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Mass Effect 2
MassEffect2 cover.PNG
North American cover art of Mass Effect 2
Developer(s) BioWare
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Casey Hudson (director)
Writer(s) Mac Walters (lead writer)[1]
Drew Karpyshyn
Composer(s) Jack Wall[2]
Sam Hulick
David Kates
Jimmy Hinson
Series Mass Effect
Engine Unreal Engine 3.5
Version 1.01 (PC) [3]
Platform(s) PC, Xbox 360[4][5]
Release date(s) NA January 26, 2010[6]
EU January 28, 2010[6]
AUS January 28, 2010[6]
Genre(s) Action RPG
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) BBFC: 15[7]
ESRB: M[8]
OFLC: MA 15+[9]
PEGI: 18+[8]
Media 2 DVD-DLs,[10] download
Input methods Gamepad, keyboard and mouse

Mass Effect 2 is an action role-playing game developed by BioWare Edmonton, with assistance from BioWare Montreal, and published by Electronic Arts. The game is the sequel to Mass Effect, and was released on PC and Xbox 360 in North America and India on January 26, 2010, Australia on January 28, and Europe and New Zealand on January 29.

Contents

Gameplay

New features

A "Prelude to E3" developer diary was released on May 15, 2009. The developers confirmed that the combat system has been upgraded, with everything from the feel of the combat to the A.I. being improved, including realistic damage modeling and downed enemies still continuing to crawl and fight. New to the series is a heavy weapons system that will allow players to "kill [somebody] a thousand times" over. The tone of the game is similar to that of the Wild West, featuring warlords and crime gangs.[11]

Mass Effect 2 also features regenerating health as its primary health mechanic, instead of the ability to heal with "medi-gel" as in the first game. However, "medi-gel" is still used to revive downed allies.[12] In addition, weapons now use ammunition and no longer rely on the overheat system of the first game.[13] This system is functionally identical to the ammunition systems of other third-person shooters, but instead of having differing ammunition types for different weapons, the heat sinks used are universal across most standard weapons.[14]

The characters in Mass Effect 2 are more detailed not only graphically, but technically. In the original Mass Effect, Commander Shepard only had 20 animations for cover, while in Mass Effect 2, the character has over 200. The world is also more open-ended in this installment; uncharted worlds, which the player could explore for "cheap thrills" in the first game, are now more detailed and include more to explore.[15]

The camera positioning for conversations with A.I. characters has also been improved; the previously static camera now moves around to provide "a much needed cinematic touch."[16] Another new feature during conversations is a context-sensitive interrupt system: in addition to Renegade and Paragon dialogue options, Shepard is able to interrupt the dialogue when prompted to do so with on-screen controls, again along Paragon or Renegade paths.[17]

The M35 Mako is not included for planetary exploration in Mass Effect 2 with improved gameplay sections from in the first game.[18] Instead, a Kodiak drop shuttle, which the player cannot directly pilot, transports the player to areas of immediate interest.[19] A new pilotable vehicle called the Hammerhead will be released in a future downloadable content file [20] and is stated by project director Casey Hudson to be more user-friendly.[21]

A major gripe from the last game, slow moving elevators, have been removed entirely. This is in fact referenced as a joke during a mission when a team mate smashes the side of a slow moving elevator demanding it to go faster, and it does. Instead typical elevator sequences are loading screens. [22]

Unlike Mass Effect, in which there were four weapon types, there are now nineteen different weapons,[23] and the pistol has been replaced with the heavy pistol.[24] The grenades from the first game do not make a reappearance, but have been replaced by the new heavy weapons.[25] Sub-machine guns make up another new weapon class. Characters are now able to use any weapon their class is trained for at full effect, meaning the player is no longer required or able to invest in weapon skills. Armor skills have also been removed and there are no longer class restrictions on armor.[26] Instead, armor is controlled through purchases of upgrades or individual components and is applied piecemeal, with different armor components providing different bonuses to damage, health, and other skills.

Transferring save-files

Project director for BioWare, Casey Hudson, and BioWare co-founder, Greg Zeschuk, as well as other developers of Mass Effect, have stated that players should keep their Mass Effect save-files[27][28] because decisions made by the player in the first game carry over to the second and have influences on his/her character in the sequel.[29] Hudson also stated that characters from the previous game make a return, provided that they were not killed.[27] In order for the saved file to be recognized in Mass Effect 2, the player has to wait until the end of the credits in Mass Effect so that an autosave file may be created with the completed game data. Each save file is viewable by the player when deciding which to import into Mass Effect 2, and a summary of some of the key decisions made during that game is shown to help the player make sure the right save file is imported.[30]

Players who have not played the first Mass Effect start a new character in Mass Effect 2, and are brought up to speed on the story elements that have taken place thus far in the series.

When transferring a file from Mass Effect, players have the option to change their class to a different one. For example, if the player wanted to play as an Engineer instead of an Infiltrator, the player may change his/her character's class while still importing the choices made during the first game. There is a story explanation as to how the character's abilities have changed since the first game.[26] In addition, transferred characters may also have their appearance changed, if the player so desires.

Mass Effect 2 save files may be transferred to the third installment in a similar manner, though there does exist at least one ending which will not be transferable. In this case, players must either choose to replay Mass Effect 2 for a better ending or begin with a new character in Mass Effect 3.

