Best of 2010 Awards: Magic Moment

By Shack Staff, Dec 27, 2010 8:00am PST Magic Moment: Mass Effect 2

We do lots of different things in video games but every so often we find ourselves, controller in hand, experiencing one of those "this is why I play video games" moments. In 2010, the best of these came while directing Commander Shepard through conversations in Mass Effect 2. A refined version of the system in the first game, it perfected the ability to naturally guide the course of conversations being held by the characters without having to break and reason out long passages of dialog to select between. Coupled with greatly improved staging of the scenes and more cinematic camera angles, it became almost impossible not to get completely wrapped up in Shepard's saga.

Runner-up: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

In an online world dominated by military shooters, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood introduced a clever cat-and-mouse multiplayer game with a very different pace. It got players completely engrossed in trying to balance behaving in a way that avoids arousing suspicion while simultaneously stalking their prey.

Nominees: Red Dead Redemption's random roadside events, Heavy Rain's interactive storytelling, Dance Central's "look, I'm really dancing", Limbo's final leap

[Magic Moment is part of Shacknews Best of 2010 Awards. For more information, including selection methodology, see this introduction.]

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6 Threads | 6 Comments


  • To take a page from Garnett's book on this one, I think that while overall everything was more polish, it doesn't hold a candle up to the first one as far as "magic moments" are concerned. Everything was very tame, by-the-books sci-fy / team movie, and none of the big reveals seemed to have any sense of gravitas. Even the way Cerberus was perceived by everyone else was grossly mishandled.

    Still, I'd like if I said it wasn't one of my favorites of 2010 - although I do believe DA: Awakening owns it in every regard. Here's hoping ME3 will bring some of the magic back.

  • Bought ME2 on Steam sale the other day. Very good game so far been through Omega, got Garrus and the Solarian scientist dude, been to the Citadel, blown a bunch of time probing, probed URANUS LULZ, etc.. Combat feels a bit clunky to me as camera/character direction feels really locked in and the snap to cover is often retarded and feels cumbersome, but the story is definitely really good. It feels like I'm more often fighting with getting my guy in the right cover, getting stuck on corners, then getting owned while I wait to unhook from cover and move my guy to right spot to hit the magic cover button again. I'm still hooked and the game offers enough otherwise to keep me pretty engrossed. Squad combat is also a bit disappointing. I pretty much gave up on giving orders besides an occasional overdrive on an armored guy.

    ++ for great performance on PC, though the art assets definitely look like target 720P rather than a more typical 1080P or better PC setup. Faces just seem a bit blocky and textures don't quite have the crispness of a real PC-targetted game. Interface is pretty good, though I feel like I'm missing mousewheel in some of the menus.

    Never played ME1 after playing very briefly at a friend's place on 360 and hating the feel of combat. I still don't care for it that much, but I'm trudging through on Normal mode in ME2 just to keep the story going which is much more engrossing to me than the silent-protagonist style ala Halo or Half Life.