Monday, January 28, 2008

Scattered thoughts on Mass Effect

Just a few random thoughts as I've been going tonight. No real organization, just a bunch of non-connected thoughts.

I also discovered the secret handshake required to use the zoom function while driving around in the Mako (lunar lander you drive when you land on a planet): Hold left trigger, click right stick (2x for extra zoomed in).

I also seem to have discovered a pixel-hunter mini game on the planetary map. Apparently if you hunt around the pixels you might happen upon an unknown object that you can then inspect and survey. And then press B instead of X and exit the interface instead of zooming back out by mistake -- for the 30th time.

In other news... I just discovered that I can install 2 weapon upgrades per weapon. Not just one. Not sure if this is something that happens later in the game (i.e., after leveling) but there ya have it. Wow. That equip screen is a mess on so many levels. I think a large part of the issue is that you have some buttons that act on the targeted selection, some buttons that act on a static portion of the screen, and a variety of spinners and selectors and button options that do things as important as "upgrade item", as potentially costly as "convert to omni-gel", and as potentially useless as "toggle helmet on/off".

Oh... And sometimes "water" will kill you just the same as lava. No "get the frack out" just drive, drive, drive. Sometimes you're OK. But sometimes the water is too deep. And you die. Thank goodness I saved recently.

You can't help but realize how important writing can be as content in and of itself. A majority of the sub quest ("assignment") missions have been played out in a small handful of repurposed tunnels and rooms. Yes, they're on different planets -- but they've got the same floor plans and layouts. One time I'm discovering the body of a dead sister. The next I'm uncovering intelligence on a lost survey team. The only thing that's changed is a wad of text. Yet it's still strangely rewarding and keeps me plugging away on the assignments even though my next step on the main quest line is waiting for me.

Back to the main quest line. World looks lusher and more interesting. More custom content. It's refreshing and cool and reminds me that I'm in the land of meat (peas and carrots are left behind).

I love the hard choices the game is forcing me to make -- but I didn't always feel like it was clear what the impact of the choices were. I wonder if there were actually two paths (one via renegade->intimidate and one via paragon->charm) that I could've followed to resolve my two "impossible situations". I almost chose to eliminate the men-folk and go with an all female crew... That should have yielded an interesting achievement.

No comments: