Mass Effect 2 (PS3) Review


Those who exclusively own a PlayStation 3 can now play the best game of 2010 on their system, and in many ways it was worth the wait. BioWare has ported Mass Effect 2 to the system with enough time for people to complete the epic story before the trilogy concludes later this year. Even if you’ve already played through and beaten Mass Effect 2 on the PC or Xbox 360, the PS3 version is a pretty good value as it includes the DLC missions up to this point and arrives on a single disc as opposed to two.

As Microsoft owns the publishing rights to the original Mass Effect, it will never show up on the PlayStation 3. Ever. So don’t hold your breath. But BioWare has found a way to bring PS3 owners up to speed with the story in the form of an interactive Dark Horse comic titled Genesis. You go through the comic right after the opening sequence and at different points you’re able to make choices via a dialog wheel. As these choices affect how things happen in Mass Effect 2, you’ll want to be sure of your decisions.

The game is still the same game you played a year ago on the other platforms, but with some graphical tweaks. It’s apparently running on the enhanced version of the engine that Mass Effect 3 will use and as such at times it looks better than the other two versions and at times it looks worse (the restraints holding down Jack are much lower-poly in the PS3 version). The lighting has been changed slightly, which helps some parts and hurts others and at times there are parts that look much worse. One bad effect is where there’s depth of field behind a character, and they’re haloed in an outline that looks like an extreme version of the old DVD “edge enhancement” halo effect.

Those complaints aside, it’s still Mass Effect 2 and is still one of the best games you’ll ever play. Where most games have a finale that just isn’t worth all the work you put into to get there, Mass Effect 2’s epic final mission is worth every single second (and then some) that leads up to it. In order to fully complete the game and get the best ending, you’ll need to have the loyalty of your entire crew and have the Normandy fully upgraded. That takes a lot of questing and scanning planets for materials to upgrade the ship with, but your work will be rewarded with an ending that leaves you ready to play Mass Effect 3 immediately.