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Generally favorable reviews- based on 2909 Ratings

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  1. Aug 21, 2010
    Well, every game has it's detractors,but seriously? "Oh noes, they dun stole my RPG elements! It is awl dumb-down and stoopid now!" blissfully forgetting through their misty-eyed watercolour memories that Mass Effect could be muscled through with sheer gaming skill and an unleveled Shepard. Being able to be beaten by skill alone, an RPG does not make. The inventory was awful, it turned the whole game into a puzzle of managing your inventory. I'm glad to see it gone. To finish up, the romance options are much improved, instead of humans only or a 106-year old archeologist. Expand
  2. Apr 14, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. RPG? --- I don't get it... I just don't. How could this game have received a 9.0 user score? It must be because the current generation of gamers is made-up of FPS f-boys who care more about ownz and lolz, than a deep RPG experience. Mass Effect 2 isn't an RPG.. it doesn't even have elements of an RPG. The only thing that had RPG elements in ME2 was the marketing letterhead. ME2 was a third person shooter in space. Period. None of your choices matter or make any difference to the story line, except who is or is not around after the credits roll. Big woop.

    Completely linear gameplay -- huge disapointment throughout the entire experience. Side-missions are nothing more than 10 minute long fire fights, without any purpose. No loot, no weapons or armor to find, no unique artifacts.... just more fps lolz and ownz.

    Mining -- makes me so sick I don't even want to write about it. Bioware took away immersive planet exploration in an awesome all terrain vehicle.... for a glorified game of darts. Congrats developers. You epic failed. All you had to do was add some more alien villages, or interesting ruins to explore. Instead, you Bioware typed select-all, Shift-delete. "We're golden yo!" I've met smarter rocks.

    PS - to the people who complained about ME1's planet exploring vehicle controls -- you're just too dumb. Sorry. The controls worked perfectly, and exploring the mountains of a distant world was great fun. Try learning how to control a vehicle other than a Halo Bullfrog buggy... or whatever it's called.

    Inventory - Shift-Delete.
    Armor, Weapons - Shift-Delete.
    ...a new bioware trend.

    Finally... the final Boss.... WTF kind of special education, highschool drop-out, pregnant at 16, eats paint chips, glue sniffing, embarrassment to humanity, brainchild decided that a giant skeletor in the middle of space was a "awesomz lolz yo, yo" final boss?

    Skeletor...really? In space??? How was this thing supposed to do anything, go anywhere, or simply be a threat to anyhing in the ME2 universe? Was he going to fling asteroids across known space?
    Oh, and the best part was that he was made from a mix of biological DNA.... so he was the giant mutated baby of Rosanne Bar and Shaq?? Bioware is so dumb.

