🤔 How many games has Beethoven been credited on? (answer)

Mass Effect

aka: ME1
Moby ID: 31277
Xbox 360 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Mass Effect is the first part of a science fiction RPG trilogy. It is set in a futuristic universe created specifically for the game, with its own history, various alien races, as well as cultural, political, and social background.

The story of the game deals with Commander Shepard, supposedly the first human candidate for the elite group of special agents (the Spectres), who serve the inter-galactic Council, comprised of the oldest and most powerful races in the universe. With or without the help of the Council, Shepard has to stop Saren, a Spectre member who went rogue and tries to exact revenge upon those he was once a part of.

In Mass Effect the player takes control of Commander Shepard, who is fully customizable in the character creation screen; his abilities, gender, and physical appearance can be shaped by the player. Both female and male versions of the character are fully voiced.

Combat in the game is action-based, and is similar to tactical squad-based shooters. As in most of BioWare's previous RPGs, the player can pause at any time to issue orders to other squad members. The squad members are AI-dependable, but general commands (such as run forward, take cover, target a specific enemy, etc) can be issued without pausing.

The six character classes in the game are Soldier, Engineer, Adept, Infiltrator, Sentinel, and Vanguard. Soldiers are good with weapons, Engineers can use tech abilities to sabotage enemies' equipment, and Adepts are able to use the disruptive biotic powers. The other three classes are combinations of the first three. Character growth features, beside the usual "level up" system, a skill-based advancement. When the characters gain a level, the player is allowed to distribute points into skills of his/her choice. These skills include weapon proficiency, tech abilities such as destroying enemy shields or hacking robotic enemies, and biotic abilities that manipulate the mass effect field to damage enemies and protect the party. Non-combat abilities for the main character include Charm and Intimidate, which influences conversation choices.

Mass Effect comes with its own morality system. There are two sides of morality in the game - Paragon and Renegade, with Paragon being a more diplomatic, official military courtesy following character, and Renegade being the "ends justify the means", damning everything to hell kind of character. The main quest with its choices and consequences is only a part of the experience - there are several optional planets that offer side-questing and exploration. Pursuing a romantic relationship with a companion is also possible.

The game introduces a slightly tweaked conversation system in which responses to NPC's are displayed and can be chosen before the NPC has finished speaking. This, combined with detailed facial expressions, allows for more fluid and natural conversations.

The PC version of Mass Effect differs in some points from the Xbox 360 release. Besides higher resolution graphics, the mini game about hacking a computer has been changed. Now instead of playing "Simon Says", the player has to get a triangle into the middle of a circle by avoiding the blocks that are constantly moving around in a Frogger-like fashion. The interface has also undergone massive changes. Besides a new quick slot bar in which the player can assign up to eight abilities for quick access to the number keys, the pause menu has been changed to give the player faster and better control over his teammates. It's now also possible to give every teammate individual orders instead of having both do the same thing. Item management has also been simplified to account for the new keyboard/mouse control scheme which also allows for better precision in the shooter-like fights.

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Credits (Xbox 360 version)

624 People (566 developers, 58 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 90% (based on 166 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 253 ratings with 15 reviews)

An alright game, Earth-Clan

The Good
Very detailed landscapes and spacescapes

Plenty of lore and fun races to interact with

Main story is not the most difficult to follow

Surface exploration is pretty cool.

The codex has been nicely organized and is voiced.

The Bad
All menus are terribly designed and unintuitive.

More tutorials would have been nice or at least tutorials that don't disappear instantly when you press a button.

Dialogue options are often incorrect; Shephard just says whatever the hell he wants.

Too much managing to do between two team-mates and yourself because you always wield four different weapons with mods.

Economy is broken.

The AI is terrible.

The Bottom Line
Story

Mass Effect tells the story of Commander Shepherd, a human working aboard a revolutionary spaceship called the “Normandy”. As the game starts you are prompted to select a background story for him and then you’re ready for the first mission. What seems like a routine pick-up goes horribly wrong however when a special agent commits treason and jeopardizes the mission. Upon reporting back to the alien council with proof, Shepherd is promoted to the rank of “Spectre”, meaning he’s an intergalactic agent with no rules keeping him tied. Naturally, the next course of action is to pursue the man who ruined your mission before his evil plans can be realized.

