Mass Effect Xbox 360 Review

10 December 2007 | Xbox 360 Review

Mass Effect is a Bioware game, action fans be wary because not that much has changed since Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. Mass Effect is definitely an RPG, but it gives action fans something to grab a hold of with a pretty dynamic battle system. This game is not for everyone, but is more approachable and enjoyable than Bioware’s previous efforts.

Gameplay: 8.5/10
Pros: Much more action focused than Star Wars KOTOR and less button mashing than Jade Empire’s real time battles, Dialog system with full speech is awesome and immerses you, engrossing story.
Cons: Enemy AI is suspect…usually just bum rush, Side Missions are repetitive and Ancillary planets are pretty much the same with different terrain skins, Not as Epic as advertised. No real Tutorial.

Graphics: 8/10
Pros: Graphics are gorgeous…just look at a still frame shot of this game in action…
Cons: The problem is that still frame shots don’t capture the multiple layers of texture loading visible to the player or the frame rate hiccups and drops.

Sound/Music: 10/10
Pros: Great Orchestral Score, Tons of Dialog all performed (male/female for main character) by great voice actors. Listening to the Dialog instead of reading subtitles draws you so much deeper into the story and experience.

Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Pros: Lengthy Core Adventure (~20 hrs) with tons of side missions. Story is definitely worth finishing. Character Backstory, Sex, character class, and Choices greatly affect gameplay and with Achievements warrant replaying the game 2nd, 3rd time.
Cons: On repeated playthroughs, Side Missions will become more and more tedious. Battles can be hard/cheap.

Average: 87.50%
Tilt: +0.50%

Mass Effect is greater than the sum of its part. It is a fantastic Story and literally plays like an interactive movie. It’s a shame there are some technical glitches that are readily apparent…and while they do not tremendously affect gameplay…they could’ve been smoothed out if Bioware was given another month or two. Downloadable Content could greatly expand/improve the game and its side misions if a couple more robust planets/levels were released. If you don’t mind a slower paced game or are a RPG fan, then you probably already have Mass Effect. If you’re an Action or Multiplayer guy…Mass Effect may offer you enough incentive to buy it, just make sure you play a friend’s copy or rent it first.

Verdict: 88%

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