Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Justin does, as he says "Wrex." "Shepard?" "Wrex." "Shepard?" "Wrex." ad nauseum.
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 releases.
This review was submitted by Justin Robson. If you’ve played Mass Effect 2, or just want to ask Justin more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Mass Effect 2 (360, PC)
The first Mass Effect did a lot of things right. Mass Effect 2 definitely lives up to its name, and does more things even, uh... righterer.
Aesthetic: ME2 is an incredibly beautiful game, and not just from a technical standpoint, it’s a work of art. The environments seem endless, and the lighting engine and the overall level of detail create an atmosphere that sucks you right in and doesn’t let go. There’s more jaw-dropping moments in ten minutes of ME2 than there are in the entirety of most games.
Story/Dialogue: ME2 rivals Hollywood, and it’s hard to say that lightly. There are a few stiff responses from Shepard him/herself, but aside from that, Bioware have made it a top priority to create movie quality cinematics, and it shows. You might just find you have a small audience looking over your shoulder while you’re playing.
Combat Pros: The combat is greatly improved over the first. The game feels more like a shooter now, with less RPG formalities holding you back. Most of what you need you’ll find on the way, and checkpoints are a lot more lenient this time around.
Combat Cons: Teammate AI is somewhat sloppy. They sometimes don’t take any notice of you or the enemy. There’s no switching between teammates either, so when Shepard dies, that’s it. The clunky cover system doesn’t help; in cover you might either not have an angle, or you just can’t shoot at all. There’s also a disturbing lack of blindfire. The combat isn’t necessarily bad, but it lacks the polish of most recent shooters.
Loading/Disc Swaps: The 360’s drive is definitely beginning to show some noticeable limitations. Load times are excruciating, and disc swaps, depending on where you go, happen a bit too frequently.
More Story Than You Can Handle: You kind of need to have paid attention during the first game. If you missed out, or just skimmed over it, you may want to consider brushing up.
Mass Effect 2 is a deep and engrossing experience, and while there are more than a few imperfections in its technical execution, the good almost makes the bad seem like nothing.
Reviewed by: Justin Robson
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 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.