If you are a hardcore (or even slightly more than casual) gamer then odds are you fall into one of two categories. Either you are the gamer who has played the critically acclaimed Mass Effect 2 or you are the gamer who has said “I would totally play this video game if it came out for the PS3.” Myself, I fall into the first category. I enjoyed Mass Effect and totally loved Mass Effect 2. When news broke that BioWare was going to be releasing Mass Effect 2 for the Playstation 3 I got very excited. I aslo found this very confusing since I had already beaten it. Twice. I was actually playing Mass Effect through again so that I could replay Mass Effect 2 with a whole new history of my character.
For those who may not be familiar with the story let me give you the breakdown. You assume the roll of Commander Shepard a Council Spectre on a mission to clean up after the events of Mass Effect. You die a rather horrific death at the hands of a mysterious enemy only to be brought back to life by an controversial organization by the name of Cerberus. Your development is overseen by the fine backside of Miranda Lawson. After fighting your way out of the facility that help to recreate your glorious visage you meet the man who gave you new life. Martin Sheen.
He informs you that there has been a string of strange disappearances of human colonies at the fringe of the galaxy and you have been brought back to investigate. Throughout the game you assemble your team, shoot some stuff, blow some stuff up, have some conversations, and ultimately do what you can to help save the galaxy from a threat that will very well destroy everything to achieve it’s goal. That is because it’s goal is to pretty much destroy everything. So you can see the importance of helping out.
Mass Effect 2 – Controls
If you have played Mass Effect 2 then the controls are going to be pretty much exactly the way you remember them to be. If you haven’t then let me lay it out there: they are pretty damn tight. You will find yourself having a fairly good idea of what you are doing before you even start the game.
Where the game does a very good job is when it comes down to how you interact with your squad during times of combat. Bringing up a wheel that allows you to have your squad execute specific functions is fairly straightforward but what impresses is the lack of mistakes that are typically made. You almost have to try to make a mistake when telling your squad member to use a specific power on a specific enemy.
Mass Effect 2′s controls get a 4 out of 5
Mass Effect 2 – Gameplay
The gameplay in Mass Effect 2 is smooth, clean, and very very open. When I say its open I mean you can go off and explore the galaxy, you can stick to what you know, or you can just follow the basic story. You decide what you do, where you go, who you help, or how you help them. The only thing the game makes you do is recruit your crew and fight some bosses. How you do that is left entirely up to you. If your crew likes you and even if they make it through the end is left up to you.
And this is where the Gameplay either shines of fails. Lets face it, there just some people out there who flat out HATE open world games. If you are one of those people then this is not going to be a game that you enjoy. However this not open in the way that games like Fallout 3 and New Vegas are open. You can’t float around the Galaxy taking dinner plates and coffee mugs to store in a warehouse of a town you just brutally slaughtered so that you can set it up to be the most morbid and disturbing tea party of corpses ever imagined.
You have a mission to accomplish. Once you start your missions you don’t have much margin for error. I imagine you rarely do when everyone is shooting at you like they do in Mass Effect 2. But you are open to go about completing them however you bloody well like. You are open to go around the galaxy helping humanity and other civilizations or you are free to ignore the pleas of your crew and fellow galactic denizens.
Mass Effect 2′s gameplay gets a 4 out of 5
Mass Effect 2 – Graphics
When BioWare said that Mass Effect 2 would be build on the Mass Effect 3 engine I got all excited. I imagined that loading it up would open a hole to the heavens and a glorious warm light would bathe my system in a calming warmth and a choir of angels would sing as the game played. Yeah I was wrong.
The graphics on the Playstation 3 version of Mass Effect 2 are just as they were on the XBox 360 version. I don’t care what any side by side comparison online says. Unless you’re an overly nitpicky douche you’re not going to notice any difference other than things are a tad brighter on the Playstation 3.
The thing is that the graphics are still fantastic. The game still looks amazing. The worlds are still gorgeous and fascinating. The ship is still beautiful. Miranda still looks like a biologically enhanced smokin hottie who is better than you in every way, shape, and form.
Somehow my Comander Shepard is still ugly as sin.
Mass Effect 2′s graphics get a 4 out of 5
Mass Effect 2 – Story
When it was announced that Mass Effect 2 would come out and not Mass Effect the big question became “How will they be able to create the story from Mass Effect so that people playing would have some idea as to what the hell is going on?” To sum things up BioWare issued out a digital comic that summed up the back story quite well that allowed you to make the key decisions that were made in the first game to carry over into the new one.
The slight downside is that you don’t get the FULL back story. Ultimately this can leave anyone who never played the first Mass Effect to scratch their heads a bit, but its not going to be a total deal breaker.
But you don’t just get a digital comic. You get the Mass Effect 2 DLC missions. So you get the bonus goods for the price of the main game. So you may miss a little here and there but gain a big win in the long run.
Mass Effect 2′s story gets a 4 out of 5
Mass Effect 2 - Overall
Across the board 4′s can only give us one final tally. Mass Effect 2 is still gorgeous, still fun, still interesting, and the PS3 release gives us the DLC to also play. Overall Mass Effect 2 is getting a 4 out of 5.