Words cannot describe just how much I enjoyed this game, however I’ll give it a go. I was a huge fan of Mass Effect and was totally consumed by the universe.
Between playing Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, I’ve read through the 2 books (Revelation and Ascension), and also read the comic book (Redemption). Mass Effect : Revelation is a prequel to the first game, Mass Effect : Ascension and Revelation are set between the first and second book, and really go to town on describing and explaining the Mass Effect universe.
Please note, the below contains spoilers
Mass Effect 2 starts a couple of months after the first game, the Citadel is a mess, everything is still in turmoil, and based on your decisions made in the first game, either military or the council are in charge. I personally put David Anderson in charge (the star of the books), which I don’t think was the best idea (now I’ve played the 2nd). When I met up with him on the Citadel, he didn’t seem happy with the decision I’d made, and the Spectra rank no longer exist.
You start on the Normandy with your fellow crew mates and everything is as it was at the end of Mass Effect. Anybody that you killed in the 1st, won’t be with you in the 2nd game. Within the first 10 minutes of the game, my heart was racing, and I believe I even shouted…”WTF !”, when the collector ship turned up, and below the Normandy up!. With the Normandy in ruins, you manage to get your crew into an escape pod, but being the brave captain you are, you risked your life, save everyone, and plummet to your death.
2 years later you wake on an operating table to find you’ve been rebuilt as you didn’t survive the fall (you get to re create your face at this point). You later find that the Cerberus leader, “The Illusive man” has arranged for you to be put back together to work for him. As the games goes on, you find out more about Cerberus, the Illusive man, the collectors. Essentially the aim of the game is to build your team, go through the Omega 4 relay, and go and kick the Collectors butt.
As mentioned above, dependant on the decisions made in the first game, you will bump into various characters from the first game and be able to visit various locations from the first.
In the same way as the first, the game is very much a RPG, however they have fixed a lot of the niggles I had. I remember keep running out of inventory slots in the first, spending hours comparing weapons and ensuring that all of my team were kitted out in the best possible way, and don’t get me started on the driving up and down the planets collecting resources. All these things have now been streamlined. There is no such thing as inventory slots, you can just pick a weapon loadout before you start a mission, and the resource collecting….well this is new. In the previous game you would spend hours driving up and down a planets surface in the M35 Mako looking for blips on your radar to pick up resources. With the uneven terrain you could find yourself spending over an hour per planet attempting to collect everything. In Mass Effect 2, this has now changed, you can do this from orbit. This is a blessing and a curse. With my mild OCD I felt I had to scan EVERY planet. In Mass Effect, there was only a small percentage of planets you could land on and investigate, in the 2nd, you can scan every planet. This is done buy purchasing drones from a fueling station (initially 30 at a time, then 60 as you advance through the game), and firing them at the planet when the scanners suggest there is something there. This took me around 2-5 minutes per planet, and I’m pretty sure there is around 200 planets. Occasionally you would come across a planet which has an anomaly, this is was side mission.
As mentioned above you get to meet and spend time with some of your previous colleagues from the previous game. The list of usable charature is as follows. Garrus Vakarian, Grunt, Jack, Jacob Taylor, Kasumi Goto, Legion, Miranda Lawson, Mordin Solus, Morinth, Samara, Tali’Zorah vas Neema, Thane Krios and Zaeed Massani. You also get as crew mates Joker and Doctor Chakwas from the 1st games.
The game play
The combat seems a lot more solid, very much like Gears of War. The storytelling is as good if not better than the first, and the finale of the game is just epic !
After speaking to a number of people about the game, we’ve all experienced a totally different game due to our playing style. I personally did every side mission, collected every crew member, and also got the loyalty of every one of them. I bought every single upgrade, every shop item I could get my hands on and spoke to everyone on every planet that would take back. The game plus DLC took 52 hours of my life, 52 hours I would more than happy give again.
It’s rare that I play a game, and instead of being happy I’d completed the game, I was actually gutted. Mass Effect 2 lets you “continue” the game and go back to the Normandy, allowing you to to do the DLC when you’ve finished. I’ve also completed the 2 story based DLC packs, Overlord and Kasumi Stolen Memory
All in all, an amazing game, and I can’t wait for Mass Effect 3
Approx Time taken to beat – 45hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Aim Of The Game, Ascension, Brave Captain, Citadel, Comic Book, Crew Mates, David Anderson, Decisions, Fellow Crew, First Game, Mass Effect, Normandy, Omega, Pod, Prequel, Redemption, Rela, Revelation, Spectra, Turmoil, Universe