Subm.: Mass Effect

Discussion in '50 RPGs per Hour' started by Akratus, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011

    Mass Effect
    Released in the year 2007
    Developed by Bioware
    Purchasable in certain retail stores, and on the steam online store.

    Mass Effect is a bit of an ugly duckling in the RPG world, as seen today. It's seen as the one game not worth playing by most current day action fans, and a lot of Mass Effect fans. But there's an old guard of hardcore fans that simply love the hell out of this game for it's unique experience. And that's something I feel every RPG fan should see, even if only to know that Mass Effect in the current day is a failure, but had the chance to show you the stars.

    Retro Science Fiction Space Opera

    The game has a very specific atmosphere and aesthetic. This might be superficial qualities or simply not important to many RPG players, but for me it was a real bonus. The look of this RPG was based on retro science fiction imagery, but with a modern feel, and this makes it quite unique. The game has a very different look from most games of it's generation. Most games don't make you feel like you are actually in space or are actually exploring an alien world. In this game I was provided with the first opportunity to really feel this way, and that for me enhanced the way I experienced the story, and how real I felt the world was.

    The game uses unique aesthethics, a large amount of dialogue and an even more unique opening score to great effect.
    And built on top of that are moments like this:
    There's real acting there, a real story, real character, resulting in a cool choice.

    The game has a great pacing as well. This is one of the few modern games that doesn't simply put an action piece at the beginning and then sets you off on action setpiece after action setpiece. It does kind of do this in a way, but there is a large part after the opening event where combat is very sparse. The game has a focus on dialogue moreso than action. Modern gamers and publishers don't want to see many hours walking around in the same area doing nothing but dialogue-heavy quests. But for us that can be less of a problem. And for me it certainly helped me get that action game feel out, and see it more of an rpg struggling to service as a modern action game, but trying to hold on to the rpg greatness of the past. And for me, it succeeds. Not entirely, but it does. Especially in the final stretch of the game. There you discover the real story, and see the conclusion as well as the future. The future that sadly could not be.

    Lastly, there's the combat. The feel of it is slightly off, it's hard to get the character to do what you want at first, and the pathfinding of AI is sketchy. But this is offset by the choice in 6 classes, all having different skill sets. It is also offset by the feel of combat, weapons feel powerful both in gameplay (if you upgrade properly) and in the sound design. Don't choose a high difficulty however, I've personally experienced the stupidity of those settings' hp and shield bloat. And if you get bored with simply gunplay, you can smash your enemies across the room with a biotic ability or two.

    The Faults.

    The first thing needed to be mentioned is obviously the not very balanced, and not very well executed combat. It can be very frustrating or not very fun at times. And it hampers replay attempts.

    Besides that the replayability is also reduced because the choices you make are varied and numerous, but never as big as a Fallout 1 choice for example. They are not bad perse, but unsurprising for RPG veterans.

    Besides this the level and encounter design is probably the worst aspect of the game. Bland and boring, you will want to simply get most missions done as soon as possible.

    The skills aren't terribly exciting either, the combat problems sort of compound on each other.

    So your enjoyment depends on what factors in the game are important to you. But I urge everyone to see the game through to the end, which is the very best part. And the credits have the best song, too. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
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  2. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    This is just my one personal opinion, and (besides some typos that I can't ignore) it's my only gripe, but I don't think it's necessarily appropriate to compare a game in a series to another as part of your review. The idea (as I interpret it) is to express the values of a game for players who've never tried it out, and you can bet players who played ME3 have played ME 1 and 2. Just assume that newcomers (I would be one of them) to the series need to be explained why it's good, for purely objective reasons. Saying "it's better than 3" or "unlike the modern games, which don't do this" doesn't really convey any information, except that you dislike them. For example, in my Demon's Souls submission, I actively decided to submit Demon's and not Dark because I personally didn't like Dark Souls as much as its predecessor, but I didn't dwell on that fact in the submission itself. It wasn't filled with "Unlike Dark Souls" this and "which Dark Souls lacks" that, because all that would do is make newcomers to the Souls series get an idea that it's not all that good.