Players receive bonuses for importing save games; for example, importing a level 60 Shepard provides the player with 50 thousand credits, ten thousand units of each resource, bonus Paragon and Renegade points, and allows him/her to start Mass Effect 2 at level 5. If the imported character was "Rich" in Mass Effect, The player will receive an additional 100 thousand credits. Additionally, although the achievement, Long Service Medal, requires the player to beat the game twice, the player may get the achievement for completing the game once with an imported Shepard.[31]

Character death

The first teaser trailer for the game gave the impression that Commander Shepard had been killed in action,[32] but it was later confirmed that Shepard would be brought back to life by Cerberus, providing the player with a chance to alter his/her character's appearance and class.[33] Players themselves dictate whether or not Shepard will die at the end of the game based on choices that they make throughout the game. While exploration in the first game had little relevance to the main story, in Mass Effect 2, the player is able to gather enemy intelligence and resources to purchase various upgrades for the Normandy during exploration that will have an effect on the final mission.[16] BioWare Executive Producer Casey Hudson explained, "If you do die in the ending of Mass Effect 2, it will not come as a surprise, nor will it be random. It will be pretty obvious that you headed into the final mission knowing that Shepard probably wouldn’t make it out alive." Hudson also confirmed that team members would be affected by the player's decisions during the final mission: "You might have an ending where Shepard’s entire team survives, or where the entire mission is a bloodbath and everyone (including Shepard) is killed, or anything in between."[34] The ending in which Shepard is killed represents a permanent death for the character in terms of the story, rather than a death in which the player may simply reload from a previously saved game after making a mistake in combat. In that scenario, the character from that play-through cannot be imported into Mass Effect 3; players would have to either use a different save file in which Shepard survived or start a brand new character.[35] Of course, players who want to continue into Mass Effect 3 with their Commander Shepard must survive the final mission, so it is recommended that the player does everything he/she can to make it out alive with every teammate.

Plot

Mass Effect 2 begins in 2183, shortly after Mass Effect. On patrol to locate and destroy any remaining geth, the Normandy and its commanding officer, Commander Shepard, are attacked. The crew is forced to evacuate. Joker, the helmsman, continues piloting the ship and is rescued by Shepard. Before Shepard can board the escape pod, Shepard is sent flying and debris slices through his/her suit as the Normandy is attacked again. Shepard dies from asphyxiation and his/her body enters a nearby planet's atmosphere.

Shepard's body is retrieved by Cerberus, an extremist pro-human organization. Over the course of two years, attempts are made to bring Shepard back to life via the Lazarus Project. Shepard awakens in 2185 aboard a Cerberus space station that is under attack. After Shepard aids Cerberus agents Jacob Taylor and Miranda Lawson, Shepard is granted an audience with the Illusive Man, who explains that Shepard was revived and 'upgraded' in return for his/her aid combating a new threat. Human colonies have been attacked, and their colonists have gone missing. The Illusive Man believes this is the work of Shepard's old enemies, the Reapers, a race of mechanical dreadnoughts that periodically harvest the galaxy once galactic civilization reaches a certain point.

Shepard and his/her team investigate a recently attacked colony and encounter Tali, one of Shepard's former squad members, and discover that the mysterious insect-like Collectors were behind the attack and are responsible for abductions at other human colonies. The Illusive Man places Shepard in command of the Normandy SR-2, modeled after the original. With the Illusive Man's guidance, Shepard recruits a team for what is assumed to be a suicide mission.

The Illusive Man provides Shepard with dossiers regarding potential recruits: a salarian scientist, a vigilante named Archangel, a krogan warlord, and a powerful but psychotic biotic. The salarian, Dr. Mordin Solus, is found on Omega, working to stop a plague engineered by vorcha who are working for the Collectors. Archangel is also on Omega, and is actually Garrus Vakarian, one of Shepard's previous squad members. The krogan warlord, Okeer, is found attempting to create the perfect krogan through unethical genetic research; when Okeer is killed he leaves his creation, Grunt, in Shepard's care. The biotic, Jack, revealed to be a woman, is also known as "Subject Zero." Cerberus arranges for her to be purchased from the prison holding her; Shepard travels to the prison ship, but is betrayed by the warden, who attempts to capture Shepard for a bounty. Shepard escapes and rescues Jack, who joins the team.

The Illusive Man reveals that a human colony is under Collector attack, and dispatches the team to save the colony. He notes that one of Shepard's surviving crew members, either Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams depending on who the player sacrificed on Virmire in the first game, is stationed at the colony. Shepard arrives with his/her team and battles the Collectors; a third of the colonists have already been taken away. Shepard reunites with his/her former ally, who leaves feeling betrayed by Shepard working for Cerberus.

Shepard is provided with dossiers on more potential recruits: an asari Justicar, a drell assassin, and Tali. The Justicar, Samara, joins the team after Shepard investigates the Eclipse mercenary group and its involvement in a murder. The drell assassin, Thane Krios is in the midst of an assassination mission. Learning of Thane's next target, Shepard finds Thane, who dispatches his target and joins the team. After she is rescued from an immense geth force, Tali joins Shepard.

The Illusive Man reveals that the Omega-4 relay - beyond which lies the Collector base - requires Reaper technology for the Normandy to safely navigate through it. Cerberus has located a derelict Reaper, disabled millions of years beforehand, and has sent a science team to recover the device - an IFF transponder. Shepard discovers that the Cerberus science team members have been killed. Battling his/her way through Husks, Shepard recovers the IFF and salvages a friendly geth before destroying the ship's core. Shepard may turn the geth over to Cerberus or activate it. If activated, the geth designates itself as Legion and joins the team.

