Cool Shop currently have Mass Effect 2 on sale for £17.97, a price which is a fair way ahead of the competition. No other retailer is selling it for less than £20 at the moment and it chops nearly £4 off the next best price from £21.86 from Shop To.
It's not just the combat that has undertaken a serious overhaul, Shepard is back and she has been given something of a makeover by new pals Cerberus. The reaper threat looms larger than ever but, even after the destruction of the Citadel, warning the rest of the universe is still proving trickier than taking down a rogue Spectre. Our favourite Commander's continuing adventures provide a thrilling and cinematic slice of gaming awesomeness which offers just the right mix of challenge and accessibility.
Unlike seemingly everybody else in the gaming community, I am not sure whether I actually prefer this sequel to the original Mass Effect, despite the laundry list of improvements that have been made. I know it was rubbish but I became kinda fond of the bumbling Mako and I think it's a real shame that Bioware did away with vehicular travel entirely instead of improving it. Especially since its replacement, the mining mini game, is impressively tedious. And while I can appreciate the work that went into Miranda's shapely posterior as much as the next person, its position at centre stage in virtually every scene it graces quickly moves from amusing to irritating.
However, these grumbles (and the fact that I missed my old crew, particularly my beloved Wrex, painfully) aside, I found Mass Effect 2 to be an excellent and extraordinary game. The combat is much improved, with guns which now feel like actual weapons rather than toys and a much more intense battle experience and a change from the earlier "overheating" mechanic to a more typical ammo system, which most will prefer. Special powers also feel more robust and accessible and incinerating an enemy or launching it across the screen is an ever-satisfying experience.
There's a larger character roster too, meaning that you can make every battle different as you mix and match abilities, or form your ultimate team to drag around the cosmos. As one would expect from Bioware this motley crew includes some truly memorable and beautifully realised characters that you may well wish were your friends in real life (or maybe that's just me). Fragile yet lethal Drell assassin Thane, dignified asari justicar Samara and, my personal favourite logical, Gilbert and Sullivan loving salarian scientist Mordin, all have plenty to offer and it's great to reacquaint with a couple of familiar faces from the original Mass Effect. However a few of the team members left me rather cold; after a brief struggle for his identity, new krogan Grunt has little to contribute beyond "I like killing stuff", while Cerberus operative Jacob is friendly but kinda boring.
Aside from the crew of the Normandy, there are plenty of NPCs littered around the various worlds you will visit, with whom it is a joy to converse or eavesdrop upon. It's the little details like this, interweaved with epic storytelling and fantastic visuals and set-pieces that really help to make Mass Effect 2 such an absolute delight to play.
Thanks to millarcat at Hotukdeals!