What was originally an Xbox 360 exclusive, Mass Effect (2007) would go on to be one of the biggest franchises of the last console generation. The game was so big that it would eventually make its way to the PC and PlayStation. While the most recent game in the series may not have been all that great. The original trilogy stands as one of best series of games of its generation.
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Mass Effect Review
The storytelling in Mass Effect is fantastic and I think that it still holds up very well now. The game sees you playing as Commander Shepard, but Commander Sheppard is really just you! You see Mass Effect is an RPG that puts you right in the center of it and you are free to mold Commander Sheppard any way that you want.
Bioware was the team behind this game and the story they tell is like something out of a big budget sci-fi movie. The basic gist of the movie is that mankind after finding alien technology has taken to the stars. They traveled a little too far and have come into conflict with The Geth, a robotic race of beings.
It really is a great story and you have a lot of choice in what you say, do react to other characters and so on. Saying a certain thing to a character can have a real knock on effect later in the game. Also, there are different paths the story can take so there is a lot of replay value here.
I would describe the gameplay of Mass Effect as that of a sci-fi/action/RPG style of game. You will be going around many different areas, exploring and talking to different characters. You can find secrets, get new equipment, take on side quests and pretty much everything else that you would expect in an RPG.
Playing in the 3rd person point of view makes you feel like you are taking part in a movie and that is cool. The combat is great and you can have a lot of input into the way your Commander Sheppard plays. This means that the personality your Commander Sheppard has and the abilities you use and specialize in will probably be different from mine.
Having a ton of weapons to use as well as different kinds of tech and special abilities make getting into battles with enemies a lot of fun. One thing that Bioware did have a little trouble with though was the balancing of the enemies. You can take on one and have no problems at all, but the very next enemy you encounter will just rip you apart.
I found that this does keep you on your toes, but sometimes it can get a little frustrating and feel like the enemies are a bit on the cheap side. Still, you have to remember that this Mass Effect was the first of its kind so Bioware was still ironing out a few things here and there and the difficulty was one of them.
As far as the presentation goes… I think that Mass Effect looks like a game that was designed with the Xbox 360 in mind. That is not to say it looks bad, it is just a product of its time. Thankfully the level design and the way the different characters you encounter look is great so despite being a little rough around the edges, the presentation is fine.
I am a massive fan of the Mass Effect series and it is great to look back on where it all began. I think that the first Mass Effect holds up very well and while I would not say it is my favorite of the original trilogy. This is a series of games where you have to play them all and play them in order to really appreciate them.
- The story is fantastic
- You can make Commander Sheppard the way you want
- Lots of side missions to do
- Plenty of skills and upgrades to work towards
- The start of an amazing series
- Graphics can be a little on the dated side in some places
- It is a little rough compared to its sequels