There's really only one criticism to make about this game. The PS3 version throws you right in to the middle of a story. Sure, you get to recreate Shepard however you like and meet an almost entirely new cast of people, but without the knowledge of the previous game, you still feel lost. By the end of the first playthrough, you finally feel like you know the characters well. But it takes the whole 40+ hour game to get there. On the second time around it feels more at home, but there's something missing because you already know what's going to happen. It lacks the surprise factor when you first meet Tali and Garrus, you don't feel as threatened by the Reapers because you're not sure what kind of threat they pose, and the remorse you're supposed to feel about abandoning your old teammates just isn't there since you didn't go through the first game. Also, there are tons and tons of audio bugs in this game. Characters mouths start moving before dialogue starts and then cuts off before the voice finishes saying what it needs to. It's really distracting and takes away from the presentation of the story (which is great, actually). I don't think I went through more than half a dozen cut scenes in the entire game that didn't glitch on me at least once. Perhaps this is an issue translating from Xbox to PS3 format, I don't know, but it does take away from the experience. But other than that, this game is amazing. I've never felt the need to play through a 40 hour game more than once before I played this game (not on next gen consoles, anyway). In all my long years of gaming, Mass Effect 2 definitely stands out as one of the best experiences I've ever had.
Simply put, this is an amazing game which should not be missed. Honestly it didn't matter that I did not play the first one, i didn't feel lost once during the game.
story- the story on this game is phenomonial, i cared about the characters, really wanted to know how their lives would turn out. In the end when I lost two of them during the final mission, it brought a tear to my eye. It's amazing how much choice is brought into this game, every decision that you make has consequences, some small some not so small.
graphics- beautiful, worlds and characters are rendered really well, you will feel like you are actually on the normandy. Some break up occurs occassionally, but not enough to detract from the fun.
accessibility. The game has a ton of upgrades for each character, and finding them are actually quite fun, and battle and controlling the characters is extremely easy.
replayabilty- very high, once you beat it once you can start again with bonuses, and you probably won't get bored doing it either.
load times- especially aboard the normandy, it takes forever for stages to load on the ship and their is the occassional freeze and need to reload. One gets used to it but hopefully this is fixed in 3.
controls. sure they work really well but the whole duck and jump thing is kind absurd, it doesn't feel very smooth. also controlling vehicles can be a pain.
loyalty- yes this is a weird "con." I will offer this one piece of advice, save before doing loyalty missions, primarily thane and samaras missions, because they can be pains in the butt and one time shots, so if you fail then you lose loyalty and it's near impossible to get back. Also certain characters will basically ignore you and revoke their loyalty if you don't agree with them during an argument with other crew members (looking at you jack.) That is how i lost 2 crew members.
All in all an amazing game, one last hint upgrade the heck out of the normandy.
Graphics: 8 out of 10 Sound: 8 out of 10 Controls: 10 out of 10 Story: 10 out of 10
This game definitely exceeded my expectations. Don't get me wrong I expected a good game, because of all of the positive reviews and from the success of the first one. But this game had everything that I like and more. I'm not a huge fan of RPG's or shooters, but I fell in love with this game.
Most importantly to me I thought the story was top notch, the way that it was woven together. All of the side missions of helping your crew out, really made for an interesting adventure. Along with the consequences that you suffered as a result of certain decisions that you made during the game. The sci-fi in this game was intense and well written. From the mass effect fields, details of the planets, alien races, to the weapons and spaceships it all felt very real as it pulled you in to the story.
Also I admit that visuals also attract me to games, and the graphics here were rock solid. I think I've not been able to get into certain games such as Fallout and Oblivion because of the lack of graphics. I'm sure most fans of those games will disagree but it's just my own personal thing. I like visuals along with a great story line.