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Mass Effect 2 - Early Hours Ian's avatar
Like Sam, I’ve been playing a whole bunch of Mass Effect 2 recently. I had to stop to finish Tom Clancy’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2, which I should really give back to the person it belongs to now that I think about it. I’ll probably put up a review of that. Is there much point in reviewing games from 2008? No idea.

We had a team meeting a couple of days ago where Sam and I tried to work out exactly how we would cover individual gameplay sections. We agreed it was hard to make an article flow when it’s really just a series of things that occurred to you as you were playing, and only really have about a paragraph max to say on each topic. So we came up with the sort of ‘good things’ vs. ‘bad things’ list. Everyone loves lists, and you don’t have to bother making the points flow into each other. Everyone wins. So with a bit of work done on the back end, got a ‘Daily Grind’ section up, and here is me testing out such an article. Here I go…!


Evilness – When designing my Shepard in the first game I knew I was going to play Renegade, so purposefully tried to make a woman who just looked nasty. I ended up with a lady with tight pulled back black hair, and black lipstick. Not particularly attractive, just sort of nasty looking. Fortunately the voice acting and the actions your character does in the first game made a really fun evil experience. It was one of the first times I’d played all the way through evil, as games usually punish you at some point for taking the evil option. Anyway, I got to my first action I thought was genuinely unpleasant and received a whopping +18 Regenade points for it. I don’t want to spoil it, but lets just say that the mission report at the end of the section included the phrase “…there were no survivors."

Graphics (of planets seen from space) – I think there must have been a team at BioWare who did nothing for the past three years but create planets. There are so many, and they all look beautiful and unique. Well, maybe once programmer spent 6 weeks making one random planet generator. Either way, good work sirs.

Graphics (of everything else) – Still completely stunning. I’m not sure if it’s the film grain, the artistic style, the engine or what, but this game looks bloody amazing. Probably a combination of all of the above.


Mining – The mining mini-game is definitely boring. Whether or not it’s better or worse than the Mako nonsense from the first game is something I could go on about for quite some time, and I really don’t have that long. I do like that one of the upgrades seems to of been specifically put in there to make the mini-game less boring. It’s like they knew, and somewhere they are laughing.

Infinite Respawning Enemies – Does this game really have infinitely respawning enemies? Really? In 2010? Yes, yes it does. Completely incredibly. It does it in a funnier way than I’ve seen before as well. It’s like they are coming off an assembly line, the moment you kill one robot, another comes round the corner, and you can just stay there forever killing them. You don’t get anything for it as they occasionally drop ammo, and don’t give you any experience.

Side Quest Jankyness – Where has all the voice acting gone? Why does this area look and feel half baked? Why do the graphics look substantially worse than anything else so far? Dude, you must be on a side-quest. To be fair, some of the side-quests are fine, but that ‘Kill robots before they destroy the crates’ one? Man.