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Mass Effect
Mass Effect poster.jpg
Developer(s) BioWare (Xbox 360)
Demiurge Studios (Windows)[1]
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studios (Xbox 360)
Electronic Arts (Windows)[2]
Designer(s) Casey Hudson (Project Director)
Preston Watamaniuk (Lead Designer)
Writer(s) Drew Karpyshyn
Composer(s) Jack Wall
Sam Hulick
Richard Jacques
David Kates
Series Mass Effect
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Native resolution 720p (Xbox 360)
Version 1.02 (August 24, 2009)[3]
Platform(s) Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows[2]
Release date(s) Xbox 360

NA November 20, 2007[4]
AUS November 22, 2007[5]
EU November 23, 2007[6]
JP March 23, 2009
[citation needed]

Microsoft Windows
NA May 28, 2008[7]
EU June 6, 2008[7]

Genre(s) Action RPG
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) BBFC: 12[8]
CERO: D[9]
ESRB: M
OFLC: MA15+
OFLC: R13
PEGI: 18+[10]
Media DVD-DL, download
System requirements See the Windows edition section
Input methods Gamepad, Keyboard and mouse

Mass Effect is an action role-playing game developed by BioWare for the Xbox 360 and then ported to Microsoft Windows by Demiurge Studios. The Xbox 360 version was released worldwide in November 2007 published by Microsoft Game Studios. The Windows version was released on May 28, 2008, published by Electronic Arts.[11]

The game takes place in the year 2183, with the player, assuming the role of an elite human soldier named Commander Shepard, setting out to explore the Galaxy on a starship, the SSV Normandy.

In addition to plans for two sequels to complete a trilogy, BioWare plans to release episodic content online to fill in the story between each game, though these episodes are not essential for understanding the main plot line.[12] The first downloadable content package, Bring Down the Sky, was released on March 10, 2008 (with a PC version released on July 29, 2008 [13]) The second downloadable content package, Pinnacle Station, was released on August 25, 2009 for the PC and Xbox 360.

A sequel, Mass Effect 2, was released on January 26, 2010, and takes place two years after the events that transpired in the first game. Mass Effect 2 also directly uses player's completed save data from the first game to influence events and story lines within the second game.

Contents

Gameplay

Player creation and character classes

Although most of the game's screen shots and concept art show the same "default" male Commander Shepard, it is possible for the player to fully customize his or her character's appearance, sex, abilities and even military background.[14]

The game includes six character classes.[15] Each class contains several "talents"; as each talent is leveled, the character either gains stats (extra health, stamina, etc), unlocks new abilities (for example leveling the Shotgun talent unlocks the "Carnage" ability, which allows the character to fire a concentrated explosive blast from the shotgun), or unlocks other talents. Each class also possesses a unique talent with the same name as its respective class; the characters may also have talents tied to their background.[16] Characters who have reached level 20 will unlock a "Rogue VI" side-mission on Luna (Earth's moon) in the Sol System, upon the completion of which the player is allowed to choose a new specialist class, which in turn unlocks a new talent bar. The specialist class the character is offered depends on the base class.

When characters are first created, six classes are available: Soldier, Engineer, Adept, Infiltrator, Sentinel, and Vanguard. Soldiers are the most skilled with weaponry, Engineers make the most use of the omni-tool and tech-abilities, and Adepts are the best at using biotic powers. The other three classes are combinations of the first three: Infiltrators are a combination of Soldiers and Engineers, Sentinels are a combination of Engineers and Adepts, and Vanguards are a combination of Soldiers and Adepts. While the combination classes don't have the focus of the main classes, they are versatile and offer unique gameplay opportunities. (Vanguards, for example, have access to half of the soldier skills and half of the Adept skills).

Players also have some control over their character's backstory. They are able to choose to have been either a "spacer" (born and bred in space), a "colonist" (born on one of Earth's extrasolar colonies), or "Earthborn" (hailing from the streets of one of Earth's cities). They also choose whether they have been the sole survivor of a terrible battle, a war hero, or a ruthless soldier. These backgrounds have only a small effect in the game, although many characters will reference the player's chosen background when talking to Commander Shepard. The character's background can also affect whether some sidequests are available or not. With only a few exceptions, the character's background does not directly affect the player's dialogue choices.

