More Reviews
REVIEWS Far Cry 4 Review
The open world of Far Cry 4 is wondrous, but is the beauty of Kyrat only skin-deep?

World of Warcraft: Warlords of D Review
Does Blizzard's latest expansion breathe new life into the 10 year-old franchise, or is this MMO finally starting to show its age?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Silence: The Whispered World II Preview
With its absolutely gorgeous sequel, Daedalic aims to create a mid-range difficulty adventure title that will expand the genre to a larger audiences.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES ESCAPE Dead Island
Release date: Out Now

Far Cry 4
Release date: Out Now

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Release date: Out Now

Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix
Release date: 12/02/14


LATEST FEATURES With Two Paths to Walk This Fall, I Recommend Assassins Play AC Unity Over AC Rogue
For fans of this series, it'll be a decision based on hardware. For enthusiasts, returning to the brand's roots will prove enticing.

Nintendo Download November 2014 - Updating Each Week
If you've got credit on Nintendo's digital eShop service or expect to receive a gift card this holiday season, start making your list with our weekly updates.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Xbox Downloads October 2014 - Updating Each Week
Microsoft's Xbox One console continues an Xbox Live revolution started over a decade ago. Here's hoping Summer of Arcade makes it to the platform next year.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP Master_Craig
Welcome Home - PAX AUS 2014
By Master_Craig
Posted on 11/18/14
Last night I returned home from PAX AUS 2014. Long story short, it wasn't perfect, but it was quite possibly the best weekend I've had this year. It was a lot of fun. If you'd like to continue reading, the long story is just below. Buckle up. This is gonna be...

Mass Effect Member Review for the Xbox360

By:
Mediocre_Man
12/29/07
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE RPG 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Microsoft 
DEVELOPER Bioware 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood, Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Games this flawed shouldn't be this good. It simply doesn't make sense. I've played games that had good ideas, but were dragged down by the flaws (Breakdown comes to mind), games that were decent, but could have been better, and games that are just plain bad. Mass Effect is infuriating at times, but still manages to challenge my beloved Ocarina of Time for the title of greatest game ever.

First, the flaws: The game suffers from really bad texture pop issues; a shame since the graphics are otherwise spectacular. The infamously slow elevators are a minor annoyance, but the random load times that often pop up are a bigger problem. The game's autosave feature is almost completely useless, only saving at important plot points and upon entering an entirely new area; On several occaisions my game session was cut short because I was too frustrated to play through a half-hour's worth of exploration because I didn't save. In combat, your allies are useless; when they aren't getting torn apart by enemy fire without putting up a fight, they're trying to use the same piece of cover you are, effectively preventing you from doing anything but running to a new spot. The Mako is fine for exploration, but as soon as enemies are added to the equation planetary exploration becomes an exercise in finding out what angle you need to be in relation to your opponent to actually hit them. Thresher Maws are even more frustrating, ultimately not worth the effort.

More importantly, there are two glaring problems with the RPG side of the game. There is a slightly disappointing lack of character development for the majority of your crew, with many interesting characters being forced into the background to make room for the love interests. some party members seem to only be in your crew to feed you information about their respective races. The biggest problem, however is the much-hyped dialogue system. You never truly know what you're character is going to say; all you get is a vague keyword or phrase that may not even have anything to do with what you end up saying. When compared to previous Bioware titles like KotOR, which gave you several well-written (often hilarious) dialogue options to choose from, Mass Effect's Russian Roulette method just leaves the player feeling cheated.

However, despite these flaws Mass Effect is somehow nothing short of brilliant. the story is excellently crafted: equal parts Star Wars, The Matrix, and Halo with a little Starship Troopers thrown in for flavor, Mass Effect somehow manages to feel completely new and original while paying homage to the Sci-Fi genre as a whole. Bioware also put an incredible amount of thought into the universe: one could spend hours in the codex reading entries on everything from Turian political structure to Alliance ship technology. What Lord of the Rings is to fantasy, Mass Efect is to Sci-Fi.

Bioware also finally succeeded in creating a morality system that doesn't force the player to be either a saint or a thug. the Paragon/Renegade system is simply the best thus far, allowing the player to follow the letter of the law, do whatever necessary to accomplish what they think is right, only care about themself, or any number of other distinct personalities. many choices will award both paragon and renegade points, allowing the middle-of-the-road morality that has been lacking in just about all games of this nature. Mass Effect also presents the player with genuinely difficult, game altering choices. Gone are the cut and dry choices between the easy way out with unpleasant consequences or the more difficult, "good" choice.

Mass Effect also takes all the tired, overdone conventions of the genre and turns them on their head. In this universe, mankind isn't the dominant species: they are newcomers that are looked on with fear and suspicion. More interestingly, the two most important Humans in the game, Ambassador Udina and Captain Anderson, are black. this is a major departure from the whiteout that pervades most of the sci-Fi genre, and fits perfectly with the theme of the game.

The game is also the beneficiary of a strange, unidentifiable quality that makes it endearing. It's impossible to describe. Maybe it's the feeling of a huge galaxy to explore. Maybe it's the frantic ending sequence, one of the more intense I've seen. Maybe it's the wide mix of emotions the game evokes. Maybe The game is actually a reaper in disguise, and I've been indoctrinated. Whatever it is, it allows the game to be more than just the sum of it's parts, and claim a spot amongst the greats.


More information about Mass Effect
 
A Revolution report card
Views: 1286 Review rating:
comments powered by Disqus