This is one of your typical Bioware stories, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the positive side it gives you a very well-crafted world with different races and a good sense of uniqueness. On the other hand, though, it also suffers from some of the very common Bioware clichés. What I really liked was that all the races were very originally written and also in a way that didn’t require me to read codex entries or a wikia page. Everything is explained in-game over the course of several events and it does a really good job at keeping you interested. For all its’ flaws, it was seeing the story through to the end that kept me hooked to this game.

The game is also riddled with several moments where you need to make choices based on how you want your version of Shepherd to develop. These can be very contained, such as how you want to respond to the dialogue of a crew-mate or affect galactic peace, such as the one on which the game ends. What makes this even more intriguing is the premise of loading up your old save-file when you get the sequel (and the one after that) and see your choices return to pay off or bite you in the ass once more. It’s a very revolutionary way of dealing with an RPG-series and makes sure that people stay hooked for future installments.

On the negative side, though, the story has some of the generic elements that always make it into Bioware games lately. First of all, the story revolves largely around racism, but in the most bland and uninformed way possible. Most of the time it just gets down to humans going “lol aliens” and the various alien species saying the same vice versa. Every situation Shepherd comes across is also portrayed unrealistically negative, such as every distress signal been a trap or every colony been destroyed. It’s supposed to raise the stakes, but you’re more likely to start wondering how poorly defended everything is. Finally, I am somewhat disappointed with the role-playing aspect of this game. There are plenty of times where you must choose the dialogue for Shepherd, but he never says the exact line and instead says something that would be close to it on the moral spectrum. You won’t accidentally say something evil when playing as a good Shepherd, but one situation that stands out was early on when an alien backed up his arguments during a court-session with insults towards humanity. The option “Insults, typical” came up, which obviously sounded like I discredited his argument and made him look like a whiny little kid, but instead Shepherd started rambling about other things that were way less to-the-point and stingy.

Gameplay

Mass Effect largely consists of navigating through levels while landing in cover-based combat at every turn and bend. The combat itself is adequate, but also very unremarkable and simplistic. You always have four weapon equipped: a pistol, an assault rifle, a shotgun and a sniper. With those you can aim and shoot and if you shoot enough, the enemies will eventually go down. There are also grenades involved in this, but the enemies don’t seem to know that yet and you usually won’t either. A few tweaks I do like is that there is no ammo, but instead weapons fire plasma and continuous fire will eventually overheat the gun. This forces you to take breaks during combat to cool down the systems, so fights turn into both shoot-outs and hide ‘n’ seek at the same time. You can also use a variety of skills which you learn by investing points in the talent trees, such as force push or resurrection ability. Finally, looting enemies has been made easier; all you have to do is open the inventory after combat and you will get a load of toys.

This doesn’t mean the combat is good either, though, because the game suffers from an AI that is about as broken as it gets. I was playing a sniper throughout the game and eventually came to a point where a load of enemies were in a hallway, ripe for the picking off. I took cover behind a wall, prepared my aim, and then my two team-mates ran past me and stood right in the opening. Way too many enemies also seem to rely on blindly charging towards me and then standing right in front of my face while shooting. Fighting is also not made any easier what with the terrible tutorials that might have glitched out for all I know. I was explained maybe half of the mechanics and the rest I was left to figure out for myself, such as that exiting the vehicle is done with the Q-button, which is used for that and absolutely nothing else while the ever-so-loyal F and E keys only do nothing while in a vehicle.

Shoot enough enemies, though, and you will eventually level up and get to select how to invest your points. There are a number of skill trees, which are based on what class you picked at the start of the game. You unlock some more if you get far enough in a single skill and there are milestones scattered around that give you new abilities or strengthen your existing ones. It sounds easy enough, but it’s also remarkably simplistic for a studio that should be capable of creating systems with more depth. Pouring points in Decryption and Electronics doesn’t make hacking or retrieving any easier, it just unlocks the higher difficulties. This means that a fully skilled Decrypter has just as much trouble with a simple lock as he had at the start of the game.

