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Author Topic: Mass Effect  (Read 78964 times)

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Mass Effect
« on: 05 Oct 2007, 14:59 »

Didn't see a thread, so I'll make one.

Bioware's new RPG for the 360 is out in about a month and a half (Nov 20) It has a look similar to that of their last big hit, Knights of the Old Republic, but it's a new IP. Bioware made their name on D&D (most notably the Baldur's Gate games and NWN) and Star Wars, but they've only recently been focusing on original properties. Their last game was Jade Empire, which was somewhere between okay and great, depending on where you're sitting, but Mass Effect is looking a lot different and potentially a lot better.

The plot seems to be fairly standard as far as sci-fi goes. The PC is sort of a human interstellar cop, tracking down an ancient artifact stolen by an anti-human alien militant who commands an army of robots.

Supposedly the designers were going for an 80's sci-fi blockbuster sort of feel, which has resulted in the gameplay, particularly the dialogue, being a little over-the-top (think 24) and that's alarmed some people. This is a nice sample of the game that shows off some of the game's features. There's the real-time combat, and also the unique dialogue mechanics. Basically, you use the right thumbstick to choose your character's dialogue. The catch is that you only get a brief synopsis of what your character will say. The purpose of this is to introduce the concept of time into dialogue. Whereas in previous games you took the time to read through possible dialogue options before choosing one, in Mass Effect the time it takes to choose will affect what the character says and how he says it. Choosing an option rapidly, for example, might cause the PC to interrupt an NPC and threaten him, altering the course of the conversation. This is made a little easier to control through the setup of the right thumbstick as a scale, the upper left being diplomatic and the lower left being aggressive, and all options on the right being "neutral". At least, that's the way it looks. Their facial expression tech isn't the best, so it'll take some getting used to.

Bioware has also stated that this is the most non-linear game they've ever made, although it'll take quite a bit to overcome Baldur's Gate. Some of the more purist RPG gamers have criticized Bioware for not taking player choice seriously enough, with KOTOR and Jade Empire both being fairly linear. They've also mocked the tone of the game, although it's important to point it out that all demos of the game so far have made it a point to choose the most "aggressive" options possible.

Anybody else looking forward to this? I'll give Bioware a shot at anything after BG2.
« Last Edit: 05 Oct 2007, 19:03 by Kid van Pervert »
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #1 on: 05 Oct 2007, 15:12 »

Maybe it's because I haven't played it in years, but was Baldur's Gate really THAT non-linear?? Certainly the series have you a fuckton of quests to accomplish, but to my mind you were always on a fairly linear path to an ending.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #2 on: 05 Oct 2007, 15:20 »

Maybe it's because I haven't played it in years, but was Baldur's Gate really THAT non-linear?? Certainly the series have you a fuckton of quests to accomplish, but to my mind you were always on a fairly linear path to an ending.
I think what they mean by "non-linear" is that there will be an abundance of non-plot-critical areas and quests to explore. Baldur's Gate had a central storyline, but there were also vast areas to explore for no good reason at all. I don't remember KOTOR having any area of the game that didn't play into the storyline. There hasn't really been a "non-linear" game made by the definition of there not being a central storyline with a beginning and end, unless you count the various Maxis games and their ilk.

Another criticism worth noting: Some have complained that the various dialogue options are really just different ways of saying one thing, and thus Bioware still isn't implementing any choice into the game.
« Last Edit: 05 Oct 2007, 15:22 by Kid van Pervert »
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #3 on: 05 Oct 2007, 16:09 »

I wasn't really looking forward to this game but the more information and footage that gets released, the more interested I become. So at this point I am pretty excited to play this whereas when I first about it I may have thought about renting it but probably wouldn't have bothered. Now I'll prolly buy it if I find myself needing a new game to play around that time (when it comes out).
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #4 on: 05 Oct 2007, 17:44 »

Fuck yes Mass Effect. This game beats out Super Mario Galaxy by a hair for the game I'm most excited to play this year. Everything Bioware does is great, this looks fantastic and has a lot of pretty ambitious features in it, and it's on Microsoft's dime so there's no doubt that it's got the necessary funding behind it.

