Almost precisely a year after the PC and Xbox 360 version was released, the best action RPG (and, in my opinion, the best game of 2010) has finally landed on the PS3.
And, as the game comes with all the important DLC already included, if this is your first foray into the world of Mass Effect, you are getting a mass-ive deal (sorry, couldn’t help myself). If you haven’t played one of the Mass Effect games, don’t worry: There’s a included tutorial to allow you to understand the storyline from ME1, and allow you to make some of the more important decisions that will influence how some aspects of ME2 play out.
While these decisions won’t have as much emotional impact, they still allow you to grasp the backstory and understand the basic concepts of the Mass Effect universe.
As I stated in my original review, the surveying and mining of planets for resources is tedious and irritating, and could have been implemented in a much better fashion. Unfortunately, performing this activity on a gamepad instead of a keyboard and mouse was no less annoying. However — and this is said as someone who is a dyed-in-the-wool keyboard/mouse guy for shooters — I did find myself getting used to, and even enjoying, the combat with the gamepad. It felt natural — and easy.
While the much-lauded early version of the Mass Effect 3 engine (a modified version of the Unreal 3 engine) on which the PS3 version of ME2 runs is nice, the changes are not as noticeable as you might have thought given the hype.
More important than the graphics, in my opinion, is the fact that you are getting more than $40 worth of DLC included in the price for the game itself. This includes the “Lair of the Shadow Broker” DLC that was released late last year, which begins the story transition to the final chapter of the ME trilogy. There are plans for another DLC release later this year to help bridge the story between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, which releases this holiday season.
One item to note, for those who haven’t played any of the Mass Effect games before: Hang onto your Save Game data, once you’ve finished ME2. One of the beautiful things about this series is that you can import your character from the previous games into the new one. This allows your decisions in the previous games (did you save the galactic council or let them be wiped out? which squad member did you send on that suicide mission? were you ruthless and coldblooded in getting the mission done, or were you compassionate and honorable?) to have lasting consequences.
As Ben Kuchera over on Ars Technica states, “This is a game you need to own, no matter what platform you choose.” So, I’ll delve back just over a year and repeat myself: Stop reading this already and go buy it!