Review: Mass Effect

According to the hype surrounding this game, it’s the reason we bought an Xbox 360; an excellent mix of “Oblivion”, “Halo” and “Gears of War” which makes it a guaranteed game of the year. Certainly it is a very good game. Anyone who’s played Bioware’s old game “Knights of the Old Republic” will know what to expect from this sci-fi RPG with added firepower. It has an epic plot which is superbly played out by excellent characterisation and voice acting by very talented individuals including Seth Green. The graphics are exceptional and the RPG elements like levelling up are certainly on a par with the benchmark set by “Oblivion”.

Sadly it’s in the areas which are supposed to set Mass Effect apart that it falls short. The combat system is too sophisticated to be simplistically appealing like Bethesda’s giant and other RPG staples, but also too basic as a shooter to appeal to fans of “Gears of War” and “Ghost Recon” style tactical squad based shooters, who will be frustrated by the interface’s clumsiness and your squad’s general uselessness. However, the replay value is huge given the multitude of options and dialogue branches on offer, and overall it is a very impressive package, just not quite as essential as we were led to believe.

Final verdict: 8/10

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