With that said though, a few aspects to the gameplay do tend to hint towards the game's console origin. For starters, while the inventory system was slightly enhanced for the PC version, it still remains a little "console-fied" and simplistic by PC RPG standards. This also extends somewhat to the upgrades and other items, which have a few basic stats and that's it. Another area which is also a little simplified is the actual environment and level designs themselves, which tend to be quite linear
and generally a little lacking in detail. I can understand level design remaining the same from console to PC as any significant changes in its linearity would have basically required a total game redesign, but other aspects like the background activity could have probably been enhanced going to the PC. It's not that the environments are terribly lacking, but for a game based in the future with multiple races of aliens and humans coming together, you'd expect a little more 'hustle and bustle' honestly. On
top of this, the environments are recycled quite a bit and can become a little repetitive and increasingly bland.
Overall though the graphics are definitely pleasing to the eye, although you will definitely need a well endowed gaming system to get the most out of this game. On the system used in this review (check below for specs), we could run in high settings for most options but not the absolute highest, and even then the occasional frame rate stutter wasn't rare. It all seems worth it though when the game is at its visual best, which is during character interactions, as the facial detail is something else - definitely
a 'seen to be believed' deal. Sound wise the game does the job well with effects and the occasional background music, which is always complimentary to the situation and very in tune with the 'future space' theme.
Mass Effect is a quality RPG/action title that feels at home on the PC platform despite its console origins. The game definitely has that BioWare RPG seal of approval going for it, and there is little doubt even fans of 'built for PC' RPGs will find a great single player experience here. There are a few let downs that perhaps are result of the game's console design limitations such as the linear and slightly repetitive environments, but what is lacking in Mass Effect just doesn't stack up
in comparison to what isn't lacking, like the great storyline, the awesome character interaction and the versatility of the gameplay. This is definitely a series to watch out for and hopefully any sequel will see a PC release slightly quicker than the delay seen here, but in the mean time Mass Effect PC comes highly recommended from us for any PC gamer out there looking for a great blend of role playing, action and cinematic storyline.
Review system specifications
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Mobo: MSI P965 Platinum S775
RAM: Corsair PC2-5300 4GB (1GB x 4) DDR2
Video: Gigabyte 8800GTS 320MB (Thanks )
Driver: Nvidia Forceware 175.85
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
Settings: 1280x1024 (if supported), 4x AA, 16x AF