The game also calculates your damage based on your weapons, armor and mods, but this is just as broken as the stats-mechanic. Figuring out which weapon is statically better is easy enough, but the game throws way too many of them at you. Opening a random chest might yield between two and five items and a few combat-sequences can easily yield up to twenty of them nearing the end. All of these you will end up selling, which is a boring chore and comes with very little reward. I ended up with almost 10 million credits, but there was not a single thing to spend it on because all my weapons severely outclassed the ones offered in the store.

To end on a positive note, I am one of the few players who enjoyed the space exploration sequences. You can find these small planets with a few resources and secrets to trace down, but to get to those you need to drive around the landscape with the most uncontrollable jeep ever seen in video games. The dang thing bounces around like a tennis ball in a centrifuge, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun to use. Whenever you discover one of the secrets, it’s also very rewarding to dig up, especially since you are slowly working towards the completion of some overarching side-quests.

Presentation

I’ve said before in my review of Dead Space that setting a game in space allows the designers to do a ton of beautiful stuff with the presentation and it’s sad to once again see that potential gone to waste. There is one amazingly beautiful area in the game, which is The Citadel that serves as a seat of power for the races of the galaxy. It’s gigantic, it’s imaginative, it looks alien and even when you’re inside the place there’s still a lot to see and enjoy. All other areas however have the tendency to lock you up in generic, often grey areas that consist largely of tight corridors. I do very much enjoy the design of the spacesuits everyone walks around in. It’s generic and unrealistic, but that colorful and flashy spandex just looks so… spacey.

I also admire the character design itself, which for most races looks pretty good. Some species just look a lot like each other, but on others you can clearly see they bothered to make different models for various NPC’s. Each line of dialogue is also voiced, which makes conversations sound more lively and real. I however can’t forgive the game for the really poor side-quest areas it made, or didn’t make as the case may be. There are maybe six areas and the only changes they make with each side-quest is where the boxes are stacked. Same 2 spaceships, same 2 bunkers and same 2 science centers, it wouldn’t be too big of a deal if it wasn’t done so shamelessly. Then there are also the planet surfaces, which also have this copy & paste problem, but this time in the sense that each planet has exactly 1 anomaly, 1 stash of items, 3 resources and 1 mission-critical area.

Replay-value

Mass Effect offers the premise of choosing how certain events play out, so the most basic answer would be that you replay the game to see how else your adventure could have ended. However, Mass Effect also offers numerous different sets of skills and abilities. Not only are there six classes available from the get-go, but you also get to specialize further at a later level. These two combined can make for some good replaying. However, the story is also the game’s biggest handicap, since players will not take kindly to handling the same dialogue all over again. The second problem is that there is little fun to be found it having to do the surveying of random planets all over again, which is an alright grind the first time around, but can get very grating when done all over again a second time.

Why should you get it?

Mass Effect comes with the promise of been able to enjoy a trilogy of games based on your own choices, without having to start over with each installment. The universe Bioware painted is also a joy to explore and learn about, due to the interesting characters and races you come across. Gameplay is generally sufficient to string together the story and most of the flaws that are present start to fall by the wayside as you progress through the game.

Why should you leave it?

The story is just about the only thing Bioware put any real effort in and most of the other content just feels lazy; areas are endlessly copy/pasted, tutorials are left unfinished, AI is barely present and even the most generic cut-scenes that play every time you fly somewhere can’t be skipped. The game needed a bit more polish, so if you aren’t particularly into sci-fi or don’t see anything in the story’s premise, then it’s better to let this one go.

Windows · by Asinine (956) · 2013

Hardly massive, and not too effective

The Good
I've been a fan of BioWare ever since they entered the RPG stage with the legendary Baldur's Gate. Needless to say I was very excited when I heard about Mass Effect, ready to trust the crafty Canadians even after a few hiccups. I grabbed the game immediately. I played it non-stop, having some of the longest gaming sessions in recent times. And, even though it managed to confirm some of my darkest suspicions concerning BioWare's new design philosophy, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it.

Mass Effect is a game with a lot of charisma, ranging from cheap bravado to serious cinematic appeal; it cleverly cheats its way out of situations another game would surrender and collapse in.

Many people see the new combat system as a drawback. I think they did pretty well, given the impossible task of combining fast-paced shooting with party management and role-playing. In any case, this is a definite improvement over the paltry choices of Jade Empire. You have a fully controllable party, weapons, armor, upgrades, etc.