Dialogue and morality

Previous BioWare titles such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire employed a conversation system where the player chose from several responses after non-player characters (NPCs) had finished speaking. Mass Effect has a system in which responses to NPCs are displayed as the general tone of the message, rather than a word-for-word transcription of the message (e.g., if the player chooses "You're worrying too much," Shepard might actually say, "You always expect the worst").

A radial command menu, divided into six equal sections like a pie chart, is shown at the bottom of the screen when a conversation is initiated. Each section is assigned a brief description of the response's intent, usually a short phrase such as "What's going on?" The response is selected by moving the analog stick (or the mouse in the Windows version) in the direction of the desired response on the circle and pressing a button. The command menu is organized such that each section is assigned a particular inclination (being nice, aggressive, etc.), so that after players have become comfortable with the system they no longer have to read the menu, and are able to respond appropriately, immediately, if desired. BioWare intended the system to allow the game to be more cinematic and free players from reading large amounts of dialogue, as would be required with the commonly used system of simply having the player choose from complete, sometimes long, written statements.[17][18]

Dialogue is central to the game's morality system. The side story and the number of character interaction choices in Mass Effect are affected by the player's chosen morality. Unlike in BioWare's previous titles, emphasis on becoming a pure "good" or pure "evil" character is lessened. The overall story is also affected by the player's personal choices. Project Director Casey Hudson of BioWare has said "[the player's] style of play throughout the game will result in diverging endings that determine the fate of humanity itself," affecting not only the first installment, but also the planned sequels.[19] Morality is mostly determined by the player's choices during conversations.[17]

Hudson has further stated that instead of the "good" and "evil" approach that past BioWare games have taken, Mass Effect morality is based on giving points as a "Paragon" for choosing more polite and professional military actions, or as a "Renegade" for taking a more ruthless and take-no-prisoners approach. "Paragon" and "Renegade" points are scored on two separate scales (i.e. taking a "Paragon" option does not negate a past "Renegade" option), as opposed to other BioWare titles such as Knights of the Old Republic in which morality points were scored on a single scale so that making a "Light Side" choice negated the morality change characters underwent for making a "Dark Side" choice. NPCs react differently to a character depending on their past morality choices.[20]

Combat and abilities

The Windows version of Mass Effect features a different HUD than the original Xbox 360 version.

Combat in Mass Effect takes place in real time, but the player can pause at any time to change the squad's weapons, select different abilities for the squad members to use, or to give general squad orders. The player and his allies use firearms (modifiable with various upgrades throughout the game), Tech abilities (to interfere with enemy equipment and abilities), and biotics (similar to magical attacks or Force powers in other games) to fight their enemies. Players directly control their character's actions as well as their squadmates' attacks, but cannot take direct command of their squadmates. They can, however, issue commands using the directional pad,[17] allowing the player to tell other characters to get behind cover, regroup, attack a specific target, or to scout ahead. Weapons and abilities of the squad members are selected via the use of two "wheel" interfaces: one for the weapons at the squad's disposal, and the other listing the available powers of each squad member and their respective recharge times. The command interface was reworked for the Windows version into displays on either side of the HUD for each squad member.

The abilities and special powers that characters have at their disposal are determined by the skill sets assigned to them at the beginning of the game and how further earned experience points have been allotted since then. Some special abilities include a biotic lift that can be used to pick up objects and enemies, and a tech ability that reduces the shields of enemies. Two other abilities, Charm and Intimidate, are dependent on points, storyline progression, and the amount of Paragon or Renegade points the player attains; raising the levels of these will not unlock any attacks, but instead open new dialogue options within the game.

Special abilities that the player can use in the game are tech abilities and biotics. Tech abilities are support powers used against enemy weapons and technology, as well as biotics. They are activated through the omni-tool, which three of the main classes can use: Engineers, Infiltrators, and Sentinels. These abilities include destroying enemy shields, sabotaging enemy weaponry, and hacking robotic enemies to fire on their own squad. Tech abilities also have passive uses, such as the Electronics talent, which allows the party to open locked crates or salvage components from wrecks. Biotics are powers accessed by the characters using implants that enhance natural abilities to manipulate dark energy, with mass effect fields. These abilities include hurling enemies around with the mind, raising shields that are resistant to enemy fire but still allow the player to fire through them, and creating small singularities that cause enemies and destructible parts of the environment to swirl about. Three of the main character classes are able to use these powers: Adepts (the main biotics class), Vanguards, and Sentinels.

