Mass Effect: Explore a galaxy of oppertunities




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Mass Effect is a game unlike any other, combining the first person shooter and role playing genres.

Developed by BioWare, creators of the popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, you can expect a variety of ways to play this game. With the teaser trailer out for the sequel, now is the perfect time to take a look at Mass Effect.

At the very beginning of the game you’re given plenty of options to customize your character. You will choose your character’s sex as well as their back story, including where your character was born as well as their military background. Once you have chosen a history for your character, you begin shaping their future by selecting their class.

Mass Effect offers six classes. The Solider is a weapon-based class with attributes based more on attack and defense as well as physical strength. The Adept class focuses on biotics, who use magic-like abilities that are both offensive and defensive at the cost of being relatively fragile. The Engineer is a technology-based class that has an edge over the tech-based weapons enemies use, as well as hacking abilities outside of battle. The next three classes have a combination of advantages and abilities from the main three. The Sentinel is both biotic and tech savvy. The Infiltrator has soldier buffs and engineer abilities. The Vanguard, which is the class I chose, is a power house with biotic capabilities mixed in with a soldier’s weapon skills.

Once you have finished customizing your character the game starts and you begin your life as Commander Shepard. After the events of the story’s prelude you become the first human Spectre, an officer of sorts that answers only to the intergalactic council, and work towards the goal of defeating a rouge Spectre named Saren.

Of course, you will not be alone on this journey. As you progress through the game you are introduced to others that help you for their own reasons. Ashley Williams and Kaiden Alenko are your two human party members. Each character has their own class as well, which is very useful when trying to put together a well balanced team. Alenko is a Sentinel that struggles with his abilities. Williams is a Soldier found during the prelude as the sole survivor of an attack that killed off the rest of her squad. The rest of your party consists of aliens. My favorite is the Garrus Vakarian, a Turian Infiltrator that works with Shepard to bring down Saren. Then there’s Urdnot Wrex. Wrex is a Krogan mercenary with abilities from the Adept class. Another squad member is Tali of the Qurian race, an engineer thirsty for knowledge. The last member on your squad is Liara T’Soni. Liara is an Asari with high biotic abilities. The more you talk to your teammates, the more you will learn about them.

As a Spectre, you work outside the laws and face no punishment for your actions. As you play the game you walk your own path. You’re able to choose whether you want to be a good or bad Spectre. Doing good deeds will earn you paragon points. Likewise, evil actions will earn you renegade points. Furthermore, your dialogue choices earn you such bonuses as well. Depending on your status as a paragon or renegade, you receive the dialogue options of either persuade or intimidate. All your actions and words also determine how others perceive you.

Though there is a linear story, there are many other things for you to do in the game. With hundreds of planets to explore and new side quests constantly arising, Shepard will definitely have his hands full. Of course you can run through the game completing only your main objectives – or you can really take your time and maximize your play through.

If you love detailed role playing games, then Mass Effect is definitely for you. The constant action makes it super fun to play while the interactive storyline brings the game to its full potential. Pick up Mass Effect now on the X-Box 360 or PC.