andyc's Mass Effect (Xbox 360) review

2013 Mass Effect Review

As someone who remembered the franchise fondly, but having only played each game once with different saves each time, I decided it was time for a revisiting. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but damn was the entire ride of Mass Effect an excellent one.

The atmosphere and story still hold up really well 6 years after release. The world of Mass Effect is so flushed out it really does feel like a living breathing world that has been there forever. With the codec that is available in the pause menu, it is really easy to learn about, and fill, many small details about the world. This gives it a really Star Wars, or Star Trek universe kind of feeling, where the entire world is so flushed out and detailed that you can be fully immersed in this other universe.

You play as Commander Shepard. The first human Spectre tasked with hunting another Spectre who has gone rogue. Which ends up unraveling some whole big problem that involves the end of all civilization in the universe.

A lot of the game takes place in conversations. During conversations you are given the option to choose responses. These responses are usually a summary of what your Shepard is going to say, which gives it a nice reveal-feeling cause you don't know what to expect to come out of your character's mouth. It generally follows a good-neutral-evil answer, though. You gain good and evil points depending on how you deal with situations, but it's different in that Shepard is always fighting for good. It's just if she's going to be mean about it or nice about it.

This is from 2007, so maybe you can go into it with expectations of that. The game seemed like it was trying to be really ambitious, by throwing in a lot of systems that was supposed to equal a full RPG experience. They toned the RPG elements way down for the second and third installments. Mechanically, it's a third-person shooter that takes RPG elements into deciding certain things like whether you hit your target or not, even though you're cross hair wasn't exactly aimed at the enemy. It works and doesn't work. I played it generally like a shooter and it was decently fun throughout. What kept me motivated to continue was the story, though. There was also an entire inventory managing system that was taken out in 2/3 that ended up being quite tedious. There are plenty of guns to buy/sell from many vendors, along with a couple upgrades for each gun. When you're playing as a Soldier where every gun is a possible weapon of choice, this can become really tedious, as well as equipping every single party member as well.

Despite the aged mechanics Mass Effect is a great game. It's more engaging and immersive than anything I've played in awhile, and it should definitely be a must play for any gamer. You can then take your same character into 2 and 3 which completely enhances the experience even more.

Need something better than your average shooter? Play this game, it's probably really cheap now.

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