The 3rd person combat is polished and fun. Taking a few control queues from KOTOR, it allows for easy orchestration of your entire party while enabling direct head-to-head control of our hero Shepard. The combat system is implemented to reward both cautious shooters as well as twitch based run-and-gun style play. Both people used to typical shooters and RPGs alike will find Mass Effect easy to pick up and play.
The next generation graphics for Mass Effect are stunning. While some of the optional planets feel rushed, the main quest planets are beautiful and unique. Each of them has a unique feel and visual style while maintaining a unified feel for the game. The game has a film grain shader which adds a highly cinematic feel to the entire experience. There is also an optional motion blur shader (which is on by default) that players seem to either love or hate. While it looks great in cut scenes, we ended up turning it off after a while as it gets in the way of some of the combat scenes.