Game: Mass Effect Galaxy
Format: iPod touch/ iPhone
Mass Effect Galaxy is an iPod touch/iPhone game that roughly takes place between the events of Mass Effect and its soon-to-be-released sequel. The main character, Jacob, and his female accomplice Miranda play a role in the upcoming Xbox game. Although, BioWare have said that playing through Galaxy isn’t required to understand what’s going on in Mass Effect 2.
Galaxy features top down shooting action, in which the shooting is controlled automatically. Jacob locks on to targets, which can be changed by tapping on different enemies, and then fires at them. The player then tilts the iPod in the desired direction to make the character seek cover and avoid enemy fire. You can also select when to fire a grenade, break the enemies’ shields or temporarily paralyze them.
The combat is reminiscent of a tactical shooter, almost an RTS. The movement feels floaty and often, at least in the case of the iPod touch, the particle effects in combat cause the game to judder, making it difficult to enjoy the combat. None of the enemies provide a massive challenge as health, shield and weapon power-ups appear frequently. The few times that provided a challenge were because the game annoyingly begins the combat section whilst still loading, so enemies are free to blast the main character in the back whilst he’s focussed on a really exciting piece of wall.
It’s not all bad though. As with Mass Effect, the narrative sections are more enjoyable than the combat sections. Although not all of the lines are voiced, the qualityof those that are is certainly high. Whilst the game is quite short, the plot is interesting and has some good cut scenes. Don’t be put off by the simple graphical style; this is still Mass Effect (admittedly with no optional sex scene, apologies to Fox News). There aren’t any full motion cut scenes here, bu the style works for the game and conveys the story suitably.
Review Round Up:
Graphics: 3/5 The combat graphics might be simple, but it wins some points for having a good art style and fluid cutscenes
Sound: 2/5 A mix of uninspiring tracks, and repeated death shouts, although the few voiced lines are well acted.
Gameplay: 2/5 Nothing revolutionary, and a few glitches hinder enjoyment. Most of the time it works, but it’s still nothing to write home about.
Longevity: 2/5; You could play it through a second time and try a few different responses in conversations, but there’s no real replay value here.
Overall: 2 dead batarians out of 5. The combat isn’t fantastic, but can still be enjoyed. Whilst this game might not be for everyone, ME fans will enjoy the story and the tie-in to the upcoming sequel. And at £1.19, it’s worth a pop at least.
EXTRA: Registering the game with EA rewards you with something in-game in Mass Effect 2. Go for it fanboys!