Mass Effect review (Xbox 360)

BiggCMan | 1364d ago | User review
Reviewing: Mass Effect
My very first review (Mass Effect)
Throughout this writing I will do my best to keep the spoilers to a minimum, and if there are any, they will be minor ones.

I bought my very first Xbox 360 in September 2010. I got the Halo: Reach bundle because I loved the design of the console, and the color. While I was excited for Reach, it wasn't my most anticipated game. I knew sometime down the road, I would have to buy the many games I had missed while not owning the Xbox 360. Those included Forza 3, Alan Wake, Halo 3, Halo: Reach, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect, and Mass Effect 2. I have nearly all of those now, but Mass effect is the main reason behind my purchase of this console. Around 2 years ago is when I first played it on my computer, and fell in love with it. I never got far because I couldn't stand the frame rate, and sudden force closes all the time. My computer just wasn't good enough to run it perfectly, and a game like Mass Effect deserves to be played in the best way possible. Fast forward to November 2010, and I finally bought Mass Effect 1 and 2 together. I was so happy to finally start it on my own gamertag, and be able to get achievements for it, and get further in the story than I did all those years ago.

The journey in Mass Effect is a massive one (pun intended). You start the game as Commander Shepherd who is already an experienced soldier. You get to choose the first name and gender of your character, in which each has only a single voice actor. What they look like (from size, shape, skin tone etc..). Where they came from, and how you want to train them. What the training means is that there are 6 classes to choose from. There is the Soldier class which is the class I first chose, and the class in which I will base this review on. The Soldier, in a nutshell, is your brute force class. He goes in combat situations with guns blazing, is able to have a very high amount of health, and can become stronger with every type of weapon which includes pistols, assault rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles. Then there is the Engineer. The Engineer is skilled with something called the omni-tool, and has certain powers available that can tamper with any type of technology or non organic enemy, and can't get stronger with certain weapons. They can instantly destroy a shield or blow up an enemy weapon. The Adept class is the final base class, and they have biotic powers similar to telekineses. They can make enemies float in the air, pull them towards you, or stop them in their tracks with stasis, and also cannot get stronger with certain weapons. The final 3 classes are Infiltrator, which is a combination of Soldier and Engineer. Sentinel, which is a combination of Engineer and Adept. And Vanguard, which is a combination of Soldier and Adept. I have only beaten the game once, and that was with the Soldier class, but I have been told the game plays much differently with the other classes, and is still very fun.

Now I will move on to actual gameplay. I won't just be writing about moving here, shooting that, and go to the next planet. Because in RPG's, talking and decision making are part of the gameplay, and they immerse you more into the game. The core gameplay in Mass Effect is that of a third-person action adventure game. The camera is behind you and off centered, you aim with one button, and shoot with another. The mechanics are done extremely well though, and it is very satisfying taking down large amounts of enemies. This game also lets you explore our Milky Way as much as you want, going to any planet you want to at any given time, and not just our solar system of nine planets. Bioware has taken lots of time creating dozens of planets and other solar systems for exploration in this game. The planets are all a bit similar however and they are only different either in color, and terrain. Some planets are very mountainous and harder to traverse with the vehicle in the game. While others are a bit flatter. When you do land on a planet, you are now inside a heavily armored vehicle called the Mako. The Mako has a machine gun, and a cannon mounted on the top of it for any encounters you come across during your explorations. You can however always step out of it to fight on your own, which grants you more experience point to level up you and your squad members. I actually never realized you get less experience defeating enemies with the Mako until late in the story, and was quite annoyed at the game for not telling me, so be warned if your reading this. Now Mass Effect has a feature in it which I believe is called either the dialogue wheel, or conversation wheel. This wheel is absolutely fantastic, and revolutionary. In the many RPG's I've played, your character either talks on their own, or you are given the option to choose from sentences that can often take a long time to read. Well, its similar to that in Mass Effect, but instead, the wheel has six spots on it, each representing something to say, and you move the stick in the direction of the thing you want to say. What makes the wheel so special is that instead of putting an entire sentence on each spot, they only put what the response will be about. For instance, you get asked a question like "Did you find anything valuable on the planet?" One of the options may say yes, then your character says a fully voiced sentence like "We learned new information about where so and so is hiding, and we found a huge weapons cache". I think this wheel is brilliant, its simple yet very efficient. There are many times in the game where what you say will change what happens right after, or later on in the game. Some conversations are very crucial, while some are minor.

Mass Effect has so much more to offer than what I have already told you about, and I could write another 50 paragraphs about it explaining how incredible it is. Here are some things I left out. There are four types of weapons in the game yes, but they get better in power and accuracy as you progress. You can equip different types of ammo to every weapon ranging from incendiary to cryogenic. The same goes for your armor or space suits. They all range in different colors and protection. You can buy and sell every item in the game. There is of course a leveling system in which you get experience points for defeating enemies, completing missions etc...that go towards reaching the next level where you get skill points to put towards your characters abilities. You always have two squad members with you that also level up and earn experience, and there is a total of six members all together. They are all important in the story, and all play a part. You can also choose a romantic partner out of two squad members, depending on your gender. Perhaps one of the most important things about this game is that nearly everything you do, from decisions made from conversations, to leveling up your character, will carry over to Mass Effect 2, making it seem like one giant story and one giant game, rather than two separate ones.

