Well, ok, I guess it's time for me to eat my words regarding if and when Mass Effect would be coming to PC. Apparently it is, and it's coming far sooner than anyone expected. Like May.
Apart from being ported to the PC where, you know, you might not experience as much terrible texture pop-up, the announcement over at VoodooExtreme mentions the following updates, which I assume were made solely to piss me off, as they fix my main complaints with the game:
- Optimized controls designed specifically for the PC.
- High resolution visuals â€“ Mass Effect for the PC features highly detailed textures, characters and environments.
- Fully customizable controls â€“ PC gamers can re-map the control scheme any way they like.
- Run & Gun Control â€“ Players can assign biotic powers or skills to â€˜hot keysâ€™ allowing them to play Mass Effect with a heavier focus on action.
- New decryption mini-game.
- New inventory screen GUI and functionality â€“ The enhanced inventory system makes it easier for players to equip and modify their weapons and armor.
So lets look at that list a bit more in-depth:
1) Better prettier pretties (and probably less popup). Hopefully the PC will be able to handle the U3 engine better than the 360. It sucked - a lot - to walk into a building and have everyone skinned in super ultra low-res shit because the 360 just couldn't keep up. It really distracted from the fact that otherwise the game was beautiful.
2) Better controls. The radial menu was neat, but it meant that without pausing the action you couldn't switch what power you were using. The 360 just plain didn't have enough buttons, and now that's not a problem.
3) New Decryption mini-game. Anything (seriously, anything) will be better than the "press this button when we tell you to" crap that was in the 360 release. Mass Effect had the hands-down worst unlock/hack/disarm/decrypt/etc minigame I've ever seen in any RPG ever. With stuff like the pipe-dreams clone from Bioshock out there, "LOL PRES BUTAN WIN OMNIGEL" was just pathetic.
4) New Inventory UI. To go along with the completely inexcusable decryption minigame, the inventory UI was also one of the worst in the history of videogames. Major problems? No sane sorting of any matter, lag (Yes, lag. I'm not joking. It would lag between selecting each item because it had to load and skin what the item looked like, even though it was effectively just a crate.), cryptic submenus, a hard-limit on how many items you can hold, no collapsing of items (Shit, guys. Final Fantasy has had this forever. Why do my sixteen Rail Extension XVII's have to each take up their own slot?), I could complain about it for a long-ass time. Since you couldn't - for instance - sort by type, it was incredibly hard to tell what lame stuff you should be selling. And since modding stuff was hidden in a sub-sub-menu, I've heard reports of people making it through the entire game without doing any modding because they simply couldn't figure out how.
No word on if the PC release will include the content from the March DLC, but it probably will, since the content is pretty much in the can right now, and it wouldn't make sense for them to release it as a separate expansion.
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