Monday, June 30, 2008

Mass Effect Wrapup

I never got around to posting anything, but I did finish Mass Effect a couple of weeks ago. The main storyline continued to click, for me, right through to the end. The side quests got really old after awhile, though.

The quests themselves were just fine in terms of being distinctive in their goals. But their implementation was just so repetitive that it got old. Every last one of them involves dropping to the Rocky Mountain region of whatever planet you need to go to (climbing all those peaks gets to be like eating your vegetables after awhile), pick up the same sorts of side stuff in the ATV (minerals, artifacts, etc.) and then assualt one of about three or four different location types that always re-use the layouts and enemy locations. On that level, it's sort of like playing a less extreme version of Assassin's Creed in the amount of repetitiveness. I just expect a little more than that from Bioware.

The ending of the game was really satisfying and provides one of the few decisions of consequence in the game. I'd like to have played it both ways, but the final boss battle is a bit long (with a non-skippable cinematic in the middle of it) and you can't save, so I didn't care to go through that again right away. At some point, maybe as prep for Mass Effect 2, I'd like to go back through the game as a Renegade and see how different the experiene is.

The only thing in the wrap-up I didn't like is that there were no epilogues of any kind for your NPC party members. You get a nice finale for your character, but it's like the rest of your party just disappeared into the ether. Given the amount of time you spend getting to know those characters and getting invested in them, I think that was an oversight. Still, it's up there with The Witcher (still unfinished) for the best RPG I've played in quite some time.