A nice gameplay feature is the ability to navigate a "mako", an armored vehicle with guns, through the outdoor areas of most planets. The weapons mounted on the mako are very powerful, and it's fun to use them in combat against the many enemy ambushes you'll encounter on your way. There are many planets you can simply go to and drive around in your mako. You cannot land on all of them, but there are still enough left to explore and to look for side quests. In comparison, Knights of the Old Republic games didn't allow you to go to any planets but those that were required to visit in order to complete the main quest.

Many of the things you say, many of the decisions you take will leave their mark on the game's story. Some of those decisions are tough and go beyond being nice or rude to someone. At one point of the game, you'll have an opportunity to commit a genocide against a race that is perceived as incurably violent by nearly everyone. However, the representative of the race promises you that they have learned their lesson and will never attack anyone again. Will you risk putting peace and safety in the galaxy in danger, or will you exterminate an entire race of living creatures? The choice is yours. At another point, you'll have to take a life and death decision concerning two of your party members. You won't be able to rescue them both, but you will be able to choose whose life you'll save. Which one will it be? It's a shame such meaningful choices are few and far between.

Keeping a well-known BioWare tradition intact, Mass Effect pays a lot of attention to companions. Each party member comes with sharply defined backgrounds, personalities, opinions, etc. Very often party members will interfere in your dialogues, agreeing or disagreeing, stating their opinions, giving you advice. Sometimes I wanted to replay an entire location just because I was interested what other party members would say about what I did. Companions will comment on situations, talk to each other, and generally will always be present. After each major quest, more conversation topics will be open for you with each companion. You can take your time and get to know them all, find out more about their past, their opinions, their personality. And of course, what would a BioWare RPG be without romance? As a male Shepard, you can have love affairs with two female members of your party; as a female Shepard, you can romance a male human soldier, and a sexy female human-like alien. And oh, naturally there is the famous lesbian sex scene that caused so much controversy...

Mass Effect has good writing. Most BioWare games shine in this department, and this is certainly no exception. The writing is fluent and natural, it never gets awkward or too sophisticated, but also never oversimplifies things. Many of the dialogues have that particular fine sense of humor those games are known for.

However, what I liked most about Mass Effect is its ability to create a new world from scratch and immerse the player into it. In that respect, it is like a good sci-fi book, the first part of a series set in an original universe that compels you to get the sequels and have the entire collection. Even though the setting of the game is a rather standard sci-fi, complete with spaceships, different alien races, advanced robotic creatures etc., the developers brought it to life thanks to their dedication. They have created a whole universe in Mass Effect, and that universe became the undisputed star of the nascent franchise and the main justification for its existence.

Though a lot of its themes were hastily taken from various works of American science fiction literature, Mass Effect does manage to combine popular sci-fi tropes with interesting nearly-philosophical speculations and convincing depiction of a vast alien world. It almost makes the universe of Star Wars feel superficial and lacking detail. While in Star Wars there are all kinds of alien races, we never really learn much about them. They are all just aliens, weird or funny creatures. In Mass Effect, every race is described in detail, having its own characteristics, history, social system, customs, values, etc. I've rarely seen alien races so vividly portrayed, so interesting and memorable - surely not since Star Control II a while ago. It's a pleasure to just read the in-game "codex" - information about races, locations, scientific terms, and history of the game's universe. In Mass Effect they have created a setting that could serve as a great background for many stories.

The Bad
There is no way around the fact that BioWare is getting lazy, and unfortunately Mass Effect displays clear symptoms of that disease. The biggest drawback here is the size of the game's locations. I know it probably sounds strange, since there are all those planets you can explore, but the problem is that the planets themselves only offer a very small area for exploration. Same applies to the planets you have to visit as part of the main quest progression: they all consist of a small settlement, that is typically connected by a strictly linear route (on which you drive the mako) to a dungeon-like location.

What I personally missed most of all in Mass Effect are all those large urban locations from other RPGs, in which you can talk to hundreds of NPCs and undertake many side quests. The locations in the game are severely underpopulated. While some characters offer extensive conversation trees, often with interesting personal questions and alike, others either blurt out short, simple lines, or won't talk to you at all. I like the feeling of being lost in a huge, bustling city, exploring it, listening to the latest gossip, talking to everyone, and interfering myself in the local matters. Alas, Mass Effect doesn't really have that. The only location that comes remotely close to that is the Citadel, the main "hub" of the game.