Weapons and equipment

Mass Effect features four classes of conventional weapons (pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, and sniper rifles) and grenades, along with a variety of weapon and armor upgrades. The player can pause the game at any time and change the equipment used by the members of the party. This is a major strategic aspect of the gameplay, as choosing the correct equipment can mean the difference between a quick victory and defeat. Equipped items are visible on the characters; the armors have different appearances and all weapons fold up into compact versions that are stored on the character's back. Weapons can be retrieved by using a weapon wheel similar to the talent wheel.

Ammunition is unlimited; instead of needing to reload, a weapon will build up heat until it overheats, and cannot fire until it has sufficiently cooled down. In-game, the reasoning for this is that weapons are loaded with "blocks" of ammunition material, and each round fired is sheared off from this central supply of ammunition. The rounds themselves are described as being the size of a "grain of sand" and are launched through mass accelerator technology at extremely high speeds. Firing a weapon continuously or using a weapon that one is untrained with will result in decreased accuracy, represented by an expanding targeting reticle. The more Talent points that are spent on a weapon type, the greater the weapon type's accuracy and damage.

The characters wear dual layer hardsuits which serve as combat and EVA suits. There are three classifications of hardsuits: light, medium, and heavy armor. These suits provide a limitless supply of oxygen, as well as temporary protection from many planetary hazards like heat and radiation. Heavier suits are vulnerable to fewer hazards, but cause characters to move slower. The suits also come equipped with kinetic barriers, which act as shields against incoming fire. Aside from Liara, who is able to wear human armor, each non-human character requires a different type of armor corresponding to their race. Biotic- or tech-wielding characters can also upgrade their biotic amps or omni-tools to give bonuses to their attacks or reduce their cooldown periods.

The equipment found by the player generally increases in both stats and cost as the player levels up, denoted by a class marking from I to X. Higher class weapons and armor also have more upgrade slots than their lower-class counterparts. Upgrades found in the game fall into one of four categories: weapon upgrades, armor upgrades, ammo upgrades, and grenade upgrades. Weapon and armor upgrades add to certain stats of the item they are put in, such as accuracy or shields, while ammo and grenade upgrades grant such things as fire damage or reduced speed when shot or thrown at enemies.

Travel

The SSV Normandy, the player character's ship, and a technological marvel in the setting of the game, serves as the primary mode of transportation.

Since the game spans the galaxy, many trips have to be made from planet to planet. Players choose destinations by selecting them through a galactic map of the Milky Way.[19] The galaxy is divided into numerous levels of organization, shrinking in scale from star clusters, to star systems, and finally down to planets.

Travel through the Mass Effect universe is aided through the use of Mass Relays, which are technological artifacts that are capable of transporting vessels nearly instantaneously between star clusters and systems, and resemble a gimbal lock having two gimbals. There are two types of Mass Relays: primary and secondary. Primary relays are linked with a twin, and so have a single line of travel, but can span as many as a hundred thousand light years, according to the game's Codex. Secondary relays are omnidirectional and can send ships to any relay within its limited range of about a hundred light years.

Once the player decides on a system to visit, several options are available. Some planets are simply there to complete the system. Others can only be surveyed for valuable materials. Some astral bodies such as asteroids, moons, and small space freighters are also available for survey. Finally, some planets can be landed on and explored. The player can move about on foot or using an all-terrain armored personnel carrier called the M35 Mako. Some segments of the game feature combat requiring the use of this vehicle. Most main story segments (and many side missions) are geared toward on-foot shooter action.

Although the game follows a main story, Mass Effect includes a large number of side missions and free-roam "uncharted worlds" that can be reached by selecting them through the galactic map. Virtually every world is part of a side mission, whether the player has uncovered the mission or not. Normally, Shepard will be contacted as a solar system is selected to be briefed on the side mission by Admiral Hackett, of the Alliance Fifth Fleet, if the system contains a side mission that's of direct interest to the Alliance military.

Story

"Mass Effect"

Project Director Casey Hudson explained the term "Mass Effect" as follows:[21]

Inside the game universe, mass effect is a newly discovered (for humans anyway) physics phenomenon that has properties along the lines of other physics forces such as gravity and electromagnetism. It’s what physicists in real life are currently calling "dark energy", as an explanation for the accelerating expansion of the universe — which has only recently been discovered and flies in the face of the previous notion that the universe’s expansion should be slowing down because of gravity.

