We're now half the way through 2010, which has so far produced a range of frankly awesome titles. From sci-fi epics such as Mass Effect 2 to “interactive dramas” (Heavy Rain) and the angriest antagonist this side of Mount Olympus (God of War III). So, without further adieu, my game of the year so far...
Released in the very first month of the year, my game of the year so far has to be Bioware's masterpiece Mass Effect 2, which I felt refined the core experience at the heart of the first game so consistently that it was very nearly of unrivalled quality from the get-go. No other time in 2010 have I felt so enveloped in a game's experience as this, stepping into the shoes of Commander Shepard for the second time. From its excellent cinematography and outstanding cinematic action, to its deep and atmospheric storyline and plotting, it really had it all.
As well as providing us with a presentation overhaul with a gorgeous visual quality and bright and vivid worlds that filled its narrative, Bioware went further in delivering a top-class cover based system for combat, rivalling some of the leading shooters out there. The first games clunky control system could finally be forgotten, as enemies were neatly dispatched through a hefty mix of gun play and clever use of powers. The dialogue was excellent, each character given a full and well rounded personality, and there was enough dramatic moments to rival the very biggest of Hollywood blockbusters.
With Mass Effect 2, we were presented with a rolling continuation of the vast space saga that will conclude in the final game of the trilogy, whilst the negativity that the first game held was addressed wholeheartedly. RPG mechanics were weakened (no bad thing), its cinematic offering was improved, the dialogue system was given extra weight, and action was upped. A resounding success, but did we really expect anything else from Bioware!? Sufficient to say, the third can not come soon enough!