Mass Effect 2 – Review (PS3)

Mass Effect had always been the one XBox 360 franchise that I’d wanted to play – Gears Of War? Alan Wake? Halo? All good games I’m sure but not tempting to me. Mass Effect? Yes please 🙂

So it was great news for me at last year’s E3 when it was announced that Mass Effect 2 would be coming to PS3, with all the DLC (at the time) and even an interactive comic to explain the events of the first game (which was published by Microsoft and has no chance of appearing on the PS3).

Before I weigh in on the game itself – did Bioware deliver on their promises for the package?

DLC – totally. It’s seamlessly integrated, so much so that some of the missions I went through without even realising they were DLC.

Interactive Comic – not really. I mean there is an interactive comic, which is great and you do get to make all the big game changing choices from the first game but it is far too short and not deep enough. How can I be expected to make these big choices without having a bit more background on it all?

I went for a female Shepard as it’s not often you have the chance to play as a female lead.

Anyway, on to the main game and I can safely say Mass Effect 2 is one of the deepest games I’ve played. In much the same way as Fallout 3 plays out different for each person that plays it, this is a game where your overall story will be the same but the variables between start and end are numerous. It says something that I had minimum frustration and didn’t really get bored at all with a game that clocks in at over 32 hours

I won’t discuss the story at all as I don’t want to spoil anything for people that haven’t played it yet. Needless to say it’s your standard save the universe fair and with the game set in space that’s literally the universe you’ll be saving 😆

Control-wise things are as you’d expect for a third person shooter, although you’ll have other abilities/weapons that can be activated by using the shoulder buttons. You also control your two squad mates, so holding a button opens a radial menu where you can direct their attacks and choose what powers they use.

Between missions you’ll be free to roam your ship and talk to crew members, although the lengthy load screens from moving between floors of the ship may put you off too much of that.

It is good to talk to the crew though as it can help secure their loyalty and unlock new abilities/costumes for them.

Graphically the game looks good with some stunning design but is limited at times in the same way Fallout struggles with framerate – at one stage I was forced to fight a battle effectively frame by frame. Thankfully that was a one off and most of the slow down was a rare occurrence.

There are plenty of side missions for you to tackle and you can also explore the galaxy, mining planets for materials to upgrade your ship/weapons.

Mass Effect 2 is a well made, well thought out game that packs a punch emotionally as well. It’s one of the few games where I’ve still been thinking of regrets a few days after finishing it. That doesn’t happen very often and it’s the sign of a brilliant game. Great stuff.

Rating: 10/10

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  1. Id have to agree with everything you said. I had never played the game till I got the PS3 version and I agree with your comments about the Comic book stuff.
    I may have to replay the game playing as a women though to see how the game changes since I have played it through as a bloke

    • Yeah it was quite interesting having that type of character as woman. Not sure how much would it would change the dynamics of the relationship with the crew – let me know if you do as I’d be interested to hear what you think.

  2. Loved this game and I was addicted for months after I first bought it. While I still haven’t finished the main story because I’d been side-tracked with side missions until my gaming backlog grew insurmountably large, the overall experience has been immensely satisfying. The story, while convoluted at times, isn’t too difficult to follow. The voice-acting, for the most part, is tremendous.

    My biggest gripes with the game are the ridiculously long load times and the questionable squad AI. There’s been times where squad members have gotten me killed because they got in my way or didn’t do as I intended. The load times have occasionally been a deterrent to my playing when I only have 30 minutes to kill, because I know I’ll be sitting there for a good portion of that time, waiting for the game to load.

    I love the depth of the universe and the level of customization to Shepard’s appearance. I’ve yet to see another game match both qualities.

    • Agree with all that – those load times were a killer, especially on the ship.

  3. […] Mass Effect 2 was a stellar title and has to be among the front runners for Game Of The Year. Telling the story of Commander Shepard, the game had an overall story arc but you were in control of the character’s main actions and decisions. Decisions which could skew the game in a number of ways. Mass Effect 3 looks to continue this space set drama and with the invasion of Earth as the back drop, it looks like it could be one not to miss. […]

  4. […] of the contenders for Game Of The Year, Mass Effect 2, brings some DLC that bridges the gap between 2 and upcoming sequel Mass Effect […]

  5. […] Mass Effect 2 was nailed on to win this right up until the moment I fired up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, created a character and set off into the massive world Bethesda have made for you to shape your own story. I don’t think I have ever played a game that feels so organic before. Everything you do feels like a part of the story, indeed there is scope here for you to barely touch the main missions and just create a story of your own to play through. If you’re someone that enjoys single player games and is happy to get lost within a game for hours upon end, this was the title for you in 2011. I also have to give a nod to Resistance 3, which had – in my opinion – the best story of the entire series and seems to have be sadly overlooked by the public at large. […]

  6. […] Mass Effect 2 was one of my favourite games from this generation, giving the chance to shape the destiny of whatever version of Commander Shepard that you created. So I was really excited to see how Bioware were going to close out the trilogy. […]

  7. […] them. It’s not often that happens with game characters – probably The Walking Dead, Mass Effect and Uncharted games are the most recent examples I can think […]

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