Shepard departs with the recruited members on a shuttle towards their next mission as the Normandy prepares the IFF for testing. After the IFF is activated,it emits a tracking signal and the Collectors are able to locate and board the Normandy. Joker is forced to give control of the ship to its onboard A.I., named EDI - a potentially dangerous move. Gaining control of the ship, EDI pilots the Normandy away from the Collectors and rids the ship of all enemies, but the entire crew barring Joker is taken. Shepard's hand is forced - Shepard can either complete secondary missions and sacrifice his/her crew, or go through the Omega-4 relay to rescue the Normandy crew.

After traveling through the relay, the game may proceed in different ways. Depending on whether Shepard enters the Omega-4 relay quickly, has upgraded parts of the Normandy, and has earned the loyalty of team members, any combination of crew and team may survive the final mission, including Shepard himself/herself. Shepard fights his/her way to the core of the Collector space station and discovers the Collectors have been constructing a new Reaper, made from the genetic material of the abducted humans and fused with the advanced technology of the Reapers. EDI suggests this is how all Reapers reproduce. Shepard targets the weak points of the machine, which is in the early stages of construction, and it collapses.

The Illusive Man suggests the team keep the station intact to allow research on its technology, insisting that any garnered information will be valuable in the coming war against the Reapers. Shepard may choose to destroy the station or use a radiation pulse to kill the Collectors and allow Cerberus to take control of the station. After Shepard and his/her team destroy the Reaper, the surviving squad members escape to the Normandy. The Normandy undergoes repairs following the mission; Joker acquires schematics of a Reaper from the Collector General after he is released from Harbinger's control as a final act of defiance against the Reapers as the station is destroyed or eradicated of all life forms from a radiation charge. Harbinger and the rest of the Reapers awaken from hibernation and begin emerging from dark space and start their long journey towards the Milky Way, setting the stage for Mass Effect 3.

Characters

Commander Shepard

The main protagonist of the first game, Shepard is killed during the opening sequences of Mass Effect 2 and is later resurrected by the pro-human organization, Cerberus. Shepard is sent on a mission to hunt down the Collectors, who have been abducting whole human colonies and are suspected to be working for the Reapers. The player may choose to play as either a male or female Shepard.

Illusive Man

The mysterious leader of the Cerberus organization, the Illusive Man is responsible for the funding of Project Lazarus and the revival of Shepard following his/her death in the beginning of the game. Little is known about the Illusive Man, except that he is apparently extremely wealthy. He forms an alliance with Shepard, providing guidance throughout the game as Shepard investigates the disappearance of several human colonies.

Grunt

A prototype krogan super-soldier, he is the "child" of the krogan Warlord, Okeer. Programmed with the memories and skills of various powerful krogan and having undergone extensive genetic engineering, Grunt is considered the most "perfect" example of the krogan species. However, he has no clan and little knowledge of krogan customs and tradition.

Grunt's loyalty quest involves his growing desire for violence, what is revealed to be a stage of adolescence. Shepard takes Grunt to the planet of Tuchanka, where he may be given an opportunity to accomplish the Rite and join Clan Urdnot, which calms him immensely, as he then carries a purpose other than that instilled by the tank he was bred in.

Mordin Solus

A brilliant salarian scientist, yet also a competent soldier due to his membership in the salarian special forces earlier in his life, Mordin Solus is found on Omega and possesses a hyperactive and eccentric personality. He is arguably a "mad scientist" with questionable ethics -- he was a key member in the team that researched the remodification of the krogan genophage, an action that he feels guilty about but considers the best possible solution to a once growing problem. Mordin believes in acting in the best interests of the galaxy; his scientific work is governed by strong moral standards and unquestionable respect for all forms of life. Acquiring Solus to the team will open up the research laboratory on the Normandy, where Shepard may unlock and research upgrades for both the squad and the Normandy.

Solus' loyalty quest involves a former assistant and student who has apparently been kidnapped by krogan. Shepard and Solus head to Tuchanka, where they battle through the hospital-bunker of an opposing clan of the Urdnot Clan. The team learns that Solus' student had not been kidnapped at all and had been willingly researching a cure for the krogan genophage. Depending on the player's choices, Solus may or may not kill his former student, and may either destroy the genophage cure data or keep the data for later use when necessary.

Samara

An asari Justicar, Samara is highly skilled in her use of biotics. A member of a highly respected and feared monastic order, Samara has forsworn all possessions and family to fight for absolute justice. She is on a quest to track down her elusive daughter, who has been killing innocents for hundreds of years by burning out their nervous systems during sexual encounters. Shepard meets Samara on Illium, where she is found investigating the Eclipse mercenary group and a possible link to a murder. After Shepard aids in said investigation, Samara joins him/her.

Samara's loyalty quest involves her daughter, Morinth. Morinth may be found on Omega, in the V.I.P. section of the Afterlife. Samara and Shepard formulate a plan in which Shepard attracts the attention of Morinth and is taken to her apartment, where Shepard is to distract Morinth until Samara moves in for the kill. Depending on the player's actions, either Samara or Morinth will be killed, and the survivor will stay with the team and be loyal to Shepard.

If Morinth survives and joins the team, the player may choose to mate with her after the final mission, although that results in a non-standard game-over.

