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Mass Effect 2

MobyRank MobyScore
Windows
90
4.2
Xbox 360
94
4.1
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Description

Saren and the Sovereign have been defeated and the Citadel has been saved. Depending on the player's choices made in the first Mass Effect, humanity may be all that's left of the Citadel Council. Of course that doesn't keep them from ignoring the former war-hero Shepard who knows that the threat from the Reapers is still real. Instead they send him or her on a boring mission to find some Geth in the Terminus system. The inevitable happens: a new enemy enters the scene, destroys Shepard's ship, the Normandy and kills the hero of the galaxy. End of game?

No, not really. Cerberus, a known right-wing network, believes the threat from the Reapers to be real and only sees one chance of saving the human race: Shepard. So they invest millions upon millions of credits into the Lazarus project, and two years after Shepard died floating in space, he (she) reawakens on-board the Cerberus Station. The main mission given by Cerberus: find out more about the mysterious race of Collectors who abduct millions of human colonists for an unknown purpose, and figure out their possible connection to the Reapers.

Mass Effect 2 is a hybrid of third-person-shooter and role-playing game. After the prologue, where the player witnesses the destruction of the original Normandy, he has to create a new character and choose from one of six classes each with its own powers. The decision also influences which weapons the player can use during playthrough as only the soldier can wield every weapon in the game. During the course of the game the player and his squad-mates earn experience points by killing enemies, fulfilling missions and hacking safes in order to get a level up. For each level up between 1-20, two talent points are awarded, from 21 to the maximum level of 30 only one, with which the character's powers can be upgraded in four stages. Once the last upgrade has been purchased, a specialization has to be chosen making the talent even more powerful in one aspect. All this goes also for the player squad mates. The player starts with two companions at his side but can collect up to ten during the course of the game. While he is only allowed to bring two with him into a mission, the collected experience points will be equally shared with those that are left behind.

Fighting is done in a Gears of War-like fashion, with the characters being able to storm into cover and look out to get in a few shots. In addition, health and shield energy are regenerated automatically if the protagonist or his squad mates avoid being hit for a few seconds. To fight the various kinds of enemies, each class has access to different types of weapons like the sniper rifle and heavy pistol for the infiltrator as well as five different kinds of heavy weapons. The weapons now require ammunition which is either dropped by killed enemies or scattered around the level, but there are only two types: one for the heavy weapons and one for all others. Heavy weapons like the grenade launcher come with a very limited supply of ammunition but are very powerful even against full-blown mechs.

Inventory management has been removed entirely. The player is only able to change the weapons load-out of his team from the small set he will collect during the course of the game. His squad mates don't have different armor any more, only the protagonist's appearance can be changed by researching new armor parts and put them together to a full suit in his cabin aboard the Normandy. Through research the player also gets access to upgrades to the Normandy, his squad mates and their tools. To do research the player not only needs to find or buy the plans for the upgrade but also needs enough minerals. The four types of minerals in the game are either found in chests during a mission or collected through a scanning mini-game on the galaxy map. In the mini-game the player uses a cursor to move around the face of the planet and send in probes if he finds a mineral source. Side quests can also be found this way and are shown as anomalies on a planet.

Besides the combat, the second most important part of the game are the multiple-choice dialogues. The decisions the player makes here heavily influence the players path deciding if he will become a bad or a good person. To that end not only the dialogue choices are sorted by good, neutral and bad but special dialogue options are available for each path if the player has enough points in it that can end a dialogue prematurely to the heroes favor. Quick-time events have been introduced, where the player can perform an alignment action independent from his current path, such as hitting an obnoxious reporter in the face to shut her up.

As opposed to the first game, the PC- and the Xbox-360-versions are nearly identical. The only difference is the interface which, on the Xbox 360, features a radial menu with the ability to put four powers on hot-keys as opposed to the PC-version which features a mouse-controlled drag-&-drop interface and a quick-slot ribbon for up to eight powers to be activated by using the number keys. On both platforms the player can directly use the powers his squad mates possess.