Hudson explains that certain creatures are evolved to sense and manipulate mass effect much like some real-life creatures such as sharks and electric eels can sense and manipulate electromagnetism in peculiar ways. Some humans are preternaturally capable of these abilities, which can be enhanced via implants, and the trained manipulation of Mass Effect is referred to as biotics.

Setting

Mass Effect is set in the year 2183 AD. Thirty-five years prior, humanity discovered a cache of technology on Mars, supposedly built by a technologically advanced but long-extinct race called the Protheans. Studying and adapting this technology, humankind has managed to break free of the solar system and has established numerous colonies and encountered various extraterrestrial species within the Milky Way galaxy. Utilizing alien artifacts known as Mass Relays, the various space-faring races are able to travel instantly across vast stretches of the galaxy. Within the game, humanity has formed the Human Systems Alliance, one of many independent bodies that make up the collective of "Citadel space".

Citadel space, as a whole, is ruled by a body of government known as the Council, which is made up of members of the three prominent alien races: the asari, a race of mono-gendered aliens which closely resemble blue-skinned human females; the short-lived and amphibian salarians; and the raptor-like turians. Other alien species seen in the game include the reptilian krogan, the methodical and quadrupedal elcor, and the environmental-suited quarians and volus. Dozens of other aliens are asserted to exist throughout the galaxy, but are not seen or mentioned in the game.

The game takes place primarily in two locations: the prototype frigate SSV Normandy, and the Citadel, a gigantic, ancient space station purportedly built by the Protheans and which currently acts as the center of galactic civilization. Throughout the game, however, the player may navigate the Normandy to various planets, moons and other destinations.

Characters

Garrus, left; Commander Shepard, center

The player assumes the role of Commander Shepard, a veteran soldier[22] who can be customized by the player. The character's appearance also varies based on the weaponry and armor the player uses.[23] In addition to customizing Shepard's gender and appearance, players can also choose a back story for the character, which influences dialogue throughout the game, as well as which side missions will be available to the character.[24]

The player's main character is almost always accompanied by two additional characters, providing support during battles and contributing to dialogue.[25] These characters are not created by the player, and control over them is limited to directing squad movement and to the utilizing of their technological/biotic abilities. While aboard the Normandy, the player may construct relationships between Shepard and these characters, potentially opening up further assignments. There are six characters met in the game who will join the fight; each has a detailed back-story and hence their own reasons for wanting to help. Two of the characters are human and the other four are aliens.

The voice cast of Mass Effect includes:

Plot

The game begins aboard the experimental SSV Normandy, commanded by Captain Anderson and his executive officer, Commander Shepard. The Normandy is sent to the human colony world of Eden Prime to recover an unearthed Prothean beacon. To assist in recovering the beacon, the Citadel Council, the galaxy's primary governing body has sent one of their top agents, a turian "Spectre", named Nihlus.

A small team consisting of Nihlus, Shepard, biotic Kaidan Alenko, and the quickly-killed Corporal Jenkins, who is replaced by Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams, discover that the Eden Prime colony is under attack by alien synthetic life-forms known as the geth, led by a rogue turian Spectre named Saren Arterius, who kills Nihlus. After the battle ends, Shepard locates the beacon and receives a vision. While initially struggling to understand the vision, it turns out to be images of biological creatures being slaughtered by machines.

The Normandy and its crew are summoned by Ambassador Udina, the Alliance's representative on the Citadel, to the Citadel station to report on the matter. Unfortunately, Shepard is unable to convince the Citadel Council of Saren's treason without solid evidence. Citadel Security officer Garrus Vakarian and krogan mercenary Urdnot Wrex lead Shepard to a quarian mechanic named Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, who possesses a recording of a conversation between Saren and an asari Matriarch named Benezia, discussing their victory on Eden Prime. The recording also mentions the return of a force known as the Reapers, as well as an artifact called the "Conduit." Confronted with this evidence, the Council revokes Saren's status as a Spectre. They then make Shepard the first human Spectre so that he or she can legally hunt down Saren alongside his or her squad, consisting of Kaidan, Ashley, Garrus, Wrex, and Tali.