Jacob Taylor

Jacob Taylor is a former Alliance soldier with biotic abilities. He joined Cerberus after viewing the bureaucracy of the Alliance as hampering the ability of humanity to survive. He is often put down by Miranda, with whom he had a brief romantic relationship. Taylor is highly respectful of Shepard due to their shared background in the military. Thirteen years before, he had cut ties with his father, who was a First Officer of a lost spaceship, the Hugo Gernsback. Taylor joins Shepard early on in the game on the Cerberus space station where Shepard first awakens after his/her revival.

Taylor's loyalty quest involves a search for his missing father after a beacon activates. His father's ship, the Hugo Gernsback, had crashed several years beforehand. Shepard and Taylor journey to the crashsite and find that the survivors of the crash had formed a camp, with the males deranged from toxic food harvested from the planet's environment. Taylor locates his father and realizes horrible truths regarding his father's abuse of power. Shepard and Taylor may either call the Alliance to send aid to the survivors and arrest Taylor's father for his crimes against his men or leave him with a pistol with little ammunition. In the latter case, rather than attempt to hold his own against the deranged males, a task which he lacks sufficient ammunition for, Taylor's father shoots himself.

Jacob Taylor is a potential romantic interest for Shepard (female). He is also the player character and protagonist of Mass Effect Galaxy.

Miranda Lawson

Genetically modified to perfection by her father, Miranda Lawson is the top Cerberus agent on board the Normandy and Shepard's second in command. Driven and devoted to the Cerberus cause, she is often viewed as cold and callous by other Cerberus agents. Providing military and tactical support, Lawson also acts as the liaison for the Illusive Man. She joins Shepard early on in the game on the Cerberus space station where Shepard first awakens after his/her revival.

Lawson's loyalty quest involves her "genetic twin" sister, Oriana. Lawson has spent much of her life hiding Oriana from her father, who wished to use Oriana to establish a mercantile "dynasty." Shepard and Lawson journey to Illium and take actions to prevent a mercenary gang from taking Oriana away.

Miranda Lawson is a potential romantic interest for Shepard (male).

Thane Krios

A drell assassin who is dying of a lung disease exclusive to his species, Thane Krios joins the team in an attempt to provide a purpose to his life and atone for his past actions. An expert assassin, he also possesses powerful close-combat biotics. His wife was murdered many years ago by mercenaries attempting to capture him. He was forced to "abandon" his young son, Kolyat, an event that still haunts him.

Krios' loyalty quest involves his son. Shepard and team must travel to the Citadel to stop Krios' son from following in his father's footsteps by killing an anti-human turian politician. Krios confronts his son in a room after saving the turian, and is given time to speak with his son in an interrogation room at C-Sec. The player may choose dialogue options that would allow Krios' son a civil service sentence rather than one that is more harsh.

Thane is a potential romantic interest for Shepard (female).

Jack/Subject Zero

The product of a Cerberus experiment to enhance human biotic ability, Jack carries a hostile personality that is the result of the torture and captivity she endured while she was imprisoned at a remote Cerberus outpost during her childhood. She later escaped and became involved in crime, murder, and religious cults, all in an attempt to gain an identity.

Jack's loyalty quest involves her seeking to find some closure from her past; she asks Shepard to take her to the facility where she was raised and blow it up. Shepard and Jack travel to the abandoned facility, disrupt mercenary activity there, and destroy the facility. If both Jack and Miranda's loyalty missions have been completed, a fight ensues between Jack and Miranda, which Shepard must quell. If the player has a high enough Paragon or Renegade score, the fight can be quelled. Otherwise, the player is forced to side with either Jack or Miranda, causing the other to lose her loyalty to Shepard unless Shepard later speaks with her and passes a hard Paragon/Charm check.

Jack/Subject Zero is a potential romantic interest for Shepard (male).

Tali'Zorah vas Neema/Normandy

Tali'Zorah vas Neema returns to the Normandy after a scientific study goes horribly awry and most of her team is taken out by geth. She joins Shepard once he rescues her from the assaulting geth force.

Tali's loyalty quest involves her being tried for treason. Shepard and Tali travel to the quarian flotilla and it is revealed that Tali had been working with her father to discover more about the geth, periodically shipping him pieces of disabled geth. For unknown reasons, the reassembled geth were reactivated and killed everyone on board the research ship Tali's father was stationed on. Once Shepard and Tali battle through said ship and recover evidence that indicates that the fault lies with Tali's now-deceased father, the team returns to the main quarian ship. The player may choose to either heed Tali's plea and deny finding evidence that would dishonor her father or present the evidence to the quarians. However, depending on Shepard's Paragon or Renegade score, the outcome of the trial may be influenced dramatically. As a Paragon, Shepard speaks eloquently about the role Tali played in the first game and how she illustrated to the galaxy the worth of the quarian people; as a Renegade, Shephard accuses the tribunal of not caring about the fate of Tali and instead keeping its own agenda about the war in mind. Additionally, if certain tasks are completed prior to the second part of the trial, a third option of inciting the crowd to support Tali becomes available. Taking any of these three paths prevents the exile of Tali while still maintaining the honor of her father. Regardless of the player's actions, the trial results in Tali staying with Shepard, whether by choice or exile, and thus gives her the vas Normandy designation.

Tali'Zorah vas Neema/Normandy is a potential romantic interest for Shepard (male).