One of the most important features of Mass Effect 2 is the ability to import a character from the first game. While the character itself including class and appearance can still be changed at the beginning of the game, he will get a huge bonus both in credits, experience points and minerals at the start of the game depending on the character level he had at the end. In addition, hundreds of decisions the player made in the first game will have an impact on more or less important parts of Mass Effect 2. This includes the state of the universe at the beginning of the game, which romances the player pursued and which of his squad mates died or survived the end as well as minor decisions like the survival of the Rachni queen. If Shepard survives the end of Mass Effect 2, the player will be able to carry him over to Mass Effect 3, too.

Screenshots

Mass Effect 2 Windows I like Mordin - he speaks so unbelievable fast that even Zero Punctuation seems slow in comparison.
Mass Effect 2 Windows Meet the man that had the money to have Shepard ressurected. He looks awefully like Martin Sheen.
Mass Effect 2 Windows This is the entire map of a side-quest - and no enemies in anywere.
Mass Effect 2 Xbox 360 Gamestop Terminus armor.

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

I’m Commander Shepard, and this is my favourite store on the Citadel. Windows Adzuken (702)
With reserved excitement: Best of BioWare Lite Windows אולג 小奥 (171461)
A great RPG that is only slightly weaker than the first one Xbox 360 Zokolov (66)
The ultimate interactive movie Windows VVP (139)
A close-to-perfect middle part of the trilogy Xbox 360 Hammerlore (982)

The Press Says

Cheat Happens Windows Feb 02, 2010 10 out of 10 100
newbreview.com Xbox 360 Jan 27, 2010 5 out of 5 100
Gamereactor (Germany) Windows Jan 27, 2010 10 out of 10 100
Xboxdynasty (XD) Xbox 360 Feb 02, 2010 9.3 out of 10 93
PC Gameplay (Benelux) Windows Jan 29, 2010 91 out of 100 91
GameSpot Xbox 360 Jan 26, 2010 9 out of 10 90
2404.org PC Gaming Windows Feb 15, 2010 8.5 out of 10 85
CPU Gamer Windows Feb 15, 2010 8.5 out of 10 85
Legendra Windows Jan 27, 2010 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
JeuxVideoPC.com Windows Jan 29, 2010 16 out of 20 80

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
So, these DLCs... 14 Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (590)
Nov 11, 2011
Oh Bioware... 5 BurningStickMan (17738)
Jun 05, 2011
Impressed, thus far. 21 Indra is here (19781)
Mar 02, 2010

Trivia

1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die

Mass Effect 2 is mentioned in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by Tony Mott

Quarrians

It seems likely that the frequent religious invocation spoken among the Quarrian people, "Keelah se'lai," for which no translation is provided, is inspired by hybridized sounds similar to Arabic "Qul huwallahu ... " قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ which means "The Lord thy God is ... " or "Say of/about Allah that He is ..." from out of the phrase "Qul huwallahu ahad," or approximately "The Lord Thy God is one and indivisible, combined with the Hebrew selah, seylah, סֶלָה‎, the meaning of which is debated by specialists, sometimes interpreted as "forever," and sometimes as "now pause and consider the prayer or words just spoken."

This vaguely suggests that what the Quarrians may mean by their invocation is to say that "God is forever," or "God is eternal."

Quarrians also use the word "Keelah!" by itself as an interjection of awe and surprise similar to "My God!" Sometimes they say such things as "Oh Keelah," or "Keelah, I hope not."

Quarrian women's environmental suits make it look as though they are wearing very beautiful hijab (the veils worn by devout Muslim women). Yeoman Kelly Chambers, for example, remarks on how beautiful the Quarrian environmental suits for both sexes are. Also, Quarrians and Muslims both go on pilgrimage, although Quarrians do not mean the same thing by this that Muslims mean.