    Just my 2 cents.
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  3. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    You're right. But I hoped I had enough original points to make to accurately show the qualities and flaws of the game itself.

    -The story is good
    -The last quarter or so of the game is great
    -Unique and creative atmosphere and aesthethics
    -Good pacing

    And I've just gone ahead and removed a few of those "they didn't have that in the sequel either" lines.
  4. BigBoss

    BigBoss Your Local Scrub

    Dec 24, 2012
    I loved this game, ney, the whole damn series. If you want a game that gives multiple choices to an ending, this is it.

    Garrus remained my best damned friend through the whole series, and since the day I had picked him up in the Citadel, he came on every mission with me. Wrex was a good friend to me to. I wanted to fly all the way to the Salarian homeworld just to slap the Dalatrass in the face for what she wanted me to do to the Krogan in ME 3.

    It only highly disappoints me that you have to absolutely have the internet to download the DLC content, which Leviathan and Extended Cut seemed awesome. I wish I could get internet for my PS3.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  5. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    I personally found the Leviathan dlc to be a waste of time. The only downloadable content worth your time in my honest opinion is the Bring down the sky dlc for me1, lair of the shadow broker for me2 and that's about it.
  6. Nar

    Nar First time out of the vault

    Apr 30, 2012
    Though I enjoyed 1 and 2, in all honesty it's a very generic sci-fi setting. You have your human unification, your space magic, your hot blue ultra-empathetic, ultra-feminine bisexual/pansexual alien chicks (obvious Mary Sue fanservice) and your ancient-evil-demonic alien race bent on destroying everything because fuck you. The only reason why Mass Effect 1 got off in the first place was mostly because of its then pretty revolutionary dialogue system and facial expressions gimmicks.
  7. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010

    I thought ME3 was unplayable without Extended Cut. Not unplayable, but had a really shitty ending. EC fixes that, at least a bit.
    Leviathan seemed promising, but ended up being just another pew-pew DLC. The Reaper origin being revealed was a sweet moment, but not anything special, because, well, their origin sucks and is somewhat uninventive. Though I guess if they didn't release that one, people wouldn't stop bitching about who or what Reapers actually are, and on the other hand, there is hardly a proper solution for Reaper origins outside the one given.

    I partially liked the Citadel DLC. It was, in fact, a continuation of my imaginary friendships/relationships with imaginary characters, and naturally, I thought I'll absolutely hate it, but when I think about it, it wasn't that bad. It had great comical overtones, jokes and references about previous games, and was a nice "present" to those who followed the series from the beginning...only IIRC it was no present and costed a damn fine amount of money.

    I personally believe ME, both the game and the series, deserve a place in "Best RPGs Ever" lists, but somewhere on the bottom of it.
    They are flawed, but majority of the flaws aren't in fact from the actual game, but from idiotic marketing, handling of downloadable content, and overall mistreat of fans of the series - after Bioware/EA cut out Javik from the main release of ME3 I was so pissed off, I swore never to give a cent to Bioware or EA again...and I haven't so far. Despite buying two previous games, I'll never complete the series with another purchase simply because they were utter assholes at that moment. I forgave them past mistakes, but I couldn't forgive that one.

    And I guess that's the main problem with ME for me - as much as I loved (or hated) the games, the "outside elements" left a bitter taste in my mouth.
  8. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    Reformatted the op.

    I agree wholeheartedly, Atomkilla. I shall mostly remember Mass Effect for it's shortcomings moreso than it's qualities.
  9. Irwin John Finster

    Irwin John Finster Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 13, 2015
    One of the greatest fictional universes ever conceived, and one of the greatest video game series of all time.