Garrus Vakarian

After the Normandy was destroyed, Garrus Vakarian went on to pursue a life of vigilantism. He made his way to the Omega space station, which is riddled with criminal syndicates, and earned the alias Archangel after sabotaging various criminal organizations. When Shepard finds him, Garrus is holed up in his base as three crime syndicates send waves of mercenaries to kill him. During the final onslaught he is injured by an attack from a gunship, leaving him with facial scars and damaged armor.[36]

Garrus' loyalty quest involves a search for a former squadmate, Sidonis, who had betrayed Garrus and his team and resulted in the death of everybody else on the team. Shepard and Garrus locate Sidonis on the Citadel. Depending on the player's actions, Garrus will either kill Sidonis or allow him to live to endure a guilt-ridden life.

Garrus Vakarian is a potential romantic interest for Shepard (female).

Legion

During a mission to recover an IFF transponder aboard a derelict Reaper, Shepard encounters a lone and damaged geth who has the ability to speak. Surprisingly, this geth assists Shepard by eliminating several enemies and allowing Shepard to access the core of the ship, but is knocked inactive by several husks shortly afterwards. Upon destroying the Reaper core, Shepard brings the inactive geth to the Normandy. The player may either decide to send the geth to Cerberus for research or reactivate it. When reactivated, the geth claims to be the first pure geth that Shepard has encountered, stating that all previous geth were "heretics" who supported the Reapers while the majority of the geth decided not to involve themselves with the existence of organics. As the Geth is not an individual persona and has a physical body that contains multiple runtimes, it identifies itself simply as geth until EDI decides to give it the name, Legion, after the Christian Gospel of Mark, Chapter 5, Verse 9. Upon investigating further, Shepard will learn that Legion was on the Reaper searching for information regarding a Reaper indoctrination program for the Geth.

Legion's loyalty quest involves a mission to attack a central hub of the "heretics" and prevent them from using a virus that will reprogram the true Geth to join the heretic cause. Shepard and Legion journey to said hub with the intention of overloading the station and destroying it. Upon reaching the Hub, however, Legion alerts Shepard to the fact that the virus could be used against the Heretics in order to have them return to the true Geth. Legion, unable to decide what to do, defers this decision to Shepard, citing that Shepard knows more about the Heretics than Legion does and warning that reprograming has a "non-zero probability of error. (i.e. it may not work)" Upon reaching the central terminal, the player may choose to either destroy the station and the rest of the heretic geth or reprogram them to ignore their Reaper programming and become loyal to those of Legion's kind.

When both Legion and Tali's loyalty quests are completed, an argument ensues between the two when Legion attempts to send information to the geth pertaining to the quarians and their plans for the future. If Shepard has a high enough Paragon score, Shepard may quell the fight by persuading the two that they are both doing the right thing in certain aspects; with a high enough Renegade score, the player may force the two to stop fighting. Otherwise, the player must choose to side with one character over the other, similar to the decision made during the conflict between Jack and Miranda.

The player provokes a special response from Legion if attempted to take Legion to Tali's trial or recruitment and, to a lesser extent, speaks with the customs officer on the Citadel.

Zaeed Massani

Zaeed Massani is considered to be the most ruthless and prolific bounty hunter in the known galaxy; he joins the crew for the large payment in credits he would be receiving from the Illusive Man. Massani is only available as downloadable content from the Cerberus Network. He may be found on Omega.

Massani's loyalty quest involves him wanting to take care of a "loose end" within the mercenary organization he had helped to form, the Blue Suns; it is revealed that he had been betrayed by a former friend within the organization. Shepard and Massani head to a mining facility and initiate an attack; after a fire ignites and threatens the lives of the workers at the facility, Shepard may choose to either aid the workers or go straight for Massani's target. Depending on the player's choice, the target may or may not escape, although Massani may still become loyal to Shepard regardless of the outcome.

Development

 System requirements
Minimum Recommended
PC[37]
Operating System Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista with Service Pack 1, or Windows 7
CPU 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent AMD CPU 2.6+ GHz Core 2 Duo Intel or equivalent AMD CPU
Memory GB (XP), 2 GB (Vista/Win 7) 2 GB
Hard Drive Space 15 GB
Graphics Hardware NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or greater, ATI Radeon X1600 Pro or greater ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT or greater
Network Internet connection not required for activation. Required for one-time Cerberus Network activation and extra content download(s).

Electronic Arts CEO, John Riccitiello, confirmed during a conference call with investors that Mass Effect 2 would be released on January 26, 2010 on "multiple platforms."[4][38][39]

On March 2, 2009, BioWare and Electronic Arts announced a new development team for Mass Effect 2, set to work at the EA Montreal studio.[40] The new team's main task was to supplemented the teams already working on Mass Effect 2, with around half of the team having worked on the original Mass Effect alongside other new hires.[41] BioWare co-founder and CEO Ray Muzyka said the team was "really excited about it, and we think it's going to be a huge opportunity to tap into the talent base in Montreal while supplementing our existing teams in Edmonton and Austin, which are doing some great stuff on all the other projects BioWare's working on."[41]

Mass Effect 2 spans two discs. Although it had previously been announced that only one disc change would be required on Xbox 360, BioWare later revealed that a second disc change is required during the final levels of the game.[10] [42]

For Windows users, both discs are required for game installation, but only the first disc is needed for gameplay. Following the example of Dragon Age: Origins, the PC version of Mass Effect 2 does not use SecuRom digital rights management software, but instead opts for a standard disc check.[43]

