Reader Review: Mass Effect 2

Reader Review: Mass Effect 2

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Adrian decided he was ready to take up the challenge, giving us his love / hate parade for Mass Effect 2 (PC version). You’ll never guess where scanning ends up! OK, maybe you will…

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD or Blu-ray releases.

This review was submitted by Adrian Dowie. If you’ve cranked through Mass Effect 2, or just want to ask Adrian more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Mass Effect 2 (PC) Continuing the story from the previous game, Mass Effect 2 follows our favourite famous Flux dancing space hero. After being saved by the shadowy pro-human group Cerberus, Commander Shepard is again forced to deal with the threat of the Reapers in his own way. And he’s all out of gum.


Attention to detail: The visuals are very easy on the eyes but you can tell that the little things like the conversations on the Citadel with the alien selling games are there to add polish.

Story and ‘those’ moments: The story builds more on the Mass Effect universe and you will likely feel yourself drawn into it EVEN if you despise sci-fi. You know the moments that make you go “Did that just happen?” after you feel like something mind blowing just occurred? It happens. A lot.

It removed EVERYTHING bad from the original: Apart from Shepard’s dancing the majority of the bad parts from the first are gone. No more driving around planets aimlessly, the minigames are less of a chore, no more cluttered 500+ guns in your inventory and there are NO bases that have been copied and pasted into fifty parts of the game.

Decisions have an impact: It isn’t clear cut “lets save this orphanage and kill the giant green murderous aliens” kind of game and it would suffer if it was. The choices with no clear right or wrong really make you think and care about the consequences.

Sniping feels good this time: Combat is far better especially the cover system. Whereas in the first I felt comfortable enough to run around and barely use cover Rambo-style in the second I found myself being forced to use it (and loving it.)

Loading screens: Why? They are short on PC.


“I’ll let you handle it, Shepard!”: I’m not sure if it was me being terrible in ordering my squadmates around… but for a portion of the time where I was in firefights it seemed that the AI was content staying behind a box letting me handle it.

Scanning, Scanning, Scanning: I have heard some say that scanning is ‘relaxing’. If mundane tasks are relaxing then I’d be doing my tax earlier. It gets monotonous and by the end after you’ve scanned everything you’ll likely look at the 27+ hours put into the save game and go… “How much of that time was purely scanning?”.

Stuck: Sometimes… I just got stuck in the air. Very annoying having to reload saves.

Reliance on the previous game: Those moments after you see someone that you had met in the previous really polished the game and those moments would be lost on those who hadn’t played the first.

Overall Mass Effect 2 builds upon the good of the first to develop a deep and satisfying experience. If this instalment is anything to go by there remains no reason that Mass Effect 3 could be one of the greatest games of all time.

Reviewed by: Adrian Dowie

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. Again. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


  • *angry face*

    Was the new word limit in effect when I did my ME2 review? I broke my back getting it in around 300 words. :\

    Oh well kudos for upping the word limit, even if it makes me feel strangely like there’s more room for error xD

  • “Decisions have an impact: It isn’t clear cut “lets save this orphanage and kill the giant green murderous aliens” kind of game and it would suffer if it was. The choices with no clear right or wrong really make you think and care about the consequences.”

    really they basically are or they have little to no effect


    like on a loyalty mission no miranda dont shot him youll regret it then the bad guy behind that guy shoots him in the back

    Or Zaeeds mission Save the minning rig workers or let them burn to kill the guy who betrayed Zaeed

    ***SPOILER END***

    the decision’s made in ME1 have more of an impact in my mind and werent as linear but o well

    • I’m not sure if it was Justin, I didn’t see your review until just then and I’m not sure how you did it so well with so few words… I was struggling somewhat with 500. It’s the kind of game that makes you want to break the word limits.

      In regard to Alinos, while there are those type of decisions you mentioned… I’m referring to certain ones towards the end that really have you questioning.

      I don’t want to say anything without a safe way to not spoil the game.

      I think ME1s decisions are just as tough too, but I just felt like I had more responsibility this time around. I’m unsure if thats because of the way you arent’ reporting to the Council 24/7 or what…

  • Nice review!

    And thanks for upping the word limit, Kotaku!

    Also, I’ve never noticed you Seamus (or Mr. Burne). Admittedly I usually assume David’s written something for AU because I didn’t know anyone else posted here. Sorry about that!

  • Your choices and impact of those choices are the thing peter molonay (however the hell you spell it, I hate him so much I won’t bother to find out the correct spelling) could only dream of. This is the game that he is always talking about but never delivers. I enjoyed it as much as the first, so much so I dreamt of it after five to eight hour lock in sessions, woke up, and kept playing. Not many games can do that for me anymore.
    Things I didn’t like, The armour was cool to customise but there was very little of it, I looked at the walkthrough thinking i had alot to find and found out I already found it all, I hate how all the gun/inventory and armouring your teammates to all match was taken out. I hate having ammo with no explination as to why I need it all of a sudden. My gun in the first game after doing the game three times could kill anything in one or a few shots and never overheat, and that was all of them. I hate how you can’t take your helmet off if you decide to put the damn thing on until you go back to your ship and having to max out your good guy/bad guy stats in order to save everyone sucked, I like being both at the same time, more real that way, like I’m going to stop garrus from shooting that guy in the leg. There wasn’t any central villian like saren and big choices like when you need to set a nuke off and leave a crew member, it just felt like a game of sidequests and never ending scanning and alot of stuff doesn’t carry on through on replay like the first game did. what were they thinking with all that scanning? and if you replay it you’ll have to do it all…AGAIN! And why can’t I drive anymore? sure alot of people hated that buggy thing, but I was one of the few that liked it, it made the worlds feel bigger, not just landing at the front door. And the create a face thing still sucks! Other games have far better and simpler ones, I had trouble not getting him to look like me, but just to get him made without looking retarded. WWE game ones are pretty good.

    Anyway besides those complaints and only made because they were taken out of the first game, anything else I have no problem with, I did get stuck in the sky once on the xbox version as mentioned, but overall this is one of the best games ever made, it’s well written, giant, all the things to show how far games have come.

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