For the love of Mass Effect


 

Mass Effect 2 is the best game I have played in quite a long time.  It’s deep narrative, wealth of absorbing and always fun missions, cast of interesting and well-realised characters, and gameplay mechanics that blend straight forward arcade action with the complexities of RPGs, makes for one of the most fully rounded games I think I have ever got my hands on.  Following on from my initial, positive ‘impressions‘ a little while back, I have since played through the campaign and completed all side missions including downloadable content.  I must also salute the game’s art style, which although using Unreal Engine 3, felt much classier and stylish than you see in the likes of Bullet Storm or Gears Of War. 

To those unacquainted with the Mass Effect series, they are basically Star Trek the video game in all but name.  You start out creating your own character, then become the captain of a starship, and are sent on missions around a huge galaxy filled with planets where you can recruit new members of your crew, solve conflicts and take on evil races, such as the Geth and particularly this time around, the Borg-like Collectors.  The game’s RPG elements allow for branching conversation paths that lead to different outcomes depending on your answers to certain questions, which basically means a second or third play through could lead you into previously unseen situations.  I particularly liked how, whilst the game was challenging in parts, it was never too hard that I stopped enjoying myself, and with brilliant implementation of a cover system and generous checkpoints, this was always a pleasure and never a chore.  Now taking into consideration that I’ve never been able to complete an RPG before, shows that this game (with 37 hours clocked in by the time it ended) offered something games like Final Fantasy XIII or Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion clearly lacked.

If by some major oversite you haven’t played this game yet, I urge you to pick up a copy straight away – you won’t be disappointed.

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