Mass Effect for the PC sooner than later?

On other forums this morning, I read that on EA’s retailers website, Mass Effect for the pc is popping up. Wonder if they’ll at least fix the combat?

I wouldn’t bet on it. But at least the inventory will get a default fix just by being able to scroll and click on objects.

What was wrong with the combat?

It didn’t play like <insert preferred OTS action game here>.

Hold that thought about the PC release, Rob.

I liked the combat in ME fine.

I thought the combat was the best part of the game. :(

I hope they tune up the higher level combat. Watching my wife hit the higher levels was really what stopped me from heading down that road myself to achievement whore.

Most of the game was fine for what it was, but the higher level (eg insanity/level 40+) was boring and broken. Nothing like having to save and reload to respawn the one guy you need to kill because he disappeared into the ceiling with singularity or lift. For the fiftieth time in as many combats. It’s almost as fun as the “guy who got blown off the cliff, now you have to find him once you realized that’s why you haven’t beat the mission” minigame.

Bad team mate AI, bugs, and just random frustrating WTF spikes in difficulty.

There were also some engagements preceded by unskippable cutscenes, so reloading a save forced you to sit through some theater before you could take another stab at it.

Loved the combat (and the rest of the game) but I’ll likely pick it up on PC just in the hopes it will smooth out the technical issues (framerate and texture pop-in).

I encountered the lift/throw/whatever “where the hell did that guy go??” bugs only sporadically in four playthroughs. Yes it happened and was incredibly annoying, but it wasn’t a show-stopper for me. That’s purely anecdotale, of course, and it’s definitely something that needs to be corrected. I just didn’t find it to be something that made the game unplayable in any way.

For difficulty spikes, do you mean that you found the difficulty was reasonably monotonically increasing, but didn’t do so smoothly (i.e., cruised along then BLAM it’s a shitload harder), or that there were random encounters in the game significantly more challenging than what came either before or after them? I didn’t experience the former on any difficulty setting, but I can definitely remember of a few of the latter. Interestingly, I found this far more true on my first playthrough on the normal difficulty (whatever it’s called, the one before “Hardcore”) than I did when I went back through on the more difficult settings.Maybe it was a tuning question and the got it closer to balanced only for the tougher settings?

Generally speaking, I like the combat a lot. It wasn’t “ZOMGAMAZING!” but there was enough variety in tactics available to make me pay attention to who I was fighting and choose what to do accordingly rather than just run in guns blazing and see what I killed after the fact like in so many FPS type combat scenarios.

That said, please, please, please let me set up automated groupings of weapon (and armor?) mods that I can swap out with one menu selection. Going through every party member and switching back and forth between tungsten and shredder rounds all the time was painfully tedious. I want to set up those “sets” of mods ahead of time and select a menu item to tell the team, “everybody switch to geth gear.” Another gripe about the simplistic inventory system.

I like the combat enough (certainly better than Jade Empire), though I cannot get past the battle with Benezia. If I haven’t died 20 times, I haven’t died once.

Stupid commandos keep nailing me with Biotics then shoot me when I’m writhing on the ground. Last night, I actually killed 3 or 4 (or maybe even 5) of the commandos, but by then I was so badly wounded Benezia finished me off with one shot.

Very frustrating.

What difficulty? You know, you can turn it down for the battle and then turn it back up.

Depending on when you fight that battle (since that planet can come early or late) it is pretty hard.

Get the hive queen’s holding tank in between you and Benezia, and she won’t be able to hit you with anything. The starting location is a killzone.

If they couldn’t be bothered to fix inventory when they ported KOTOR to the PC*, I see no reason to expect them to fix inventory in this game either. Might violate some MS-enforced “don’t make the PC version better than the console” rule. Even scroll wheel support may be asking for too much.

  • And please don’t quote me the “co-developed on both platforms” business. If it walks like a port, swims like a port, and quacks like a port, it’s a port.

It was constant and everywhere in high level, strong biotic parties, and frequent enough to take the shine off the rest of the somewhat monotonous combat (again, especially at higher level…tactical options actually get less interesting as you level). Occasionally, I even managed to have NPCs, particularly Wrex, get lost in walls after an explosion or enemy biotic. That’s in contrast to the relatively minor clipping bugs that got me stuck while walking in the citadel or the ice planet base once or twice, which I don’t think are a big deal.

The NPC AI was horrible, and I expect the enemy AI was equally bad, but I didn’t mind it as much because it probably happened offscreen. Blocking shots over and over again, firing into walls repeatedly and endlessly, and forget about not micromanaging their powers. Oddly, I was more tolerant of it in KOTOR where the combat was pitifully easy and you could shift to the other characters in a fight/fall back to them if you get wasted. But it feels like they added a lot of complexity without improving it much.

For difficulty spikes,
I just thought the speed with which certain situations could go from fine to terrible without a whole lot of feedback to guide you encouraged a very boring, very safe play style that I don’t enjoy. But I enjoy reloading less, so I went with the safe route most of the time.

I liked the game, played a lot of it, and really appreciate it for giving my wife a game she really enjoyed (like 960 gamerscore points worth). But for all of the apparent effort (eg achievements, new game+, different classes, DLC) they put into the replayability of the game, I see very little incentive to ever go back to it after 1.8 playthroughs.

I don’t have very high hopes for the PC port, considering the UI was crappy even by console standards.

The stick aiming controls on the 360 were bunk compared to other FPS games. Though you probably wouldn’t notice unless you set the auto aim to low.

The late game fights were really lame. Everybody turns on damage reduction, yet there is no real way to undo it or bypass it. So you get into these weird firefights were everybody shoots at each other and do no damage.

I found getting knocked by biotics to be really annoying, as you are unable to issue commands, or heal. Being able to switch characters would alleviate this, and getting rid of the silly main character death == gameover. They have the Physics Threshold armor upgrades that almost completely negated this though, so in hte end game it didn’t matter.

And i agree the complete lack of feedback in the game is really annoying. I hit dpad up, left or right, and all i hear is a little beep noise. I quickly forgot which dpad thing did which. When you’re taking damage or your shields are down its hard to tell. When you’re in a hazardous environment, there is little feedback beyond the little bar at the bottom, so i’d find myself taking damage for mysterious reasons until i noticed it.

The cover system was mostly useless and annoying, i found myself getting stuck on walls more often then i wanted to use them as cover. Grenades might have been cool, if they weren’t assigned to the start button…

Oh yeah, and i got stuck on geometry twice, and was forced to reload to an earlier save.
etc etc.

I’d like to see if but not according to Bioware:

Will Mass Effect be coming to the PC?

Chris Priestly: As we’ve said before, Mass Effect is planned as an Xbox 360 exclusive title. This means we are not working on a PC version and have no plans to start making one.
It is possible that one could be made in teh future, but it would certainly be a wait of a number of years before we even start to make one, let alone actually release such a thing.

I’m not saying that waiting is 100% a bad idea. I never thought we would make a PC version of Jade Empire, but now we are. But if you want to wait multiple years just to find out that we are not making one, then it’s up to you.

Personally, I don’t own a 360 either. But I take a look at Mass Effect which is already 3 games that I want to own (the original, plus our announced 2 sequels), I look at the content that’ll be available for ME through Xbox Live, and I look at the other titles on the 360 that I’d liek to play (even though I’m a PC RPG geek, I do play a few sports games which I find work better on platforms), and I’m going to buy one.

Whether you get one or not, it should be a careful decision for you, or for anyone. We have a number of staff here at the office with old “next big thing” consoles they bought for only 1 or 2 games gathering dust. Look at the titles available, look at your finances and see what the right choice is for you.