Saturday, March 17, 2012

Looking Back on Mass Effect

Back in 2007 I was well into development on Frontlines: Fuel of War, which we were developing on the Unreal engine. Though Unreal had been around over a decade,  the newest version was just starting to see title launches on Xbox 360. So far we had seen a very successful launch with Gears of War, but from a developer standpoint, the engine was built to make that specific game. If you were creating a console title on Unreal then, you studied every other Unreal engine based game as it came out.
When Mass Effect originally came out, we swarmed it because it diverged the farthest from Gears in design to that date. Many developers heralded it as GOTY (though in tight competition with CoD4:MW and Portal).
Back then, I played up until Shepard becomes a Spectre and can travel anywhere in the galaxy. This is where my confederates claimed the game really started to become good. But I felt I had experienced enough of the game for my taste and moved on to other titles. To be honest, most developers only play the first few levels of a game before moving on.
Now that we're at ME3, I figured it was due time to go back and take a look at the series. I'll play from the beginning and evaluate the game purely on design choices, as many of the issues in previous reviews were due to limitations of the engine at the time (long elevators, odd animation for female characters, odd lighting issues, texture popping). I'll go back and record my progress and insights.
So here we go...

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