By jsslifelike | Feb. 4th, 2010
My playthrough of Mass Effect 2 clocks in at roughly 15 hours at the moment, and may not include all that the title has to offer… yet. However, what remains in the forefront of my mind is that if so much has changed, is the game actually a sequel or just a re-imagining of the franchise with a number attached to the end?
The only component that remains from Mass Effect is the Normandy(now the SR2). Even though it is visually and aesthetically different from its prior counterpart, it remains as the player’s “hub” world. Used as a primary anchor, the starship adequately serves its purpose while mostly everything outside has been refashioned.
Make no mistake- Mass Effect 2 is a third-person shooter first and foremost, unlike it’s predecessor. The first time a player fires his or her Heavy Pistol in the sequel, it just feels right. The addition of ammunition management as well further supports this claim. Weapons overheating may have indeed been annoying, that mechanic is more akin to role-playing than worrying about ammo reserves.
The armor and weapons have also been reworked from a “rune” based system to a more streamlined “augmentation” one- an obvious step away from RPGs. Each armor piece now has a unique inherent attribute instead of player customization whilst elemental damage has been reduced to a mere technique.
All of this being said, the title is indeed tremendous. BioWare should be applauded on creating a landmark product but we should not overlook just what that product truly is. For better or worse, the Mass Effect franchise has indeed shifted its focus from 20-sided die to western Attention-Deficit Disorder.