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Mass Effect 2

By S.A. Renegade on February 11, 2010 in Reviews

Final verdict: B-
Final playtime: 65 hours

Holy shit this just in you guys. Mass Effect 2 doesn’t suck. I enjoyed ME1 despite the fact that it wasn’t that good, so I decided, eh what the hell. I’ll give ME2 a shot. I didn’t expect it to be any better than the first one but turns out they’ve actually improved the thing quite a bit.

The first thing I noticed (that I cared about) is that the gameplay feels a lot better. Your movement while running around normally is still sluggish and gay, but once you pull out your gun it becomes tight as fuck. Just to give you a comparison, when I first started playing ME1 the battles felt slow, awkward and frustrating. But in ME2 I got into it immediately. I daresay that’s an improvement. Your movement has been improved, the cover system, aiming, everything. In fact, one big difference between this game and the first one is that now you’re able to use weapons effectively from the get go. In ME1 your aim at first was shitty, shaking around all over the place and your accuracy would improve as you leveled up. While I certainly didn’t mind that, I have to admit that the gameplay in ME2 is improved by the fact that accuracy no longer exists. Now your aim is steady just like any other shooter and your bullet will go where you pointed the crosshair at. That’s right, you can snipe dudes in the dick at level 1 no problem.

The game also steals other shooter staples like the regenerating shields and even regenerating health after you wait a few seconds. It now also makes use of an ammo system. Back in ME1 guns had infinite ammo, though they could overheat if you fired for too long without waiting. Now you can run out of bullets and you even have to reload. Weapons can’t carry much ammo and you run out fast but enemies drop a lot of it so it’s nothing special. Ultimately these gameplay improvements shift Mass Effect 2 more towards the shooter side and away from the RPG side. This isn’t a bad thing.

As in ME1, the conversation system is probably the best thing about this game. I already talked about it in my ME1 review and it’s pretty much identical here, so I won’t get into it again. It’s still very good, and as usual you get paragon/renegade points based on what you do which is great. In fact, a lot of times this system is what makes a lot of missions fun.

Something they’ve added to it that’s really cool is the ability to press RT or LT in the middle of a conversation when it comes up to interrupt exchanges with a paragon or renegade action. So a dude can be in the middle of saying something and you can press RT to kick him in the balls. Or shove him off a 1000 story building. Or shoot him. Or whatever else.

But of course it’s not all perfect. Like in ME1, probably the biggest flaw of the paragon/renegade system is that the game punishes you for not picking a side and sticking to it. Which is gay because sometimes the paragon action is too retarded or the renegade option is too dickish. But if you decide to take both paragon AND renegade actions or, god forbid, neutral options eventually you just won’t have enough points for charm/intimidate later on. Which means you’re fucked when it comes to resolving conflicts.

They’ve also revamped the romance aspect of the game, now letting you hook up with pretty much any of your party members. But frankly? It still sucks a dick. Why? Because, aesthetically, people in this game range from mediocre to abominable. Plus none of them are particularly likeable anyway so ME2 is miles behind things like the Persona series in this regard. But hey, at least they didn’t fill it with tasteless and possibly disgusting alien sex scenes so they get points for that.

Something that was advertised extensively about Mass Effect was how your actions in the first game would carry over to the second. Since NO ONE has their xbox from a year ago when they played ME1 because Microsoft is composed of a bunch of cheapass faggots, I actually had to go and dig up my old xbox to switch the HDD. What I mean to say is, fuck you Microsoft. Secondly, I ain’t remember basically anything from ME1 because it was more than a year ago and my care meter about it is like this: ||

But whatever. The game does an ok job of reminding you what the fuck it was you did in the previous game, and what carries over is pretty interesting. From obvious big things like the final decision you make in ME1 or whether or not you let Wrex die, to smaller things such as bringing back old people that say and treat you differently depending on what you did to them in ME1. They even help out by casually mentioning certain things you did for us who don’t give enough of a shit to remember. So yeah, it’s decently done.

But whatever. Believe it or not, there are some things in ME2 that were actually done better in the first one. For example. Now killing enemies doesn’t give you exp! What the fuck Bioware? Now you only get your exp reward right at the end of the mission and it’s always a set value. This makes the game even less of an RPG, and this time not in a good way. It’s way more rewarding when every enemy gives you some exp. Now the only way to get exp is at the end of missions. Which means that it’s all FIXED. Say you’d like to get more exp but you don’t have any missions lined up. You’re fucked. There is no way for you to get it. Is this game even an RPG anymore? ’cause I have my fucking doubts at this point.

Oh also? The level cap in ME2 is much lower than in ME1. But the problem of hitting it doesn’t exist, what with it being impossible to get more exp than what the developers intended.

I also miss the ME1 system of giving you exp for everything from talking to people to opening chests, finding things, etc. It made everything you did more worthwhile. At least finding things gives you money (although only in missions).

Oh, and speaking of money. God FUCKING dammit. In ME1 the problem was that you had 9999999 money and nothing to buy. In this game the problem is the complete opposite. Things are ridiculously expensive and money is impossible to get. Fucking sons of bitches, ugh. Ok, looks like I’m going to have to explain this again to you dipshits: things should be expensive, and money should be scarce but there is a fucking difference between scarcity and being unable to fucking get it at all. A friend even told me he thinks it’s literally impossible to buy all the things stores sell. It wouldn’t surprise me with the way they handled things. If you want money, the ONLY way to get it is to go do a mission. But what happens if you don’t have any missions? Same thing as with exp. You’re fucked. Forget about buying that shotgun upgrade.

Next, I didn’t think this was actually possible, but they somehow managed to make mining in this game worse than it was in ME1. Now you don’t have to land on planets, you just scan the entire surface and send probes to get it, but holy mother fucking shit I’m not joking when I say that this is horrendous. It’s so MIND NUMBINGLY boring and you need to do it tons to get all the upgrades and it takes so fucking long, which means that a significant portion of Mass Effect 2 is spent wishing you were doing something else. Seriously, how could something like this slip by? Easy: it didn’t. The developers were fully aware of how shitty this was and left it in, probably thinking “oh, the rest of the game is good, people won’t mind the fact that this part is no fun”.

Welp, time for another lesson for you retards: NO. It’s not alright to leave shitty things in the game just because it’s good overall. You need to always strive for excellence. You need to make the game the best it can be. Sure, time and resources are limited so a lot of times you gotta settle for less than the best but seriously, the mining in this game? It would’ve been better off without it entirely.

Another problem is that the missions are generally fun because of the dialogue options and actions you can take in them and the subsequent paragon/renegade points you may get. But the problem is that the side-missions don’t have any of this, which makes them kind of boring. Once I only had 2 real missions left and spent like a day doing all the unimportant side-missions I almost lost interest in the whole game.

So yeah. Mass Effect still has a ways to go to truly become amazing. It probably will never even get there, but the polishing they’ve done here has turned the game from merely enjoyable to pretty good! The game also SEEMS longer than the first one but I have this sneaking suspicion that that extra length is due to all that time wasted mining. So you get no points for that, ME2.

Final Verdict: B-

Final Playtime: 65 hours (probably like half of that was spent mining. Fuck me.)

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