Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

The second instalment in the sci-fi trilogy.

Review Verdict Read Review
10Out of 10
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Martin Sheen's chain-smoking The Illusive Man, and Mass Effect 2's sophisticated narrative, keeps you guessing until the bitter end.
Martin Sheen's chain-smoking The Illusive Man, and Mass Effect 2's sophisticated narrative, keeps you guessing until the bitter end.

Martin Sheen's chain-smoking The Illusive Man, and Mass Effect 2's sophisticated narrative, keeps you guessing until the bitter end.

If that were it - if Mass Effect 2 was merely a game packed with improvements to areas where they weren't even needed - we'd feel perfectly satisfied. Everything that was great about the still impressive first game is just as great in the sequel; we've even started taking many of Mass Effect's qualities for granted. The third-person dialogue system, which means you're never sure how Shepard will play out your selected course of action, is a fun game in of itself, but you don't appreciate its nuances until you compare it with first-person dialogue systems in the likes of Fallout 3 and Dragon Age: Origins. The sheer sci-fi cool of it all - from the Vangelis-esque soundtrack to the power wheel "thoom", makes Mass Effect just as much of a geek love in as JJ Abrams' recent Star Trek reboot. The star-studded cast and superb voice-acting is up there with the standard bearers: Uncharted 2 and Grand Theft Auto 4. But that's not enough for BioWare. BioWare has done all of that, and innovated.

The Paragon/Renegade morality system returns, and again it's easy to know what course of action will result in Paragon or Renegade points, but the ramifications of your decisions don't reveal themselves until the game's heart-pounding climax, when Shepard and his or her eclectic team of disturbed soldiers take the fight to the Collectors - Mass Effect 2's evil alien race. You'd be forgiven for forgetting about the big decisions you've made as you near the game's thrilling end, but by the time all is said and done, you won't be able to forget them.

And BioWare's own good work with Dragon Age: Origins has clearly had an impact on Mass Effect 2's development. The new loyalty system ensures you're keeping one eye on your party members as you use the other to do battle with the Geth and the many mercenary gangs that you come up against. The game doesn't force you to spend time and effort trying to earn the respect of your party members, but you get the impression that it'll be in your best interest to do so. Shepard's suicide mission, as BioWare has explained in the run up to release, is one the Commander may not survive. Keeping everyone sweet will at the very least improve your chances.

The loyalty system manifests itself through some of the most memorable quests we've ever experienced in a role-playing game. Each of the ten potential party members has their own unique quest, which, if completed in a certain way, will make them loyal to your cause. These quests make up many of the game's best moments: they're varied, thought provoking, and seriously impact the story. Asari biotic Samara - she of the eye-popping breasts - has perhaps the best one, and made us literally scream out in astonishment at what it asked us to do. Running it a close second is Subject Zero/Jack's return to her childhood home, which sees her face her demons in a terrifying nod to BioShock's best moments. Each loyalty quest is worth your time, not just because you know it'll help you in the long run, but because they're role-playing gold.

Secondly, your team isn't just a bunch of docile automatons that merely exist in isolation on the Normandy. They're interesting, complex, and they talk to each other. At one point we arrived back on the ship to find Cerberus agent Miranda Lawson fighting the tattooed Jack. If we hadn't had our Renegade conversation option available, who knows how that one would have ended? In Mass Effect 2, there are so many resolutions to each dispute that it's seems impossible to replay the game enough to see them all.

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Highest Rated Comment

thpcplayer's Avatar


awesome review!
edit :a thumb down! did i say antthing offensive?
Posted 11:01 on 26 January 2010

User Comments

EISPower's Avatar


Love this game. I first started it with a new character and really did not like it much.After i finished the first carier i imported my ME1 level 60 character & it was like playing a new game,everything continued from ME1 and the game become perfect, well allmost perfect i could not get Ash back but the truth kind of fell for Miranda. The game got even bigger and better than ME1 with all the DLCs.The only thing that sucked was playing the Insanity carier where i kept my weapons but lost all my upgrades and was it hard getting those upgrades back. Overall this game rules. (Mass Effect Rules)
Posted 11:03 on 10 March 2011
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ K3RT