This lack of population and activity probably harms Mass Effect more than it would many other games. The game is set in a very detailed universe, with many distinct alien races and cultures. How exciting would it be, for example, to visit a Turian megalopolis, or a beautiful Asari city! Sadly, there is nothing of that sort in the game. The planets that you can land on are for the most part colonies, with ugly-looking settlements and nothing more. Mass Effect is not very pleasing aesthetically. There is hardly a location that would stun you with its beauty. It is always the same unexciting architecture all over again. Even the dungeons look very similar to each other. There is a certain lack of life in the game's locations, which is even more noticeable when compared to the outstanding liveliness of the characters.

The side quests of Mass Effect are surprisingly uninspired. We are not talking S.T.A.L.K.E.R. here, but compared to previous BioWare games, this offering is less than satisfying in that aspect. The few interesting side quests are quickly dissolved into the many similar "go there, kill everyone, come back, get the reward" assignments. Granted, there are many side quests in the game, since there are so many locations. Unfortunately, the quantity hasn't really translated into quality here.

The paragon-renegade moral system sounds good on paper, more like a law-chaos axis than a good-evil one, like in Shin Megami Tensei. But in reality, the system is nearly always used for plain old good and evil decisions rather than lawful and chaotic ones. Sure, in some instances the game does use its system properly (like whether to report everything to the Council in a paragon fashion or just do your thing on your own, renegade-wise), but many other choices are just standard black and white decisions, much like Jedi and Sith in Knights of the Old Republic games. For example, exterminating a race for the safety of the galaxy is actually a pretty paragon (lawful) decision, while letting it develop, with unforeseen consequences, is much more chaotic (renegade). Yet you score paragon points for sparing the race, because it would be the morally good thing to do. The Council - the very incarnation of the paragon system - actually reprimands you for doing that! Which is another proof that something went wrong with implementing this system.

A minor annoyance for me was the fact that most of Shepard's responses didn't correspond to the conversation choices that were presented to me. Often I would choose a response only to have Shepard say something quite different from what I intended. Sometimes Shepard would change the tone of the conversation without me actually wanting that. That makes it pretty hard to make choices during dialogues. Also, some of the choices suspiciously lead to the exact same answer, adding to confusion and making me wonder why they were made available in the first place.

The Bottom Line
It's tough for someone with classic preferences in role-playing games to appreciate Mass Effect. It is in many ways a typical modern game, and a typical product of commercialized BioWare, with some serious corners cut and efforts spared. It's fun, but there is no denying the fact that deep role-playing has given way to lesbian romances and merry shoot-outs in space where no one can hear you copy-paste.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181769) · 2017

Biowarian Imperialism At It's Worst

The Good
[At the time of writing this review, Mass Effect 2 is about to be released in 6 days. Rabbi Guru took the time off to share his thoughts with us about the first game.]

During the reign of Catherine II the Great (one of many female rulers in the overtly feminine russian 18th century), there was this general guy called Potyemkin, who also got to fuck the said empress every now and then. This general Potyemkin was leading the conquest of Crimea and when the empress wanted to see her new lands, general Potyemkin constructed a lot of hollow facades so it would look more impressive. Ever since then, the term Potemkin village is used to describe when someone, usually a backwards totalitarian regime, constructs a special happy village for the western visitors to see how happy life is in that backwards totalitarian regime. Now Mass Effect isn't a totalitarian regime, but it certainly is a backwards game that has a nice facade to fool the world to think that it's the best thing ever. The world, being full of stupid people, bought it and now it depends on me to reveal the lie that Mass Effect is.

Mass Effect is a lie pulled over the eyes of feeble-minded gaming world! Only with Rabbi Guru's intellectual mental discipline can you emancipate your mind from the lies of your society! Become who you are born to be! Cast away Mass Effect and become the revolution! Gamers of the world, unite!

The Secret Conspiracy of Bioware

There once was a small canadian developer called Bioware. It was founded by two doctors who decided to produce games. They gathered a group of people and made couple of nice games in the 90's.

