Sextus Reviews: Mass Effect 2 PC

Mass Effect 2

Created by the company: BioWare (and ported to PC by Demiurge Studios), the first Mass Effect was a very successful game, where you play as commander Shepherd, on the spaceship: "The Normandy" and fight the Geth - a synthetic lifeform - and moreover the reapers - a highly advanced machine race - and therefore save the world or something like that...

3 years later we have Mass Effect 2, a fantastic game (to say the least)...


Yeah, the cover art really is that generic...

You're still commander Shepherd, and you're on the Normandy. Minutes later, there is an attack on the ship, people die, shit blows up - and you wind up dead. Yeah, interesting way to start a game... anyway, you're brought to life by a "terrorist" black-ops, pro human group: Cerberus.

Wondering what the hell a terrorist group is doing attempting to save you, you are asked to choose your hairstyle... and once you've done that, you may continue with the game, on a journey of discovery and wonder - I guess.

You find yourself working for Cerberus and trying to find a bunch of people to stop the "Collectors" from their evil plans - that is to abduct entire human colonies and severly damage the self asteem of humanity.

Gameplay

So you've gone straight into to the game, not knowing what to expect. Will the gameplay be fun, exciting and exhilherating, or will it be boring and unintuitive? I can safely say, that this is one of the best examples of gameplay I've seen. The environments are linear, but this works in the game's favour; as while in other games, when you have the opportunity to explore the world, you wont notice the monster or enemy behind you, causing instant death... or you will get lost and not know how to get back to the path you're on. Mass Effect 2 takes you down beautifully crafted and intrinsic corridors, with fantastic and well crafted scenery in every seperate part. The enemies are right in front of you, and there is one set target to focus on, always.
The atmosphere also really sets the scene, you really get the impression that people are relying on you for everything, and despite being cliched - you feel as if you ARE the only one who can save the world. The script, dialogue and voice actors help provide this experience. I don't think BioWare could have picked a better team of actors for the roles. It also shows a gritty, but hopeful future, wherein many ennvironments are poor, and many districts can be quite rich. There are planets primarily for mining, and planets primarily for markets and shopping.

image

The depth of characters in this game excels as well, as there are many different races (causing a whole new level of racism) and each seperate character has his or her own backstory. From the bad-arse religious assassin - Thane Krios, to the captured as a child and experimented on super soldier - Jack.
Many people have complained about the mining mini-game, in which you search planets for minerals to upgrade your weapons and armour, and I want to address these complaints right now. This mini-game is one of my favourite minigames EVER. Getting resources and equipment takes a bit of time, and it isn't action oriented, but it adds to a realistic sense of space and the duties that Commander Shepherd has to take up.
Aside from Shepherd and his team, the enemies in the game are really well detailed. The "collectors" are scary as fear goes, and they look freaking beautiful (in a sort of madman-beautiful sense).
This brings me to another point... the graphics in this game are BEAUTIFUL. Every environment, every character and every bit of details is refined with stunning textures and modelling. The cold steel gray on the walls, the brilliant skies and the kick-arse armour that the different characters wear help enhance the experience to a sky-high degree!

The not-so-good bits

Now you can probably tell, with all the other stuff I've said about the game, that this is going to be a pretty short section. So I'll go ahead and say it... the loading times in this games are atrocious. Now I have a farily good computer, it can run Mass Effect 2 with FRAPS for my playthroughs of the game. But the loading time within the Normandy is incredible! I've only ever customised my armour once, because the Armour Locker was on my cabin quarters, and the loading time from the main area of the ship to their was about 2 minutes... I understand a long loading time if the world is about to blow up, or if there's some super cinematic cutscene, but I wanted to change the freaking colour of my armour!
Other than that I have no complaints, I don't think I've enjoyed any game as much as I enjoyed Mass Effect 2. This was a really spectacular feat. Well done BioWare, I doubt you really care that much...

Summary

In conclusion, I'd like to say that this has been my favourite game of the year so far, while some bits were hated by other people as I braced myself going in to playing them, I found that they were far more fun than people made them out to be, perhaps the loading times frustrated them like they did me?
Any how, I enjoyed the game immensly!

*****

Must-Buy Game!

Oh Sextus, you must learn that BB code does not work in titles.

Anyway, good review. I think it could have been longer though.

EDIT: Oh yeah! And I have a problem with this part:

You're still commander Shepherd, and you're on the Normandy. Minutes later, there is an attack on the ship, people die, shit blows up - and you wind up dead. Yeah, interesting way to start a game... anyway, you're brought to life by a "terrorist" black-ops, pro human group: Cerberus.

Wondering what the hell a terrorist group is doing attempting to save you, you are asked to choose your hairstyle... and once you've done that, you may continue with the game, on a journey of discovery and wonder - I guess.

You find yourself working for Cerberus and trying to find a bunch of people to stop the "Collectors" from their evil plans - that is to abduct entire human colonies and severly damage the self asteem of humanity.

You must act like the reader is stupid. Explain who Commander Shepard is, what the Normandy is. Go in deep with what Cerberus is. What your main goal is. Ect ect ect.

