Community Review: Mass Effect 2

It was a slow January for games, with Dead Space 2, LittleBigPlanet 2 and Ghost Trick being the only real highlights, and Feb isn't looking too hot either so we thought we'd throw out a Community Review to all those people experiencing Mass Effect 2 for the first time - whether that's on the newly released PS3 version or coming in slightly late to the 360 version. Even if you just want to talk about Mass Effect in general - this is the place to do it.

I'm also keen to hear the opinions of those that have double dipped - picking up the PS3 version after having played Mass Effect 2 on the PC or 360. Have you noticed any differences in terms of visuals or general performance. Apparently Mass Effect 2 on the PS3 features many of the engine improvements Bioware are working on for Mass Effect 3, so you'd hope to see an improvement in some areas.

I've been slightly inspired by a message from my brother, who just finished Mass Effect 2 on the 360. The message read: "that was up there with the best 24 hours I've ever spent in my life". I know plenty of you guys were big fans of Mass Effect 2, having voted it the Kotaku game of year, but what exactly is it about Mass Effect 2 that you love?


    Jennifer Hale asking "What sound do you think you'll make when you hit the ground? Do you think you'll hear it before you die?"

    Watching Harbinger disintegrate after blowing his head off with the Widow.

    Everything. Except Planet Scanning & the Hammerhead.

      Completely Agree, Planet Scanning the only flaw in the game and the occasional repeated mission or the confusing mission

    I loved Miranda. An Aussie who wasn't drunk 90% of the time. It's inspiring!

    To keep it short and simple-

    The shooting
    The cinematic camera stuff
    The overall feel of the game

    Just how damn stripped down the rpg mechanics were. I would have liked just a little bit more in that regard.

      You know.. this sounds remarkably like my review of Gothic 4.. Loved almost everything about it, except the dumbed down rpg and spell elements. You'd think for a sequel.. especially following something that did so well, they would enhance it. Almost seems like in both these cases, they might have tried to strip a bit out for the sake of n00bs or something to try and hook a new crowd, but I think that only tends to hurt the enthusiasm of the already engrossed player. Developers really need to start thinking hard about these choices before implementing them, or at least offer a choice in game. Full RPG or dumbed down. I can understand some people just don't want to have to deal with that sort of thing, especially console players who are more action oriented, but for the RPG fanatic, it's just a slap in the face.

      Yeah pretty much was an awesome story driven 3rd person shooter.
      But as an RPG mechanics wise? Not so much.
      You had about 2 of each weapon (except for all the ones they conveniently want you to pay for), no weapon customisation, very little armor choices and a basic skill tree. With a standard clips 'n' ammo system and few abilities all the chest high walls made me think of a futuristic Gears Of War.
      I know an RPG is supposedly about the story but players of the genre generally want a bit more choice and character personalisation.

      It is still one of my favorite games but I don't think I will be buying Dragon Age 2 if this is the direction they will be taking it.

    Ah yes, Reapers.

      We have dismissed that claim.

        Well played, sir.

    so this is my second playthrough and loved it on the 360.... I heards alot of great things about the insanity difficulty level and i have to say that its like a different game! this is by far one of, if not the finest game i have ever experienced.

    I'd love to give my impressions, but my copy STILL hasn't arrived from Do they send their stuff by goddamn Pony Express or something? Not impressed.

      Roayl Mail, same difference.

        I know somebody who ordered a game from them which apparently shipped on January 7th. Today is one month to the day and he still hasn't seen it. I can't see myself ordering from them again for anything I actually want to play around release date.

          I've never ordered from ozgameshop before, I was going to start using them but what you're telling me is really turning me off. Are they generally this slow or is this an exception?

          Anyway, about ME2: Game is freakin' awesome. There are a few small bugs and the audio/video sync is off sometimes but nothing that has annoyed me that much. I see now why it it was voted GOTY by you guys. I haven't finished it yet so I am looking forward to playing it on the insanity level :o

            Well, I actually ordered 2 games from them - ME2 and NBA Jam. NBA Jam shipped on the 14th (a week AFTER my mate's copy of NFS:HP allegedly shipped), and arrived a week later. But then the other two (my copy of ME2 and my mate's NFS:HP) are still nowhere to be seen.

            I guess the lesson is that if it's something you want to play soon, like a new release or whatever, then don't go with ozgameshop. If it's not all that urgent and you don't mind waiting a month or longer, then their prices are good so give them a try.

            The issue for me is that I really want to finish ME2 before Killzone 3 arrives. Previous experience with ordering stuff from the UK has items usually arriving in about a week to 10 days. This seems to be a fair bit slower.


              I've pre-ordered (and paid for) DA2 with them because the price was about half as much as the cheapest retail box in Australia.

              Oh well.

                Well if you actually want it around launch day (i.e. within a week or two) you may want to cancel your order and go elsewhere. If you don't mind waiting then just leave it as-is and think about the savings :P

                The other thing that was a (minor) annoyance to me was that ME2 released on Thursday, but they didn't actually ship mine until the following Monday - you'd think if you pre-ordered something they'd at least ship it on launch day.

    I've started the PS3 version....I'm scared it's going to corrupt my save game if I play for more than an hour.

    Things I don't like.
    1. It's buggy
    2. Videos are out of sync worse than a dubbed Hong Kong action film.
    3. Their stupid comic that doesn't give you enough choices...I was paragon right up till Feros where apparently I went insane...hmmm
    4. Guy Shepard harbours secret feelings for a dead Kaidan even though he made smoochies with Liara....
    5. Did I mention it's buggy....

