Reviews for Mass Effect 2 (NA) dns

74

A step sideways from the first

GordonFreechmen | Jan. 7, 2013 | See all GordonFreechmen's reviews »

This game changes so much, and keeps so little the same it is hard to really call it a sequel. That isn't too say it is bad on its one, but a sequel should still feel like the first.

The story is somewhat odd, they retcon several things from the first. You know use guns with ammo, even though the way they describe how guns work in the first in the index would make ammo pointless, and or cooling charges useless. The protheans have been retconned in appearance as well. Replay the first one and play this if you don't believe me. The worse thing about it though is it is pointless. After you finish the second game you are in exactly the same place you were at the end of the first, they could have just left this game out and the series would have been exactly the same. Why make a game if it doesn't matter story wise.

Now gameplay wise they removed the mako, and replaced it with probing which is boring in comparison. They really should have kept the mako. Also you no longer have an inventory. I guess some people had problems with the way the inventory worked in the first game (I didn't) so instead of fixing it they removed it entirely which seems really stupid to me. What is the point of an RPG with no inventory system?

The most redeeming aspect of this game is the characters, while no directly related to the story, a lot of the dialogue and conversations these characters have is very interesting, and makes them all very likable. If they had made a more coherent story for these characters to be in, it could have been great.

70

Fantastic Production but Stripped Down and Dumb Story

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | See all Brumbek's reviews »

First, ME2 has brilliant production values. The art design is amazing and the presentation is stellar, like most BioWare games. But strip away all that, and you have a very lacking game, sadly. Missions are greatly stripped down compared to ME1, and even character interaction is "streamlined" for the sake of "accessibility". Actual driving was replaced with a load screen...physically finding minerals was replaced with the infamous mini-game...weapon customization was removed...how is this progress?

But the biggest crime is the story...it's totally contrived. Nobody can explain why the bad guys did what they did...the end boss made no sense and was never explained. Where's Saren when you need him... So sorry to say but ME2 has suffered the BioWare effect where they take a great game and make the sequel vastly inferior in order to misguidedly appeal to the "masses".

Well this "masses" effect is NOT making things better. ME2 is still a great game...just fatally flawed and is more of a tragicomedy than its developers realize. I score it a 3 compared to ME1, 8 or 9 compared to most games, and a 7 overall.

81

A good game but an ungraceful sequel

nairume | Dec. 10, 2012 | See all nairume's reviews »

Mass Effect 2 is a solid game but an ungraceful sequel. On its own, it presents well refined shooting mechanics, a seedy and dirty futuristic universe to explore, and a cast of memorable characters to interact with. As a sequel, it often feels like it is cutting its nose off to spite its face in regards to complaints about problems with the first game. Where the first game had excessive problems with having a very expansive list of inventory options and a poor system through which you could organize and utilize those options, Mass Effect 2 decide that throwing everything out, rather than fixing it was the right choice. As such, what little inventory the game has is very limited and feels less open to customization. Likewise, while the first game featured many useless character creation options that made it difficult to sort out what was worth grabbing or not, this game opts to throw much of it out, leaving a very limited customization system that does little to engage the player and make them feel as if they are participating in building their characters. Overall, Mass Effect 2 is still a good game, but it does little to advance the franchise in the long run.

72

Streamlined for the worse

das_regal | Sept. 26, 2012 | See all das_regal's reviews »

Mass Effect was a great game. There was a deep level of customization both in how you built your character and the wide array of weapons you chose to use. On top of that, you made important decisions which fundamentally changed the way the game unfolded.

Mass Effect 2 keeps some of these elements at play, but it guts a lot of the flexibility out. Gone is the robust loot system, replaced with a fairly basic upgrading system that gives you fewer than 10 different weapons per character and a few linear skill lines (not even trees).

The story is good, the consequences are nice, but the game play just doesn't keep.

85

From RPG to Shooter

Endyo | Sept. 25, 2012 | See all Endyo's reviews »

Mass Effect 2 is a prime example of a game in a series that shifted focus as it progressed. The original Mass Effect was set in the same vein as the earlier Dragon Age title and of course that game was inspired by the tactical action RPGs of the past like Baldur’s Gate. These games relied on the player to use a tactical and strategic approach to each battle in order to achieve victory. Mass Effect managed to retain that aspect, but also add exciting shooter elements. That brings us back to Mass Effect 2… where the tactical elements were all but abandoned and the game became more cinematic and shooter based.

My review shouldn’t be solely based on a comparison, as that is not fair and not really an accurate way to get an impression of the game. Mass Effect 2 has many positive elements that made it fun to play and complete. Probably what was most engrossing about the game for me was the rich story that had a more realistic approach as to the nature of civilizations facing against unknown threats. It’s rare that a game can so thoroughly make you feel as though you’re a part of the story while still bringing in the fireworks and maintaining interesting gameplay.