I'd say there's something wrong with your computer if it takes you 2 minutes to load Shepard's quarters. It takes me maybe 5 seconds since the area is so much smaller than any others, and at most I think my loading times were maybe 20 seconds or so for a new area (my computer is a mid-range build going on 3 years old at this point, save for a RAM upgrade to 4GB and a graphics card upgrade to a GTX 275, hardly bleeding edge components).

BloodyThoughts:
Oh Sextus, you must learn that BB code does not work in titles.

I tried to EDIT it out as soon as I could, I swear!!

BloodyThoughts:

EDIT: Oh yeah! And I have a problem with this part:

You're still commander Shepherd, and you're on the Normandy. Minutes later, there is an attack on the ship, people die, shit blows up - and you wind up dead. Yeah, interesting way to start a game... anyway, you're brought to life by a "terrorist" black-ops, pro human group: Cerberus.

Wondering what the hell a terrorist group is doing attempting to save you, you are asked to choose your hairstyle... and once you've done that, you may continue with the game, on a journey of discovery and wonder - I guess.

You find yourself working for Cerberus and trying to find a bunch of people to stop the "Collectors" from their evil plans - that is to abduct entire human colonies and severly damage the self asteem of humanity.

You must act like the reader is stupid. Explain who Commander Shepard is, what the Normandy is. Go in deep with what Cerberus is. What your main goal is. Ect ect ect.

SextusMaximus:
on the spaceship: "The Normandy"

and Commander Shepherd is a commander... named Shepherd...

Yeah, my loading times are around 2 seconds, it usually never even finishes whatever loading animation it is doing before it loads...

Darkefire:
I'd say there's something wrong with your computer if it takes you 2 minutes to load Shepard's quarters. It takes me maybe 5 seconds since the area is so much smaller than any others, and at most I think my loading times were maybe 20 seconds or so for a new area (my computer is a mid-range build going on 3 years old at this point, save for a RAM upgrade to 4GB and a graphics card upgrade to a GTX 275, hardly bleeding edge components).

My RAM is 4GB
My graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 4650
and I can run games like Mirror's Edge perfectly with short loading times for that, also my old comp had higher specs and the loading times were still as bad...

Loading times are not down to the graphics card and have little to do with the RAM, what harddrive(s) are you using?

Excellent game.
I wish they could have added more substance to the storyline during the game though, like maybe meeting other spectres or going onto a military ship of some sort owned by the alliance, doing more things you've never done before (like when you first went to the council,) or maybe during the game some assassin is going after you. I was also hoping the ending would be slightly longer and have a more interesting plot twist, at least the side quests (like the flotilla) were really good.

Thats just me being picky though, every thing else was awesome.

SextusMaximus:

Darkefire:
I'd say there's something wrong with your computer if it takes you 2 minutes to load Shepard's quarters. It takes me maybe 5 seconds since the area is so much smaller than any others, and at most I think my loading times were maybe 20 seconds or so for a new area (my computer is a mid-range build going on 3 years old at this point, save for a RAM upgrade to 4GB and a graphics card upgrade to a GTX 275, hardly bleeding edge components).

My RAM is 4GB
My graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 4650
and I can run games like Mirror's Edge perfectly with short loading times for that, also my old comp had higher specs and the loading times were still as bad...

There is a bug in dual-core processors that causes the loading screens to drag on for a few minutes. I believe there is a fix, check on Google.

Yeah, as others have said there is definitely something amiss with a two minute loading screen to get to your cabin on the Normandy - at no point in my travels did any loading screen take longer than the animation that plays would take to start looping, and often on the Normandy it would load the new level before the little elevator animation could show I had changed floors.

Again, I don't exactly have bleeding edge components in my rig, so you might want to look into why you're seeing atrocious load times on a machine that can otherwise run the game fine.

SomeBoredGuy:

SextusMaximus:

Darkefire:
I'd say there's something wrong with your computer if it takes you 2 minutes to load Shepard's quarters. It takes me maybe 5 seconds since the area is so much smaller than any others, and at most I think my loading times were maybe 20 seconds or so for a new area (my computer is a mid-range build going on 3 years old at this point, save for a RAM upgrade to 4GB and a graphics card upgrade to a GTX 275, hardly bleeding edge components).

My RAM is 4GB
My graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 4650
and I can run games like Mirror's Edge perfectly with short loading times for that, also my old comp had higher specs and the loading times were still as bad...

There is a bug in dual-core processors that causes the loading screens to drag on for a few minutes. I believe there is a fix, check on Google.

Workaround for the dual-core loading time bug. Fixed it for me, and it plays like a whole different game. Used to carefully plan my trips around the Normandy to carefully minimize the number of trips I'd have to make through that damnable elevator. No longer!

Honestly, to me Mass Effect 2 is the best game this generation.

I liked your review, and you may be interested to know a patch is coming to the PC soon that fixes the planet scanning (I just found out about the 360 one today and having tried it I can safely say it's far better now)

 

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