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Default Mass Effect - Review @ Video Game Talk

November 18th, 2007, 12:18
There are a number of magazine reviews out for Mass Effect but this one at Video Game Talk is the first we can link to. Overall, it's a very positive piece full of praise and describing it as as the "most enthralling space adventure that's ever been created for a video game platform", though I've chosen a negative quote because this aspect of the game most interested me. The score is 4/5 and here we go:
Unfortunately, visiting planets is easily the most boring aspect of the game. Perhaps it’s due to the lack of visible life on the worlds, but driving around looking for rocks to mine just isn’t much fun. Occasionally Geth enemies or a sandworm creature will pop out when you near an anomaly, but it’s not enough to keep planet travel exciting. It’s like being stuck inside Val Kilmer’s Red Planet, but less entertaining and more aimless wandering. While I can appreciate the quick influx of cash / XP for mining and plundering broken equipment, I’d much rather head to the sub-story objective on the map and skip everything else. But I would like to send Bioware a giant fruit basket for putting a “Return to Normandy” option in the map screen.
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November 18th, 2007, 12:18
Gawd, people are so picky these days,but he makes it sound like there is never anything special to find on any planet… I hope this is not true! After all you have to have some plantes that are not full of goodies…. you have to have some bad ones to be acctually happy when you find something good!
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November 18th, 2007, 12:31
This review just turned me off of the game since the reason why I wanted to try this game is because I thought I could travel to various planets and have fun exploring them but this is lifeless which means it isn't fun for me. I guess I will just wait for precursors and with that I don't have to wait for itn to eventually come out on the pc.

Another thing is that I already know that there will be multiple lanets with life unlike Mass Effect and it seems like this is going to have a better rpg system then boiling point.
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November 18th, 2007, 14:11
I wasn't impressed when I saw that 1970's wannabe toy driving around shooting dull looking star wars droid things. Not that I having anything against the 70's mind, it just didn't look any good.
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November 18th, 2007, 15:30
This is an unfortunate discovery from this review:
"I’ve already started working on my “evil” character, which is much more of a Biotic talent junkie. I am saddened to find out most of the character responses are exactly the same on the opposite end of the conversation spectrum…"

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November 18th, 2007, 16:06
So I was bored and read the review.

I found the facial customization to be on par with other titles like Oblivion…
On par with Oblivion? This gaem must be really good!!! Has it awsome combat as well?

The squad commands are very basic and are certainly nowhere near Rainbow Six: Vegas caliber. Commands consist of move, rally, target and take cover on the directional pad. The first three work well enough, but take cover seemed to be redundant…The sprint function is difficult to use on a regular basis.
That's all right, it's an RPG, combat is not that important. How are the dialogues?

I found conversations to be somewhat lacking in the amount of humor that made KOTOR so entertaining… Additionally, charm and intimidation options eventually open up as blue and red responses respectively…they will lead to the same goal..
No big surprise there. Can you at least affect the gameworld siding with different factions, or by just being good or evil?

I was a bit disappointed with the lack of the payoff. I obtained 100% of my paragon points, but didn’t receive anything for being such a goody-two-shoes. KOTOR had the luxury of offering Force benefits for 100% achievement, but there’s nothing like that in Mass Effect.
Tell us about the interface.

You only have two options… There’s no option to just leave stuff behind or batch convert items to omni-gel. After accepting all looted items in too many instances, you will hit the 150 item inventory cap and be forced to spend time making room in the inventory.
At least we know that Xbox is a beast of proccessing power, so the game will run real smooth!

The frame rate can slow to a chug during the large scale battles, especially with lots of talent powers flying around. It’s enough to affect the gameplay and become annoying during a fight. It also can happen when…
OK, I don't want to hear any more! At least tell me it's long enough to justify my money spent.

I’d imagine folks could possibly blow through the single player story in 12 to 15 hours…
Why do you say single player, there is no multiplayer AFAIK. Anyway, lets's jump to the conclusion…

I can’t imagine anyone being without a copy of Mass Effect this holiday season.
OMFG! Best RPG 2007 evar! I'm on my way to buy an XBox RIGHT NOW!

