PC gamers are getting one of the best RPGs ever made
PC gamers are getting one of the best RPGs ever made

PC gamers are getting one of the best RPGs ever made

It's been a few months since almost the entire VideoGamer.com staff locked themselves away to play through BioWare's epic sci-fi RPG Mass Effect. The memories will live with us for years, but some are yet to experience the deep characters, relationships and plot twists. If you're one of those gamers waiting for this May's PC release of Mass Effect, we've got good news. We recently saw the PC game in action and it's looking every bit as good as the Xbox 360 original - some might say even better.

Changes to the core game and story are minor at most, so for more details on the story, characters and all the other things we loved, head over to our thorough review of the Xbox 360 version. Our presentation focussed on the changes that have been made to the PC game, which are most evident in the controls and optimisations made for PC hardware.

Presented on a large projection screen and two plasma displays the graphical quality in this work in progress build is already on par with the 360 original. In certain areas the game will even exceed what we saw on the Microsoft console, with texture detail being the main area of improvement. Mass Effect on the Xbox 360 featured some of the best skin textures we've seen in a video game, but on the PC it's been taken up a level, and this is enhanced further by the extremely high resolutions high-spec PCs are capable of.

Something that hurt the visual presentation of the 360 game is the texture pop in - something that appears in many games built on the Unreal Engine 3. This was mildly present during our demo but the BioWare staff were quick to confirm that optimisations to improve this and all areas of the visuals are currently being made. When we get our hands on the game in May it should look extremely polished and run on modestly powerful rigs. Although no final system specs have been determined, BioWare did state that the game will run on systems bought within the last two years.

General optimisations are also being made to loading, although the elevator scenes that disguised loading in the Xbox 360 will largely still be intact. These scenes often included dialogue so cutting the time down would have resulted in major changes needing to be made to the storytelling.

Control wise, with the PC having a keyboard and mouse, things have been opened up considerably, allowing for faster gameplay. A quick slot menu allows you to access your biotic talents (Barrier, Stasis, etc) instantly without first entering a menu and weapons can be switched by pressing the F keys or by scrolling through with the square bracket keys. Although seemingly small changes, being able to play without constantly brining up a menu should make for a smoother gameplay experience. These changes are optional, so if you prefer to pause and bring up a menu, that is still an option.

On the other hand, the addition of individual squad control adds an extra level of depth and tactical play. Although the grouped squad commands in the Xbox 360 game didn't cause us too many problems, the PC game will allow you to direct each of your squad members individually. We'll have to get some hands-on time to figure out how much this will really add to the experience, but if you're the kind of gamer that wants to go into every battle with a tactical formation, you're in luck.

Keyboard and mouse controls allow for faster gameplay

Keyboard and mouse controls allow for faster gameplay

Other additions are more minor, but should add up to a better overall experience. The Mako controls have been redesigned allowing for independent camera control, a new decryption mini-game based on the Omni Decryption Tool used in the game has been added (although we didn't get a chance to see this in action), the inventory system has been enhanced and the number of save slots has been increased.

Extra content hit the Xbox 360 recently and more is planned, but if, when and how this will arrive on the PC is still to be determined. Our BioWare reps couldn't stress enough that they're committed to making sure PC gamers get the best Mass Effect experience that's possible, so we're confident the new content will come to the PC in the future - whether or not it'll come at a cost is something we just don't know. Also not on the agenda is mod support. Given the rich storytelling and reliance on fully voiced characters this isn't an area that BioWare feels is essential to the PC game.

With such a brilliant game to work from there's little doubt that Mass Effect for the PC will be anything less than amazing. PC gamers hoping for large scale changes are out of luck, but BioWare is doing a good job at taking the console game and turning it into the kind of experience PC gamers will be expecting. With PC optimisations continuing at a pace up until the game's May 2008 release date, EA and BioWare should deliver a game that all PC gamers will be very excited about.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

Andric's Avatar
Delete Post


Oh yes, bring on Mass Effect 2. Mass Effect was a real jewel. To think that I only found the game because the female characters voice was Jennifer Hale... Too bad I searched every inch of every planet on the first playthrough, there wasn't much to do on the second one :D
Posted 01:58 on 08 January 2009
Fred's Avatar
Delete Post


Is it possible to play Mass Effect on pc with a logitch joystick? I purchased this game yesterday and went through all the controller options and it seems as though I can't. Does anyone know a way around this. Thanks for the help!
Posted 17:47 on 20 November 2008
Nobodie's Avatar
Delete Post


I finished the game and i need to say it is the best game i ever played, and best EA game!! Well it pretty much blow me away when I First played it , I hardly wait for part 2 ! Buth it should let you to do free mod, when you just go around and kill/get ranks you need etc if you know what i mean..Anyways it isent good , it is fantastic!!! To be honest it is a new kinde of game , one never seen before ...
Is there a preoder for ME2 ?
Posted 00:44 on 01 September 2008
Whohash's Avatar
Delete Post


