Mass Effect 2 Rocks
For those who haven’t heard of the Mass Effect series, the franchise revolves around the choices and decisions you make as Commander Shepard, the first human Spectre appointed by the Citadel Council. The first game pits you in the fight against a legion of sentient beings called the Reapers, who are hell bent on the extinction of all species in the galaxy. The choices you make and the paths you choose determine what will happen to certain characters and ultimately the storyline.
With Mass Effect 1 missing in the PS3 library, BioWare has given a nice alternative for PS3 owners to make the most crucial decisions you make from the original Mass Effect to affect your playthrough in Mass Effect 2. Known as Mass Effect: Genesis, an interactive comic made by the minds at Dark Horse Comics, PS3 owners are able to make the decisions that will have great impact on their playthrough in the second game, and ultimately the third game via the comic panels showing the major events of Mass Effect 1. The comic doesn’t entirely replace the full experience you can get in the original Mass Effect, and the decisions you make sort of feels empty-shelled compared to playing Mass Effect 1 entirely on the 360 or PC versions, but the narration is well told and the story is summed up very nicely.
In Mass Effect 2, the story revolves around Shepard, who is forced to work with a pro-human terrorist organization named Cerberus. Shepard is tasked to investigate the cause of disappearing human colonies. Later on, he finds out that an ancient race called the Collectors is behind the abductions, and Shepard has to venture across the galaxy to recruit the most notorious and dangerous team ever assembled in order to save the missing colonists. The story and the atmosphere is a perfect blend of sci-fi classics such as Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Star Trek, and, as stated before, the decisions you make will greatly affect your play through in the game and ultimately in the third installment as well. The visuals are top notch as usual, but with the PS3 version running on the Mass Effect 3 engine the graphics are given a step up in quality. It’s not much of a huge improvement over the 360 and PC versions, but it’s still a beautiful game from the inside out. The voice acting is superb, with every major and minor character having their own unique personality and traits, making it easier to relate to depending on the decisions you make, and as with the soundtrack, being as haunting at times, but reflecting upon its sci-fi roots at the same time.
The game play in Mass Effect 2 is more shooter based than RPG based this time around. Recovering health via Medi-Gel is replaced by a regenerative health system, with Medi-Gel only used to revive fallen teammates. Biotic powers and switching can be used either tactically or in real-time, and the weapons don’t jam when they overheat. I wished that BioWare kept some of the RPG elements, such as fully customizable sights that determine the accuracy of an assault rifle instead of researching upgrades using the raw materials acquired from the somewhat lethargic planet-mining mechanic, but it’s a nice ease of accessibility for new players who want to experience the best of what the Mass Effect series has to offer. The decisions-making in Mass Effect has been kicked up a notch, offering the player to perform certain actions as a Paragon (a good humanitarian that cares for all species) or a Renegade (a ruthless and merciless rebel who makes selfish and often painful deeds), granting a significant effect on their moral level. Sometimes these Paragon or Renegade actions or dialogue require a high level of morality, so it’s best to gain more Paragon or Renegade points in order to make those kinds of decisions.
Lastly, the PS3 version comes with all the DLC mission packs that were available on the 360 and PC versions in one disc; Kasumi: Stolen Memory, features a new recruitable character and a loyalty mission for her, Overlord follows the investigation of a rogue VI in a Cerberus Facility, and Lair of the Shadowbroker , which pits you against the rogue Shadowbroker agent with an old friend from Mass Effect 1. Lair of the Shadowbroker seems to be the best out of the three DLC packs, as it features former love interest Liara, and her quest to hunt down and defeat the Shadowbroker. The latter of the three is also the first DLC pack to bridge the events between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, so the decisions you make will affect your play through in Mass Effect 3. With a Cerberus Network code, you can unlock another new recruitable character and a new loyalty mission with Zaeed: The Price of Revenge. Lastly, along with the variety of side missions and the myriad number of classes and decisions you make, Mass Effect 2 will keep you occupied for months and years to come.
PS3 owners, you have every reason to be happy with this version of Mass Effect 2. Complete with all the DLC packs, and running on a more powerful engine, Mass Effect 2 on the PS3 is a no-brainer on whether you want to pick up the game for the first time or double dip it to expand your library of trophies. This is a must own for any system, period.
Rating: 10/10Mass Effect 2 Rocks,