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Offline Dialects

Mass Effect 2 [Proper Review]
« on: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 11:26:53 AM »
Mass Effect 2



Reviewed by Dann, the man with a plan to take out a geezer with a pan.





Mass Effect series give you the option to load your character from previous versions and use it throughout newer releases. Whereas this will not change the enrollment of the game's storyline, it will fit the game's level to one matching your character's level. In other words, if you are using a ME1 character in level 30, even when "Very Easy" difficulty mode has been opted, you will face more enemies with greater weapon upgrades and higher levels than you would otherwise, if starting from scratch (w/ the initial ME2 character). Your character will evolve accordingly until you have reached the end of the game. Once you've done so, you can either stop playing, start a new campaign with a ME2 default character or load your character and defy the dangers of playing ME2 at Master level. All your attribute points remain; However, you will need to re-allocate them and buy all the new equipment you once had. You can buy the expensive equipment once you have captured the "Scientist", and received your money transfer from your previous game/character.

This; just like the ability to vest your player as you wish, personalize your face, name your character, opt for his life background, soldier-type and control his actions throughout the game, is one of those tiny details that make gaming all the more interesting and personal. One of the things that highly contribute to making this a personal-like game reside within the possibility to choose how to act, what to answer and whom to be allies/enemies with in the game. Depending on what you decide to do, your "Good" and "Evil" statistics will change. As they change, so will your physical aspect will. For example, if you decide to be a bad guy, your scars will be more visible and your face will become more pallid and scattered; You will also look older. If you decide to become the good baby, then your scars will heal, you will look younger and healthier. I will give some examples to better illustrate this point.

Example of the typical "Bad Guy":


Example of the typical "Good Guy":

(I have seen some looking even better and younger!)

I could go on and on with how amazing the details of this game are. Overwhelming, to say the least. Either way, it would take me far too much time and you probably wouldn't read it all. Let's get to what matters the most now, or at least to what is more conventional when reviewing a game. I'll start with a generalized commentary on the storyline and characters of the game, then jumping to the game's Graphics, Gameplay, Music, Concept and as last, a Personal Opinion in regards to the game as a whole.



Storyline:
Two years after Commander Shepard repelled invading Reapers bent on the destruction of organic life, a mysterious new enemy has emerged. On the fringes of known space, something is silently abducting entire human colonies. Now Shepard must work with Cerberus, a ruthless organization devoted to human survival at any cost, to stop the most terrifying threat mankind has ever faced.

To even attempt this perilous mission, Shepard must assemble the galaxy's most elite team and command the most powerful ship ever built. Even then, they say it would be suicide. Commander Shepard intends to prove them wrong.

Copied by ME2's Resume

P.S:. I was going to write my own, but it would take far too much time. We all know I love writing, and the use I put to words is sometimes unnecessary with elementary things such as resuming a storyline. As far as my opinion is concerned, the great thing about the Storyline is that, whereas it is linear what happens to Humanity; it is not linear how it happens. It's for you to decide the how in this game.

ME2 is a very dimensional game. You have a complex system of nebula-galaxy-planets that can take up to 40 hours to be fully explored (just checking every planet and learning its name. Extraction of minerals, completion of missions and the likes are not accounted for in the estimated time!). With that said, it is a bit of a disappointment that you can only count with as much as four races in the whole lot of the universe. Following is a list of races, their appearances and some quick facts of each race:


The following content has been provided by ME2's official website. Click the links for further information on each of the races.

- Collectors (http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/races/collectors/)

Quick Facts
    Temperament: Aggressive, merciless, methodical
    Average Lifespan: Unknown
    Homeworld: Unknown
    Biology: Insect like, winged, bipedal
    Technology: Highly advanced, unknown, utilizes particle beam technology
    Communication: Verbal, unknown telepathic link
    Sociology: Unknown, travel aboard massive ships
    Other: Currently abducting entire human colonies
    Expected Resistance: Extremely high, Collectors travel in large groups


- Drell (http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/races/drell/)

Quick Facts
    Temperament: Stoic, curious, religious
    Average Lifespan: 85 years
    Homeworld: Rakhana
    Biology: Reptilian-like humanoids, thick muscle tissue
    Technology: Drell now posses most modern technology
    Communication: Verbal
    Sociology: Most drell now live on the Hanar homeworld Kahje
    Other: Drell have only been a part of galactic society for two centuries


- Vorcha (http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/races/vorcha/)

