Mass Effect

Mass Effect Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

As the first human Specter - sworn defenders of galactic peace - your mission is to halt the advancing armies of a legendary agent gone rogue. But as you lead your elite team across hostile alien worlds, you discover the threat is greater than imagined.

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10Out of 10
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The evil android Geth are out to stop you at every turn.
The evil android Geth are out to stop you at every turn.

The evil android Geth are out to stop you at every turn.

Mass Effect is not without its flaws - what game isn't? Riding around in the Mako rover, the APC/dune buggy hybrid with a cannon, isn't half as much fun as it ought to be. The driving sections are often drawn out and at worst boring - something I'm sure BioWare will be thinking about as it works on the game's second instalment. As I've said, some of the game's side quests could do with a bit of work. One optional quest which sees you investigate rogue AI on the Moon is a monotonous affair involving repeating the same mass destruction of robots in three identical buildings. Problem is, it's pretty much essential, since completing it allows you to specialise from within your class. Equipment can be extremely annoying. The game would have benefited no end from an optimise option, allowing you to quickly and easily kit your squads out in the best possible gear from the giant dustbin that is your inventory. As it is, whenever you loot something of value you have to manually go through everyone's equippable slots, one for each weapon, for armour, biotics, grenades etc, and work out if it's better than what you're using. It makes for often long breaks in play that disrupt the flow of combat and exploration. Then two seconds later you open a crate, find something that might be even better and have to do it all over again. Optimisation could have been completely optional of course, so stat whores could pour over bonus modifiers in minute detail (this is an RPG remember), but it would have helped avoid the ridiculous situation of having to convert every new item you pick up into omni-gel whenever you reach the 150 item limit. You can't even switch back to your inventory to dump some old equipment when this happens - you have no choice but to get rid of the new stuff, good or bad.

'There are moments of Halo 2 syndrome, where character armour and environment textures take an age to load.'

The game world is perhaps a tad small for your veteran RPG gamer. When you get access to the Galaxy Map for the first time the game can seem gargantuan. You soon realise, however, that you can't land on most of the planets. This isn't to say the game is short - I left out about a third of the game's side quests and it took me just over 20 hours to complete. Some might say that's short for an RPG. For me though, it feels just right for a first play through. But the best thing is I feel compelled to play Mass Effect again, something I rarely get from games these days. I'm going to play as a different class, as a different gender and with a different play style. The fact that there's also the option to start again with the same character at the level you finished the first play through on, and with all your high-end gear and weapons, makes compulsion to replay even greater.

While Mass Effect's graphics really are a sight to behold, and the later levels provide some of the most impressive environments the 360 has ever seen, they also cause a few problems. There are moments of Halo 2 syndrome, where character armour and environment textures take an age to load. The game can jerk a bit too, and suffers from regular tearing. And we're not sure about characters' eyes - especially Commander Anderson's. There was more than one occasion where eyes seemed to be pointing in random directions or looking like they were mimicking WWE Superstar The Undertaker. Perhaps the game suffers from having to be completely accessed from the game DVD - Mass Effect makes a lot of noise in the disc drive.

It's up to you to save the galaxy, in whatever way you choose.

It's up to you to save the galaxy, in whatever way you choose.

These are mere niggles, and while you shouldn't ignore them you certainly shouldn't be put off by them. Despite BioWare's efforts to disguise the game's roots it's still an RPG and will mostly appeal to male hardcore gamers (a lack of an in-game tutorial is evidence of that). It's not an attempt to revolutionise gaming as we know it. But that's no bad thing. Mass Effect is a triumph. A triumph for the science fiction video game, a triumph for the action RPG and a triumph for next generation gaming. And it sets up the sequel perfectly. I want to know what happens next. I want BioWare to release new planets as DLC. I want online co-op so other people can take control of my squad members. I have had a sip of this bewitching cocktail and now I want to down the whole lot. Bar a pre-Christmas release of stupendous proportions, Mass Effect is my game of the year.

