Times Saved Galaxy: 2

Holy moly, the final mission in Mass Effect 2 is pretty intense. Hats off to the people behind this: they made the game revolve around building a loyal team of nicely fleshed out characters, and then they made the final do-or-die mission one where, depending on your choices and performance mouseover for mild spoiler.

I've said before that I think linear plot and gameplay are perfectly capable of serving one another (although that doesn't mean I don't think we should explore the world of other possibilities) and I think this is the perfect demonstration of that. I wanted to do well at this mission, because I gave a damn about the characters in my team.

I'm also liking the way you get to keep playing after the credits roll, and each team member has a couple of lines about how things turned out and the choices you made. I'm always amazed at epic, far-ranging games that can't be bothered to throw in a little epilogue.

In other news, before embarking on this last mission, I found I didn't have enough cash left to buy any guns or armour, so I decided to stock up on pets instead. At the very least all these different coloured fish should look quite pretty when they're all floating belly-up. Kind of disappointed in my space hamster, though.

And last, but far from least, it figures that it's only just before the last mission that I suddenly stumble on the commander's en suite. To think I've been peeing next to the rank and file all this time.

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