Mass Effect 2 continues the quest of Commander Shepard to save humanity and the rest of the Galaxy from the Reaper threat. Shepard awakes after dying in an incident two years ago and must work with Cerberus, a humanity first group with grey morals, to take down the Collecor, who were responsible for the attack. Shepard must again travel the galaxy, searching for the motives and a method of stopping the Collector attacks which are plaguing human colonises. To do this Shepard must reform their team, with both new members and old friends in their search for revenge.
Mass Effect 2 is an improvement on the first instalment. The gameplay is faster and fun, it has a variety in enemies and territories to make encounters stay interesting throughout. I found that I would use different weapons and tactics depending on the enemies, and generally found the game flowed better than the previous one. It is a more constrained but focused game, there isn't any weapon loot, and you are limited to the types of weapons based on player class.
The game has an epic quest to save the universe as you would have expected; there can be a feeling like this is a slow burner in the background, as you have to deal with lots of unrelated quests for companions, but the concluding missions has a new level of epicness. The quests to first recruit a team and then gain their loyalty are interesting and give each character their own story; although, I felt that sometimes this took focus from the main story of the game. There are up-to 12 squad members which gives the game a lot of variety in personality; however, I feel that many characters overlapped in game purpose and it diluted the rich intimacy which could have been created with a smaller cast.
The game now has more than 1 mini-game to unlock items and doors and now had 2, which luckily didn't feel as enforces so didn't get quite as boring as the first games; but, still outstayed their welcome. Exploring planets was also replaced with a new mining mini-~~game~~-chore, which might have been OK once or twice but was best done with watching something on the laptop. I think a game feature should though a final question process of: is this cool? is this fun?Is this still fun if we repeat it X times?
Overall, Mass Effect 2 is a better game than the first, delivering on the promise of the first. I did sometimes not feel as enthralled by the main story or even some of the characters; but, felt it delivered in the end with an epic battle with hard choices to make. I certainly feel that anyone who liked the first will certainly like the second, with its faster pace, expanded galaxy and focused narrative.