Today is the Northern American launch day for Mass Effect 2, BioWare's sci-fi action/RPG sequel.
The colleagues over at GGMania reported that The first PC reviews can be found (withr eally high scores) on AtomicGamer (96%), GameSpot (9/10), IGN (9.6/10), C&VG (90%), Videogamer (100%), GamesRadar (100%), IncGamers (9.6/10).We have an extensive discussion thread open on the game right here.
If you played the original Mass Effect, you may remember the jarring texture pop-in and frequent frame rate stutters as much as you remember the excellent character design and atmospheric planetside vistas. You'll notice few if any instances of those drawbacks in this installment, which means there's less to distract you from the impressive visuals. Just as an interior designer works from a collection of complementary and contrasting colors and textures, so too does Mass Effect 2 draw from a consistent set of hues and architectural touches. Deep reds and glowing indigos saturate certain scenes, making them richer and more sinister; eerie fog limits your vision in one side mission, while rain pours down upon you in another. Subtle, moody lighting gives certain interactions great impact, such as one scene in which your troubled, tattooed teammate appears as a black silhouette. The visuals are a superb melding of art and technology, with only a few animation hitches that stand out because most aspects are consistently excellent. The fantastic musical score and sound effects do more than their share to enhance the production, working the deeper end of the sonic spectrum and communicating tension and weight without getting heavy handed or manipulative.
This gunship battle is just one of many exciting encounters in store for you. Mass Effect 2's improved shooting mechanics are no-brainers; they're the expected advancements that clean up the flaws of its predecessor. But what makes this sequel so rich isn't mechanics, but vision. A nightclub lit with flames, deadly family reunions, a friend accused of the inconceivable--these are the sights and events that cast shadows in your mind and heart. A few blemishes prove that this planned trilogy still has potential for growth, but they barely diminish the game's overall impact. This is a galaxy you want to explore that is populated with characters you are glad to know. Mass Effect 2 is the kind of game that you return to, not just because it's fun to play multiple times, but also because its universe is a place you wish you could call home.