previews\ Dec 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Mass Effect 2 - 360 - Preview 2

Note: This preview contains potential spoilers.

What does 40 minutes with two recent Mass Effect 2 preview builds get you? Apparently, not that much as BioWare only gave us a quick tease at how the title is progressing. Mass Effect 2 is still as big of a mystery as it was before the event; even with expressed details that we were provided before they were revealed within BioWare press releases.

The first area that we were allowed to explore was right after Captain Shepard wakes up from his coma and finds out that he has been altered with cybernetic technology. These alterations – which have made him less human and more like a Geth – to the fabled hero were done due to the events that occurred in the introduction of the game; Shepard, his team and the SSV Normandy are blown clear out of space and, thus, Shepard was rebuilt by the black ops team, Cerberus, to help save the galaxy one more time. The fate of humanity and the galaxy once is in the hands of Shepard.

Mass Effect 2 Screenshot
Guess who is back and ready to fight the good fight.

The introductory demo allowed us to meet Miranda Lawson and Jacob Taylor – Shepard’s first teammates that officially tag along for the journey. Shepard and Jacob are tasked to find Miranda, the lead on Shepard’s biotic reconstruction, before the building goes down in flames. Along the way, Jacob fills the gamer in on what has happened to Shepard, his team and ship in the past two years. In short, the past two years haven’t been kind to our beloved characters from the first installment.

The second demo put us on the path to meet up with Mordin Solus, the fast-talking salarian that eventually joins Shepard’s team as the doctor and scientist, along with being battle ready when called upon. The mission puts Shepard in the path of the Blue Suns, a mercenary outfit that doesn’t want Mordin to give Shepard the cure to a deadly plague. Within this mission, we met up with a new enemy type, the vorcha, who are hard-hitting and utterly brutal in their combat style. The only adversary that could match them in raw power would be the Krogan.

Both demos served their purpose, but they were done and over with in a flash. Throughout our preview event, we were assured many of the items that BioWare and Electronic Arts have already revealed since our time with Mass Effect 2.

Mass Effect 2 Screenshot
Be prepared to have a geth rally behind Shepard.

First off, there will be elevator sequences, but the load times are nowhere near the length of Mass Effect 1. The chatter between Joker and Shepard will be more frequent, so gamers can expect more humorous dialogue from Seth Green in the near future. Along with that, BioWare has brought along an all-star voice-cast with Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix), Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), Keith David (Captain David Anderson from Mass Effect 1), Adam Baldwin (Firefly), Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog), and many others.

Secondly, the visuals are on track to be among the best for the Xbox 360 console. The PC iteration looked beautiful too, but no comparison was able to be made while at the event. The Xbox 360 version will span two discs and game saves from the original Mass Effect can be carried over. Also, the codex will be even more in-depth with narrated files and information for gamers to learn about.

Mass Effect 2 has potential to be one 2010’s brightest titles with the quality production values BioWare has instilled into the project. Stick around GameZone for the next few weeks as we roll out our full coverage of Mass Effect 2 including: a chat session with Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, an interview with Director Casey Hudson, a developer profile of BioWare from Public Relations Coordinator at BioWare, Erik Einsiedel, and of course, our full review of Mass Effect 2.

Mass Effect 2 Sentinel Class Trailer
Mass Effect 2 Engineer Class Trailer
Mass Effect 2 Adept Class Trailer

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