3 Reasons why Mass Effect 1 is the best Mass Effect game
Damn their was a lot of it. A million weapons, attachments, upgrades, armour and indeed anything you could think of was here. Loot was also tied nicely into different companies that inhabited this galaxy. Certain companies would focus on certain things and would outdo the competition in its home turf. Taking the brand name into account actually added depth to the system and of course immersion. You could also attach just about anything to your weapons in order to get the jump on your enemies during battle. These ranged from damage buffs to better scopes to different ammo types to even a radar to help you locate your enemies. You could, and did spend ages tinkering away at your weapons in order to make them the best that they could be, now if only the inventory could be better….
Not just an original IP about a small group of men fighting on a planet, oh no. A brand new IP about a whole galaxy. Not just new characters, but new races with long and detailed histories. This wasn’t any old original IP, this was the beginning of something huge. As we have come to know the Mass Effect series has become one of the biggest this gen and most loved. It has as with many successful game franchises today started to explore its galaxy in other forms. Comics, novels and a soon to be released Mass Effect anime series. Within this galaxy you also had the fear of the unknown: the Reapers. Of course over the series we came to have a better understanding to what they were and why they were here but at the time we thought Saren just had a very funky ship. Oh how wrong we were. Mass Effect may have picked up many fans throughout the series but what better way to immerse yourself in the series then to go back to where it all began, 5 years ago.
I don’t know about you guys but before this game came out there was only one other series that I was aware of which forced the player into difficult choices: Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem had you recruit and train a group of soldiers to help you fight the evil Empire. Point was that if your characters did then they died forever. This lead to many times where I would play a character in the wrong place and they would fall in battle. Right then, ‘time to reload my last save’ I thought to myself, every time this happened. Mass Effect 1 also put some serious choices in your way but as the first of the series we didn’t see them coming. Let the Council live or die? Let the Rachni survive? Let Wrex die on Virmire? Hell no I wasn’t about to let Wrex die on that planet. I accidentally spoilt that moment for me by reading it online and it resulted in me desperately trying to please Wrex at every moment because I didn’t want to lose him. What other game at the time did that?
3 Reasons why it’s the worst
For all the good said about this game you were in a constant fight with it all the way through. The interface was very poorly put together. Small example would be that you and your squadmates have the same amount of health but your health bar was much bigger. Why? I don’t know but it was awfully confusing because you would assume that you had much more health left over but no you actually had very little. Another bigger and worse example would be the inventory system. As great as it was to have loads of loot to go through the disposal of the bits you didn’t need was just unreasonable. Either sell it slowly one by one or you could convert it into omi-gel, one by one. It was extremely time consuming but also necessary to keep everything in check so after every mission or shopping spree you would spend about 15 minutes going through your inventory discarding your now obsolete items, every single time!
Sweet Lord. The game came out in 2007 and used the Unreal Engine 3. It was a really big game and at the time Bioware obviously hadn’t fully grasped control over the Unreal Engine and so it wasn’t the most ‘refined’ game. With these points in mind it was no surprise that Mass Effect had some serious load times. It did result in the enjoyable squad member conversations on the lifts in the Citadel but that did not ease the pain away. This could be taken as a good point or a bad because the reason that the game chugged along so much was that it was so ambitious. So much content and history was thrown onto that disk and as mentioned Bioware obviously couldn’t handle it at the time. Thankfully Bioware have gotten much better over the years with Mass Effect 3 especially having very good load times. But back in the day, sweet Lord.
Personally I liked driving around in this futuristic tank. However for all the enjoyment I had I knew that overall the experience was an undeniably negative one. Driving up mountainsides was fun but awkward and Bioware seemed to take this on board and made all the planets you visited bumpy as hell. The Mako wouldn’t drive around but more like jump and bounce from one objective to the next. Also remember back in the day when you would have the enemy in your cross-hairs and you would fire only for the ground right in front of the Mako to explode and shower you with dirt. Yes the Mako didn’t fire where you aimed, it fired where the cannon was facing. So if you were slightly angled facing towards the ground then your next shot would be straight down into the ground. So add bad aiming and very bumpy surfaces and you begin to understand why it was such a relief that the Mako never returned to action.