“In Mass Effect 1 you discover and interact with intelligent alien life through both the barrel of your gun andย  the arguably more damaging mouthpiece on Shepard. In Mass Effect 2, you do it better, with the addition of melee added on.”

Alien Discoveries- now with explosions

Mass Effect is an amazing series. Well thought out with relevant and deep characters, intriguing situations, a decent mix of light and dark, and technology and politics with logical explanations behind them. I for one hope humanity discovers a Prothean data cache on Mars.

At least they make it easy – good guys are angels and bad guys are commies :3

That is the premise behind the universe of Mass Effect. Humanity discovers alien instruction manuals on Mars, uses them, discovers that Pluto’s moon, Charon, is actually a giant alien squirt gun, and gets shot off to another part of the galaxy and meets intelligent life at last. And shoots it. A bunch of shenanigans later humanity is one of the flunkies in a giant alien government and you (Shepard) are sent in to restore (or destroy) the galaxy’s self-esteem.

Shepard is basically you, but the default appearance is a Dutch model. ULTIMATE ROLE-PLAYING EXPERIENCE UP IN HERE!

Shepard, the main character, is essentially a user avatar in both appearance (if you spend three hours you can make him/her look like you) and attitude. Through the conversation system and side quests, your character can become a champion of jusice, or a total badass who “doesn’t give a sh#@% about FU#%!”


The conversation system is Bioware’s revolutionary answer to boring NPCs. Rather than hitting A and the characters just saying one or two preconceived lines, it gives you a weel that allows you to steer the conversation the way you want it to and watch the results. Effects vary from violent shootouts to hot alien sex. Fox, eat me. If you make certain heroic or dastardly decisions enough, you eventually unlock the ability to make heroic or super-evil comments and actions in conversations to steer them your way. Play the crowd. One highlight I can absolutely not stress enough about this game is that while playing as a heroic character, I actually convinced the final boss to commit suicide. I won’t elaborate, but basically Shepard is the best protagonist ever. Talking to NPcs is actually fun for once! ๐Ÿ˜€

This game taught me how to talk to people – and shoot them

Aside from that, Mass Effect is a third person shooter of considerable depth. Unfortunately, I chose to play as a generic soldier (who can admittedly use every weapon in the game aside from SMGs) and as a result did not get mad hacking skillz or crazy psychic powers. If I play through again, I shall, but the core of the shooting system remains the same. While the second game focuses more on cover, the first one did have the mechanic. In addition, the weapons had infinite ammo in the first game at the cost of overheating issues, as opposed to the second games’ weapons having ammo and reload tendencies without overheating. I wonder if they’ll combine them in the third?

I wish my career paths were this easy

Weaponry is somewhat basic in the first. You get the pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, and sniper rifle. Regardless of class, you can use them, albeit with varying skill. The second game gives only certain weapons to certain classes, such as a vanguard getting only a pistol and a shotgun. The second game introduced heavy weapons to replace the first games’ grenades. Most are super-awesome replacements for certain powers, but some of the DLC variants have unique features, such as an arc gun.

Zombie slayin’

The psychic (biotic) powers in the game play with Mass Effect’s physics engine and make for some hilarious rag doll motion, particularly in ME2. The hacking powers are more subdued and less fantastic, but equally powerful.

phenomenal cosmic powers- itty bitty sense of morality in using them

The story, without giving anything away, in both games, is fantastic. Not just because your crewmates are deep and exciting characters, but because your decisions matter. Did you choose to let this character live and atone for her misdeeds? She shows up in the second game having done that. Other side-quest characters will recognize you and react differently. Major decisions in the first game heavily influence the second, and the huge decisions made in the second game will undoubtedly have huge ramifications on the third.

Bringing terrifying flashlights to the galaxy – all for a sordid squid fetish

There’s also an issue of certain characters dying in canon. This only happens if you make poor decisions and don’t help a brother out, essentially. The game rewards you for not sucking at the end by letting you (and presumably your crewmembers) survive. If you suck, not just your crewmembers, but you could die as well. It’ll be interesting to see who the new player character is in ME3.

