BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 is officially the first video game blockbuster of 2010, selling more than two million copies in its first week of release. The anticipated second chapter in the Mass Effect trilogy—which hit shelves on January 26 for Xbox 360 and PC—has also earned an average review score of 96 on Metacritic and is the second-highest rated Xbox 360 game of all time. So yeah, people are digging it.
“Mass Effect 2 is poised to be one of the biggest games of 2010,” Ray Muzyka, MD, co-founder of BioWare and group general manager of Electronic Arts’ RPG/MMO branch, said in a statement. “We could not be more proud of the game’s universal acclaim and early commercial success.”
As for me? I. Love. This. Game. The sprawling, operatic Mass Effect saga—which began in 2007 with the release of the first installment—is a defining moment in video game history that further cements the medium as an art form. Mass Effect 2 allows players to import their Commander Shepard character from the first game, carrying over each of his/her decisions, no matter how small. You’re not just working your way through scripted interactive fiction, you’re shaping the overall experience as you go. The gorgeous visuals, visceral combat and engaging characters only add to that level of immersion. I completed the game two nights ago (on February 2) and I’m still geeking out about it. I can’t wait for my second playthrough.
I could go on and on about how incredible Mass Effect 2 is, but if you’re an Xbox 360 owner you need this game (and the first one). Storytelling rarely gets as satisfying as this.