Mass Effect 2 Review (PS3)

January 25, 2011

PlayStation 3, Reviews

What if every decision you made could affect the fate of the entire universe?  That’s the question you’ll be asking yourself as you play Mass Effect 2.  Originally an Xbox 360 and PC exclusive, BioWare has now brought their game to the Playstation 3.  If you’ve never experienced Mass Effect 2 before, now’s the time.  The PS3 version includes an interactive comic of the Mass Effect 1 storyline, the downloadable content missions that were released before on the disc, along with a nice graphical update thanks in part to the Mass Effect 3 engine being used.

 

In Mass Effect 2, you play as Commander Shepard, a single soldier who’s tasked with putting together the finest team to take on the Collector’s, an alien race that is abducting colonists around the galaxy.  WIthout spoiling any of the story, you will start the game with quite the cinematic introduction, then you be brought up to speed with an interactive comic that shows you the story of the first game.  The interactive comic allows you to make certain heavy story decisions that will carry over into the Mass Effect 2 campaign.  Once the campaign officially starts, you will be able to customize the way Shepard looks to your standards.  You will also be able to choose the class you’d like Shepard to be, which affects the gameplay style.  During my playthrough, I played as a solider class which focused more on weaponry than biotic abilities.

As you progress through the story, you will be able to recruit other characters for your team to take on the “suicide mission”.  It’s entirely up to you how to approach situations when it comes to speaking to people in the game that will affect your outcome.  You can either be Paragon (the ethical, honorable way to do things) or Renegade (the ruthless, results-at-any-cost method).  These two decision types radically affect your journey in terms of who will be loyal to you and who will distrust you.  If it wasn’t enough to worry about the decisions you make in this game, these decisions will carry over to Mass Effect 3 when that is released later this year.

 

The gameplay is essentially a third person cover based shooter, with a bit of an RPG twist to it.  You will level up your character and squad as you complete missions and assignments, which will earn you squad points.  These points will be used to upgrade Shepard and the squad mates to have better ammo, increased health and armor, etc.  It’s important to level up your squad mates if you want them to be efficient in the battlefield so keep that in mind.  There’s an auto-level up system for either you, your squad, or for both, a nice feature which will appeal to casual gamers just wanting to focus on the storyline.

The voice acting is suburb to say in the least.  When you have a Hollywood cast of actors such as Martin Sheen, Yvonne Strahovski, Keith David, Tricia Helfer, Adam Baldwin and Seth Green (just to mention a few of course), you know that BioWare wasn’t kidding around with executing their storyline to ensure believable characters.  The soundtrack also stands out as not only an excellent score, but one of the best soundtracks in a video game.  The music fits perfectly for the set pieces in the game and helps immerse the player more into the game.  The sound effects are very effective as well.  All the weapons pack a punch to them and miscellaneous sounds all have a very futuristic sound to them.

Visually, the game looks outstanding.  Utilizing the Mass Effect 3 graphics engine gave the game a nice boost in visuals, boasting better lighting and sharper textures.  The frame-rate is a solid 30 fps, rarely dropping below that.  All the environments in the game have a unique and detailed design while showing how massive the scope of the game is.  There are multiple star systems you can explore with several planets at each one.  Whether you’re scanning the planets for resources to build upgrades for your armor, weapons, or ship, or you’re actually doing missions on certain planets, the game screams for exploration.

To say Mass Effect 2 is an excellent game is an understatement.  With a lengthy, well-paced campaign (25-30 hours), excellent soundtrack, addictive gameplay, great storyline and one of the most rewarding finales, everyone owes it to themselves to get a chance to play this game.   Mass Effect 2 is a masterpiece and one of the best game experiences this console generation.

 

SCORE BREAKDOWN:

 

PROs:

+ Outstanding storyline

+ Excellent soundtrack and voice acting

+ Addictive gameplay

+ Tons of replay value

+ One of the most rewarding finale sequences in a game

 

CONs:

-The campaign ends…

 

Overall Score: 10 out of 10

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About Glacier928

Marcello is the founder, creator and editor-in-chief of GamersXtreme. His dedication and passion shows as he keeps gamers informed with daily news articles and provides truthful, honest opinions on all gaming related news. Having experience with video game design, as well as over 20 years of gaming under his belt, Marcello has always had a massive interest in the gaming society. Originally, he created GamersXtreme in the style of a magazine back in middle school. Today, he has taken what was created as a basic premise and has evolved it into the site it is today.

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