Friday, February 18, 2011

Mass Effect (the first one)

A couple of cool video game things...

First, Mass Effect is a great game that is re-creating for me what Knights of the Old Republic did. With all the hype around Mass Effect 2, I thought I'd check out the first game now that it's getting cheaper. So far I like it quite a bit.

TL/DR: Good game, good graphics, good UI. A bit cludgy on Windows 7 64-bit. I had to run XP compatibility mode, but that seems to be working fine.

ME is a sci-fi RPG game where you control your main character with a party of 2 other support characters. You get to choose your team each time you venture out of your ship. Even cooler you get to run around on your ship talking to the crew and your strike teams. You can fly to regions, star systems and individual planets and moons. You can't land on all of the worlds, but do get down on to many of them. Your away team gets to land in an all-terrain tank complete with machine gun and cannon. You can freely embark and disembark from the tank to explore.

I love the non-linear story arc that lets you go where you want when you want. Roaming around the galaxy gives a giddy sense of exploration and discovery. Plus you can get out and shoot plenty of bad guys.

To me the crowning achievement is the great story. It is engaging and interesting. You can guide your conversations with the characters and have long discussions that have flow. It is the same feeling I get when I fall in to a book and I'm just hooked on the story. I love games that do this.

Second cool thing is the discovery of Steam game manager. Steam is one of the systems you can use to buy games online, download them, and manage your license library. It isn't too surprising in this day of "instant obsolete install media" that online stores are taking over. Steam is my first generally positive experience with these stores. So far it is working just fine.

Game On!

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