Finally, so far there has never been anything suggesting that Quarrians believe in more than one god, any more than Muslims, Christians, or Jews believe in more than one God. For comparison, the Drell characters Thane and Kolyat say they believe in polytheism, the Turians are animists who believe that almost every conceivable thing has a spirit, the Krogen say they worship their ancestors, and Dr. Mordin Solus says that many Salarians believe in reincarnation. It may be that Bioware decided not to provide details about the Quarrian religion because doing so might have offended Jews, Muslims, or Christians.

References

The small space hamster, which you can purchase from Citadel Souvenirs, is seemingly a reference to Baldur's Gate and Minsc’s animal companion, Boo, "the only miniature giant space hamster in the Realm!" Perhaps this explains its "knowing smile". Also, when Tali deploys a combat drone in a battle situation, she tells it to go for the optics, like Minsc tells Boo to go for the eyes.

References to the Game

Mass Effect 2 was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 05/2010.

Salutes

Even though Lawson is Shepard's executive officer on the new Normandy SR2, Lawson is never shown saluting except at the end of her conversation about setting out for the Omega 4 Relay, after apologizing for how she had once worried that Shepard was not suitable for their assignment. When Lawson does salute, she forms her hand correctly but she doesn't hold it long enough. Strictly speaking, a superior officer should prescribe a punishment in accordance with regulations if such a thing happens, and a very kind officer might just tell the subordinate to practice saluting more often, if only to protect them from getting in trouble with other superior officers.

Although Cerberus is a private organization, its personnel are uniformed, they follow strict rules as mentioned in the Project Overlord downloadable content, they receive rigorous training, and it is unlikely they would be operating a fleet of warships without using traditional military courtesy. In Mass Effect, when Shepard was still a member of the (Human) Systems Alliance Navy, Williams and Alenko saluted Rear Admiral Mikhailovich the moment he came to inspect the first Normandy. If Shepard chose not to salute, then the Admiral was quite understandably very displeased. By comparison, Jacob Taylor, the Armory Officer on the new Normandy, is a former member of the Systems Alliance Navy who decided to quit the Alliance and join Cerberus, rather than being with Cerberus from the beginning like Lawson. On the ship, Taylor comes to attention and salutes perfectly every time he is dismissed by Shepard, but neither he nor any other squad members salute in the field. The practice of not saluting in the field is a widespread practice today. Many countries, including the United States. have regulations that forbid soldiers from saluting officers in the field. After all, at any moment there may be an enemy sniper ready to kill whomever is seen being saluted.

Soundtrack

The song played on the upper level of the Afterlife Club is a new version of the song Callista by Saki Kaskas. This track was originally used for the car showroom in Need for Speed: High Stakes.

Awards

  • Cheat Code Central
    • 2010 - Best Xbox 360 Game
    • 2010 - Best RPG
    • 2010 - Best Female Character (Jane Shepard)
  • G4 XPlay
    • 2010 - Game of the Year
    • 2010 - Best Role-Playing Game
    • 2010 - Best Writing
  • GamePro (Germany)
    • 2011 - Best Console RPG in 2010 (Readers' Voting)
  • GameSpot
    • 2009 - Early 2010 Most Anticipated Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2010 - Best RPG (Editors' Choice)
  • GameSpy
    • 2010 - Best Xbox 360 Game
    • 2010 - Best Role-Playing Game
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • 2011 - Best PC Game in 2010 (Readers' Voting)
    • 2011 - Best PC RPG in 2010 (Readers' Voting)
  • Spike TV
    • 2010 - Best Xbox 360 Game
    • 2010 - Best RPG
  • Xbox 360 Achievements
    • 2010 - Game of the Year
    • 2010 - Best Graphics of the Year
    • 2010 - Second place for Original Score of the Year
    • 2010 - Second place for Innovative Gameplay Feature of the Year
    • 2010 - Third place for Best Story of the Year
Information also contributed by 6⅞ of Nine, 88 49 and Yearman

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Contributed to by Sicarius (61021)