    You get a 4 because the graphics were pretty. That's about it.
  3. Feb 23, 2011
    This game gets it right. Both Mass Effect 1 and 2 are remarkable, yet they are extremely different. I liked the simplicity the weapon system and how damage was more focused on upgrading your character rather than your weapon. Biotics are also much more fun this time around. I found it to be a good mix of rpg and shooter, just like the first one, just more tilted in the shooter direction this time around. Still takes about 30 hours to complete. Expand
  4. Feb 16, 2011
    The game was fantastic, and a great blend of action and RPG elements. Even without importin a save game from the first game, I was sucked into this one and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Starting a second playthrough, this time with an imported game to see some of the things I missed.
  5. Mar 7, 2011
    You can stick a "W" in front of it but that doesn't make it an RPG. Mass Effect 2 is basically a glorified shooter that rips off elements from Japanese Visual Novels and Dating Sims, which these developers then mock. Mass Effect 2 also consists of some of the worst voice acting in any game ever and his really hard to take seriously due to bad voice actor choices. If this was a JRPG reviewers would be up in arms that, for example, when you leave your ship on a mission you can only take a few people with you, or point out how the plot basically just combines several different sci fi movie plots and is one big cliche. Apparently since it's a western game it's beyond these criticisms. This game is nothing special. Expand
  6. Apr 19, 2011
    Hands on the best game I have ever played on any system anywhere. Fantastic story, real emotional involvement unlike any other gaming experience. Loved every second of it. Going back for a second run through, which I have never been compelled to do with ANY game before.
  7. Jun 1, 2011
    Focusing more on the build up to the finale than it's own story, Mass Effect 2 does some great things with it's cast of characters and their development. Import your Shephard from the first game to enhance your experience and pick your class to play the game a number of different ways. The combat mechanics have been greatly improved on from the first game and it overall seems more polished with less glitches and more fluid controls. With so many different ways to play, you experience something a little different every time, and that in itself speaks volumes. Mass Effect is definitely a game to experience. Collapse
  8. Feb 17, 2011
    Bioware has been on a roll with their RPGs. Mass Effect 2 has the story and gameplay to make most gamers nod their heads and say "This is what I play games for". The fact of the matter is, if you don't play this game you are missing out. It's intelligent and action packed. Need I say more?
  9. Aug 17, 2010
    Probably the best game I have ever played. Everything about it was superb.
  10. Sep 25, 2011
    I really wanted to give this game a perfect score but this game is not without its problems. First of all lets talk about the positives firstly this game offers you tons of choices throughout the game what your character looks like what you can say, which class you wanna play as and your choices and interactions with your squad will also have a long term effect in the final mission of the game. ME2 also really improves upon the combat from the first game as the combat is no longer hurt by by A.I, aiming and hit detection issues the combat seems much more cliche and well polished compared to the first I also like the weapon and armor upgrade system better than the first game. ME 1 had alot of useless weapons and armor in it where the only difference between them was how many shots they can do before overheating and the amount damage they inflict and absorb having that and the weapon and armor upgrades is basically the same thing. 1's ammo and armor upgrades were just not that useful as you could only install one at a time on a weapon or armor and it did not improve your weapon or armor one bit that being said I am still disappointed because of the lack of variety in armor customization they allow you do to in this game and the fact that you cannot customize the armor of your squad mates is also a let down. The inventory has been completely removed which to me is not that big of an issue because there are not that many weapons in this game and the first one had way to many and when you reached the inventory's 150 item limit in the first game the game shoved it your face to convert stuff to omni-gel by the end of ME 1 I had like 950 omni gel seriously that is beyond ridiculous so I am glad they got rid of that but they could have fixed the inventory system but this game doesn't have that much equipment so in my opinion it did not need it. Also characters in ME2 have a more detailed background and character development unlike ME 1. ME 2 also improves upon the graphics the first game there are far less framerate issues, the character models look more detailed and the animations look much better . And just like the first game ME2 has a stellar soundtrack and amazing and top notch voice acting. However as great of a game ME2 is it is not without its problems firstly they toned down the rpg elements from the first game and made the game more of a shooter than an rpg to appeal to more of the audience however toning down does not mean completely removing some negative reviewers here are simply overreacting they did remove some abilities completely but some of them were just removed from the skill tree and put on the research terminal so basically the things people are complaining about not being in the game are actually in the game just not in the skill tree but in the research terminal people should pay attention to things like that and even though they removed some rpg features completely some of them were just totally useless in ME1. The exp system has also been simplified you gain a level after completing a mission or two which one of my bigger issues with this game ME1's EXP system was much better where you get points for doing just about anything that was not perfect but still better than the EXP system in this game. ME 2 has a better A.I than ME 1 however the the partner A.I still has the tendency to get in your way while shooting and partners and enemies freezing at higher difficulties (Hardcore and Insanity) however in the case of enemies freezing at highher difficulties that is not a bad thing at all it allows you to get a few cheap shots at them. The game's story is still really good if you connect its events to ME1 and go into the background of your enemies and the squad members and the story is also presented as more darker and personal that being said comparing this to ME 1's story ME2's story pales in comparison however its story still serves its purpose and carry forwards the story to the third game. The loading times on the 360 can be a little annoying at times I prefer the elevator rides from Mass Effect over these long and boring loading screens And last problem I have with this game is the probing can get boring and tedious at times and can ruin the enjoyment people can get from this game but I still prefer this over the Mako and its abysmal controls and lack of physics in ME 1. However to enjoy this game 100% you must play ME1 first as even the smallest of choices of ME1 have an effect on the interactions and side quests you do in this game. ME2 is an amazing game which improves upon its prequel in alot of ways while becoming more casual friendly but still retaining most of its original fans if it wasn't for a few flaws in ME2 hurting its overall experience this game would have easily been a 10/10 perfect game. Lets hope Mass Effect 3 gets the honor. 9.5/10. Expand
  11. Feb 26, 2011
    I wish Bioware hadn't taken so much away, I wish ME 2 was less about shooting robots in the face, but then again its just a game and considering Bioware have really tried to evolve and push forward the franchise I applaud a brilliant game. Standards in storytelling have been improved, dialogue is more streamlined and combat has been tuned to something like Ghost Recon's standards. Even if the game has been dumbed down to an action game with RPG elements, its still a cracking game. Expand
  12. Aug 17, 2011
    Ignore any bad reviews, they are worthless and don't make any sense. If you don't like this game it is cause you suck or maybe your mother doesn't love you and your just mad at the world. This game is flawless and always exciting. One of the best games ever! This is by far the best Xbox 360 game yet and has endless amount of possibilities for the third one. Gameplay and gun fights were great and nice graphics helped a lot too. The story is deep, and nothing new seeing how bio-ware has great story telling techniques. All and all a great game probably the best I have played and it keeps getting better the longer you go along! Expand
  13. Aug 20, 2010
    Turned an honest but flawed attempt at a RPG/shooter hybrid into nothing but a dumbed down shooter with RPG residue.

