Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360) review
"Perhaps not perfect, but still greatly entertaining."
Mass Effect 2 is a pretty interesting game in a number of ways. While (obviously) the sequel to the first game in BioWare's Mass Effect trilogy, it changes so many aspects of the original that, at times, it feels more like another group decided to create their own game using Commander Shepard and a primarily new cast of sidekicks, with several of the old getting shunted to the side.
Long before I played this 2010 XBox 360 release, I'd heard many opinions on those changes. While Mass Effect 2 received all sorts of critical acclaim, there were rumblings by some that all those alterations weren't for the best, as they essentially simplified things from an action-RPG to a pure cover-based shooter that pays a tiny amount of lip-service to RPG fans by allowing characters to gain levels and place points into various skills. As a RPG addict, you can easily see why I might find this a bit concerning.
Fortunately, those concerns wound up being meaningless. Yes, it's simpler and no, I don't agree with every single thing BioWare did in creating this game, but I still had a great time and found myself immersed to the degree that I bought virtually every piece of DLC and made sure I did every last quest I could uncover before moving on to Mass Effect 3. Some of the more annoying things about the first game were at least improved, if not totally fixed and, after a brief period of adjustment, I found this game's combat to be more enjoyable.
As the first game ended, Shepard and pals had earned a huge victory, but knew that trouble was fast approaching. Big trouble that they needed the cooperation of the Citadel Council to unify all the diverse races of the galaxy in order to have a realistic chance to survive. Of course, this doesn't happen because obstructive bureaucrats are going to be obstructive bureaucrats. As far as some are concerned, the events of the first game were all the fault of rogue Spectre agent Saren and that's that. Shepard and the rest of the Normandy crew are left to their own devices, hoping to find something…anything that will get their attention.
Instead, Shepard finds his (or her, depending on your gender choice) personal Day of Reckoning. While out searching the outer reaches of one place or another, a gigantic ship ambushes the Normandy and overwhelms it with a brutal attack. A few members of the crew immediately perish, but Shepard's quick actions save most of the personnel. Shepard wasn't included in that "most", though. Congratulations! You've played for mere moments and already gotten your hero killed!
Community review by overdrive (May 24, 2017)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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