Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mass Effect 2 PS3 - Lost in Translation Mass Effect 2 PS3 - Lost in Translation

Anyone would find it hard not to love the intergalactic awesomeness Canadian developers Bioware have served up with their Mass Effect franchise, and I am no different. I lapped the original Mass Effect up, even with its underwhelming gameplay (IMO) and the infuriating Mako, simply because of its wonderfully crafted setting, characters and story.

Mass Effect 2 was more of a polishing act though. While the story in the second game didn’t hold a candle to the original’s (second parts of trilogies never do, do they?), the characters got better and most importantly, gameplay was much more refined which made it one of the very best games of last year.

PS3-only gamers didn't know what they were missing until it hit them

So when Mass Effect 2 was announced as coming to the Playstation 3, I felt happy for PS3 gamers. “Now everyone gets a piece of that delicious cake,” is what I thought. It wasn’t something I’d go and pick up on day one though, not until it was announced it’d be running on theMass Effect 3 engine. I was tempted - one more playthrough of a great game and a 10-month early preview for the next one? Where do I sign up? And sign up I did - I tookMass Effect 2 PS3 for a spin, so read on to find out how my test drive went.

The first thing I noticed was how long the install was. Even though PS3 owners really ought to be used to mandatory installs by now, one that easily takes more than half an hour is abnormal. I would still find it acceptable if it had facilitated shorter load times though, but I'll get to that later.

Morrigan disappr- oh wait, wrong game

Mass Effect 2 on the Xbox 360 and PC gave gamers the option to import their saved games from Mass Effect. The PS3 version can’t, because Microsoft published the first game and therefore haven’t, and never will, release it for the PS3. Bioware have come up with a workaround though, in the form of an interactive comic that will allow gamers to catch up on the happenings in the originalMass Effect and make all the important choices that gamers playing the game on the 360 and PC had to make, thereby effectively creating their own save file. However, there’s a catch – as part of EA’s current program to encourage gamers to buy new games instead of pre-owned, players have to input a one-use code on the Playstation Store and then download the comic. So after an install that took more than half an hour, I was hit with a 676mb download. Ugh.

The comic itself is quite decent. While it’s impossible to pack the authentic experience of an entire game into a 20-minute comic, it does include all the important choices of the first game and provides PS3-only gamers a barely adequate introduction to the series, which is about all you can expect really.

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