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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Electronic Arts
Developed By: BioWare
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Rated: M for Mature (Blood, Drug Reference, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence)
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

February 12, 2011 - Ever since BioWare launched the Mass Effect series for the Xbox 360 consoles, PS3 fanboys have been dying for BioWare to change their tunes in regards to only releasing the title for Microsoft’s console. While nothing could be done about the first Mass Effect title considering it was published by Microsoft Game Studios, with Electronic Arts taking over the publishing reigns for the franchise with the release of Mass Effect 2, a glimmer of hope began to shine. Fast-forward a year from the 2010 release of Mass Effect 2 for the Xbox 360 console, and PS3 owners have gotten what they dreamt for, the Mass Effect series on the PS3 console. With a host of additional features and gameplay enhancements, Mass Effect 2 looks just as good on the PS3 as it did on the 360, but packs a mightier punch.

Considering the game was originally released in 2010, feel free to check out Christian Higley's in-depth review of the Xbox 360 version. With our review of the PS3 version, we’re looking to address the changes the title received and why PS3 owners who haven’t bought the game already, should pick it up. First and foremost, considering PS3 gamers who don’t own an Xbox 360 console never played the first Mass Effect title, they are missing out on a lot of information. In order to rectify this situation, BioWare had an interactive comic developed, which highlights the key points of the original Mass Effect title in order to give new gamers a summation of the events leading up to Mass Effect 2. During the 10-15 minute long interactive comic known as Mass Effect: Genesis, you are able to make decisions at key points, which will help shape the universe for which you will be fighting in with Mass Effect 2. Your decisions will determine who lives and who dies, which has a grand impact on events and character personalities.

The interactive comic, which you can purchase separately via the PlayStation Network and is included with the purchase of Mass Effect 2 (disc or digital download) is nicely drawn, ensuring to highlight the emotional highs and lows that the main characters of Mass Effect experienced along their epic journey. Commander Shepard narrates the entire comic, which helps to set the tone and pacing very well as you enter into a universe of death, disease and an epic battle to save humanity once again. While the digital comic was exceptional, couldn’t help but wonder why they didn’t go the route of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted: Eye of Indra or Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Ascendance digital comics, where a bit more immersive. Maybe it’s just me being picky, but can’t you imagine what the experience would be like if they took an approach similar to Naughty Dog of Ubisoft.

Another difference that separates the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Mass Effect is that BioWare included the major DLC pieces within the package. So while PS3 owners will still have to pay $59.99 for Mass Effect 2 the package does includes the game, Mass Effect: Genesis (interactive comic), “Kasumi’s Stolen Memory,” “Overlord,” and “Lair of the Shadow Broker” DLC packs. While some might wonder why we weren’t given the opportunity to purchase the DLC separately in order to lower the price of Mass Effect 2 itself, they were included in the total package to ensure that PS3 owners got the full experience of Mass Effect 2 as it currently stands. There are also other pieces of content like weapons and body armor which come free to those who purchase the title by February 23, 2011. The DLC packs add an extra 6-7 hours’ worth of gameplay to the Mass Effect story.

The last decisive factor separating the Xbox 360, PC and PS3 versions of Mass Effect 2 is the fact that the PS3 version of the title was developed using the new game engine that was built for the upcoming Mass Effect 3 title. While some may not notice an overall difference between the versions (Xbox 360 and PS3), the PS3 version does boast an overall smoother experience which is evident during the combat and exploration parts of the game. There are also subtle visual improvements in the PS3 version, though the Xbox 360 version makes use of a better lighting engine. I’ll admit there were a few hiccups along the way within my playthrough of Mass Effect 2. I experience two random game freezes, which both happened while I was in Commander Shepards’ quarters. However, unlike some developers this and a few other issues with the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 are being addressed by the developer.

Despite waiting an extra year for Mass Effect 2 to makes its debut on Sony’s PS3 console, developer BioWare ensure that the transition was seamless and that nothing was lost within the overall experience. Whether you take part in the DLC missions or not, which add hours of gameplay to the overall experience, you can still expect to spend anywhere from 30-40 hours within the immersive story that is told. While Mass Effect 2 for the PS3 isn’t the perfect experience everyone would like it to be, there’s nothing stopping you having one of the best gaming experiences of the current generation. All I can say for those who plan on picking up the title is to make sure you do before Mass Effect 3 drops later this year.


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