Mass Efflections: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Mass Effect 2 is a better game than Mass Effect. After all 56 hours of gameplay Mass Effect 2 had to offer, that much was clear.

Mass Effect 2 is sleeker. The graphics are better. Combat mechanics are more stable. You no longer have to tediously outfit your entire crew. The mini-games for hacking consoles and bypassing security feel more like hacking than Mass Effect’s “random series of buttons.” The storytelling is more personal, tightening the story and making it more engaging.

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Not only did Mass Effect 2 tell a better story; it told a bigger one. The Collectors, agents of the Reapers, are abducting tens of thousands of human colonists as… ummm… part of the Reapers’ plan somehow? Okay, maybe the story wasn’t as good as the storytelling, but it did feel that way.

The music was one major reason why. The synthy electronics of the Mass Effect score are gone and replaced by bombast; soaring strings, pulsing drums, plenty of brass, and thicker, meatier electronics. Think “futuristic Hans Zimmer clone.”

The game’s final mission is another reason. Continue reading

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