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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on April 4, 2010
Waited for this game for 2 years since the sequel was announced, the game does not disappoint.
Most of the issues and shortcomings of the first brilliant game were addressed by the developers at Bioware.
All the missions in this game are very varied by their settings and objectives.
The side missions are better than the main mission; graphics are the best seen on the 360.
The combat system is much improved and closer to Gears of Wars.
Some of the RPG aspects have been diluted; hopefully this will be addressed in the third game.
The story line was great and very compelling and set-ups the final battle with the Reapers.
For me, as a power player who goes through every possible areas of the game, it took me 35 hours to complete the game.
The game is shorter than the first game; I understand that because of the shortage issue with the DVD setup of the 360, at two discs it was already stretching the 360 glaring storage shortcomings.
My hope is that for the third game, Bioware ignores the storage capacity of the 360 and gives us much longer game with all of the ideas and improvements that they will make after creating this game.
I just cannot wait for the third game,
In the meantime, I am going through another playthrough of this fantastic game on the insanity difficulty level.
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on April 4, 2010
I've played the first Mass Effect and loved it! But there were a few complaints, such as the annoying Mako vehicle, and some of the boring leveling up aspects. ME2 takes everything you loved about ME1 and fixes everything you hated about it. The fighting is better, the character development is better, the story is more engaging, and the game is just a more polished version.

One word of advice, although the game is still amazing to play by itself, I urge you to play ME1 before getting into ME2. It is so very cool to see all the decisions made in ME1 carry over into the sequel, however small they may have been. Considering ME1 is so cheap right now, you have no excuse not to!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 31, 2010
Mass Effect 2 is a big improvement on the original, which itself was very good, although a little flawed.

Bioware have moved the game forward by tackling the flaws, and full credit to them for that.

You will notice:
- Vastly improved graphics. The overall 'look' is the same, but it has a lot more polish, and is more immersive as a result
- Smoother gameplay. The action is more fluid and more immediate. They have probably made 50 different tiny tweaks which add up to a big leap forward.
- Less customisation. This might be a downer for some, but it makes for a slicker experience. The essentials are there, it just interferes less with gameplay.

You can import your character from the original which gives the sense of it being more of a second chapter than a sequel, although as noted the graphics and gameplay have leapt forward.

More immersive, more real, slicker, faster, smoother, this is a very very worthy sequel.

Five stars.
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on May 18, 2010
Absolutely a masterpiece of a game in terms of story. You don't need to play ME1 first but it is a lot better if you have played it before so you are better immersed into the story of ME2. The choices you made in ME1 (provided you have finished ME1) will come back in ME2.

ME2's story isn't as good as the ME1 but it could be building up for the final chapter in this masterful trilogy of a game (ME2 constantly reminds you to save your finished saved game for ME3)

AI's improved over ME1 and the micro-management of weapons is gone from ME1 (and it's a good thing).

Gameplay has improved drastically over ME1 as well, it's one of those gears of war cover based 3rd person. The cover based shooting aspect isn't as good as Gears of War but the ability of controls the powers of your 2 party members (you can pick from a bunch of them - each of them has different abilities) more than make up for it in terms of strategy. Shooting stuff up will only get you so far but with the right party members and the appropriate power selections, the harder enemy will go down quicker than just shooting them all the time.

Graphics on ME1 was quite good but this one absolutely blows that away. Amazing cinematics, amazing game play graphics (which is why I don't understand why Dragon's Age graphics was so bad - it's by the same company!!!)

Must play for xbox360 and rpg fans. If you like Gears of War type shooter games but with a waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy better depth and story, this is a must buy.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon August 29, 2010
Mass Effect, by Electronic Arts (EA), sets the benchmark for third person role playing actions games. It is as close to a DVD movie as a video game can get, because, unlike most first person games, players can see and hear the player character as well as the non-player characters (NPCs). This movie-like quality greatly enhances the compelling story, which is the hallmark of the Mass Effect Trilogy.

