Published on February 1st, 2011 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Mass Effect 2 Playstation 3 Review
Mass Effect 2
Release Date: Jan. 18, 2011
ESRB Rating: M
Genre: Third Person/ RPG
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Mass Effect 2 is un-doubtably one of the best games that we have seen this console generation. Sure we have all seen great games come down the pipe year after year, but Mass Effect is a generation defining game. There has only been a title or two that I personally went back to play on multiple occasions this generation, and now with the addition of Mass Effect 2 on Playstation 3, I now have completed this game for the third time.
For all you PS3 fans out there, who never had the luxury of playing the first game, don’t fret. Mass Effect 2 gives you an interactive way to view the events from the previous title. Players will make choices from the in-game comic book feature that will, in turn, show the repercussions in the second game. The only downside to that is you will not have the luxury of transporting the character you have created and molded through one game into the sequel. So how does Bioware’s Sci-Fi opera translate to Playstation 3 owners? Again, as on of the best.
The Mass Effect series is a story driven, Sci-Fi RPG that puts you in the shoes of one of the elite specters “Commander Shepard”. There is a device known as the ”Mass Relay” that can move humans from one side of the galaxy to outer rims of another, where alien races and species have been living amongst each other for years. With humans now mixed into the bunch, humanity fights for galactic trust with a threat that is brewing on the horizon.
Your first encounter with the game will be a troubling one. Commander Shepard’s ship and crew come under fire and you witness some of your crew (including yourself) get sucked out into the vacuums of space and ultimately die. You’ll soon be picked up and resurrected by a “HUMANS ONLY” group called “Cerberus” for one reason. Stop the Collectors. The Collectors are a species that targets human colonies and with each colony overrun. The Collectors grow stronger and stronger, as does the will of Cerberus. You will be in charge of gathering an elite team of some of the galaxies toughest fighters to aid in stopping the collectors from further invasion, until uncovering a deeper plot by Cerberus.
The best thing about the Mass Effect series, Mass Effect 2 in particular, is that the game is what you make it out to be. Your choices will flush out how the story will evolve. Who lives, who dies, who trusts you and who doesn’t. These factors all break down the brilliance of Mass Effect and will leave you wanting to play again and again to change certain outcomes. That being said, there are multiple endings to Mass Effect 2. Paragon/Renegade choices will shape the Shepard you created into how the universe sees him. Good and heroic choices will go Paragon and evil deeds or “Ass-Hole” like comments will be pure Renegade. The choice is yours, and as stated earlier, they will make a difference in the outcome of gameplay. Be careful of some of your choices and who you play. These choices and ending from Mass Effect2 will be relevant in Mass Effect 3.
Mass Effect 2 is a third person shooter at it’s core, but it’s mechanics are in perfect bloom when Bioware added their magical RPG touch. Though some choices in the conversation system are a bit limited on what can be said, or how, the elements are still strong. Players level Shepard up by gaining experience points for killing enemies, completing missions, upgrading weapons and ship, and even conversation choices. There are a ton of side missions to complete as well, so be sure to check them out. Many of which tie fluidly into the story line.
(He’ll Never See it Coming!)
At the start of the game you will choose your class of character. Soldiers are highly weapon trained and can fire any kind of weapon with ease and precision. Vanguards and Sentinels are bionic class characters, so weapons will be limited to pistols and smaller sub machine guns. Knowing these classes when going into the game will pay big dividens as you progress.
The heart of Mass Effect 2 will have you gathering team members to your cause in taking down The Collectors. Travel the various systems in search of the best of the best. Before each mission you embark on you will need to take two other party members with you. Each character has different traits, so knowing their attributes and what you will need for the mission at hand will become vital. For each of your party members to gain for confidence and trust in you, they will ask you to help them on a personal task of theirs. Doing those will gain their trust in you and in turn could help keep them alive in the end. Remember to keep in communication with each of your party members to gain and keep their loyalty. This is also the case between missions.
The Playstation 3 version of the game looks beautiful. The PS3 version is using the graphics engine that they are currently using to build Mass Effect 3. The detail is tremendous and sadly enough does put the XBox 360 version down a notch. I loved how detailed and lavish the worlds looked in the 360 version last year, but the palettes that were used in the new engine look remarkable. Each characters animations look fluid and are not always stuck in one spot. The characters will move around, interacting with you and the environment when the conversation meter is active. This will become apparent to you when going through the games opening cut scene when Shepard is trying to save his crew from the exploding Normandy.
The ship that Shepard commands is nearly a separate character in itself. You will have to consistently travel to different planets to mine for minerals that will have to be used for ship upgrades, and armor and weapons. Each member of your party will have their own unique spot on the ship, making it easy to find them when you are looking to talk to them. Your state room is on the top floor of the Normandy and items that you find on different planets or pets you buy from specialty shops can all be found here.
The Final Truth:
Mass Effect 2 is a fantastic game that transitioned very well to the Playstation 3. Many PS3 owners will be extremely grateful that they can now play one of the best series this generation on their console. In Fact, this may be the best version of Mass Effect with not only the updated graphics engine, but the six plus hours of expansions that are included. This is one of the deepest stories you will play to date and has so much character depth that it rivals many films of today. Music, voice acting, and the story book narrative leaves Mass Effect 2 as not only one of the best PS3 games to date, but one of the best games this generation. Yes, this game did receive high honors from a majority of us here at GAMINGtruth.com for the Xbox 360 version, but playing this over again on the Playstation 3 left me realizing how captivating this game truly is.
+ Visually Stunning
+ Fantastic Story
+ Smooth Combat System
+ Beautiful Environments
+ Tons of Content
– Limited in Conversation