The easiest way to describe Mass Effect, is that it’s like Kotor…on crack. For better or for worse though there are a lot of similarities to Bioware’s two previous games, Kotor and Jade Empire…fortunately though this one for the most part does not disappoint. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with this game through the first half of playing it, going from moments where I felt it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and then encountering things that quite literally made me shut off the game for weeks at a time. I did manage to get over the frustrations though and really enjoyed it in the end.
I find even though the base is like Kotor, they have a bit more real decision making, a nice new original IP, some vehicle sequences (which aren’t great…but they’re there), some nice spiffy next gen graphics, some more high profile voice actors, more character customization, larger scale world, auto item pickup, there is just an endless number of technical improvements it seems. The realtime fighting is nicer then Kotor’s system, and the new dialogue system is very nice because now instead of reading a big giant line of text you just read a much briefer few words which illustrate generally what your about to say. It certainly keeps the dialogue flowing smoother during game as you aren’t wasting more time reading through all the choices. So after going through a major period of disappointment with it, I did end up liking it quite a bit, and am currently planning a second play through to do more of the side quests and see some of the Xbox Live downloadable content.