Finally onto Mass Effect 2.
I’m about 15 hours into Mass Effect 2. It is dramatically better than Mass Effect, still echoing my experiences with the Uncharted series.
Even though I’m about 15 hours, I’m still recruiting new members. The roster is much more diverse and plentiful than the first Mass Effect. Since I’m still the rebel without a cause, I’m teaming up mostly with people who bring out the worst in me, such as Jack the psycho biotic and Garrus, my old buddy who won’t ever question my decisions.
I also love the new loyalty missions. If you do the character’s loyalty mission, they gain an extra power (and you can even train to use the power yourself). These missions give each character some backstory and gives you time to get to know them.
Hands down, the game is much easier to play. The controls are different, so it took me some to readjust shooting and assigning orders, but it’s much easier now. The use of cover is genius and the AI seems much more capable of finding cover and not dying all the time. The ability to give unique orders to both your squadmates is great too.
Visually, this game is also a huge step up. One of my favorite scenes so far was a side quest where I’m investigating a huge ship which crashed into the side of a mountain. I don’t have any squadmates and there’s no enemies. The danger is that the ship might fall off the cliff. As you hit certain locations, it begins to rock and the world around you seems to start falling away. Without shooting a gun or even using a power, this little level was one of the most intense for me.
And then of course there’s the story. It’s complex but easy to follow at your own pace. I appreciate the characters’ stories more than the larger story though. The creative team at Bioware really stepped it up here and created engaging and complicated characters with unique journeys to go on.
Some of the decisions I’ve made… Generally, I’m a quick tempered jerk. I love the moments when the Paragon/Renegade symbols flash on the screen and you can interrupt. In the middle of a conversation, you smack them with the butt of your gun. Or you watch the Paragon symbol flash but instead… you let the man die. It’s very intense and makes it personal for you. I don’t remember as many big picture decisions, but it’s more a compilation of little things. Maybe I’m making decisions without knowing they’re big decisions. Hmm…
I still have a few more recruits, namely Tali and “The Thief” who I don’t know yet. I’ll complete most or all of the loyalty and side quest missions, then head back for the main story. I’ll update in a few days!