Why? Why are you reading this review? The time that you spend reading this page is valuable time that could be spent playing Mass Effect 2. It’s that good. Seriously. (Doubly so if you’ve played the original) Everything you need to know about Bioware’s sequel can be summed up as so. Buy this game. If need be purchase the Xbox 360, to do so.
Games such as this are a rarity in the industry and it was evident that Edmonton’s Bioware was onto something when it delivered the predecessor back in 2007. Although the franchise doesn’t have the brand power that other s do, such as the Halo series, Metal Gear, or Mario, it makes its stand as the only game with heart.
Yes, I said it,…Heart. And before all sorts of preconceptions are made and you write Mass Effect 2 off as a touchy-feely space drama, know this; You, dear reader, are the hero of this game. Let me explain.
For years, mediums have attempted to bridge the gap between the personality on a screen and the personality that is you. Movies attempt to build their characters to become relatable to the audience. That’s why hero’s that start out in environments that can be familiar to a viewer are more endearing to the masses then a hero’s that been built that way. Chances are you have more in common with farm-boy Luke Skywalker with daddy issues, then you do with the metal-man Terminator who was carved out of Adamantium or Chuck Norris.
My point being, that if you can identify with the protagonist then you are more likely to become invested in them. Video games have done with in numerous ways. From the blank-slate of the Master-Chief, which you are inclined to make your own personal assumptions about, to your personally sculpted avatar in MMOs such as the juggernaut that is World of Warcraft. Games have even gone so far as to allow the user to craft their hero in their own image, allowing body shape, size and facial features all to be formed to emulate the gamer. Mass Effect 2 (and its predecessor) have taken it a step further.
And although you can still sculpt your hero to your physical likeness, the real gem in this series is what you, personally, choose. Your, in-game decisions, not only affect the outcome of the game, giving you direct control of the overall story, but they also work together to build your hero. And THAT, not anything else, is what sets this game apart from millions of others.