Deconstructing the Game: Mass Effect 2

Let me just say this right away; I love Mass Effect 2. For all of the things that I hated about ME1, Mass Effect 2 not only fixed, but for the most part fixed in such a manner that I can’t even comprehend how the first game led to the creation of the second.

Not everything was made better in ME2, but it was a great gaming experience. The following is going to be a very comparison heavy deconstruction because it’s very hard to remove one game from the other, especially playing both Mass Effect games back to back like I did. The one thing I must stress is that despite loving ME2, it is not perfect, especially when looking back on the individual mechanics separated from each other and under direct scrutiny of whether they were good choices or not. At the end of the day these articles aren’t reviews, but me breaking down a game to find what made it good overall, even if the negatives outnumber the positives.

What I didn’t like, felt just didn’t work well or liked more in Mass Effect 1:

Ammo: Why, oh why, did Bioware decide that one of the best features in Mass Effect 1, the overheating weapons mechanic, needed to be downgraded to finding ammo cartridges? One of the most far thinking and thoroughly appropriate advances that Mass Effect made was not saddling the player with a need for ammo cartridges or reloading. This kept gun fights tactical while uninterrupted except for the necessary timing of one’s shots to avoid overheating. But in ME2, the battles are not as fluid.

Often times I would be enjoying a fire fight just to have the fun dwindle as I had to either break cover to find some of the tiny grey ammo that ME2 uses or after a fight I would have to spend time searching every nook and cranny of areas hugging walls and crates in hopes that I could find more ammo. This broke up the fighting with a not fun mechanic and often an unneeded one for an obtuse reason, since many times I was fighting enemies that might not have the same weapons as my crew, therefore the use of such a universal ammo type didn’t make much sense. Also having to buy upgrades for guns to enable more ammo just seemed to clutter up a new uncluttered system.