Review by Myrdraal8
"A Tale of Two Games"
Concept: Take the role of Commander Shepard as you lead a team of humans and aliens in an adventure to save all sentient life in the galaxy. The game play is a successful mixture of role-playing and first person shooter as one blasts away enemies and creates the plot with Shepards' choices.
Graphics: Awe-inspiring graphics are displayed for the worlds and characters during on main quest points. The side quests use repetitive in door locations, bland out door landscapes that lack detail (ie. trees, grass, and rivers), and faceless enemies. Facial animations are stiff as compared to the latest games such as L.A. Noire (2010).
Sound: Excellent voice work brings the characters and world to life. The sound effects of battle and music are standard and unremarkable.
Control: As a fan of Japanese role-playing games and first person shooters the controls took some getting used to. At first the gunplay is stiff and the menus are clumsy to work through. Controlling the Mako, a tank is very similar in to controls of tanks on systems over 10 years old simple, yet frustrating and boring. However, with time one can get used to controls and enjoy the game with no interference.
Game Time: 45 hours to accomplish all the quests in a single campaign. Approximately 20 hours to accomplish the main plot line.
Mass Effect is truly a game with two faces. On one side Mass Effect has an interactive story that the player determines, beautiful graphics, and a great plot. All the praise Mass Effect has earned is indeed true on this side, the main quest line. The graphics are amazing, and the ability to alter the story makes the game more of a simulation than a story on rails.
On the other side Mass Effect has graphics similar to popular days of the Super Nintendo and an uninspired story. These side quests help describe the universe of Mass Effect. However the repetitive simple graphics, locations and faceless enemies make completing these tasks a chore. Decisions on the side quests flesh out Shepards' character, but none of the decisions alter the main plot line. Considering the side quests make up half the total game play and are encouraged by the achievements make this indeed disappointing.
Mass Effect also disappoints in that the game is a great blend of role-playing and first person shooter games without being outstanding in either category. The plot, although entertaining fails to incorporate Shepards' team mates in a deep and meaningful ways like many other great RPGs before it (ie. Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, and Knights of the Old Republic). However, that said the game does set the stage for an intriguing new universe to explore. The gunplay is stiff and the variety of enemies is low compared to many popular FPS games.
Recommendation: If one desires to get familiar with the galaxy of Mass Effect, and see how their decisions pan out in the sequels, then this game will be fun and worth it. However, if one is looking for a truly great RPG/FPS then look past this first entry to Mass Effect 2 that perfects Mass Effects' flaws.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 09/19/11
Game Release: Mass Effect (US, 11/20/07)
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