Role-Playing games have gone through quite a renaissance since the days of Final Fantasy for the NES. In the modern age of consoles, developers are no longer tied to the older conventions of turn-based attacking and mana bars. Instead, they are taking this powerful genre and shaping it and creating fantastical universes with sprawling stories. One developer that has taken this framework and crafted one such masterpiece is BioWare and the masterpiece in question is Mass Effect 2.
The title “role-playing” takes on the assumptions that you will play a role in the story and act as a force that can change the direction that story takes. Many RPGs fail miserably at this, constantly tugging the player along a linear path that they have no control over. However, Mass Effect 2 allows you to make choices that can drastically alter the reality inside your Xbox 360. Furthermore, these choices will carry over into Mass Effect 3, making the far-reaching consequences of your actions unknown. You hold both the fate of your crew and the fate of the galaxy in your hands.
On top of all of this, the gameplay is superb: Gears of War-style cover mechanics, unique ability trees and solid shooting. Not to mention the totally engrossing world full of talkative aliens that you can get lost in for hours. Couple all that with a compelling story and production values that rival major motion pictures and you have the best RPG for the Xbox 360.
My name is Marty Hess and I am an undergrad student at The Ohio State University looking to get into video game journalism. Published on my personal gaming blog http://www.pixelrated.com