    Story sucks, characters are disconnected from anything but their own issues, and are expendable. The gameplay is repetative cover/shoot CONSTANTLY.

    A massive disappointment all around, taking a great first attempt and turning into mediocre mass appeal trash.
  14. Jan 31, 2012
    I think I am the only one that prefered mass effect 1 better. 8 hours in the game and I don't even want to continue anymore. They took away the inventory system and made it mainstream. I hate the new crosshair and ammo system, and i hate that the whole game is basically just finding new squad mates for one final mission. The new normandy looks nice, but I really don't like this game.
  15. May 11, 2011
    I would hardly call Mass Effect 2 a dumbed down version of the first. I would call it more refined and streamlined. Everything that bugged me about the first Mass Effect (very little, by the way) was either improved or completely removed. This is the finest action RPG I've ever played and Bioware's most impressive title to date. Mass Effect 2 is a well paced, jaw-dropping emotional piece of science fiction. Expand
  16. Oct 2, 2010
    Ignore the fanboys. Ignore the haters. If for some reason you don't own this amazing game, please download the demo and see for yourself how perfect it is.
  17. Oct 7, 2010
    Mass Effect had issues. (Can anyone say Mako?) Mass Effect 2 puts all of Mass Effect"s faults into a hat, sprinkles magical pixie dust, and out jumps a sexy, seemingly genetically engineered marvel of epicness. The characters are epic, the graphics and consistent framerate doubly so. The story is more action oriented with a polished combat system similar to GoW's. People complain that there is no variation in the classes. They obviously didn't use an engineer after their soldier. This game gets a 10/10 for graphics, story, gameplay, and badassery*. *G4 probably has a copyright on badassery. Expand
  18. Nov 4, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Mass Effect 2 is exactly what I was hopping to find in the sequel. The story doesn't turn deeper than the previous one, but the thing here is to make you advance towards the evil, and to do that you need a "special crew". But picking up the original Mass Effect savegame to create a new one on Mass Effect 2 based in the choices we made in the first game was a huge step for the gaming world, and these choice are all in the ME2 for you to take advantage of it, you'll surely be tested with the choices you made, and I don't even have to mention the great changes like better graphics, less repetitive places to search, gameplay improvoment... As a sci-fi-fan like me, Mass Effect 2 only missed on thing to be a perfect game! A co-op online/offline mode would make just great and would be no doubt that Mass Effect 2 would win with no efforts the AIAS game of the year prize, even with all these good games that 2010 brought to us. Expand
  19. Nov 20, 2010
    Human colonies have started disappearing around the edges of space. Suspicious that the Reapers - the ancient machines - are behind the attacks, Shepard joins up with Cerberus and its mysterious leader, The Illusive Man (voiced by Martin Sheen), to investigate.....

