I just took the time to download and play the Mass Effect 3 demo on PC so that I could share my take on the differences between the console version and the PC version.
Before we start, if you’re interested on my take of the demo itself, you can find that Here.
Due to the fact that save games transfer from Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2 or Mass Effect 3, I’m sure if you’ve already played either of the two, you already know what system you will be buying it for, but if you’re new to the series, it may not be as simple as that.
I’d like to start assuming you’re new to the series and not planning on going back to play Mass Effect 1 or 2 (big mistake, but I can respect it!). I’m also going to assume you have a PC powerful enough to play the game at least on Medium-High settings and a Big Screen TV for your X-box 360.
The graphics on both versions are amazing. I’d have to say hands down the best and most detailed game I’ve seen on the X-Box 360 and up there with the likes of Skyrim on PC, which is saying a lot. Although this is probably something that we have come to expect by Bioware, it’s nice to see that they can even impress at this late stage in the game. PC looks better, of course, but the margin of difference is surprisingly small. I have not seen how it looks on the PS3, but I can take a guess to say it’s right in the middle somewhere.
Controls on both X-box 360 and PC feel like they were thought out. None of the keys you use regularly feel out of place on PC, which is very important. The X-box 360 controller also feels right, especially with the added support of Kinect to make giving commands feel natural. Both have hot keys, PC having 4 spots to assign, X-box 360 having 2. This comes down to personal preference, as many refuse to play shooters on X-box 360, but I find this game just as playable on both.
Although it goes along side controls, I put the UI in it’s own category simply because of how different they are. On the X-box 360, using LB/RB brings up Radial menu’s to select powers and weapons for you and your squad, as where on PC, holding down L. Shift brings up a smaller mouse friendly menu that does the same thing. Both work equally well, although I think the PC’s could have been bigger and more obvious.
When it comes down to it, PC has the better graphics, which is to be expected, and the game play is virtually identical. Either experience will be one not to be forgotten, but I also feel that if you’re new to the series there is really only one way to go.
Very slight advantage to PC for better graphics and all around easier controls. However, if you’re more comfortable playing with a controller, the X-box 360 will be just as good.
One final note is that if you’re new to the series, are planning to start from the beginning, and own a PS3, get it on there. Mass Effect 1, although a great game, had many technical problems that don’t stand up too well even after this short of time. The PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 allows you to play an interactive comic at the beginnig to get you caught up on the story and decisions.
Anyone agree or disagree with what I’ve said? Leave a comment and let me know!