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Review: Mass Effect - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 30 November 2007, 13:42

Tags: Mass Effect, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Xbox 360, RPG

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Sci-fi entertainment experience

Mass Effect is more than just a videogame. It’s a sci-fi entertainment experience, a cinematic showcase and an epic novel rolled into one.

The time spent within the confines of the Mass Effect world largely consists of listening to its array of wonderfully designed characters as they slowly undress the storyline piece by piece. There’s a dream-like flow to the game thanks in part to the immersive dialogue that sucks you right into the storyline. The icing on the cake are some splendidly produced cut-scenes and the enjoyable interaction you encounter with many of the alien races acts as the proverbial cherry on top. Although Mass Effect never really breaks a sweat in terms of action, it does tell its great sci-fi story with tremendous ingenuity.

Having recently reviewed the over-hyped Assassin’s Creed I was wary and untrusting of the 100% scores lauded on Mass Effect by a number of high profile websites and magazines. Nevertheless, I’ve done a good job myself nurturing my own Mass Effect hype over the course of the year and had already come to my own conclusion prior to its release. Based on the fact that I’d played and loved Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) and was also interested in the subject matter in this latest action RPG, I was confident that the developer wouldn’t let me down in terms of great story-telling, excellent production and visual panache.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Mass Effect achieves all of these things with great style. The epic tale is spurred on by purposeful dialogue from dozens of colourful alien races and is backed up by reams of text on the history of the galaxies and their races from the in-game encyclopaedia. The beautifully designed and unique characters have personalities that manage to shine through thanks to their emotive facial expressions and the excellent voice-acting talent of those behind them, whilst the sophisticated graphics and the scale of the game means that it’s easy to lose hours just exploring and becoming immersed in the game world.