Review: Mass Effect

AN ANCIENT THREAT RETURNS – ONE FINAL HOPE EMERGES

Developer: BioWare
Genre: Role Playing
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release Date: November 20, 2007
Compatability (Xbox 360): 4MB Mininum Space | HDTV 720p / 1080i / 1080p
Rating: 9.0

There are two things that are instantly associated with Mass Effect. The lesbian and alien sex which with the help of FOX News gained an infamous reputation and the long and boring elevator rides constantly annoying wherever you go in the galaxy. Oddly two points on both sides of a gaming spectrum. This is disappointing because it’s overshadowing what a great game Mass Effect is.

Mass Effect puts you in the space boots of Commander Sheppard, a human soldier in the navy (the space navy). That’s pretty much all I can tell you because of course like most RPGs these days the backs story is different. Male or female, black or white and even your background. Pretty much everything you do you have a choice, this is helped by the conversation wheel. The conversation wheel gives you three choices while you are in dialogue; usually they are good, bad or neutral. This is great. You have lots of choices but sometimes you get the feeling it’s a bit too much. I’m not saying its bad but sometimes you think “I should have been the soldier class” or something to that extent.

A role-playing game in a massive universe.

The storyline is not that original (save the galaxy) but everything other than the storyline is great. The atmosphere, the characters, and even the mass effect universe. Everything is good except the main storyline. The atmosphere is just sheer brilliance, best in any game, in and out of combat. The characters are really believable and get you really involved in the story and the actual universe which would be great for books. Something to mention is the racism between the aliens and this really adds to the intense atmosphere. Overall the story is great and it’s easy to overlook the main storyline.

If it hadn’t occurred to you Mass Effect is a RPG, so you can go to places, you can talk to people and you can have sex with aliens. It has a massive universe and has these things called uncharted worlds. Uncharted worlds are planets which you can explore and drive around in. Your vehicle is the Mako, a military type vehicle which is suitable for any terrain. Usually with an uncharted world a side mission is tied to it. This brings me to another point that a RPG must have side missions. Side missions are plentiful in Mass Effect and can range from killing gang lords to shutting down an evil computer. They are really fun but a tip is not to play them all because you’ll find them boring. There are tons of side missions and Mass Effect is a massive game.

The atmosphere is wonderful.

Apart from the story and graphics, you obviously have gameplay. Gameplay consists of “third person shooter cover” type of thing. It also has a squad mechanic which is quite unique to a RPG. Before every mission you choose which characters you wish to come along with you on the mission. You obtain these characters when you do various missions throughout the course of the campaign. They could be alien or human and have various strengths and weaknesses. A good idea is to mix combat strength, biotic powers and tech. Biotic powers and tech are the mass effect equivalent of magic, tech is an engineer and can repair and hack items. Biotic powers allow for the usual magic like lift and throw. It’s good to have a mix of all three so you won’t get stuck anywhere. The cover can be fiddly at times mainly because of the automatic lock on and the static nature of the cover. Overall the combat is fine but could be done with a major overhaul and the AI could have been improved.

So we are coming to a close and you may have noticed that there aren’t much negative aspects about this game. There are some low points in Mass Effect (major texture popping and bad AI) but these aren’t a major problem. BioWare have made an ace game with a great story and so much to explore.

Reviewed by phillipsmy – October 15, 2009

Graphics
The universe in this game is brilliant. A very good looking game but sometimes it slows up.
 
Sound
Super sound effects and impressive voice acting. Simply top notch.
 
Fun
Major texture popping and awful AI. Apart from these, Mass Effect has everything to be an immense RPG.
 
Final Score

 

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