Command of the Normandy is given to Shepard, who uses the ship to follow up on several leads provided by Anderson and Udina. On Therum in the Artemis Tau Cluster, Shepard finds and rescues Dr. Liara T'soni, Matriarch Benezia's daughter, who is an expert on the Protheans and joins Shepard's squad. On Feros, Shepard fights off an army of geth and destroys an ancient life form known as the Thorian, a sentient plant-like creature that has the power to control whoever inhales its spores. Shepard also learns of Saren's flagship, Sovereign, which seems to possess unique mind-control capabilities. On Noveria, Shepard tracks down Matriarch Benezia while fighting off both geth and alien insects known as rachni. Benezia is eventually defeated, and she reveals that her mind is not being controlled by Saren, but that her and Saren's mind are being controlled by Sovereign. She soon reverts to Sovereign's control, and resumes attacking Shepard at which point Shepard is forced to kill her.

After completing two of the previous three planets, Shepard learns a salarian infiltration unit has uncovered one of Saren's bases on the planet Virmire. Once he/she arrives, Shepard learns the base is being used to breed an army of krogan warriors. When Wrex finds out that Saren found a cure for the genophage, which makes krogan breeding nearly impossible, and that Shepard wants to destroy it, he briefly considers betraying them for Saren. Depending on the player's actions, Shepard either talks him down, or kills him with Ashley's help. Either way, with the salarians' assistance Shepard assaults the base to detonate a nuclear device inside its walls. Inside the base Shepard discovers another Prothean beacon, which transfers its knowledge to him or her.

Shepard is then confronted by Sovereign itself, which reveals that it is what the Protheans and geth consider to be a Reaper. Sovereign reveals the true terrible nature of the Reapers and their designs. The Reapers are patient predators that remain inert for millenia as organic life develops, allowing these species to discover the mass relays (themselves constructs of the Reapers) and expand throughout the galaxy along those pre-existing routes. Once these races have reached a certain level of expansion, the Reapers awaken and sweep across the galaxy rapaciously, always discovered by their prey far too late to effect any defense. In truth, the Protheans were not the originators of interstellar travel and galactic civilization, but rather were merely just another in a long succession of hapless races systematically sowed and harvested by the Reapers as part of an inexorable cycle that has gone unabated for eons. Sovereign sees Shepard and his kind as no different from those that have come and gone before.

After planting the nuclear bomb and attempting to escape the facility, the team is attacked by Saren. He explains that he has allied himself with the Reapers to save organic life by making it "useful" to the Reapers. Shepard refuses to accept Saren's plan, and escapes Virmire before the nuclear warhead is detonated, at the cost of either Kaidan's or Ashley's life.

With the information Shepard's party has gained, Liara is able to pinpoint the Conduit's location on a Prothean world known as Ilos, a planet accessible only by a long-lost Mass Relay located deep within the hostile Terminus Systems. Shepard returns to the Citadel to request permission from the Council to pursue Saren, but Shepard's request is denied by the Council, who consider the existence of the Reapers too unclear to risk a war with the Terminus Systems. Ambassador Udina locks Shepard out of the Normandy, but Captain Anderson steps in and helps Shepard steal the ship back.

On the surface of Ilos, Shepard follows Saren into an ancient bunker deep within the planet, and encounters a Prothean computer system named Vigil, which explains the Reapers' methodology. Vigil explains that the Protheans on Ilos put themselves in underground preservation chambers in order to escape their destruction by the Reapers. Vigil also explains that the Citadel Station is actually a massive mass relay facility built by the Reapers to summon them from the dark space outside the galaxy. The Prothean researchers on Ilos created the Conduit, a miniaturized Mass Relay that allowed them to travel to the heart of the Citadel. Once inside, they sabotaged the process that would summon the Reapers. Sovereign planned to have Saren use the Conduit to storm the Citadel with a geth army past the outer defenses, and activate the Citadel's Mass Relay manually.

Shepard pursues Saren through the Conduit. At the same time, Sovereign and a massive geth fleet assault the Citadel. Sovereign lands on the central tower of the Citadel and begins activating the relay, while Saren uses the Citadel's defense systems to protect it. Shepard fights through a geth army, then meeting up with Saren. In this confrontation, Saren explains how he had Sovereign implant him. The player can either kill Saren in combat, or convince him that he's making a mistake, prompting him to commit suicide. The Human Systems Alliance fleet arrives to reinforce the Council fleets, while Shepard exposes Sovereign to attack. At this point, Shepard has a choice between ordering the Alliance fleet to save the Council or go directly after Sovereign. Saren's corpse then reanimates under Sovereign's direct control through the use of cybernetic implants, and begins attacking Shepard while the Alliance attacks Sovereign itself. Sovereign is eventually destroyed by the Normandy's main gun, and the reanimated Saren corpse disintegrates.

