Mass Effect Review
- Posted December 20th, 2012 at 17:25 EDT by Timothy Nunes
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The original Mass Effect has finally arrived on the PlayStation 3, which completes the trilogy without hopping consoles. Even though the game shows obvious and often obtrusive signs of age, the original shooter RPG still holds up and delivers an experience to fans who have wanted it for so long.
- Excellent highlight of where the series originated
- Stronger RPG stance than other ME titles
- New engine combines the original look with new standards
- Loading is long and often inconvenient
- Old quest system proves why it's changed over the years
- Side missions and exploration can become deterring
(continued from previous page) ...is that it makes you vulnerable to enemies, since more abilities are on cooldown, but this different gameplay aspect is a major strength that only becomes more convenient and fun to use as the game progresses, since abilities become stronger and gear reduces cooldown times.
The foundations of the Mass Effect series are strong, but they have their tendencies to become lengthy and confusing. Probing planets for resources actually requires you to land on the planet and drive around looking for the material, and the same goes for many side and story missions. One of the best changes in the series is that the flow of the game has become streamlined, and the reasoning for that is shown in the original Mass Effect, where wandering around sometimes becomes the best and only means of finding out exactly what to do. The quest system is lackluster, making you have to read deep into the quest phrasing and even do some interpretation in order to find where the quests want you to go. The Galaxy Map works the same way that it does in the other two games, but after landing on the indicated planet, there are really only a few indicators of where to go. In fact, even if you finish an objective in a quest, that objective remains indicated like it hadn’t been completed; this occurred mostly when a quest had multiple objectives and became quite confusing, since this game doesn’t exactly make it crystal clear that an objective is finished.
The leveling system consists of skill trees that can be allocated points to better each branch, and each branch when leveled can open up other branches for more abilities and better performance of those abilities as well as weapons. Upon returning to this after Mass Effect 3, it was a bit daunting to look at such a relatively complicated leveling system, but the complexity becomes very easy to grasp after running through a few missions to get used to how your allies can better work with you on the battlefield.
The greatest strength of this game is the storytelling and how consistent it is with the rest of the series. Though ME2 included that brief comic-book introduction, there is absolutely no way to compare it to the actual experience of playing through all of the major and minor situations that take place in Mass Effect. Even though Mass Effect is rooted in the old style of explorative gameplay, the overall experience of playing this game entirely through is a blessing for anyone who’s been limited by Mass Effect only being on the Xbox 360. Archaic is never a bad thing, especially when the frameworks of it have influenced two of the best games to grace this generation of gaming. Weak points aside, this game must be bought by anyone who claims to be a Mass Effect fan, and the newly released Mass Effect Trilogy bundle is the perfect time for unfamiliar fans to become acquainted with one of this generation’s greatest experiences.
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