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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best RPG I have ever played!
I'm not going to touch on the SecuROM issues. That's been well covered by other posters - if you can get it without SecuROM (e.g. through Steam), do so. However you get it (legally), get this game.

The first in an expected trilogy of games from Bioware, Mass Effect is nothing short of exceptional. It is probably the first RPG I've played where I immediately...
Published on 28 Jun 2009 by J. Hotchkiss

versus
135 of 151 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spolit by the SecuROM DRM...
After recently rebuilding my PC I decided I had to try out with some new games - Mass Effect was the first I bought.

I'd read about issues with the DRM (digital rights management) software, but as I'm used to BioWare games and have played most of their releases on the PC I wasn't worried.

That was my first mistake, after receiving the game from...
Published on 2 July 2008 by matt...


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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best RPG I have ever played!, 28 Jun 2009
By 
J. Hotchkiss - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I'm not going to touch on the SecuROM issues. That's been well covered by other posters - if you can get it without SecuROM (e.g. through Steam), do so. However you get it (legally), get this game.

The first in an expected trilogy of games from Bioware, Mass Effect is nothing short of exceptional. It is probably the first RPG I've played where I immediately wanted to create a new character just to see how my choices in the first playthrough might have gone differently. This game is extremely deep, contains a great deal of non-linear play, and has incredible replay value.

To give that a little context, I have quite a few classic great games that every so often I'll pull out and replay, that never really get old. Mass Effect left me not wanting to wait.

First, sound: virtually all dialogue is voice-acted, with some big names providing a professional touch to an incredibly immersive experience. There's a fair amount of background sound & dialogue, some of which can be quite humourous. The music is well done and has its own unique touch about it, something that is increasingly hard to do with so many sci-fi games & movies.

Graphically, the game is a joy to behold. You may have to play with some settings to get it quite right (shadows by default for example can display incorrectly on some people's machines) but as a general rule, the visuals are most impressive. One aspect worth mentioning is that the graphics aren't super-realistic, and this more stylised approach actually made the places and people seem more real to me.

The real beauty of the game is in the gameplay and depth. There are countless choices to be made about how you progress through the game, from character creation onwards. As is inevitable with RPGs, there is a certain bias towards the 'good' and the 'jerk' approaches, but there are some genuine 'shades of grey' decisions to be made, and some that actually felt like tough calls to make. The free downloadable content adds to this further. Dialogue is innovatively managed and there are almost always multiple ways to handle any situation. For me, one of the signs of a great story-telling game is where you respond emotively to a game, where you start to care even a little bit about the story, the characters, and your impact on them. Mass Effect definitely achieves this.

Whilst a few aspects of the gameplay in the middle portions of the game can get a tad repetitive (something Bioware acknowledged when starting work on Mass Effect 2), overall the experience is of a developing storyline within a vast galaxy, and the hundreds of little hints and details dropped throughout it make up for the occasional planet or building looking nigh-on identical. Combat is varied, fast-paced, but doesn't really degenerate into a first-person shooter, with assistance to aiming and the ability to pause, should the player so desire. Given the nature of the varied classes in character creation, you'll have to play at least twice just to properly experience all the different potential combat options.

In summary, get this game, if only to have experienced it. In slightly longer summary, Mass Effect is an investment well worth making. It's a game that delivers a superb story, excellent replay value, good gameplay, and by all accounts is merely the start of a three part series where you will pick up where you left off previously. That innovative approach to gaming is by itself worthy of applause.
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135 of 151 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spolit by the SecuROM DRM..., 2 July 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
After recently rebuilding my PC I decided I had to try out with some new games - Mass Effect was the first I bought.

I'd read about issues with the DRM (digital rights management) software, but as I'm used to BioWare games and have played most of their releases on the PC I wasn't worried.

That was my first mistake, after receiving the game from Amazon I was surprised to see that my machine wasn't reading the discs, oh well I thought, there must be a fault in the manufacturing process...

I returned the discs to Amazon and the customer service team dispatched a replacement so quickly it arrived the following day.

Unfortunately I encountered the same problem with the second set of DVDs!

Thinking that lightning rarely strikes twice, I started a very thorough search of the internet to try to address the problem, as well as contacting the game's publishers EA who I am still awaiting a response from.

It turns out that the issue stems from the DRM software that appears to prevent certain DVD burners from working successfully with the game - in my case it stopped the drive reading them all together!

Eventually I managed a workaround having to use a 6 year old DVD ROM drive to install the game.

Thankfully the game doesn't need the discs to play so I could go back to using the DVD burner in the machine, and I was able to enjoy the Mass Effect experience - which is fantastic, looks brilliant and so far has run flawlessly!

