Windows, Xbox 360 和 PS3
Windows, Xbox 360 and PS3
质量效应（Mass Effect）已然成为一个叫好又叫座的作品，BioWare 在这之后又花费了三年时间来对其续作进行打磨。BioWare 和 Electronic Arts 无不为最终的成果感到高兴，因为无论在销量上还是口碑上《质量效应 2（Mass Effect 2）》都超越了其前作（Metacritic 网站评分 89 vs 94）。但这部作品真的是一个更好的 RPG 作品吗？我对此持否定态度。
游戏中的文本内容充分表现了这部游戏的矛盾性。游戏的主线剧情几乎可以在史上最烂剧情里排上号：在游戏开始时薛帕德（Shepard）死了，但随即就被一个恐怖组织复活并被迫为其工作，不断地为了一个特殊任务收集资源，拉拢盟友。因为槽点实在过多，我推荐读者直接阅读 Shamus Young 对游戏剧情的独到分析。
然而游戏中的重头戏在于对队友的塑造，包括他们的招募过程和忠诚任务。本作中对队友的刻画算得上 BioWare 作品中的标杆。虽然这些角色称不上特立独行，还多少有点工具化和刻板化的倾向，但每一个角色都被塑造的十分立体，呼之欲出。与之相关的招募任务和忠诚任务也都十分出彩。
The original Mass Effect was both a critical and a commercial success, and the BioWare team had three years to polish the sequel. Mass Effect 2 ended up selling more copies and winning more awards (Metacritic 89 vs. 94), so both BioWare and Electronic Arts were surely happy. But is it really a better RPG? My answer would be no.
A better game? Possibly. It's a paradoxical game, that suffers from what seems to be executive meddling and a design-by-committee approach.
The best element to showcase this schizophrenia is the writing. The main plot ranks among the worst video game plots in existence – it starts with Shepard getting killed, then resurrected and forced to work for a terrorist organisation, gathering allies and resources for a special mission. Its flaws are too many to list here and I recommend readers to check the excellent dissection by Shamus Young (linked to the left).
However, the companions and their recruitment and loyalty missions, which form the majority of the content, are some of BioWare's best. While the companions themselves are hardly unique and suffer from the “sexier and edgier” treatment, they are mostly well-written and the quests, first to recruit them and later to ensure their loyalty, are excellent.
对我来说，《质量效应 2》最大的变化就是加入了与《战争机器（Gears of War）》（Gears of War）十分相似的掩体系统。我看不懂这个改变的意义，因为原版的战斗系统并没有什么问题。而且这一系统和特殊能力配合的不太好，进入掩体后生硬的视角操控令瞄准变的十分困难。
More races of the galaxy are represented in the team than were in the first Mass Effect, and through the companion stories the surrounding world is expanded. Unfortunately the encyclopaedia from the first game still exists and is utilised as a crutch by the writers – however it's unnecessary to actually consult it, as all the information that the player needs is conveyed by the companions.
Technically, the sequel has not made any notable changes. To this day, the game still looks and sounds good, though it is fairly obvious that the levels are small and the obvious waist-high walls are always a clear signpost that combat is about to start.
Which brings me to Mass Effect 2's big change: mechanically, the game has been turned into a cover shooter, similar to Gears of War. It's a puzzling change as mechanically there was nothing wrong in the combat of the original. It doesn't work too well with the special powers either, as aiming them is somewhat cumbersome with this new stiff camera.
To further reinforce the similarities to shooters, gone is the overheating mechanism – we're back to the safety of magazine reloads. Naturally, this change required a nonsensical retcon of existing lore and it really serves no purpose, as bullets are so liberally spread around that there is absolutely no danger of ever running dry, not even if you are a soldier and thus use guns for every encounter.
The special abilities of various classes and their skill trees have also been overhauled. They weren't that interesting in the original and now they are largely meaningless. Every encounter is possible to complete with any squad composition as your teammates are largely useless, thus levels had to be designed to accommodate every class that Shepard could be – a similar issue that plagued Neverwinter Nights.
2 译者注：虽然有些强行，但 BioWare 还是成功地在设定上把这个问题圆了回来，并且在之后的《质量效应：仙女座》中采用了多种换弹方式并存的设计。