The recent demo edition to BioWare’s sci-fi adventure, was release on Valentine’s Day. I snagged it to take a quick peak into the Mass Effect universe, to only find the traditional RPG with a twist.
Starting out wary for my system specs, I dove head first into the single player demo. First off the bat, I wasn’t really impressed by the texturing. Seems really flat; of course the developers expressed ridges of clothing and such, likely just hardware or software limitations on how far they can push the engine to render. With everything maxed out, I was just hoping it would be more stunning than it led on. The demo takes you through two parts of the story to exemplify the roleplay dialogue in cutscenes to the contrasting fast pace combat. Scrambling to move cover to cover is somewhat hard when being shot at from all sides; but when it comes moving to cover to cover, there are plenty of it from walls to columns and the occasional desk here and there. Though indestructible, they come very handy in co-op play. Not much to really comment on it, just your usual single-player in third person.
The co-op experience is a nice touch to the game. In simplest terms, it’s one of those zombie wave deals; but with guns. With the two maps on hand, both provide the level of gameplay I think they want to release; a bit of long range and CQC (Close Quarter Combat). Weapon selection at first seems grim, but all the defaults. You got your usual weapons (despite the nomenclature.) Your know? Sniper rifles, assault rifles, machine guns, pistols, shotguns and submachine pistols (would be submachine “gun” but it seems the character stance in using them are similar to pistols;) anything under the rain in “Mass Effect” form. It pains me to say it, the recoil and damage seems to reflect on the advantages the weapons provide; so no automatic pistol sniper grenade rifle. Though I am hopeful this isn’t the “final” release candidate. The shotgun does have a spread, however it seems like it targets one NPC. Certain pistol upgrades change up the sidearm to a handheld sniper rifle and with the right skills, it can be comparatively the same if not better. Aside from bickering the about the arsenal, the cover system needs a bit of a change considering actions and taking cover is the same button (default the space bar…yes, no bunny hopping). Though the art in it is its simplicity since the only buttons you really use is WASD, keyboard numbers for skills and offhands, the obvious R button for reload. To encourage teamplay, the niftiness of seeing through walls where your teammates helps considering no map or compass is provided to navigate. Then again these things would be overkill so the game forces you to run through blind spots to link up with your buddies unless it’s a wide open space and they’re crouching behind the only cover. What’s disappointing though I mentioned about the cover system is there is little to no incentive for cover besides a really quick way to get your shield to regenerate. Of course from what I’ve seem, there is a bit of a weapons accuracy increase though it would have more in terms of intrinsic purposes. Though it would make sense to be exposed to give it some challenges.
Definitely not innovative nor impressive, but it terms of it’s entertainment value; it’s seems rather fun despite the two maps I have to play over and over again. Hopefully the full release will have more than three or four considering on the easiest difficulty setting, it would take under 20 minutes to finish. Maybe a good idea to put the hatred of the Origins content service aside for this one.