**Spoiler Alert**
This second episode of the Mass Effect Trilogy begins with the death (yes, DEATH) of Commander Shepard, in a fiery ambush of the Normandy, two years after he/she defeated the traitorous Saren Arterius in the battle of the Citadel. But, thank the goddess, he/she is later resurrected in Project Lazarus by the Illusive Man, leader of Cerberus, a shadowy and ruthless "human supremacist" organization, for the sole purpose of sending the legendary commander to investigate a new cataclysmic event in the Galaxy: entire human colonies have been vanishing without a trace, leaving behind empty buildings. To confront the threat, Shepard travels across the Galaxy to recruit up to a dozen of the most dangerous characters to his/her elite team, at locations including Illium, an asari colony, and Omega, a lawless mining station built on a hollowed out asteroid in the Terminus Systems, for a mission from which every member of the team, including Commander Shepard, may never return.
**End of Possible Spoilers**

Players who had completed Mass Effect 1 (ME1) can import a Save Game from the list of Character Saves into Mass Effect 2 (ME2). During the file transfer, they have the option of changing the class of Commander Shepard, for example, from adept to vanguard, as well as his/her physical characteristics. This is possible in the storyline on account of Project Lazarus--a very clever way of putting Shepard on reset. If Shepard was imported at a high level in ME1, players will be awarded with bonus squad points and research metals at the start. All the NPCs who were alive at the end of the ME1 are transferred. Furthermore, the story in ME2 unfolds in accordance with the decisions made by the players in ME1, for example, whether Shepard set the Rachni queen free in Noveria, whether he/she resolved the conflict with Wrex on Virmire peacefully, or whether he/she called in the human fleet to save the Council in the battle of the Citadel. The main story line, however, remains unchanged. For those who never play ME1, ME2 can be played stand-alone with new characters and certain pre-set assumptions on events in ME1. New characters in ME2 include Thane, a drell master assassin, Legion, a free-thinking geth, who is stalking Commander Shepard, and Subject Zero, a female human biotic gang and cult member, with head-to-toe tattoos. Other than the geth and the Reapers, new enemies emerge in ME2. They include the Collectors, a winged insect-like species who are suspected to be working for the Reapers, and Scions, which are grotesque experiments of the Reaper, as well as monstrous beings created by the Reapers out of other species they abducted.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) and combat system have been vastly improved in ME2. Gone are those annoying texture pop-ups in ME1. So are those long elevator rides--they are replaced with loading screens. Battle scenes are more realistic: enemies are thrown against walls, limbs are blown off, and wounded fighters continue to fight by crawling on the ground. Players can hit the enemies where they place the reticles, like in a shooter. (This is not so in ME1, where hits are calculated based on the number of skill points assigned by the players to the characters.) Players can now issue attack orders to Shepard's squad mates by using the directional-pad of the controller (of the Xbox 360), and manually prompt Commander Shepard to duck behind covers. The limitless ammo is no more in ME2. It is replaced with removable "thermal clips". When a clip is spent, it must be ejected and replaced with a new one. Players are therefore advised to take note of the amount of thermo clips available during battles. Instead of only four weapon types as in ME1, there are nineteen in ME2. One of my gripes with ME1 was the lack of heavy hand-held weapons. In ME2, they are available to the soldier class player character (as well as Commander Shepard of all classes). These heavy weapons knock down multiple enemies in one gigantic blast. A sentinel class player character now dons an ablation tactical armor, which makes him/her very tough to kill. An engineer class player character can launch a drone to aid him/her in battle. An adept class player character can spawn micro-singularities around the enemies, annihilating them en masse. Tactical cloak, which renders a combatant invisible briefly, is available to an infiltrator class player character. A vanguard class player character can dash around the battlefield with a new biotic power--the "biotic charge", which propels him/her forward at tremendous speed and force, to attack or evade the enemies. There is no longer any class restriction in armor. Medi-gel, used in the ME1 to regenerate health, is replaced with auto-regeneration, although the players still need it to cast the Unity reviving power. (Note: auto-regeneration is also available in ME1, but only as an upgrade to the armors.)

The dialogue wheel in ME1 is the most innovative dialogue system in all the games I have ever played. When used probably, it delivers a continuous and seamless dialogue, and hence the movie-like quality of the game. In ME2, the dialogue wheel is further improved. A new "interrupt" system is introduced. When prompted by the players with the left or right trigger of the controller (of the Xbox 360), Commander Shepard can interrupt the dialogue with "heroic" or "hostile" action to get the answer he/she wants. Furthermore, instead of the previous static camera position in ME1, the camera moves around during conversations in ME2, adding further cinematic effect to the game.

