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When it comes to the actual gameplay part of this shooter, it's a step up from Mass Effect 1, with more intense shooting, a more responsive cover system, vastly improved A.I, and better level design.
In addition, the main world maps are more varied with more NPC's around to help them feel more believable environments, with less of that grey colour that occupied the last game, and the copy and pasta locations a thing of the past.
When it comes to the story and characters on the other hand...
Most of the characters introduced for your party this game are without a doubt some of the most dull (Miranda, Jacob, Samara) and annoying (Grunt, Jack) characters I've ever come across in gaming, I'm assuming the majority of Biowares good character writers were working on Dragon Age because these characters you could mostly fully explore in four conversations, and two of the likeable characters are hold overs from the first.
The main story itself holds up no better, being a step down from the original, with a simplistic story "Colonists have been kidnapped by Collectors, are you a bad enough dude to save them?" that holds none of the intrigue or mystery of the first game, I'm restricted word wise, so I'll sum it up some of my major gripes with bullet-points.
1) Sole Survivor, why you're never allowed to bring this backstory up to any of the Cerberus characters is baffling.
2) The romance paths are very rushed and clumsily written, feels like they were thrown them in to make shippers happy.
3) Nothing is done with the fact that Shepard CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD, all she/he does is make a few snarky lines and the companions are no better.
4) 95% of offworld quests have you killing things, with the most complex story being "BLUE SUNS BASE! KEEL", at least them copy and paste missions kept some interest with it's varied stories and dialogue.
5) The circumstances that allow your crew to be captured at the endgame are blatant railroading if I ever saw it.
6) The final boss looks like the Terminators idiot half brother and is really tedious.
On the whole, while Mass Effect 2 improved the originals gameplay in bounds, it's story and characterisation suffered big time, ultimately, it depends on whether a bad story ruins a game or not.
Bullshit. Pay attention throughout the game, particularly to the news reports. If the Council survives, human-alien relationships take a dramatic turn for the better, whereas if you kill the Council Shepard is subjected to massive specisism and relations between the Alliance and the Citadel species deteriorate. The entire scene with Anderson changes depending on whether or not the Council survives, multiple characters react differently to Shepard, etc.
Not really, the sidequests happen the exact same way, with aliens hating you either way (Council saved = They hate you for humanity's increased presence, Council died = They hate you for taking over) and either way, the old council AND the new council blow you off.
Which is the handwave I was referring to, the fact that they suddenly become so genre blind by this point just seems to be a contrived coincidence to stop the player being overwhelmed as soon as they head in.
Where is this stated?
He was a Shadow Broker agent.
Is that in one of the DLC's, cause I don't have any of them, no Xbox Live see.
Regardless, slapping a logo of a hated organisation that half the galaxy hates on your ship, uniform, etc doesn't help you once during the game.
And the Collectors gained....what? Why would they need a virus? They clearly don't need one, I mean if one Reaper can take out half of the Council fleet then the rest of them shouldn't have any problem moping up
Nope. I just played two different games with two different outcomes just this week, and if you saved the Council, the hatred for humans is a lot less than if you let the Council die. In the latter, some people refuse to trust you, some people blame humanity for everything that's gone wrong. In the former, those same people may still have problems with humans, but they're willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, since humans did so much to help.
....Where? I completed two playthroughs with both endings and NOTHING changed save a few irrelevant news reports, everyone I talked to reacted the same way, those bits with both Thanes personal mission and the Asari sisters were unchanged with that Turian politician elicting support thanks to feelings that humans are taking over and the sisters also blaming humans for their problems.
I do apologize if I come off a douche who doesn't except criticism, but I'm honestly not seeing it
Again, talk to the turian gunshop owner on the Citadel and the asari having trouble boarding a flight. How they react to Shepard is significantly different.
It's nice to see a review address the visuals of the game. The thing I hated most about the original was its bland settings that didn't look lived in at all. Grey polished corridors and sparsely furnished rooms are boring to look at. don't people interior decorate in the future? Is there a galactic law against putting carpeting and curtains on a space ship? No critic seemed to ever mention this issue, despite it bothering the hell out of me and taking me out of the game.
I'm pleased to hear that the visuals have been improved. Tell me; do places look more personalised and detailed in this game than the previous?
Hell yes, despite my reservations about the plot, the graphics people must of defintely worked overtime, Omega is grimy, dark, cramped, gives off a sense of decay and despair, The Citadel is more packed with people, which is fitting considering the part you land in appears to be more of a downtown area with hordes of shops, while it is bathed in blue, there's still plenty of brights colours (Them future folk sure love their lights). While Tuchanka is pretty grey and grim, but that fits because it's a post nuclear wasteland, and the colours actually help that along with the rubble and general destruction.
Does that help?
I'm on a different computer.
