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BioWare Edmonton



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Release Dates

11/20/07 Microsoft Game Studios
05/21/09 Microsoft Game Studios
11/23/07 Microsoft Game Studios

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Owners: 1,116
Favorite: 96
Tracked: 17
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Mass Effect review

29th May 2010 | 1,651 views 


User Score

Presentation - 9.5
Gameplay - 7.5
Value - 9.5
Massively impressive plot and characters, audio, acting and crafted universe all hugely outweigh some of the gameplays downsides. A game best suited for those who value story and characters most.

Right, probably should get the most important comment out of the way first. For all this games little slip ups and downsides, I dont think anything comes close to spoiling the deep and gripping plot, hugely likeable characters, and overall superb feel of the crafted universe. The roleplaying seems to work amazingly well within its limits in most regards. There are a few areas it falls short, but how you shape and mould Shepard as your own character ultimately feels so rewarding it makes you forget about some of the restrictions in place.

All the supporting characters are amazingly voiced and all look fantastic, and they all mesh brilliantly with the main plot in their own way. The plot itself is an intriguing mystery with each step unearthing another clue as to the great threat against the galaxy, and also to some of the wider history and backstory of the galaxy. The choices offered in the game are often very thought provoking, though you may still be tempted to fall back simply on the "good cop, bad cop" morality that the game uses, and are only the two real outcomes most of the time. Still, the results of these choices themselves often play out in very satisfactory ways. Not always hugely different, but enough to make it worthwhile.

The gameplay in terms of combat is a fairly nice and even balance of shooter and RPG, with a selection of four different weapons to choose from and mod to the players liking, and a fairly varied selection of tech (debuff and scrambling) and biotic (physics based) powers. The combat and associated inventory can be unwieldy at times, and is definitely not the strongest aspect of the game, but what is there is enough to function well enough for most peoples taste, especially if they value the story the most.

Another area of gameplay is the Mako, or moonbuggy style vehicle. It can be a tricky vehicle to handle for some people, and the areas outside of the main mission it is used to explore, while somewhat barren in terms of interactive content, still do offer hugely impressive visuals, and really makes Mass Effects galaxy seem like just that. The vehicle sections of the main storyline missions are somewhat better crafted, but all in all seem more like a way to pace things, and again offer a nice sense of grandness and scope about the overall worlds and the mission.

Levelling up is a fairly straightforward and standard RPG affair. The benefits of increasing the skill levels of certain skills does become clear as you improve, but it doesnt really offer much in the way of uniqueness. You abilities will clearly become much more powerful and efficient, but finding something unique out of it comes in the overall selection of abilities you choose and max out, rather than getting something unique out of each individual skill.

There are plenty of sidemissions to undertake and interesting people to talk to. Some of the side missions unfortunately fall into the same rather bland trap, as there isnt any hugely effective variation between the side mission environments youll visit. Youll become quite used to and most likely bored by the pre-fab structures that crop up again and again. However, some of the side missions that focus more on the writing and your interactions with characters can be quite immersive and interesting indeed. There are also a few small mini-games dotted throughout the world. The most common is hacking, which is a rather dull and easy button matching session. There is also a small number crunching gambling game, but its not too exciting or rewarding.

The inventory and items of Mass Effect offer a wide variety of upgrades that can be fun finding a great build for your weapons or armour. However, the weaponry, armour and mods are mainly based around incremental improvements in terms of models from I to X. This can become somewhat tiresome and also causes a large problem in the way of annoying clutter. The armour and weaponry models themselves do not change much in terms of model difference, only texture difference. All in all, in can be interesting enough finding that most rare and powerful weapon or armour, and decking them out in the finest combo of upgrades available, but its not something with a huge amount of depth, and would become boring if it wasnt somewhat easily and obviously maxed out.

The game really excels when it comes to the plot, pacing, characters, music, and wider universe. Unravelling the fantastic and frightening mystery of the main plot with such great and likeable characters, in the fascinating world that was created with such a great musical score backing it up which takes its inspiration from some of the great sci-fi films of the 80s is the defining experience of the game. Its why for all its faults and stumbles in technical and gameplay areas, you would be hard pressed not to admire this game.

Sales History

Total Sales
1 n/a 219,773 97,283 54,620 371,676
2 n/a 169,313 56,023 38,999 264,335
3 n/a 88,542 31,345 20,728 140,615
4 n/a 82,654 31,630 19,735 134,019
5 n/a 100,178 37,325 23,754 161,257
6 n/a 49,304 27,539 13,184 90,027
7 n/a 31,107 15,376 7,992 54,475
8 n/a 21,237 8,457 5,125 34,819
9 n/a 16,748 11,071 4,758 32,577
10 n/a 18,470 9,148 4,748 32,366

Opinion (192)

-girgosz- posted 06/04/2012, 12:36
Oh god VGC. Outsold ME PS3? The fuck... :O
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Metroid33slayer posted 11/01/2012, 06:48
Shephard is a beast
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Jexy posted 01/12/2011, 06:55
Well they don't track digital downloads, so no XBL sales are counted.
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yo_john117 posted 24/09/2011, 08:49
It's sad how low the sales for this game are.
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slipknotfan posted 26/06/2011, 02:57
Thought part 2 was better but still a good game. Could get lost kinda easy on this one though.
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zzamaro posted 17/03/2011, 04:50
probably the best 360 game out there, too bad not many people can play this game, well, since it's not an FPS, you expect to have cod numbers
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