When I first got Mass Effect back when it first came out on the 360 I had no idea what it was. I didn’t watch any advertisements of the game. I was trying to decide between Mass Effect and Overlord. I eventually ended up getting both games but at the time I only had money for one and a Gamestop employee convinced me to get Mass Effect simply by saying ” this game is huge and takes way more time to complete then Overlord does.” Since I couldn’t buy many games back then I decided to go ahead and get the game that would take longer to complete. Mass Effect had better box art too so that was plus for me. I’m glad I choose to go with that decision too. I had no idea that this game was the beginning of a beautiful trilogy that would tell one of if not the best story that I have ever experienced in a game.
In Mass Effect you play as Commander Shepard, an Alliance Soldier, and you’re tasked with retrieving a beacon that has been found on Eden Prime, a local human colony. One thing I really liked about this game was the character creator. You can choose from different presets and customize them to your liking. Your eyes, nose, mouth, hair, and cheekbones are all customizable and that’s a major plus in my book. You can choose to be either a man or woman and the neat thing about that is your created is fully voice acted. This was the very first game I ever played that had a fully voiced protagonist that I created. That added to the immersion in the game for me.
After you reach Eden Prime things quickly go wrong and you quickly have to assemble a team and go down and retrieve the beacon by force. This is when we’re introduced to the villain of the game, Saren, and he’s actually pretty badass. I loved everything about him. His appearance and voice were perfect and watching as he struggled to maintain who he was throughout the game was awesome. Mass Effect took storytelling to a new level in games. The decisions you made throughout your journey had consequences and impacted the way the story played out. You even get to choose the way the game ends.
The amount of dialogue in this game is amazing. The voice acting is excellent and really brings the characters that you meet in this game to life. Mass Effect has the most loveable characters i’ve had the pleasure of meeting in any game. Everyone you meet has a back story and you get to learn about that by interacting with them on your ship. Are you going to agree with their point of view on things or are you going to be argumentative towards them. You even get a racist teammate that doesn’t like aliens but she’s forced to get along with them because the mission is too big for humans alone to handle.
Mass Effect does have it’s fair share of problems though. For starters the Mako is terrible. Everything form the controls to the way it looks annoyed the hell out of me. A lot of the environments were reused on the different planets that I visited and that bugged me. I’ll walk into a mine or base just to find out that the exact same layout was used in them. This is lazy and unacceptable to me. The biggest problem that Mass Effect has is the actual gameplay. The shooting mechanics are terrible. To make things worst you can never run out of ammo. You can literally shoot forever at higher levels because you’ll have a gun that can kill everything in a shot or two at any difficultly level.
The positives outweigh the negatives here but they’re still there. Playing through Mass Effect again is often hard at times because I don’t want to experience that terrible gameplay again but the story and characters are what keeps bringing me back to it. In the end Mass Effect is one hell of a game that I think everyone should experience at least once. This is a great game and definitely delivers in the storytelling department but sadly the gameplay doesn’t match it. The characters, and dialogue, and rich lore of this world are amazing while the gameplay, reused environments, and unlimited ammo are lackluster and bring the game down.
- Rumor: Next ‘Mass Effect’ title to be announced at VGA 2013 (vgleaks.com)
- Mass Effect Day 1 (tlryder.wordpress.com)
- Reviewing the Mass Effect Trilogy: Mass Effect 2 (ameliarates.wordpress.com)