Mass Effect was a series exclusive for the XBOX 360 since it’s inaugural debut in 2007. This past January the 2nd game was ported over to the PS3 with extra bonuses. These games are revered as some of Bioware’s, the developer, finest games. After jumping into the 2nd, with little knowledge of ME 1, it can be seen why.
Even without ME 1 for the PS3, players can catch up with the story via an interactive comic that boots up in the beginning of the game. Players learn about the plot and are allowed to make life-altering decisions, which affect the plot upon starting ME 2. Mass Effect 2’s story itself can be easily summed up as being called a recruiting mission. There is a shadow of bigger things to come, but for the most part those things are left on the back burner for the sequel. Instead, players will recruit new members and do missions regarding their needs in order to get a better sense of who they are.
While not as ideal, the interactive characters will keep players interested. Their personality, voice acting, and graphical detail make them feel like real people. The universe of Mass Effect overall is engaging from the characters, plot, and planets encountered. There’s even an in-game dictionary if players wish to learn more about aspects of its universe. 2nd
The gameplay in ME 2 is basically a 3rd person shooter with RPG elements injected. Kill enemies, earn experience, and repeat. While the special effects in battles are cool, the combat felt overly repetitive and there will be a lot of it. It’s not terrible, but it could use some tweaks for future releases.
Mass Effect 2 is a great game. The universe hooks players in with its fantastic looks and sounds. There are a few down points keeping it from getting a higher score. The combat feels bland and repetitive and the presentation of the story makes this feel more like Mass Effect 1.5 instead of 2. The game’s main plot progression is also pretty short at around 10 hours. There are plenty of side quests to take players into the 40-hour range, but some of them are also pretty monotonous and boring. While it would have been nice to get both games, PS3 owners will have to be content with ME 2 for now and eagerly anticipate ME 3 in 2012 where hopefully some of these issues can be resolved.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on August 29, 2011 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.