While the gameplay lacks the tactical glory that made it so important to pause and make decisions to succeed, it added a more complex cover system and a ‘run and gun’ styling similar to what you’d see in Gears of War. It adds a lot to the pacing of the battles and makes it so you’re more consistently surprised. You still have the freedom to use whatever skills and weapons you choose from the start of the game, so you can be the raw shooter, the telekinetic biotic, the Geth killing tech, or any mix between. You can also still take control of your party and have them perform specific skills and attacks if you feel the need, but I noticed that it was not really necessary given that you can be successful making use of those twitch shooter skills many gamers have developed.

Graphically, there is a noticeable improvement over the original Mass Effect. It appears to be the same sort of engine (one that always seemed to run reasonable well even on mediocre graphics cards) but the texture resolution has increased and many subtle details appear where they were lacking before. There are also a select few grand vistas that you will come across that really show off the art design of the game. The engine isn’t anything overwhelming especially by today’s standards, but it certainly would not disappoint.

Overall, Mass Effect 2 is a fun game and a welcome addition to the series. It progresses the story at an acceptable pace and provides enough mission diversity to really keep you in the game. If you were a fan of the first Mass Effect, there’s no reason not to have this, but if you were really in to the tactical and RPG elements, this game tones back on them, and you may be disappointed.

89

Amazing Sequel.

Xgoesrawr | Aug. 22, 2012 | See all Xgoesrawr's reviews »

The second game in an amazing series.

Your companions are more interesting than the first game and I felt they developed as characters better. The voice acting was once again amazing.

This game had a lot of improvements such as the inventory system and ship layout. I was very happy about that. The combat system also improved and was much more enjoyable than the first game.

I did not enjoy scanning planets for resources. If you skip scanning a planet you may miss a side mission so its best to scan every single planet. Probably the worst part of the game. The hacking and bypass mini-games also get tiring after awhile but its not a game breaker by any means.

Its a great game overall.

80

Great, but lacking in RPG elements

Zirun | July 24, 2012 | See all Zirun's reviews »

Mass Effect 2 is a great game, which is to be expected from Bioware. The story is top notch as usual, the characters and their interactions are wonderful, and the settings are dazzling.

All together, it makes a great story- and character-based shooter. But it's not so much an RPG in the traditional sense, for it's severely lacking in customization options (only a handful of weapons and abilities per class) and what's there doesn't let one differentiate their Shepard from others. Sure, you could be somewhat better with sniper rifles, but there aren't any "Hey, I can do this and YOU CAN'T!" things like class-based special abilities or pinnacle feats that only the best in a certain weapon or combat type can use.

That's not to say that ME2 is bad in any way; it simply caters to a somewhat different audience that other Bioware (or ME) offerings. I'd almost call it "FPS player's first RPG" if it didn't have such a deep story. It's very much worth playing for any RPG player who doesn't mind traditional RPG gameplay elements taking a backseat.

90

Great sequel.

Lunk | July 23, 2012 | See all Lunk's reviews »

Mass Effect 2 is a fantastic sequel to the first game in the series that changed a few things up, generally for the better.

Conceptually, the story felt a bit weaker than its predecessor. In practice, however, I felt like it unfolded much more smoothly. A key player in this was the addition of a crew member on the Normandy who will alert you to squad members who have something new to talk to you about. It may not sound like much, but as a completionist who doesn't like to miss parts of the story I often found myself checking with every character after each checkpoint in ME1 only to get the same lines over and over when nothing new had been triggered. Yeoman Chambers really made that aspect flow a lot better.

I also appreciated the simplified inventory system. One of the bigger annoyances in ME1 for me was managing the constant stream of random items with limited inventory space, which is not a concern at all in the sequel.

The only change I didn't care for was the "planet scanning" resource gathering mechanic. Then again, I was apparently the only person in the world who didn't hate the Mako, so others may appreciate the change more than I did.

If you hated ME1 or felt like it wore out its welcome, I don't think there's a compelling reason to grab the sequel. But if you liked it, ME2 is a really solid addition to the franchise that I highly recommend.

85

Great but Not the Best in the Series

ROKET | June 22, 2012 | See all ROKET's reviews »

This game was a great 30 hours ride that gave you great characters, great voice acting, great action and a good if not a little tiny bit shallow story.

I was jaded after playing this game because Bioware opted to ax a ton of features from the game that were present in ME1. The story was good but at times you wondered what the hell you were doing chasing the collectors who seemed to be a very random faction that appeared out of nowhere. I also didnt like Shepards "rebirth" in that it seemed too far fetched even so far into the future when most of the series had been grounded in some sort of believibility.

From a gameplay perspective the game was also a bit wonky with much of the RPG elements removed. The cover system felt clunky and the gunplay felt a bit lacking. It wasnt terrible by any means but didnt feel as good as ME1.

Overall I liked the game and thirsted for more by the end but still felt as though there could be several important improvements. The end boss was also extremely freaking lame. Im sorry...but it was.