Guest Review Mass Effect 2: Aliens on Broadway

Mass Effect (not affect) was a pinnacle of storytelling when it came out waaaaaay back in 2007 (we still had Dubya in the White House). When I finished it for the first time I truly felt like I had done something epic. My in game decisions mattered and I even got some hot alien lovin’. Mass Effect 2 builds upon the storytelling aspect and improved the gameplay so well that it could very well be an all time classic in the Malonish household.

The graphics in this one are slick and futuristic. Alien characters are unique in their facial tattoos and markings so not very many of them look the same as in the first Mass Effect. The familiar places from the first game are revamped and look more futuristic and colorful and there are many new places to go in the galaxy that were only mentioned in the first game. The best thing about the graphical upgrade is that every location is unique and there are no open world Mako shenanigans. The character graphics are also nice in that Yvonne Strahovski from Chuck is in the game. The only actor missing is Keanu Reeves.

Keanu Reeves loves Mass Effect 2 and Morality Points

Mass Effect 2’s gameplay is a nice upgrade from the original. It feels more like an action game than an RPG-based shooter but still has the RPG elements we all love. The cover system is pretty good, as any should be, and the ally controls are improved so you can send one partner ahead instead of only both. The weapon selection is awesome in this game since there are many different weapon types including a new heavy weapons class. There is no infinite ammo in this game but guns can no longer be overheated (I always got pissed when an enemy would overheat my gun). The abilities that you can use are fun. The lift power is directional and fires like a shot but what if the enemy is behind cover? You go Wanted on their ass and curve it around their cover so they fly up spread eagle and then you can shoot them to your heart’s content. Another large upgrade to gameplay is that there are actions you can take during conversations that interrupt a scene. For example, you punch a guy you are interrogating as opposed to trying to convince him nicely to give up his info. These interrupts give some new spice to the already scrum-diddly-umptios flavor of the conversation system.

The story is awesome if you just picked up the series for the first time and even better if you import a character from the original. Your decisions can carry over into the next game and you can meet people you saw in the first game that thank you or hate you. Some of the best story happens in the conversations you have with your teammates on the ship between missions (not to mention some more alien lovin’). My favorite conversations are with a Salarian scientist named Mordin. He seems like a serious scientist until this happens:

He also gives you some manuals with preferred positions of the alien species you may be hooking up with and offers some oils and lotions. This game, while serious, has plenty of funny and melodramatic moments.

The Good: Awesome graphics, gameplay, and story that push the envelopes on how modern games should be.

The Bad: New players might be behind on the story and wonder what the plot of the series is; there was also one time that I finished a mission and on the cinematic afterwards I got a game over screen but no other glitches so far.

The Verdict: Everyone should make love to this game like you can make love with the alien in the biosuit. I believe this game could be in the running for game of the year.

Thanks to Malonish for submitting this guest review.

For another opinion on Mass Effect 2, read Neutrally Chaotic’s review here.

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