The precise ending of the game depends on several factors, including whether or not Shepard opts to save the Council during the final battle, and whether Shepard has a higher Paragon or Renegade meter. If Shepard chooses to save the Council, the Council will thank the humans for sacrificing many lives to save them, and let the humans join the Council. If the player chooses to let the Council die, humans, due to their bravery will be looked up to by the other species and, due to the Citadel's weakened state, step up as the new galactic leader. If Shepard chooses "Concentrate on Sovereign," the Council will die as well, although the player gets more Paragon points. At the end of the game, Shepard is also allowed to choose between ambassador Udina or Captain Anderson as the new galactic leader or Council member in the aftermath. Regardless of the choice, the Council believes that the Geth threat is over. However, Shepard knows that the Reapers are still a threat and that they must be stopped.

Themes

Mass Effect's story primarily falls within the space opera genre[34] and explores themes such as freedom of thought, space colonization, intolerance, vigilantism, and artificial intelligence. The story, with its man-vs.-machine elements, has drawn comparisons to both Fred Saberhagen's Berserker novels and Battlestar Galactica,[35] as well as to Frederick Pohl's Gateway novels.[36] According to Casey Hudson, the project director at BioWare, the films Aliens, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Starship Troopers all served as influences for the game.[37]

Marketing

Retail editions

Mass Effect was released in both a Standard and Limited Edition of the game. The Limited Edition was available through pre-order only at online retailers GameStop, Electronics Boutique, Amazon.com, and Best Buy within the United States, and in-store in Mainland Europe. The Limited Edition features are as follows:

  • A fiction book titled Galactic Codex: Essentials – A 36-page guide to the Mass Effect universe, including a Citadel timeline, and a guide to all non-human races, biotics, and the key locations in the Perseus Arm of the galaxy.
  • An art book titled A Future Imagined, which includes a collection of concept art from the game.
  • A bonus DVD of exclusive Mass Effect background material and additional content, including:
    • The Vision of Mass Effect documentary.
    • The Making of Mass Effect documentary.
    • Interactive Storytelling documentary.
    • Inside BioWare documentary.
    • Eighteen Mass Effect themed gamer-pics.
    • Four dashboard themes.
    • Ten songs from the Mass Effect soundtrack.
    • Five historical trailers from X05 through E3 2007, and the official TV trailer.
    • A demo for Blue Dragon and videos for Lost Odyssey, Halo 3, and Halo Wars.
    • Design galleries featuring 600 concept-images with full audio commentaries by the game's art directors.

The Limited Edition was made available for pre-order at online retailers only in the United States and Canada, as well as in-stores only in Mainland Europe. A DVD containing content concerning the development of the game was also distributed to all those who pre-ordered the game in the United States at GameStop, Electronics Boutique, and some Best Buy locations. The bonus content DVD was also made available for those who pre-ordered the game in Australia at selected retailers, but the Limited Edition was not.

A Platinum Hits edition was released in North America on February 10, 2009, which included the features of the Limited Edition as well as the Bring Down the Sky expansion and additional developer documentaries, videos, and music.[38][39]

Windows edition

 Official system requirements[40]
Minimum Recommended
Windows
Operating System Windows XP or Windows Vista
CPU 2.4+ GHz Intel; 2.0+ Ghz AMD 2.6+ GHz Intel; 2.4+ Ghz AMD
Memory 1 GB (XP), 2 GB (Vista) 2 GB
Hard Drive Space 12 GB of free space
Graphics Hardware NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT or higher, ATI X1300 XT or higher NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX or higher, ATI X1800 XL or higher
Sound Hardware 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card and drivers 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card and drivers – 5.1 sound card recommended
Network Internet connection required for activation

A Windows version of the game ported by Demiurge Studios was released May 28, 2008, with aspects of the game rebuilt in order to address criticisms of the earlier Xbox 360 version. BioWare has announced that no collector's edition of the Windows version is going to be released. However, CD Projekt, the Polish publisher of Mass Effect released a limited edition version. This edition features:

  • Game in two language versions: original English and full Polish dubbing on two DVD discs. (Also features subtitles of the alternative language).
  • Documentary of making Polish version.
  • Instructions and a walkthrough in Polish.
  • Mass Effect themed postcards.
  • N7 T-shirt.
  • Artbook containing concept art from the game.
  • USB flash drive with Mass Effect logo.
  • Mouse pad with graphic of the Normandy.
  • Mass Effect key holder.
  • Box containing all elements.