    The sequel's events kick off a few months after the original title's conclusion, taking into account all the choices you
    made and people you killed and spared in the original game (if you've kept hold of your Mass Effect 1 save at least), with The Normandy under attack by an unknown attacker. Without spoiling anything, Mass Effect 2 has one of the most memorable openings to a game ever.

    Mass Effect 2 makes its amazing original look really simple. Whether you're eavesdropping on a pair of Krogans in The (New) Citadel, mining planets for resources from space, or outfitting your private quarters with a fish tank and a space hamster, almost every area in the game is improved upon and impressively presented. It really does feel as if BioWare compiled a big checklist of the first game's bad points, and scratched them off one by one. Rubbish vehicle sections, overwhelming inventory management and, yes, elevator load times have all been thrown in the bin. The result is a more balanced and approachable game - arguably BioWare's best to date.

    The game is fully deservant of it's reputation as "The Avatar of video games except it's better written better!" and has earned countless perfect scores in the process! This is not only Bioware's greatest game, it's not even only the game of the year but it might be the greatest game of the decade!
  20. Nov 21, 2010
    There comes a rare time every once in a while where a video game hits the market, and it transcends the industry. Be it a huge impact, an unforgettable memory, or an intense experience like nothing before. For one reason or another, there is always something noticeably more special than everything else. This does not happen very often, but on the day Mass Effect 2 released, it did.

    Effect 2 expands on the original formula of creating your character, gathering a squad, and having the universe at your hands. Literally everything that unfolds after is your choice, it is on your shoulders, and there are consequences. Normally games like KOTOR or Jade Empire (which utilize this choice of response system) are very clearly defined between good and bad. There is no shade of grey, there is just right and wrong. The beauty in Mass Effect is that there really is no right or wrong choice, it is simply the player's choice. This feature, making it feel as though it was an interactive movie playing out rather than a game, makes for one of the most unique and deep role playing experiences gaming has to offer.

    The original Mass Effect was considered an awesome game, though it had it's share of problems holding it back. Texture pop-ups, loading times, bland side quests, and rather mediocre gameplay all kept it from being what it truly could have achieved. It was not a bad game by any means, but it was clear that more work was needed. What BioWare has done since the period of Mass Effect 1's release and Mass Effect 2, is fix, or rather, completely get rid of all previous problems.

    The texture pop-ups? There are none. In my 40 plus hours of playing, there has not been a single issue with the graphics appearing properly. Loading times? Long elevators? How about five second load screens and no elevators at all? The side quests have been elevated to the scale where they are cinematic and made just as important as the story in presentation. There is no Mako to explore worlds, making these simplifications give the game a much more fluid and polished feel.

    The best improvement by far, is the gameplay. No longer being a bland, non-challenging system where you have cover but never use it, Mass Effect 2 relies on cover the way Gears of War does. You can rarely run out in the open and try to play this like the first game without proper armor, defensive powers, and precaution. No longer can you pile up every overpowered power in your arsenal on enemies to dispose of them in seconds. They have made it balanced and smooth. The guns all feel different, the classes all feel VERY different, and the restrictions to which class can use which guns/powers is very well done. You could barely tell the difference between classes in the original, but in the sequel, you would have to be blind not to.

    One thing that was awkward about such a dialogue, story-telling game in the first Mass Effect was the character expressions. The voice acting was superb (and is even better now), but the feel of immersion and belief was sometimes lost with the faces of character models being utterly inexpressive. Someone would raise their voice and their face would look like they just ate a rotten apple, it made no sense. Luckily this was all greatly remedied in the second game and there is no loss of feeling in these scenes. The camera was even made more cinematic in comparison to the static camera in the first game, which gives it a much improved cinematic scope.

    Furthermore, the character development itself has improved greatly. BioWare did a good job with the cast of the first game, but in the second, not only is the main squad more endearing, but even the NPCs come off very entertaining and interesting. I found myself applauding the backstory of each character, and I even enjoyed the logical development of characters from the first game greatly.

