A Galatic Jawdropper
Arguably every RPG that has come in contact with Bioware has been solid gold, it's first step into the pool of next-gen was highly anticipated by many RPG fans and action based game fans alike, it was a serious level Bioware targeted, a diverse universe full of planets to explore and species to interact with was something no company had touched in the next-gen age.
Right from the start of the story your emotions are split up into the Renegade or Paragon spectrum. The career decisions was the main focus of Mass Effect, so likewise, everything in the galaxy revolves around your decisions, which were beautifully mirrored by Commander Shepard. People say that there's a Commander Shepard in all of us, well I think there's a little part of all of in Shepard, whether you want to be heartless in your quest to save the universe or you want to do things like a noble knight in shining armor, it's completely up to you. It wont feel like a chore to finish missions and talk to people to find out information on your target, ME is designed to hook you into the story, you'll want to find out about what's going on and you'll want to save the universe, but the real beauty is that Bioware lets you decide how you go about doing those things.
Technically concerned, Mass Effect has not disappointed. The view of the greenery in the Cathedral or the shadow of a distant moon is captivating to say the absolute least. There are some bugs to be concerned about, not too much as none of them (which I have encountered) are game-breaking. Just graphical hiccups here and there will stop you momentarily, and by momentarily I mean a few short seconds, and it will put you right back in the action.
The action is something Bioware gambled on, because when you think about RPG games, the first thing to pop is, well, how am I going to get the thrill of an Action based game from an RPG while still keeping it strategic? Bioware answered this question with a clear intent of giving the players, once again, the power of choice. With the new time-stopping ability, in the heat of the battle, you can get a 360 degree view of your battlefield and decide how you want to go about solving this puzzle, that is, if you look at it from the RPG side. But no, you just want to run and gun, well go ahead, dont stop time at all, just equip your solider with rounds of fire that'll burn the enemies literally into oblivion.
The reason why Mass Effect isn't a 5 star game isn't because Bioware didn't quite come up to par with expectations, it is because Bioware focused so heavily on the exploration of planets via the Mako (galactic humvee) and all exploration was virtually only possible through the Mako that the whole exploration concept got rotten because of the broken controls of the Mako. You'd think the future super cruiser would have a cannon that can point downward right? Well, the Alliance ran out of funds so your stuck with this piece of junk which indeed, does make exploration a chore, but an optional one thankfully.
When you want to find a company that pushes the bar for RPG's, look no further than Bioware and take Mass Effect as it's defendant because ME is a masterpiece of Sci-Fi role-playing, and with the promising Mass Effect trilogy on it's way, Bioware truly is the universal dominator of Action RPG's.
The Closure: With one of the best stories in a video game accompanied by beautiful visual excellence. Mass Effect is a must-buy for both RPG and Action game fans that wont disappoint.