Mass Effect 2: First Impressions

New additions:
'Different' skill sets; Instead of a character having a possible 8-10 skills (weapon, tech, biotic, general/healing), alot of them have been eliminated and most characters only have about 4-6 skills. My adept has pull, singularity, throw, warp, biotic mastery and shockwave.. thats it.. call it dumbing down.. or call it streamlining.. you pick. I .. kinda like it but miss having alot of skills to choose from. One thing I like is now anyone can hack a computer/lockpick as there is no skill for that anymore.

Less micro-management;
from an rpg point of view.. bad. From a person that likes shooting more, a game that is more streamlined, or that places higher priority on plot, this is a good thing. I personally liked spending my time doing many different loadouts for my characters. The joy of finding or using powerful weapons, armor or mods. Just being able to play your characters differently through the gear you give them. Now, all you have to do is worry about your main character's gear. Mods seem to apply to all members, you don't need to worry about their gear, characters get the wepaons in which they are proficient in (so an Adept doesn't get a sniper rifle). I guess the positive side on this is less micro-management means more time to play through the storyline.

The Good
Graphics; Gorgeous. Even better than the first game (i guess it better be); lots of cutscenes to show it off. More textures and holograms.

Removal of the Maco
I found it was the most annoying aspect of the original game. Cliffs you couldn't climb; fighting thresher maws was super annoying.. the ability to run over ground enemies was cheap and avoiding turrets or lava was annoying as well. Thank goodness for this.

Plot/storyline. I won't give it away.. but its good and makes sense.

Talking Shepard\Protagonist. When the main character, your character, is able to talk and it is not just assumed that what you selected is what you said, it draws you into the game. Greater immersion. Bioware has kept this, and the voice acting is fantastic. (Why not Dragon Age, i dunno)

Lots of npc companions. I believe around 12.. so double than the first game.

Mining; scanning mini-game while looking for natural resources; you scan a planet from orbit and you shoot a probe to an area that you find with high concentrations of resources and this is used for research projects that will be used for upgrades (not confirmed: weapons and armor)

Faster shopping; instead of having to strike up a conversation with a vendor each time you want to buy, there are convenient terminals to start the buying process.

The Bad

Load times; omfg takes forever! I may not have a top of the line computer in today's standard, but it's still pretty decent, but the load times are huuuuge. Just moving from one deck in the Normandy takes a good 2-3 minutes (these are super small levels). Sure the graphics are cool  but it sure does take a long time! I read my strategy guide in between.

Feels clunky; maybe my mouse laser is not as accurate anymore.. or maybe its the game, but it seems like the cursor is slow in the game, or I get stuck when trying to aim. Aiming around corners is significantly harder; sometimes I get extremely frustrated that i'm pressing the zoom button but my character is not getting out of cover to aim b/c i'm not positioned correctly.

Jacob (the npc). He looks like Kayne West, sorry buddy, no matter how nice you are in the game, i don't think i can play you.

Limited ammo. Call it easy mode; i don't like the thought of being limited to ammo.. which possibly makes being biotic more important.. or make each shot count. I haven't played a soldier/physical player yet, so I don't know whether the mags on assault rifles, smgs, shotguns or sniper rifles are bigger. It doesn't make sense, 2 years ago (game time) there was unlimited ammo with heat conservation, and now there is ammo? blah

--------------I can't put in an honest review of the game yet, as I've barely touched the surface (only played about 5ish hours.. nd more like 3 hours on my character) already rerolled with my female renegade (i like to be evil). The game is good (I know that is a rather weak descriptor). Its Bioware, and i've already played Dragon Age and it was solid, a very good game. I can't imagine them not trying with Mass Effect 2, but actually trying even better as it is supposed to be a trilogy.
They took some of the annoying issues away, added a few quirks (limited ammo, and streamlined micromanagement).. but overall its the same type of game the original was that was very popular. Once again, I can't figure out how to take screenshots, but as you see, I took pics while gaming for your viewing pleasure ;)


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. They did simplify character leveling up, nice addition.

    The mining, launching probes thing gets boring fast. I hate that you have to do a tech upgrade to make it faster. Lame!

    Limited ammo is a pain. It feels like the game designers are forcing you to use the other weapons. I don't like when you weapons switch cause your out of ammo, then pick up ammo, you have to switch back to the weapon hit reload to cap the magazine out for that weapon. If they made the magazines twice the capacity I could deal with it better.

    My load times between ship levels is 1 second on a core i7-920 cpu, 6gb ram, velociraptor 10K rpm hard drive. I hit the elevator switch load screen ... I'm on the next deck.