Then at the dawn of the new millennium they made Baldur's Gate II. This game was such a brilliant piece of work balancing brilliantly between story, characters and exploration. It was unformulaic. It was one of the many games in late 90's/early 00's that awakened the individual player. It was a product of the revolution.

But I guess, for some reason, Bioware decided to go on a different path. I guess like Napoleon or Stalin before it, Bioware saw that the winds were changing. And I guess it was right, because Bioware is the only child of the revolution to survive. Troika, Looking Glass Studios, Black Isle, Ion Storm - all dead.

They then made Throne of Bhaal. And that game marks the first usage of standard Bioware formula that has been used to imprison the minds of would-be rpg players ever since.

The standard Bioware formula looks like this: you got 4 locations, you need to go through them but in any order you like, then after the 3rd location something happens, either a plot twist or something similar, then after the plot twist, you go to a fifth location and then you are in the final battle location and game over man, game over!

TOB only created the 4+1 locations part of the formula. Since it was the conclusion of BGII, it did the characters a bit differently than the nowadays standard Bioware formula. Cue Neverwinter Nights for creating the standard party member formula.

In NWN though, they just went crazy with the 4+1 locations. The game has like 4 chapters, and in each chapter there are 4 locations you must battle through to get into the 5th location to finish the chapter. 4+1x4=20 fucking times, the same thing over and over again. Fortunately for Bioware, only the third world of the gaming world played NWN, and thus for most of the world the unspeakable atrocities this game commited remained unknown. It was an experiment commited upon people the world didn't care about, an experiment to create the perfect formula to imprison the world. At first they came for us and you were silent... and then they came for you!

"The rulers of this world live on the backs of the people, and yet the people praise them as benefactors." - Jesus Christ

NWN also introduced a ghastly addition to the formula. The party members. Now you had only one or two with you. You had to speak to them and they told their sad life story. Then you got a quest. You solved it and voila! Instant friends for life! Since NWN was an inhuman experiment, you got to do this 4 times, in each chapter. Now that's just cruel. Also there were four parts for each sad life story. And to unlock those parts you had to wait until you're level was high enough, so they could finish their current sad story of the chapter. It was an inhuman experiment. Many human lives were wasted. Bioware made it's notes and...

Before the globalization of the gaming world in 2000's, gaming world was divided into many different inbred small communities who had no idea what happened in the other village. You had adventure gamers, you had shooter players, rpg fans... in fact adventure gamers are still somewhat a traditional people. I heard that UNESCO planned to add them to it's representative list. You see, when you still visit an adventure gaming community you can still see that really isolated gaming culture of yesterday's world. Those people just have no idea what happens outside their village. They're a living example of what gaming world used to look like.

Anyway, there was also this divide between console gamers and pc gamers. Console gamers grew up on different types of games. Let's think of a standard stereotypical example – a pc gamer might have gone through Monkey Island, Doom, System Shock, Deus Ex and a console gamer most likely was raised with Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Megaman and other consoly stuff like that.

When the globalization of the gaming world started, many pc game developers started to expand into the console world. Bioware was about to expand into the console world. NWN experiment was succesful. They got the formula more or less pinned down. Console gamers were living in their inbred world... and suddenly they got Knights of the Old Republic. The Standard Bioware Formula RPG. But you got to understand that these people had only seen something like Super Mario or Metal Gear. They were overwhelmed. Bioware's strategy was succesful. It managed to convert half-witting sheep into believing that Bioware was a God. Now they never had to perfect the formula, because consolers were raised to like formulas. Bioware had the perfect mass to control. And that's why you still see people claiming that kotor changed their lives or that it is the best rpg of all times.

An ignorant delusion of course. And we'll now dissect the formula of Kotor. First the 4+1x4 of NWN has now been just reduced to 4+1, with a plot twist after the 3rd one. And there's also the starting planet, before you get to choose between planets. You battle through the planets, and you always have this chance to end them in two different ways. Kill that guy or kill the other guy. Deliver item to that guy or to the other guy. Actually make that the formula for every quest. Standard NWN stuff but much more polished.

