|Publisher(s)||Microsoft Game Studio|
|Release date|| X360|
November 20, 2007
May 27, 2008
|Age rating(s)||ESRB: M|
|Platform(s)||Xbox 360, PC|
|Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough|
Mass Effect is a role playing game developed by Bioware. It was initially exclusive to the Xbox 360 but was later released for PC. The will be a trilogy spanned over the life of the Xbox 360. The trilogy will also include episodic content that will bridge each game together. The first game was released on November 20, 2007, and the second, Mass Effect 2, was released on January 26, 2010.
Del Rey Books recently released a novel that is to act as the prequel to the events in Mass Effect the video game. The title is Mass Effect Revelation. The book is 323 pages long and is written by New York times best selling author Drew Karpyshyn. The book is available in most major retail stores.
Mass Effect is a third-person role playing game with third-person shooter elements embedded into the gameplay, similar to Ghost Recon. A player has the ability to pause realtime combat and issue commands to his or her comrades and resume gameplay. The player has the ability to upgrade the main character in many ways to allow special skills to be used during combat (i.e. more damage, easier aim, etc.).
During the space adventure, the player assumes the role of Commander Shepard. The game features an avatar editor that allows the payer to choose Shepard's physical appearance including gender. The customization system has been heralded as very detailed and photorealistic. Shepard is in command of a ship called the Normandy and it's crew. The Normandy is the primary space vehicle and carries the crew to their specified destination. The galactic map in Mass Effect houses 30 confirmed planets that range in different environments from Arctic to desert. Some of these planets are not part of the main story arch thus they additional missions to the game.
Mass Effect houses an extensive campaign that runs from 18 – 30 hours long. The story surrounds an ancient prophecy when a technology based race returns to the galaxy to harvest organic life every fifty thousand years. Shepard is instructed to stop the advances of an ex Spectre agent (a defender of galactic peace) before he causes humanity too much trouble.
Aside from the extensive story involved in the campaign, the game houses a complex dialogue system that allows for new character interaction. When a conversation is initiated a player has three choices during the conversation. Each of these choices negatively or positively affect the way the NPC feels and responds to Shepard. For example, during an conversation a player can instruct Shepard to interrupt the NPC and demand an item from them. This same scenario could play out other ways with Shepard allowing the NPC to complete their thought and responding kindly. Not only does this new system feature a better dialogue system, but also features realistic physical reaction from the NPC and Shepard.
The Novelization by Drew Karpyshyn introduces the potential player to the universe of Mass Effect. The story takes place around David Anderson, a Staff Lieutenant for the System Alliance Military. The story begins with an attack on a research station in Sidon in a section of the galaxy known as the Skyillian Verge. Once the SSV Hastings receives notice it is dispatched to investigate and sends Anderson into the base with a few other marines. To their horror they find that the base has been ransacked and all the scientists and guards have been killed. At the end of their investigation they realize that mercenaries rigged the base with a bomb. Anderson and company barely escape the blast.
After returning to the citadel questions start to arise. It is found that a member of the research team left the station before the attack. Kahlee Sanders is considered a fugitive and the ambassador for the system alliance sends Anderson to find her and bring her back for questioning. His investigation finally turns up a lead with Rear Admiral Grissom, an old earth hero. Grissom is found out to be Kahlee's long lost father.
When Anderson arrives at the Grissom residence Kahlee has already been to her father. He admits she came to him the night prior and asked for help, and he sent her on her way.
The Limited Edition with be available through pre-order only at retailers gamestop.com/ebgames.com;amazon.com; and bestbuy.com within the United States and in store in the EU. The Limited edition features are as follows: A Mass Effect fiction book titled “Galactic Codex: Essentials” - A 36-page guide to the Mass Effect universe, including a Citadel timeline and a guide to all non-human races, biotics and the key locations in the Perseus arm of the galaxy The Collectors edition retails for $69.99 and includes:
- Galactic Codex - A 36 page guide including Timeline, index of non human races, key locations in the galaxy, and Biotics.
- Mass Effect Art Book - 36 pages of concept art
- Bonus DVD - includes exclusive Mass Effect videos, two themes, 12 gamer pictures, various demos
Bioware released limited number of preorder gifts on a disk that includes:
- documentary - introduces the game
- Sound Track - 3 tracks from the Mass Effect soundtrack
- Theme - 2 exclusive themes
- Gamer Picture - 12 exclusive gamer pictures
The game received rave reviews, Official Xbox Magazine gave it a 10 and said that it was "a great science fiction [story] in video game form." The game review show, X-Play, gave it a 5 out of 5.