When looking at the Galaxy navigation map you see floating tabs telling what missions are where. The interface is very easy to use and never leaves you feeling like you don’t know what locale to travel to next. The missions are all very well scripted, you always have a good idea of where you are going to find the objective and you always feel engaged. The games story is excellent, but definitely leaves the opening for Mass Effect 3. The game is much more action orientated than ME1, it is basically the first in a new genre, the story-shooter. Its action portions are comprised of third-person, over the shoulder, shooting segments combined with the use of "mass effect powers" that vary pursuant to the different classes that are the player has either chosen to play as or to include on their team. These powers are allow for interesting tactical gameplay. They are accessed by accessing a popup menu system [accessed differently depending on platform] that allows for three powers to be queued [one per team mate] for use as soon as you leave the menu. This system allows the gameplay to seem fluid and remain fun. Who will outsmart who?
ME2 is definitely driven by the decisions and actions you take during the conversational sections of the game. ME2 uses a "text-wheel" to choose chat responses. The wheel allows for up to six different responses; two Neutral, two Paragon [lawful good, Moral] and two Renegade [chaotic good, anything to get the mission complete] options. The text shown doesn’t usually represent exactly what is going to be said but more an idea that a certain option will convey to whoever you are talking to. It looks like the trademark in this Trilogy of games will be keeping the track of what responses you make and dramatically change the story and determine which of the multiple endings you see. Your choices definitely mean a lot when you get to the end, the whole game you are aware that you are on a suicide mission and you can actually not survive your mission depending on your decisions. This weighs on your decisions and really does make you think before you say or do something. Problems? What problems?
There are a few problems with the gameplay, such as the mining/research system that you use to earn upgrades to make the game easier. Mining breaks up the gameplay, is boring and repetitive should the player decide to endure it to get the bonuses awarded using the research system. The research part of the game uses resources you mine to buy different pieces of technology to upgrade your team’s items. Although it isn’t necessary to mine/research to complete the game, it does serve to make the game more enjoyable during the action portions of the game giving you an upper hand in combat.Tearing through alien flesh and bones...
All of these elements combine to make Mass Effect 2 an excellent game definitely worth playing, replaying, and replaying again. The Locales look amazing and provide for a surreal travel around the Galaxy. Its gameplay is well balanced, allows the player many different ways to accomplish their goals all while making the player feel like a badass. Conclusion
Compared to ME1, Bioware definitely slimmed the RPG right out of ME2. Its gameplay has been streamlined for more mainstream players who want more action less talking and deciding what armor to wear. It’s a no brainer for EA/Bioware considering ME2 is a Triple A title that is a major investment, which they would like to make money on. A seasoned ME1 fan may be disappointed in the changes, BUT, should still play ME2 just because it continues the Mass Effect legacy of excellent story telling involving hard moral decisions. For all the reasons above, we have no gripes with the decision to give this game an Editor's Choice award in the field of Home Entertainment.
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