Game Preview: Epic ‘Mass Effect’

by W. Andrew Powell

In just twelve days a brand new franchise arrives on the gaming landscape that promises depth and variety in a galaxy-wide epic. The game is Mass Effect and it arrives from one of Canada’s legendary game developers: BioWare, makers of mega-hit titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Baldur’s Gate series.

With a premise and style that sounds at least a little like Halo, and KotOR, Mass Effect is a sci-fi action RPG that features a recognizable cinematic style. In the game, players take on the role of Commander Shepard, an elite agent that has to convince a galaxy of aliens that a dire threat could destroy all life. The catch is just that none of the other races trust humans.

As Shepard, you’ll travel the universe to uncover the truth, and the fate of the galaxy, as you fight against an evil force. The good news is that you won’t be trapped in just one story. The game features multiple side quests on numerous planets, with a variety of life forms, and technology to discover.

Much like other RPGs, players can customize their character, and increase stats throughout the game.

The combat system in Mass Effect features squad-based combat that includes ranged weapons, special bio powers and science-based magic, as well as tech powers.

According to details released from BioWare, Mass Effect also includes voice work by Seth Green, Lance Henriksen, Marina Sirtis and Keith David, not to mention numerous NPCs with a ground-breaking AI system. The game is rated “M” for Mature and is only available for the Xbox 360 as of November 20, 2007.

Visit for more on the game, and check out the video and images below.


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