3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Total Absorption, with a But,
This review is from: Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
This is a great game - I really enjoyed it for the 30 hours or so I put in. Presentation is 10/10, it's a complete world to get lost in, brilliantly populated with all kinds of wonderful creatures and dramas, and nicest of all, it's absolutely bug free, so no technical issues will kick you out of the experience (beyond the inevitable load times).
One thing bothers me, however, and it made me feel cheated later on, despite the moment to moment thrills to be had. The game will open up and close down certain narrative paths depending on if you start from a ME1 save, and this is all wonderful - but the actual central mission of ME2, the Let's Get A Team Together mission, is entirely winnable without performing the loyalty missions. That really took the air out of it for me, and it points up a fundamental paradox at the core of these kind of game experiences.
When I thought that I must, as the game suggested, complete the loyalty missions in order to stand a chance of survival, I felt a great deal of tension in performing them. In fact, when i screwed a couple up I became worried that I was going to blow the whole darn mission. But as it turned out, it made relatively little difference. You get some armor/weapon upgrades as reward, which make you stronger going into battle, but they're not deal breakers. You might not get something else down the line, but your guy isn't going to walk out on you.
So there's the rub - it's an illusion that your actions have dramatic consequences. You just miss out on an extra gun.
Apart from that, amazing game.