Quick Facts
    Temperament: Aggressive, competitive
    Average Lifespan: 20 years
    Homeworld: Small, hostile, overcrowded
    Biology: Skin, lungs, muscle, and bone adapt to new surroundings
    Technology: Primitive; what exists is scavenged from other cultures
    Communication: Primarily nonverbal, limited speech
    Sociology: Nest together in clusters, often in uninhabited service areas
    Other: Often captured and forced into merc groups
    Expected Resistance: Extremely high, especially in swarms


- Humans (Yourself and Cerberus/Alliance entities)
There is no description available for our race since they represent it very accurately to what we are now. All the difference relies on how technology has evolved and how that has grown to be 100% part of our life necessities. The same ill dirty mind applies, the same sketchy killing-plans applies, the same survival instinct applies ---Really, all that changes is how good and depending technology has became.




GamePlay
  - There is an interesting mix between the usual FPS game-stye and the traditional MMORPG game-style. What's best is, you can decide how to play it down. It's up to you whether you want to be specialized as hybrid/mutant with enhanced human attributes, as a firearms expert, as a magician of sorts --as it is entirely up to you how to adapt to the race you have chosen. Following is a list of races available in the game:

- Adept (Hybrid/Mutant Biotic Enhanced - Highest on the rankings of Biotics.)
http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/classes/adept/
- Engineer (The nerd, in other words. He can convert droids to his side, set bombs, explosives and so forth.)
http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/classes/engineer/
- Infiltrator (Stealthy and mortal. He is the only of the 6 classes to posses the ability to become invisible for a limited period of time.)
http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/classes/infiltrator/
- Sentinel (Hybrid between Adepts and Soldiers. They own a bit of both's aspects, and are suitable to any kind of battling experience.)
http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/classes/sentinel/
- Soldier (The FireArm expert. From Snipers to AR, to Shotguns, what have you --He'll manage it just fine!)
http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/classes/soldier/
- Vanguard (I call them the Monsters. It's all about brute force with them. Picture Hulk with fancy clothes on. Simple.)
http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/classes/vanguard/

For more information, click the links. Short-descriptions provided by Dann


Besides the complexity of your character, you too, can (and should!) command your team to provide you with support and aid in the battleground. Your team can be made of up to three characters, yourself included. That leaves space for two picks. You can choose from the following:

- Grunt
- Jacob Taylor
- Kasumi Goto
- Miranda Lawson
- Mordin Solus
- Samara
- Subject Zero
- Tali'Zorah
- Thane Krios
- Classified
- Classified
- Zaeed Massani

As always, for more info: http://masseffect.bioware.com/universe/squad/

Each of these have their own specialty. Adapt your team to the level you are playing, if you want a successful gaming experience, that is. You will notice there are two "Classified" characters. You can only unlock these after playing the game in a Master level; and even then, you have to pick the correct answers in order for you to create acquaintances with them; which will mean they will join you in your endeavors for all eternity. I won't spoil the fun. Go and play the game yourself, so you can kill the hint of curiosity lying within you.

The downside to the gameplay would be its pace. After a certain point, or a certain number of hours playing, you will feel as if the game becomes extremely slow. Once you have mastered all the techniques, key actions and characteristics of your team mates / enemies (their strong points, their weak points, etc), it all becomes far too evident and easy. The ice-breaking to this would be playing at Master level with a ME2 default character. You will be brought down to level 0 and your enemies will start in level 20, with all their armor and weapons upgraded to their most.

That's about it for the Storyline/Character bit. I have tried to provide you with all the necessary links for a better and more profound understanding of each of the designated key points. If you, however, feel as if they were not sufficient and did not contain enough, or clear enough information; I certainly would appreciate if you could provide new links and make this a even more complete review.


Graphics

Graphics are both good and bad. Throughout the game, you will notice the rendering of the actual meshes/ 3D objects is a bit dodgy. I know a little someone who will sparkle with "Oh noes, no Anti-Aliasing, WTF!" comments right away. Certainly, they could have fixed that --this statement being under the assumption they didn't leave it like that on purpose, which could, at any rate, be the case. If you ignore the above point mentioned, then all mothers be pregnant, but the graphics are terrific! All the scenes are brilliantly well composed, all the plans are fairly well captured and at all instances, is the lighting top-mastered. There is a undeniable cinematographic feeling to it; one that I had not seen before in any game. It surprised (and still does!) to realize that such well-thought and consistent lighting can still, regardless of what race/face/expression is being illuminated, pan out any abnormal textures and leave space for the drama in the scene. In a way, it kinds of reminds me of an old cinematographic approach, Vouge, which was well known for being subtle and ease in the eyes, but amazingly rich in its components, of which drama was the most evident.

