Archive for December 8th, 2007

Mass Effect Review

Saturday, December 8th, 2007


While I was sick this week, I got my hands on Mass Effect. Wow. This is what videogames are all about, and then some. From the same people who developed the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, this is their attempt to bring the same flavor to a universe that is entirely their creation.

The whole experience feels like living in a Robert Heinlein juvenile science fiction novel.

And it’s big. Really big. I interviewed with the people in charge of voiceover for this title a couple of years ago for work with localization. If you played the voiceovers non-stop, they would go on for more than two weeks. And these are REALLY GOOD, professional voiceovers, not like the old Wing Commander series.

It’s well written. There are at least a dozen alien species, with very reasonable distinct backgrounds and histories. The primary plot is well-done, and there are dozens of side plots peopled with full-fleshed out characters and situations. The game is also peopled with a mind-numbingly extensive population of casual conversations, all handled in voice-over.

It’s beautiful. These are fully realistic creatures that are under my control, moving freely through space. The space ships, planets, vehicles are gorgeous. The photos above are from the game engine itself, not from cut-scenes.

My only complaint is that I don’t have the reflexes of a 20 year old, so it takes me a long time to complete the boss fights that I’ve been in. It took over two hours of retries for me to defeat the Matriarch in one instance. Very frustrating.

I’m better, Gabi’s not

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

I feel better now, but Gabi has come down with the monster flu now. We’re late getting a Christmas tree, Christmas shopping, making our annual family photo Christmas Cards, etc. Dang.

I'm better, Gabi's not

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

I feel better now, but Gabi has come down with the monster flu now. We’re late getting a Christmas tree, Christmas shopping, making our annual family photo Christmas Cards, etc. Dang.