I have been playing A LOT of Mass Effect 2 over the past week, almost to the point that my husband probably feels single. I remember Adam Sessler saying something similar back when he reviewed the game, and I now understand him completely.
Granted, the story has not won me over. I’m really not pleased with the majority of my team recruits. Last game, I had honorable warriors assisting me. Now I have a mercenary, a crazed criminal who is virtually naked save her tattoos, a lab creation, and a cold-blooded killer. I’m currently in the process of recruiting “The Assassin,” which makes me even less pleased. At least I have Garrus, Jacob, and Tali. I’ve even started to like Miranda. For me, as a Paragon player, it seems to go against my character to work for a questionable company as almost a mercenary and maintain a team of questionable characters. I suppose that is why they send you on these loyalty sidequests.
What’s keeping me playing is the gameplay. I really loved everything about the gameplay from the first Mass Effect, but this game has made everything smoother. The combat feels easier to control, the camera feels more responsive, my partymembers don’t stand in the middle of open fire and wonder why they die all the time, and the little mini-games aren’t as annoying. They’re still annoying, but they’re more tolerable.
And of all the weird things, by removing so much of the RPG-elements of the first game, I feel like I’m able to role play more with this game. Last game, even though I had a lot of things I could do to really form my character, it still felt like I was going down a tunnel for my character development. With the dialogue choices, the ability to perform Paragon/Renegade actions, and the decisions I can make to help others, I feel like I’m really crafting my character and her personality.
One more note about the story: I had a romance with Kaiden in the first game, and I genuinely liked his character (and the fact that he would actually take cover). It has been killing me that he wasn’t able to join my party and every guy I run across actively hits on me. As I am a loyal person, I really want to remain loyal to Kaiden. When I did finally run into him and he was so cold, it actually broke my heart for my character. I have hope, Kaiden, that we will reconcile and continue on with Mass Effect 3.
If this is not true, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.