While I'm only part way through the game I thought it only fair to post the issues I had with installing it, as well as saying thank you to Amazon for their fantastic customer service!

It seems a shame that yet again the DRM software has taken up the majority of a review and overshadowed the developers hard work in putting together an excellent gaming experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow starter but worth it!, 7 Aug 2011
By 
zoo keeper "menagerie" (Romsey) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I bought this game after playing Mass Effect 2. ME2 was among the best games I have played in 15 years of gaming, so I wanted to try the prequel.

As is often the case, this earlier game felt clunky in comparison. The interface was clumsy compared to ME2. The graphics were OK but the scenery was dull. The rooms were minimalist, to say the least, with bare concrete walls and floors.

Until ME2 I had always lost my way on RPGs. The same was almost true of this game. I often had trouble locating my objective in the early stages. It was often off the map and I bumbled around until I found where to go.

I hated the Mako missions. The bouncing about over barren terrain felt very retro.

It appeared to be worth only two or maybe three stars, allowing for its age. I only persevered so I could import a Shepard with different background circumstances to the default character when starting from scratch in ME2.

However, after the first essential missions, it suddenly came alive. I found myself sucked into the game. I became used to the interface and started to get the feel of where I had to go. I continued to ignore most of the side missions but I was riveted by the main story. I started to really enjoy upgrading my team. It just became better and better.

The final part of the story was absolutely breathtaking. I hear they are going to make a film based to this version of Mass Effect. It should be stunning. It was time for bed but couldn't stop! It built up to a crescendo. I was glued to the conversations and cut scenes. I nearly forgot to create the different circumstances for ME2.

I was so impressed, I've just started it again!

I would be happy to award five stars for the story alone. It was brilliant. Sadly, I had to knock off a star because of very slow start.

If you buy this game. Persevere! You won't regret it.

PS. After running the configuration utility in ME2, I imported my character from ME. Yes...It made a difference!

You need to run the configuration utility first (on the opening screen of ME2)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massively Effective!, 25 Mar 2010
By 
G. Baxter "Gillesibub" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I bought a copy of this game after playing and completing ME2. This first installment had always been recommended to me, and I knew I was already a fan of the style of play, from KOTOR 1 and 2.

A broad and detailed storyline, good voice acting and an in-depth history for this universe all make for a richer experience as you take control of Shepard, and make it easy to integrate yourself into the game. There are dilemmas presented within this first installment that, should you play part 2 (and the future 3rd episode), impact those story arcs as well. As I said, I had already completed ME2 before tackling this one but, on completion I felt it worth my while to import my level 50 character (as opposed to the somewhat disappointingly level-capped level 30 ME2 characters) and start again. It made for an incredible game, with many characters cropping up from this first chapter, and leaving me even more pleased with my choices at some of the more important moral choices the game presents you with.
A reliable and sturdy gaming engine provides for a pleasing visual experience, despite its age at this point in time.

I heartily recommend this game to any sci-fi fan, or someone looking for a little more involvement from their gaming.
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85 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful buying second hand!, 18 Jun 2008
By 
Clever Spud (Birmingham) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
It's a great game with an awful DRM scheme. If you know what you're doing and aren't likely to be changing your computer in the next few years then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

But whatever you do don't buy it second hand unless you're sure that the game key you're buying hasn't had all its installs used up. This game should, in my opinion, be banned from listing for sale used because the DRM limits the number of times you can install the game so at most you'll be able to install a used copy only 2 more times. Caveat emptor.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun 40ish hours!, 18 April 2010
By 
K. J. Cheetham (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I recently finished Dragon Age: Origins, so thought I'd move onto another RPG - this time one without elves, dwarfs and mages. So I downloaded Mass Effect from Steam, figuring I want to play Mass Effect 2 at some point this year, but would be best if I played the original one first. I had no problems playing it under Windows 7 (64-bit), though there were one or two minor glitches.

I played it as a vanguard, on medium difficulty, then specialised as a shock trooper. I wanted to play with biotics, but not rely solely on them. I didn't have a manual, but didn't need it at all anyway as everything seemed pretty straight forward, though I am used to BioWare style games. I did sometimes wonders if it was a bit too easy, I probably should have tried it on hard in that respect.

I had all the graphics settings to maximum, and admit some of the planetary landscapes were quite pretty. I quite liked the driving sections, even though many people thought otherwise. The rover was certainly... bouncy. What I didn't like though was the length of the elevator sequences. The elevators were a good idea in principle, but it was frustrating not being able to move about and they took too long.

I did the bulk of the side quests I believe, but towards the end it was starting to get a little bit tedious. Always the same freighter, underground base, or same mine, etc. Now I can understand standard freighters in the alliance, but mines?! They could have made those more interesting layouts.

