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Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2

(Electronic Arts)
Ship Date: 
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
1 player

In 2010, Mass Effect 2 amazed critics and gamers alike with its supposed brilliance. After a series of rumors and denials, the sequel to a trilogy that was once thought to be an Xbox 360 exclusive was announced for the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, the first Mass Effect was published by Microsoft and that made the game impossible to port over to the PS3. To compensate for this loss, BioWare included a motion comic to bring gamers up to speed on the story. What makes the package even more enticing are the DLC missions included in the Blu-ray and an updated game engine.

Is Mass Effect 2 really as epic as people make it out to be? Is it even worth buying if you never played the first game?

Sometime after the Mass Effect 2 demo hit the PSN, I decided to dabble with the PC version of the first game. To me, it doesn’t make sense to play a sequel to a heavily story driven game without knowing at least something about the previous entry. I played Mass Effect for about 10 hours but then I received ME2 to review. I figured the Mass Effect Genesis comic would cover whatever I missed, so I decided to move on to the second game.

Oddly enough, the Genesis interactive comic is only available through the Cerberus Network, a downloadable add-on that’s included with all new copies of Mass Effect 2. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, but the code I received wasn’t active until the 18th, which was when the game launched in North America. So I waited until it worked to start my game. This seemed like a smart decision since I was under the impression that the comic was integral to the experience. I was quite wrong.

The Mass Effect Genesis comic is about fifteen minutes in length and it very briefly recaps some of the major plot points from Mass Effect. There are a total of six choices that you can make throughout the entire comic that carry over to Mass Effect 2. For example, you get to decide whether some people live or die. Most importantly, you get to choose if you want to romance one of your colleagues – a tough decision to make.

ME Comic 3 e1295875853463 Mass Effect 2   The PS3 Attitude Review

When you start Mass Effect 2 you are given a few options before the game begins. The most important choice is the gender of Commander Shepard, the main character of the game. Even though male Shepard is the dude on the box and in every promotional image , I highly recommend going female. While they ultimately are the same character overall, Jennifer Hale’s performance as Commander Shepard is simply unrivaled. At the very least, give her a try during a second or third playthrough.

After a short playable opening sequence, the Genesis comic will begin (assuming you installed the Cerberus Network download). BioWare does a serviceable job summarizing the events of Mass Effect, but it always feels like you’re missing out on something so much bigger. And it’s true, you are. With just 10 hours of Mass Effect clocked in on the PC, I knew more about the story than the comic could ever dream of describing. While this should be obvious, it’s important to know that Genesis is a severely gimped retelling of the first game. There is such a huge universe to explore in Mass Effect and you’ll be missing out on so much character growth by just jumping into ME2. The experiences of Commander Shepard are directly shaped by the player and this creates a special bond with the character. This is something that is impossible to get out of the comic. With that said, you’ll be fine jumping into the series with this game. It’s not like BioWare made Mass Effect 2 inaccessible to new players, so don’t worry. If anything, the situation is quite the opposite. Just be aware that you won’t fully understand or appreciate many of the references made to the previous title.



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Review by Delriach