    Speaking of developing from the first game. Mass Effect 2 is really something else. Players can import a completed save game from the original (which means you HAVE to play both otherwise your gamer pass is revoked) and all their choices from the original carry into the second game. This is no exaggeration. EVERYTHING, every little thing you may have wondered the consequence or benefit of carries through. Playing Mass Effect 2 without importing a character or without having played the first one just isn't the same experience.

    It's the little things, the realism of the universe itself that BioWare has put together which makes Mass Effect 2 a nearly perfect game and easily one of the best games ever made and the 2010 Game of the Year. The gameplay, graphics, story, atmosphere, soundtrack, voice acting, everything about this game is absolutely amazing. Missing out on this is missing out on a great part of gaming history.
  21. Jan 17, 2011
    Great game, with spectacular sound and graphics. Althought it don't grip as the first mass effect. History isn't so interested and deep and characters haven't a lot of of charisma.
  22. Feb 12, 2011
    For all that is done right (improved visuals, great backstorys of side characters, amazing voice talent) too much is paired back and streamlined from the original game. Almost all the of RPG elements are stripped back and simplified. Weapons and armour are limited in variety, as are upgrades to equipment. The shooter mechanics are tighted to the n-th degree, Gears of War the obvious template for controls. But exploration is no longer a pillar for the gameplay. Loot is reduced to a handful of the same elements. The variety just isn't here any more. Thankfully the writing is still sharp, the dialogue improved and the characters are all interesting for the most part. I just wish Bioware would refrain from going to such extremes to make the game more accessible to non-rpg gamers... Expand
  23. Mar 30, 2011
    This game is very good. It's hard to say whether or not it is better than the first. It is certainly my favorite game of 2010, Red Dead Redemption a close second.

    The gameplay is much better in this game than the first. The combat is very nice, and the inventory system doesn't make you want to quit playing. In fact, the inventory is extremely streamlined, something RPG folks complain
    about. There is still inventory selection, you just don't have the same level of customization.

    I also would like to point out reviewers like AliJ who say that the game is okay and is not better than the first, but then give the game a zero. Are you aware that there is a scale that allows you to choose 0 through 10? Usually anything less than 5 means it's awful to play. This game has beautiful graphics, great combat, and more RPG elements than cynics would have you believe. The true merit of this game lies within the story, however. The story is amazing, and has hundreds of little subplots that make this universe so amazing. I'm also a big fan of the codex, since I tend to like things like Wikipedia.

