It's been two years since Eden Prime, two years since the assault on the Citadel, two years since you where killed. Cerberus as bought you back from the dead to find out what is making human colonies vanish. Given a list of names to for you, as Commander Shepard, to recruit. You and your new found team must stop the Collectors and prepare for the coming war of the Reapers.
PICK AND CHOOSE
On the Xbox 360 version of the game, you can import your Shepard from the original Mass Effect and depending if you saved Ashley or Kaiden, you will know right away that the choices you made in the first game matters here. On the Playstation 3 version, it will start off like you never played the original Mass Effect, and how could you? Microsoft owns the publishing rights to Mass Effect so seeing the original coming to the PS3 is highly unlikely. After the intro, set two months after the first game, you get a chance to watch a comic book style recap of the first game. It's a clever way to bring Playstation 3 players up to speed if they never played the first one. Another thing about it is you can pick six choices players had to make in the first game. The downside about this is that the only way to get it is either buying The Cerberus Network or getting the game new. It's not that big of a deal, but seeing that Mass Effect 3 will, supposedly, tie up everything, it kind of sucks.
Six ways to play
After the comic recap, you go into the character creation screen. This is where you can either make a new Shepard or create your own; I created my own. You can choose from various aspects of your character. There are six classes in total, and all have their own unique gameplay. For my female Shepard I picked the solider class. The solider class allows Mass Effect to play out like a third person shooter. What makes solider class different from the rest is that it is the only class you can use an Assault Rifle and adrenaline. For my Shepard, I named her Emily based on Emily Haines of Metric. While I named my Shepard after her, it does not look like her; Short black hair, green eyes, and dark purple lipstick. I thought it was black, but towards the end I saw that it was purple.
MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
Once the game starts, you wake up and the lab you are in is under attack. Because I choose the solider class, the game plays like a third person shooter. Despite this, you can still command your party into doing things for you. One of the first person you meet during the attack is a man named Jacob. He's got biotic powers so you can use that to your advantage. This is a pretty neat way to show off what you are missing. I am planning to start again with a male Shepard and this time using Vanguard. The commands are easy to do; push a button, command your squad or pick something for you, and see the results. It may sounds strange to say, but I play the game like Dragon Age. I never used the quick select. I bring up the wheel, see my surroundings, and plan accordingly. It's more effective, than just simply pushing a button.
After you escape from the attack with Jacob and Miranda, you are met with the Illusive Man. The person that founded Cerberus. He tells you that colonies are going missing and it's up to you to find out who and why. This is one of the reasons why the recreated Shepard. The Illusive man gives you a dossier full of names and you go and try to recruit them. He also gives you a brand new ship that is modeled after the first Normandy.
Pause, look, dominate
Once you find out who, the Illusive Man tells Shepard that he must go through the Omega 4 Relay. The Omega 4 Relay is a lost Relay. Instead of shining blue, like the rest, it shines red. Anyone that has past through it has never returned. It's best to have all your team and ship upgraded before passing through. Along the way, you can collect resources by scanning planets and doing random side quests. The most important side quests is the loyalty quests. After talking to your teammates, they will ask you to do something for them. If you do the loyalty missions, they will trust you and will have a good chance of surviving. I say good chance because I did Miranda's loyalty mission and she still ended up killed. She was the only member in my team to die.
EXPANDING OUR LITTLE TEAM
The cast of characters expands from the original Mass Effect. The locations you go expands also, and instead of having every building look identical, they all look different with different layouts. The planets are no longer identical. There are alot of planets to explore and to land. Sometimes you can find unique things that can only be found in the planet. This is also where the DLC comes in. If you have the PS3 version, there are 3 great DLC to do; Lair of the Shadow Broker, Kasumi: Stolen Memory, and Overlord. Shadow Broker is the best one and it answers what the Shadow Broker is. Shooting
There is no two ways to play the game. You can be either paragon or a renegade. It's all up to you. The bad thing about this is that you pretty much know what will gain the most paragon or renegade points. If you choose a renegade option, you will have more renegade points given to you and a little bit of paragon. Same implies if you picked paragon. There are many hours to be had in Mass Effect 2. It will take a good while to do everything this game has to offer.
With Mass Effect 3 on its way, I can imagine that everyone that is getting the game is playing Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, so they can see if all those choices they made are really worth it at the end. I have high hopes for Mass Effect 3. If Mass Effect 3 ends up being bad, at least we know that we got two excellent games to fall back on.