Mass Effect is the newest RPG from Bioware. This is Bioware's follow up release to Knights of the Old Republic II which came out a few years back to a very warm reception. In fact it quickly became Game of the Year according to numerous sources. Riding on the coat tails of KOTOR2 has driven the hype of this game quite high. I purchased Mass Effect within a few days of its release expecting the game to become a new favorite rather quickly. If you are not familiar with an RPG style game then simply understand that the camera view is third person and you get to choose the dialog your character uses by a few predetermined reactions to the dialogue of others in the game.
Bioware really dropped the ball with this release. Graphics are stunning. They are so good in fact that the Xbox360 (along with ps3 and most PCs) struggles to keep up. Unfortunately the console struggles so much to keep up that gameplay is ruined by stutter. Combat can escalate into a confusing flash of images at times. The frame rate is not impossible to deal with but at times it drops so low that the game becomes unresponsive and actually freezes. The reviewers on common game sites weigh this problem lightly as they believe the common player does not mind such things. Unfortunately the overloading graphics on a game that suffers from unresponsive combat ruins the game. This game needs serious revision before it becomes worth buying. The visuals are amazing and with better hardware the game would look great. The gameplay feels tedious and clumsy and not worth the high cost of the game.
After playing through the entire game I have decided that the game is so disappointing that I cannot fathom the curse words that would best articulate my frustration. I forgave the game for its horrible playability. I had high hopes for the story and knew that Bioware could redeem themselves if they met the level of epic RPG gaming that KOTOR2 embodied. I was naiive. I completed all major and most minor missions of the campaign within 20 hours. This was on hard. I am no video game savant. This is unacceptable. I laughed when the credits began to roll. I thought I had finished the extended tutorial. I recommend this game to my enemies only.