Audio

Mass Effect 2 contains 90 voice actors who play 546 characters and speak over 31,000 lines of dialogue.[44] Mark Meer, the voice actor for the male Commander Shepard, suggested that voice recording for the second game was so extensive that it took double the amount of time recording than that of the first game.[45]

Actors Martin Sheen (as the Illusive Man),[46] Michael Dorn (as Gatatog Uvenek), Carrie-Anne Moss (as Aria T'Loak), Yvonne Strahovski (as Miranda Lawson), Tricia Helfer (as EDI), Shohreh Aghdashloo (as Admiral Shala'Raan vas Tonbay), Adam Baldwin (as Kal'Reegar), Simon Templeman (as Admiral Han'Gerrel), Michael Beattie (as Mordin Solus), Claudia Black (as Admiral Daro'Xen vas Moreh), Michael Hogan (as Captain Bailey), and Courtenay Taylor (as Jack/Subject Zero)[47] voice characters in the game. Keith David and Seth Green continue their roles in the series as David Anderson and Jeff "Joker" Moreau respectively.[48] Voice actor D.C. Douglas, who voiced Albert Wesker in Resident Evil 5, confirmed that he would be voicing Legion, a "naturally-evolved" Geth who is obsessed with Commander Shepard for unknown reasons.[49][50] The bounty hunter Zaeed Massani, who may be acquired as downloadable content, is voiced by Robin Sachs.

Marketing

BioWare project manager Corey Andruko and lead technical designer Dusty Everman led a 60-minute lecture on level design for Mass Effect 2 at the 2009 Game Developers Conference. The session gave attendees insight into the new approach BioWare was taking in designing levels for Mass Effect, one that maximizes iteration for quality while minimizing rework and cost.[51]

A promotional trailer was released on February 20, 2009. The trailer pans across a close-up view of a set of armor, with captions listing Commander Shepard's achievements and known alien allies. At the end of the trailer, Shepard's current status is given as "killed in action." The camera then pans upwards to show the head of a Geth with armor bearing the N7 logo on it.[32] In a development blog, Casey Hudson, BioWare's executive producer, commented on the rumors of Shepard's "KIA" status, stating, "Better not be. We had a lot of big plans made, so if someone's gone and killed Shepard then things are going to take an unexpected turn…"[52]

On December 29, 2009 the cinematic trailer for Mass Effect 2 was released.[53] Additionally, in the months leading up to the game's launch, BioWare released six Mass Effect class walkthroughs narrated by the lead gameplay designer, Christina Norman.[54]

Cover art for the Collector's Edition of Mass Effect 2

On May 29, 2009, BioWare released the first full trailer for the game.[55] It revealed little information that was not already known or hinted at by the previous trailer and developer diary. This trailer confirmed that Shepard would be alive for the events of Mass Effect 2 and not dead prior to the game as the teaser trailer seemed to indicate. BioWare later confirmed that Shepard would not die in the game's storyline until the choices made by the player decided Shepard's fate.[34]

In-game bonuses

Purchasing a specially marked Dr. Pepper product gives a code that may be used to download 1 of 3 special pieces of headgear, each granting a different bonus when worn. One of these items, the Sentry Interface, can be redeemed using the product code purchased at any retail store. The other two items, the Recon Hood and Umbra Visor can only be redeemed with product codes purchased exclusively from 7-Eleven convenience stores.[56] Mass Effect 2 includes several bonus items for those who pre-ordered a copy of the game or purchased Dragon Age: Origins. If the game was pre-ordered at GameStop or Play.com, players receive the Terminus Armor, which grants an increased running speed and stronger shields, and the M-490 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon, a weapon that creates a miniature black hole. If the game is pre-ordered at other retailers, players receive the Inferno Armor, which grants a negotiation bonus, increased running speed, and boosted effectiveness of combat powers.[6] For purchasing and registering a new copy of Dragon Age: Origins, players obtain the Blood Dragon Armor, which was also a bonus item in Dragon Age: Origins.[57] Buyers of the Collector's Edition of Mass Effect 2 receive the Collector Armor, which increases a character's maximum health, health regeneration, and running speed, and the Collector Assault Rifle, which quickly depletes enemy shields. These in-game bonuses are unavailable to those who do not link their gamertag to the EA website. Because of an error, the linking process is unavailable and has to be handled by an EA support worker.[58]

Collector's Edition

Mass Effect 2 was also released in a Collector's Edition, with the game contained in a tin case. The Collector's Edition included the full version of the game, The Art of Mass Effect 2 48-page hard cover art book, first issue of the Mass Effect Redemption comic book, and a bonus DVD with exclusive behind-the-scenes "Making of" videos of the game and various desktop wallpapers. Also included is the code for the Collector Armor and Assault Rifle and a Cerberus Network card.

It is possible to buy the Digital Deluxe Edition from EA's online store; the product is downloaded via the EA download manager and contains digital versions of the art book, comic book, and official soundtrack of the game.[59] The Digital Deluxe Edition is also available for purchase through the Impulse[60] and Steam[61] platforms, owned by Stardock and Valve, respectively.

Cerberus Network card

A Cerberus Network card with a unique access code is included with all copies of Mass Effect 2. Since this code works only once, buyers of used copies have to purchase access to the Cerberus Network for $15.[62]

The Cerberus Network offers an in-game delivery mechanism for free Mass Effect 2 downloadable content, but paid content will not be purchased via the Cerberus Network. Free downloadable content featuring new side-missions, in-game items, and Zaeed, a mercenary who joins the player's party, was available for download on launch-day.

