Bioware has always been known for progressive storytelling and constant action in every game, from Knights of The Old Republic I to II. It’s no surprise that Mass Effect is an incredible game with an interesting story. The game is about chasing a really evil guy across the galaxy, and for the first time in a long time, exploring a wide universe in the solar system —a beautifully chosen theme. BioWare has created a politically charged universe with an indelible backstory and filled it with a huge variety of characters. Combined with unique and intense combat mechanic, the game provides players with an unforgettable journey even if it’s not a perfect one. Mass Effect is simply a high quality role playing title that should be experienced by everyone.
After customization of an avatar, you play as Commander Shepard, a character that we cannot really describe in terms of looks thanks to the physical customization that encompasses tons of feature sets. From here on, you can choose specific classes you would like. Different classes encompass various strengths from combat, technology, and biotics as a form of magic. Throughout the game, characters will refer to your past, and your responses consist of humility, good intention, or pure derision and dislike.
Bioware has created a story of so much depth and detail in a galaxy that is such a mystery. When you start off, it’s really overwhelming. To know you’re in the universe and that Humanity is not the political center of the universe. In fact, Humanity doesn’t even have a seat on the galactic counsel or the Spectre squad, an elite group whose members are given wide disembark to solve political and military challenges as they see fit. One such Spectre has gone rogue, unleashing Geth from ransacking ancient artifacts in the galaxy. As Shepard, you pursue him across the Milky Way, visiting one alien world after another and discovering the fallen Spectre’s plans along the way. This journey is purely exciting, as Bioware have done an amazing job trying to make the chase interesting. The villain is gone most of the time, but he still makes you want to smash his face in.
Dialogue orb choices make an appearance throughout the game, and how you respond can have life-or-death consequence. Most of the multiple choices have the same result, a somewhat transparent trick that makes it seem as though you have a lot more impact on the conversation than you really do. At important scenarios, however, your decisions can affect how missions play out. You can turn friend to foe, console or send a suicide-attack victim on his way or even exploit evil CEO’s for fun and profit. This all plays out in a galaxy of political intrigue, drama, and moreover racial prejudice over a complex variety of a series of characters. Mass Effect’s version of the Milky Way is simply incredible than what Astrology will have you believe.
Reputation is guarded by earning paragon or renegade points, which is the usual light-versus-dark system we have come to expect from Bioware. Unlike in Knights of the Old Republic, however, your decisions here will not affect any abilities you have. The oft bereft and unified relationship between the story and the game means that these decisions still affect gameplay even though that effect is sometimes indirect. On a more interesting note, paragon and renegade meters are separate, rather than being at opposite sides of a single spectrum. It is a subtle but effective choice that lends itself to Mass Effect’s shades-of-gray fiction, where light and dark are not finite and definite.
The Citadel will be a launching point for the main quest but your journey takes you across a small series of planets before reaching the game’s exciting final moments. Some planets are full and brim of life while others are uncivilized planets and empty spaceships with a creepy vibe. The galactic map will be your new friend as there are multiple stars within galaxies to choose from, and often multiple solar systems. In any given system, you can usually only land on one planet and on each of these planets, there are usually a limited number of tasks to do before you get to your destination. Surprisingly, a weird choice Bioware chose is when you finish the mission. There is never a reason to come back to the planet ever again, something slightly disappointing in a way.
When you’re off exploring a planet, the Mako is your primary movement tool. As the most lissom vehicle ever, the Mako is simply a joy to ride around in. You can also drive up steep mountains without much difficults, and engage in combat mechanics with indigenous natices that follows its way to mostly the end of the game. The rock filled planetary designs and Mako combat mechanics can be annoying. You can machine gun fire or launch shells at your foes, and it works fine, provided you are on the same level as your enemies. The Mako’s turret is also a limiting factor that can’t move up or down. As a result, bullets do not necessarily land where your crosshair is, so if you’re on higher terrain or your target is too close, those endless clips you’re unloading are useless. It’s sometimes ridiculous as you have to make the choice to move in closer or get out and try to get the deed done manually. For whatever aesthetic appeal it has, the Mako is interesting but could have used more work.
Mass Effect is simply beautiful to look at. With the lights off, and some jazz music playing in your custom tracks or at your very home, it’s a simple delight to experience. Facial animations are realistic as characters move their lips believably, expressing themselves with subtle head movements or eye glimpses. Character models are exquisitely detailed, primarily Wrex who has texture similar to a reptilian. Mass Effect looks wonderful. From an artistic view, the game is simply original, even though environments might not always be. Planet outposts tend to use only one of two layouts, and environments are extremely important to games originality. Mass Effect still, nevertheless, makes it’s vision clear thanks to crucial character detail and dramatic pieces such as the Citadel or the Space Academy.
Mass Effect simply wins in vocals as an all-star cast including such well-known actors as Seth Green and more bring Mass Effect’s characters to life. There is no over-delivery or exaggeration that will kill the experience for you. The music is redolent, with just the right amount of sci-fi touch for effect and beautiful symphony.
Mass Effect is simply a remarkable title by developer Bioware, but essentially has a few small annoyances that prevent it from realizing true potential. Though none of that really matters if you like RPG’s and want to spend an incredibly absorbing and beautiful experience spent in a huge space galaxy with complex characters, great friends, and plenty of opportunities.