Mass Effect Review
Whilst we are fairly new to the XBox 360 world we are slowly getting through some of the all time classic games and recently we have been having a blast on Mass Effect (a game first released back in Nov 07) which can now be picked up for as low as £9.99 pre-owned.
Mass Effect is an epic RPG game filled with possibly the most comprehensive dialogue we have ever seen, but thankfully the quality is at such a high level, with both facial expressions and voice acting being top notch, that we found ourselves being drawn towards the storyline rather than being pushed away.
However the very mention of the word dialogue may put off those who are itching to get stuck into the action, especially as you’ll l spend the majority of time getting to know the different characters and exploring the many vast worlds. That said we wouldn't class ourselves as hardcore RPG players either, but we persevered with the game mainly because the storyline is so compelling as it draws you into a universe that makes you feel part of a movie or a character in a book, only the images that are normally conjured up in your mind are transferred to the screen as you move along.
Customise your character
Once the game starts off you are given the chance to customise the default player character 'Commander John Sheppard, whom you’ll get to control in the main game. From here you can change your name and play about with different facial looks, such as the size of your nose, colour of your hair, how far apart your eyes are!, that sort of thing. However the system does have a more serious side as it allows you to adjust your combat style which will have a direct impact into how you play the game.
There are three main classes to choose from each with their own pros and cons, so you have Soldier (ideal for combat as you get better shields and can wear heavier armour), Engineer (which is a Tech based skill, ideal for healing and disabling enemy weapons) and Adept (this is more of a magical class, allowing you to lift enemies with the power of your mind).
Additional classes are also onboard which are used to combine the skill sets of two classes, so you have Infiltrator which is good at both Combat/Tech, Vanguard which is a cross between Biotic/Tech and finally the Sentinel which is a cross between Biotic/Tech, obviously picking one of the latter means you are never a true specialist in any given area. To be honest during the game you will get lots of opportunities to team up with other NPC, most of which will balance out your parties skill levels anyway.
Getting to know you
After the character creation process has been complete you can start to experience the story line which starts off in true movie/Sci-Fi TV fashion, with the introductory sequence showcasing your ship, the SSV Normandy, and the early characters you are likely to interactive with.
It's here that the game cuts back into a 3rd person view so you can wonder around the ship getting to know the control system, layout and personal. Conversations - as you will find out – provide several layers of dialogue choices which will increase as the conversation progresses.
As the game progresses the conversations can be manipulated by gaining Charm and Intimidate talent points, which you will discover will soon provide a useful aid when it comes to dealing with the more stubborn Alien races that you will likely come across within the Mass Effect universe.
As mentioned earlier the conversations can get pretty deep and we have to admit this level of detail had us reeling at one point, but eventually as you get immersed in the storyline the conversations become a lot more appealing and its worth persevering with - trust us!
Within a short time frame you are soon sent on your first mission, which sees you heading towards a planet called Eden Prime in the hunt for a strange alien artefact, but as with most Sci-Fi programs not everything is as it seems and certainly one of the NPC Extras is going to have a bullet with his or her name on it.
To be honest the sheer about of missions and sub-missions that you can take on will provide several hours of entertaining game play, but to go into any more detail about the storyline at this stage will spoil the experiences so we’ll shut up now, but let’s just say you will find a universe filled with plenty of planets to explore, several Alien races to speak with and a fair few surprises thrown in for good measure.