Mass Effect may be the game that
role playing enthusiasts have been searching for on the XBox 360
which transforms gamers into an elite soldier in the distant future
who has been drawn into an intricate web of deceit, freedom and
Set in the unforeseeable future,
mankind discovered an ancient civilization on Mars and with the
technology unearthed, it led them to explore the furthest regions of
space. From there, mankind has prospered and even though alien
remnants have been found on Mars, they saw a universe that contained
a myriad of alien races, some good, some evil and some neutral in
With some of these races believing
that mankind was unworthy of this discovery and membership into
their council, a dark threat has started engulfing the colonies of
mankind which is where our hero begins… on Eden Prime.
Eden Prime has been considered a
Utopian Earth colony and when scientists discover an ancient
artefact from a long gone civilization, it may be the answer that
Earth is looking for that will not only increase their technology
but allow them to join the council.
Unfortunately for mankind, there are
other species seeking this ancient device which leads to an invasion
of Eden Prime led by Saren, a Spectre of the Council. Spectres are
the law of the council and your mission is steeped in mystery and
deceit but your main goal is simple, find the evidence that links
Saren to the attack and uncover the secrets of this artifact.
Mass Effect was created by BioWare
that made that extremely popular Star Wars RPG games and this
current incarnation lends itself from both these games.
Gamers have the option of
controlling a small squad of characters as they embark on quests,
challenge enemies, discover new weapons and improve their statistics
as they move through the gaming environment.
Characters can specialize in certain
skills and weaponry with the gamer having the abilities to give
their squad basic orders. The beauty of Mass Effect is that your
squad is quite intelligent and they do not stand around while you do
all the work. Although the title contains a variety of different
difficulty levels, this game will suit both novice and experienced
The amount of Freedom in this game is quite amazing and players
always have a choice of what they can do, however the choice to pick
from dozens of locations within the galaxy to explore is completely
new. There are only a handful of places you have to visit to
complete the game but there are plenty of unrelated and uncharted
locations ripe for exploration.
Graphically, Mass Effect is an
impressive looking game on the XBox 360 that has an almost
“move-like” quality to its presentation. Featuring a variety of
in-game and pre-rendered cut scenes, the developers have ensured
that it’s easy to get lost in this amazing universe.
The strange thing about Mass Effect
is the dithered approach to the graphics which makes the title look
like one huge CGI cutscene which is not a bad thing. This special
effect can also be turned off for even crisper graphics.
The side effect to the graphics are
the sometimes long loading times and bland loading graphics but it’s
a small price to pay for such an in-depth and wondrously created
Whether it’s visiting strange alien
worlds, boarding alien ships or just appreciating the landscape of
the lands you visit, the detail to attention is amazing and the
gaming environments are enormous.
The musical score of Mass Effect
suits the genre perfect with its dramatic orchestral soundtrack that
compliments the gameplay perfectly and will change, depending on
what is happening in the game world.
The voice acting of the title ranges
from professional to mediocre and some of your squad members are
quite dull and it would have been nice if the banter was a little
more upbeat and entertaining, even though your world has been turned
When encountering other characters,
players have the option of selecting from a menu of text which will
ask the characters you are talking about certain things. This also
effects the gameplay with certain characters that you encounter. Add
in a plethora of futuristic sound effects and you have the almost
perfect sounding game.
In conclusion, Mass Effect is a huge
game, depending on how many quests you embark on that is
complimented with 21st century next-generation graphics,
a sturdy gaming engine and a great storyline that puts some of the
other block busters to shame.
Not as in-depth as the Dungeons &
Dragons role playing games, Mass Effect could be considered
RPG-light with its simplified RPG system but once you start playing,
you will soon discover that it’s far from simplified. The holidays
are almost here and you might want to lock yourself away until you
complete this amazing experience… Mass Effect is definitely the game