Bioware revisits the trials and tribulations of Commander Shepherd in the second instalment of their planned trilogy, but along with its enthralling story, we wonder if they have been able to iron out the kinks and bugs that stopped a good game from becoming a truly great game?
If you played the first game, loved it and been desperately tracking development news from the developers stables, you're probably aware of this little nugget of information - key decisions from the first game will directly impact the way Mass Effect 2 begins. Now that is a monumental achievement with and it's a move Bioware's Senior Manager Matt Atwood believes will leave people ‘in awe'.
"As far as keeping your crew and keeping your characters and bringing them into Mass Effect 2, I don't want to get that specific with regards to what will happen, but I will tell you that things you did and people you interacted with in Mass Effect...you may well meet up with them again, whether it be the main character or other character. Other characters take on more significant roles and there are plenty of characters you haven't met yet."
While character development and story progression are good enough reasons to be joyful two tedious elements of the first game that have been put under the microscope with a view to being revamped are the bug ridden tech glitches and mind numbing elevator rides that were used as an alternative to loading screens. Instead the elevator scenes will now be replaced by ‘interesting visuals and information.'
The combat which fundamentally remains the same has been tweaked to include target based damage. So in the heat of the action, instead of simply pointing and unloading on an enemy, you can inflict critical damage by shooting at the head or taking out limbs to affect the target's mobility.
The developers have also seen fit to introduce a multitude of new weapons as well as a implement a new feature designed to maintain the sense of momentum built up in the heat of combat. Commands can now be issued for each individual party member as well as the possibility of utilizing your abilities in real time.
All in all, it looks like they have taken one of our favourite games of the last couple of years, tightened the controls whilst fleshing out characters and expanding on a story that would rivals most Hollywood scripts. Are we excited about Mass Effect? You bet your shiny little ass we are.