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Mass Effect 2

Well I completed Mass Effect 2 and I must say I found it rather entertaining especially compared to its predecessor, when Mass Effect was released it caused a lot of waves in the ocean of the gaming world at the time from what I can remember was for its strong story, and an almost “give you total control” command system over your team and the interactivity and decisions system. I’m a sucker for a good storyline so when I saw Mass Effect on sale I jumped right on it only to be overall disappointed. I found the Command System of your team mates bugged at times one has to repeat the same command too often for the AI to actually execute what you would like or they may get stuck in a previous command and even for an “Action RPG” I found the main story to be rather short, while the remainder of the game was built up and lengthened with side quests but in all fairness it did have replay value due to the several moral decisions whether to follow the law or break it and the several Combat Classes that one can choose to play as amongst other things.

Transition to the Sequel

At first glance “Mass Effect 2” is different in appearance and feel than “Mass Effect”. The bright, welcoming, warm colors and shades of white and blue have been replaced by darker toned colors and shades such as red and black, the atmosphere is what I could call more serious or perhaps mature and  this continues throughout the entire game. After what you discovered in the first game there isn’t much to be jumping for joy about and of course being a title released 2 years later the graphics is superior and especially the detail in characters as for one is very obvious.

As for Mass Effect 2 even though I found the construction of the questing system an improvement over its predecessor, there were significantly more quests supporting the main storyline and also like its predecessor there were several side quests and tasks that one could choose not to do but may be an unwise move as those quests give players to opportunity to improve their characters as well as explore the gaming world.

Cinematic Intro and Weapon Upgrades

After starting off with an intense and a somewhat unexpected intro cinematic you are almost instantaneously thrown into gameplay and you are given a crash course of the main changes in gameplay which are minor a few additions I think more subtractions like my preferred ability to cycle through or choose specific weapons via the the “Function” command keys (F1, F2 etc…). The amount of commands that once could have been issued has been reduced I’m not sure if thats due to superior programming of the AI and them not being as suicidal as they use to be which is noticeably from how they tend to automatically go to the closest piece of cover but personally I liked having full control over them telling them who to attack (you can tell them who to use their special abilities on but from what I have noticed you cannot designate who they should attack overall), to hold position no matter what occurs etc…. They have also removed the vast inventory of different types of the various class of weapons instead now they have implemented a upgrade feature where you spend most of your time making your current weapons more effective and the occasional change to a different version of the weapon all together, you also now have an additional slot for “heavy weapons” so now you travel around with 5 weapons instead of the traditional 4 weapons form the first game but this is due to the sacrifice of your grenades which I kinda miss but I welcome the variation of heavy weaponry.

Paragon vs Renegade

So in true Mass Effect tradition you have your “Paragon” (Good) and “Renegade” (Bad) decision system once again you can choose which path to follow and of of course these decisions may come to assist you haunt you later on in the game. I conveniently didn’t mention this earlier but Mass Effect 2 offers the option to import your profile from the first game  so your combat class whether it was Soldier, Infiltrator etc… (you can choose to switch the class at this point in time also) all your past decisions and chosen path can be imported over along with some of the resources that you had collected in “Mass Effect” so don’t be surprised if that person who you screwed over in the first game comes after you int he sequel. So its once again time for you to gather a competent team, form relationships with your preferred characters choosing who you want on your team is totally up to you whether due to your gameplay type because each AI in a way operates slightly differently than the other or if its just a matter who you like versus who you don’t so its up to you. So you can decide to follow strictly the storyline or you can free explore one of the several uncharted star systems its totally up to you in true “RPG” fashion you have large control over the majority of the game overall its an enjoyable game and I think it may even more enjoyable for people with a “Mass Effect” background, there are one or two surprises and it feels good (and one looks forward) to see how your previous decisions affect your experience playing the game.

Mass Effect 2 is available now for the PC and Xbox 360. Visit the official site for more information.

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Ramano is a fan of the Far East and so tends to bask in such things as anime, manga and rpgs as a source of entertainment. Like many other indivudials of this generation he is also very interested in technology.

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