Mass Effect 2 by Silenced Requiem

What I Expected:

So I played Mass Effect one. And that was amazing. I never had thought that this game that had been just sitting there, on my shelf this entire time, completely ignored could be that good.

What We Got:

Pretty much we left the first game feeling like Shepard was the biggest bada** this side of the ‘verse. Well, Mass Effect 2 pretty much confirmed this theory within the first five or so minutes of playing. I don’t want to spoil it. But it’s something else. I mean, I blew Sovereign to hell…along with most of the Citadel. But heeeey, that wasn’t completely my fault. That was mostly Sovereign’s doing. And the Council? ….Council saved < Lots of other people saved. They always refused to believe me even after I proved them wrong time after time anyway.

The great thing about Mass Effect 2 is that you can IMPORT your Shepard character from Mass Effect 1 into Mass Effect 2 and continue the story with the same Shepard. So naturally I brought back to life my soldier, Door Shepard. (Again, if you don’t get that reference…You never read Neverwhere by Neil Gaimen and it’s okay. I’m weird.) Still angry looking as ever, now complete with scars and whatnot from having her face rearranged. I honestly tried to remake my Shepard, altering one or two things, then playing the game I realized it drove me nuts watching those few changes moving around on a character I’ve followed through the events of Mass Effect 1. I pretty much shut off my x-box and redid the entire first cut sequence, then at the character screen just imported her face from ME 1. It bugged me that much. It’s silly.

So Mass Effect 2 technically begins a couple weeks after the events at Citadel in Mass Effect one. However the real game starts two years after this fact after Shepard’s ship is attacked by collectors. Shepard’s previous team has pretty much broken up at this point and he/she’s been saved by an extremist group named Cerberus. You work for them now whether you like it or not. Gripe all you want, you really don’t have a choice, you need their help to fight the new threat of the Collectors. The first thing you have to go do is investigate some disappearing human colonies. On the bright side, you get a news ship?

You will meet plenty of old friends, and many more new ones as you hop galaxies in Mass Effect 2. I was still very partial to my old team, so naturally–I hung out with them way more. You get a couple people from your old ship. Joker is always fun to talk to, even when he’s fighting with the new A.I. system in your shiny ship. Doctor Chakwas is back, in all of her pure awesome. More come along as you progress. There’s a lot more character depth in ME 2. You get a bit more involved with them, I even went out and did a side mission for my ship’s cook. Overall I did enjoy most of the new characters, with the exception of Jacob. I dunno. His character was just…blah. Almost all the other characters are pretty awesome in their own way. Garrus and Tali are still the ones I prefer to watch my back in a fight.

The combat system didn’t really change at all. Overall the game is very much like Mass Effect 1 with some minor changes. Most of the little issues I had with the first one were resolved in the second. Cities are smaller, so there’s less running around (and we know how fast Shepard runs…not fast at all). There’s no more vehicle levels to bother with and hopelessly die from. You don’t have to constantly keep your inventory in check, that’s been streamlined and I love the new changes to it. Weapons and Armor is minimal. You get your own quarters, and all your crew get their own rooms. I didn’t get my wish of more character interaction while just walking around but I did get a nice little thing out of Garrus bugging Tali about the conversations they used to have in the elevators. I think she threatened to shoot him for bringing it up.

Oh and you can buy fish. But mine always seem to die. I’m assuming they’re not alien fish and actually need me to feed them. Oh well…

The Paragon/Renegade actions are a bit more conscious now it seems. In some conversations you can hit either the left or right trigger for a pure renagade/paragon action in the middle of a conversation. I’ve pretty much been through 2 paragons and 1 renegade now. I enjoy both sides. My favorite example for Renegade:

If you imported your ME1 Shepard into ME2 you’ll see the choices you made in ME1 have effected your world in ME2. Like, if you killed Wrex in ME1, his spot on the Krogan world would be replaced by his brother in ME2. Your choices in ME2 also have much bigger consequences. In some cases your mistakes can cost you your relationships with your team mates, and even their lives, especially in the end. All I can say is: Pay attention to your ship and your people. Just like your choices from ME1 affecting your game in the second go around, the same will probably hold true from ME2 to ME3.

Conclusion:

I was excited about this game from the beginning. No secret there, I was late on the Mass Effect 1 train, but once I was on it there was no question as to whether I would get Mass Effect 2 or not. Many of the little issues I had with the first game were resolved and reworked in the second. The combat system and weapons/armor is very sleek compared to the first. I’m generally not into the sci-fi shooting games but ME1 made me a believer, ME2 made me a huge fan.

Rating:

Oh yes, and this game is just as stunning visually as the first. Just saying. This game was fun enough for me to complete it three times. That’s so far. ME 2 is a lot sleeker than ME1.

Mass Effect 2 is also my pick for best game of 2010. It came out in January, so TECHNICALLY IT COUNTS. HA, RIDDLER.

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