9 May 2009

Mass Effect? In brief:

I just finished the game this morning - i manged to get through most of the side quests so i was pretty leveled up before taking on the baddies at the end of the game, which i assume made it much easier than if i hadn't. So, my thoughts?

  • The story was good, i liked it.
  • Fighting was serviceable though a bit broken:
  1. If the enemies can run around at 50 miles per hour right past me and i can only turn at a rate of 0.5 of a degree a minute then please give me a lock-on feature. It's not an issue when dealing with enemies at range but frequently you're stuck in narrow corridors and other confined spaces where the enemies (and your allies) all run around you making it pretty difficult to deal with them.
  2. Don't give the enemies one or two hit kill, super fast rocket launchers when indoors. This isn't Far Cry and at least i could generally dodge those in that game due to the distance (indeed, even when i was outside on the planets in Mass Effect).
  3. Cover feature. WHAT?! Are you mad? This isn't really a tactical game. If i want to take cover behind something i don't want to switch position making it so that i can't shoot or move as fast as i normally can, I just want to be behind it. The cover feature is irrelevant in the game and only adds to the combat frustration.
  4. Untrained weapons. Depending on the class you take you are 'untrained' in certain weapons. This doesn't mean you can't use them, it just means that your cone of fire is larger and that you can't 'zoom aim' with them equipped. This is another feature which makes little sense to me. Why allow characters to equip weapons they will never use? Especially if there's no way to train your character to be able to use them. It's superfluous, especially when considering that if your character is very good with a pistol and you have the right mods you can deal more (or the same) damage as another character trained with a weapon that you can't use.
  • Don't cut to a video of something that's happening elsewhere during the middle of a boss fight when i'm about to beat the boss and then, when my control is regained, give the boss back all his shields (and then allow him to spam rockets)! WTF? Seriously, it makes no logical sense in relation to how the game works - it wasn't my fault i stopped fighting, his shields shouldn't have recharged! Don't punish the player because you feel like being jerks.
  • Item lists.... tut, tut. I don't mind the single list during selling/buying/equipment screen... but it's ordered in the most difficult way. It's ordered by 'level' of item rather than item type which is very annoying because it has a very slow scroll speed and to see if you have cryo rounds 5 (so you can delete/sell all your cryo rounds 4) you must go through every thing that's level 4 before you get to the level 5 stuff and then to where the cryo rounds are located rather than having all the cryo rounds together by level. I don't know who designed that part of the game but they either needed more time on it or they need a better concept of how people would be wanting to compare/use the items. (I know this issue is 'fixed' in the PC release, though i'm not sure if it still sorts things by level or not).
Overall, it was an enjoyable game. The sci-fi universe they constructed is pretty interesting though i'd like less 'douchey' people in positions of power in the next game. It seemed like the requisite of being a leader was to be an asshole or perhaps the person who wrote it has some sort of problem with authority [/psychoanalysis]. I'm looking forward to the next one which i think is out towards the end of the year or possibly early next year.

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