Deconstructing the game: Mass Effect

Gunplay is iffy: This is probably something I should have started writing about earlier, what with it being a core part of Mass Effect, but do not let the positioning of this part confuse its importance; there are so many issues with the gunplay.

First and foremost, getting into cover is a pain. I didn’t know how to do it and again, had to look it up online. Even then I still would have issues clinging to a wall that is next to me as opposed to the thing right in front.

Most enemies just charge the player, or stay as far away as possible. In the trip I made to Eden Prime, the first level of the game, I would fight geth that would be standing behind cover 100 feet or more away. Yet I could aim up and shoot with a shotgun and do decent damage and eventually kill them without any need to advance toward them. Then on the first level I played after getting the Normandy, enemies would wantonly charge at me or my party members just shooting and melee attacking (something I never figured out how to do, melee attack that is, another of those never explained bits) and would always dominate because of me not knowing how to fight back and the fact that the enemy was in such close proximity that my gun wielding compatriots didn’t know how to deal with the situation at hand.

I won’t belabor the fact by offering up any more details because those two situations pretty much sum up every fight in the game and will just leave you with the question, “Why is the gunplay so busted?” Unfortunately I really couldn’t tell you.

Can I get a Mini map? Please?: While running around I kept checking my map in several areas of the game because it wasn’t always clear where to go. I constantly found myself having to set my own markers, when it could have been much more helpful for the game to do so for me. Maybe I missed out on how to bring this up (if it exists)… but the game is so bad at telling me what to do and how to do it, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a plethora of things I never knew how to do, like the growing mound of things mentioned before.

The path toward good or evil is a little too transparent: While I like the conversations, there isn’t much “game” to them. You can pick the dialog that will generate the good or bad direction that you wish to take. You occasionally need the “Charm” or “Intimidate” options to get out of a situation that is “unwinnable”, but all there is to that process is making sure to put enough points in either of those options whenever you level up.