Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Developer: BioWare Corporation

ESRB: M

# of Players: 1

Category: Role-Playing

Release Dates

N Amer - 11/01/2007

Intl - 01/01/2008

Official Game Website

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E3 2007 Preview

Considering their track record (Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), it’s not hard to get excited about Bioware’s upcoming space action-RPG, Mass Effect. A title that turned many heads at last year’s E3 (winning the Game of the Show award from several outlets), Mass Effect is an Xbox 360 exclusive that many PS3 owners would undoubtedly love to get their hands on. The game was recently on showcase at the Microsoft’s E32007 event, and the results were pretty impressive. The near complete build features a deep and engaging storyline and great weapon and vehicle-based combat, making it one experience that Xbox 360 gamers won’t want to miss.

In the E3 demo, Bioware showed a new character, Wrex, who is a Krogan bounty hunter. In the demo, the main character had just made a kill that Wrex was hired for, leading Wrex, who lives by a pretty strict honor code, to pay your character. They begin to form a bond, and Wrex becomes your ally and a member of your party. Krogans are huge beasts that are rife with intricate details and skin textures, showing the game’s graphical prowess quite well.

The game also gives you tons of different ways to play, and unique situations determined by the characters in your party. For example, one planet on the map requires you to destroy a cure for a manufactured disease that is killing off the Krogan race, who themselves are scourging the galaxy. If Wrex is in your group, he’ll argue with you and try to get you to not destroy his people’s cure, requiring you to sort him out. Conversely, this situation wouldn’t happen if Wrex weren’t in your group, with depending on how you play the game, is certainly an option. The ways to play Mass Effect are pletiful, and has countless ways of revealing new elements and interactions.

Combat-wise, Mass Effect has a lot up its sleeve. You’ll have a Mako to assist you in getting around planetary terrain. The Mako is essentially a Hummvee/Tank vehicle with weapons mounted on it and jump jet capabilities, allowing you to dodge enemy fire in mid-air. Also the game’s on foot combat element is pretty solid, acting as a real-time action game would and even letting you lean up against walls to peek around a corner.

Additionally, you’ll be able to use Biotics, which are dark energy powers (fans of KOTOR will know what to do here). You can hoist your enemies off of the ground and fire on them, as well as many other unrevealed tactics.

Mass Effect has all the elements of a blockbuster RPG, with solid gameplay, a great story, and dynamic interaction. Look for it this November.

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Bioware’s highly anticipated action-RPG offers a deep storyline and action-packed gameplay.

Reviewer: Steven Hopper

Review Date: 07/12/2007


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