Mass Effect 2 Game Poster Image

Mass Effect 2

Extraordinary sci-fi sequel with mature content.
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What parents need to know

Positive messages

The player is out to stop evil with some allies, so the message is about saving the world from bad guys. But in order to complete the game there is plenty of combat/killing that you must engage in.

Positive role models

For the most part, the protagonist is a positive role model but you can alter his personality (to be nicer or meaner) based on your dialogue choices. Plus, while Sam is a good guy, he reluctantly must work with a ruthless organization.

Ease of play

The game is fairly easy to play but some of the controls -- including the power and weapon wheel -- can be a bit tricky to manipulate due to small fonts.


There are plenty of weapons (shotguns, pistols, machine guns, rifles) and powers (freeze others and use of telekinesis) in this game, resulting in maiming or killing enemies (many of them are alien or robotic, but some appear to be human). Blood can be seen leaving the bodies. You can zoom in for a head-shot from far away. Some cutscenes show torture during interrogation which includes beating up and shooting.


While the game has no nudity, there is suggestive imagery and dialogue. Early on in the game you'll enter a club ("Afterlife") and see alien pole dancers (and on video screens, too). You can hear dialogue references to sexual activity or embrace, kiss, and unzip the clothing of another character. You can see sexual gyrations as well.


While not excessive, players can hear strong profanity such as "s--t," "f--k" and "assh--e." Less offensive words include "damn," "hell" and "bitch."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are many bar scenes in the game and you can order what appears to be an alcoholic drink from a bartender. There are dialogue references and one mission related to stopping drug trafficking between planets. Dialog about "Narcotics flooded my vieins" can be heard.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mass Effect 2 is for mature audiences only. The subject matter is adult-like, including violence (with blood), profanity, drug references, and sexual imagery and discussion. This game takes place in the future, throughout space and with aliens, and has a fantasy setting. Players must make moral and ethical decisions and live with the consequences of those decisions.

What's it about?

MASS EFFECT 2 continues the heroic space adventures of Commander Shepard in the 22nd century, but introduces many new characters, weapons, and plotlines. Therefore, you don't need to play the original Mass Effect to understand and appreciate this sequel, which takes place two years after its predecessor, though you might get more out of it as it's part of a larger story arc. In fact, you can import your saved game into this seuqel to continue as your own Commander Shepard, retaining his customized look, attributes, and personality. Speaking of story, the fantastic tale in Mass Effect 2 revolves around a mysterious new threat to humankind and Shepard's reluctance to work with Cerberus, a ruthless organization (bordering on terrorists, says Shepard), in order to stop "The Collectors" in their path of destruction. By previewing a huge 3-D map of the galaxy in his starship, Shepard can fly to various worlds to handpick an elite team of fighters to ensure a well-balanced squad (and you can preselect team members before each mission, too). As with the first game, there are also love interests, betrayals, mini-games, and numerous side-missions that will also affect the story.

Is it any good?


Mass Effect 2 is very, very good. More so than the first game, third-person combat plays a huge role, with many character classes to choose from (including a brute soldier, tech specialist, or stealthy infiltrator), multiple futuristic weapons and powers to choose from (all of which are upgradeable), and different ways to fight based on your preference (real-time combat or pause the action to make weapon/power selections or assign squad commands). The enemy artificial intelligence (A.I.) is smart, quick and ready to peg you off as soon as you break cover.

A few issues, remain, however, including a hard-to-see weapon and power wheel interface (where you must make a selection) and some anticlimactic moments when the dialogue builds up to a short fight. Shortcomings notwithstanding, Mass Effect 2 is an extraordinarily fun and great-looking action RPG for the Xbox 360 and PC. Sci-fi fans, rejoice — Mass Effect 2 is well worth the wait.

Platform Note: Despite some minor interface differences, the two versions of the game are the same.

Online interaction: The game lets you download bonus content but there is no multiplayer options in this game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the moral and ethical decisions the protagonist must make and how it affects the story. Is it a good idea for game designers to put in consequences of actions?

  • Do you like games that let players choose between a noble or ruthless path? Or should there not be a darker side of the main character because it might promote negative behavior in real life?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Xbox 360
Price:$59.99 ($49.99 for PC)
Available online?Available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:January 26, 2010
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Drug Reference, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence

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Adult Written bygidgiddonihah May 17, 2011
I have watched several news things that talked about how there was "Full nudity and sex in Mass Effect 2" . I had already played before and couldn't remember anything with sex and/or nudity. Curious to see if this was true (And if so, I would be very disappointed in the game) and to write an accurate and 'mature' review, I tried to get into a position to even just ask someone. To my amazement (And to some extent relief :) ), I couldn't get it to even get close. I tried going through again normal, and once again, NO SEX. Both times the majority of my team had the loyal thing underneath them. Not getting to that point, I went to youtube to look at some of the cutscenes and they are not all that bad-scene worse on PG-13 movies (There is the Miranda one, which shows her straddling Shepard, but once again, seen worse in PG-13 movies) . You have to start a relationship with that person, and let it grow (As close to real life as game makers have gotten so far), then ask them. So in my opinion the sex aspect of the game has been blown way out of proportions. The game has lost a good crowd due to the "Oh no Mass Effect 1/2 both have complete nudity and SEX, "OMG!" from news reporters and overprotective parents (I have/had two of these :P). This game has a wonderful AI (Standard Bioware). You can choose certain dialouge that will affect other available dialogue down the road and allow you to do certain actions. Things that you may have thought trivial when you selected a conversation option will come back and haunt you. Characters will become angry and will express this, though im not sure if they go so far as to betray you or leave the group. As the conversation options and actions are so diverse you can choose to be a 'good cop' or 'bad cop'. This can lead to bad rolemodels, but I think that is taking things to the extreme. Overall I think this is a fun game that misses a lot of people because of the sex that doesn't really exist (Once again, you have to TRY and KNOW and be MATURE to get to the point where the sex becomes a problem-and from what I have seen, the worst is seeing an alien butt for about 2 seconds and the Miranda scene). PG-13 material at worst, seen WAY, WAY more stuff going on in a PG-13 movie. Solid 4/5 game! Mature 14/15 year olds can handle this...
Adult Written bypopo3343 April 26, 2011
Good game beat it and the sexual content is a relationship over a lot of time i dont see why mature 12 year olds cant play this game.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Educational value
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMarinara--Sauce May 18, 2016

Definitely my favorite out of the three

This is an amazing game, the most perfect example of an RPG I can come up with. This game has a great story line and develops each character very well. It is the best game I've ever played. I would like to clear up some worries from parents though. This game has NO NUDITY. The most innapropriate thing you might see is someone making out or at one point Miranda straddles Shepard. Also there might not even be a scene like that. This game is all about choice and you don't necessarily have to pursue a love interest. There is however a substantial amount of cussing. Also shooting is a big part of the game. Overall I would say this game is good for ages 11+ and if you enjoy video games you should definitely give this one a try :)
What other families should know
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much swearing