I haven't preordered this game yet, but I find that Gamestop's online store will usually toss out a deal a few weeks before a game comes out (usually free 2-day or overnight shipping) in order to squeeze a few last preorders out of people on the fence, so I've taken to waiting for those bonuses even for games I know I want. I just did it for Phantom Hourglass, and I got free overnight shipping on my copy of Orange Box as well.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #5 on: 05 Oct 2007, 22:49 »

I had no interest in Mass Effect initially, though I was (and still am) very excited about Dragon Age, but that changed after the first substantial gameplay video showed up. I pre-ordered and am currently creaming myself over the possibilities for this game.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #6 on: 05 Oct 2007, 23:57 »

Also, I'm curious as to which class everybody's planning on playing? The three 'pure' classes are soldier, engineer, and adept. Soldier is obviously the combat-heavy class, the only ones that can use all weapon types and wear heavy armor. Engineer specializes in tech stuff: hacking security systems, disrupting enemy weapons, and repairing stuff. Adept is the 'mage' class, for the lack of a better term, they specialize in the 'biotic powers' that serve as the game's spells. There are also three hybrid classes, that combine two skill sets but don't the the highest, most powerful skills of either set they combine, and those are Infiltrators (soldier and engineer), Vanguard (soldier and adept), and Sentinel (engineer and adept). Personally, I'm leaning towards Vanguard, because I like using magic in my RPGs but I also like being able to dish out the hurt when I want to. Providing heavy equipment doesn't impede skill usage, I think that's what I'm going to go with.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #7 on: 06 Oct 2007, 07:22 »

I'll probably go with Infiltrator. That was my approach in Deus Ex, anyways.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #8 on: 08 Oct 2007, 01:00 »

The dialogue seems rather painful. It also sounds like they haven't done much environmental post-processing on it either, so it all sounds pretty flat. Of course, there's still a month of dev time left, so maybe they'll put it in?
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #9 on: 16 Oct 2007, 15:06 »

Game Informer (who always seem to get early exclusives for this sort of thing) gives it a 9.75 out of 10. The excerpts from the review that I've seen (since taken down due to copyright infringement) seem to be high on hyperbole, which might be earned or might not be. so if you're mistrustful of big game media (and there isn't much reason not to be, in this case) your expectations will probably stay the way they were before.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #10 on: 16 Oct 2007, 15:22 »

The dialogue seems rather painful. It also sounds like they haven't done much environmental post-processing on it either, so it all sounds pretty flat. Of course, there's still a month of dev time left, so maybe they'll put it in?

Considering the sheer volume of dialog they'll have to write and record for a game like this, I don't think it's a realistic expectation for all of it to turn out completely right. I didn't notice anything 'painful' about it at all. It's all a bit tongue-in-cheek, admittedly, but once you get past that it seems like typically high-quality BioWare writing.

And yeah, why the hell is Game Informer always the magazine that gets exclusives for everything. I remember they broke the announcement of Borderlands and the official announcement of Brutal Legend (which of course was leaked much much earlier) as well.

And for the record, Game Informer gave Heavenly Sword a 8.75 and Lair a 7.25. Admittedly I haven't played either, but the general consensus seems to be significantly less enthusiastic, especially for the latter game.
« Last Edit: 16 Oct 2007, 15:30 by Storm Rider »
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #11 on: 16 Oct 2007, 15:26 »

I just assume they have the cash to work out deals. GI's also got a 2-week or thereabouts exclusivity deal for anything Fallout 3 related.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #12 on: 16 Oct 2007, 16:26 »

I'd say none of the dialogue I heard was painful, but it is very 80's action Sci-Fi levels of funny. I'm a big fan of anything that successfully captures the feel for 80's Action dialog and manages to put it into a epic story as well. All we need is Arnold Schwarzenegger to make a voice cameo while fighting a hideous alien beast.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #13 on: 16 Oct 2007, 19:20 »

Well, a lot of the voice actors are pretty awesome. Did anyone watch the footage of the beginning of the game on youtube? The pilot is Seth Green.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #14 on: 08 Nov 2007, 18:47 »

Well, it was bound to happen at some point. Bioware has revealed their, uh, sapphic love scene. Minus the nipples that are apparently making it in.

