Bioware, the former RPG powerhouse, has turned into a shell of their former selves. They haven’t been able to create what many would call a “great” game since 2010’s ‘Mass Effect 2‘.
Since then, there have been five mainline releases. ‘Dragon Age 2‘ (2011), while having a decent story, put many restrictions into play and repeated areas ad nauseam. ‘Mass Effect 3‘ (2012) had a terribly underwhelming and confusing ending that ruined the game as a whole. ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition‘ (2014) was decent, but bogged down by tedious resource management and overly mundane quest structure. ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda‘ (2017) was a failure of a Mass Effect game – having lackluster characters, a cliche story, glitches galore and laughable animations. And, most recently, ‘Anthem‘ (2019) was very unfulfilling and repetitive; a sentiment echoed by many of its players and professional critics.
As such, this remains the last truly great Bioware game. None since have gotten anywhere close, and in my opinion, this track record points toward it being very unlikely that they’ll create a game of the same quality or better in the future.
I’ve all but given up hope of the upcoming ‘Dragon Age: The Dread Wolf Rises‘ being anything more than average at best.
What then, makes ‘Mass Effect 2‘ so great? Well, I don’t want this to be too long, so I’ll sum it up in bullet points:
- One of the best character rosters in video games
- Interactions with crewmate/teammate characters are intricate, dynamic and well-done
- Choices matter immensely
- Combat is strategic, feels great and gives the player many options
- Great main story and side quests
- Fantastic and multilayered final mission/ending with many possible outcomes
- Story/character DLC is actually worth the price and adds to the main package
- All of the above mashes together without anything feeling off.
Its not a perfect game, as there are a few glitches and the minigames sometimes feel like unneeded padding. But these are very minor gripes in comparison to the above. This is why I and many others consider it to be a “great” game, and as discussed, the last such game from Bioware. It’s a reminder of a long lost time when Bioware was in their prime.
If you’d like a high-quality and in-depth video over ‘Mass Effect 2‘, then watch what I have embedded below for you: