Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. Mass Effect 2 is an amazing RPG with an unbeatable cinematic feeling and a history and characters simply astonishing. This is a game that demands to be played by every PC user because it’s the very definition of what Next-Gen wants to be.
  2. 92
    We don’t exactly mind being ‘stuck’ with such a top-class game so soon in the year. The bar has been raised tremendously high for the RPG-shooter genre in 2010. If you want to dethrone Mass Effect 2, you’re going to have to pull out all the stops. If you’ve just begun your Mass Effect adventure, we suggest that you buy the first one cheaply, so you can continue playing with your own Shepard in part two. That way you can fully enjoy the spectacle BioWare has provided. We can’t wait for the third and final act of this trilogy.
  3. Remove the ho-hum gunplay, and the rest is an interactive action movie that's decent enough for one walkthrough. Don’t go for seconds, though. And if you’re still craving for a space opera fix by the time you’re done with Mass Effect 2, better rent all five seasons of Babylon 5.
  4. The only unequivocal improvement that can be found comes through the game's morality system. What makes up for the shortcomings in the individual aspects of the gameplay is the rich plot and the interactions between your alter ego and the members of your new crew.
  5. Mass Effect 2 delivers a story that's deeper than what many novelists are capable of, and its action is better than what most Hollywood directors are creating nowadays. It's an addictive, engrossing experience that many gamers will replay over and over while they hold their breath waiting for the third game.
  6. 100
    The gameplay is extremely effective in terms of its new cover system and leaner, more focused action. The lore and mythology is involving and the story pulls you into the universe. The voice acting, soundtrack and graphical fidelity are the icing on the cake.
  7. I commend the development team at BioWare for all the hard work that went into making this title not only shine but feel both familiar and completely fresh at the same time.
  8. Well, it certainly has a lot more soul. More interesting characters. It shows the “other side” of the Mass Effect universe and neatly sets the stage for the final showdown that will take place in the last title of the trilogy. If you put it under a microscope, its shortcomings will become even more apparent and the game is now a shooter more than an RPG, but it really depends how much you’re willing to forgive for a story that’s very well presented.
  9. Mass Effect 2 is a great shooter loaded with involving dialogue. The way it addresses some of the other issues varies in success, but it’s still an extremely entertaining product and a great way to kick off 2010’s amazing first-quarter barrage.
  10. 100
    The recipe is easy: More action, less roleplaying. Oh boy, Mass Effect 2 is a fun game!
  11. Everything about the game – plots, combat, progression, characters – comes together in a tidy, satisfying package.
  12. Mass Effect 2 is a top notch game because of its focus on refined gameplay, a great story, and its commitment to letting the player decide what happens in the end.
  13. 100
    But it all boils down to the fact that you need to play this game. Because once this trilogy is done, we might well be looking at one of the greatest science-fiction works – in any medium – of all time. Mass Effect 2 is an utterly absorbing, satisfying and rewarding journey that you absolutely will not want to end, ever.
  14. Mass Effect 2 is an epic in every sense, not forgetting anything. It can hold us until the last second, and still allows us to go further.
  15. Despite some graphical disappointments and the infamous console-driven imprint, the next chapter of this beautiful Bioware saga stands with right among the most enjoyable and immersive adventures ever created for the videogame industry.
  16. Even though I’m sad to see the role-playing elements were neutered, there is no doubt this game is an improvement over the first in almost every way. That’s quite an achievement, considering ME1 is a great game in its own right.
  17. The loss of RPG elements may hit some people hard, and the repetition in minigames may lead to yawns and tired eyes, but none of these faults hold Mass Effect 2 back from being a work of bold ambition, and one of gaming’s most exciting sequels.
  18. Despite all my gripes, Mass Effect 2 does more than enough to live up to its predecessor. You won’t give much attention to the unintuitive HUD, and the low level cap won’t stop most from playing the game again with added difficulty or for multiple story options. You'll get frustrated, you'll ask yourself why, but you'll still love it. Facing the dark reality of Mass Effect 2 has its stumbles and slips, but it’s a trip worth taking, no matter the destination.
  19. 100
    Mass Effect 2 far exceeded our expectations and is without question one of the best games we've played. Use whatever positive description you'd like. System seller, potential game of the year, landmark achievement; just make sure you buy it immediately.
  20. It certainly is refreshing to get a game that isn’t a terrible console to PC port.
  21. The story is bigger and more personal, the combat and inventory have been refined for better execution and the overall presentation trumps the quality from the first game. Everything you could have hoped for in a sequel is made clear in Mass Effect 2.
  22. Unprecedented story telling, superb soundtrack, exciting characters and intense, varied battles... Mass Effect 2 is a must-buy for any roleplaying gamer and already is one of this year's best games.