Cerberus Armor and the M-22a Eviscerator Shotgun were made available on February 9, 2010, and the heavy weapon Arc Projector on March 9th, 2010.

Soundtrack

Mass Effect 2: Original Videogame Score
Soundtrack by Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, David Kates, Jimmy Hinson
Released
January 19, 2010
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 115:43
Producer Jack Wall

Mass Effect 2: Original Videogame Score is composed and produced by Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, David Kates, and Jimmy Hinson. The soundtrack was released on January 19, 2010 and published by Electronic Arts. It features 27 tracks on two discs.[2]

Downloadable content

BioWare plans to support Mass Effect 2 with additional downloadable content for the game following its release. This content will range between individually sold weapons and armor, small side-missions, full-sized quests, and large expansion packs. Similar to Dragon Age: Origins, downloadable content was available immediately upon the release of Mass Effect 2, some for free.[63][64] The first downloadable content available with the game's release includes a new recruitable character, a mercenary named Zaeed Massani, and adds new missions and in-game items. Also available is the Normandy Crash Pack add-on that allows Shepard to investigate the remains of the Normandy SR-1. On February 9, another free download was made available through the Cerberus Network, featuring a new armor set, the Cerberus Assault Armor, and the M-22a Eviscerator Shotgun.[65]

A fourth piece of DLC, Firewalker, is also planned, featuring 5 new missions, weapons, alternate costumes, and a hovering tank known as the Hammerhead.[66]

On January 25, a significant amount of downloadable content, including pre-order and Collector's Edition benefits, was accidentally released onto the Xbox Live Marketplace. People were able to download many exclusive items free of charge before the error was corrected.

On February 19, GameZone broke news that new Mass Effect 2 DLC will be shown off at the Game Developer Conference taking place from March 9-13. [67]

On March 12, Kotaku featured an article stating that Kasumi Goto, a new character complete with a mission, loyalty power, and sub-machine gun will be made available for download on April 6th, 2010, for 560 Microsoft Points. [68]

List of downloadable content

DLC Download size
Sentry Interface (Dr. Pepper) 3.6 MB
Recon Hood (Dr. Pepper/7-Eleven) 4.2 MB
Umbra Visor (Dr. Pepper/7-Eleven) 3.7 MB
Incisor Sniper Rifle (Digital Deluxe Edition) 2.9 MB
Collectors' Weapon and Armor (Collectors' Edition) 15 MB
Inferno Armor (Pre-order, but not from GameStop) 17 MB
Terminus Armor & Weapon (Pre-order from GameStop) 17.4 MB
Zaeed - The Price of Revenge (Cerberus Network) 421 MB
Cerberus Weapon and Armor (Cerberus Network) 18 MB
Normandy Crash Site (Cerberus Network) 64 MB
Cerberus Arc Projector (Cerberus Network) 4.4 MB
Blood Dragon Armor (Dragon Age: Origins) 22.6 MB
Firewalker (Cerberus Network) Pending
Kasumi's Stolen Memory[69] Pending

[70]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 94 (PC)[71]
96 (Xbox 360)[72]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A-
Eurogamer 10/10[73]
Game Informer 9.75/10
GameSpot 9/10[74]
GamesTM 10/10
GameZone 9.25/10
IGN 9.6/10(US), 9.2/10 (UK), 9.3/10 (AU)[75]
Official Xbox Magazine 9.5/10 (UK 10/10)
PC Gamer UK 90%
PC Gamer US 90%[76]
PC PowerPlay 10/10
X-Play 5/5
bit-tech.net 10/10[77]
Hardcore Gamer 5/5[78]

Mass Effect 2 has received universal critical acclaim since its release, garnering more than 30 perfect scores. In particular its characters, storyline, voice acting and gameplay have received very high praise. Official Xbox Magazine gave the game a 9.5/10, praising the combat as flexible and the environments as gorgeous. The magazine also liked the "enveloping universe" and the new characters.[citation needed]

Mass Effect 2 received a 10/10 from both Xbox 360 Magazine UK and gamesTM.[citation needed] PC Gamer UK awarded the game 90%.[citation needed] NowGamer awarded it 9.8/10 calling it a "gorgeous experience and a staggering achievement".[79]

Hardcore Gamer awarded Mass Effect 2 with a 5 out of 5. The review praised the advances in gameplay and content, stating that "Mass Effect 2 is simply an amazing game from start to finish, regardless of the decisions you choose to make. There are few games that are as gripping, and even fewer still that put so much effort behind creating memorable characters that the player actually cares about, set against a believable world."[78]

IGN gave Mass Effect 2 a 9.6/10, calling it one of the most personal games ever made and "the first Game of the Year Nominee for 2010." The cinematic direction, tight gameplay, compelling characters, storyline, and choices available were given considerable praise. However, the game was criticized as being overly referential to the first installment in the series, as well as for minor problems players may experience such as becoming stuck in certain environments and having the sound cut out, although not nearly enough to ruin the overall experience. IGN UK gave the game a 9.2/10 while IGN AU gave it a 9.3/10.[75]

Mass Effect 2 received a 9/10 from GameSpot. It praised the game's dialogue and voice cast, as well as the "fantastic" art design, along with the level design and shooting mechanics. However, it cited some problems regarding looking for planets and some bugs which were also present in the original Mass Effect.[74]

