The Mass Effect Saga helped define the previous generation with it’s first release in 2007 then with Mass Effect 2 in 2010, it was a third-person action RPG that had choices and excellent storytelling, definitely one of the best trilogies in all time whether it was in games or movies. It set a new bar for storytelling and cinematic presentation, and also had alot of characters gamers related too.
It’s easy to forget how much of this started with Mass Effect 2 which dropped in February of 2010 and by the end of that year, it won many Game of the Year awards from various outlets and various people and it marked a step-up from the original. Mass Effect 2 destroyed all the awkwardness that Mass Effect had and it stepped out bolder then before and no longer did it have that awkwardness that I found and many other people found in the original Mass Effect.
And it did this by blowing up everyone you cared about in the final mission or during the storyline. Mass Effect 2 had a hell of an opening, an opening that we might never forget and then after it made you run heavy decisions as you face the Collectors and had to make choice after choice, and make some love somewhere in between. The game had a shopping list of people that you can fuck their brains out and romance and had also had a shopping cart full of new companions like Kasumi.
Lots of these changes contributed to the fact that Mass Effect was starting to open up it’s lore as this mass galaxy and was starting to open up to the mainstream of gamers. Since the release of Mass Effect in 2007, three years had passed and a new decade emerged and with it, it did away with heat-management for the guns, switching to thermal clips and reloading from every single game that has guns in it, and face it, it’s every single one of them. Meanwhile, skills were more in your face and more accessible and endlessly switching ammo types for your various weapons was gone.
Everybody’s health regenerated, galactic prohibitions on AI development had been circumvented and so the Normandy SR-2 was outfitted with EDI, a character that we would come and know to love throughout the 2nd game and throughout the finale in Mass Effect 3. The Normandy SR-2 was a better ship then the original Normandy, it came with a cabin for Shepard and also Shepard had a second in command, Miranda Lawson whose uniform that everybody who was playing was looking at. It was basically a more sexier game, the return of characters that were spared in the original Mass Effect had meaning to you, like Garrus who went as the name of Arch Angel who was serving Justice all along the galaxy or mainly in Omega and your recruiting for this dangerous mission had you go all across the galaxy and find help to stop the Collectors once and for all. You recruited folks like Kasumi, Wrex, Jack, and others it was an amazing experience to recruit these people who would later on either die or survive, even you would die or live.
Mass Effect 2 is one of those sequels that is so good that it’s hard to not think of it as one of the best games of all time, it’s so successful as a sequel and as an entry point for those who entered the Mass Effect games with Mass Effect 2. Even so, I truly believe that Mass Effect 2 put Mass Effect on the map because it redefined itself and redefined it’s gameplay mechanics and ousted the original.
Also as well, Mass Effect 2 benefited from great expansions like The Lair of the Shadow Broker, Stolen Memory, and Arrival which led to the beginning of Mass Effect 3 and led it’s context and meaning to the finale in the trilogy.
Six years on, seven years on Mass Effect 2 represents the moment when the franchise became a cult-classic. Mass Effect 2 was a delivery of great storytelling, great characters, and great gameplay all bundled into one game. Mass Effect 2 surpassed everything and that’s why we love it so much.