The combat was quite fun, with an overheating mechanic rather than having to go out and find ammo. There was even some text explaining how the weapons and some other technology worked. It was a bit annoying at first not being about to directly control squad members, but I got used to it after a while.

I seemed to acquire too much money from selling weapons, and maxed out the credits at one under 10 million before the end of the game. Everywhere I go I seemed to pick up crates of weapons!

Lots of random characters were willing to spout their life stories, but I would have liked more dialogue from Joker and the navigator on the Normandy personally. There was an element of making moral choices, which was good. It think in the end I was about half paragon, half renegade, though slightly more renegade; but I didn't get the achievement for sufficient points in either.

When visiting random planets looking for minerals and artefacts, it would have been nice to have some kind of indication of systems I'd already visited. I ended up writing it down on a bit of paper where I'd been!

Overall I'd say it was better than KOTOR II by far, but not as good as the original KOTOR (in terms of story), and on par with Dragon Age: Origins. The main advantage over Dragon Age in my opinion was the fact the main character actually talks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mass effect -2011, 5 Jun 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
i heard a lot about this game so decided to buy it recently. Delivery was quick.
The game itself was incredible,storyline, depth and replay value. the graphics are decent. You have to remember that its a 2007/08 game so don;t expect cutting edge. My i3 laptop with ati radeon hd 5470 graphics card played this fine, with full graphics at 720p. frame rate suffered a little though in a few fog intensive parts of the game. Make sure you download the 1.02 patch right away for glitches, and especially if you have windows 7 64bit otherwise the game won't even start
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Simply Fantastic Game, 9 Jun 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
There is no greater joy than steeping into the shoes of Commander Shepard and taking command of your very own ship and crew. This game is definitely one of all time greatest RPGs of all time, and the depth of the game is simply astonishing. I can't really describe any of the characters or plot, since you forge your own story. A must-have game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wondrous - But A Few Flaws, 8 Jan 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I purchased Mass Effect after playing Mass Effect 2, wanting to go back and see how the story begins.

Well I have to say I'm not disappointed. While ME isn't quite as polished as the sequel in terms of graphics or gameplay, it is still a wonderful gaming experience that hooks you and doesn't let go. On balance there's probably slightly more of an RPG element particularly at the beginning when you're on The Citadel. The combat is a bit trickier as ME lacks the shoot from cover feature of the second instalment. That does result in the odd death loop but nowhere near as frustrating as COD. The dialogue system gives plenty of options to play the game as Paragon or Renegade, or a little bit of both including at least one mission where you need to choose which member of your team is sacrificed.

I enjoyed being able to take the rover down on to the planet surface, albeit as others have mentioned the landscapes and buildings do get a bit samey.

One slight criticism is that having picked a particular class of character you can only effectively aim one weapon - the pistol. Assault and shotguns are untrained which mean no precision aiming and you end up spraying ammo everywhere, when the firepower of the pistol isn't always enough. The upgrading process for weapons is also cumbersome as this has to be done manually for each weapon and each character. Again if you made certain choices as regards your character, you can't equip certain items such as medium or heavy armour.

I bought the two DVD set and there doesn't seem to be much clue as to what Disc 2 actually does, as the game installed and ran from Disc 1. It should be noted you will probably need to download a patch from Bioware to get the installer working on Vista, a bit of an oddity given this is still a relatively new title.

Overall however the criticisms are minor and as I approach the climatic missions of the game looking forward to taking my developed character forward and restarting ME2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but has annoying flaws, 6 Mar 2010
By 
K. Piwowarski "haerdalis" (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Having spent 3 weeks looking for a copy of this game in GAME stores HMVs and whatnot, I nabbed it immediatelly upon seeing it in store once (didn't want to play the sequel without knowing what happened in the first - a good decision on my part I might add).
It installed without problems on my win 7 pc (although later, due to a bug in ME2 it got deleted when I removed ME2 from my HD) and ran like a charm - no issues with DRMs or performance. My main gripe with it was very shallow interaction with the team members and the time spent driving the mako up steep hills in search of mineral deposits and anomalies.
Outside the game, I had some issues finding updates for the game - I only got the patch for it thanks to a link on the discussion boards, otherwise, navigating the website was a nightmare.

Those issues aside, I found the game to be captivating and lots of fun, the freedom of exploration is great (bar the 'oh my god why cant the mako drive without jumping all the time' moments), combat is fast paced and the main plot (though short) is very well written with excellent dramatic moments.
If you plan on getting ME2 and haven't played this one before, make sure you do get at least 1 playthrough of ME1. Not only will you be rewarded with a better character in ME2 but the game will be enriched with lots of references to the 1st game, you may otherwise miss out on.
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