January 27, 2010

606 words 3 mins read

Mass Effect 2 – The First Hour

Mass Effect 2 came out yesterday.

Jon and I both preordered long ago and were quite happy to receive our release day deliveries from Amazon (Prime, FTW).

I have only played an hour or two thus far but here’s what I think, and yes there will be spoilers.

Game starts with a video of you dying saving Joker.

You wake up about 2 years later in a lab that is under attack, Miranda (aka Yvonne Strahovski) guides you to a pistol and points you in the direction you need to go. Basically, you are shoved face first into combat, just like the first game.

A few words about the first game. I played it, a lot. I maxed one character out at 60, my Infiltrator (which is what I’m starting Mass Effect 2 as). When you start Mass Effect 2, you can either create a new character or import your old. By importing my old, I started at Level 5, had an extra 100k credits or so and 10k of each of the minerals in the game (Element Zero, Iridium, Platinum, and Palladium), haven’t gotten anywhere to use them yet, though Jon says they are all Tech Lab things and used for upgrades. You can find more minerals by doing the planet scanning minigame (which uses Probes and costs 100 credits per 5 — max 30).

Other character imports at lowers levels start with lesser bonuses (Jon at import level 38 received 20k credits and 2500 of each mineral), but basically if you want a jump start into the game, it is good to use the importer (and even better to have played to level 60). One interesting thing I noticed was that the game didn’t seem to know who you had put in charge of Humanity’s seat on the Council; it asks you if it was Hacket or Udena (you need to recall that the former was the Admiral, while the latter was the Ambassador). After reminding them that I put the Admiral in charge (rather than the political toady Udena) the game continued.

Combat is great. Much smoother, easier to order your squad mates around and yes, you can finally do disparate orders, which is great for setting up crossfires. The Sniper Rifle is much improved. It no longer wobbles lazily, though no longer having infinite ammo for all the guns is annoying (but the thermal clips make sense). The ammo powers are nice and something that is much easier to use than the upgrade system in the first game, the highest level of each power lets you evolve it. For ammo powers you either increase its power or make it available to all your squad mates, so if one of your teammates has a fully upgraded ammo power (with the squad evolve) it can be used by everyone, even your tech/biotic users who do not have ammo powers. Also, ammo powers are always on, and you can set different weapons to have different ones, that way if you need to switch to a different weapon in combat, it will already be primed with whatever power you wish.

This morning I landed on Omega, skipped talking to the Asari in charge and accidentally went into the lower section to get the Salarian Scientist. So far so good, had a slight case of dead in a couple cases, still getting used to the game I guess, but so far so good. Haven’t really used my class power (Tactical Cloak), yet, or much of my other powers, but so far, it is going well.

Anyone else playing the game? What Class? Why did you pick that?