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Every now and then, a videogame comes along that changes everything that you thought you knew about gaming. A game so epic, so magnificent, so deep and so emotional that you are blown back in the realization that a new era of gaming is upon us.

Unfortunately, we didn’t receive a review copy of Karaoke Revolution, so we opted to review Mass Effect 2 instead.

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Okay, so I had a bit of fun with the opening paragraphs of the review, but I am not going to beat around the bush here folks.

As a gamer, who started at the ripe old age of around 6 years old and has played countless games over the last 20 odd years, I can say with the utmost sincerity that Mass Effect 2 is quite possibly the best videogame that I have ever played.

I’m not joking, I am not fishing for hits or crazy comments. I mean it.

It’s a bold statement, I know, but I can’t say that I have ever felt this way about a game before. To put it simply, a lot of issues have been addressed and a lot of improvements have been made in way that bring together a gaming experience that is the definition of epic.

The leveling, upgrading and combat systems have all been completely overhauled to feel more like a faster paced tactical third person shooter, with biotic powers, a functional cover system and much bigger fun factor. Major looting is long gone and inventory management is a thing of the past. While reading this, it may make you think that these features are essential to a role playing game, but in practice, it succeeds with flying colours by delivering smart but fun gameplay.

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As many of you already know, Mass Effect games are as much about conversations as they are about firefights. Bioware have taken character depth to a whole new level and have successfully created a title that truly makes you care about the characters around you. While I wouldn’t dare spoil anything for anyone, I will say that I have never cared so much about my decisions, my crew and my choice of words so much in a game before.

With the ability to import your character (and their decisions) from the first Mass Effect, the story truly becomes your own. Not only that, but the knowledge that your actions can and will have an effect on the next title brings about a whole new level of decision making, the type that will literally make you heart pound and your skin sweat.

Every character, race, organisation and location that you come across will make you scratch your head in wonder as you try and figure out how in the heck Bioware have managed to create a world that is so detailed and so well explained that you would have to swear that it was based on something real.

While the main story in Mass Effect 2 may feel a touch cliche and predictable, it is the individual missions, the characters and the events that take place within that story that truly bring the game to life. While running off to save the galaxy is great and all, it’s the continuation of the choices from the first game, as well as the birth of new ones that really make Mass Effect 2’s narrative shine.

Last Updated: February 9, 2010

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Mass Effect 2
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Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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