‘Mass Effect 2’: Return of the top space opera

<b>REVIEW.</b> If you missed this franchise the first time around, the “Mass Effect”series is basically science-fiction crack. This planned trilogy has youjourneying around the galaxy, trying to save humanity from a mysteriousalien menace. Sure, it sounds like sci-fi paint-by-numbers, and in asense it is. But hey, “Harry Potter” sounds cliche on paper too. It’sall in the details, and “Mass Effect 2” is full of them. <p></p>

 

‘Mass Effect 2’
Console: Xbox 360/PC
Grade: ?????

If you missed this franchise the first time around, the “Mass Effect” series is basically science-fiction crack. This planned trilogy has you journeying around the galaxy, trying to save humanity from a mysterious alien menace. Sure, it sounds like sci-fi paint-by-numbers, and in a sense it is. But hey, “Harry Potter” sounds cliche on paper too. It’s all in the details, and “Mass Effect 2” is full of them.

 

First of all, this game is huge. It has an epic and open feel that is rare in console games. You can spend hours just picking solar systems and seeing if anything cool is in there.

The series is still a third-person action title with a heavy emphasis on role playing. You can create your own character or import from the previous game. If you do import, the game rewards you by remembering decisions you made and changing the game accordingly. Any decision you make in the game sticks.

 

The story here is top- notch: The quality of writing and acting is so high, you won’t even be embarrassed for Martin Sheen as he chews up virtual scenery. Game developers, take note: Writing and acting matter. Please help elevate gaming out of the narrative gutter.

 

So there you have it. If you like sci-fi, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by missing this game. It’s nearly perfect in every way. The graphics are stunning, the story is epic, and the cast is diverse and interesting.

 
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