Commander Shepard is back, and he's lost a few pounds. Mass Effect 2 kisses goodbye to fiddly item management, bland side-quests, the Mako and an uninspired combat system and says hello to a vastly improved action experience, unique missions and a continuation of BioWare's trademark character-driven narrative.
I'm going to make no bones about it, I absolutely love this game. BioWare's epic space opera had me enthralled from the word 'Go' and this heavier, moodier sequel ticks all of the right boxes. Dark horses Blockbuster are currently thecheapest vendors at the moment, selling the game a good £3 cheaper than the nearest competitor over at ShopTo.
There aren't as many twists and big reveals as the first game, and we could do without the absurdly tedious mining mini-game, but Mass Effect 2 is an undoubted success. BioWare have done an excellent job of assembling a rag-tag team of the galaxy's best and making you want to find out their backstories, and what makes them tick, each and every one of them.
The combat is now genuinely thrilling, with a solid cover system, a reload mechanic, ammunition quick-swapping and abilities that might be fewer in number, but are generally superior in terms of execution and effect. The AI is much improved too, with enemies taking heed of your bullets and position, and your squadmates generally staying out of your line of fire.
For a further appraisal of the game's many merits and occasional faults, you can check out my review here, but to be honest if you own an Xbox 360 and enjoyed the first game then you really should have this in your possession.
Thanks to dsenart at HUKD