Microsoft Game Studios Mass Effect
- The game features an absorbing story that is expertly told; there is a tremendous amount of depth to the game, from the character customisation options to the world at large; the overall presentation is also fantastic with pleasing visuals, a vibrant galaxy and an intuitive interface. Variety is also key: the game offers you a ton of things to do; we could go on and on here but we're running out of room so let us just say that Mass Effect is one of the best games we've played this year...or any other year for that matter
- The enemy and ally A.I. is surprisingly dim; having to use the Back button to throw grenades sucks; the elevator rides are also ridiculously long
If you are an RPG fan, you should definitely give this game a look; it is good enough that you'll find yourself disappearing deeper into Mass Effect each time you play and demanding the inevitable sequel long before it's due.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Let's move onto the battlefield: When you're not talking, exploring, or looting containers with a simple button-pushing decryption mini-game, you're going to be killing something from an over-the-shoulder view. This being an RPG, your class has an enormous impact on how you battle. Three of the class options focus on combat, technology, or biotics respectively while the three remaining classes offer a balance between two disciplines. For example, Soldiers get improved health, can train in all weapon types, and can quickly learn to wear heavy armour, but the Adept can lift and throw objects and shield your three-humanoid squad. Anyone with a combat emphasis can get right into the thick of the action, while tech and biotics specialists are better off using special abilities to hinder approaching thugs.
As you level, you'll climb ranks in existing talents and unlock new ones, earning special abilities along the way. An assault rifle user might invoke Overkill to keep his weapons cool while another character might temporarily diminish damage taken via Immunity, or raise a one-way shield by manipulating dark energy.
During battle, you can give your squad mates complete autonomy, but holding down the left or right bumper lets you dictate which weapon or skill they should use at key moments. You'll also find a couple of upgrade slots on most equipment, and a huge library of enhancements to plug into them.
Adding special effects to weapons is awesome and you'll be constantly tweaking your layout to get the best results. The game's automatic cover system also works remarkably well, but the crappy AI behaviour is a glaring fault. You'll easily survive most skirmishes against alien dipsticks unless you bump the difficulty to hard but don't expect your squad mates to lend much of a hand, even the most rudimentary tasks seem to utterly baffle them. I lost track of all the times I got shot in the back of the head by a buddy or had a team-mate walk right into my line of fire. Your boneheaded mates resurrect as soon as the encounter is over, but this level of stupidity is hard to accept from a game that does everything else so damn well.
The remaining quibbles, like the indefensible use of the back button for grenade tossing, and the ridiculously long elevator rides, pale in comparison to this one conspicuous problem.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerVIC
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- CCSystems Engineer (Systems Architect/Designer)VIC
- CCProject Support SpecialistVIC
- FTWeb Developer/ReportsNSW
- TPCrystal Reports DeveloperSA
- CCTest LeadQLD
- TPDigital Strategist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- CCIT Infrastructure ArchitectNSW
- TPOracle Consultant - CC&BQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystVIC
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- TPAgile CoachNSW
- FTBranch Practice Manager - SecurityQLD
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP/ Nakisa Implementation ConsultantQLD
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - Wealth AdviceNSW
- TPSoftware EngineerWA
- FTHead of ApplicationsVIC