More Reviews
REVIEWS PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventur Review
Is the entire Ghostly Adventures series, including the TV show, a prequel to the rest of Pac-Man’s life? Because in my childhood I seem to remember Pac having a girlfriend and a kid, not worrying about Pac-puberty.

NBA LIVE 15 Review
Yes, NBA Live was horrible last year. But this year's entry is a vast improvement. Just give it a try.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Resident Evil Revelations 2 Preview
Capcom returns to the episodic format that entertained us in the first game of the sub series published on Nintendo 3DS and followed with a console release. What will Claire and company uncover this time?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Release date: 11/04/14

Assassin's Creed Rogue
Release date: 11/11/14

Far Cry 4
Release date: 11/18/14

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Release date: 11/18/14


LATEST FEATURES 6 Greatest Horror Games of All Time
Happy Halloween, GameRevolutionaries! Let's get festive and look back at some of the best games the horror genre has to offer.

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 LinksOcarina This is another article from Blistered Thumbs I wrote, back from the dead after being buried in the way-back machine. I posted this back in April of 2013, and many of the issues present seem to be prevalent right now in some cases, namely the decrees of sexism and misogony. Considering current...

Mass Effect Member Review for the Xbox360

ohsostupid By:
ohsostupid
11/28/07
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?

Think of the last time you played a game that promised you consequences for your actions. Bioshock? Oblivion? Now think whether or not your actions really did impact on the game. The unquestionably good Bioshock may have promised a revolution in interactive story telling, but it never really felt like what you were doing had any effect on the other characters, or on the outcome of the story.

In Mass Effect however, every decision you make has tangible consequences that not only affect the story, but also the way you can play the game. Deciding to leave a man (or woman) behind in a ferocious battle for a space station could end you up in hot water with the space council, lose you friends amongst your crew and leave you a crew member down for the rest of the game.

Not all the decisions you'll have to make are at all clear cut either. You'll gain Paragon or Renegade points for 'good' or 'bad' actions respectively - but it's not quite like KOTOR, which saw you swinging towards either the light or dark sides of the force. Instead in Mass Effect everything you do can be seen as being ultimately good - it's just whether or not you want to play the hero or be a dick. It's a great system that allows you to play a mix of good and bad guy, but also allows Bioware to challenge you to make much more complex moral decisions.

There are so many decisions to make, and paths to follow, that it's literally impossible to see them all with just one character - necessitating multiple play-throughs. And since each of these decisions and paths can change the shape of the game in such radically different ways it's actually compelling to want to go back just to see what happens if you select that option instead of this one.

Which brings me to Mass Effect's main problem. You'll often be forced to repeat cutscenes and conversations throughout the course of the game. Not because there's not enough dialogue, but because you'll constantly be reloading. This game is tough. And the autosave feature is intermittent at best. In areas where you'd expect it to autosave it doesn't, meaning that if you forget to save every five minutes you'll be recovering a lot of ground. Cutscenes tend to end in fights, fights tend to end in death, and because the cutscenes sneak up on you you often don't get the chance to save beforehand. It's one case where I feel save points would have been preferable to the "save anywhere, anytime" policy.

Texture pop-up is also a constant problem in Mass Effect. Your character's and party member's suit textures load unhurriedly; faces will render mid conversation - it's all a bit jarring. And when the graphics and sound are good, they're very, very good - but when they're bad they're, well not rotten, but a bit of a shame. Especially when the presentation values are this high.

Bioware has gone a long way to crafting a fantastic sci fi game - so compelling and enthralling that you'll look over the minor annoyances just to further along the story. Every line of dialogue is spoken (and acted fantastically), and the dialogue options and much touted dialogue wheel are genius.

Ultimately though, in a game with so many choices, there's only one you really need to make: should you buy Mass Effect? Let's hope you make the right decision, Commander.


More information about Mass Effect
 
B+ Revolution report card
Views: 1690 Review rating:
comments powered by Disqus

More On GameRevolution