Well, maybe not.

“Of all the journeys you will undertake in this life, uncovering the secrets you hide from yourself is the most dangerous voyage of all.” – Shyha Tuhlwin, Therish Philosopher
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November 18th, 2007, 16:26
Kind of reconciles me to the Bioware/EA thing, not that this game was ever on my list— but I was kind of expecting it to be a slightly higher caliber space opera.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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November 18th, 2007, 16:42
Anyone betting that Mass Effect will be the Best RPG 2007 and not TW or MotB?
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November 18th, 2007, 17:22
Seriously, people are turned off to this game based on this one review? With Bioware's track record it would be an astonishing surprise if this weren't a great game. On the other hand, for those who haven't enjoyed Bioware's rpg's in the past then things might be different but to be a fan of their previous games and just to be turned off due to this one review doesn't seem reasonable to me.
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November 18th, 2007, 19:02
After reading this review, I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what Mass Effect has to offer. So I thought it was well written.

It sounds like a good state-of-the-art console game RPG to me, and I expect it to sell like hotcakes. Outstanding graphics and sound…straightforward and easy to play…a universe full of planets that contain nothing of interest, etc. Just follow the plot lines and have a ball. Too bad about the inventory system and the slowdowns though.

It sounds like next-generation KOTOR without Jedi, doesn't it?
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November 18th, 2007, 21:56
I agree, actually. NFLed - you are absolutely right; it sounds like anyone who appreciates BioWare's style is likely to find this exactly their cup of tea. For people like me (I thought KotOR was OK - good) it sounds like the limited exploration and two-paths (good/evil) that I have come to expect from BioWare 2.0 (post BG2). Professionally executed but too streamlined for my preferences.

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November 18th, 2007, 22:37
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
Seriously, people are turned off to this game based on this one review? With Bioware's track record it would be an astonishing surprise if this weren't a great game. On the other hand, for those who haven't enjoyed Bioware's rpg's in the past then things might be different but to be a fan of their previous games and just to be turned off due to this one review doesn't seem reasonable to me.
I'm simply turned off by the fact this is an XBOX only game and I don't own any console ;-)
As for Jade Empire I guess I'll have to be patient !
I hope Dragon Age and the unannounced MMORPG will put Bioware back in my list of respected "PC" developers.
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November 18th, 2007, 23:00
-erm-

Jade Empire is out for PC in a jade empire: special edition metal case that looks and feel great.

And frankly, I don't know where he got the the 12-15 hours from ?

On the Bioware forums for Mass Effect, there has been much debate over the length of the game, and many people have 30 hours just to complete the main story wile using like 15-20 hours to sidequests and still they haven't done anything
in the game yet. It is also my understand that if you use either paragon or renegade or play as male or female his will lock and open quest levels for you.
The main quest could probably be done in say 4 hours or so - if you hurry, I think.
However, if you take your time and you do everything in the game it could easily take you 40+ hours…or more..

I agree that the dialogue options probably isn't as humorous as those in KOTOR, but try to use the intimidate response more often. Maybe, then you'll see some humour - at least that's what people what have played the game tell me at Bioware's ME forums.

Many people on Bioware's ME forums have noted the chugging and lagging as well.
I think a dev? told tham that it had to do with how the UNREAL 3.0 engine loads? the textures? or something like that. Apparently it preloads? them or guesses where they might be? so it takes 2-5 seconds before they get where they're supposed to go. I would rather have had a good old fashioned load screen with FUN info on the game characters or alien races…or tip on how to play the game, though.

I do, however, think that it is enevitable that a game as hyped as Mass Effect will feel like a let down to (most) people that play the game. Some of the people that play the game, ME, obviously are shooter fans that wanted a combat more similar to the one found in Gears of War, but still like the story and the exploration part of the game.
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November 18th, 2007, 23:38
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
On par with Oblivion? This gaem must be really good!!! Has it awsome combat as well?
At least as laughable as Oblivion.

