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Mass Effect

Pricing: Varies Rating: 7.5/10

Bang, zoom, straight to the moon...or the Citadel if your ship can get you far enough.

Today were going to take a look at Mass effect, and action role-playing game developed by Bioware. The player takes control of Commander Shepard, the games main protagonist. The game starts by giving the player a brief idea of how the shooting in the game works by plunging them headfirst against all the sorts of things that you’ll want to blow the heads off in a good space shooter. Since it’s one of the primary points of the game you’ll have to learn to adapt quickly to learning the awkward shooting mechanics to last the fights.

The way that using the best modded weapons can be daunting but it gets easier to find balance of what to choose to upgrade as the game continues. For the most part everything else in the game involves compromise, as dull and tedious as this sounds it is somehow can work to be a fun part of the game and can leave you with either a new ally or someone to introduce the barrel of your rifle to.

If you’re not a fan of the sci-fi genre then chances are fair that you won’t be a big fan of mass effect as the game is heavily reliant on technology, robots, and aliens rather than being a straight up shooters.

Despite the wide range of ways that you can alter your weapons the whole aspect of how they are used leaves to many things to the imagination. The shooting plays similarly to the way that would be expected if the game had appeared on the original Xbox, this is not so much a negative part of the game as it is a part that could have been taken a step further.

The AI for the game is one of the games weaker parts, depending on where the player is their allies can either be valuable assets or about as handy as a pea-shooter. The allies seem to work well enough on certain maps, following commands reasonably well on some of the planets, though on others they’ll decide they’d rather try running through a wall. Maybe it’s the something in the air? The enemies AI varies randomly throughout the game, they know enough to hide behind boxes but lack the knowhow to do it well or take aim properly.

Arguably the most grabbing aspect of the game is the sheer size of where the player is able to go, the player is able to travel to a wide group of planets. Despite the number of planets and other areas visited, the game provides a highly detailed environment whilst giving the player enough space to not feel like each planet has five rooms to roam around.

Bonuses for the game are that it offers players to customise their characters, though not adding any sort of advantage during game play it does mean players will be able to make their character to look as cool as they want and give them a military background which gives the player certain advantages. Another bonus of the game is either choosing to be a good Samaritan and try to help everyone get along or screw everyone over and collect the maximum amount of money they can. There’s also the ability to download an additional level for the game from Xbox live which adds about 90 additional minutes game play.

Depending on how the game is played it can last longer than 30 hours, though players will need to go through the game three times or more to see everything the game has to offer. The game offers 720p though it can occasionally have a few points, particularly in the larger battles in which the game lags.

As a whole, mass effect delivers gamers with a real treat that gives players the feeling that they’re playing in a living universe. The game has excellent replay value and has a lengthy enough story to interest gamers longer than most other games.

To summarize:

Story - 9/10

Compelling story which offers a wide assortment of sub-plots.

Action - 7/10
Good quality action but rarely evolves as the game progresses.

AI - 5/10
Nothing remarkable is presented, the AI’s intelligence is fairly consistent.

Graphics - 9/10
Excellent for a game of this size to keep with the look of a next-gen game.

Mass effect from Bioware for the Xbox 360 earns 7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by: Xemnas