Mass Effect : Xbox 360

09 Sep 2008

So its been awhile since I’ve really been hooked on a 360 game besides any of the arcade games like Geometry Wars. About three months ago Jade and I were having lunch when one of the other guys that at the time worked in the ITC store joined us and started raving about this game he tried called Mass Effect. Well he made it sound really awesome and it sparked my interest a bit at the time, but really didn’t have the time then to start a new game. Recently I borrowed the game from a friend and let me tell you it is exactly as awesome as he described it.

You are essentially a soldier in the Alliance fleet which is from what I’ve gathered the future Earth fleet. Essentially somewhere along the line we find some crazy alien technology that allows us to travel far distances and has something to do with a physics thing called Mass Effect. We of course find alien species which have formed a similar alliance thing called the Council which resides on a Ginormous space city that had previously been home to the race of aliens that created the technology that we use in the jump gates.

So this council is founded by 3 other alien species and the Earth alliance is kind of an outlier of this council alliance and trying to gain a spot on the council. The council has a special ops unit called the Spectre which the use to do tasks that they cannot officially be a part of, similar to the special ops unit that James Bond was part of. The Spectre answers to only the council and has no jurisdiction and does not have to follow the laws of the C-SEC which is the general army. Soon after starting the game you become the first Human Spectre and dive into the actual storyline which revolves around stopping a rouge Spectre called Saren. I won’t spoil the whole story, but he is essentially trying to take over the universe by reviving an extremely old alien race that was the demise of the Protheians which are the aliens that created the that technology that the Humans and other aliens use to move across the galaxy.

The gameplay at first is hard to understand, but once you get going its really awesome. Every time you are sent to a planet to complete a task you pick your two squad members from about five aliens that are helping you. As you complete sub tasks and kill enemies you gain experience points which lead to you gaining Levels that you can assign to yourself and your squad members. What I found particularly interesting is how your squad members actually help you. I’ve spilled a bunch of my Levels into one member of my squad making him an excellent sniper for instance. When we get into battle it is really nice telling my squad to take cover while I run out using my Invulnerability skill and often when I’m in close combat with an enemy I will see him get blown away from my sniper’s Advanced Assasination skill which essentially gives him like 300% extra damage and knockback on a target.

The other members have their abilities too. One of them has bionic abilities which allows her to use abilities like lift, throw and warp. Its pretty funny when your fighting a psuedo boss and all of a sudden he is like 10 feet in the air helpless and then gets tossed across the room. Of course the hole time he is in the air I’m just laying the smack down with my assault rifle.

I’d highly recommend this game if you are into first person RPG shooter type games. The beginning is a bit dull, but I guarantee that if you make it past that you will enjoy it.

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