Among the first three Mass Effect games, Mass Effect 2 was generally regarded as the best. It had nearly everything-- a compelling story, dramatic world building, stellar voice acting, and one of the most successful gameplay overhauls in the history of gaming. So, when Mass Effect: Andromeda was released, fans simply can't help but compare the quality of the two games from the same developer.
Sadly, a lot of us Mass Effect fans can't help but feel disappointed with how Andromeda was handled. Apart from the abysmal face animations, Mass Effect: Andromeda had a less interesting protagonist, worse acting, and pervasive clunkiness. The worst part is that it had the best graphics and scope among all four Mass Effect games, meaning it made going back to older games a bit difficult.
However, you can always give the old games, particularly Mass Effect 2, a new coat of paint. Thanks to the PC gaming community, your Mass Effect 2 gameplay experience can improve drastically, that's something difficult to achieve for a 10-year-old game. Here are the mods you need in order to make it so.
10 MASS EFFECT 2 CHEAT CONSOLE
First on the list is not exactly a graphical overhaul but a gameplay "tweak." Mass Effect 2 is a long game, after all, and you probably want a gameplay boost after several playthroughs. The Mass Effect 2 Cheat Console lets you do just that without the need for tedium.
The cheat mod or trainer lets you easily use popular cheats that make the gameplay a breeze such as Infinite Ammo, Godmode, adding levels and other statistical stuff which usually takes hours of gameplay to acquire. With the help of the Cheat Console, you can focus more on the story or the choices you make in-game.
9 NATURAL EYELASHES
It was mentioned before that Mass Effect 2 is a decade-old game, being released way back then is a perfect excuse for its robotic character models. However, you don't always have to endure such shortcomings thanks to the mod, Natural Eyelashes.
As the name indicates, the mod replaces Mass Effect 2's dated character models' eyelashes with more realistic and beautiful ones. This ought to make the characters look more modern by today's gaming standards especially since a significant portion of the game consists of dialog screens that zoom in on the characters' faces.
8 MORE HAIR
One of the best things about Mass Effect games is the level of main character customization it allows players. In the original trilogy nonetheless, the game lets players make Commander Shepard into whoever they want. It's still an old game, however, and includes dated customization options. Hence, More Hair fixes that problem to a certain degree by adding more hairstyles.
It is worth noting that these hairstyles are not exactly new as some non-player characters (NPC) in the game already have them. The mod simply makes them available for the players to choose in the character creation screen. Apparently, it also works on squadmates.
7 NO MINIGAMES
While Mass Effect 2 was interesting all throughout its 30-40 hours of gameplay, not all of that game time was necessary. There exist some tacked-on and needless minigames which somehow only manage to make a task such as probing planets more tedious. The No Minigames mod does away with that and lets you enjoy some of the minute undertakings of Mass Effect 2.
Once installed, the mod will let you automatically win any bypass or hacking minigame. Because after a few playthroughs of Mass Effect 2, they can get exhausting to repeat over and over again.
6 SHORTER LOADINGS
Yet another quality of life mode which aims to save your time spent outside of the game world of Mass Effect 2. Shorter Loadings is what its name implies-- it reduces the loading time of the game's old engine. Additionally, the game will improve certain loading time differences between large and small in-game areas since the latter logically should take a shorter time to load.
Overall, this is something that both new and old Mass Effect 2 players should always have in their mod library. The best part is that it lets you keep the animations of the loading screen!
5 INTUITIVE CONTROLS MOD
Mass Effect 2 was quite a big leap from the first game in terms of combat gameplay. It adopted a more action-oriented approach instead of the less exciting tactical RPG combat. Of course, this was not without some minor control problems. The PC controls of Mass Effect 2 had a certain awkward jerk to them, especially when making your character walk or run.
Intuitive Controls remedies that by making the PC controls for the game more responsive. It also improves the accuracy of control inputs and allows for a safer way to control your characters especially during combat. No more accidental deaths.
Developer Bioware and publisher EA have both already stopped providing further support for Mass Effect 2 long ago. Still, the game has some noticeable bugs that never got ironed out despite the numerous patches and updates.
That's where ME2Recalibrated comes in. The said mod fixes a few broken bugs and lore. However, what makes this mod a must-have for any Mass Effect fan is the restoration of cut content. Somehow, the mod author managed to retrieve some of the cut material the developers left out and place them back. You'd be missing out without this mod.
3 ENB OR RESHADE WITH MASS EFFECT 2
One of the easiest ways you can update the aging graphics of Mass Effect 2 is with ENB. It's a third party lighting and particle overhaul available for countless games. Of course, Mass Effect 2 needs a graphical overhaul it like an old man needs his walkers.
This ENB preset tends to saturate the game engine's colors more and make it look more modern. Think of it as an Instagram filter for your game, but better as it also adds some much-appreciated effects like better depth-of-field and ambient occlusion. It also doesn't do much damage much performance-wise.
2 ME2 GRAPHIC TWEAKS
For some people, an ENB might not do the job well enough. It's personal preference, but ENB's added effects and color temperature changes can be disruptive or distracting for players. If you do want a more in-depth way to change Mass Effect 2's lighting, then these Graphic Tweaks might suit your need better than an ENB.
You can use it to improve the lighting, shadow, and atmosphere of the game all at once or pick one to improve exclusively. The changes are quite noticeable and will certainly give Mass Effect 2 a more updated sheen.
1 A LOT OF TEXTURES (ALOT) FOR ME2
You can change the lighting and colors of Mass Effect 2 all you like, however, the textures will always remind you of its grizzled game engine. Therefore, changing the game's textures to better suit higher resolution monitors and graphics cards is a welcome improvement.
A Lot of Textures or ALOT for short does that with flying colors for Mass Effect 2. In fact, the difference is night and day and this mod is something any self-respecting Mass Effect 2 player should have. This is Commander Shepard's favorite mod in the Citadel.