    Overall Mass Effect 2 was great..on PC and 360 where I saw the efforts of my level 60 space hag come fruition with the little things. On PS3 it feels cold and pointless, like a money grab. Which it is. Still I look forward to the upcoming content..

      hmm 10+ hours into the game and i have yet to encounter one 'bug', im certainly not worried about my ps3 corrupting my save games, hasnt ever happened to me (you've gotta be an unlucky bugger to have that happen, some say its karma based)

      scanning is a little boring but otherwise enjoying the game

      I thought the save game corruption bug had been patched already? I know they said they had submitted the patch to Sony a while back - I assume it's been released by now?

      Tough **** to anybody whose console isn't internet connected, though...

        You would assume that, but as far as I know we're still waiting. Or we were yesterday.

    The conversation interrupt system. I couldn't help it, but I just punching that mouthy dude in the face over and over. You know the one I mean.

    But the crowning achievement was the characters. Tore me apart when two of them died in the end.

    So far, its excellent, even through the bugs.

    Story (well written, fairly mature)
    Action (more fast paced than the original)
    Deep Sci-Fi (Quantum Entanglement Theory!)
    Creature Design (Awesome looking aliens, all looking like plausible life forms)
    Dialogue and choices (punching the reporter)

    Didn't like:
    Audio out of sync with some videos
    unable to skip intro sequence
    interactive comic simultaneously too long and too short (being very picky here)
    load times (even when installed on the hard drive, it still takes for the elevator in the normandy light years to get anywhere)
    Planet scanning (while initially interesting, very quickly gets boring and tedious)

    Overall, a very satisfying purchase.

      except when probing uranus, i never got sick of that!

    What you've really got to love is the -universe-. The setting itself, more than any of the (admittedly great) characters. It's so richly detailed, with realistic interpretations of fantastic concepts, like space battles.

    But I think that Mass Effect 2 really dulled down a lot of the experience in that regard; the Codex was, while longer, not as full of the same effort. Maybe it's because it was only fleshing out already-explained concepts, but it didn't feel as immersive or detailed.

    Switching from a realistic explanation for infinite ammo to "clips" was stupid, by the way. Really, really stupid. Mostly because they were non-reusable, and because it took some more of that delicious sci-fi edge out of it.

    All in all, though, it's the most powerful and engaging new IP to be released since the start of this console generation. Looking forward to big things in ME3!

    Oh yeah, more things I didn't like. Nitpicks ahead! :3

    I want EA-based cloud saving! Let me play my Mass Effect 1 and 2 saves on PC, even though I supported the series on 360 originally!

    The other thing that Mass Effects both 1 and 2 really needed was an epilogue. At the end of each game you were able to make a powerful, wide-reaching decision... which you don't get to feel the impact of until the next game, three years down the track. Even if it was a cutscene, showing the effects over the next few months-to-years would have helped so much!

      "Switching from a realistic explanation for infinite ammo to “clips” was stupid, by the way. Really, really stupid. Mostly because they were non-reusable, and because it took some more of that delicious sci-fi edge out of it."

      This. Partly because it goes against the perfectly reasonable explanation they gave in the first game, but also because the reason they gave was so silly that it's obvious it was done to pander to the shooter crowd.

        -Exactly- my point. Should have kept true to their RPG roots...

        I realise also that I sounded pretty seriously negative in my comments above. This is because I chose to not wax lyrical about the good portions of the game. That is to say, anything I didn't mention explicitly was absolutely amazing. Sound design, voicework, art, atmosphere, the game's concept, the way you load the old save, choices, not calculations, and so on, and so on.

        Mass Effect is my favourite franchise to land in the current generation!

    I don't know if it's just me but I have found that the enemies don't have a lot of variety strategy wise. You take down a geth the same way you take down a blue sun merc which is the same way you take down the boss characters. Again, could just be me. Besides that complaint, one of my favorite games for a while.

    About 23hrs in my third play through 1st on ps3.. i can see a lot of small improvements and playing on a higher difficulty has made it a great new experience...but yea I'm at the point of a near game breaking bug... The Batarian missile crises mission after the mission ended i couldn't leave went to restart twice and at two different points had system stopping freezers..apart from that Me2 hands down one of the best games i have played.

    Anyone else feel that Dead Space 2 is quite similar to Mass Effect 2? Just an overlying Horror theme with references to the Lore of Dead Space, or rather, confined to the Dead Space universe.. I had to remind myself a few times that I'm playing DS2 not ME2.

    i think this sums it up pretty well:

    When I originally bought Mass Effect 2, my primary complaint was that your core game was basically 'Collect your companions then OFF YOU GO TO THE FINAL MISSION!', after all that's exactly what it was.

    Not that that was a bad thing. With all their personal missions, the game was still huge. I think I racked up 36 - 40 hours my first time?

    Now that the DLC is all out (actually I think Bioware said there's one more bridging piece to go...) when you get it all, the game is GIGANTIC. Firewalker brought the hover vehicle into it, I get the feeling as a test for part 3. Overlord was insane, easily the best piece of DLC and Shadowbroker was satisfying too. All in all, it rounds it out (affordably too) into being what I wanted the game to be. I don't mind paying for the DLC as long as its quality and it has been so far.

    I'm even happy with the weapon packs too so far, none of them have been 'reskinned' weapons, everything has varied and been different in some way thankfully.


    I love the ending.
    Omgaaaad that was intense!:D oh and the soundtrack!

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