Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mass Effect (3rd Person RPG PC Game 2008)

Everyone knows that Bioware is the premier developer of high quality, modern RPG games. Ever since Baldur's Gate, they have continued to produce award-winning games that set the gold standard for the genre. This game was built on that same philosophy, but in a space environment instead of a D&D fantasy or the Star Wars universe.

Story
The story was pretty intense throughout the whole game. You play a specter, an agent similar to a Jedi, but without lightsabers. You get assigned a mission to bring down a fellow specter gone rogue, and along the way you pick up a diverse group comrades while you traverse through the movie-like plot. Having a good story pretty much makes or breaks an RPG, much like any Final Fantasy game. And luckily for all of us, the story was awesome.

Cinematics
The cinematics were good. It did have a substantial amount of pre-rendered stuff, but graphics these days have gotten to the point where in-game and pre-rendered look pretty similar if you're not paying close attention. All of the cinematic insertions added more to the experience of "playing a movie".

Gameplay
The gameplay was great. After you get the hang of all of the controls and such, what you "do" in the game maintained its entertainment value throughout all of it. I did a good number of side quests, but I know the game could've lasted me many more hours if I all of ‘em. Towards the end, I became too impatient becasue I really wanted to see how the main storyline would play out, so I went for the gold.

Controls
The controls were fair. I'm still not sure if I totally dig the "over the shoulder", 3rd person perspective, but considering that it's a shooter, it does utilize the angle in a very user-friendly way.

Graphics
The visuals were sick. Having a souped up computer and maxing out every setting was a blessing for my eyes.

Sound & Music
The sounds were also good. Every laser blast, gunshot, or special power use was accompanied by a very realistic and well-made sound. The music was way above average though. This was a game that sounded just like a movie. It sucks you into the story and makes you forget where you are and who you are. Now that's entertainment!

Overall
This game was hella fun. It was the best of what Bioware can do. The story and music were top-notch, which made the rest of the game just seem all the more better. Bad thing is that the company was bought out by EA a while back. I'm hoping that EA won't corrupt something that’s already good, but who knows. This just might be the last fantastic game that Bioware pumps out, just like Aladdin was Disney's last, great cartoon movie.
Rating - High