PS3 Review – Mass Effect 2

January 20, 2011Written by Joseph Peterson

To label this game as engrossing is an understatement, the amount of time and effort put into the back story of not only the characters, but also their individual cultures and where they are from is one of the best things featured in the series itself. You will find yourself constantly wanting to know more about the characters in the game as you grow to feel attached to them through not only your experiences with them, but also their back stories.

BioWare have bundled in the three downloadable packs from the 360 and PC, including Overlord, Kasumi: Stolen Memories, Zaeed: The Price of Revenge, and Lair Of The Shadow Broker. Kasumi: Stolen Memories gives you a new character as well as her individual backstory. Overlord is just a mission to be carried out by the members of the crew and definitely has some fun vehicle sections within it that will be enjoyable to players. Zaeed: The Price of Revenge allows you to add another character to your roster, as well as learn his back story. Lair Of The Shadow Broker is probably the best of the 3 bundled, offering you the chance to finally track down and confront the mysterious Shadow Broker, as well as reunite with a previous original Mass Effect character. Several weapon packs and armor packs are also included in the game.

EA has chosen to take the same approach as previous titles with the activation process necessary to fully experience the game. To gain access to the Cerberus Network, simply input the code provided with every new copy of the game and you will able to have full access. Along with the code comes the Mass Effect: Genesis interactive comic. Not picking up the game new or purchasing the Cerberus Network separately off of the PlayStation Store will not allow you to fully experience all that Mass Effect 2 offers. If you choose to head straight into the game without having this, then you will have no interactive comic, and Commander Shepard will lead a completely neutral approach from the first title.

While the game is a story driven third person action RPG, it features occasional puzzles that are accomplished by hacking terminals that you will encounter during various missions throughout the game. There is also a huge amount of exploration allowed within the game, with players literally able to scan every planet in the in-game galaxy. Visiting them allows for both scanning for minerals, and even unlocking more side missions to help you further progress your game to that ever difficult 100% mark.

While fighting your way through the game you will find yourself with an assortment of powers at your disposal. With over 30 powers to use, it is safe to say that you won’t become bored with using powers over and over. When creating your Commander Shepard you are able to choose his/her class and the powers available to that specific class will be presented below it. As you level up and assign points to specific areas, it will unlock more powers as well as strengthen current powers, depending on where you choose to spend the points. Some of these powers range from A.I. Hacking to Adrenaline Rush, and even includes ammo powers as well.

Another thing that depends on your choices would be the potential love interests within the game. There are 9 individuals available throughout the game, and depending on your approach to them, and how you talk to them, you may be able to take the relationship further than “just friends”.

For those worrying that this is just another port that didn’t translate well over to the PlayStation 3, go ahead and dismiss those worries. The fact that the game already is using the upcoming Mass Effect 3 engine shows the effort put into the game. All in all, the game looks fantastic, and offers a better looking and more fluid experience than offered on other consoles.

While Mass Effect 2 was originally released back in January 2010 for the Xbox 360 and the PC, this is a brand new title for PlayStation 3 owners. The new package offers a fresh experience for newcomers, with tons of DLC included, and a more fluid experience for returning players who have already experienced it. Overall, the game is inarguably one of the most solid titles to come out in quite some time. Offering a fantastic storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, BioWare has proven once again why it’s one of the top developers in the gaming industry. They took the time allotted and made an amazing game even more impressive. So what are you waiting for? Go get Mass Effect 2, it is available at retailers, and via the PlayStation Store.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Engrossing story that offers a fantastic experience for PlayStation 3 owners.

+ Huge levels of customisation and variety.

+ The best looking version of Mass Effect.

10 out of 10

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