Microsoft Game Studios Mass Effect
- The game features an absorbing story that is expertly told; there is a tremendous amount of depth to the game, from the character customisation options to the world at large; the overall presentation is also fantastic with pleasing visuals, a vibrant galaxy and an intuitive interface. Variety is also key: the game offers you a ton of things to do; we could go on and on here but we're running out of room so let us just say that Mass Effect is one of the best games we've played this year...or any other year for that matter
- The enemy and ally A.I. is surprisingly dim; having to use the Back button to throw grenades sucks; the elevator rides are also ridiculously long
If you are an RPG fan, you should definitely give this game a look; it is good enough that you'll find yourself disappearing deeper into Mass Effect each time you play and demanding the inevitable sequel long before it's due.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
It's been an amazing year for gamers as a veritable avalanche of quality games have hit store shelves in the past few months. But while all of them are worth playing, only a few have what it takes to rise to the top and attain "must own" status.
We've purposefully kept the finer details hidden because Mass Effect is a game that you have to play for yourself. Then, and only then, will you fully understand the game's depth and intricate nature.
BioWare is no stranger to producing excellent RPG experiences. Its catalogue includes hits such as the PC classic Baldur's Gate as well as the amazing Knights of the Old Republic. And now, the company is back with what might be its best effort yet: the stellar and sensational Mass Effect.
After the climactic discovery of alien ruins on Mars, mankind finally starts taking its first baby steps into the greater galactic neighbourhood, courtesy of a little understood technology that manipulates the fabric of space and time to facilitate interstellar travel. Around the same time, the "element zero" carcinogen gives rise to psychic abilities in 10 per cent of the population.
Two events of such magnitude might be sufficient for a simple space opera, but Mass Effect's universe is considerably more complicated. Between the seemingly arrogant posturing of the Council races, the instability of the outlying Terminus systems, and the myriad minor species that operate in between, the cosmos at large feels positively alive with political conflict and thinly-veiled hostility. Of course, where there's bureaucracy, there's corruption, and rooting it out isn't difficult solely because the perpetrators are hard to detect, but also because the long-term consequences of your own actions are so difficult to predict.
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PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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