Mass Effect

Mass Effect - Busy Gamer Score 1

Mass Effect - Busy Gamer Score 1

First Glance:
Explore the galaxy and meet strange new races. After meeting them, kill them or…have sex with them? Gee, thanks YouTube.

The Short Story:
This is a fantastic game. There’s a huge universe to explore as well as a fantastic storyline and character development. From the well performed voice acting to thegorgeous graphics and excellent sound track, this game has a lot to offer. There’s just one problem… It’s too much for the Busy Gamer. Granted, you can beat the main “quest line” in a relatively short period but that would be the same as buying a ticket to a fantastic movie and then sitting outside the theater to read the CliffsNotes.

The Score:
I knew I was going to come across a game like this soon enough and here it is. The sheer amount of content this game has to offer and the amount of time it takes to fully explore the Universe rates it a 1 on the Busy Gamer review scale.

Body of review:
Mass Effect is the type of game that is hard to walk away from even after a lengthy play session which is precisely why it scores so low on our scale. Throw in a clunky mission tracking system that makes it difficult to find all but the main missions after lengthy absences and you have the makings of a frustrating experience for the Busy Gamer. Even the shortest breaks from the game can be detrimental as the only means to determine what system you are in is to be aboard your ship and use the Galaxy Map to pinpoint your location. This isn’t very helpful if you last saved while on
a planet or within a structure.

The mission tracking system isn’t the only hazard the Busy Gamer will face. There’s also an inventory management system that makes life difficult when trying to determine which items to keep, sell, or salvage for the all powerful Omni-gel you need throughout the game. The game also comes with a rather steep time investment if you’re going to do more than play through the main story line. Weighing
in at forty plus hours to complete side missions, allow the characters in your party to fully emerge as individuals, and explore the Galaxy, it’s just too much for the Busy Gamer.

This is not to say that there isn’t a fantastic game here because there is. The voice acting is performed admirably by actors such as Seth Green, Marina Sirtis, and Lance Henrikson just to name a few. The landscapes are appropriately alien and just as appropriately beautiful. You’ll find yourself admiring aspects of the different environments you explore without even realizing it. And the character models are easily some of the best I have ever seen.

The story line is well written and will keep you wondering what is going to happen next. And it is that aspect of the game that makes it so hard to put down the controller each time you play. It’s addictive and you’ll find yourself promising “just thirty more minutes” as the hours stretch on. It’s all about seeing what you can do to progress the story or finding out what’s on that next planet. Bioware has really outdone themselves with this one.

So far as complaints go, I have very few, two of which I have covered already; the clunky mission and inventory management interfaces. There’s very little that can be done in regards to the inventory management but I would recommend keeping a small notebook nearby in order to jot notes about your current mission before ending a session. It’s too bad Bioware didn’t include some form of active mission tracking to allow you to quickly pick up where you left off but taking two minutes to jot the name of the mission you are working on and the planet you are on can make a world of difference.

Combat is handled well, a mixture of character based skills and first person shooter skills merge nicely to make combat challenging and entertaining. Handling the two teammates you select before embarking on each planet can be a bit difficult. They have a tendency to run in front of your weapon while you’re firing on the enemy and while you can’t hurt them, you’re not hurting your foe if your friend is in the way.

A few minor adjustments by the developers could have seen this game being a popular choice with Busy Gamers but as it stands now, it’s just too much game for most of us.

Grits – End of Line

Posted By Gritskrieg

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