I've been waiting for this game from the second I beat the first one. Can't believe that was a year and a half ago. I look back on the game play with an almost nostalgic fondness, not unlike the feelings KOTOR conjures. Only BioWare games seem to have this effect on me.
ME was great, and from everything I've been reading, ME 2 takes it a level or two beyond that. They apparently pulled out all the stops for this one, really listening to testers and customer feedback from the first installment.
Built up the system in my sig specifically for the original ME and Bioshock. Smokes any Unreal 3-based game; should do really well with ME 2 and Bioshock 2.
I can't say for sure what would be a great build for this game, as I haven't yet played it first hand or read much about benchmarks, but the system in my sig ran the first one maxed to the roof without breaking a sweat. There haven't been too many graphical improvements with ME2 (that I'm aware of), so I assume I'll be getting very similar, if not identical performance.
My rig was state of the art, balls to the wall two years ago (and it's still pretty darn fast). You can probably build up something that can match or exceed its performance with today's parts for $1000? Maybe less? I haven't really kept up with hardware since I built this system (January '08).
Heard the game runs better and looks better. Not sure what that mean's on a PC if it will take more juice or not. It will run better on the 360 which is hard to tell compared to the PC as they may have just made better use of the 360.
The Unreal 3 engine is a mature bit of tech, so I'm assuming the game is better optimized (just a guess). In other words, it probably runs more efficiently. That being said, the new graphical tweaks probably offset any gains from the optimization.
My guess is ME2 will run effectively the same as ME 1. So if your system could/can run ME 1 without problems, you can expect similar performance with ME 2. This isn't a game where one needs to be overly concerned about hardware. A $600-$800 build (with contemporary parts) can probably run ME 2 up and down, all day and all night.
Anyone get their copy yet? I pre-ordered from Best Buy (due to an xmas gift card), and they said it was sent out the 21st. But according to tracking, it didn't go out until Saturday, and it still appears to be stuck in the processing center. Here it is launch day, Tom's has the whole Mass Effect 2 motif on their front page, and I still don't have a copy. Meh.
PC RECOMMENDED System Requirements
Windows XP SP3 / Windows Vista SP1 / Windows 7
2.6+ GHz Cure 2 Duo Intel or equivalent AMD CPU
2 GB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, or better recommended
100% DirectX compatible sound card and drivers
DirectX August 2008
Looks like my Q6600 @ 3 or even stable at 3.6GHz is fine
But my trusty old 8800GT is pushing the limits - not sure I will be able to max out the settings on this...
+ My old "copy" of XP Pro is SP2 only... Have a legit key - just hate the whole authentication things and like to upgrade my PC often
Prob can upgrade pretty easy - but is a good exuse to do some upgrades and get my shiny copy of Win7 installed on a new Crucial C300 SSD soon too ^^
Gonna get Mass Effect 1 and save for a 5850 then dive into the ME2 Universe
An update: after finishing the game at least twice, I'm totally satisfied with my purchase. Totally! ME2 is evil though, since you'll have to go through the first ME to make certain choices and unlock them in ME2.