Massive is the first word that came to mind when I finally got into this game. They have definitely expanded the scope of not just the game but the Mass Effect Universe by an impressive margin. New races, new systems, new recruits, new everything. Event the Citadel is new, but still familiar.
It is still the same ol' run and stun 3rd person shooter game play, only refined and streamlined. Your power list is considerably shorter,but they have basically traded quantity for quality and made a much smoother system in my opinion. targeting is also improved. Squad AI is much better this time around about finding cover and assisting on flanking, and control of your squad is much simpler. You can split them up and create your own diversions and flanking maneuvers. Very cool. And the rocket launchers! Finally! As a soldier I felt like an unstoppable machine in every fight. The new hack and bypass mini games leave you less reliant on bringing a tech guy every mission to unlock safes and data pads. Though with the number of synthetics you face it's still probably a good idea to bring one for larger missions. I was fine either way though.
The story is phenomenal. The opening is intense. I think they pushed the beginning ahead a little too fast without explaining a few more things about what just transpired but other than that, nearly perfect. You meet new allies and encounter old friends. The promise of Mass Effect 1 effecting mass Effect 2 in apparent from the moment you first revisit the Citadel and on into the rest of the game. Even the small decisions you made are brought back around in this game. A true sequel in every definition. The collector threat is a fantastic new dynamic and the constant pursuit of their motives keeps you hooked.
The game looks better,plays smoother, and draws you in even more than the first. Like any good sequel should. This is truly an "Empire Strikes Back" type sequel. Just too good to pass up.
I have to admit I never played the orginal Mass Effect and did not really know what to expect from this game. However as soon as I started the game I knew I was going to be addicted to this game franchise. Mass Effect 2 is an absolutley beautiful and breath taking game! Everything from the graphics, characters and sound. As a voice-over actor I have to stay they have did a great job selecting the cast and voices for this game... it really keeps you involved. This is one of those games that you could play over and over again, because of the five different classes you can choose for your player.
The only real problem I have with this game so far is that I would like to see more weapon selections.
Mass Effect 2 is probabley one of the smoothest game play experiences I have had to date. Having to watch my ammo expenditure, while a bit annoying compared to the firsts overheating, is nice. However, they drastically altered how well combat worked in exchange for this. Guns are more accurate than they were in the first one, and your class only equips weapons they are proficient with. As a Soldier class, I found myself switching between all 5 weapons, based on the situation. And I do like how each weapon class, except for the Heavy Weapons, have a subclass. Each of the characters are vivid, with a story that I found pulled me in. Even though I don't like a few of them, it's not due to their stories, it's due to their personalities. Something a lot of games forget to instate into their stories.
The voice actors from the first Mass Effect are all here. So when you bump into someone you bumped into in Mass Effect one, they still sound the same. For me, little details like this are a nice bonus. Last, but certainly not least on the list of improvements, the ability to customize your armor, and what you wear as casual clothing. I don't know how many people found an armor they felt had the perfect stats, then it turned out to be something like an eye wrenching pink for a male Shephard, or maybe you just don't like the camo style print or the green it came in. This game solved that problem, giving you the ability to customize the design of your armor, as well as it's pieces. Different Pieces have different effects for your character, but now appearance and function are more up to your preference vs just what they gave you.
Better Combat, Better Customization, Better and more involving world travel. I like what they've done, and if you enjoyed the first, you'll more than likely love this one all the more.