Initial Impression: Mass Effect 2

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I heard there was a small game that came out this week called Mass Effect 2. Intrigued by all the trailers and commercials I saw while trying to enjoy my naked football sundays, I ambled over to my local Wal-Mart to pick said game up and try it out. Figured it couldn’t hurt, didn’t have much else to do right? Might as well shoot some aliens and hit on some hot digital chicks. How bad can it be??

Well let me say this, I’m three hours into the game and already, it is my favorite RPG on the 360, maybe of this generation. Hit the link to see the rest of my initial thoughts.

Within the first 10 minutes of the game, I was already getting goosebumps up my spine and smiling as the game began introducing certain elements from the first game. Your ship is back, your pilot, your doctor. These things make me smile.

This made me smile

The game has changed quite a bit, but I think it’s for the better. Gone are the days of spending hours managing your vast inventory of weapons, armors and upgrade components. Now all you manage is Shepard’s armor and your team’s weapons. Looting corpses of your enemy is also gone. Now you research upgrades using resources you find during your missions and in probing planets, the mini-game they used to replace planet scanning with. Customizing your armor’s appearance and on-board outfit are great additions as well as the ship’s layout itself. You’ll have to play for yourself to see what I mean by that.

You can also thank whatever deity you believe in that Bioware has gotten rid of the MAKO completely. Now when you select a mission, you start on the ground. Which brings me to one of my small gripes. XP is no longer awarded on a kill-by-kill basis. At the end of each mission, you are awarded XP and shown different stats for that mission such as resources gained, money gained etc. You are then whisked back to your ship to choose a new mission. The summary screen is a really bad idea; it breaks up the narrative of the game and makes it feel much more segmented.

Piece of Shit

Combat is much smoother and easier to manage your teammates’ abilities. You can map one teammate ability to each Left and Right D-pad. You can also map three of your own to LB,RB and Y. Abilities recharge much faster now and believe me, with ammo now being a factor, you are going to need them. Speaking of abilities, Bioware has taken a LOT of them out of the game as well. When you level up, you get Upgrade Points and each ability now has four levels to upgrade, each of them taking the corresponding upgrade points to get (Level 1 takes 1 point, level 2 takes 2 points etc). My soldier has his generic soldier upgrades, three ammo type upgrades and adrenaline rush. That’s it.

The dialogue and universe are very much intact and in fact, they have taken some of the ideas from the novels and applied them to the game. I’m playing as a renegade and believe me, the dialogue options are hilarious when you are trying to be a dick. The voice actor’s are great as always and Jack Wall and Sam Hulick have once again outdone themselves with the music.

In short, if you are looking for a sci-fi adventure that features fast-paced, intense combat sequences with a great story and fun characters, Mass Effect 2 is your game. Especially if you loved the first game as much as I did.

I just can’t wait to see which girls I can hook up with this time. Oh yeah, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

It's like Pokemon, I want to do them all!

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