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User Comments

ghostdog25's Avatar


the game is ok... I don't believe it deserves a 10/10 especially with the horrid framerate issues and the grainy screen...
Posted 14:53 on 28 March 2009
Shark82's Avatar


Dismiss my last comment. I finally finished the game and am almost done with my third play through lol
Posted 19:34 on 01 March 2009
Gus's Avatar
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An AMAZING game. I'd give gameplay a 9/10 though (planet quests, Diablo barrels full of inventory junk), and a 10/10 for the gorgeous graphics that kept me mashing my screenshot button.

People mention Wrex, but forgot the gem of a race, the Elcore!

Posted 05:46 on 14 January 2009
Destenoth's Avatar
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You can interrupt other people. Instead of A you press X and you'll talk over the NPC.
Posted 02:11 on 09 January 2009
Anonymous's Avatar
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Too short, too damn short. 13 hours on my first play through, 26 (incl every single side mission) on my second. Couldve been the best RPG ever, ends up struggeling for top 10. Hopefully ME2 will be longer.

Still easily the best game of 2007 though.
Posted 20:34 on 04 December 2008
Shark82's Avatar


Doesn't live up to the hype. It's like the Spider-Man 3 of video games. I haven't even finished the game and I don't know if I will. The character customization, graphics, and story are great...but that means nothing when the game play is excruciating and makes you want to bash your head in with the controller. There's also a lot of slow loading that even takes place in the middle of combat. I know it's because there's "a lot to it" but it's not worth it in the end. Reviewers only give this such a high rating based on the hype...and maybe because they're pervs who got turned on by the alien sex scene. Either way, the game DOES NOT, and I can not stress that enough, deserve a ten. At this point in the game, which is far, I'd give it an 8/10, and that's being generous only because of the unique features of the game. Those unique features don't get it on my must-play list, though. It's rather disappointing, to sum things up.
Posted 23:52 on 12 November 2008
Kiariana's Avatar
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^_^ I love Mass Effect. Well, just like any other obsessed gamer, I had slight disagreements to things in this review- just minor stuff, like how I enjoy going through the equipment and dishing out each weapon and upgrade to my squad. One thing I did do a double-take to was the part at the end about the Mostly appealing to male gamers. XD I'm female and it took me only about half an hour to get the hang of every control in the game. Vampirika is another obsessed fan-layer who shares the same interests in the game as me. Well, she says the Asari race creeps her out, and I happen to find them interesting, but hey, lol. Granted, the hacking eluded me for a while, but now I happen to be a master of it. Looking forward to Mass Effect 2, and to all you fellow gamers out there, Happy gaming!
Posted 20:28 on 10 November 2008
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"""""""""Your squad works perfectly well if you simply leave them alone to get on with the job and very rarely do they do a stupid thing or get in the way. Apart from the odd AI issue with them not being able to move across to certain positions despite clearly being able to, whatever two team members you choose to accompany you on missions you'll find that they never annoy, which is the most important thing."""""""""""""""

Hmm...........FAN FICTION! ! ! ! ! ! !
Posted 13:51 on 16 August 2008
Leila's Avatar
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Fun game, I don't know which I'm looking more foward to ... Mass Effect 2 or Fable ...
Posted 01:59 on 01 August 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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The story was superb and held me on my seat till the end
Posted 16:46 on 28 June 2008
dave's Avatar
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its a good game but it desservs a 9 out of ten in my opinion
Posted 09:48 on 27 June 2008
Blah's Avatar
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Next time you could try *not* spoiling huge sections of the storyline. I dunno, just an idea. Thankfully, I stopped reading after seeing the first one.
Posted 17:56 on 05 June 2008
Fade8way's Avatar


WTF Idiot who reviewed this. THis game doesn't deserve a 10 you jack butt. At least a 12....
Posted 19:58 on 18 April 2008
scppppp's Avatar
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this game is so good how can you not like it
Posted 02:49 on 05 March 2008
Squire_Simon's Avatar


Here's a nice little quote that will hopefully settle this:

"This was my 2007 game of the year, and i really liked the Krogen"
- Squire Simon
Posted 13:51 on 19 February 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Mass Effect
Out of 10
Mass Effect
  • 80s sci-fi score
  • Cool combat
  • Superb story
  • Incredible cinematic graphics
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 23/11/2007
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Bioware
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: RPG
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 12
Site Rank: 573 49
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