Mass Effect 2.
I just finished Mass Effect 2, clicking in at just over 40 hours.
It is an incredible game. It improved on everything that went into the first Mass Effect. The characters were much more engaging, the loyalty system was both interesting and rewarding, and the combat was smoother and more satisfying.
I completed every sidequest that had been offered to me, as well as explored (and mined) each quadrant of space to 100%. Some of my favorite missions were ones that you’d just randomly happen upon. I appreciated that. Some though were really difficult, meaning I had to resort to wiki pages for how to complete them. “Go to Ilium and find someone who wants it” was a common type of request. I go to the city and… where do I go? There are tons of areas and NPCs I could talk to, but who has time for that?
I recruited every companion and I played most the game with Garrus and Thane. I was playing a Vanguard style and they seemed to complement me. I did enjoy playing with Legion, Jack, and Samara as well. My favorite loyalty mission was probably Grunt’s, as it included the arena-style battle culminating with the Thresher Maw.
In terms of attitude, I managed to get to a maxed out Renegade status. I love that my skin was like cracking with a lava underneath it, it looked like. And the green eyes I chose started to have a dark red sun in the middle. Super cool.
I did attempt a romance (which I didn’t attempt in ME1) but it didn’t turn out. I wanted to romance Tali but failed her loyalty mission. She was like “Don’t talk to me ever again,” which is usually not a good sign. I mean… I’m no Hitch, but I think I get what that means.
In the final battle, Tali was also the only person I didn’t save. I put her on hacking the doors for me and she got hit by a divebombing Collector swarm. I guess it’s because I failed her mission. Luckily, everyone else made it! For curiosity-sake, I watched a YouTube video where everyone dies, including your Commander Shepard! Tragic.
Overall, I enjoyed ME2 infinitely times better. I got more than twice the time out of it and I felt like it all mattered. Even doing small sidequests felt important. The characters were all interesting and it was hard to choose who to bring into battle each time. I definitely liked using the biotic powers this time around, as opposed to pure gunner in ME1. My favorite combo was the Pull/Throw or the Pull/Slam combo. I appreciated being able to learn the loyalty powers too. I rotated through but I really liked Zaeed’s flame grenades. I ended up playing with Barrier most of the time, because I’d always charge in first and I needed some extra protection.
So now it’s onto ME3. I’ve intentionally not looked up anything, so I don’t even know who might be in my party, who might return, or what else might happen. We’ll see, when Mass Effected returns!