There are some graphical issues, in the first game graphics pop regularly, but at best they look awesome. Characters have detail (specifically Shepard’s hand-made face) and environments have depth. This goes doubly so for the second game, only with less texture-popping.

And that was when I broke physics

Music is good and evokes a variety of emotions depending on the situation. There are sad moments, scary moments, downright epic moments, and crowning moments of awesome, all punctuated by a fantastic score (assuming you don’t play music from your 360).

Gameplay-wise, I couldn’t help but compareMass Effect to Kingdom Hearts. Let me elaborate. In addition to always having two part members with limited but not horrible intelligence, Kingdom Hearts was an RPG that had some hackn’slash elements at the core of it’s combat system to replace turn-based sillyness. Similarly, Mass Effect was an RPG that had third-person shooter elements at the core of it’s combat system to replace turn-based voodoo. Then the sequels came out. Kingdom Hearts 2 and Mass Effect 2 were meant to draw a much wider and impatient audience. Kingdom Hearts 2 was essentially a hackn’slash with RPG elements to make it longer and more awesome. Mass Effect 2 was a third-person shooter with RPG elements to make it longer and more awesome. This doesn’t say anything really bad about either series. Actually, it brings home the point that if most hackn’slash or third-person shooters had this kind of depth, they’d be much cooler games.

Shepard is angered by Kingdom Hearts’ inclusion in this review

Sora, meanwhile, is so stoked that he’s going to go look up crossover fanfiction

As a final word, I have to say that having an Xbox 360 or gaming PC (and even a PS3 soon) is all the reason you need to play Mass Effect. Mass Effect is to Halo what Star Trek is to Star Wars. A more subtler, but just as epic, sci-fi universe. The game will leave you thoroughly satisfied an intensely awaiting the third installment. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find some Halo/Mass Effect fanfiction…. I wish I’d played a Renegade FemShep. XP

fanfic is dangerous business

Mass Effect was developed by Bioware. Kingdom Hearts was developed by Square Enix. My Ham Sandwhich was hand-grown by me. ๐Ÿ˜› EDIT: Thanks toย  dionisius1411ย ย for the info about Shepard’s character model.

“In Mass Effect 1 you discover and

interact with intelligent alien life

through both the barrel of your gun and

the arguably more damaging mouthpiece on

Shepard. In Mass Effect 2, you do it

better, with the addition of melee added

on.”

Mass Effect is an amazing series. Well

thought out with relevant and deep

characters, intriguing situations, a

decent mix of light and dark, and

technology and politics with logical

explanations behind them. I for one hope

humanity discovers a Prothean data cache

on Mars.
[mass effect beacon]

That is the premise behind the universe

of Mass Effect. Humanity discovers alien

instruction manuals on Mars, uses them,

discovers that Pluto’s moon, Charon, is

actually a giant alien squirt gun, and

gets shot off to another part of the

galaxy and meets intelligent life at

last. And shoots it. A bunch of

shenanigans later humanity is one of the

flunkies in a giant alien government and

you (Shepard) are sent in to restore (or

destroy) the galaxy’s self-esteem.
[mass effect intro]

Shepard, the main character, is

essentially a user avatar in both

appearance (if you spend three hours you

can make him/her look like you) and

attitude. Through the conversation system

and side quests, your character can

become a champion of jusice, or a total

badass who “doesn’t give a sh#@% about

FU#%!”
[mass effect paragon/renegade]

The conversation system is Bioware’s

revolutionary answer to boring NPCs.

Rather than hitting A and the characters

just saying one or two preconceived

lines, it gives you a weel that allows

you to steer the conversation the way you

want it to and watch the results. Effects

vary from violent shootouts to hot alien

sex. Fox, eat me. If you make certain

heroic or dastardly decisions enough, you

eventually unlock the ability to make

heroic or super-evil comments and actions

in conversations to steer them your way.

Play the crowd. One highlight I can

absolutely not stress enough about this

game is that while playing as a heroic

character, I actually convinced the final

boss to commit suicide. I won’t

elaborate, but basically Shepard is the

best protagonist ever. Talking to NPcs is

actually fun for once! ๐Ÿ˜€
[mass effect conversation]

Aside from that, Mass Effect is a third

person shooter of considerable depth.

