Saturday, April 12, 2014
MASS EFFECT 2
Due to my daily habits, I generally favor linear or iOS games these days. They adapt better to my routines. Free roaming or big RPGs require much more time to achieve something, and I tend to leave them for later. But from time to time, you need to hit one of those. It was time for Mass Effect 2.
I enjoyed ME1 (see my review here) but not passionate. For this second instance... more of the same, or even less. They changed some questionable systems: Planet exploration was substituted for an equally questionable planet scan system that doesn't offer much. They have simplified the equipment options (much needed) but the upgrade mechanics are a little obscure to me (since I played not by the book and avoided to go to the Citadel until the very end, most of them were unavailable without a good reason). The combat systems are pretty much the same (and again, I rarely felt the need of using the hard-earned biotic powers) but I saw some nice level design twists that offered variety.
The story work is simply impressive. There are excellent sub-plots, some of the best I've seen in games, and particularly compelling for the Sci-Fi genre. On the other hand, the initial twist of Shepard's death (not a real spoiler, happens in the first 30 secs) and his comeback is not sufficiently integrated into the overall plot, which is repetitive in general.
The game holds a 96 in metacritic. I don't think it deserves that much, an 85 would be fairer in my opinion. Unfortunately in the last 10 years the press has been particularly influentiable by the PR departments of the big publishers, and I think this is one of the cases. Still is a great game, some of the characters are memorable. and I definitively recommend it if you have 40 hours to dedicate to an RPG shooter.