Kudos to them for cutting out the DeviantArt middle man, I guess.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #15 on: 09 Nov 2007, 03:24 »

i wonder if there's an option where you can turn off your character's voice. honestly, i prefered KotOR's interface.

but hey... L E S B I A N S !

can't go wrong with that.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #16 on: 09 Nov 2007, 09:17 »

Did anyone else laugh at the Titanic hand-against-window ending?
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #17 on: 09 Nov 2007, 13:30 »

Did anyone else laugh at the Titanic hand-against-window ending?
They are going for the whole James Cameron feel. Hopefully it'll be more Aliens than Titanic.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #18 on: 09 Nov 2007, 16:37 »

Did anyone else laugh at the Titanic hand-against-window ending?

I thought it was comedy gold.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #19 on: 11 Nov 2007, 15:24 »

that was a good sex scene for a video game!
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #20 on: 11 Nov 2007, 21:36 »

I like how the commenters under the video were complaining about the lack of nipples in the video and such. Sex scenes don't need to be explicit, and personally, when a game feels like it needs to show nudity to act mature, I'm turned off the experience and taken out of the world its supposed to inhabit. I'm glad that this wasn't too serious, and, although quite funny, didn't go farther then it needed to. It felt just right for a game that wants to focus more on other aspects of game.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #21 on: 11 Nov 2007, 21:43 »

I like how the commenters under the video were complaining about the lack of nipples in the video and such. Sex scenes don't need to be explicit, and personally, when a game feels like it needs to show nudity to act mature, I'm turned off the experience and taken out of the world its supposed to inhabit. I'm glad that this wasn't too serious, and, although quite funny, didn't go farther then it needed to. It felt just right for a game that wants to focus more on other aspects of game.
They'll love round two then, heh.

*edit - whoops, they pulled the video down right as I posted. Bad luck.
« Last Edit: 11 Nov 2007, 21:45 by Kid van Pervert »
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #22 on: 12 Nov 2007, 13:59 »

My dad just got the game in today.

So mad. I want.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #23 on: 12 Nov 2007, 16:33 »

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #24 on: 13 Nov 2007, 00:29 »

I'd be excited for it if it were coming out for PC, instead those bastards are leaving me out in the cold.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #25 on: 13 Nov 2007, 01:05 »

It'll get there eventually, probably in Special Edition form ala Jade Empire. You can count on that, especially now that EA's large and in charge.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #26 on: 13 Nov 2007, 01:21 »

Also, I'm curious as to which class everybody's planning on playing? Personally, I'm leaning towards Vanguard, because I like using magic in my RPGs but I also like being able to dish out the hurt when I want to.

I'm really torn between Infiltrator and Vanguard. I may end up just starting two seperate games, one as each class, and see which I like better.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #27 on: 13 Nov 2007, 02:41 »

Infiltrator for me, though I'm still somewhat in the dark over what exactly the Engineer's main purpose is. Healing / defensive casting?
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #28 on: 13 Nov 2007, 09:32 »

I'm really torn between Infiltrator and Vanguard. I may end up just starting two seperate games, one as each class, and see which I like better.

Dude just play it through the one billion times it's meant to be played through.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #29 on: 19 Nov 2007, 18:51 »

Reviews are up:
Gamespot - 8.5

Gametrailers - 9.6

IGN - 9.4 (includes both video and written review)

Gamespy - 5/5

Eurogamer - 8/10

Praise is standard for a Bioware game (story, voice acting, etc.) and complaints are generally about load times, AI hiccups and bugs.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #30 on: 19 Nov 2007, 18:56 »

Since it's a planned trilogy, I'm sure they'll fix the issues people are talking about in the reviews in the next game. In a moment of weakness over the weekend I preordered it (I almost always wait for reviews before I get a game, but the Bioware pedigree and the thought of trying to get this game on Black Friday pushed me to bite the bullet and reserve a copy) and got overnight shipping, so it should be waiting for me when I get home for Thanksgiving on Wednesday night.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #31 on: 19 Nov 2007, 19:00 »

only problems I have heard so far is the lack of a tutorial and load times, specifically elevators

thank god I don't have a morning class tomorrow
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #32 on: 19 Nov 2007, 19:15 »

It sounds like its exactly what I was expecting and more. Even the flaws sound typical of all of my favorite RPG makers.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #33 on: 19 Nov 2007, 19:44 »

I'm getting it tommorow evening. Is there a part mage part soldier? Because I hear you have to be some variation of the soldier class.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #34 on: 19 Nov 2007, 19:53 »

I'm getting it tommorow evening. Is there a part mage part soldier? Because I hear you have to be some variation of the soldier class.