Very much, thanks. It has been the one thing holding me back from buying the sequel (that and the price - I'm a cheapskate who never spends more on a game than I would on a book).
No. Again, pay attention to the news in the background. Depending on whether or not you saved the Council, humanity is either hated or respected. There is some resentment for the increased presence, yes, but there is a lot more appreciation for humanity and Shepard and a lot more cooperation, i.e. the Hierarchy engaging in reparations for Shanxi.
I don't see how this is Genre Blindness. They have a nearly-impossible to bypass accessway that is heavily-defended by combat drones and a massive cruiser that has enough firepower to kill any ship in the galaxy. They have no reason to have external hull sensors designed to prevent intruders.
Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC.
And? It doesn't hurt you either. Most of the locations you travel to are neutral or criminal locations, and the ones that aren't are friendly to Shepard.
Again, I have to ask if you paid attention. They're not after a weapon, they're after a mutagenic virus that is designed to alter genetic structure. Remember that the Collectors and Reapers are all about the genetic potential of the species they conquer, and Harbinger is dismissive of any species that isn't humanity because they don't have the potential to be harvested into another Reaper. The whole point of the virus is to alter the genetic structure of "lesser" species in order to make them more suitable for being harvested.
New reports which effect nothing plotwise, it's superficial, the sidequests themselves happen near enough the same way, as does the council meeting, only diffence being whether they agree to see you and whether you're reinstated or not (Which also effects nothing)
Also what about the pre Collector Base mission where you control Joker? Why can't you stay on board? Why do you take EVERYONE with you? Where are you going, you just head into the shuttle and disappear, you're not given any info, why doesn't Harbinger just blow up the Normandy (Again) while it's disabled? It'll harm Shepard far more than nicking it's crew and make getting into the Relay impossible, where are the Marines? The ship clearly has a marine presence as evidenced by one appearing when you pick up Legion so where's the rest of them?
And who on earth decided to lock Jack up with a control that unleashes EVERY SINGLE PRISONER IN PURGATORY, WHOSE "SMALL TIME" KILLED 20 ODD PEOPLE?
Why though? Considering Purgatory is filled with some of the most murderous loons out there, wouldn't it have made more sense to give us a choice, deciding whether or not it's a required evil to let her out while unleashing them.
Also I wasn't quite clear, I meant that why doesn't he destroy the Normandy while Shepards out for lunch or....whatever the hell she/he is doing, so all they have to deal with is the shuttle, making catching Shepard easier
1. Because you can't control everything? Being Shepard tends to make players forget that not every single individual choice is in their hands.
Besides, Shepard came for the most powerful non-asari biotic in the galaxy, and the warden tried to double cross him/her.
2. And how would they know Shepard wasn't there?
Just watched the scene, everyone says that hacking the controls will unlock every cell on Purgatory, which strikes me as being more suited to a Master Control system than just the controls to Jacks cell, also, this is supposed to be a RPG, and Shepard is meant to be your character, why shouldn't you get control over a major thing like this? Deciding to keep Jack in cryo so that hordes of psychos don't roam the galaxy could have been an interesting choice. If only so she doesn't bug you so much
Once again, this is a recruitment mission for a special-ops team. Shepard is a soldier, and it's pretty obvious that the Purgatory was more a slaving operation than a legit prison.
Hell, the warden even tells you point-blank that he extorts worlds by catching criminals and then threatening to release them. You're not doing anyone favors by keeping Jack locked up with everyone else.
I just noticed...you changed your review to complain about things other than the things you complained about initially?
Wow, just, wow...instead of acknowledging that you may have been mistaken about some things, you just decided to alter the review so that it could still be scathing?
Besides, if you really want to discuss plot holes, we have the JBM page for a reason.
You're review is quite possibly the most unaccurate one ever. In the History of Video Games.
Just... just stop.
It's almost amazing how much fail is in this review.
1) While you can't reference it directly, I think this actually makes a lot of sense. Shepard doesn't angst on or openly talk much about his/her past service record much regardless of what it was; s/he has to actually have someone else bring it up. Shepard strikes me as the sort of person who has moved beyond that part of his/her life.
2)Really? because I thought they were quite nuanced and interesting - particularly the ones for Jack, Tali, and Garrus. If nothing else, they're better than the romance options in the first game.
3) Shepard doesn't have time for metaphysical questions. There's Reapers to punch in their mechanical scrotums. S/he can reflect ont he ressurection after the galaxy has been saved. You're trying to project angst onto a character who, by their very nature, doesn't angst.
4) Bullshit. Several of the N7 missions offer interconnected storylines, including two that are all about puzzle-solving. And all but two of the UNC missions in the first game required you to kill to complete them.
6) I disagree on the "idiot" part, and found it quite intense. As for it being tedious, it's not if you know what you're doing. If you don't exercise some miniscule brain power and use weapons and ammo suited for killing armored targets, that's not the game's fault.
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