  23. Mass Effect 2 may have turned a bit more into a shooter than its predecessor, but the story and the dense atmosphere will appeal to SciFi- and roleplay fans alike.
  24. Mass Effect 2 is easily one of the best games of the generation, blowing away its predecessor in just about every way, and removing the "flawed" attachment to the "masterpiece" title.
  25. It’s rare for a single developer to put out two large budget-AAA games in the span of a few months. It’s rarer still that both games be so incredibly good, but with Mass Effect 2 Bioware has again re-affirmed its status as the premiere developer of games whose main assets have little to do with swords or assault rifles, but the stories and characters that bring games to life.
  26. Once this intense and action-packed role-playing game pulls you into its orbit, you won't want to escape.
  27. Mass Effect 2 strikes a perfect balance between intense shooter action and gut-wrenching drama, set in a richly textured world on the brink of destruction. It's a must-own for science fiction fans, who will love exploring the depths of the galaxy and fighting to save humanity.
  28. This is the first great game of 2010. It’s a worthy successor to the first game and a fast paced science fiction drama. Maybe no one except Bioware really knows how to tell stories and create believeable characters. It’s more than just a role playing game and also technically advanced.
  29. Beyond its impressive production value, the true success of BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 is how it blends the most entertaining elements of so many other great games.
  30. Although the sequel suffers a little from being the middle game of the trilogy and the stepping stone of the (hopefully) grand finale, Mass Effect 2 is extremely well polished and improved from its predecessor in almost every respect.
  31. The graphics, the story and the decisions you have to make, everything signals that Mass Effect 2 is a real great RPG. The only thing I have been angry about was that little, nasty bug. After patching this Mass Effect 2 is possibly a candidate for the Game of the Year award.
  32. More importantly though, Mass Effect 2 is simply an amazing game from start to finish, regardless of the decisions you choose to make.
  33. 96
    It's incredibly personal while still retaining a sense of epic sweeping scale. The combat and mission design are outstanding. The visuals, voice acting, soundtrack, and direction are miles ahead of the competition. Perhaps most impressively, Mass Effect 2 manages to fulfill its incredible ambition while only suffering from very few technical hiccups.
  34. 92
    On most levels it’s hard to fault Mass Effect 2; this is a sequel that polishes many of the original’s faults, tightening the combat and turning the screw on Shepard in the fight to save humanity with an impressive flair.
  35. Mass Effect 2 is an awesome RPG set in an amazing universe. The story is compelling, the characters throughout the adventure come to life and every battle you encounter is a treat to play. It’s the adventure of a lifetime!
  36. 90
    Mass Effect 2 succeeds ultimately on the strength of its world and BioWare have created one of the most beautiful, fantastical, consistent, comprehensive and coherent universes seen in science fiction, let alone video games.
  37. If all games were the same as Mass Effect 2, humankind would face extinction. Everyone would keep playing the game forgetting about everything else. [Issue#187]
  38. Mass Effect 2 captures the elements that made the original a game to remember, showing once more the mastery of Bioware creating great stories and unforgettable characters. Not happy with that, the studio shows their will to surpass themselves with a very improved combat system which does a lot of right things to approach the gameplay of the best third person shooters available. Perhaps, in some aspects the team has been too overzealous to streamline certain aspects of the first game, loosing a bit of the original ingenuity, but it can't be discussed that the result is a more polished and focused title.
  39. Modern, fascinating and truly innovative, Mass Effect 2 is a brand new take for the western rpg, Bioware reached a perfect mix between action and storytelling, graced by stunning visuals and a long and challenging gameplay.
  40. 89
    Bioware has produced an RPG hybrid that gels really well with its setting and series. Hardcore fans of Mass Effect or even the RPG genre will not be disappointed.
  41. An epic in every sense of the word, but it's a shame it feels so linear and that combat is still an epic fail. [Mar 2010, p.88]
  42. Where Mass Effect 2 completely won me over was in the amazing climactic mission, easily one of the best game endings I've played in recent years.
  43. A brilliant mix of shooter and role-playing, filled with great characters, excellent design, lots of action and clever dialogue. It's a shame though that Bioware did not improve the inventory and skill system of the first game, but actually reduced it even more. I really wished there were more customization options, more ways to develop and gear up my characters. But all these are merely small points of criticism, since there is so much to feel and experience in this game. Mass Effect 2 is a thrilling, emotional ride and ultimately every bit as good as its predecessor.
