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Mass Effect 2

Posted: May 31st, 2011 at 2:02 am
by Timmy
As always this is a console review, pc gaming may vary :P

Honestly Bioware has been disappointing me since the end of Neverwinter Nights 2. Dragon Age was pretty meh to me, and Mass Effect 2 hasn't blown my socks off. The story is as always pretty good, although most of the npcs are pretty meh, they went for quantity over quality. Jack the overtatooed emo girl, Grunt the barbaric Krogan, Miranda the perfect bitch.... honestly I don't see how the game got such high marks except that people just latch onto Biowares nutsack no matter what they put out. Gameplay wise its a mediocre shooter, the "powers" all have annoying cooldowns making chaining them a rarity even though many are designed to be chained. The NPC ai is beyond retarded, often times your allies will sit in cover never firing a shot, or they'll do the usual run infront of you while you're shooting, if you give them the freedom to use their powers they'll use em the most ineffective way possible, but even if you control when they use em, they'll still find a way to screw it up. The enemies share the ai, sometimes just standing around waiting to be shot, often easily locked in a position they can't shoot you from but you can easily off them.

The classes seem mixed up, with all the wrong abilities, like the Vanguard is the close combat specialist with weak shields and the ability to charge into a group of mobs and die fast! Meanwhile the Sentinel has heavy shields so he can sit back and be a support class..... The Adept is touted as the class that NEVER has to fire a shot, except that they have no decent way to strip away shields, and while an enemy has shields they're immune to biotic powers like pull, throw, singularity (half the adepts abilities), also with the annoying cooldowns if you don't use a gun expect to get flanked or bum rushed fast. The Soldier is the most popular class according to Bioware making up like 50 odd% of the players, probably because it doesn't deal with the annoying powers but mostly has gun ammo buffs, and a time slowing special power. The Sniper is probably the easiest to play although its not really a "sniper" since all encounters are triggers so suprise attacks are almost nil, throw in the fact that your two companions (who you can't EVER leave behind) will mindlessly shoot at anything that you might have been able to suprise and well..... the Sniper does have a short term stealth ability which is why its the easy mode class, use stealth fire headshot, return to cover wait out stealth cooldown, rinse repeat. The only weakness being low sniper ammo cap. The Engineer has the best power combo in overload (strips shields) and Incinerate (heavy damage to armor/health) but the annoying cooldowns pretty much kill the fun in that combo.

The exploration is VERY simplistic, no more driving around on planets. now you just scan em, hit spots with probes to harvest the 4 materials you need for research and fly off. Virtually all combat maps are linear with very little chance to do more than walk into fight #3492 the exact same way everyone else who played the game did. I love the tooltip that tells you to flank enemies, because there are SOOOO many opportunities to do that....

The new elevator fun is the Normandy itself, 4 levels, each one requiring a loading screen, of course your companions will spread out over the levels so you spend loads of time on load screens. The only place you can regularly change your armor is the captains cabin, so hey 2 load screens (one there, one back to command) everytime you want to change up a piece or two of your armor. You can buy fish (that move so robotic its sad) for the tank in your cabin, and a hamster you can barely see in its tank, models for one wall section and books, all of which are really, really sad cosmetics.

all in all I give it a 5/10, its playable (very few game killing bugs/glitches) with an interesting story and some interesting NPCs, but nowhere near as droolworthy as most game sites made it out to be. Also with the super linear quests replayability is just to see both the paragon/renegade dialogues or to romance a different npc.


Re: Mass Effect 2

Posted: May 31st, 2011 at 9:27 am
by K2
Good to see another game review from ya Timmy.

I dunno what's goin on with developers nowadays, I guess kids prefer easy/simple gameplay with tons of eye candy over something that makes you think or requires any kind of skill or time investment.

Have you tried Dragon Age 2 yet at all?

Re: Mass Effect 2

Posted: May 31st, 2011 at 2:20 pm
by Timmy
No Dragon Age 2, wasn't too thrilled with the first but I asked the EBGames guy if he'd give me a "no suck" guarantee on it (something he does with me if he really thinks the game is good, I can return it for full refund if I disagree), he declined so I'm skippin it. Picked up Hunted:The Demon's Forge which was just released today, so look for that review in a week or so.