Play it Again, Commander


A never ending supply of quality new games and an increasingly affordable, but broken pricing model has ensured that I'm never short of something new to play. In fact, I have too many games and a backlog that stretches as far back as last autumn. With this ever present embarrassment of riches, I will rarely find the time or motivation to play a new game twice. Mass Effect 2 is a notable exception.

Having played it originally on the 360, last month I made the decision to transfer the series to my PS3 in time for Mass Effect 3. I wanted save-file continuity so I sought out a second copy of Mass Effect 2, this time on the PS3, at the same time as purchasing ME3. I have spent the last week and a half re-living this intergalactic romp and am very happy with my decision to look back before looking forward. The simple premise of searching the universe for potential squad members to take on a desperate mission remains as satisfying and wonderful as it was back in February 2010.

It’s not as visually impressive as I remember, but frame rate issues and jagged edges have not gotten in the way of my enjoyment, as I continue to recreate my original run-through with the ultimate goal of sexing up Miranda and making sure that the whole team survives the misleadingly titled Suicide Mission. I am making an effort to approach certain familiar situations slightly differently this time around and have been impressed by how seemingly insignificant choices can lead to divergent outcomes.

As I was unable to connect my 360 to the internet at the time, I missed all of the DLC and extra characters during my first play-through, but I’m certainly making up for it now. The bonus characters are a welcome addition, with Zaeed as the hard as nails, space cockney and Kasumi in the role of stealthy thief/ninja with a Japanese name (it would seem that old stereotypes have survived the advent of intergalactic travel). The introductory, Dark Horse interactive comic is a nice touch, offering a five minute round-up of Mass Effect 1 and allowing you to make a handful of the game's biggest decisions, though without the bonds that are forged over hours of gameplay these choices carry no real emotional weight. <<<<Mass Effect 1 Spoilers>>>> Though I don't regret leaving Ashley Williams to die, I do wish I hadn't capped Wrex as I hear he is a rather entertaining character and that space would have been an even more interesting place had he lived. Unfortunately, the comic didn’t convey that particularly well and I just mistook him for a pain in the arse. <<<<End of spoiler>>>>

Don't stop, believin'

I have found that the Mass Effect universe is still a wonderful place to spend an evening. Its history and culture remain thoroughly engrossing and I almost soiled myself this morning upon discovering that I can download an app, Mass Effect 3 Datapad, which beams a trilogy worth of codex straight to my phone. My investment in the lore of ME is surprising considering my disinterest in most things Sci-Fi. I'm still not sure of the difference between a Star Trek and a Star Wars and besides, I much prefer Kubrick's Star Ship Troopers anyway.

I already have my copy of Mass Effect 3, but I have no great desire to rush through its predecessor just so that I can get stuck into the closing chapter. I'm happy to let the legions of dissatisfied fans tire themselves out on their favourite forums before I add to the noise. Based on the overwhelming amount of whining regarding ME3’s finale, I have come to the conclusion that it probably ends to the music of Journey, the screen cutting to black as we are left wondering whether or not Garrus, Liara and Anderson's dinner was ruined by Shepard's messy demise. David Chase would be so very proud.

If the internets are to be believed then humanoid - alien homoeroticism may well turn my world upside down, causing me to question my sexual orientation and/or views of inter-species copulation. I also hear that it is 90% DLC, which must be purchased in an effort to stop the game from going wrong. Bioware fans do seem to enjoy getting their knickers in a twist, though I reserve the right to join them in their sense of entitlement and injustice once I've actually played the game myself. That Metacritic score is pretty good though, hey?

I'll find out all about Mass Effect 3 soon enough, but for now I'm happy rejoining my rag-tag crew, scouring the universe for chatty aliens and precious minerals. It's definitely good to be back.

Comments

  1. I personally liked ME2 a lot less on PS3. There were a lot more technical issues (I didn't have a problem with the frame rate on 360, but it was out of control there) and it didn't have those little touches the 360 version had. Still a great game, but I need a ME1 transfer when I play it.
    BTW, just brace yourself for the ending to 3. It really is as bad as everyone says. Pity too because everything else was easily the most fun I've had with a game this gen.

