, ,

Again, we continue with my impressions on Mass Effect 2.

So this is sequel is set months after the events of the first game. However, we fast forward to 2 years when Shepard rose from the dead after he/she was killed in a Collector ambush. And everything changes….including the gameplay. Your former ME1 squadmates went on their separate ways after you had died from the ambush. But two of them (Tali and Garrus) came back and now, you’re forced to work with pro-human paramilitary organization, Cerberus, in order to bring the Collectors down. And this is called a suicide mission. Prove them wrong.

Now for the storyline, it’s darker and edgier than before. No one believes that the Reapers exist. The Council places a lot of gag order in it and remains unhelpful to you since you’re connected to a terrorist organization. The Alliance also disregards you except for Admiral Hackett and those you believe in you. And the galaxy is still chaotic with mercenary groups, terrorists and criminals roaming around. But, of course, you have bigger things to do such as preparing and defeating the Reapers.

Most of the main missions are recruiting your crew and gaining their loyalties by finishing their unfinished business so that, they will survive the suicide mission without distractions. And when it comes to the final mission, you have to assign your teammates carefully into certain tasks. Otherwise, they’re dead even if they’re loyal. There are also DLCs which add more stories such as stopping a rogue human-implanted VI, helping your old squadmate defeat the Shadow Broker and rescuing an Alliance agent who is imprisoned in batarian space. The last one bridges the third game.

For the characters, well, since your old squad split up, you have to recruit newcomers. Asides from Garrus and Tali, you’ll have a mercenary, an assassin, a super krogan soldier,  a thief, a psychotic biotic, a warrior priestess (or a murderer), a former black-ops operative, two Cerberus agents and… a geth who wants to ally you. I’m not kidding on the last one.

*Tali’Zorah vas Neema- she’s now mature and she’s facing more problems. Unlike in the first game, she is romancable if you’re a guy and yet, you get to see her face for the first time…..except we, the players, didn’t.

*Garrus Vakarian- he’s became a vigilante after he grew sick and tired of the politicking and red tape in the Citadel. Plus, he grew darker as he wants revenge on the guy who betrayed him. Well, it’s up to you whether you let that guy live or not. BTW, he’s romancable if you’re female. I was tempted to do but I have to stay faithful to Kaidan. Plus, the only intimate scene that you have with Garrus is bumping foreheads since you know….turian and human physiology don’t mix well.

*Miranda Lawson- the first person you see and hear when you’re trying to wake up from the dead. She’s a genetically bred Cerberus agent who has a nice ass…..it’s actually distracting most especially in the cutscenes where half of the screen is covered by her ass. Enough of her ass, she’s a cold bitch at first. But later, she becomes more open when she tells you about her creator, her own dad. And even though she’s a Cerberus agent, she becomes more loyal to you.

*Jacob Taylor- I almost mistook him as Jacob Black from Twilight since they have the same first name and have nice abs when shirtless. But anyway, I rarely use him much because he easily dies…which I’ve found out on in Freedom’s Progress mission. And his abilities are kinda useless. No offense, but I like Kaidan better. And Jacob’s story is…meh.

*Mordin Solus- a very interesting salarian scientist / former black ops operative. He talks so fast and he sings! What’s more interesting is that he’s responsible in making the virus that made all the krogan sterile. But you can help them realize the error of his ways.

*Grunt- he’s a tank-breed super krogan soldier who has a strong bloodlust for violence. Well, he’s bred that way. He’s the strongest squadmate ever and he never dies.

*Jack- the psychotic biotic. She has a nasty attitude and hates Cerberus because they torture her into some crazy experiments. Also hates Miranda too. Don’t know what to think about her asides from being very mean.

*Samara- an asari justicar who is very powerful. She’s awesome and very motherly. It’s also nice when you talk to her. I’ll talk about her daughter, Morinth, because I let Samara killed her. Morinth can be your squadmate if you choose to side her and kill her mom.

*Thane Krios- a drell assassin who is suffering from a terminal illness and wants to see and forgive his son before he dies. It’s very interesting to talk him about the drell (and hanar) culture.

*Kasumi Goto- yes, a Japanese thief/ninja/hacker. She’s very genki and wears a nice hood. Also she’s one of my favorite squadmates. Her story is very tragic and I almost cried near the end of it. When you talk to her, she shares a lot of gossip going around the ship. Well, she’s a ninja thief. BTW, she’s only a DLC character.

