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Mass Effect 2 (PS3) Review
Written By: Sam Shipp
            There are only a couple of games every few years that make me say “Wow”.  These games are able to combine a great story with great characters and a good game play. This type of game sucks up all my time and is the only thing I can think about weeks after I beat it.  Mass Effect 2 is one of those games. 
            One of my biggest concerns coming into Mass Effect 2 was that I was going to be lost throughout the entire story since I have not played the first game.  And sadly, if you only own a PS3, you will never get to play the first game.  Microsoft owns the publishing rights to the game, so they will keep it as an exclusive for the Xbox
Bioware, however, has found a loophole.  Though Microsoft owns the rights to the first game, they do not own the rights to limit the story.  Bioware teamed up with Dark Horse Comics and created an interactive comic that told both the story of the first game and gave the player a chance to make some decisions that would carry over to the second game. 
I have to say, I hate most RPG’s.  Most other RPGs I have played have a very slow and tactical action.  Even in Fallout, you cannot play with using the iron sites, the enemies move to quickly and you do not have enough bullets to try your luck.   The only way to play in most RPG’s is to pause the action and decide who and where you want to shoot an enemy.  Though it looks cool when you kill a person, it breaks up the action too much.  In Mass Effect, Bioware has made a third person action game that has some RPG elements.  You have to cover, aim down your sights, and know when to pop out and shoot. 
Mass Effect can be as tactical or as much of a run and gun type of game as a person wants.  A player has the option to stop the action and go tactical; letting the person choose where they want their team to go and what power they want their team to use and on which enemy. Or, somebody could run through the game, kill whoever they want, and get the enemy without the use of their team.  
Depending on what difficulty someone is using, these options became easier or harder to choose.  I beat the game on normal, and it did really matter if I even worried about my team.  But when I went back and played the game on insanity, I had to be in cover most of the time and tactically pick where my team went and what they did. 
The biggest strength and weakness of Mass Effect 2, however, can be seen through the story.  The one on one interaction with the other characters on the ship and the decisions I had to make were really cool.  I could decide who I wanted to be my girl friend and who I trusted and did not trust.   I could either be the nice guy who helped everyone out, or I could be the jerk who could care less about what happens to anyone on the ship.  These types of interactions would give you points that would help to unlock new conversations.  At the end of the game, I wanted to go back and replay the entire game in order to just do the opposite of what I did the first time.  Even at the end of the game, you are left with decisions that would carry over into the next game. 
The broad story arch, however, leaves you in a mixed mood.  The events that were covered in the first game are talked about and play into the general story.  I feel more like the main story of the second game is a massive side quest that adds to the lore of Mass Effect.   It builds into the story and will be important in the third game, but you are just left with cliffhanger.  The main enemy in the game, The Reapers, an alien people who want to destroy all life, have very little to do with the final story.  Throughout most of the game, you are fighting a different enemy because somebody tells the character that they are a threat to the human race and have to be destroyed.
At the release of this game, it has all of the DLC that was sold separately for the Xbox 360 release.   This allows the add-on side missions to fit into the Mass Effect 2 story better; letting them seem more like an integrated side missions, then a completely new experience.  
Also, in comparison, Mass Effect 2 looks better on the PS3.  It runs on the engine that it going to support Mass Effect 3.  Though it does not completely change the visuals of the game, it allows for more crisp environments and better character model.  Throughout the game, I saw no major drops in frame rate or a game freezes.  It was able to keep up  
The graphical changes, along with one on one story telling of the game, and the 3rd person action, make Mass Effect 2 a great game.  Though the story is a build-up to a massive event that will happen in Mass Effect 3, it is still compelling.  Anyone who likes tactical games, fast paced games, or a character driven story should go out and buy this game.   Every one else should also go out and get this game!

Visuals:  9.7/10 (good but not the best on the system)
Story: 9.7/ 10 (amazing story, but acts like a filler game)
Performance:  10/10 (no major tearing or freezes)
Gameplay: 10/10 (A fun mix of RPG with 3rd person action)
Multiplayer: not applicable (does not have multiplayer)

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