Like in ME1, choices made by the players influence the outcome of the game in ME2. For example, in ME1, on the planet Virmire, Commander Shepard (and hence the players), was called upon to decide which of the two squad mates he/she would rescue; the one left behind was consumed in a subsequent nuclear blast. In the same manner, decisions of the players in ME2 throughout the game may eventually lead to the annihilation of the entire ground team in the final mission, including Commander Shepard, or the survival of every team member, or something in between. Players with a "dead" Shepard will not be able to import him/her into ME3. The same thing is true with a "dead" teammate. They can play ME3 with a generic Shepard, but not "their" Shepard. Furthermore, with Shepard killed, players can't return to the game world after the final mission and continue to play, for example, to complete a side quest, or to explore a new locale. They will have to start a new game or reload with a previous save-file and replay part of the game for a different outcome. This gives incentive to players to make sound decisions throughout the game, before heading into the final mission.

The Cerberus Network is a cleverly designed in-game portal through which players can access "Downloadable Contents (DLCs)" from EA. Players activate this network with a one-time access code, which is included in every new game purchase. Game renters and used game buyers will have to pay for the code. This arrangement is apparently a ploy by EA to combat the rental and used game market, which has been undermining retail sales of new games. Players who access the network will receive the first DLC pack on January 26, 2010, the date on which the game is released in North America. This first DLC introduces Zaeed, a rough and tumble mercenary who will join Shepard's elite team. A future DLC will introduce the Hammerhead, a hover tank to replace the much-maligned Mako in ME1. (Note: There is no driveable vehicle in the core game.) In addition, new missions and in-game items will be released to gamers by EA through this network.

ME2 comes with 2 discs. Players have to swap discs (twice per game) at some points. There are 90 voice actors playing 546 characters with over 30,000 lines of dialogue. New voice actors in ME2 include D.C. Douglas, Martin Sheen and Adam Baldwin. In conclusion, ME2 is a role-playing game with the look and feel of a shooter. It is a must-have game of the year.
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on March 4, 2010
Actually, there is not much to say about this game. It is hard to find some real flaws to it, as the story is even more large and immersive than the first of the series and all of its flaws (mainly graphics-related) have been corrected. The leveling and inventory systems may seem strange at first but they are in fact very intuitive and make a lot of sense (you don't carry tens of guns and armors on yourself...) It's even better if you continue from a save file from the first game as you get to see the influence your actions have had.
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on June 29, 2010
Mass Effect 2 is the sequel to what is becoming one of the best franchises in gaming. You'll be hard pressed to find a better reason to play your 360. From the beautiful graphics, top notch voice acting and a story that is one of the most original in years Mass Effect 2 shouldn't be missed. The only thing I can say is play of the original is almost required, seeing how that game is just as good that's hardly a bad thing.
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on February 21, 2010
Mass effect 2 is one of those games who just comes out and grabs you. The story, and voice acting are at par with the best animated sci-fi movies in existence. The game play is simple and fun, and the entire pace moves forward in a way that makes you want to play for one more minute...hours at a time.

The plot is pretty simple, you are Commander Sheppard you've been brought back to live after being dead for two years. And your former enemies are your current sponsors. You work for an organization where the ends justify the means and the ends is the survival and dominance of humanity at any cost. You may choose the path of amorality or morality, or you may choose to play a little of both.

The game's best feature to me is the fact that the choices you made in the original game come back in this one which adds to the original's replay value and the game's overall immersion factor. The second best feature is the revamped paragon and renegade system. In the previous game the paragon option was the "boyscout" route and the Renegade choices made the character appear like a brutish jerk. Now, the paragon option makes the character seem more fair minded and respectful of life while the Renegade is more of a anti-hero type character who gets the job done whatever the cost.

There are a few weak areas in the game notably the exploration and resource gathering system and the weapon which seems to be you get either a quick firing weapon with little power and high ammo or a high powered weapon with slow fire and low ammo capacity. It could be a lot worse, and these small weaknesses don't take anything away from a great game. Overall this is the best sci-fi game in a long time.
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on September 30, 2010
I cannot think of a game in recent memory that I have enjoyed quite as much as Mass Effect 2. It is one of the rare games I have felt inspired to play multiple times that was not a multiplayer title. The storyline is beautifully written, and you truly develop a connection to the characters within the game as you learn their personalities and back stories. The gameplay is epic, combining fast paced shooting from games like COD with an element of RPG flare (although diminished in the latter aspect from the first Mass Effect, this actually makes the game more enjoyable in my opinion). An absolute must buy for all 360 owners.
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on June 24, 2010
If you haven't played Mass Effect, you're totally missing out on one of the best role-playing action games of this decade. For the dozens of hours of entertainment you get, DEFINITELY worth the 60 bucks you pay.
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