Games of the Decade #3 -Mass Effect 2

Bioware’s epic sci-fi series, Mass Effect, is arguably one of the greatest video game franchises of all time. They all offer incredible adventures that span galaxies, featuring brilliant characters, engaging gameplay and stories you will never forget. However, if there is one that left the biggest impression on me, it has to have been the masterpiece that was Mass Effect 2.

While I wished it lent more into the RPG mechanics of the first game, it refined the gameplay a lot. The game took place shortly after the first and saw the Milky Way Galaxy threatened by an insect-like race called the Collectors. As either a male or female Commander Shepard, you had to gather a team of strong allies in a bid to find a way to defeat this new threat. While there were many returning characters, there were also a large number of new faces for you to get to know and come attached to. It’s in this that helped form the foundations for what made the second game such a well designed and unforgettable experience.

While the Collectors were the main antagonists, there were also a number of other individuals that fit the bill. The aptly named Illusive Man, whose uncertain motives throughout the game never made it clear whether he was an ally or a potential enemy. The teammates you met along the way, their backstories and diverse personalities helped bring a level of depth that pushed the game past many of its contemporaries. How well you got to know them, helped them with problems to gain their loyalty, as well as how much you prepared the Normandy spaceship, directly affected how the final ‘Suicide’ mission played out. Your choices throughout the game really did matter in the end, far more than most other games at this point. Your entire team could end up dying, they could all survive, or somewhere in the middle. If you transferred the save file to the third game, your choices and outcomes would also carry over.

Everything about this game was great and engaging, from the combat, grand narrative, brilliant characters, epic music and well designed side-quests. Mass Effect is a video game series that I will come back to many times, especially the original trilogy, and the second game stands tall above the rest for me. This is why it is my third favourite game of the last decade.

Thank you so much reading and let me know what you thought in the comments, what’s your favourite in the series? For all things gaming, stay tuned to Honest Gamer.

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