Buck's playin' it and also expressing some doubts on gamebanshee (his review prolly coming), basically it looks to be a lot like KotOR but not as good as KotOR with silly design decisions.

Meh, it was never an option for me, I've never owned any Xbox and don't care much for BioWare's shinies anyway.

Still, at least they'll get their milkcow to satisfy EA
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Default Wrong score?

November 19th, 2007, 06:35
Any reason the summary has the wrong score? It looks like a 4.5/5 to me, but maybe I'm just having difficulty with those tricky stars. There's a big difference between an 80% and a 90% though and the review is overall pretty good. Not sure why people are so eager to find excuses not to buy the game though, although that does seem to be par for the course here.
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November 19th, 2007, 09:06
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
Seriously, people are turned off to this game based on this one review? With Bioware's track record it would be an astonishing surprise if this weren't a great game. On the other hand, for those who haven't enjoyed Bioware's rpg's in the past then things might be different but to be a fan of their previous games and just to be turned off due to this one review doesn't seem reasonable to me.
I think that it goes beyond the review. The game looked like it had some issues in the previews that I saw for it too, like extremely bare and boring environments. I haven't seen a screenshot with one remotely interesting-looking environment yet. And the protagonist's dialog looks awful. It reminds me of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within in that it's unintentionally funny because it's trying to be dark or badass and it's just corny instead. I'm sure that I'll buy the inevitable PC port of this game, but it looks like it's going to be overrated.
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November 19th, 2007, 10:35
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
Seriously, people are turned off to this game based on this one review? With Bioware's track record it would be an astonishing surprise if this weren't a great game. On the other hand, for those who haven't enjoyed Bioware's rpg's in the past then things might be different but to be a fan of their previous games and just to be turned off due to this one review doesn't seem reasonable to me.
A lot of people just really want to hate this game, for whatever reason (Xbox 360 exclusive, EA buyout, perceived "dumbing down" of RPG genre and catering to mainstream) and have their judgements clouded by that. I say that based on the amount of emotion that these "opinions" are voiced with. Usually, when someone just doesn't find a game fun, it's just that he won't buy it and move on. For some reason, many people feel threatened by what this game and this "new Bioware" represents and I think that's just plain silly.
Last edited by Thaurin; November 19th, 2007 at 10:44.
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November 19th, 2007, 12:51
Yeah, but "usually" doesn't account for a CRPG site whose membership probably includes a significant portion who think BG2 is one of the best RPGs ever…and that BioWare hasn't been the same since.

Personally, I haven't really followed this all that closely - I don't have an X360 for starters. I did think the planet-hopping thing sounded pretty cool but there are a few sources saying that aspect is dull. Simple as that.

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November 19th, 2007, 13:10
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
A lot of people just really want to hate this game, for whatever reason and have their judgements clouded by that.
Maybe you just want to believe that's why people here dislike this game?

Not everyone has similar tastes, is that hard to accept? There actually is no question whether or not this game has been produced for the mainstream, whether or not that means dumbing down by definition is arguable, but the fact is that such a game still won't please anyone. If you're going to cater to one group, you'll lose the other, that's life, you can't please everyone.

But you're right that people, especially here, are really disappointed at the direction BioWare is heading in. Not "threatened", whatever that's supposed to mean, but I think the big fans of BG2 on this forum (I'm not one of them, though I do like the game) don't really have any particular reason to be enthused about Mass Effect.
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November 19th, 2007, 13:19
Of course you are allowed to have any likes or dislikes you want, but it's not really fair to be angry with Bioware because they made an Xbox 360 exclusive. You may be disappointed if they were leaving the PC market (which they are not) or that their games have gone down the drain in your opinion.

Oh, forget it. Opinions will always be different and I'll just invite anyone to make them public in whatever snarly or sarcastic way they see fit.

P.S. Since when can't BG2 fans like other types of games? Are there really that many people here that can only be enthused about one type of role-playing game?
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