6:43 PM

Massively Effective: Mass Effect 2 and the Cerberus Network

me2sheppard

Missing in Action
Save your crew from an overwhelming attack

Gamerscore = 5   Acquired 26/1/2010

One of the question I have about Mass Effect 2 is how they are going to keep it the game journalist minds 10 months down the road when ‘Game of the Year’ voting rears its ugly head.  I am only a dozen hours into the game, but you only really need to see the first hour of the game to acknowledge that Mass Effect 2 is not only heads and shoulders above its predecessor, but that it is one of the finest games of this generation.  By blending genres BioWare has created the unthinkable, a hardcore RPG that anyone can play.

I could write thousands of words comparing the two Mass Effect games, the improvements and changes that were made, the graphics, the sound, everything that makes this package special.  What I think perhaps the most important change/addition to the new title is the inclusion of the in game news feed/DLC delivery system, the Cerberus Network.

The Cerberus Network is very important in several ways.  Firstly it almost ensures that BioWare/EA will see money when a used copy of the game is purchased.  In order to enable the Cerberus Network you need to input a one-time use code that is included in every new copy of the game.  If you buy used you eill have to shell out 1,200 MS points to have access to this portal.  I am sure some gamers will find this upsetting, but developers are always looking for new ways to have gamers buy new copies of the game.

illusive_man-02-pSecondly, the Cerberus Network is the realization of a promise BioWare made prior to the release of Mass Effect 1.  Some years back we were told that new and interesting chapters of downloadable content will be made available for Mass Effect, bridging the gap between the sequels and keeping gamers engaged with the property.  We are all too aware of how that worked out.  In the years between games, BioWare was only able to squeeze out two content packs, one of which was more of a game mode that a add-on.  I have heard several reasons from project director Casey Hudson why that was the case, but that is the past, what is done is done.  The Cerberus Network has already added two DLC packs and promises much more in the future including vehicle missions.  The regularly updated news feed from around the Galaxy contributes to the games’ flavour.  These things will keep me checking back with the game over the following months.

Mass Effect 2 is designed to keep us coming back for more.  With so many choices to be made and ways to play the game, plus the ability to port over the decisions from the first Mass Effect and take all that data beyond into Mass Effect 3, BioWare is creating an RPG dynasty the likes of which we have never seen.  It even has me wanting to once again go back into ME1 so that I can play both games all over again, and I am not even close to being done my first ME2 playthrough!  So when 2010 draws to a close I believe BioWare has set a stage so that we all will not forget ME2 when comes to choosing the Game of the Year.  In fact, we will probably be playing an all-new mission from the Cerberus Network.

BioWare | Mass Effect 2

-SG

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