Review by Onyx3173
Honestly, I'm not sure what made this game so good. Other games have had most if not all of the components of this game. However, it's the first game in a long time that's caught me enough to not get tired of it before the end.
Introduction - Mass Effect is a sci-fi RPG/Third-person shooter hybrid. You take the role of Commander Shepard of the Human Alliance. Earth had discovered Promethean technology that set our space technology forward by 200 years, this technology produced and effect (the mass effect) that changes the mass of anything withing the effect to a heavier or lighter weight thus allowing far faster travelling speeds.
Gameplay - The gameplay was not bad. For the most part the shooter portions feel a bit like Resident Evil but in my opinion feel far more responsive. There are essentially three elements to gameplay: driving the Mako on the surface of planets, running around withing buildings shooting enemies, and walking around your ship or the Citadel and talking with people. The RPG elements in the game come in different areas. First off, Commander Shepard is fully customizable. (Except for last name.) You also accept quests similar to how MMOs handle quests. The third and possibly most important RPG element is the storyline, it's quite in-depth and you have several possible responses to what someone says. You normally have three (a positive, negative, and neutral answer) but later can have two additional responses depending on the situation. (Normally used during a quest to persuade someone.)
Story - The story follows the life of Commander Shepard after transferring to the Alliance ship Normandy. The human Alliance is trying to become a member of the Citadel's galactic Council and one of the many, many tasks to do so is for the Normandy to travel to the planet Eden Prime to recover a Promethean artifact. Needles to say, the mission doesn't go as planned and Shepard ends up chasing an adversary and his robotic henchman across the galaxy.
Graphics - The graphics are not the best you will see for it's time but they are definately not terrible. There is no option for anti-aliasing since the game uses HDR lighting. My system runs the game at 30-60 FPS with the graphics maxed out in 1920x1080 resolution. So most computers should be able to run it at a far more reasonable resolution with little to no problems.
Sound - The sound quality isn't always the best and I haven't noticed any actually music. (I'm sure I've been concentrating too hard to notice the music.)
Play Time/Replayability - Mass Effect can easily eat up a ton of your time if you aren't careful, I logged 17 hours and 40 minutes on my first day playing it. (Far from a usual play though...) This game seems to go by pretty fast if you ignore the side quests, but with side quests I would have to say it's 2 to 3 times as long. This game encourages replaying the game by unlocking up to two new difficulties and there's no possible way to max out your level in a single playthrough.
Final Recommendation - If you like games such as Fallout 3, Oblivion, Left 4 Dead, and Unreal Tournament, then I would definately recommend it.
Gameplay - 10/10
Story - 10/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Play Time - 8/10
Replayability - 7/10
Final Rating - 9
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Mass Effect (US, 05/28/08)
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