Mass Effect 2 Review [Xbox 360] -

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Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Mass Effect 2 Review [Xbox 360]

The sequel to the amazing Mass Effect from BioWare, Mass Effect 2 was expected to be an incredible game. But does it deliver?

  • Published by: Electronic Arts
  • Developed by: BioWare
  • Genre: RPG
  • Release Date:
    Europe: January 29, 2010
  • PEGI: 17+
  • Also Available On: PlayStation 3, PC

Graphically it was almost inconceivable that it could be bested, with its beautiful landscapes, gorgeous ship and characters that brought a whole new level to RPG's, however, Bioware managed to pull off the impossible.

New facial mapping software brought Commander Shepard and the NPC's a new spectrum of emotions, and facial movements making the conversations as exciting as the action - which itself has undergone a change and has made cover to cover movement almost seamless, as is the transition between firearms and biotic powers.
The key to Mass Effects depth is its morality which even the likes of Fable can't compare to the impact your choices have on the galaxy.
Although you don't have to have played Mass Effect to understand the story (due to the incredible amount of in game literature) still having it makes your story and struggle all the more worthwhile, you feel that Commander Shepard is what you have wanted to be in his/her world, have the galaxy tremble in fear at the thought of you, or have them sing your praises forever and ever.

Although giving away the story is something we never intend to do at Tech Beever, with Mass Effect 2 it would be hard to even attempt such a feat. Every decision you make affects the stories outcome, think of it like a more open take on Quantic Dream's Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy), if someone gets killed at the start then they won't back you up later on...or maybe they were trying to screw you over, with this franchise you will never know.

As for the actual gameplay, its quite unlike any other game, choosing your class from the start of the game (or continuing exactly as you left off at the end of Mass Effect, clever ey!), you can favour weapons, biotics or engineering skills, whichever you think you best suit, then customise not only your character but every member of your team so that they compliment each other or so that they cover you as you go in all guns blazing.
The members of your team are vital as they provide you with intel, upgrades, expert insights and a few laughs along the way. We have never seen the level of details and depth that goes into the stories for each member of your team, you genuinely feel you're fighting for them as well as the galaxy, and that is a truly unique experience, certainly nothing that this reporter can compare it too...with perhaps an exception to Knights of the Old Republic (low and behold a BioWare masterpiece progenitor).

Multiplayer isn't available either local or online, quite frankly I believe this to be a smart move as I wouldn't want other people to interfere with the story I've crafted and the team I've assembled, a multiplayer element would somehow cheapen the whole experience and the makers would loose time spent in multiplayer development instead of driving the phenomenal storyline.
A storyline that only Uncharted 2 can compare to it in terms of cinematic immersion

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However there is one flaw with the game, one I thought would be resolved from the first Mass Effect and has still not been. You are in command of the most beautiful and powerful starship that has been in a game, with a crew loyal too your every whim and even a bit of on board nookie if your so inclined (yes I did, and with an alien no less) but you STILL cannot pilot the ship yourself. Yes there is a pilot on board (voiced by Family Guy's Seth Green), but even when you get to play as him, the chance to fly this beautiful machine never arises. I am of course hoping that the makers are saving this for Mass Effect 3, which was already announced prior to the release of Mass Effect 2. 
On January 8, 2010, Producer Casey Hudson said "We are already at work on Mass Effect 3," so a sequel to this brilliant game is already in the works, and I suspect it will play a major part in possibly creating an epic ending to an already fantastic series.

It may not please non-RPG fans, but Mass Effect 2 is something truly special if you'll give it the chance it deserves. Those who are interested, but haven't played Mass Effect 1 wont get the benefit of some of the revelations and plot twists, however, you'll enjoy it regardless due to the fact it remarkably manages to fulfil its incredible ambition with such ease. And for that reason alone, I demand you go out and buy it, for the love of God buy it!

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