Mass Effect review

Posted by Robert Brightling on Wed 26 April 2017

Mass Effect is a space adventure where you play as Commander {{ insert_name }} Shepard. Humanity has recently discovered a galactic alien community and is trying to find its own place in it. As an Alliance Commander you're tasked with investigating the secrets of a mysterious ancient alien race called the Protheana, and what caused them to vanish leaving only ruins. Shepard forms a squad of humans and aliens to help them on the adventure in discovering the truth and saving the universe from an hidden threat.

Mass Effect is an promising game, with its strongest feature being its role playing. I really liked how the morality system differs from other games; The narrow good vs evil is replaced with the more vague Paragon and Renegade. I liked how the actions of each represents a broad range of actions on both scales. They aren't mutually exclusive, with the ability to gain reputation in both; which made me choose the actions and dialogues I felt and wanted then just pure good or pure evil.

I could play as a no-nonsense direct but good at heart renegade or possibly as a respectful and sly cold hearted killer. The way you interact with characters with a short summary can be hit or miss with the action not quite being what I expected on a few occasions, an extra description could help (Will kill character, will quit conversation, etc).

The universe created in mass effect is a beautiful and complex one. I really liked the alien design; It didn't feel like an elves and dwarfs in space. You can really feel the effort and thought that went into each alien cultures and historically background. Mass Effect also doesn't make serotypes out of their aliens; each character has a depths to their personality.

Where Mass Effect is let down is by the gameplay being bland, there are some interesting ideas with making a RPG with a third-person cover shooting; however, there are many other games which do the third-person cover better. This is OK in some ways for players coming from an RPG background with little in shooter interest and does offer an unintimidated experience.

When going on missions you have two fellow team members join you. While there is the basics of the party combat strategy, I didn't find I used it much. It often seems easier and faster to just play and let the NPCs do their own thing. Perhaps different play styles and difficulties change this; however, I feel that due to the single perspective character camera it will never quite give the same feel as old party based isomeric RPGs of past.

Overall Mass Effect is a very good role playing experience; although, I'm not sure if the gameplay would satisfy people looking for a shooter experience. I really liked how the game lent itself to interacting as you wanted creating a deep character. The main quest has intrigue and mystery on a galactic scale which was satisfying with the side quests hinting at other events happening in the expansive universe. There are issues with Mass Effect, but for the experience it is well worth playing.