Time to save the galaxy again, although this time you've got a new crack team of trademark BioWare characters, an improved Normandy Mark II, no fiddly Mako planetary exploration or cookie-cutter side quests, and a bunch of really big guns that fire things like explosive shells, heat seeking rockets and the odd nuclear payload. The cover system even works this time around too!
Play are currently selling Commander Shepard's latest adventure for £12.99 on the PC - although gamers with an X360 may want to consider purchasing it for the console for which it was originally designed as there have been a few niggling issues with the port - which will save you nearly £2 on the price offered by the GAME/Gamestation/Gameplay lot.
As a BioWare junkie, I'm pretty much in love with this game. They've gone and sorted the combat out, and it plays like a very good third person shooter for the action bits, but the BioWare narrative and characterisation is back with a bang too. True, one or two of these characters seem a little like bad-ass echoes of their species' counterparts from the first game, and we're still hunting for a character that's more memorable than KOTOR's HK-47, but you do want to get to know the crew of misfits you'll collect on your travels.
Although the game's core has seen great improvement and tweaking, there are a few issues. The mining game is awful, the new size of the Normandy means that you actually end up spending more time in a lift than before, and BioWare kind of blow their big twist a little too early.
That said, Mass Effect 2 feels so much nicer to play. The item micro-management may have been jettisoned, but the system that has replaced it still offers a decent amount of customisation whilst ensuring that the action never becomes a chore. The AI is vastly improved and command issuing is actually pretty reliable this time around. Basically, if you liked the first, then you need this game. If you never played the original then stop reading this and go and play it right now!
Thanks to Tizz at HUKD