Review by Rashaed
"You have to save the galaxy! And what fun it is!"
A good Sci-Fi RPG is a rare gem. So I was excited to learn that Mass Effect was coming over to the PC. I just finished running through the story and I am going to start a second run soon. Mass Effect (ME) is like Halo, Freelancer, TES: Oblivion, Deus Ex, Chrome and Doom 3 artfully put together. A great 360 game is now outstanding on the PC.
Nicely done work here. ME has a great soundtrack. The music fits in every situation. From combat to looking at your map of the galaxy, the music is simply beautiful. Sound effects also help draw you into wherever you are in the game. The sounds for your weapons are weak at first but they get better as you get stronger guns. Voice acting is very good; for just about everyone else expect Cmdr. Shepard. I loved talking to the aliens on the Citadel or those fighting with Shepard. As for Shepard himself, he sounds flat. Even when he gets emotional, it seems fake but don't let that mess up the flow of a conversation.
ME is a pleasure to look at. The technical aspect is stunning but the artistic design is what really give this game the perfect graphic score. From the Citadel to exploring uncharted planets(even Earth's moon nice) to your ship, the Normandy; are all a work of art. Even places that have been wrecked by war are large, detailed outstanding. NPCs have natural movements (even the aliens) and their faces almost always match what they are saying. Things seen during combat, shields biotics and explosions are an A+. Only a few negatives: you better have a beast of a PC to run ME. Finally are brief hiccups in loading for some of the lager areas (just like in Oblivion).
Bioware has stepped up to the same challenge Bungie did with Halo. They took a cliche sci-fi plot and made an brilliant, engaging story. Just like with Halo: CE, ME feels like a great start to a series of games.
Once you create your Cmdr. Shepard, well, get ready to lose sleep on this one. The game easily eats up 20 to 25 hours. You can explore, talk to people and get general info on what is going on in the galaxy. Take as many side jobs as can find and do them based how you want to get the job done (paragon or renegade). Combat on ME can be confusing at first, especially if you have biotics but once you get hang of it (and level up some), the firefights can be epic. The enemy AI in ME can go from good to mediocre. Organic enemies are the better foe since they take cover, use their biotics and weapon mods. Synthetics and animals are not so smart. They tend either stand out in the open or charge right at you. Combat in your vehicle is also fun but once you get use to its sensitive controls, it is hard to lose. You level up by both completing tasks and killing enemies so once again do all the side jobs you can to make the main story easier on yourself. The only real flaw with ME is that once you complete the main story you cannot go on in a free exploration mode like in Oblivion to finish up the side jobs.
This is the type of game I have been waiting for since Deus Ex. With all the different classes and the renegade/paragon factor, you will need to go through the main story 3 times. ME is definitely worth buying. So if you have the PC to handle Mass Effect, get it and enjoy!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/20/08
Game Release: Mass Effect (US, 05/28/08)
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