Mass Effect 2 withdrawal

I’m away from my 360 this weekend, and I’m missing Mass Effect 2 badly. I’d originally thought to blitz through ME2 and finish playing it before Bioshock 2 came out, but once I started I realized I don’t want this game to end. I’ve been a huge Bioware fan since KOTOR. I love the mix of dialog and fighting in Bioware’s roleplaying games, I love that your choices in-game actually affect (mostly, anyway) in-game events, I love the well-written characters and superb voice acting, and I love that I can play as a kick-ass female character instead of being forced to play as a male. Each game Bioware releases improves upon the last, and Mass Effect 2 is damn near perfect. I have a few problems with it that I’ll discuss in later posts, but this is a straight-up love letter.

I adored Mass Effect, and I was thrilled to find that I could import my ME1 character into ME2. I have a history with my version of Shepard. Mass Effect is a long game, and I was attached to my character by its end. I love having the opportunity to continue playing with my original Shepard and seeing her story continue.

I’m impressed to find out how much my choices in the first game affect my experience in this one. I’ve run into many walk-on characters I interacted with in the first game, bringing a sense of closure (or continuation) to whatever interaction I had with them the first time around. I occasionally receive a message from someone whose “life” I touched in Mass Effect. Each of my team members from the first game (they all survived my playthrough) have popped up in positions of more or less power throughout the galaxy, and I enjoy seeing what they’re up to and chatting with them. I love, love, love the character development and writing in these games.

I am wild about the new, streamlined combat system. I initially thought I would miss the old inventory system, but that worry didn’t last two minutes of play. I enjoy picking up ammo for my weapons this time around, rather than dealing with a system of endless ammo and “overload,” in which I never had to reload but spent a lot of time sitting around waiting for my gun to cool down. ME2 provides enough ammo so I’ve never felt taxed, but I’m forced to switch weapons from time to time and use everything in my arsenal. I feel that the cover system in ME2 is very effective, and I adore the new biotic and tech powers. I appreciate the simplification of the level-up menu. I love, love, love the combat in this game. I could happily play this as a fighting game alone (and am blown away that it’s so much more).

I love the redesign of the Normandy, though the elevator’s a little slow. Speaking of which, I’m elated that the looooong, slooooow elevators of the first game have given way to stairs and fast-travel stations. I miss the Mako a little bit when I think about it, but mostly I don’t think about it. I’m too busy having fun.

RIP, Mako.

I’m impressed by the graphics. The environments in Mass Effect 2 are gorgeous, and aren’t repeated continuously as they were in the first game. The character’s faces look fantastic, and they move ever more naturally when speaking. The cinematic camera angles and characters’ movement during conversations add inestimably to the experience. See?

I can’t go on. I miss Mass Effect 2 too much to torture myself this way. I still need to open up Mordin’s and Zaeed’s loyalty, and mine a bunch of planets so I can buy some more upgrades, and finish up some more side missions, and gather Collector technology and make sure my team and ship are prepared and go through the Omega 4 Relay and SAVE THE GALAXY FROM THE REAPERS! Oh, and feed my fish and visit my Space Hamster in my captain’s cabin.

I’ll be busy next week.


5 Responses to “Mass Effect 2 withdrawal”

  1. 1 Many Words
    February 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I share your love of ME2!! It has encompassed many evenings and weekends since it came out. Honestly, I can’t think of anything I don’t like about it — unlike you, I am SO glad they got rid of the Mako… I spent a lot of time with it on it’s roof. LOL The side quests to gain loyalty are wonderful. Seeing old friends from ME1 is fun and well done… It’s just a wonderful game with the perfect balance of FPS and RPG. Can’t wait for ME3!

    • February 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      It really is pretty much perfect. The only two things I don’t like about it are the planet-mining (it was really fun the first few times, then got tedious), and some of the female characters’ attire (I’ll probably rant at length about that later). I enjoyed fighting in the Mako in ME1, but hated driving around looking for what I was SUPPOSED to be fighting in it.
      I can’t wait to get back to playing it! I miss my crew members!

  2. 3 Anon
    June 25, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Still going through ME2 withdraws even after many months from playing it 😦

  3. 5 Aaron
    September 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Dammit. I’m going to have to go back and play this again. Probably one of the best games I’ve played in years. I thought there were a number of things that I was going to miss from ME1, but yeah, I just had too much fun to miss anything.

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