Backlog: Mass Effect

Since we’ve had this website, there were games that I completed but never really wrote about. I always fully intended to do a write up on each of them, but for one reason or another, didn’t. I would like to do a series of very quick write ups about each of them, the first being Mass Effect.

Mass Effect is a game developed by BioWare, which was released in November of 2007. There was some controversy about the game in part due to the possible girl on alien girl scene which is sad as it had little to do with the story.

Let’s start with the customization. While you play a character named Commander Shepard, you can play either as a male or female character. You choose some of your back history but character appearance is where the customization is deep. There are some facial presets but for those who want more control of character looks, there are many sliders for specific adjustment.

While there is a class system, it is flexible. I started a second character and while my main abilities were with a sniper riffle, I was able to add a shotgun especially for close range fights.

The third person perspective was a put off for me at first but it is very well implemented in Mass Effect and was really needed since most gameplay was with a squad. The squad system worked well with my only pains being an occasional member determined to get them selves killed in certain scenarios. At the beginning, learning how to position and use the abilities of your squad is a little difficult, but is quickly overcome.

After the beginning training missions, there is a segment where you are encouraged to stay in an area and do simple talk walk quests. Honestly, this section was a little hard to get through. Once you do get past it though, the pace picks up fast and doesn’t really let off.

It’s easy to find tons of things to do besides the main quest. There is a simplified planet exploration navigation that can keep you busy for many hours. Most landing sites have three locations to check out. I was nearly through with the game before I realized that there are other things to find besides the marked areas. Also of note, there are collectables for completist to bite into.

Those of you who enjoy diving into the lore of a game will find much to love. There is codex in the game that updates with new information as you go through the game. Meet a new raceand there is a narrated entry in the codex telling you about the history of the race and how they fit into the society of the game world today.

I can happily say that I enjoyed the story and and the ending which evoked strong emotion in me. Also, I felt a prideful sense of accomplishment. I will warn you though that there is a point at the end where you can’t go back and do anything else you missed. I was well into this section before I realized it.

Overall this was a very enjoyable game and one which I will play again for missed content on the first play through. It will also be nice to play the DLC that came out after and the highly anticipated Mass Effect 2.

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