Unfortunately, I chose to play as a

generic soldier (who can admittedly use

every weapon in the game aside from SMGs)

and as a result did not get mad hacking

skillz or crazy psychic powers. If I play

through again, I shall, but the core of

the shooting system remains the same.

While the second game focuses more on

cover, the first one did have the

mechanic. In addition, the weapons had

infinite ammo in the first game at the

cost of overheating issues, as opposed to

the second games’ weapons having ammo and

reload tendencies without overheating. I

wonder if they’ll combine them in the

third?
[mass effect classes]

Weaponry is somewhat basic in the first.

You get the pistol, shotgun, assault

rifle, and sniper rifle. Regardless of

class, you can use them, albeit with

varying skill. The second game gives only

certain weapons to certain classes, such

as a vanguard getting only a pistol and a

shotgun. The second game introduced heavy

weapons to replace the first games’

grenades. Most are super-awesome

replacements for certain powers, but some

of the DLC variants have unique features,

such as an arc gun.
[mass effect weapons]

The psychic (biotic) powers in the game

play with Mass Effect’s physics engine

and make for some hilarious rag doll

motion, particularly in ME2. The hacking

powers are more subdued and less

fantastic, but equally powerful.
[mass effect biotic]

The story, without giving anything away,

in both games, is fantastic. Not just

because your crewmates are deep and

exciting characters, but because your

decisions matter. Did you choose to let

this character live and atone for her

misdeeds? She shows up in the second game

having done that. Other side-quest

characters will recognize you and react

differently. Major decisions in the first

game heavily influence the second, and

the huge decisions made in the second

game will undoubtedly have huge

ramifications on the third.
[mass effect story]

There’s also an issue of certain

characters dying in canon. This only

happens if you make poor decisions and

don’t help a brother out, essentially.

The game rewards you for not sucking at

the end by letting you (and presumably

your crewmembers) survive. If you suck,

not just your crewmembers, but you could

die as well. It’ll be interesting to see

who the new player character is in ME3.
[mass effect fail ending]

Getting down to basics, the graphics pop

regularly in the first game, but at best

look awesome. Characters have detail

(specifically Shepard’s hand-made face)

and environments have depth. This goes

doubly so for the second game, only with

less texture-popping.
[mass effect graphics/texture popping]

Music is good and evokes a variety of

emotions depending on the situation.

There are sad moments, scary moments,

downright epic moments, and crowning

moments of awesome, all punctuated by a

fantastic score (assuming you don’t play

music from your 360).
[Shepard triumphant]

Gameplay-wise, I couldn’t help but

compareMass Effect to Kingdom Hearts. Let

me elaborate. In addition to always

having two part members with limited but

not horrible intelligence, Kingdom Hearts

was an RPG that had some hackn’slash

elements at the core of it’s combat

system to replace turn-based sillyness.

Similarly, Mass Effect was an RPG that

had third-person shooter elements at the

core of it’s combat system to replace

turn-based voodoo. Then the sequels came

out. Kingdom Hearts 2 and Mass Effect 2

were meant to draw a much wider and

impatient audience. Kingdom Hearts 2 was

essentially a hackn’slash with RPG

elements to make it longer and more

awesome. Mass Effect 2 was a third-person

shooter with RPG elements to make it

longer and more awesome. This doesn’t say

anything really bad about either series.

Actually, it brings home the point that

if most hackn’slash or third-person

shooters had this kind of depth, they’d

be much cooler games.
[Kingdom Hearts/Mass Effect boxes and/or

screenshots]

As a final word, I have to say that

having an Xbox 360 or gaming PC (and even

a PS3 soon) is all the reason you need to

play Mass Effect. Mass Effect is to Halo

what Star Trek is to Star Wars. A more

subtler, but just as epic, sci-fi

universe. The game will leave you

thoroughly satisfied an intensely

awaiting the third installment. Now if

you’ll excuse me, I need to find some

Halo/Mass Effect fanfiction. XP
[fanfic is serious business]

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