Well I thought this game wasn't a 10/10 but it would help if Schumey explained why instead of ranting rubbish.
I thought the game was very repetitive as scanning for planets for upgrades was incredibly boring, could have mixed it up with more of a puzzle element.
I remember thinking to myself “This is very similar to detention in High school where I had to clean up rubbish during break on the fields”
I also found the “helping teammates” missions rather too similar with a combat system that felt very bland to me and not challenging.
Also far too much shelter from bad guys and not much requirement for thought to eliminate enemies like something with Splinter Cell or Half Life.
Don’t get me wrong they improved on the first game with controls and the environment you play in, as well as an impressive storyline and characters for a videogame (the score is still really good like the first game).
But when comparing it to other RPGs like Zelda, KOTOR, The Dig and Snatcher, it’s no where near being one of the best RPG’s ever (never mind best game ever).
I felt an 8/10 was more fair for this game.
Posted 11:44 on 06 June 2010
K3RT's Avatar

K3RT@ Schumey

So because you think the game should be an 8 or a 9 the reviewer should to? has it not occurred to you that reviews are just the opinions of one individual? besides ME2 is one of the best games of the current gen and the only thing which I would say I disliked about it was the fact it wasn't multi platform so more people could enjoy it.
Posted 07:31 on 06 June 2010
Schumey's Avatar


Mass Effect 2 is NOT a 10/10 game. But I guess you're just willing to give out any score to please the fans, huh? More like a 8 or 9, anything above that is pushing it. The overscoring of hyped games needs to end.
Posted 08:44 on 03 June 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ tome0124

Oh, is 'PC' a 'console'? I was not aware that I could just plug it into my HDTV and play, just like that...!
Posted 17:58 on 06 February 2010
VandaL's Avatar


Best game in ages!

Truley like playing an interactive sci-fi series. Only thing letting the PC version down is the crappy textures because of the 360. Other than that, flawless.
Posted 13:08 on 06 February 2010
SexyJams's Avatar


Hey Wes!
I just need some feedback man.
Is it me, or on Mass Effect do you have the same problem.
basically, I'm going for Renegade, but every time a Paragon interrupt thingy comes up I can;t help but pull it man.
My Renegade is still considerably more than my Paragon, but will it effect my chances of going full Renegade?
Cheers man, this is my favourite game for an awfully long time.
Posted 10:25 on 06 February 2010
Mark_S's Avatar


... Yogurt?
Posted 15:42 on 02 February 2010
tome0124's Avatar

tome0124@ Handwipe

Do you aware of that this game is not console exclusive...? I own Xbox360 but I still buy a PC version...
Posted 22:00 on 29 January 2010
tome0124's Avatar


I finished the game. It's amazing and I can tell they truely put lots of work in this game. But it's not that perfect... getting all 10s. I'd disagree with that. I don't want to spoil anything here. At least I was forced to load the game or sometimes die because of it's bug. Sometimes I get stuck near by boxes... (my 1st round... I got stuck like 10 times.) While I become careful doing anything and it got better lol. There are couple other the mouse issue... Just my opinion. Still a great & fun game to play. both RPG and shooting elements :)
Posted 21:54 on 29 January 2010
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


The end of the day can't come soon enough.
Posted 16:44 on 29 January 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ Ghost_Dog

Maybe after the initial trilogy. As I've said so often, however, consoles NEED exclusives or we the consumer will get shafted with no choices whatsoever in our hobby.

On topic though - 2 hours in... wow. Jaw-dropping story, gameplay dialogue and graphics. I was hoping so hard it wouldn't let down the original, and so far it truly hasn't. Fantastic game, and probably a solid contender, already, for GOTY.
Posted 16:39 on 29 January 2010

renegade@ Handwipe

i know right same with Xbox, cos you cant play Starcraft 2 either hahahahaha........

See how i flipped it Fantard

as for Mass Effect ill enjoy this in Super HD lol on My pc thanks
Posted 14:29 on 29 January 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog@ guyderman

Funny how these idiots don't use their real names on their profile.

They are nothing more than cowards hiding behind keyboards.

There is also a good chance that Mass Effect will eventually appear on the PS3.
Posted 12:51 on 29 January 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ Handwipe

And another retard makes an appearance!

There should be a Doomed Vs A$$wipe thread - Clash of the Fanboys!
Posted 12:36 on 29 January 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Mass Effect 2
Out of 10
Mass Effect 2
  • Stunning story
  • Stunning combat
  • Stunning audio
  • Stunning graphics
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 29/01/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Bioware
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: RPG
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 162 17
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