The Forums Are Now Closed!

The content will remain as a historical reference, thank you.

Mass Effect 2: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Compared to Mass Effect

By on February 19, 2010 5:47:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"Disclaimer": I played through Mass Effect right before Mass Effect 2, so this is mostly a comparison between the two. I played both on the PC (I also played the first one on Xbox 360, 2 years ago when it came out). No spoilers. Also, whatever I say here, I loved the game and would recommend it to anyone who played Mass Effect and liked it.

The Good:

Missions. My god, the quality of missions is orders of magnitude above Mass Effect. They completely took out the Mako missions, but you don't miss them at all. The mission environments are for the most part all different, no more repeats of the same facilities over and over again. Character involvement is much higher across the board, especially interesting are the "loyalty" missions. Don't pass these up.

Graphics. The graphics got an overhaul for the sequel. Environments are prettier, abilities are better looking, and there's generally more polygons all over the place. I'm running the games on an Nvidia 9800 GTX+, an intel dual 3.0 Ghz processor and 4 gigs of ram @ 1650x1080.

Inventory and upgrades. They changed these around, for better or worse. I generally liked the changes. Instead of carrying around a 150 item inventory, you carry around 2-3 of each type of weapon (with six different heavy weapons options, yeah, now YOU get to carry a rocket launcher). The attachement items from Mass Effect are replaced by ammo talents, and damage upgrades are researched on the ship using resources you mine (more on that in the next section).

Elevators. They got rid of the elevators!! This was my personal pet peave in Mass Effect. Stepping into an elevator in between areas, getting locked into place, and waiting interminably without ever being able to save, stuck watching the wall move sloooowly past. There's still a few elevators in the sequel, but nowhere near as many, you can save in them, and the most important one, on your ship, you don't ride, you just cut to a loadscreen.

The Bad:

Resource gathering. This sucks like an industrial strength vacuum cleaner. In order to pay for upgrades to your ship, weapons, shields, health, etc, you have to pay with resources. You can find a few resources lying around in boxes on missions, but to pay for the serious upgrades, you have to go probing. Instead of hitting the scan button and finding some stuff like in Mass Effect, you have to manually scan the entire planet. You hold down the right mouse button and slowly wave your mouse across the planets surface, watching until your scanner spikes. Then you wave it around some more trying to find the highest concentration in the area. Then you launch a probe at the surface and collect a couple thousand units of a resource. You need 50,000 units for the bigger upgrades, and there are a lot of upgrades to collect, most of which are very beneficial. Oh yeah, and you have to pay for the probes. And you have only enough space for enough probes to survey half a system. (New pet peave to replace elevator fixation)

Glitches. I'd occasionally be walking along, then suddenly be stuck in place 3 meters up in the air. Once I glitched into a cliff. It only happend a few times, and mostly on side missions, so it didn't turn me off the game, but it still jerked me out of my focus pretty hard.

The Ugly:

Clipping. I think that's the problem when textures push through each other. This occured in a couple of cutscenes, mostly on faces, where somebody blinking would have white textures showing popping through their eyelids, or their neck would go through their shirt collar. This was only really bad and noticeable on one or two occasions, but it would happen to minor details fairly frequently.

Captain Anderson. He wasn't exactly good-looking in the first game, but the facial update made him downright ugly. He made one expression that made me recoil in disgust. It wasn't pretty.


In conclusion: I loved the game, and will probably play through it again as soon as I get over being throughly annoyed with the resource gathering system. If I could cheat to get around that, I would.

+2 Karma | 7 Replies
February 19, 2010 5:57:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Resource gathering isn't so bad. It can be annoyed sometimes but I didn't find it bad. The Bypass minigames though...  Glad that Hacking was easy at least. And the fuel and probes parts can be improved so if you are in a hurry to get them, it's only a matter of knowing how and head straight to them. (I did most of my probings without them and it wasn't so bad)

Missed interparty chatting.

Clipping is always an issue. The interrogation scene comes to mind. But as long as it's not something exaggerated, I don't mind it so much.

The only real problem I have now is to decide which class use to replay the game.  

February 19, 2010 6:43:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I actually enjoyed the bypass games more than those from Mass Effect. Resource gathering probably isn't as bad as I made it out to be, but I was just really, really annoyed that you have to do it on the second playthrough too. It wouldn't be so bad if the upgrades carried over, but you have to do it all over again. That's what really got under my skin.


If you haven't played vanguard yet, I recommend it. Their charge power is badass. You warp at your enemies and hit them in the face. You can even warp through cover, and hit pretty much anybody who is in an accessible area that you can lock on to. Combine that with a shotgun and you just rampage through them.

February 23, 2010 3:53:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have to disagree.  I am generally not having as much fun with #2 as I did with #1.  I'm not done with the game though and I hear the ending is good so hopefully things will improve but in general the game has been overly simplified and is a lot more predictable and adheres to much to a formula in my opinion.  In every mission I can tell when I battle is coming, when a cutscene is coming, etc.  Every mission is so linear and even though I wasn't a big fan of the Mako not having it makes the game world feel much smaller and less interesting.  Scanning is boring.  I wouldn't mind it if there weren't like 50 scannable planets but having something that unfun be that common is just bad design.  Those coupled with limited weapons, no armor options for followers and the ammo change have made this a worse game for me.

It might sound like I hate this game but I don't.  I still think it is a good game but it has fallen out of the great game category to me.  Basically it's just disappointing to see it going in the wrong direction.

February 23, 2010 4:14:31 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Most boring part of the game, " need armour upgrade for normandy?", (2hours later) YES! finally can afford to upgrade the armour, whats this? kinetic upgrade? you got to be f******g joking? (2 1/2 hours later) ok, got kintic barriers......................omg.................normandy weapon upgrades?........... another 2 hours Resoruce gathering? I would rather hammer nails into my testicles.

I stopped playing the game when i nearly finshed the last mission becuase 'A' I spent more time gathering a team together than acutally fighting the reapers (that really annoyed me)!, I rushed throught the whole game just to find out there was only going to be one mission to destroy those DAMNED REAPERS! (got all there loyaltly those).


I loved Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2 was like watching the first 1hr and 30 minutes of Lord of the Rings, all 9 on the fellowship meet up, go to moria, one person dies, than the flim is over!



February 23, 2010 5:00:04 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Ya resource system could be faster... And they made the Vanguard weak(Insanity) boost shotgun range... Other then that its great!

March 3, 2010 6:14:30 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

The ugly:  Ability cooldowns share a single timer.

It absolutely makes no sense to pick two abilities that generate a similar effect, like push, lift, pull. Once you use one, you can't use any other due to the cooldown - and the tactical differences are minor.

Even different types of abilities share the timer, like biotics and engineers.

March 3, 2010 6:32:45 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Not sure if anybody else has mentioned it already (I only skimmed the replies), but you should know that on secondary playthroughs, you start the game with extra resources, 50,000 of each I think. It doesn't remove the need to scan planets entirely, but it does cut down on it a fair bit.

Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108435  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000125   Page Render Time:

Stardock Magazine | Register | Online Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

Copyright ?? 2012 Stardock Entertainment and Gas Powered Games. Demigod is a trademark of Gas Powered Games. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and copyrights are the properties of their respective owners. Windows, the Windows Vista Start button and Xbox 360 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies, and 'Games for Windows' and the Windows Vista Start button logo are used under license from Microsoft. ?? 2012 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.