You also have the party member sad story tied with your levels. Only now there's only one sad story. And of course the sad story ends with a quest. But there's also another thing. The party members themselves are now very familiar. "Didn't I see you in NWN somewhere?" the survivors of that experiment asked themselves. And yes they did see them in NWN. One female character in particular was exactly like a certain female character in NWN. Aribeth meet Bastila. Both of these were love interests to the male characters, with sad stories, and both of these gals turned evil and only the love of the male player can deliver them from the dark side.

There's also Carth, the sad man for female players... who is kinda like the sad man for gals from NWN: Hordes of the Underdark, and the sad man for gals in BGII. With the exception that the BGII sad man was a complete failure amongst gals, while the other two got major followings in slash/fanfic world.

In fact every character was like a mix of different or just a slight alteration of previous Bioware characters. But of course, the consolers who were meant to love this game didn't know this.

Cue success. Bioware now equals rpg's. It's imperialistic conquest of the gaming world was succesful. It's magic formula worked and will never be changed again.

About Mass Effect and what it reveals about the current state of Biowarian Imperialism...

Now we're here with Mass Effect. So what you get? The Learn the Game Zone (Beginning), The Starting Planet (Citadel), the 4+1 Story Locations (with the 4th or 3rd being the OMG PLOT TWIST!!!) and the Final Battle Zone.

And characters? Slightly altered. To unlock their sad stories you don't need levels anymore, but you need to finish one story planet. So their sad story still comes in 4 parts. And not all sad stories end with a quest. And not all sad stories last actually 4 parts. Some go by quicker. Only 3 sad stories end with a quest. And that's it.

And their personalities? Have I still seen them from somewhere before? Yup. Pretty much. Except for Garrus who is completely new type for Bioware, everyone is a variation of Bioware archetypes. One of them, the sad man for gals of this game is even voiced by the sad man for gals from a previous game (Carth).

But that's not the worst of it. The fact that it's the same game since Throne of Bhaal is actually one of the positive things considering the atrocities...

The Bad
Because, the main story only lasts some 12-16 hours, this game like any other rpg game has sidequests. Only those sidequests all happen in one fucking room!

Actually three. There's the mine, space station and some planet quarters thing. You got like 100 sidequests. You go to a planet. You drive with your mako to the location. You go inside, kill a lot of people and quest solved. Then you go to another planet, do the same thing and kill a lot of people... only that it's the same fucking room. Only that crate is in a different location. Can you imagine it? Can you imagine going through the same fucking room for hundreds of times and pretending that this sidequest is "oh so fucking different?" Can you? No you can't! No one can imagine the depravity of this biowarian imperialism, because it scares even ctulhu gods. It's supposed to rob one of his will to live, to make you conform to the standard formula, to become like a sheep in a slaughterhouse. It's evil.

But that's not the worst of it. The story planets themselves are also incredibly formulaic. You get the talking zone, the drive with your car and shoot robots zone, and the other talking zone with combat. Sometimes you go back to the first talking zone to have more combat.

Bioware is now so powerful, that it doesn't bother to make the facade any less formulaic.

And the writing? Oh dear god. It's almost like the people have exclamation marks on them yelling "I'm kill this guy" ,"And I'm kill the other guy" and "I'm the optional kill me guy." And the quests and everything is just lifted from previous games. You've seen these random people with these random problems before. And they're still so... such simplistic writing with no insight.

Random person: "Hello hero, I want to commit abortion. My issue is very edgy."
Hero: 1) "Okay."
2) "Abortion is wrong."
3) "I'm Commander Fucking Shepard! I will blow your brains out!!!"
Random person: "Okay thank you. Wasn't my issue just so edgy and mature?"
Hero: "Yes I have a lot to think about now. Thank you."

About the future...

The future of humanity is very white. It's not like Bioware isn't trying. All other racial looks do get represented. But for some reason there's this general brown look. I mean, you can't tell if the person is supposed to be like Evo Morales or Grace Park, or like Hugo Chavez or Aishwarya Rai because there's only this one general brown look for asians, latinos... heck, even southern europeans. Because in real life their all the same mass of brown people, no? Unfortunate racist implications of the unreal engine I guess.

Player: "Oh hi, Michelle Rodriguez look alike."
NPC: "My name is Fuji Fukomora."

The reason for this could be that except for the main characters, other people aren't designed by hand. Only the main cast is designed by hand. But all the non-alien main cast is white. Only one main character is black. He's also the only black character in the game. The only one that speaks anyway.