  44. A stunning example of cross-game persistence, genre-blending and adaptive narrative. [Mar 2010, p.62]
  45. Faults dutifully noted and easily forgiven, this game is truly epic storytelling. [Apr 2010, p.74]
  46. Mass Effect 2 gives you an opportunity to play a role, but I'd be hesitant to call it a role-playing game. So what is it exactly? A really robust action-adventure? Can't tell for sure, but once you get past the fact that you're not playing a RPG you really can't help but to enjoy what game has to offer. Mass Effect 2 is truly a genre-defying masterpiece. [Feb 2010]
  47. The game still probably won’t appeal to RPG purists due to it being focused heavily towards the action gamer, but if you liked the original than the sequel is unmissable.
  48. 90
    Gamers expecting a truly memorable narrative may be slightly disappointed with Mass Effect 2. The game is far too much setup and not enough payoff to be considered anything more than an opening act to the (hopefully) epic finale.
  49. 100
    BioWare made a great game with Mass Effect, but Mass Effect 2 is better in every single way.
  50. Mass Effect 2 is a triumph of an action game, blending satisfying shooter levels with dark themes and hours of heated debate.
  51. Polished, deep and utterly compelling - it's a contender for the best sci-fi sequel ever. [Issue#29, p.43]
  52. By making choice, dialogue and characters the key ingredients, Mass Effect 2 delivers an experience in which the player feels directly at the core - more so than any other game we can think of. It effortlessly expands the scope of the original, creating a universe which is deeply engrossing and a plot that you can't help feeling part of.
  53. Mass Effect 2 resumes with pride the path opened by the first game. This sequel is a lesson of how things should be made.
  54. Mass Effect 2 is the perfect fusion of the shooter and RPG genres. When you're not playing it, you wish you were. When you are playing it, you can't imagine doing anything else. Engrossing, captivating, stunning. Roll on DLC, and Mass Effect 3.
  55. Mass Effect 2 is a cinematic sci-fi epic that continues the story of Commander Shepard with an unforgettable adventure. Some RPG elements have been thrown overboard and gameplay has been simplified, perhaps even a bit too much, but the flaws are minor and easy to shurg off. The characters, the story and the setting are just that good.
User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2576 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 470
  1. Mar 21, 2011
    10
    ME2 was a huge improvement over its predecessor. Not only did they remove many of the irritating tidbits that bogged players down in the level-up and equipment screens for hours, but they also improved gameplay drastically. The result is a well-made, fun game that easily makes the top of my list of games in 2010. Full Review »
  2. May 26, 2011
    4
    Hmm, how should I begin? ME1 was a blast. The story, inventory, choices, teams, exploration...and now in ME2, all the stuffs that made ME1 terrific has been disposed. And all those big gaming magazines praising this sequel with 9/10, 94/100 like scores. >.> I wonder if Bioware actually bribed them to give high scores to ME2... That's why I never read their criticisms. You gotta search for the actual gamer to have a good introspection. And majority of the PEOPLE here would probably agree with me, as I agree with their comments. ME2 is far away from being an RPG game. And I give it 4/10, all for the sake of ME1. And the mixed comments about gameplay, graphics, characters and such are pretty much similar elsewhere. Mine too: the game is short, the story is not well developed, inventory is poor, choices of Shepard does not necessarily have effects within the game, but expected to have effects in ME3? You see how Bioware gets away with this? Thus what I will add to those nagtive and mixed comments is also gonna be my criticism of Bioware's hardline capitalistic policy in robbing people's money and stirring a "mass" anticipation for the third ME game. Now, they promise that if we buy those DLC games additionally, we'll have an idea about ME3 - DLC PRODUCTION HAS BECOME THE VILEST TACTIC IN THE GAMING INDUSTRY. Keep the game short and dully, and release some DLCs and stir up more anticipation. Surely, gamers will "buy" it! With additional cash flowing in Bioware accounts.....

    Should I say don't buy ME2? I don't think I can, cos now you already played ME1, you liked it, and now you want to see the end of it. You're surely gonna buy ME2, no matter how linear and mediocre it is. Because it is a bridge to the final game that is expected to have very high climaxes. And Bioware will have the cream of the business while experimenting RPG and FPS with ME2. ME2 is thus a rather experimental game and I hope that Bioware takes these negative criticisms into account, since they're mostly given by seasoned, experienced gamers!
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 17, 2010
    4
    This game obviously has the taint of a product acquired by and developed under EA. It seems undercut, uninspired and super linear and super short. Mass Effect 1 was really a great game and this was deprived of all the things that made ME1 fantastic:
    * Great story
    * Unlimited Ammo
    * Large selection of stuff to buy
    * Really cool ATV
    * Tons of side quests that kept the game interesting

    The only things that really give merit to ME2 is:
    * Customizable equipment
    * Weapon Proficiency

    If you want to swim in ME1 nostalgia go ahead and buy this game, it seems to have the aesthetic theme. But you will be upset with the result. This game is almost as boring as Dragon Age: Origins, at least I get to move around and shoot things. Adds some interest...
    Full Review »