Bioware, it’s a name that sends shivers down the spines of RPG fans everywhere, with such titles as Knights of the Old Republic under there belt and the recent release of Dragin Age: Origins they have been a champion for RPG gaming.
The original Mass Effect was an epic space adventure, the only major complaint with the game was a rather clunky combat system, however 2 years on and Bioware have taken there fans critiscism on board with the release of Mass Effect 2, set 2 years after the events of the original and now featuring a great cover system, beautiful graphics and some of the most amazing characters you have even met.
Kicking off with a dramatic sequence that will leave you breathless, the game then throws you into the game with a basic tutorial hidden as an escape from a building under attack.
It’s here that you experiance the games fantastic diologue system, once again Bioware have crafted lifelike conversations with there cast of characters with each diologue choice feeling natural.
Most of them refer to the Paragon and Renegade morallity system, Paragons are the ultimate hero, charming and willing to help while Renegades are more cold and willing to do a lot to get the job done.
Before long your wisked away on a mission and into the thick of the action, using the new combat system that is amazingly similiar to Gears of War as you hit A to slam your custom created character into cover, it now feels much smoother and flowing that the old system, the combat can now stand proudly beside the RPG elements of the game.
Thats not to say that it’s perfect, it still has a clunky edge to it as your character sometimes won’t get into cover quick enough and making a quick escape can be difficult.
Thankfully your backed up by your AI squadmates who have become much smarter, they still do the occasional stupid think like leaping up onto some crate’s but now they feel like there truly useful.
Players will now find the RPG elements of the game more streamlined and easier to use with less stat based screens to deal with, though this can sometimes lead to a lack of information.
However never fear, there is still the ability to create your unique character, level him or her up and engage in romances with squadmates and take on side quests as you explore Mass Effect’s extensive universe filled with some of the most fantastic characters created for a game.
It’s these characters that stayed with me the most after the 30 or so hours I poured into my first playthrough, by the end of the game you can have up to 10 team-mates all with unique personalities and opinions, and you can talk to them all about your ship. the mission or just about themselves.
More action based gamers out there will find this a boring part of the game but for those who love story and innovation you will a wealth of characters to interact with and talk with providing some truly memorable encounters.
Each of your team-mates has a “loyalty” missions as well, which is only unlocked if you spend enough time talking to them, these missions provide some of the best parts of the game and for completing them your team-mate becomes completely loyal to you and the your team, this is paramount to completeing the final mission and actually surviving the game, but it also unlocks bonus powers for them to make them more powerful.
These missions often provide extra insight into your squadmates and can actually make you feel very attached to them thus you care whether they live or die.
Mass Effect’s graphics help add to the already stunning universe, with some amazing worlds and alien cities, from seedy looking bars to stunning futuristic cities with flying cars and unusual aliens, mix in some brilliant back ground noise and you have worlds that truly feel alive.
Some of the background conversations are funny as hell to listen to, ranging from boyfriends to bachelor parties the are they’re great to listen to and really help set the mood.
Fans of the original are in luck as they can enjoy this game even more, Mass Effect 2 allows you to import your original character and carry on with him or her, not to mention the fact that many of your decisions from the first game impact the second thus players of the original game will feel even more involved in the game world and with what is happening.
Along the way plenty of old faces will turn up, brining a smile to your face.
Mix all of this with the best voice acting and facial animations seen in a game and you have something truly special, a game that I could write page’s upon page’s about, it still has it’s flaws but this raises the bars for RPG’s and games in general, providing a truly rich story mixed with solid combat and one of the deepest game universe’s created to make Bioware’s latest epic something astounding, it feel’s like an interactive movie.
The occasional dodgy texture but beautifil views, fantastic facial animations and amazing worlds.
– amazing characters
– Great Story
– first class voice acting.
– the occasional clunky combat moment
– that it had to end!
-I cant think of anything else…..
Deep roleplaying, diologue system and an amazing story make this a standout game
Around 30-40 hours to see and do all the missions, but massive replay value thanks to the classe’s being so different and the different path’s through the game.
The highest score that I have given out yet, and for good reason, deep and beautiful this is one game you should not miss.