Long known for their legendary role playing games, BioWare’s Mass Effect series of games presents a beautifully realized sci-fi universe. It is populated with complex and compelling characters caught up in intergalactic strife that remains potent with each iteration in the series. Mass Effect 2, the downloadable sequel to the game that inaugurated it all (in 2007) continues the first game’s established traditions while pitting the gamer against enemies in a galaxy-consuming conflict on a different scale than the first game.
Download Mass Effect 2
The full game can be downloaded from Steam. To do so click on the Download button below this review. There is also a free downloadable demo which you should obviously have a go at before getting the full game on your hard drive.
Mass Effect 2 Review
Developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts in 2010, Mass Effect 2 features the unique ability for a player to continue the playthrough from the previous game by accessing the save data from that game, incentivizing players to experience the first title in the epic series.
And indeed they should as the Mass Effect games take great joy in tying together the disparate elements presented in each game and try to make the choices made within each game weighty and consequential in ways gamers may not have imagined. Whether or not BioWare is successful in this task is largely up to the player’s estimation of their execution but in terms of sci-fi epics few titles can really hold light to this series for its longstanding and consistent quality.
Deploying a more action-oriented approach for the gameplay in Mass Effect 2, the team emphasized shooting elements including guns, ammo, and regenerating health. In a marked change narratively, BioWare chose to make the mainline game and side quests of a similar quality in order to give gamers a reason to explore the world of Mass Effect 2 that much more.
The previous title was criticized for having a disjointed side quest system that didn’t seem to correspond to the main story and this has largely changed for the second game with side quests offering as much or more of an engaging experience than the mainline quests.
Combat is refined without feeling wonky but things are a little more complicated in terms of leveling than many players might think. Gamers will need to pay attention to what they’re doing and choices have consequence in this area for good or ill.
Underpinned by a score from composer Jack Wall, Mass Effect 2 is appropriately epic and sci-fi, ticking off all of the right boxes when it comes to what gamers would expect from this type of game.
Rarely straying too far from its formula, Mass Effect 2 can present a somewhat simplified overall tone as time wears on with the narrative doing a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to supporting the game’s overall thrust. That is, if you’re not sold on the story when you’ve put several hours into the game then you might not be that motivated to finish it. This is the curse of some well-made RPG titles: sometimes the experience just fails to latch on with an audience. The story of Mass Effect 2 is appropriately epic but it rarely reaches the kinds of tension that one would expect from an existence-threatening event and feels like just another edition in a saga.