Archive for February 18th, 2010

Mass Effect 2 is back from the edge of the universe

BioWare | Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 Trailer

When I picked up Mass Effect 1 on launch day in November 2007, it was quite a dissapointment. I’m sure I was not the only one. The first game was honestly boring. I fell asleep while walking the Citadel for the first time. The music wasn’t something that I would even listen to at all. I spent too much time in elevators, waiting for the game to load and so on. I just basically gave up playing the game up until the release of Mass Effect 2.

I read the previews and the videos and decided to give the series another shot. The game did not disappoint. I played Mass Effect 1 again from scratch and went through the traverse searching for Saren. I painstakingly went through the whole game, Mako and exploring and all. I realized that once you get beyond the first 3 missions and once you have the whole team, the game gets much better. So, armed with my character from Mass Effect 1, I imported my character to Mass Effect 2.

So the first five minutes of the game just floored me as I died. Yes I can say I died because it’s in the first five minutes and like Lazarus I came back to life. You’ll have to buy the game to see how that happens.

The action is much much better. I prefer the biotic powers here than in the first game. There is no inventory. Character stats are more streamlined and much easier to read. You are no longer flooded with weapons, amps, upgrades and so on to improve your character. But then why call this an RPG if it doesn’t have the level grinding, inventory management and stats management.

I call Bioware’s take on RPGs the “American” way of RPGs as it features none of the qualities of a Japanese RPG which is the level grinding and the massive inventory and boss battles. Mass Effect 2 has been called Gears of War with character development and rightfully so. Bioware has been master in creating memorable characters. In the previous game, you could only romance 3 charcters and only two at a single playthrough. Mass Effect 2 allows you to romance practically your entire crew which unlocks a host of new dialogues and possibilities.

But the main draw I think here is the world that Bioware has created. If you’ve played the first game, you’ll be well aware about the threat to humanity and the whole galaxy and your ragtag team of fighters must stop them. There’s so much depth and story and rightfully shows the galaxy is vast. It almost reminds me of Farscape.

Farscape Introduction

There’s so much to do in Mass Effect’s galaxy that I can see the series going beyond the story of Commander Shepard. But one things for sure. Bioware did good on Mass Effect 2 and I can’t wait for Mass Effect 3 to come out.

I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite store on the Citadel.