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Mass Effect
Released: December 19, 2008
Price: $5.99 (80% off)

As Commander Shepard, you lead an elite squad on a heroic, action-packed adventure throughout the galaxy.

Discover the imminent danger from an ancient threat and battle the traitorous Saren and his deadly army to save civilization. The fate of all life depends on your actions!
•2007 New York Times Game of the Year
•A Stunning universe with high resolution graphics and textures
•Controls and interface optimized for PC gamers
•Includes free additional content face off against the horrific Batarians
•Customize your character and embark on a pulse-pounding adventure in an immersive open-ended storyline
•Incredible real-time character interaction
•Thrilling, tactical combat as you lead an elite squad of three
•Interplanetary exploration of an epic proportion
Enjoyed the Star Trek-esque focus on story, character and world-building over action. But, there was still a fair amount of action, and it was unfortunately rather poorly implemented, particularly inventory management. Great voice acting.
The beginning gives decent gameplay and story - though it lacks a bit in the quest objective tracking, especially for the quest to scan 24 keepers. You just have to hope you run into them all during other objectives.

After leaving the initial station they give you far too many solar systems and planets to choose from, which gives the feeling that your choice doesn't matter. At least initially they should have limited it to a few important systems - and slowly opened up the galaxy. Navigation within galaxies themselves also seems unweildy, and it's annoying that you can click on planets which you aren't even able to visit.

The combat works fairly well, although your character doesn't return to cover quite as fast as possible - which can be annoyingly deadly at times. This probably has to do with the smooth animations - if you tap to move forward he takes a full step, unlike games like World of Warcraft where you can move in fractions of a step.

The skills and conversation menu are well thought out, and the ability to train extra skills that allow you to intimidate or flatter the person you're conversing with are satisfying. Overall the game has a few interesting aspects, but also a couple annoying flaws. It's probably still worth a look though.
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