Summary: Sparing intergalactic civilization from annihilation isn't a new narrative construct -- all budding sci-fi game writers and novelists must have soggy dreams about weaving this sort of epic -- but the foundation isn't exhausted just yet. In 2007, BioWare released the original Mass Effect , a stunning and colorful sci-fi RPG that had you saving intergalactic civilization from destruction -- almost.
Summary: Commander Shepard, protagonist of last year's undisputed GOTY Mass Effect 2 , has a lot of favorite things. Whether it's a store on the Citadel, carrying out Pyjak genocide, or punching reporters in the face, Shepard likes a lot of things. Except Reapers. Then again, Reapers are to Shepard like the Batman is to the Joker; life just doesn't have much meaning without their existence.
Excerpt: I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that most of those who purchase the PlayStation 3 version of the latest installment in BioWare's juggernaut space RPG series have little to no experience with the franchise. This puts me in kind of a precarious position, as I've been following this series fervently since well before the first game came out (even going so far as buying Drew Karpyshyn's books on day one).
Conclusion: Mass Effect 2 stands out as not only one of the best sci-fi action titles around, it's one of the best games ever made, period. Accomplished enough to rub shoulders with the likes of Star Wars and Star Trek in the annals of sci-fi history, Mass Effect 2 is simply put, a work of unquestionable brilliance. Anyone who believes otherwise is a cold-hearted cynic. Regardless of whether you played the first game or not, Mass Effect 2 is completely and utterly indispensable.
Excerpt: The original Mass Effect wasn’t released on the PS3, but because they didn’t have the same restrictions as said original, EA decided to bring the sequel to Sony’s console. As many that are aware of the series will already know, your story decisions from the first game can be carried over to the second in the Xbox 360 version, so how have BioWare got around this in the PS3 version?
Excerpt: It's taken almost a year for Mass Effect 2 to reach the PS3. Now that it's finally here, however, there are only two questions worth asking: "Does the game live up to its reputation?" and "Does this version surpass the original?" The first enquiry can be answered with near-effortless ease; the second, less so.
Excerpt: Designed to bridge the gap between last year's Mass Effect 2 and the upcoming Mass Effect 3, Arrival exchanges roughly £5 for a brief jaunt through two new areas. After coughing up the cash and downloading 700-odd megabytes, Arrival will be triggered when next checking your terminal on the Normandy. Admiral Hackett (he who helped you attack Sovereign in Mass Effect 1) asks Shepard to rescue a friend currently rotting in a Batarian prison.