    I don't care if you think it's simple or "dumbed down" - if you want to know how low the bar can go then see Fallout 4. Compared to THAT, Mass Effect definitely deserves a spot. I avoided Mass Effect 3 until about a week or two ago because of the bad press over EA bollocks-ing it up, but even with that I have not been disappointed with Mass Effect 3 aside from the fact that you still have to pay about $70 to get the FULL GAME with all the DLC which is not even surprising anymore because of EA.

    I do believe the series was simplified too much in certain areas from Mass Effect 1 - for example the lack of various weapons and armors - but the writing and story did not ruin the series so that saved everything for me.

    It has a large Codex and the writers made a clear attempt at creating an immersive universe. That alone makes this game different from 99% of the garbage we are currently fed.

    Here's hoping Mass Effect Andromeda isn't the Fallout 4 of the series, but since EA owns it I am sure they will make the game impossible to play anyway - the DRM alone will probably require an anal probe. This sh** has to stop. Pretty soon we are going to be giving up our social security numbers and fingerprints just to play a video game. Crap...I think I just gave them an idea...
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  10. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Out if curiosity, what do people think of Mass Effect 2 compared to Mass Effect 3?
  11. Irwin John Finster

    Irwin John Finster Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 13, 2015
    At the time it felt dumbed down compared to Mass Effect 1, but now that Bethesda has shown me what the term "dumbed down" truly means, I think it's fine.

    Compared to Mass Effect 3, I think Mass Effect 2 was acceptable at worst and decent or pretty good at best. There are some cheesy moments, but the middle part in a trilogy is often awkward or hard to pull off.

    Overall it is a good game and I plan on redoing the whole Mass Effect series at some point when I have more free time. ME2 felt like Babysitter Shepherd rather than Commander Shepherd at times but I think it was still good and I haven't been disappointed at all with the series despite the fact that EA began ruining the whole thing with the third installment (ME3 still costs over $70 if you want to buy all the DLC singleplayer content which is absurd).

    Both ME2 and ME3 simplified their weapons and armors which I thought was a dumb move, but ME2 was worse in this area IIRC.

    I disagree about the Leviathan DLC being a "waste of time." It might be a waste of money (the DLC costs more than the actual game), but that is EA being EA.

    The Leviathan DLC contains MAJOR plot elements. It explains one of the biggest questions in the Mass Effect universe. In fact, the information revealed in Leviathan makes me think it was part of the original game and EA decided to cut it out and make it DLC, because it seems to be an integral part to understanding the whole story.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  12. beans00

    beans00 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 19, 2009
    Didn't like either me1 or me2, never have/will play 3 and only finished the first 2 because they were short. Game tried to seem quasi realistic while being completely unrealistic and was way too cinematic for me. Only time i remember having fun in either game was completing mass effect 2 as poorly as possible so as many of my companions died as possible(don't remember how i did this though) except garrus and 1 other.
  13. Aurelianus

    Aurelianus Stardog Champion

    Sep 13, 2016
    Bought Mass Effect on release, it was ok I guess. Never played the sequels though, just didn't interest me whatsoever even though I love space operas.
  14. brfritos

    brfritos Humma Kavulaaaaaaa

    Sep 8, 2009
    Leviathan and Javik been a DLC is a kick in the head after getting shot in the head! 8-)

    One of the problems of Leviathan is the conclusion. Why Shepard needs then for?
    Sure, they are powerfull... against one Reaper.

    Why Shepard can't refuse their arguments and send a message to the Reaper above that dinner is served and be done with it? It's these kind of things that makes ME2 and ME3 seem less RPG, since the game removes the player control in such decisions (contrary for example the Krogans and Quarians storyline, where your past actions have a deep impact in the game).
    Also interest to notice, the first game was marketed by Bioware as an "xRPG".

    The second and third don't. Press and fans considered them as such, but look at the official marketing and you won't see a single reference to them being a RPG.

    After all these years I still think the first one is the best in the series and despite the flaws showed a lot of promisse. Unfortunelly Bioware/EA simply throw most ideas and story hooks the game left for the second part in the trash bin, retconed a lot of it, downplayed some characters and put themselves in a corner, story wise, with Arrival.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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