Also, I'm curious as to which class everybody's planning on playing? The three 'pure' classes are soldier, engineer, and adept. Soldier is obviously the combat-heavy class, the only ones that can use all weapon types and wear heavy armor. Engineer specializes in tech stuff: hacking security systems, disrupting enemy weapons, and repairing stuff. Adept is the 'mage' class, for the lack of a better term, they specialize in the 'biotic powers' that serve as the game's spells. There are also three hybrid classes, that combine two skill sets but don't the the highest, most powerful skills of either set they combine, and those are Infiltrators (soldier and engineer), Vanguard (soldier and adept), and Sentinel (engineer and adept). Personally, I'm leaning towards Vanguard, because I like using magic in my RPGs but I also like being able to dish out the hurt when I want to. Providing heavy equipment doesn't impede skill usage, I think that's what I'm going to go with.

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #35 on: 19 Nov 2007, 21:04 »

Getting this tomorrow after class.  And then not playing it until this weekend.  FUCKING HOMEWORK.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #36 on: 20 Nov 2007, 03:23 »

My plan, assuming I enjoy the game enough to play through it twice, is to do the first run with a Vanguard and the second with a Sentinel.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #37 on: 20 Nov 2007, 03:27 »

His plan if the game isn't good enough to play though twice is to weep bitter tears.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #38 on: 20 Nov 2007, 05:24 »

Vangaurd it is!!

I'm so excited, my brother is going to buy it after he gets off from work!!! I have Super Mario Galaxy and Lord of the Rings Online to keep me company in the meantime.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #39 on: 20 Nov 2007, 07:37 »

I'm about to head to work and all I can do is stare at my UPS tracker and know that Mass Effect is "out for delivery". Goddamn you work!
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #40 on: 20 Nov 2007, 15:03 »

My brother is playing it right now.......

I'm so jealous...
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #41 on: 20 Nov 2007, 17:00 »

Yes,

the pixelated, overcomplicated, blob of old crap.

Everquest 2 is pretty rockin' though.


I made an African American version of Bjork. She is a vangaurd named Ursula! Also, I'm disappointed in my vangaurdie powers so far. I mean, a little blow up disc? LAME!
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #42 on: 20 Nov 2007, 17:57 »

Those are grenades.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #43 on: 20 Nov 2007, 18:05 »

Vanguard skill blow up discs?

Still lame.
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #44 on: 20 Nov 2007, 20:13 »

I'm pretty certain grenades aren't a skill, they're an item. My engineer has them as well.

Edit: Nevermind, Tech skill. Still, nades are awesome.
« Last Edit: 20 Nov 2007, 20:16 by ackblom12 »
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #45 on: 20 Nov 2007, 20:14 »

I......I think I am love  :cry:
 

I love you so much Mass Effect
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bryanthelion

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #46 on: 20 Nov 2007, 20:25 »

My brother wants to know,

How do you tell your teammates to use their encryption skill to open a crate/other things?
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jeph

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #47 on: 20 Nov 2007, 21:07 »

Initial impressions:

Combat isn't as hard as people were saying. You just have to be methodical. An aiming and cover system in an RPG makes for really, really fun firefights.

Menu system isn't great, but also isn't as bad as people were saying. You get used to it.

I'm starting to think I should've just rolled a Soldier. I have yet to actually use any of my fancy-pants Vanguard powers.

Voice acting and music are impeccable.

AI is kind of wack. Setting squadmates' ability usage to Active seems to mitigate this a bit.

There really are quite an awful lot of elevators.

Graphics are gorgeous but there is indeed some clipping here and there.

I HAS A SHINY RED SHOTGUN
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Storm Rider

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #48 on: 20 Nov 2007, 21:20 »

I suppose there's not much point in asking whether you like it, because my copy is at home waiting for me when I get back tomorrow. I gotta ask though, does using heavy armor or weapons hamper your biotic abilities like it did in KOTOR and Baldur's Gate? If that's the case, I might just pick one of the pure classes.
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jeph

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #49 on: 20 Nov 2007, 21:25 »

The way it seems to work is only soldiers can use heavy armor and assault rifles (as well as all the other weapons). Other classes get various combinations of light and medium armor, pistols, shotguns, and sniper rifles.

That being said, even the pistol is a pretty decent weapon, at least as early into the game as I am.

I really like it so far.
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