Level Select Thursdays: Collector Base
The final level in a game is a segment is something that can either make or brake a game. I’ve always found that a final level should test your skills as a player, and apply the skills you have learned and push them to the max. This all brings me to the Collector Base suicide mission fun in Mass Effect 2. I’m gonna just say that the Mass Effect franchise is my absolute favorite gaming franchise of all time and there are many reasons why but that is a whole different blog post. The Collector Base in a nut shell sums up why Mass Effect 2 is a great stand alone game and actually does test the skills the player has learned throughout the course of the game. Let’s go more in depth shall we.
Before you even land on the actually base itself the drama for this suicide run already begins. This single event could actually determine whether or not your crew survives based on whatever upgrades you have given the Normandy. This is a great job of building up the anticipation for the actual level itself and if you didn’t upgrade certain parts of the ship then everything could go horribly wrong. I firmly believe that while the overall final level should encompass what the game is about, the buildup towards said final run is also very important and Bioware nailed this aspect. While there is only two segments of combat in this buildup phase the wonderful cutscenes and dialog all add to one simple goal and that is to end the Collector threat once and for all. While I am not a person who believes that you need cut scenes to tell an effective game story, when something is done right you can’t help but applaud it.
Choices is what a lot of people (including me) the reason why we love Mass Effect 2 and the Collector Bases test your knowledge of the game, your crew, and what they are capable of. I’m not simple talking who you take along for the ride, but if you happen to choose the wrong person for a certain segment then odds are you are losing them. If you have a love interest in this game you could possibly lose them, all adding to an even more tense situation. Now you could look online to see who should go where but I say try it own your own first, because it kinda defeats the purpose of the game. Sequential playthroughs I encourage it but initial ones I don’t.
The actual level itself is a lot better of a experience at higher difficulties I can’t deny that. While it isn’t easy by any means, if you carried over stats from the previous game then playing on normal mode and even veteran mode will pale in comparison to both hardcore and the shieldness that is insanity mode. However what sells this run the most is the music. This music is perhaps the most epic music in the entire franchise, it makes your blood pump and only further engrosses you into the world. However the final boss is really easy and the other enemies surrounding the boss serves as only to annoy versus becoming a problem.
If you haven’t experienced this wonderful series I urge you to buy all three games and experience them for yourself. The Collector Base accomplishes all want I want in a end game run without any cheapness.