Garrus would say that the Xbox 360 has reach, but the PS3 has flexibility.
At this point, I'm not going to explain what Mass Effect 2 is about and prattle on about how awesomely epic it is. By now you've already heard of this male (or female) space opera where you save the universe and fulfill fantasies of xenophilia. We won't judge you… much. No, what's probably on your mind is whether this PS3 port of an Xbox 360
leftover RPG made a year before this version is even worth a thought, because you probably don't own an Xbox 360 for you fear the cooties of Microsoft.
[image1]So let's begin by tempering this conversation by giving you the short answer: Play Mass Effect 2. Though the differences between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are distinct, they're not so massive in effect (see what I did there?) that it matters all that much. That said, let's feed some Xbox 360 vs. PS3 troll wars.
The first and most important order of business is the interactive comic book, accessed via online code provided within the retail packaging, that summarizes the plot of the predecessor and allows you to make five pivotal choices that will carry through to the game proper. Those who have played the first Mass Effect, however, will keenly note that they're tens, if not hundreds, of decisions that actually carry over. And really, the comic is an extremely cost-effective but short-sighted alternative to porting over part one of the trilogy, which you must experience to truly understand part two. It's like reading the The Two Towers only after glancing through the SparkNotes for The Fellowship of the Ring; understandable, maybe, but blasphemy nonetheless.
As compensation, EA's financial savings have trickled down in the form of bonus pre-packaged content, including Zaeed, Kasumi's Stolen Memory, the Hammerhead vehicle missions, and The Lair of the Shadow Broker. Having all of this DLC already unlocked changes the game for the better, allowing you to recruit characters and earn extra experience at your leisure right after you acquire your ship. It also helps that all of the patches and updates come along for the ride, though the health interface for team members remains needlessly complex, and the mining is still obnoxious for players who want the best ending to carry into Mass Effect 3.
[image2]The only other factor to consider is the enhanced graphics, which are rumored to run off the Mass Effect 3 engine. Even if this is true, though, I would hope that the graphics for the finale will see yet another sheen of polish; still, the environments and character modeling are certainly upgraded here. The long loading times and framerate hiccups occur on occasion, but given the almost overwhelming content with the shooting combat, levels, characters, and powers, a perfectly clean port might be pushing expectations too far. This is one of the most gorgeous RPGs to date.
Mass Effect 2 for PS3 is for people who shun the Xbox 360 and don't care for complete authenticity and continuity, and for Mass Effect fans who want all of the major DLC packs in a shinier package and a simplified, shorthanded way to create Mass Effect 1 builds. If EA had bundled a PS3 version of Mass Effect along with Mass Effect 2, this might have been the easiest 'A' I've ever given. Even so, as a question of downright value, Mass Effect 2 for PS3 is stellar.