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    1. I think the tech issues are perhaps a case of a rushed, direct port to a console for which it was never intended. Fortunately, the quality of the game itself has meant that I haven't paid too much attention to the rough edges.

      Yeah, I'm hearing very few positive things about the ending. I'm looking forward to seeing for myself. Cheers

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  2. i started playing 2 and bought 3 the day it came out but i'm just not into it. i put about 7 hours into it and then my mom came out to visit me. i didn't play at all while she was here and now that she is gone and i have time to play it i just don't have the motivation. i really regret buying 3. i honestly don't see myself ever playing it. i started the first one multiple times and quit and now have no desire to continue with the second. that doesn't bode well for the three.

    also, great blogs over the last few days. i read them on my phone but didn't comment because i hate typing on it. haven't seen my mom in a while and didn't want to spend time on the internet while she was here.

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    1. I had the same problem with ME1, but I cant get enough of the sequel. If you haven't warmed to it by the 7hr mark, then it probably isn't the game for you. Too late for a refund on ME3?

      Cheers and no problem with the comments. Always good to know people are reading.

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  3. Daydream Drooler16 March 2012 at 04:09

    don't let the trolls get you down, the ending is great. people just can't live with an ending that actually fits, they want everything wrapped up in a nice neat bow. any writer worth his grain of salt will tell you that is not only an amazing ending to a great series but fits perfectly.
    as for ME2's issues on PS3, never saw them, everything worked for me, I honestly think it depends how a game runs depending the PS3 your using, is it old? is it a fat model? is it filled with dust, this all impacts the system.
    anyway, don't worry about the ending, as a writer I'm sure you will love it and think everyone is crazy cause they really are, its an amazing ending

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    1. Don't worry, I'll be sure to make my own mind up about the ending. I learned to ignore the more vocal segments of the internet a long time ago! That being said, with the exception of yourself, I have heard only bad things from people I know. They are all in agreement that the rest of the game is great though.

      PS3 is a year old slim and well looked after. I played the Shadow Broker DLC last night and that was riddled with small glitches. It didn't ruin it, but it did take me out of the moment a couple of times.

      Looking forward to ME3 and sure I'll have plenty to say about it once i'm finished :)

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    2. Daydream Drooler17 March 2012 at 02:52

      yea that's weird your having glitches, I've honestly never heard of the PS3 version having any issues, only thing I've heard is that its better than the 360 version which I honestly can't see how that's really possible either, lol.
      as for the ending, I honestly believe people, everyone, are just jumping on that hate bandwagon. everyone gave UC3 shit, they did it to Skyrim, they did it to resistance 3, even AC rev got some hate. it hasn't been as bad as this but I just hate people who all jump on the same bandwagon. its like, make up your own mind, not everyone shares the same opinion. take Ken (Kenolabar on twitter) he likes what they did for the ending but doesn't agree with everything in it. he is kind of in a gray area on the ending, its hard to explain without giving away spoilers. but its just nice to see some people don't flock to the bandwagon just to be part of the big group

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    3. Although I have yet to play it, I'd counter that there is rarely smoke without fire. Criticism of the ending seems to be pretty universal, even among people who thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the game. Though Im sure there is a certain degree of jumping on the bandwagon, I'd like to think that most people are able to make up their own mind.

      I look forward to getting into it in detail once I've finally played it :)

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  4. Ashley was a space racist. Her character annoyed me as well, but she was more useful to me in combat then Kaiden. I also didn't really like Liara in the first game, but her character grew on me in ME2 and ME3...

    I didn't really like the ending of ME3 either, but I didn't hate it. I just kind of felt it was an ending. Besides, I really enjoyed the whole series up to that point so I'm still pretty happy. Bioware is adding content to the ending to make the haters happy so we will see how that works out...

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    1. I had a feeling Ashley might've been. Glad I left her to perish. Liara has grown on me, to the point that I gave Miranda the hook in favour of the blue biotic.

      Still haven't finished ME3 but i think I'm just about there. Things are heating up and getting bleaker by the minute.

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