's computer, and for buying fuel and probes to explore the galaxy. These "minerals" are used to buy upgrades for armor, weapons, and even your ship! This is a great system, because I remember spending hours searching random planets only to find that there really is no point for me to be exploring them. Now, instead of that, you can fly up to the planets and send out probes to collect minerals in a neat little mini-game. Also, there is no more worrying about a cluttered inventory!
Now I'm not a stickler for graphics, but ME2 looks amazing. From stunning views of space, to planets rich with beautiful environments, this is one of the best looking games out there. Even the characters themselves look impressive, which is usually where some games falter. As a result of all this, the immersion level is out of this world (literally). Conversations are some of the best moments in the game simply because you feel almost as if you're right there next to Shepard has he/she talks to the inhabitants of the game world. This man in the picture above, known only as the "illusive man" is probably the best designed character to ever grace a video game. There's a reason he was named the best character of 2010 by IGN. You can find that article here. This game makes you feel as if you're actually a part of the action every second.
Story: I'm going to keep this short and simple, because most of what needed to be said has already been said. This is one of the absolute best stories out there. Period. If you're a science fiction fan you need this game. I would definitely love to see this series adopted into a movie (if done correctly of course...).
Conclusion: Now you might be wondering why I haven't mentioned anything bad about this game yet, is it really that good? Well, in a word, yes. But there is something that is going to keep me from giving Mass Effect 2 a perfect score. That something, is EA. The reason is quite simple really. As some of you may know already, EA charges people to play and access online content. It's free if you buy the game new, but if you want to buy a used copy (which let's face it, ME2 is about 20 bucks now, why wouldn't you?) you will have to PAY in order to even pay for the DLC that's currently available. It's not expensive, around 5 bucks, but still completely unnecessary and a total d*ck move on EA's part. I could go on for hours about how much I hate crap like this, but I'll save that for a rant blog. Right now this is about ME2, and by no means should you not buy this game. Yes EA is stupid for charging money for this, BUT buy the game anyway, it's worth it.
One of the absolute best games ever made, and on my top 5 for sure. Due to EA's incompetency I am forced to only give ME2 a 9.5/10.