Mass Effect, the praised Bioware game published by EA Games.
It's not that great ( 2 / 6 )
Mass Effect's universe is very similar to Babylon 5 (or so I've heard). All the races of the universe have started a United Galaxies or something like that and because humans are the newest people in the galaxy (like always), we're not in the council they've formed. This means that humans have no control over the decisions U.G. This is not good. You play as Shepherd and you're a hero of some sort from the start. As a result you are seen as a very valuable Special Ops. guy and commands a newly created unit. You play through the story and it appears some alien unknown creatures have awoken and starts attacking colonies and building facilities on planets.
First off since this is a RPG I will start with the characters. The best one is definitely Shepherd. He is by far most interesting and he's the kinda player character that have his own little personality, even if it's pretty neutral most of the time or if you so choose paragonish or renegadish. These choices seem to be be pretty pointless both in conversation, character development and plot. The rest of your party is incredibly bland and sometimes even annoying. You pick up a soldier, a mercenary, a police officer, a technician, a scientist and a few more during your trip. Most of them are so bland so I can't even think of where to start. Weak character development there, just trust me.
I hate the art style of this game. Mostly pointed toward how the costumes look because it looks ridiculous: plug suits? You kiddin' me?! The weapons are very similar as well so you'll never notice the different weapons your characters have.
The RPG elements in the game sucks too because if you develop your character wrong you're going to bite the dust pretty easily because this game, even though it relies on a cover mechanic is not very generous with the amount of cover you'll have access to in some places. That becomes a real problem if Shepherd isn't a fighter.
The AI is entirely hopeless! My party never seemed to understand what could be classified as cover. This is something the AI in Fallout 3 can and there you have physics! Here you even specify for the player where you can and can't take cover so why can't the bots do the same thing? This is a really lousy job you guys! There's no excuse to develop a lousy AI and the IQ of the developers could just as well be compared to the AI of the computer in games. REALLY LOUSY! Thankfully the PC version allowed you to control your party members a little which really proved to be a real boon when playing the game. The control is not perfect however and it really drags the game in the mud.
The Story however is pretty well done and you go to some interesting places and meet some realistic characters. It eventually develops until' you get to face off against an ancient race that have been the bane for another ancient civilization. That is pretty epic you guys! The story telling is done through dialog of fully voiced actors, even Shepherd is voiced and the conversations look a little like they do in Dragon Age except there can be more than two people participating in the conversations.
But one of the worst things about this game are the Maps. They're horrible and you get to play these maps around 50% of the game. Why are they horrible? They lack details. You would easily find yourself driving on a plain rock to get to some strange platform where you find a door and it goes from there. When you land on a non-story planet you're greeted with a map that have only a few flowers on it. It's not inhabited and it locks horrible with textures that repeat until it reaches the horizon (or the surrounding mountains and hills).
Mass Effect becomes a mix between greatness and complete shittyness. What it does right it does pretty well but what it does wrong it does horribly. It's a stark contrast but I cannot help but feel that this game is very poor in it's execution. It really goes from nice, shiny ships to complete ugly planet surfaces and uninspiring facilities. The AI sucks, the art design is nothing great, the RPG elements are truly lousy and the characters are bland. Not good for an RPG. Most people praise this game and I have to admit that the story is pretty epic but it's an entire game that requires your patience with all these negative aspects. That's why I feel this game deserves a poor rating ( 2 / 6 ).