Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

The second instalment in the sci-fi trilogy.

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10Out of 10
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The adjective "stunning" is over-used, especially when it comes to video game criticism. Everything's stunning these days; graphics, story, characters… everything. Well, in the case of Mass Effect 2, it's the only word that even comes close to describing the experience on offer.

In Mass Effect 2, everything is stunning. The sophisticated sci-fi story is stunning at every turn. The refined, third-person cover-based combat is stunning at the turn of every corner. And the cinematic dialogue system, voice acting and facial animations are stunning in every page-turning cut scene. It all comes together to form what may well be 2010's best game, and possibly the greatest role-playing game of all time.

Mass Effect 2's brilliance shows Canadian developer BioWare is in top form. Confidence breeds confidence, and Mass Effect 2 is one of the most confident, brash, even arrogant - but in the good way people admire - games ever created. It is a masterpiece from a developer that knows it's ahead of the game in almost every department that matters, from graphics to branching storylines to… well… everything.

Taken in isolation, Mass Effect 2 stands head and shoulders above its peers. But those who played the first game will find even more to admire, because it improves not only the things that didn't work, but the things that quite clearly did. We all know about the changes that have been made to the combat - every game magazine and website, including this one, has been banging on about them for months. Only now, though, having pumped over 40 hours into this dark, second act, do we know the true extent of BioWare's commitment to bettering what's gone before.

Firstly, let's go through the obvious stuff. The cumbersome inventory system has been streamlined to the point where you don't actually have an inventory at all. Instead, you have a base set of weapons - shared by all party members - that can be upgraded through scientific research in the Normandy tech lab. Then, before embarking on a mission, you're given the opportunity to set your loadout. It's simple and effortless, like yoghurt.

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50 Comments

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User Comments

SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

I am definitely
Definitely buying this
Screw the fact I never had the first one.
It can't ruin the game, escpecially when it looks this awesome.
Posted 09:29 on 26 January 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

I feel guilty for not playing the first game now. Do I need to in order to get the most out of the sequel?
Posted 09:29 on 26 January 2010
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

That was good timing, I just finished Mass Effect 1 on Insanity which was the last achievement for me to get :)

Now my German Shepard is loitering with intent to get imported into Mass Effect 2.
Posted 08:36 on 26 January 2010
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga

"It's simple and effortless, like yoghurt."

Bugger, I thought I'd chosen my MOTM prize. It wasn't going to be ME2, but now I'm thinking how it cannot be. Great review, Wes. I'm feeling quite alot of love for this game.
Posted 08:25 on 26 January 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

Wes - you have just made my week - can't wait for this to arrive. Fantastic Review!
Posted 08:24 on 26 January 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Mass Effect 2
10
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: 234 6
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