Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 on PS3, XBOX 360 and PC: excellent downloadable content works seamlessly with the main quest.
- Very solid port; Mass Effect: Genesis comic provides a fine alternative to playing the original game; excellent DLC works seamlessly with the main quest.
- Reports that it's a major visual upgrade appear to be overblown; streamlined gameplay will likely put off more traditional RPG enthusiasts.
It took some time, but PlayStation 3 owners are finally welcome to join Commander Shepard and the crew of the Normandy in BioWare's intergalactic action-RPG epic. It's the same great game 360 owners are already familiar with, albeit outfitted with the previously released DLC and the slick new Mass Effect: Genesis backstory comic.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
In some ways, I wish I had waited for the PS3 port of Mass Effect 2 before introducing myself to the Mass Effect universe. It would have been a longer wait, but it also would have saved me a good 15 hours of playing the original game.
This might sound like sacrilege to some, but I believe that the original Mass Effect has aged quite poorly. The RPG mechanics don't match up well with the shooting mechanics, the story takes a long time to really get in gear, and it's clear that BioWare wasn't entirely comfortable with Unreal Engine 3 back in 2007. Cast in that light, the interactive comic that is included with the sequel's PS3 port is a fine alternative to actually playing through the original game.
The comic, of course, is essential. One of Mass Effect's biggest draws is the way in which individual Shepards persist from game to game, and without that element, the PS3 port would have felt barren indeed. But the comic, which pops up shortly after the opening sequence (still one of the best parts of the game), offers a colorful alternative in which to choose whether Ashley or Kaidan are killed, and whether or not Shepard gets laid. It doesn't provide quite the same immediacy of playing through the original events, but speaking as someone who will probably never go back to the first game, I find the comic very welcome.
The rest of the game is more or less a Mass Effect 2: Game of the Year Edition, as there's little to distinguish it from the Xbox 360 version. BioWare has claimed that the PS3 version is in fact running on the Mass Effect 3 engine, but if that's the case, it's tough to see with the naked eye. While that may be disappointing to some, I prefer to look at it another way: it means that PS3 owners won't be stuck with yet another middling to awful port. That's not a lot of consolation given that the PS3 version is coming out a full year after its brethren, but it's better than some of the alternatives.
That being said, PS3 owners who haven't played the Xbox 360 or PC versions are still in for a treat. BioWare churned out some great DLC last year, and it's all there pretty much from the get go in the PS3 version. Speaking as someone who purchased the DLC after finishing the game on the Xbox 360, I was pleased with how seamlessly the Shadowbroker and Kasumi content fits into the overall campaign: they're right there in the galaxy map, making them no different from any other quest. Kasumi, Shadowbroker, and Overlord add around an hour apiece to the game, and are well worth your time.
Less obvious, but also worth noting, is the inclusion of all the special guns that BioWare released as DLC. The Black Hole Gun probably isn't worth $2.99 by itself, but it still provides some remarkable eye candy in the way each shot creates a mini-singularity that devours large packs of enemies. And the inclusion of a wide variety of new conventional weapons and bonus armor certainly makes Shepard's armory feel quite a bit more robust than it did in the "vanilla" version of the game.
As for the game itself, the Dirty Dozen-style quest to recruit an elite team on behalf of the pro-human organization Cerberus remains very much intact. Much digital ink has been spilled over the past year on whether Mass Effect 2 swung too far into third-person shooter territory with its universal ammo and much-reduced talent trees. But personally, I'm willing to overlook the lack of crunchy mechanics in favor of the tremendous job BioWare has done in making every Shepard unique, the much-improved action, and the outstanding final mission (apart from the final boss, which is still silly). There's much more to be said on this topic, but whether or not the "streamlining" bothers you is really down to personal taste.
Regardless, the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 is a very good port of one of my favorite games of 2010. I would recommend it to anyone who has yet to dive into the franchise. Even without the promised visual overhaul, the inclusion of the downloadable content and the interactive comic probably make this the "definitive" version of the game. With that in mind though, Xbox 360 and PC owners can easily obtain the DLC, and even the comic is apt to be available on their respective platforms before too long.
What's important is that the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 successfully brings series newcomers up to speed, which I'm sure was BioWare's primary objective. All that's left now if for PS3 owners to decide whether it's really worth finding a way to dig up a copy of the original game on the Xbox 360 or PC ahead of the grand finale.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- FTWeb Developer/ReportsNSW
- CCTransport Planner - GIS SpecialistNSW
- CCServiceNOW DeveloperNSW
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- TPSoftware EngineerWA
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- FTIT Project Coordinator - Mascot/AlexandriaNSW
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- TPWinforms DevelopersWA
- FTClient Delivery ManagerSA
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- TPService Desk Analyst - Level 1VIC
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- CCService Desk Analyst - TelcoTAS
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FT.Net Azure DeveloperSA
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- CCSenior Systems EngineerNSW