8.5 is HARSH for a game of such high a caliber as Mass Effect. Sure there are issues, but KOTOR had a few issues! The combat seems to the most under fire in reviews, yeah it has it's flaws; yeah your group really enjoys friendly fire. That was the most annoying aspect I came across in my travels through the Traverse. The other being the familiar buildings and structures duplicated on various planets, but oh well. The customizing and Mako are all done quite well, Mako turret firing takes some practice, but when you get the hang of it, it is time to bump up the difficulty level to Hardcore because it becomes rather easy. The triumph of this game is in the detail of the story and the acting. This is the most realistic acting I have seen in a game, it rivals many films of late. The story feels real, it does a great job of making every moment feel urgent and important, even the busywork assignments do not feel out of place. I was struck with a sense of being in the Halo universe as an RPG, I wonder if I am the only one. Bioware has something in their games, and I am not sure what it is but, they do it right, and Mass Effect is one of the best.