My opinions on Mass Effect are extraordinary. I love this game, and that is what I want to get across. It definitely has its problems, like the frame rate gets pretty low sometimes in the heat of an intense battle. The game constantly has hiccups during the auto saving. Some planets are extremely frustrating to drive on because of all of the mountains. Amongst some other problems it has, but they never were a huge problem to me, definitely not game breaking. The fantastic story, gameplay, and characters overshadow all the problems with Mass Effect. This is an amazing game, even after 3 years on the market. I have just started Mass Effect 2 with my same character, and I am loving it so far. I encourage anyone to buy it if you haven't done so already. For the people who only own a PS3, I honestly do not think the short comic strip thing that comes with Mass Effect 2 does the game any justice. Mass Effect is a game you need to experience in its fullest. I knew long ago Mass Effect 2 would be coming to PS3, but I still got it on my new Xbox because of the first one, and the save import feature. Perhaps when I beat 2 with my Mass Effect character, I will buy it or rent it on PS3 to see the differences.
Ups
Fantastic story that keeps you hooked from beginning to end.
Gameplay is superb, and lots of fun.
The conversation wheel is revolutionary and makes for quicker decision making.
Downs
Frame rate issues during large battles.
Hiccups get quite annoying during auto saving, or even entering a door.
Planets are similar, and the mountainous ones are very difficult to drive on.
Score
8.5
Graphics Even for 2007, the graphics for this game are not quite amazing. My main issue are facial animations. They are plainly just crap. No emotion in the characters faces, and they are often stiff when talking. What does make this game look very good is how vibrant and colorful everything is.
10.0
Sound I like the jingles that play throughout your exploration of the galaxy, other than that, there isn't much of a soundtrack. But this game shines in voice acting. Jennifer Hale and Kieth David voice in this game, and they do a fantastic job. You should look them up, I bet you know one of them.
9.8
Gameplay I have very small issues with the gameplay. The cover system is annoying at times, and you may latch onto an object when you don't want to. And your squad members get in your line of fire once in a while. Other than that, the shooting is great and the conversation wheel is fantastic.
10.0
Fun factor There is not a single moment in this game where I was not having fun. Even completing most of the side missions I enjoyed doing very much. I loved getting every bit of information out of every single conversation, and I even read the codex every so often to get more back story.
0.0
Online Not rated because there is no online features present. Mass Effect is not the type of game that needs any type of multiplayer, whether it be co-op or competitive.
9.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
Nate-Dog  +   1364d ago
Nice review, I myself only just got to play Mass Effect for the first time a few weeks ago when I got an X360 and absolutely adored it. My first playthrough (and so far only playthrough since I jumped onto ME2 straight after it) was 30 hours and I enjoyed every single one of those hours. The story is just incredible and the world of Mass Effect just sucks you in. I myself have never even been a fan of these sort of games. I mean I don't particularly like space-related games or space combat, futuristic-type games, I enjoy RPGs but sometimes don't finish them because I do too many side-missions and get a bit lost away from the main story, and lots more, but this is surely my favourite game ever now ahead of MGS1 (and I've never played a game that has even come close to my opinion of that before).

I've since played and finished ME2 and am now waiting patiently for Mass Effect 3, so glad I got the chance to play this game though because it really is amazing and such a crucial part to the ME story and such an enjoyable game.
chadley  +   1363d ago
This is impressive for a first review.
BiggCMan  +   1363d ago
Thank you!! I love writing very much. I will think about doing more in the future, maybe not for an RPG though, this took quite a while to write, and as you can tell, I only wanted to write more.
chadley  +   1362d ago
Well I am also aspiring journalist and I haven't yet wrote anything this good. :P
cheetah  +   1363d ago
Good review. I have only played me2 on ps3 and am very impressed. You are right about the comic though, pretty useless. Would like a 360 but I barely have time for the ps3 so it would be a waste.
byeGollum  +   1360d ago
Wow, I never read reviews, but your review had me hooked from start to finish.. I plan on getting an Xbox, I'll definitely pick up this game with it.. by the way I think you should write more reviews or maybe take review requests lol
BiggCMan  +   1359d ago
Thank you very much for reading it, I appreciate it. I do plan on writing more eventually, just got to think which games to do since I own quite a bit.
Kran  +   1359d ago
Mass Effect 1 isnt very good. Mass Effect 2 is mindblowing.
BiggCMan  +   1359d ago
You must like shooting more because to me, Mass Effect 2 feels more like a third person shooter than it does an RPG. Mass Effect is more of an RPG, and while I am enjoying 2 so far, at the moment my opinions on 2 are not as good as 1.

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Mass Effect

Average Score 8.9 Reviews(112)
Release Dates
iPad Release Dates
iPhone Release Dates
PC Release Dates
EU 06 June 2008
US 28 May 2008
PS3 Release Dates
PS4 Release Dates
Wii Release Dates
Wii U Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
EU 23 November 2007
JP 21 May 2009
US 20 November 2007
AU 16 November 2007
Xbox One Release Dates