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PS3 Review – Mass Effect 2

January 20, 2011 Written by Joseph Peterson

As one of the greatest RPG series of this generation, the Mass Effect franchise has always been regarded with envious eyes by many PlayStation gamers. So when it was announced that Mass Effect 2 would be headed to our beloved PlayStation 3 console, gamers rejoiced at the great addition to the PS3′s library. But can a year old port really live up to the hype?

With the original game not on the PS3, some worried that they would lose out on the branching storyline of the first game. BioWare has a solution – Mass Effect: Genesis – which allows users to relive the main story of the original Mass Effect, and even lets you make all of the major decisions which made the transition to Mass Effect 2 so enveloping. While there is no right or wrong, the choices can lead to huge impacts in Mass Effect 2, and if you haven’t played the first, you’ll have a much better understanding of what’s going on after viewing the interactive video.

Protagonist Commander Shepard can be customized from the ground up, with every aspect of the main character able to be modified. That includes facial features, gender, as well as the personal back story. Back story options alone range from being a Sole Survivor of a colony to a Earth-born human who grew up on the streets. Depending on the choices that you make, it will result in completely different scenarios and experiences throughout your time in Mass Effect 2. Even once you’re done creating your own personal main character, that will be far from the last time you make decisions that affect the main character, and consequently, the game.

There are a wide-variety of additional characters that you’ll encounter in Mass Effect 2, and also some returning characters that will both join you and act as supplemental figures throughout the game. A couple of characters from the first title include Garrus and even the mysterious Tali’Zorah Nar Rayya. There are several newcomers to the series that add a bit of personal flair to this second title, and altogether the squad list tallies up a total of 13 different characters to choose from for missions. Since each character is vastly different than the next, it’ll be up to you to decide who best compliments your group layout, or perhaps who you enjoy seeing by your side.

It is noteworthy to see that each character has their own back story that will fully be revealed as you progress through specific missions in the game. As you complete these missions, Shepard will eventually earn the trust and loyalty of those particular characters, after which you even unlock different attires for use in missions. Every character’s story varies, and none are similar, so there is no repetition in either gameplay or in the storyline. It is always interesting to see how their back stories have shaped them into the characters they have become.

As always, BioWare has outdone themselves with the story of the title. The game itself is completely engrossing and you will struggle to choose which route to take when playing. The main plot is about trying to unravel the mystery behind colonies that are disappearing. To fund these efforts, Shepard is employed by the company known as Cerberus, and it’s leader the Illusive Man – they fund all of his missions throughout the game that players will experience. Upon completing a mission, total stats will be shown as to how much experience was earned, as well as items gained.

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