3.5
15 reviews
70

Mass Effect 2


$60.00 Released January, 2010

Product Shot 1 The Pros:Character driven. Allows you to load your previous save game for a seamless story influenced by your past actions. Great graphics.

The Cons:Individual missions are too segmented and short, with no surprises along the way. Weapons are a lot less customized and discovery / utilization follows a cookie cutter design, weapons only become 'generally better' with no statistical data supplied. No option to manually select your moral choices if you don't have an original Mass Effect save file - would have been nice if you could at least have picked the major 3-4!

The Mass Effect 2 is an action RPG released in 2010 for the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Xbox 360 gaming console. It’s a sequel to the original Mass Effect (2007/2008) and takes place two years later; plus, a user’s completed saved data from the first game can be utilized and in fact results in different story-lines within the second game.

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As for changes, Mass Effect 2 utilizes an upgraded combat system with an enhanced A.I., improved damage modeling, and enemies that continue to drawl and fight, even after they’re knocked down. There are all new races, a greater focus on health regeneration, and heat sinks that function as ammo clips. The game basically works like this: recruit, train, and equip a team; explore the galaxy to discover missions; and command your squad as you “kick ass.”

Features

  • Mass Effect Series
  • Continued Game (From Saved Data)
  • Upgraded Combat System
  • More Intelligent AI
  • Improved Graphics
  • New Alien Races
  • Universal Heat Sinks

User Reviews (16)

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70
ProScore
Pros
  • 13

    character driven

  • 13

    allows you to load your previous save game for a seamless story influenced by your past actions

  • 12

    great graphics

  • 12

    really cool cinematic moments are unlocked by moral decisions in real time - dramatically "worse" or "better" decision points must be unlocked by 'renegade' or 'paragon' points unlocked by lesser moral choices

  • 10

    great storyline - takes the epic that was Mass Effect to new heights

  • 8

    intense / action-packed combat

  • 7

    Mass Effect save-file transfer / utilization presents a good reason to replay the original and re-experience the plot

  • 7

    stable

  • 7

    new alien races, worlds, etc... - adds a great deal of new depth to the Mass Effect universe

  • 6

    lives up to the hype

  • 6

    your badass scars begin to rip apart and glow, or heal completely depending on how you navigate the game morally

  • 6

    you don't collect a million of the same weapon you have to spend a ton of time selling

  • 5

    improved menus and loading times

  • 5

    improves vastly upon the generic side-quests / exploration of the first game - every side quest is now original

  • 4

    plays fairly well on older hardware

  • 2

    great ending

  • 1

    Character voice acting. Star cast, very well done.

  • 0

    Unique Cerberus Network Game add-on which allows easy browsing of DLC content

Cons
  • 7

    individual missions are too segmented and short, with no surprises along the way

  • 6

    weapons are a lot less customized and discovery / utilization follows a cookie cutter design, weapons only become 'generally better' with no statistical data supplied

  • 6

    no option to manually select your moral choices if you don't have an original Mass Effect save file - would have been nice if you could at least have picked the major 3-4!

  • 5

    planned scanning system is silly and induces wrist pain

  • 4

    strays too far to the shooter end of the spectrum

  • 3

    planet scanning requires quite a few probes which requires a lot of useless backtracking to buy new probes

  • 2

    No inventory at all.

  • 1

    having a limited number of probes makes the already tedious planet scanning mini-game even more annoying

  • 1

    for the most part scanning planets is useless - don't waste your time on it

  • 1

    designers don't take advantage of having a large team. Even though you have up to 9 people in your crew, you only use 3 at a time

  • 1

    Load times! Load times! Load Times!

  • 0

    Overrated, ME2 got the kind of ratings that ME1 should have received.

  • 0

    Makes the wait for Mass Effect 3 seem like ages away

  • -1

    levels feel like they were built for laser zone

  • -3

    very few people would have saved their save files

  • -3

    somewhat easy to predict central storyline

Comments (7)

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Omar
Omar: #mass_effect_2 I just beat this game last night, total playtime was 35 hours, and I played on Normal.

Overall I have to say the game didn't hit me the same way that Mass Effect 1 did. While ME1 was pretty uneven, lots of highs and lows, the highs were ridiculously high and became extremely memorable. ME2 doesn't have the same number of lows, but the highs don't reach nearly the same level that ME1 did - making it far more forgettable.

It's kind of ironic, one of the goals with ME2, as stated by Bioware, was to make the sidequests "more unique" and interesting. However, due to the more restrictive/streamlined gameplay I felt the entire game felt like playing the same mission over and over again (outside of the last mission). I know you can say that about most games, the problem with ME2 is that the combat doesn't reward creativity and exploring different options. It's the same kind of cover shooting, power abusing, etc for 15 out of the 35 hours.

The other part of the game is the exploration, and talking to people. I usually hate exploration in games and ME2 doesn't change that. I also usually hate talking to characters in games, but the writing in ME2 is probably the best in the business, so it's actually interesting and entertaining to hear what everybody has to say.

The other major gripe I have with this game is that there's no guidance on what is IMPORTANT and what isn't. For the OCDs out there (I have some tendencies...) there's no direction on whether or not planet scanning for minerals is actually useful. And being somewhat OCD when I first had the chance I ended up spending like 5 hours just scanning planets for minerals. And it turns out they're not even that useful! I pretty much had more minerals in that first 5 hours than I'd need for the rest of the entire game.

