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Author Topic: Mass Effect Review  (Read 777 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Mass Effect Review
« on: November 22, 2007, 09:21:21 PM »
  Mass Effect Review

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Introduction

I found it surprising that most gamers I talk to don't know much about this game. A next generation action rpg, made by the gods of rpgs themselves, Bioware, and set as a trilogy as well. On paper, it sounds promising. In reality, it is incredible. Truly a masterpiece, and argueably one of the best games to grace any game system, period.

Overview

Humans have just started exploring space with the technology to colonize planets. On Mars, they find the ruins of a long lost race. With this technology, they quickly advance, and soon have mastered faster then light travel.

Now, they have come into the folds of the galactic politics, a new species in a society of many others. They must find a place in this new world, and the ultimate goal for now is to get a human into power on the Council. At least for now.

All technology around you was adapted from what was left behind by the 'Protheans' the race that conquered the universe and mysteriously was wiped out. Even they're cities were picked clean. Hardly a trace of the Protheans remained... but what was left lead to the advancement of all space faring technology.

Story

You are Commander Shepard. You have been sent on a mission to covertly pick up a Prothean artifact. Human scientists believe the technology within it could advance them even further. The prospect of operating technology raises astounding possibilities, but when you drop in, its into a combat zone.

Geth, a race of synthetics (robots) have come and attacked the planet. They are led by Saren, a Spectre. A Spectre is a peacekeeper that is free to do as they wish, getting the job done however they see fit, and doing it above the law.

Saren has allied with the Geth, and has gone rogue. From there, it is a race to expose Saren, discover his intent, and in doing so, you will discover a terrifying secret, and will uncover the fate of the Protheans, and much more.

This is an amazing, perfectly told story, and while the ending is satisfying enough, it leaves enough questions to have you waiting for the sequel.

In a word: Flawless

Rating: 10/10

Graphics

The characters faces are CGI quality. No joke. Never has a game looked so good. The faces look real, they move real, and everything else is just amazing... the graphics are the best quality today.

In a word: Realistic

Rating: 10/10


Performance

This is where the holes in the wall are. It runs well, but textures load as you play, so for a while you'll see gray, crude characters and levels quickly snap on they're features to look gorgeous as ever. Its kind of annoying, but not really a blaring problem.

There is some lag at some points, and its kinda glitchy, but once again, these are more annoyances then anything. Still, it needs a patch. Get on it Bioware!

In a word: Unfinished

Rating: 8/10


Gameplay

Fast and tactical. Rush to cover, pause the action and survey the situation. Check enemy shields, health, target an enemy for team mates to fire on, assign weapons, order powers be used, move your team, its all about thinking. Pause, plan, go.

Ragdoll accounted for, and put to great use with the special abilities. Guns work well, with many customisation options, and level your stats right and you'll even be able to bash opponants to the ground.

Cover isn't always responsive, and your team ai can be really dumb at times, so sometimes the action is incredible frustrating, what with babysitting soldiers and trying to get behind a corner and aim.

Still, its fun, and it rewards careful planning. For the Gears that wanted a tactician and not a frat boy.

In a word: Enjoyable

Rating: 9/10


Character/replayability

Along with toying with guns, like snipers and shotguns, you'll also have the choices of advancing Biotics and Tech. While Tech is great at bringing down shields and generally disadvantaging enemies, Biotics can be used as more of a weapon, blowing away singular enemies or small groups, having them float so you can get some free shots in, and many other options.

Its great seeing an entire room, robots, chairs, tables and guns, all float around helpless, then hacking they're enemies so that they will wipe each other out.

Plus, aside from standard character creation, you can choose several options that will effect your background and mind state, which will eventually have effects throughout the game.

I played through the first 10 hours using two very different characters, and both times happened differently. Scenes changed, new paths opened up, the quests would branch off and many other factors encourage multiple play throughs.

I was eager to see the ending, so my first run through took me 26 hours. That was with a few side quests and then I rushed it. I'm actually guna finish it a few more times, and I'm going to pay more attention to side quests.

In a word: Diverse

Rating: 9/10


Overall

A masterpiece. Really, its great. Good gameplay, fantastic story, unbelievable graphics and plenty of reason to do it a few times over. A triumph and the start of what will hopefully be a great trilogy. Bravo Bioware. Bravo.

Score: 10/10

Offline TonyWoods

Re: Mass Effect Review
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 03:10:02 PM »
Glad to see someone else here enjoying this as much as I am!

Mass Effect was the only reason I was initially interested in the 360, and Bioware hasn't let me down (not that I was ever in any doubt that they would - I'm am officially Biowares Bitch...). Like you pointed out, there are a couple of technical 'hiccups' with the game that I'm pretty certain are mostly down to the hardware involved (I wouldn't expect to see the game performing like that on my PC, but given the relative 'limitations' of the 360s hardware I'm prepared to let them slide) but the rest of it is just pure gaming goodness.

So much so, I actually booked time off of work to play it :D

Offline BurningNo.7

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Re: Mass Effect Review
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2007, 12:50:45 AM »
I can almost whole-heartedly agree with your analysis of this game, I bought it the day it came out and haven't stopped playing it since, it is perhaps one of the best games I have ever played. However, on one point I must disagree with you, you say that the texturing in the game can get patchy because of loading times and etc and that the buffering is also a annoyance, you can remedy most of these problems by tweaking your visual settings and such. By far this game deserves a ten for performance, the visual stylization of the game and how it is presented is cutting edge, and despite the fact that it is still a early title for the 360 (Yes, I said it, the 360 is still a young'n) and the system does indeed struggle with the load of data it is running, it has managed to squeeze out a impressive amount of power from the console, by far I think that is commendable and worthy of a ten, damned be the patches!

P.s. No offence, just my opinion~! <3

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Mass Effect Review
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2007, 03:23:24 AM »
Well, heres hoping Mass Effect 2 and 3 won't be too mangled by EA's filthy, money lined claws...

I'm starting to think they intended for the female Sheppard to be played as Renegade. Shes Bitch Incarnate.

Offline King_Furby

Re: Mass Effect Review
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2007, 11:02:25 PM »
i don't own a 360 but this game did look cool. I was pleased to see something that was a shooter other then Halo 3. Mass Effect almost looked better then halo 3 to me.

Offline The Lotus Eater

Re: Mass Effect Review
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2008, 12:25:59 AM »
Oh man, awesome game. I'm half way through my second play through. I'm shocked so few people know about it though, is it really that un-mainstream? The only other bioware game I played was Jade Empire, which also had that 'ahead of it's time' feel. Mass Effect was the only game in recent history that could pull me away from Monster Hunter Freedom 2.

Offline TonyWoods

Re: Mass Effect Review
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2008, 01:55:06 AM »
Last I'd seen, it had sold around 1.6 million copies (according to a Gamespot article, which itself quoted Microsoft as their source - http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6184291.html ) so its not doing bad, just think its a bit of a 'slow burner' with regards to sales.

Glad to see someone else enjoying this - although I haven't been tempted back for a second playthrough after I completed every damn mission I could find and didn't get the Completionist achievement, only for my brother to skip half the side quests in the game and get it... Something as silly as that shouldn't be a reason to put me off playing again, but I've had my fill of dodgy functioning achievements on the 360 as of late and have too many other things to play.

*Eyes up NWN 2 Mask of the Betrayer and The Witcher, still sitting incomplete on a dusty shelf*