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Game of the month, January 2011: Mass Effect 2

Even though it was first released in January 2010, BioWare's PS3 port of Mass Effect 2 narrowly beat out all other contenders to take home our very first "Game of the Month" award.  The fact it came to Sony's console a full year after 360 and PC doesn't diminish its ambitious scale, gripping plot and aggressive gunplay in the least, and we'd recommend it over any other new game this month - assuming, yeah, you haven't already finished it like three or four times.

As a consolation prize for waiting 12 agonizing months, PS3 owners received on the disc all the additional DLC that 360/PC players had to wait and pay for individually - that means Overlord, Kasumi's Stolen Memory and the vastly important Lair of the Shadow Broker are yours from the get-go. It's a nice gesture, but no amount of bonus content can disguise the fact that ME2 heavily pulls from prior ME1 save data - something the PS3 simply cannot offer, as the first game never made it over.

 

To that end, BioWare created that motion comic above, which enables you to make some crucial plot-point decisions that will carry over into your new ME2 game. Problem is, you have to download the comic (it's not included on the disc) so a large number of people with no net connection won't have the opportunity to directly influence the game's story. Furthermore, there are some odd issues that weren't present on 360/PC, such as the framerate dipping in certain areas and sound effects not loading properly, but they're not widespread and nowhere near the level of slop millions had to put up with in games like Far Cry 2 and New Vegas. Despite these minor shortcomings, ME2 rises above and still delivers a must-play experience that's finally open to those who chose Sony over Microsoft.

So hats off to BioWare and its staggering mix of story, character development and tactical cover-based shooting. So many games try to do one of those things right and fail - ME2 excels at them all.

 

Runner-up

Visceral Games added multiplayer, crafted a better story, programmed some spectacular new action sequences and finally provided hero Isaac Clarke with a personality, but what we’re really loving about Dead Space 2 is how similar this sequel is to the quiet, isolated original. The real star is still the atmosphere: stunningly futuristic settings that we could stare at for hours if they weren’t covered in so much bizarre alien gore and quietly tragic details. Succeed in fighting your way through Titan Elementary and you’ll know exactly what we mean.

And yeah, we may have given LittleBigPlanet 2 a higher score, but the office consenus is that Dead Space 2 is the more exciting, more immediately appealing game. How's about you - anything other than these three make an impression on you in January 2011?

 

Mass Effect 2 super review
One of the greatest games of the modern generation, now on PS3

 

 

12 gaming mysteries we want solved in 2011
We've got some burning questions. Hopefully this year's games have answers

 

 

Dead Space 2 schematics guide
Find every weapon and armor schematic our handy guide

36 comments

  • papergoon - February 2, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    LittleBigPlanet 2. Really, you can't resist Sackboy
  • Spybreak8 - February 2, 2011 7:18 a.m.

    This seems about right, It's been a year and I decided to finally delete my installed ME2 files (from the disc). Profiles are still there of course to import into ME3. I also plan on doing another playthrough with Mass Effect and then Mass Effect 2 following the arrival of the bridging DLC.
  • Smeggs - February 2, 2011 7:14 a.m.

    Corsair89, you be trollin, Dawg? Because you is saying things that most gamers would probably disagree with.
  • Smeggs - February 2, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    Bastards...So what if they don't get ME1? Not only do they get all the DLC, but they have LBP2 as well. So much win is not allowed to be on a single console at any given time, which must be why the framerate problem exists.
  • soren7550 - February 2, 2011 3:30 a.m.

    Cool new idea. And am I the only one that's noticing all the mistakes done in the Mass Effect comic?
  • HowdyCowboyCheesesBurger0911 - February 1, 2011 11:46 p.m.

    Trying to play ME2 but the game keeps freezing
  • NightCrawler_358 - February 1, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    Great new segment! But ME2 had its chance in the spotlight, and its great, but LBP2 should have come first IMO. Hope to see GOTM... monthly!
  • shawksta - February 1, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    @GamesRadarBrettElston Thank you Brett, Its great to know Im not alone in thinking its great. Ill admit I was skeptical about it since Shu Takumi was brilliant with the Ace Attorney Series I didnt know how Ghost Trick was gonna turn out and if it will feel the same but suprisingly he did a great job. I got Sucked in by its Mysterious story making me curious, the characters have great personality and theres even "Awkward Characters" Just like Attorney. I Finished it 2 days ago and the ending was touching and awesome at the same time, It even Hinted at a sequel which I hope he does ^_^. I like the way the winner was chosen, you went through the best experince rather than choosing the one with the highest score. Thats good, keep doing that and maybe you could do something to give underrated games the attention they need.
  • 123deckbox - February 1, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    Mass Effect 2 as game of the month? Possible promoting for Mass Effect 3? Maybe. Dead Space 2 probably does deserve this after all I've heard about it, have yet to buy it do to money, but it's not up to us we just get to express our opinion.
  • ThatsWhatSheSaid - February 1, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    and by hat i meant hate ........ hat wen that happens to me
  • ThatsWhatSheSaid - February 1, 2011 4:47 p.m.

    wouldnt ya know it, you guys start this new game of the month yoke and ign totally starts doin it too. do u guys hat when that happens!? or i suppose there are a lot of game sites nowadays, der bound to rip off each other huh!?
  • yasmarc - February 1, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    I got ME2 for X-mas this year and got the DLC for like $2 a pop. All the while playing it I felt like it was KOTOR lite with some shooting. Pretty much everything I did had been done 5-6 years prior. It's a good game but I'm not sure if it's the best thing ever as so many sites have us believe. I never played the first one so I didn't have any saves to import, I'm curious how that will pan out for ME3 with my games from ME2.
  • Zepaw - February 1, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    GamesRadars you are ridiculous, never stop.
  • Corsair89 - February 1, 2011 2:29 p.m.

    Seriously? The first GotM award goes to a port of a highly overrated year old game with boring Gears-of-War-wannabe gameplay, practically non-existent exploration, vapid dialogue, stupid story, forgettable characters, shitty pacing, lackluster final mission, and the worst plot twist/final boss of the year?
  • philipshaw - February 1, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    I have only started playing ME2 on PS3 but I would give it to Dead Space 2 because it's the best game I have played this year
  • Clovin64 - February 1, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    Mass Effect 2 and Dead Space 2? Thats the two games I bought in January! Both good picks. I'm half way through a second playthrough of ME2 and I'm nearing the end of DS2. I Love both of 'em, but so far ME2 wins it.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - February 1, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    @shawksta Ghost Trick IS pretty cool. WELCOME!!
  • elpurplemonkey - February 1, 2011 8:29 a.m.

    Way to go on ME2, and this is a neat new feature.
  • Defguru7777 - February 1, 2011 6:49 a.m.

    Still haven't gotten to Mass Effect 2 yet (still playing Mass Effect 1 for the story I want), but damn if it doesn't sound spectacular. It's seems odd and lame that the virtual comic is a download. Pretty stupid if you ask me. As for Dead Space 2, also haven't finished the first one (on the last mission and really close!), so I guess my opinions on this matter are moot.
  • keefster - February 1, 2011 6:09 a.m.

    No argument here. I bought ME2 for my ps3 last week, I already beat it twice, I might go for a third soon. I CAN'T BELIEVE I WAITED THIS LONG, BUT IT WAS AMAZING. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER. Words cannot describe how much I loved the final mission, or mordin solus, or being a badass doing what I want, or how I felt in the clubs of omega, or whatever. Good shit.

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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