*Zaeed Massani- a badass bounty hunter who has a British accent but has a Arabic name. He reminds me of those WWII veterans who talk about the good old days and adventures back in war. And yeah, he talks like that you have a conversation with him in the ship. Also a DLC character

*Legion- a geth who is a fan of you. Well, he/it/they composed of….the geth consensus and is responsible in changing your mind about the geth. BTW, he wears your old N7 armor which he salvaged after the first Normandy’s destruction. And he’s so lovable with those flaps.

But what about Liara, Wrex and Ashley / Kaidan (depending if you save one of them)? Well, Liara is busy plotting her revenge against the Shadow Broker because he tried to sell your corpse to the Collectors. She only gets to be your squadmate in the DLC where you help her fight against the Shadow Broker. Wrex is trying rebuild his homeworld. And Ashley/Kaidan is still with the Alliance and is disappointed that you’re working with a terrorist organization. Well, it’s painful when they found out about it and cast you out even though you tried explaining to them.

There are also new characters such the Illusive Man, who is very sneaky as he sits on his chair and smokes, and EDI, the Normandy’s new AI, who likes to tease Joker. Also, you got new crew mates who are loyal to you and you get to hear their conversations. You also get to meet NPCs from the previous games, assuming if they’re alive and if you help them. There’s also brand new NPCs who are funnier and weirder than Conrad Verner.

But one problem is that, your squadmates don’t talk too much, most especially in the DLCs. They just stand there like bricks. You can’t even talk to them about their reactions to the main missions unless it’s a loyalty mission or the suicide mission. What’s even worse is that they rarely interact with each other much. For example, when you meet Liara and you bring Garrus and Tali along, there’s no exchange of hellos or welcome back.

Anyway, since the gameplay changed, it’s becoming more of a third-person shooter. But the elements of RPG are still there. And now, you need ammunition for your guns and there are no modifications. This is a big problem for me because I don’t know which weapon is stronger. At least, put up some numbers so that we can see the fire rate, damage, accuracy etc. But at least, for adepts, engineers and sentinels, you can no longer rely on one weapon. You can use a sub-machine gun and you can choose the third weapon you like to use: assault rifle, shotgun or sniper rifle. For soldiers and infiltrators, you’ll just upgrade your weapon into a stronger one.

Another new feature is that you can customize your armor, unlike in ME1, which is cool. You can also choose your outfit when you’re in the ship. I can’t find a suitable outfit for my FemShep since MaleShep gets cool clothes. But when Kasumi’s DLC mission is finished, I get her to wear a black dress….except when she sits, her legs are open and you can see a black hole between them….Srsly, Bioware, I’m sure you have female staffers there. Can you just consult them on a girl’s proper attire and the way she sits?!

But, I like the new Normandy where there are additional floors and you can customize your cabin with model ships and a picture of your ME1 love interest. You can also have fishes in your aquarium and a pet space hamster. What’s also nice is that you have your own private terminal where you can check your messages.

As for the enemies, well, I’ll be honest. I tend to die again most especially it involves praerators, scions and husks. Yeah, I could use melee attack but it’s very weak. But usually, I tend to rely on my biotic abilities which help me survived. Plus, the upgrades which can buy or find in terminals are useful. But of course, you need to pay them or hack and bypass the terminals.

You know that omnigel thing? It’s gone and replaced with hack and bypass minigames. The hack game is all right. You just have to match two similar codes. But the bypass game is annoying and I always strain my wrist when I tried matching the two circuits. Maybe because of the processor’s speed or something.

And the other thing that I don’t like is driving the Hammerhead. It’s like a vehicle version of Super Mario where you have to jump cliffs and pick up elements. And the downside is that, you don’t know about the Hammerhead’s health when under attack and you can’t even quick save when you’re inside it. I fucking hate the Hammerhead! I rather drive the Mako inside even though I hate climbing rocky mountains with it.

Oh, since I didn’t mention much about the music, I love it here. Unlike ME1 which is very sci-fi and 80’s techno, the OST is very majestic most especially the music played during the suicide Mission…AND IT’S AWESOME!

The impressions for Mass Effect 3 will come up soon.