I think it's one of the best games ever for the graphics on either PC or Xbox think of the detail they'l have on ME 2 and 3!
Posted 20:53 on 16 August 2008
WireBug's Avatar
Delete Post


This is by far the best RPG I have played EVER! KoTOR series just got bumped to 2nd slot :-)

This game raised the bar for RPG experience and on the PC it is absolutely amazing to play. I would never play a game like this on a console.
Posted 15:45 on 12 August 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
Delete Post


all of you are nerds and need to stop argueing about stupid menial stuff that any sane person would just shut up and agree with
Posted 00:41 on 31 July 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
Delete Post


I just finished Mass Effect on the PC. It's been awhile since I played a game so riveting and so damn good. Kudos to Bioware, and I hope they release the PC version of ME2 relatively quickly after the 360 release....because I'm so there.
Posted 05:48 on 29 July 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
Delete Post


I would have loved to get Mass Effect on the PC, But my PC sucks and I have to set the graphics and video settings on all the new games I get to the lowest setting possible. :(
Posted 01:44 on 21 July 2008
Gobo's Avatar
Delete Post


I would like to turn my attention to Mass Effect 1 & 2... I think Mass Effect is by far the best game I have ever played within it's genre. The roleplaying aspects were flawless andthe shooter based action was much more creative and open than regular turn based action. Mass Effect has Star Wars and Tre, etc... eating out of it's pocket. Mass Effect all the way. BRING BACK JOKER, BRING BACK THE CINEMATICS, BRING MORE CUSTOMISATION! I am currently playing GTA 4 and it sucks... very much. MAss Effect has it all. I think I will play it again. Bye. I am American, but I live in Aus, and I am with you, Zz... Americans are quite the prudes. Bye, again.
Posted 02:01 on 10 June 2008
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ Wahoo

Originally Posted by Wahoo
I hated the controls on the 360 version. Not being able to jump was bad enough, but not being able to straffe was the killer.

I have idea what game you were playing because you can most definitely strafe, and there's no reason why you would want to jump. Unless you were expecting Halo, in which case, play Halo, not this.

PC version runs better on my PC than it does on 360. No pop in, no screen tearing, less loading. Plays more or less like any other shooter, no idea where this no strafing business has come from.
Posted 13:35 on 09 June 2008
Zzsolti's Avatar
Delete Post


Mass Effect is the most beautiful, most entertaining PC game of this year. I can't stop to play it! I'm not so young, I played with a lot of games for almost twenty years... Shooting, jumping, watching good graphics is not enough for me. I want to see a great story, I want to get emotions. This game gives me all these things. (The love scene is absolutly not pornographic! I do not understand those many prudish americans!!!)
I don't want to compare the PC and the Xbox360 version. The fact is, that Mass Effect runs on my PC smoothly on best video quality, when my PC is an old config. (7600GT, E6300) So great Job!
Today I preordered Mass Effect subtitled on my language, and I can't wait for ME2 :D
Posted 21:08 on 07 June 2008
-=Flapjack=-'s Avatar
Delete Post


I just played and beat Mas Effect and i got to say making love to a blue creature is way better than the the other girl.

Posted 23:34 on 02 June 2008
u4ea's Avatar


Anyone that claims the 360 is better than a PC is not only a fool, they are just downright wrong and that's not an opinion, it's a fact. And the fact is, right now and for about a year (including my PC) there have been PC's available for purchase/building that are drastically better than the xbox360. The 360 is just straight up dated technology.
Games better on console? Having to AIM with a JOYSTICK? Having to run at lower resolutions? Please be less ridiculous in your BS claims, kthx :D
Posted 01:39 on 02 June 2008
RecoN's Avatar


Im sorry i have to stop you there. Half life 2 was born on pc and ported to console. PC version will always rule thanks to the community inventing mods such as CSS and GMOD.

COD4 was the best version on pc, consoles won for multiplay, but as for gfx and the frps it was amazing for me on pc. Depends what system you have of course, but im being honest, 96% of games i own on consoles are worse than the PC.

I will be buying this game, il see if its better than my bros version on 360. But i wont be dissapointed either way.
Posted 00:30 on 02 June 2008
darkmaniac7's Avatar
Delete Post


yea pc def sucks esp since almost every reviewer for mass effect for the 360 bitch about lagginess jus beat it on pc never fell below 20 fps and pc games will lag w not enough gfx cpu power so anonymous you r an idiot
Posted 18:14 on 31 May 2008

Game Stats

System Requirements
Release Date: 05/06/2008
Developer: Bioware
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: RPG
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 12
Site Rank: 690 12
View Full Site