Top 10: Things that will make Mass Effect 2 magic

Top 10: Things that will make Mass Effect 2 magic
Wesley Yin-Poole Updated on by

I’ll preface this by saying that Mass Effect is an absolute wonder of a game. As I said in the review, it’s a sci-fi fan’s wet dream. However, we know that developer BioWare is developing Mass Effect as a trilogy, so, with that in mind, we thought we’d put together’s Top 10: Things that will make Mass Effect 2 magic. Read on and please, buy the game tomorrow.

10. Sort out the graphical glitches.

Mass Effect’s graphics are tremendous. The in-game cut-scenes, character detail and level environments are some of the best available on the console. Which makes it all the more annoying to see the frame rate drop to worrying levels on occasion, frequent tearing and regular texture pop-in. First things first BioWare: get Mass Effect 2 optimised for the 360.

9. Loading times.

We appreciate BioWare’s effort to disguise the game’s loading, we really do. It’s a nice touch to have lifts taking you to different levels in your ship, the Normandy, and in most of the game world’s installations. It’s an even nicer tough to have radio snippets played while you wait, and the odd bit of dialogue. But really, you spend waaay too much time in lifts in Mass Effect. The silliest is on the Normandy, where the lift takes ages to go what can’t be more than 20 metres. This probably has something to do with the game having to access completely from the disc, but we’d love to see lifts sped up. This is the future after all!

8. Make using the Mako rover more interesting.

The Mako rover isn’t as fun to use as it ought to be. This is less to do with the Mako itself, and more to do with the sections of the game where you use it. What you end up doing is driving around, zooming in on lots of Geth and taking them out with the cannon and running the odd enemy down. It can get a bit boring after a while, and the camera certainly doesn’t have a good time. We want more roadkill and more destruction, more interesting enemies to go up against in the Mako, and even a co-op mode (more on that later) where one drives and one shoots, Halo style.

7. Better side quests.

I loved most of the side quests in Mass Effect. But they weren’t much of a departure from what BioWare did with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It very much follows a pattern of talking to an NPC, pick up mission, running a few errands, then turning it in. We’d like BioWare to have a look at the side-quests with a view to making them a bit more interesting.

6. More planets to explore.

When you first get access to the Galaxy Map the Mass Effect universe can seem a bit daunting, with tonnes of star systems and planets to explore. But you soon realise that the game world isn’t as big as it first looks. You can’t land on most of the planets, only scan them and others will only have some information available to read. One of the best things about Mass Effect is going off on a tangent from the main story and simply exploring new planets, but there aren’t enough of them. We’d like a much bigger universe and more planets to land on please.

5. Being able to control other squad members.

Mass Effect has some of the most memorable squad members ever. From the menacing Krogan Battlemaster Urdnot Wrex to the considered Turian Garrus Vakarian, each has a fully fleshed out back story and genuine character development. But one of the things I thought as I had these guys by my side was, wouldn’t it be cool to be able to control them once in a while? Don’t get me wrong, I never tired of my Commander Shepard – I just longed on occasion for the opportunity to take Wrex out on a solo mission, bludgeoning everything before him. How cool would that be?

4. Blur the line between right and wrong.

There are many tough decisions to make in Mass Effect. But very rarely is the line blurred between right and wrong. I can only think of one or two missions that posed me a genuine moral conundrum. Sometimes no-one is right or wrong, and the arguments for and against are not clear cut. I’d like more of this please.

3. Interrupting NPCs using the conversation wheel.

Mass Effect’s conversation wheel is great. It’s intuitive, efficient and quick. It also helps that you don’t pick the exact statement you will make, more of a summary, so you never know how your character will put what you want them to say. But it’s not a revolution, and doesn’t include interrupting, which would be a fantastic addition to the dialogue system. It could be a way to subtly impose yourself, perhaps earn more Renegade points as a result. If you then wait for someone to finish what they have to say, that might earn you Paragon points. And what about being able to control your level of interest in what is being said, displayed through your facial expression? That could be a useful way of annoying NPCs, or getting them to reveal more interesting information. Whatever, it looks like we’ve only seen the beginning of what can be done with Mass Effect’s conversation wheel.

2. Equipment management.

One of the biggest issues I had with Mass Effect was how you manage your equipment. When you reach the 150 item limit, everything you pick up you have to dump – you can’t get rid of old stuff from your inventory. Obviously this needs to be fixed, as well as implementing an optimise button so you can quickly kit yourself and your party out in the best gear you have in the dustbin that is your back pack. Then we can stop wasting time checking we have the best stuff equipped at all times and get back to the action.

1. Online co-operative play.

Mass Effect is one of the greatest single-player experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of indulging in. But imagine how great a multiplayer game it could be? Three-player co-op through Xbox Live, with full support for voice communication. You could bring in your character from the single-player game to take on special commando missions custom made for co-operative play, or even the main story, if BioWare could make it work, like Halo 3. And what about a VS mode? Two teams battle each other in a Gears of War-style online multiplayer offering? I’m excited just typing this stuff.