Monday, September 26, 2022

Mass Effect (PC) Review

I finished this game on Thursday, December 10, 2009, 8:44:00 PM. This review was first published on GameSpot on Mar 07, 2010

Mass Effect is the first Bioware I played. I went in, knowing nothing about the game. My initial impressions of the game were far from good. I found the combat quite tedious and the game was really slow. I was sort of expecting that, having played games like Deus Ex. Mass effect has a much bigger world. In fact it's gigantic. I have to applaud the level design here.

Closer to home A lot of people don't seem to have liked the planet exploration aspect; I for one loved it. The surreal feeling you get when you are on Normandy and open up the galaxy map and get to see all the star systems is really fantastic. I wonder if anyone remembers the music when open the map, it's a resonating sound that's really appropriate when you are gazing into the heavens.

Having teammates in the game is both good and bad. I've had the same team mates for most of the game - Tali and Liara. I liked their abilities and they provide a good balance. What I did not like was the behavior at times. More often than not, they do not take cover and rush into combat and dying shortly after making me reload the game. It's also hard to make them go where you want them to or to get them to stop following you into combat. It's not as broken as it sounds, it's definitely playable, but it can be very annoying at times. Thankfully you have the power to bring them back to life later on the game; it's definitely needed.

People on the forums said that the side missions are boring and there is no real reason to play them. I thought they were fantastic, especially for someone who is following the story. Just shows the effort BioWare put into this game. What was boring were the long elevator rides. That is a nice way to disguise a load screen, but it gets boring considering how long the game is.

What did not live up to the quality to the rest of the game is the inventory system, which is by far the clunkiest system I have ever seen. The different kind of ammo upgrades that tend to accumulate over a period of time is a little ridiculous. Of course, all the material in the inventory is not entirely useless; it can be used to convert into Omni Gel, which in turn can be used to hack electronics.

The one vehicle we get to drive in the game, Mako, handles in a weird way. It seems weightless at times, and that makes it hard to control.

What truly stands out though is the story telling. All the little choices you make during the game have an impact later on. The conversation trees are really well made.

Mass Effect is easily one of the best games I ever played.

+ Story
+ Conversation
+ Graphics
+ Music
+ Voice acting
+ Level design
+ Graphics
+ Exploration
+ Replay value

- Inventory system
- Teammate AI
- Combat
- Squad command
- Elevator rides

Verdict - Must play

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