Hey, remember when I used to write about video games? Yeah, me too.
I completely skipped over the first game in the Mass Effect universe because 1.) I don’t usually like western RPGs, and 2.) I’d heard bad, bad, things about the in-game menu and inventory. When Mass Effect 2 came on sale, I was in the mood for something sci-fi, so I gave it a go.
Like most games with highly-customizable character appearances, I spent a great deal of time on perfecting my character. In the end, it didn’t matter since my character was in a helmet most of the time, but I guess it was nice to see her face during in-game cut-scenes.
I’ve heard people describe Mass Effect 2 as rpg-lite, and I can see that, but to me, this was a good thing. I completed the game in less than 20 hours, which is about as long as my game attention span is these days. I liked that once the game got started, it was straight forward to choose a main or side mission, find the appropriate planet to explore, and shoot bad guys. For those who like tons of side-missions, they were easy to find by talking to the tons of NPCs around each space hub or city.
Because my squad was customizable, I ended up playing favorites and picking the same characters to accompany me, unless a mission needed one particular character. I usually went with Thane as my sniper and Jack as my bio-user and shot gunner. For myself, I’d usually hang back and snipe if I were in an open area, or just run through with the assault rifle.
Although there were a handful of guns and upgrades to be had, I didn’t think they were that customizable. There seemed to be only one good setup or weapon configuration so once I got to that, I didn’t change it up as much. I also only used powers sparingly. Maybe because of the way I set up my character in the beginning. It just seemed easier to shoot things than pushing the buttons for different powers.
The only bad thing I have to say about Mass Effect 2 is that space exploration part was pretty lame. Having to buy fuel and probes from the fuel station in order to explore was so trivial that I thought it was a waste of time they put it in. I never really ran out of money, so I could always buy more, but it was just a hassle. I didn’t have any problems with finding resources on planets and thought that was pretty streamlined and fun whenever I did it, but just getting to that planet — boring!
Wait, I have another bad thing to say. Even though I tried to develop my character’s relationship with Thane, and I successfully completed his loyalty mission, they never sexed it up and he ended up dying in the last mission anyway! What a disappointment. It was the only part of the story I cared about.
I’ll probably play the third game when it comes out, but I’ll probably wait till a price drop too.