Mass Effect review

  • Fantastic story and characters
  • Caters to both shooters and RPGers
  • Nice sense of scale - feels big
  • Rough edges around combat
  • Could be longer, more open-ended
  • Clunky inventory system

Your boss called. He's busy, so he needs you to take care of a few things today: Take the new spaceship on a test run, buy milk, discover an ancient alien civilization, save all organic life in the galaxy from annihilation, and get yourself a little cosmic bow-chicka-bow-wow in the process. If you don't think you can get all that done, he says he can probably wait until the weekend for the milk.

Well, of course it's impossible. But it's exactly what you do in Mass Effect, a starry-eyed space opera that melds the deep story and character development of a role-playing game with the bullets-flying action of a squad-based shooter. It's one part talking to the good aliens, two parts blasting big, gooey holes in the bad ones, and one part monster trucking over distant planets in your six-wheeled, cannon-turreted space buggy. It's also fan-bloody-tastic.

We'll start with the talking, which is actually Mass Effect's greatest strength. Hollywood wishes it could find a script and story like this. It starts with the discovery of an alien artifact (yet somehow it doesn't feel like Halo or 2001: A Space Odyssey) and ends with you rescuing literally every intelligent organism in the Milky Way from a grisly, violent death.

Too vague for you? Sorry. To say more would give too much away. Just trust that it's all great: plot, characters, voice acting, the sheer sense of scale - everything. Add in fantastic graphics and a cinematic flair, and the end result is a truly memorable story. Our only complaint was that it ended too soon - we wanted more.

More Info

Release date: Nov 20 2007 - Xbox 360
May 28 2008 - PC (US)
Nov 23 2007 - Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Microsoft
Developed by: BioWare
Franchise: Mass Effect
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence


  • PiscesIscariot - January 9, 2010 7:48 a.m.

    "When we finished Mass Effect the first time, the very next thing we did was start it all over again" Yes. I know this won't give the game a lot of credit unless you know me, but I'm hardly the one to play games multiple times. I'm a huge gamer, nerd and achievement whore, so when I'm finish with one I usually take it back to gamestop and get a new one, but this game. Oh man, it's so much different. I beat this game 3 times. The first time I got it, a second time and again when I heard about Mass Effect 2, and for some reason it got better everytime. This game is a huge inspiration for me, I mean it quite literally blew me away. I refer to this game constantly, and I recommend it to almost anyone. I'm an RP'er (in before shitstorm) and this game is so vast, so open, so much lore crammed into one game, that it's always a source of information for me when I'm RPing, OR writing. Of course, there were its issues. The Biotics and the Combat system weren't that great and all, and the worlds were barren, but it's still heavily outweighed by EVERYTHING else in this game. And you know what makes me cream myself? Mass Effect 2 is going to have everything and more. And everything is improved. I can't wait, fuck work, I'm playing this game.
  • Forsakenday - July 23, 2009 12:24 a.m.

    I just finished this game and It is amazing. The ending is epic and I can't wait for ME2. I do admit the inventory system is pretty horrid. If they fixed that, it would probably get a 10 on GR. But for me it already is a 10.
  • jar-head - May 15, 2009 11:26 p.m.

    playing again, the inventory is Very clunky, you can only hold 150 items. that may sound alot, but that consists of assault rifles/shotguns/pistols/sniper rifles/grenades/ armor/ biotech tools and omni tech tools, owe, and dont forget the Upgrades that come with Each Section. Bioware Has to fix that issue since they said ME was a trilogy and that if you finished the first and saved the game you can play the second game using that Same character, and that the first games effects the second in your choices. Of course any starting trilogy is gana have some clunky stuff that is usually fixed or improved in the second. But wheres ME Next DLC besides Bring down the sky?

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