Courtesy of my large new flat screen television, and a nifty XBox 360 game system, I've been enjoying a thrilling game called Mass Effect 2, a sequel to the original Mass Effect.
The story of Mass Effect 2 begins in the year 2183, not long after the events of the first Mass Effect game take place. While on patrol to locate and destroy any remaining Geth (a race of sentient machines) the SSV Normandy, and its commander and main character, Commander Shepard, come under attack by an unknown assailant. The ship suffers extensive damage, forcing the crew to evacuate with escape pods. Unfortunately, the helmsman, "Joker" continues to pilot the ship despite the damage that the Normandy is sustaining and must be rescued by Shepard. The Commander drags Joker out of his seat and pushes him into an escape pod, but before Shepard may board the escape pod, the Normandy is attacked once again and a particle beam weapon slices into the hull.... sucking Shepard into space. If not for his EVA suit, that would certainly have been his end, but wait... debris from the exploding Normandy suddenly slices open Shepard's air hose, and he falls into the outer atmosphere of a nearby planet; and is apparently burned up during re-entry.
Friends, that is just the opening moments of this outstanding science fiction gaming adventure.
Mass Effect 2 is exactly the kind of game that systems should be producing for geeks like me who are tough sells. I've only just started playing the game, and I'm already quite hooked by the elaborate settings, highly detailed characters and environments and dense back story that makes every choice you make count towards how the game will ultimately end. The impressive voice cast adds another level of appreciation to ME2 as well, with sci-fi genre veterans from all over the map lending their vocal talents, including Martin Sheen, Yvonne Strahovski, Tricia Helfer, Carrie-Ann Moss, Michael Dorn, Seth Green, Adam Baldwin, Claudia Black, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Keith David and Michael Hogan among those featured.
I'm playing my Shepard character as a blonde female (above, top-left), and she is pretty awesome. Give this game a try and good luck, because danger lurks around every corner.... of the universe.