Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mass Effect 2 (2010) Bioware, XBOX 360: First Impressions in five hours

Mass Effect 2...I don't even know where to begin this review.  My review of Mass Effect was generally so-so.  I enjoyed the game but wasn't overly impressed.  I only really started getting excited about ME2 while playing the hell out of Dragon Age: Origins.  ME2 is a different animal than DA:O though both games were made by the same company.

Here are some of my first impressions (good and bad in the first five hours)
  1. Jennifer Hale is back as the female voice of Commander Shepard.  Jennifer Hale is one of my all time favorite female voice actors. 
  2. ME2 is shockingly gorgeous.  While there are some problems with human character's mouths looking a little weird everything else is astounding.  The alien races are totally believeable and in some cases, horrendous to look at.  The evironments keep making me stop and look around like some hayseed who just left Tattooine. 
  3. Scanning planets instead of driving around in the MAKO makes me very happy.  Systematic scanning with a grid method?  Planet mining?  I don't like those things, nooooo.  Snickering when I see a planet's status after mining listed as depleted?  Not me...
  4. Combat is pretty intense.  Insanely enough, Bioware managed to perfectly capture the thrill of 3rd person actioners in an RPG.  Two tastes greats that taste great together?  Damn right.
  5. Downside to squad control:  I haven't gotten the mechanics of moving the squad around as easily as with tactical shooters - leap-frogging the squad and getting squaddies into postition.  Personally I'd be content to use them to draw enemy fire. 
  6. Upside to squad combat:  So far I've only had to minimally baby-sit my crew.  What's cool is that they are just using their skills without me having to poke them with a stick.
  7. Here's an insane revelation: ME2 has a cover system that works in combat.  No really.  I need more combat time to really get the mechanics of it but so far I am very pleased.
  8. Story, voice acting (all characters), and the characters themselves (human and non) are top-shelf.  I am really looking forward to expanding the story.
  9. I worry about game lengthMass Effect I tore through in forty hours.  That being said, Mass Effect 2 is two fucking discs.  Two.  Dos.  Aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesome.

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