Mass Effect - Reviews @ IGN, TeamXBox
Gamebanshee has posted a link to two in depth and extremely positive reviews for Bioware's space-themed rpg for the XBox360, Mass Effect:
The first is from IGN, with a score of 9.4/10:
There are three primary character classes in Mass Effect; the solider, the engineer, and the biotic user. Hybrids that mix various aspects of each are also available. The kicker is that they all play vastly different from one another in combat. Based on your class, you'll have access to various powers (the biotics have more than a passing resemblance to the force powers you used in Knights of the Old Republic), technical skills, weapons and armor. The biotic class can use every power, but can only use light armor and pistols. The soldier only gets a single biotic power, but can use any weapon and heavier armor. The engineer, an afterthought class in many other games, steps up in Mass Effect to be a force of its own. He or she can hack locked consoles for info or loot, but can also be a powerhouse in battle. Many of the enemies in Mass Effect are mechanical in design and the engineer has skills geared specifically for taking them down.
From TeamXBox, 9.6/10:
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that Mass Effect utilizes a unique dialogue system to progress the story. Essentially, you’ll begin speaking to another character, and a circular dialogue tree will appear at the bottom of the screen before they are finished talking. This allows you to queue up your responses so the conversation flows more realistically and naturally than in previous games. It’s a good system, although there were times that I accidentally chose my response while tapping X to get through some of the lengthier conversations. Make no mistake about it, this is an RPG in every sense of the word, and features some of the longest conversations in recent memory. I actually turned on the captions so I could get through them a bit faster, allowing me to move on to the next part with a simple tap of the X button...
Depending on how you treat your fellow galactic citizens, you’ll earn points in either your Paragon or Renegade gauges. If you want to be a jerk, you’ll quickly add points to your Renegade gauge, while being a nice guy will do the same for the other one. Unfortunately, the good/evil mechanic really doesn’t come into play at all, which will probably come as a disappointment to anyone who played KotOR or Jade Empire. You might be able to access a few more side missions by leaning one way over the other, but that’s pretty much it. People won’t cower in fear if you’re the baddest man in the universe, and women won’t throw themselves at your feet if you’re Mr. Nice Guy. Basically, the only decision that matters comes at the end of the game, making every decision that came before it feel a bit hollow.
Of course, none of that “shades of grey” stuff really matters when you’re in combat, which is where you’ll spend a good deal of your time. Unlike the previous BioWare console RPGs, the combat is in real-time, so you’ll have to rely on your third-person action skills as much as your tactical knowledge. It’s basically a third-person action game when you’re in combat, with the right trigger firing your weapon and the left zooming in your weapon. The interesting thing here is that certain classes are trained in the use of certain weapons and will be able to improve their skills (and unlock new ones) as they gain experience...
Information aboutMass Effect
SP/MP: Single + MP
Platform: Xbox 360