The other main issue I have is with the side quests. Honestly, I don't know why gamers like side quests so much in their RPGs. By definition the "side" quests aren't as important as the main quests, therefore they don't get the same kind of attention and polish as the main quests. Unless I'm REALLY into the game why would I spend my time playing second tier missions when I can be experiencing the main quest in all its product values? I would have much rather they ditched the side quests entirely and used those resources to make the main missions more epic and awesome.

Alright, so I have a bunch of complaints. But the game is still good. The atmosphere and environments are unparalleled. The writing is first class. The combat is satisfying if repetitive. And it's all compelling enough to see you through to the end. Like @dialupinternetuser and @BrileyKenney have already said... it could have just been so much more.

I guess we'll see with Mass Effect 3! Dec 21, 10
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Yale
Yale: #mass_effect_2

Oh man, just went through that Joker bit... Hilarious.

Some of the best expression and a classic one liner...

"Shit! Shit shit shit! What the Shit!?" - Joker

"I enjoy seeing Humans on their knees. That was a joke..." - Edi

Feb 12, 10
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BrileyKenney
BrileyKenney: #mass_effect_2

First off I'd like to say that the Mass Effect series is epic. The idea of a GTA like free-play system in an expansive galaxy is brilliant; Bioware did it right.

I don't agree that they made it more into a shooter; yes they took away some RPG like elements but the game is almost exactly like the first; it's still an RPG just a little less expansive.

With that said, Mass Effect 2 is on some accounts more amazing than the first. Bioware truly took everything that was buggy or problematic from the first game, and either improved it or revamped it to make the game much smoother. However, Bioware did of course add in several new aspects which in turn have their own buggy problems. Not to mention some of the elements they removed which made the first game what it was.

Cue in the cover system; a new feature that is obviously designed to work almost exactly like the cover system does in GOW. The player hits a designated button and the character takes cover behind or against the nearest object. In ME2 it doesn't work quite so smoothly however.
Combat can be aggressive and hectic at times to the point where things get confusing; and between the short pauses and strategic movements your character generally spends most of his time hopping annoyingly behind the wrong crate which just so happens to be lying right next to a large group of enemies. I can't count how many times I saw the spinning "game over" screen with that eerie futuristic music and subsequently found myself thinking "how the hell..."

Where is the inventory system??? It completely vanished. Why Bioware? Inventory is a critical piece of the RPG genre. Instead players are forced to swap out weapons and load-outs at specifically placed weapon crates. Bioware has also added a special wheel (similar to the pause wheel from the first game) for swapping weapons, it was of course in the first ME but I'm mentioning it here because its structured a little differently.

The idea that the game is completely customized to me is awesome; but I wish they would have mentioned this sooner. I played the original on a PC; and bought ME2 for my xbox. Shame on me. Had I known my save games were going to carry over I would have stayed with the same hardware because your choices from the first directly impact the storyline and outcome in the sequel. Still, the feature is pretty cool and makes for different gameplay in certain situations.

The ME2 storyline is decent; but not overly fantastic. The ending is somewhat of a let-down, and the cutscenes are not quite what I expected from a ME sequel. Mass Effect 2 still is one of those games that you just have to play. It is possible to rent ME2 and experience most of what you should in the game as the main storyline does not take too long to beat; I personally own the game and will probably keep it instead of trading it in because it will be a great game to revisit.

I don't like leaving number or percentage ratings because its pretty much a matter of preference. However, Mass Effect 2 is certainly worth the $60 price tag.

Feb 9, 10
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dialupinternetuser
dialupinternetuser: #mass_effect_2 Finished ME2 last night. First thought - the final boss looks like something out of an Arnold movie. Lame.

Second Thought - The game, despite having more playtime than ME1, feels shorter. All the missions, except the last, take about 15-45 minutes each. I'd have preferred fewer, but longer missions. Or simply longer missions.

It's an epic game, but its too simplified. I want more RPG elements. The graphics are better, the menus are better (although if you played ME1 a lot, the orange takes a while to get used to), the combat is better, but cover isn't implemented as well as in GOW. It has trouble jumping over cover from a camera angle looking down the cover, so you push right/left to go over. It also doesn't always enter cover when you want it to. And you always know when combat is coming - areas with cover show up.

At any rate, I'd give ME2 a 8.5/10. ME1 was more epic. ME2 is more playable. Time to start playtrhough #2 - Vanguard, Insanity Difficulty. Feb 9, 10
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dialupinternetuser
dialupinternetuser: #mass_effect_2 I've been playing this game since launch, and I'll post a longer "review" later, but I think the word for ME2 is "overcompensation." Instead of improving, I think BioWare shortened and cut too much, pushing ME2 too far into shooter territory, rather than RPG.

It's odd, I like playing ME2 more than ME1, but ME1 might have been a better game. That said, ME2 is still awesome. But I thought BioWare would have made it better. I hope they realize this for ME3 and really nail the whole experience then. And by nail, I mean 10/10 rather than 8.5-9.5/10. Feb 1, 10
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Yale
Yale: #mass_effect_2 I find the best way to use the silly scanning system is to up the DPI on my mouse for those moments. It works perfectly. Finally! A reason to have a DPI switch! Feb 1, 10
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Yale
Yale: #mass_effect_2 was going to try to wait for a new system before trying this out - but now I feel obligated to fill in my review with personal experiences!!! Or maybe that's just an excuse... :) Jan 29, 10
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