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06/23/2012 21:38:14 •••

A Masterpiece

Mass Effect 1 was good. Mass Effect 2 ups the ante in almost every way possible. More characters, deeper characters, improved combat, interrupts... The list goes on and on. A few things were removed, but they were mostly the bad things. I'm going to skim over the game, giving highlights on my favorite points.

First, the inventory was removed. While some may say that makes it less of an RPG, the original's inventory was horrendous, with little to no sorting whatsoever, and samey weapons. While ME2 only has 4 or 5 guns per class, each one feels and acts differently. For example, the assault rifle class:

  • Avenger - fully automatic, decent damage. Standard.
  • Vindicator - slightly more damage, three-round burst; headshot-happy. Significantly less ammo; skills needed to keep ammo count high.
  • Revenant - uber-machine gun. High damage and rate of fire. Inaccurate, though; lots of recoil.
  • Geth Assault Rifle - only found on Hardcore or Insanity. Good damage. Rate of fire variable; determined by a sine wave.
This variety allows you to strategize, based on your strengths - like an RPG, ironically.

This time around, characters have hidden depths, and are more developed. However, one of the characters I think is the best written is the one I like the least - Jack. She's a psycho, but as you talk to her, it slowly become apparent that this is her way of dealing with what she's been through. This character development reaches a head in her loyalty mission, where you can persuade her to show mercy - maybe for the first time in her life. If you romance her, she shows how broken she is inside, and she becomes very respectful when you gain her loyalty.

Power use is very streamlined, allowing for much neater usage of powers. Up to three powers can be accessed instantly, compared to ME1's one. This also allows for easy power combinations - say, pulling an enemy into the air before blasting them with a concussive shot. The way powers work has been tweaked, allowing you to, with some powers, attack an enemy behind cover.

With all these improvements, Mass Effect 2 is an Even Better Sequel in every sense of the words. I'm Tera Chimera, and this is my favorite game in the world.

10/13/2010 00:00:00

Couldn't agree more. Mass Effect 2 is one of the greatest games to come out in a long time. The story is amazing in its sense of personal involvement, and the gameplay has been greatly improved from the first. Hell, it even managed some decent DLC (unlike that other BioWare game).

Here's hoping Mass Effect 3 caps off the series nicely.

10/16/2010 00:00:00

Agreed. I don't miss the inventory, roaming around planets with the bloody Mako, the silly "can you press these letters in this sequence" game... the RPG aspects are excellent, especially how the loyalty system works to bring your crew together.

10/17/2010 00:00:00

... Which is why Bio Ware's announcement of "putting some RPG back in" baffles me so. No one I've spoken with has missed the cumbersome inventory system, nor the combat system from the first game.

Still, good review. Excellent points.

01/08/2011 00:00:00

Inventory will likely be fixed, most likely less items and less storage since it was mostly the sheer amount of shit you could carry that made it so annoying

06/23/2012 00:00:00

I didn't find the inventory system in the first game "cumbersome" at all; it was fairly well-sorted into equipment types, and it wasn't difficult to browse your inventory for gear. A limit of 150 items is fairly generous; the only times I ran into trouble with inventory space were because I got lazy about selling them or turning them into omni-gel.

Maybe it's because I played it on a PC, but I actually liked the decryption mini-game.

Being able to choose different types of the same class of weapon is good, but I preferred being able to have different upgrades. Thankfully, Mass Effect 3 enables you to do both.

Other than that, I agree about the deeper characters, especially as far as the loyalty missions go, but it might have been nice to gain a character's loyalty while also influencing their outlook in life, similar to how you can convince Garrus to essentially develop into more of a Paragon or Renegade in the first game (although he ends up as Archangel either way).

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