I just beat Mass Effect 2. It took me 17 and a half hours and I did every loyalty mission. I finally beat it. In short, this may be my favorite game I have ever played. That is a huge claim, so I need more time to think about it. To say it is better than Ocarina of Time, Halo: Reach, Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 would be saying quite a mouthful about the game. I apologize if this completely spoiled my future review of the game, but it had to be said.
Anyway, the game makes it very clear that most of your crew won’t return from the Omega 4 Relay. What I didn’t expect was that the game would pick off my crew like they were bugs in a park. Immediately upon arrival, Jack died. This shocked me. I hated her, but I felt awful when she died. We ended on such bad terms. This also surprised me because I know she is in ME3. Now I know that she’s only there if she survives this game. Next was Legion, who I didn’t really care about. Later, the choices I made were crucial to who survives. I became afraid to make a decision, in fear of the outcome. Grunt was assigned to hold off the door while I complete the mission. I knew he was the strongest. He died. One by one, most of them died. I assigned Tali as the specialist, and she survived. The method to keeping her alive was genius and integrated into gameplay smoothly. The two deaths that hurt the most were Thane and Mordin. Thane died before reaching the Collector Base, and Mordin died when the biotic barrier ran out.
When characters starting dying, I felt what was at stake. These were characters that I helped, spend hours with, and in the blink of an eye they were gone. But Mass Effect 2 had more up its sleeves. The character-deaths were awful, but the human-Reaper was worse. Knowing that thousands of humans were liquefied into that machine disturbed me. When The Illusive Man ordered me to preserve it, I refused to listen. I was so proud when Miranda abruptly ended the call.
Speaking of which, Miranda disappointed me. I was way more interested in her than Ashley Williams (who has become really annoying), but I must have done something to shoot her down. Before entering the Omega 4 Relay, Shepard looked at a picture of Ash on his desk, and I was terribly disappointed. Let me explain why. Commander Shepard is a projection character. The gamer is meant to project their thoughts and actions onto him. At this point of the game, Commander Shepard wasn’t acting the way I would. Admittedly, I have grown to hate Ash. I don’t want him to like her. Hopefully Mass Effect 3 will give me the option to end things with her.
To conclude on my thoughts of Mass Effect 2, I feel like BioWare has reached the potential they set-up in the first Mass Effect. The gunplay has been completely fixed. BioWare included a melee button. The characters were more interesting and well developed. The story took some huge twists (I was so shocked when I found out who the Collectors really were). Mass Effect 2 was an amazing experience that every gamer should experience. Hopefully BioWare has ended the trilogy in a manner that it deserves.