Review of Mass Effect 2 for Xbox 360

With the award-winning series seeing its final installment soon, I thought it’d be fitting for me to review the most recent in the series. Does Mass Effect 2 deserve all of its many awards and prestigious titles? Read on to find out!

Story: The Reapers are seemingly gone, but “The Collectors” are here to take their place. They’re abducting entire human colonies, and it’s up to you to put a stop to them.

Sound: Mass Effect 2’s soundtrack is amazing. In the beginning hours it almost sounds like stuff out of cheesy 80’s sci-fi flicks, but as you progress through the game the soundtrack becomes more and more intense. The orchestrated bits are fantastic, and this game’s music is equal to that of most movies I’ve seen. The voice acting and dialogue is great too, with a lot of colorful characters and interesting faces to meet. I especially liked “Joker”, your ship’s pilot who is this game’s comic relief and does a great job at it. My only major complaint is that the main character, Shepard, has the most monotone voice I’ve ever encountered in a game which greatly detracts from some would-be touching sequences. Sound: 9/10

Presentation: The graphics are amazing, no question about it. Environmental textures look diverse and crisp, and my only gripe at all with the graphics is that character model’s faces look a little weird at times (in a stiff way). But that’s minor. For the amount of content in this game, the load times are surprisingly short to boot. Presentation: 9/10

Gameplay: It’s not your typical third-person shooter, but it’s not your typical RPG either. It’s the most creative hybrid of both I’ve ever seen. It incorporates upgrades, level ups, allignments, XP and leading a squad with the Vanquish-esque cover system and standard gunplay. The core action of the game is sort of clunky and the AI aren’t exactly the brightest, but about a third of the way through the story you start unlocking guns and powers that easily make up for these few shortcomings. Outside of the action sequences, there are the dialogue sections where you can make important conversation decisions that will greatly impact what happens later in the game. This is probably the most heavy usage I’ve seen of this mechanic in any game, but it does have one major drawback. The fact that if you don’t consistently say the good or bad thing throughout every conversation, you won’t gain a certain faction which means the best dialogue options in-game won’t be available to you. So you should decide early on whether to be a total jerk or a complete panzy. Other than that, the dialogue and plot decisions are a great and meaningful part of the game that really make you feel involved. Gameplay: 8.5/10

Multiplayer: Ha! A game with guns that doesn’t have multiplayer! Multiplayer: N/A

Length: Definitely one of the lengthiest games I’ve seen. It’s jam-packed with content, with the necessary story sequences bringing the game to about twenty hours. Add on the countless side quests and unlockables, and you could easily be looking at a forty hour adventure. Length: 10/10

Overall: Mass Effect 2 gets a 9.1/10! A gripping story, fairly fun gameplay and a lot of content make this game easily worth the price you pay for it and I highly recommend it to any gamer who wants a challenging adventure.

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