It isn't only the lighting that is magnificent. The character design, too, is marvelous. They went even deeper than that, to the point where each key character of the storyline gets a feeling of its own; gets a personality within --regardless of how similar they may be to previous/less important characters in the game. The detail they gave to the women is commendable. At the same time they are complete hotties, they too, have imperfections. It's a whole different level of character design, simply put.



Music/Sounds:

As in any other game, visual and audio are always compromised. This game is no exception. I haven't payed much attention to whether the particular sounds of guns, explosions, vehicles and footsteps are accurate, but I don't recall going like "WTF is this sound?" as I was playing it; and I do have a good ear and a considerable amount of hours played in ME2. I know most of you won't really mind any about this particular subject, but Nate does --and since I promised a review, I might as well include something he is not used to read about in most reviews.

As far as the musicality of the game goes --fantastic. The mix between classic/opera music and the fast-pace-action-type of music blends well. There is always a certain margin of error one gives to the interaction between image and sound. In this game, that won't be needed. From what I can recall, the timings are spot on and illustrate/emphasize the environments at question perfectly.




Concept

Meh. They've done a great game, but whenever I think about the concept, I get this sensation it's been done several times before and neither those, nor this, has really surprised me to the point of adhering to it and becoming fanatic about it. Maybe it is because I have grew reading Holocaust-based stories all along, to such an extent that anything remotely close to that won't sparkle anything in me. Whereas, in one hand, their character design is commendable and well-executed; on the other hand, they all look way too familiar. Collectors equal to Dwarfs, Drell equal Elfs, Vorcha equal to Ogres and lastly, Human equal to Super Heroes (of sorts!). We've all seen it. Many many times.

They haven't introduced anything new to their "concept" (idea?) of what the future might look like. It's been over 15 years since human kind has taken a wild step towards picturing how the future might look like, how architecture will have been influenced, how people will dress... ---And still, not even after those 15 years and the millions of minds, they still all look the same. I am sure some people find the futuristic aesthetic elegant, as I do. But there is a point where change is an absolute need.




Personal Opinion

I have enjoyed this game very much. However, after going through it twice, the fun started to fade away. I'll risk as much as saying that what truly kept me playing the game was rather concerned with its technical features, rather than the game itself. It was the lighting, the scenes, the characters, the textures, etc. I forgot to mention you can travel around the universe in your ship, explore planets and their minerals, and so on. The reason I didn't include this in the review is because I feel as if this is yet something BioWare needs to work a lot on, until it can become a significant plus to the game. ME3 is coming out, though, and from what I have read, it looks very promising!


P.S:. Whenever the time comes when you will have to choose between standing by Miranda's or Jack's side, pick Miranda. You won't be able to see her underwear otherwise; and trust me, it pays off. OR; you can just go to Youtube, type in "Miranda in Underwear" and wank to all your needs.



Ratings:
Storyline - 8.5
Gameplay - 7
Graphics - 9.5
Music - 8.5
Concept - 5

Final/Total: 7.7



First game-review ever done in my life. Go easy on me, fellas.
« Last Edit: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 11:40:56 AM by Dann »
"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." - George S. Patton

Offline KiLLaMaN

Re: Mass Effect 2 [Proper Review]
« Reply #1 on: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 12:15:55 PM »
Great Review. I hear you have to play the first game to understand the second though.

Offline Dialects

Re: Mass Effect 2 [Proper Review]
« Reply #2 on: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 12:22:12 PM »
If you truly want to understand the game, then yes, you have. Same applies with ME3. They're all connected.

It's not like you won't understand a single thing if you play ME2 without having played ME1, though. The game itself is pretty information-rich.
"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." - George S. Patton

Offline Spanky

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Re: Mass Effect 2 [Proper Review]
« Reply #3 on: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 16:54:13 PM »
Excellent review. I'm quite impressed with the game's textures. Maybe I should give it another chance.
It's like shaving your pubes to make your junk look bigger.
Might look bigger, but it aint.....

Offline Dialects

Re: Mass Effect 2 [Proper Review]
« Reply #4 on: Friday, July 16, 2010, 06:14:37 AM »
Thanks for all the comments and commends on the review.
"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." - George S. Patton

 

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