Field Report: Mass Effect PS3

Today, PS3 owners will be able to get their hands on a long-awaited port: the original Mass Effect. We had a quick test of the retail version of the game, just to see how the Edge of Reality-developed port stands up.

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Today, PS3 owners will be able to get their hands on a long-awaited port: the original Mass Effect. After years of being exclusive to Xbox 360 and PC, the port can be purchased as part of the Mass Effect Trilogy at retail, or as a standalone $15 download on the PlayStation Store.

We had a quick test of the retail version of the game, just to see how the Edge of Reality-developed port stands up.

The original Mass Effect is based on an older version of the Unreal Engine, and the consequences are immediate from the get-go. Remember when you had half-hour long multi-gig installations on PS3? Well, get ready to make a sandwich as the retail version of Mass Effect for PS3 starts off with a mandatory 3GB install.

It's clear that the PS3 version of the game is a port (and not a remake), as many of the technical shortcomings of the original Xbox release are recreated in the PS3 version. There's still quite a bit of texture pop-in, a glitch that's all-too-familiar on many Unreal Engine releases. The elevator rides are still painfully slow, although the mandatory hard disk installation may have hastened them slightly.

Saving games also takes quite a while, with the game freezing for a significant period of time every time an auto-save kicks in. But considering the lengthy load times and infrequent checkpoints, you may want to create a manual save pretty regularly. PS3 players that are expecting ME1 to play like 2 or 3 will be in for a world of shock: the original Mass Effect definitely feels antiquated after becoming accustomed to the updated gameplay engine.

While the mandatory hard drive installation will frustrate some players, the PS3 version of Mass Effect is quite a solid port. The framerate is steady, there's brand new trophy support, and the inclusion of Bring Down the Sky into the main game is a nice addition for PS3 fans.


Field Reports provide our first-hand experience with the latest games and expansion packs. This report is based on the PS3 version of the game.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    December 4, 2012 2:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Field Report: Mass Effect PS3.

    Today, PS3 owners will be able to get their hands on a long-awaited port: the original Mass Effect. We had a quick test of the retail version of the game, just to see how the Edge of Reality-developed port stands up.

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      December 4, 2012 9:06 PM

      Dunno, getting this so late in the game, if you didn't play it on Xbox or PC what the hell. You either played it and are interested in it or not. I.E. I've never played Metal Gear games and at this point I'm never going back. The rosy tinted glasses of OMG best gaem EVARZ is reserved for things outside of that.

      But then again, when everyone else what kids and playing the Playstation, I was an adult playing PC games, so damn kids get off my lawn.

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        December 5, 2012 2:52 AM

        what a weird last sentence. congratulations on your advanced age?

      • reply
        December 6, 2012 5:41 AM

        or you could just watch the whole thing on youtube. GOTP plays like a movie anyway. Grab some popcorn and fit-to-screen

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      December 5, 2012 2:47 AM

      Woah, did not know this was coming out. Wonder why it took so long.

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        December 5, 2012 3:33 AM

        What's the wonder. Microsoft held the publishing rights for many years even after EA purchased BioWare.

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      December 5, 2012 8:24 AM

      Never understood why publishers never upgrade older games with newer game mechanics from the same series. They don't need to change content, just how it plays. Take this series for example. Mass Effect 1 played horribly compared to 2 or 3, so why not keep the content, but spend some resources by upgrading the engine and the mechanics to Mass Effect 2 or 3. Not only does it allow for a more cohesive unified experience but it would be such a drag to play (as much).
      I'm sure they would recuperate any monetary investment because gamers would be happy that the publisher went the extra mile for them.
      I think it worked out fairly well for White Knight Chronicles and Divine Divinity 2.

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        December 5, 2012 8:41 AM

        because it costs a bunch of time and money and saying 'I'm sure they would make back the money' doesn't make it so. How would they make back the money? Are a bunch of people going to rebuy Mass Effect 1 6 years later on a second platform for that? Are twice as many PS3 owners now going to play Mass Effect 1 purely because Bioware redid mechanics those players weren't even aware of in the first place?

        Citing White Knight Chronicles as an example is probably doing more to prove the opposite argument you want...

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          December 5, 2012 9:16 AM

          What I mean to suggest is that rather than simply ad some DLC and port an older game for new customers or even older ones. Dust the thing off and spend some time to make it right.
          Do the thing proper, White Knight Chronicles is a perfect example, sure it wasn't a blockbuster but the publisher went back to the drawing board and heard their fans. They reworked part 1 and if you bought part 2 you got both games for the price of 1. It wasn't a masterpiece but it showed effort.

          Remember games aren't like cars or pieces of art. They don't get better with age, they just simply get old. The shame of it is, that a story as good as Mass Effect can be lost in its mechanics. EA has their eyes on the future of the series? then it would behoove them to spend money and upgrade what was done before and market the shit out of it like M$ does.

          You watch as old and new customer come back for it. Maybe even give the series a little break before dropping the re-imagined trilogy.

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            December 5, 2012 12:27 PM

            I know what you meant, and I don't buy that it would materially increase sales enough to justify the effort, and it presumes the sequels are objectively mechanically better which is rarely the case across the board.

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      December 5, 2012 10:17 AM

      I wonder if they'll add in support to 2 that lets you import your save from 1 for the PS3.