Firstview- Mass Effect

Firstview- noun: A first impression of a game from the opening one or two hours of play.
 
I had recently bought Mass Effect in a sale for £7.99. I had heard great things about the game, and wanted to get a sense of the series before purchasing the sequel. Although I knew from the description this wouldn't be the normal sort of thing I would play. I wasn't a huge fan of third person shooters and RPG's weren't the strongest of my genres. But I was ready to experience whatever the game had to offer. I sat down, poured myself a drink, dimmed the lights, and pressed play.
 
The game's character creation can be either quite in-depth or very simple, depending on how much part of the story you wanted to be. You could either choose to play the provided John Shepard, or you could create your own Mr/Ms Shepard, complete with your choice of backstory and changeable appearance.  Once your Shepard was complete, it was time for the game to begin proper. The opening cutscene gives you a sense of how your character choice will change the story, as your backstory choices are talked about by other characters. After some background talking and space scenes, you are given your first taste of one of best features in Mass Effect, the chat wheel. While it may not seem a lot at first glance, to me it made me feel like I had more of a say in how my character was played out. I could make my Shepard as kind or cruel as I wanted by the things he said or the way he said them.
 
I'd rather not delve to much into the actual story, so I'll skip ahead to my main gripe with the game so far, the combat. You have a varied choice of weaponry and a large amount of upgrades, but the actual shooting itself feels clunky, and the cover system seems to be broken a lot of the time. Not to mention the friendly AI can be as thick as a post sometimes, walking directly into fire even after you order them to take cover.
 
After a couple of combat instances we come to what is in my opinion the crowning jewel of the opening hours of Mass Effect, The Citadel. From what I've seen it is to serve as some kind of City for trade as socializing with characters, but the visuals of the city I found to be astonishing, especially for a relatively old game. Walking around The Citadel really gives you a feel that its a busting hub that continues when you're not around. I spent a good part o my first two hours simply wandering around The Citadel looking for people to talk to and soaking up the atmosphere.
 
Mass Effect is shaping up to be a fantastic game. While the combat itself proves janky, it seems to be the one flaw in this otherwise superb gaming experience.
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