GameZone's Dakota Grabowski gave Mass Effect 2 a 9.5/10, stating that "Mass Effect 2 is everything what people have wanted for the past two-and-a-half years and more. Mass Effect 2 is truly the equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back."[80]

Time featured Mass Effect 2 on "The Short List of Things to Do", and described it as "the Avatar of video games — except it's better written."[81]

RPG Site's Alex Donaldson also reviewed Mass Effect 2, giving it a score of 95. The review stated that the game was "A Testament to Bioware's status as one of the most important developers today, and a testament to what the RPG genre can still do." The review also suggests that Mass Effect 2 will go on to be one of the most memorable and important RPGs in recent history.[82]

RPGFan's Ashton Liu gave Mass Effect 2 a 98%, stating that "Bioware [sic] has delivered everything they have promised with Mass Effect 2, and then some."[83]

RPG Land's Michael Wayland gave Mass Effect 2 a final rating of "Excellent", mentioning how "Mass Effect 2 in total was a compelling game, an improvement upon its elder, and an exciting setup for the franchise's next act."[84]

GamingExcellence's Daniel Acaba rated it a 9.6/10, acknowledging that the changes made to the core gameplay might not be to everyones tastes, but continued "it's hard to argue with the successes of the games storytelling and atmosphere." and that "Everything truly feels like it’s slowly building to a head with only the crew of the Normandy to stand between the destruction of all sentient life in the universe."[85]

CouchCampus' Editor-in-Chief Brian Young noted the game as "Bioware's [sic] most ambitious and spectacular game to date." [86]

Mass Effect 2 currently holds a rating of 95 (PC)[71] and 96 (Xbox 360)[72] on Metacritic as well as one of 94.53% (PC) and 95.63% (Xbox 360) on GameRankings, making it the third highest-rated Xbox 360 game to date, fourth of all-time on PC, and overall 16th of all-time.[87]

Technical issues

There have been complaints that the games font-size has been formatted in such a way as to make in game text indecipherable on standard definition televisions.[88] Representatives from BioWare stated that the issue was "a design choice, not a bug" and not to "expect any decisions or a fix in the near future."[88] After investigating the complaints further BioWare released a statement acknowledging that "on some standard definition TVs the smallest text in Mass Effect 2 can be difficult to read." [89] BioWare's final statement about the issue is that:

After investigating potential solutions, we have determined that while this issue does affect a small portion of SDTV owners, we are unable to resolve it for Mass Effect 2 through a title update. However, we have taken note of this issue and will take it into consideration as we plan future games in the Mass Effect franchise.[89]

Mark Barlet, president of the website AbleGamers (which advocates for making games more accessible to the disabled), said that "It's not just the size of the text of Mass Effect 2 that is the problem, it's the coloring of the text" that is the problem.[90]

Sales

Mass Effect 2 made its debut as number one on the UK all-formats charts.[91] On the first day of its release, the game sold half a million copies. BioWare revealed that by the end of the first week, two million copies had been shipped worldwide. NPD Group reported that, for the Xbox 360, 572,100 copies of the game had been sold in the United States alone by the end of January.[92]

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External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

future

This game is yet to be released. This article may contain information of a speculative nature, not based on actual use, as the item in question has not yet been released. If you have any substantiated information to contribute, please discuss it on the talk page.

Release date: January 262010

Mass Effect 2
Box artwork for Mass Effect 2.
Developer(s) BioWare
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Release date(s)
Xbox 360, Windows
Steam, Direct2Drive
Genre(s) Action RPG
System(s) Xbox 360, Windows, Steam, Direct2Drive
Players 1
Rating(s)
ESRB: Mature
PEGI: Ages 18+
BBFC: 15
OFLC: Mature Accompanied & Restricted
System requirements (help)
CPU clock speed

1.8GHz

System RAM

1GiB

Disk space

15GiB

Video RAM

256MiB

DVD drive speed

1xDVD

DirectX version
Version 9.0c

A total of 2 GB of RAM is required for Windows 7 & Vista users.

Website Official site
Preceded by Mass Effect
Series Mass Effect

Mass Effect 2 (ME2) is a 2010 role-playing game/shooter hybrid developed by BioWare for the Xbox 360 and PC. Taking place two years after the first title, Commander Shepard must join forces with a rogue paramilitary group, Cerberus, to repel a new threat to humanity. As Shepard uncovers the truth behind the mysterious abductions of whole human colonies, he must assemble a team of the galaxy's finest and lead them on a veritable suicide mission into the heart of one of the greatest threats the galaxy has ever faced. ME2 is to be released in both a standard edition and a collectors' edition featuring an art book, comic, and special in-game items.

Continuing on from Mass Effect, players step into the role of Commander Shepard—the first human Spectre. After putting the Reapers' plans on hold, Shepard must face enemies just as ruthless and mysterious. To save humanity, Shepard must gather the finest warriors from all corners of the galaxy to aid him. Some say it's a suicide mission, Shepard hopes to prove them wrong.

Players who have completed the first Mass Effect can import their old save files to bring their version of Shepard into ME2. Choices made in previous adventures can have striking consequences in Mass Effect 2. Characters who died in Mass Effect won't be returning for ME2.

Table of Contents

Getting Started
Classes
Walkthrough
Appendices

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Mass Effect 2

Developer(s) BioWare
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studio
Release date January 26, 2010
Genre Action
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: M
Platform(s) Xbox 360, PC
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough
Collectors' Edition
Stub
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