Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Initial Review of Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 is a RPG from Bioware and Electronic Arts. It follows the continueing adventure of Commander Shepard. In Mass Effect 1, your character is tasked with saving the universe from total annihilation. Mass Effect 2 seems to follow this mold. The human race is threatened by some outside threat, colonies that were full of people are now empty with no sign of what happened to the colonists. After meeting your demise 2 years earlier a secret organization has through the miracles of medicine and science, revived you to yet again save humanity!

After about 4 hours of game play, here is my initial review.

While some fans of Mass Effect 1 will be disappointed in the changes to the game mechanics in Mass Effect 2, many will find the story and gameplay to more than make up for the differences from the original game.

The biggest thing that returning players will miss is the inventory screen. In Mass Effect 1, you had an inventory screen that allowed you to equip various weapons and armor. This does not exist in Mass Effect 2. Instead, you have a weapons locker that you assign weapons and armor. I'll admit I'm not overly fond of this new method as it makes it more difficult to equip your character.

In Mass Effect 1 you had 12-20 different skills that you could train in each level. These have been compressed into 5-6 skills. With this compression, the skills seem to have a increase with each subsequent level. Skills range from level 1 to 6 and include weapon, biotic and general stats increases.

Combat is much like it was in Mass Effect 1, though the hud has changes a bit and how you interact with your team is different also. Mass Effect 1 seemed a lot closer to your typical FPS than Mass Effect 2 does. It's tough to say whether the changes are good at this point. Both system are fun to play.

Like Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2 really makes player choices mean something. Comments on the web and from the developers have indicated that your choices can mean the difference between living and dying in the final scenes. It seems to revolve around whether or not your team is loyal to you.

Again Bioware produces a stunningly beautify game. The graphics are awe inspiring, especially in the very opening scene where you move through the Normandy 1 on your way to evacuate Joker. The expressions of the NPC's really do an excellent job at conveying emotion.

Not only do the graphics help draw you into the story, but the dialog and voice actors are the best I've heard in a while. Martin Sheen as the Illusive Man, does an excellent job.

Well I'll post a total review after finishing, so look for a post late next week or the next.

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