    The first game had an amazing atmosphere to it to be sure. I don't think it will ever be recreated. That being said, you can't go home again. The series must progress, and I am enjoying the second game for what it is. Not an attempt to recapture the spirit of the first game, but a successful advancement of an ever-changing plot. Do yourself a favor and buy this game. It's cheap as all get out now.
  24. Apr 5, 2011
    I read other peoples reviews, some people are so in love with this game that they give it a 10, some people hate it with as much passion and give it a 0. its a good game but it doesnt deliver on that promise that its a RPG. Its a shooter with RPG elements and that are barely noticeable. thats the games biggest flaw and the reason why so many people hate dragon age 2 ( WORST ENDING EVER ). They have dumbed down the RPG aspects to appeal to the casual gamer but that doesn't make it a **** game. It comes close to being perfect but it isn't. Expand
  25. May 18, 2011
    This game delivers on the promise shown in Mass Effect. The graphics are much improved from the first and stand up to any other contemporary game. The action is well-paced. The story is interesting, and the game keeps moving. Well, until the planet-scanning, but when fans complained a patch was released that sped up the process of obtaining resources immensely. The sound is good and the music is perfectly suited to the sci-fi epic. The streamlining of gameplay made it seem like I was much more in the action than in ME1. True, they may have taken a few more things out than they had to, but I was fine with the end result. Loved ME1, this game is even better. Expand
  26. Aug 23, 2011
    The surprising event to occur at the start of ME2 got me very intrigued on my first play through and as the story unfolded I became hooked in anticipation. ME2 is not a good game because it improves on the short comings of Mass Effect 1, its good because it has an interesting story and setting that has depth and things are at stake to care about, well designed characters aesthetically and with personality, the decision making is not only ambitious but is pulled off very well, brilliantly and originally designed environments, creatures, costume and armour, and technically performs well with game play that feels satisfyingly good. The characters are good and memorable, I actually felt dread when some of them die, if you dont fall in love with Garrus, Tali, Legion, and Thane by the end of ME2 you have problems, I even grew attached to the space ship. I also want to make a big shout out to the legendary soundtrack, everyone must download the track Suicide Mission from Itunes now, its freaken awesome. The lack of depth in the RPG at first seems like a good thing as the shooting mechanics are good but after playing the game for over 60 hours it starts to show is thin side. I also dont think the decisions a player can make are executed perfectly, who in their right mine didnt save the alien counsel in ME1? Who didnt save Wrex? But overall ME2 is a remarkable achievement and a new benchmark for modern single player games! Expand
  27. Oct 7, 2011
    I loved Mass Effect 1, and I hoped Mass Effect 2 would bring the same amount of fun and even more. I was not disappointed. Mass Effect 1 did have more RPG features to it. However, with what Mass Effect 2 was lacking in the RPG department, made up for it by doing an extreme overhaul in every single aspect of the game. Graphics are phenomenal and the game runs very smoothly, not extremely chopper like ME1. Mass Effect 2's combat is improved as well. The only thing bad about both games is that I wish there was more dialogue with characters. I do however like the loyalty missions that ME2 put in - makes the characters more relatable - it makes you feel like you're helping an actual person and you become attached to these characters; something I thought wasn't going to happen due to me being disappointed that most of the ME1 crew wasn't going to be squad members. Overall, this game is better than ME1; a major improvement in the series and I hope they incorporate more RPG elements in Mass Effect 3. Expand
  28. Mar 13, 2012
    Any game that gets me to replay through the story 3+ times is worthy of a 10 in my book. There's really not anything bad I can say about the game, it's pretty much a masterpiece.
  29. Mar 14, 2012
    One of the best games I have ever played. This is a near-flawless experience with fantastic game play, a rich and compelling story, an excellent voice cast, amazing graphics and a great soundtrack. This is definitely the 'Empire Strikes Back' of our time. The DLC is impressive and gives this game a lot of replay-ability. While the game could have used a few options in the menu, such as not showing helmets during conversations, I can see no reason to give this anything less then 10. Expand
  30. Nov 7, 2010
    Mass Effect 2 is even better than the original. Just about every problem that people had with the first one has been fixed in this sequel. The combat is smoother and more fun, the dialogue has been made even better (yes, that's possible) and the side quests are no longer repetitive sequences of driving around an empty planet in your tank. The only thing that makes this game not deserve a 10 is some pacing issues early on in the game, but that's a minor complaint. Otherwise, Mass Effect 2 definitely deserves its 96 metascore. Expand
  31. Jun 1, 2011
    Focusing more on the build up to the finale than it's own story, Mass Effect 2 does some great things with it's cast of characters and their development. Import your Shephard from the first game to enhance your experience and pick your class to play the game a number of different ways. The combat mechanics have been greatly improved on from the first game and it overall seems more polished with less glitches and more fluid controls. With so many different ways to play, you experience something a little different every time, and that in itself speaks volumes. Mass Effect is definitely a game to experience. Collapse

Universal acclaim - based on 98 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 98
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 98
  3. Negative: 0 out of 98
  1. Mass Effect 2 overcomes its few gameplay weaknesses with a fantastic weave of dynamic combat, lavish presentation, and engaging character and weapon customization. But for all the myriad improvements that make Mass Effect 2's visuals so appealing and its combat so exhilarating, it's ultimately the way it moves us that makes it so memorable. [Feb 2010, p.56]
  2. 100
    Despite all of the ways Mass Effect 2 is more engaging to play and explore, after 35 remarkable hours it was the characters that stayed with us… Game of the year in January? Oh, go on then. [Feb 2010, p.112]
  3. Both an astonishing RPG and confident shooter, Mass Effect 2 is daring, shocking and often awe-inspiring in its use of choice. This is the future of storytelling in videogames. [Issue#, p.85]