And let's not even discuss the fact they market this game with a white anglo-american military boy. Quite problematic.

For a sci-fi to be progressive one really needs to eliminate the percentage of white people from 90% to like 20-30%... because with the mexicanification of US and the rise of China and India... Well, future generations will get to laugh a lot, so that's good.

Actually you can recognize indians, but only because they have funny accents. Sigh...

So we have a very formulaic game with unfortunate racist implications. Anything else? The real-time cover-person combat is, like everything else, also just a facade and descends into a depraved formula quite quickly. Because you mostly just fight in the same room you've been so many times before, and you kill the same enemies again and again... and the level design is just so contrived. You'll be recognizing combat zones immediately because of the amount of obvious obstacles to cover behind.

The only way to get any enjoyment out of this game is when you don't look beyond the facade, but it's impossible not to look beyond the facade, because the facade is just so half-heartedly put together. It's like Potyemkin was drunk when building this village.

Because they don't care anymore. Bioware is blowing it's imperialistic wad at our faces and laughing. It's a mighty empire, and it can do everything it wants and the people will love it. Just like Jesus said above.

But I am asking you, as a human person, as an individual to not let yourself be humiliated like this. Down with Bioware's Imperialistic Wad! Join the revolution. Mass Effect 2 is coming out the next week (at the point of the writing date of this review), and I'm asking you to consider before you succumb to serve Bioware's imperialistic needs again. Think about it.

Because we the people are like that damaged broken girl with daddy issues, and Bioware is like that old guy who protects us and takes care of us. But the question we need to ask from us before we run, like that little girl to her "daddy", to Bioware, to feel like we have a worth in this life, the question is - don't we deserve better? Let us stop for a moment and think about this.

The Bottom Line
I am Rabbi Guru and I endorse this message!

Windows · by The Fabulous King (1332) · 2010

[ View all 15 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Rate My Shepard The Fabulous King (1332) Nov 20, 2009
Yeow. What a lousy port. Indra was here (20752) Mar 22, 2009
UPDATED: I cannot role-play evil or ruthless characters MichaelPalin (1414) Aug 11, 2008
First Impressions St. Martyne (3648) Jun 20, 2008
Who would've thought? St. Martyne (3648) Apr 1, 2008

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Mass Effect appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.### Books

Drew Karpyshyn, writer/designer at Bioware, has written two books set in the Mass Effect universe so far, Mass Effect: Revelation and its sequel Mass Effect: Ascension.

Noveria

Regarding the corporate enclave planet with an arctic climate -- Noveria, where the normal laws of Citadel Space do not apply -- the name of the planetary capital, Port Hanshan, is a romanization of the Chinese for "cold mountain," a reasonable name for a city on an arctic planet. On Earth, there are currently at least two geographic areas in China which have that name, and in ancient times there was also a poet who used that pen name. Perhaps the first people to lay claim to the planet, or to underwrite the colony, were representatives of a Chinese corporation. The actual Chinese would be 寒山端口 (Hánshān Duānkǒu).

Release

The game's street date was broken multiple times. In the United States, several K-Mart stores started selling the game on 9th November 2007, eleven days before the official release date. The same happened in Australia, where EB games started distributing it on 16th November 2007. Other retailers quickly started selling the game early as well.

Singapore ban

The game was initially banned in Singapore, because a female character is able to pursue a same-sex love scenario (spoiler alert) with another female alien character. The ban was eventually overturned by the same government censorship body itself and it now carries an M18 rating.

Awards

  • GamePro (Germany)
    • March 28, 2008 - Best Console RPG in 2007 (Readers' Vote)
  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – #8 Game of the Year
    • 2007 – #6 Console Game of the Year
    • 2007 – #5 Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2007 – Xbox 360 Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2007 – Xbox 360 RPG of the Year
    • 2007 – Best Soundtrack/Score of the Year
    • 2007 – Best Voice Acting of the Year
    • 2008 – #8 PC Game of the Year

Information also contributed by 88 49 and Alaedrain

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by The Fabulous King.

Windows added by Cantillon. Xbox One added by Kennyannydenny.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Sciere, Picard, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Plok, FatherJack, firefang9212.

Game added November 24, 2007. Last modified May 24, 2024.