The European edition of the Windows version included a second DVD with the game localized for German, French and Italian languages. A localized Japanese version of Mass Effect is in development for the Xbox 360.

Franchise

Mass Effect was originally conceived as a trilogy, but EA has confirmed that Mass Effect "will be a franchise for [EA] for a very long time" indicating that the franchise may extend beyond the planned trilogy.[41] The next title in the series, Mass Effect 2, uses much of the same game mechanics as the first title in the series. One of the first things known about Mass Effect 2 was that players could import their Mass Effect save-files into the sequel and that decisions made by the player in the first game would continue to have influences on their character in the sequel. Players who have not played the first Mass Effect or choose not to import a save-file will start a new character in Mass Effect 2, will be brought up to speed on the story elements that have taken place thus far in the series.[42]

Mass Effect 2 was released on January 26, 2010 in North America and January 29, 2010 in Europe.[43] A Teaser Trailer for Mass Effect 2 was released by BioWare on February 20, 2009.[44]

An iPhone iteration in the Mass Effect series was unveiled by BioWare on May 2, 2009. Titled Mass Effect Galaxy, the game is a side-story in the series focusing on the character Jacob, who appears in Mass Effect 2 as a party member. BioWare's Chris Priestly confirmed the iPhone is not a prequel in the series, but rather a part of BioWare's plan to expand the series' universe.[45]

Soundtrack

Mass Effect Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack by Sam Hulick, Jack Wall et al.
Released
November 20, 2007
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 75:56
Producer Jack Wall

The Mass Effect Original Soundtrack was composed and produced by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick and featuring additional music by Richard Jacques and David Kates, the soundtrack was released on November 20, 2007. The soundtrack, composed by Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, Richard Jacques, and David Kates, was published by Sumthing, and features 37 tracks including the song featured at the game's end—M4, Part II performed by Faunts.[46] According to the liner notes and press release, the music was inspired by classic sci-fi movies such as Blade Runner and Dune. Pieces of the soundtrack are featured in Video Games Live.

Downloadable content

Bring Down the Sky

The first piece of downloadable content (known as DLC) was announced on February 6, 2008. The Bring Down The Sky pack was released on March 10, 2008 for the Xbox 360 as a paid download and on July 29, 2008 for Windows as a free download.[13] It should also be noted that as of late January 2009, the DLC was made compatible with the Steam version, titled revision a. As with retail box copies, players will need to register their Steam serial number on BioWare's website in order to receive the serial number required for installing the DLC.[47]

Bring Down the Sky includes a new uncharted world that introduces the notorious and feared batarians, a humanoid species with four eyes. A batarian extremist group has hijacked a mobile asteroid station in the Asgard system, setting it on a collision course with the nearby colony world of Terra Nova. Only Commander Shepard can save the millions of innocent civilians before the asteroid completes its deadly descent. This mission is concurrent with the main storyline. BioWare has stated that the adventure should take ninety minutes to complete. The expansion also features an additional achievement awarded upon completion of the mission titled as "Colonial Savior" with a value of 50 points.[48] Additionally, in the PC version of the game, a message may be found in a small music outpost on the asteroid when the computer inside is read twice. The message appears to be a humorous jab by the developers at those who stirred up the controversies surrounding the game's romance scenes upon its initial release.

Pinnacle Station

A documentary included with the release of the Platinum Hits edition of Mass Effect discussed the next downloadable content for Mass Effect. Preston Watamaniuk went into further detail about the DLC stating: "Things we’re working on right now, for the Mass Effect universe next … we had something in Mass Effect 1 that again, we weren’t able to pull off just because we didn’t have the time and we didn’t think we’d be able to do it well enough, which was a fight club or an arena. So we’re actually working on that for our next downloadable content piece and we’re hoping it’ll be really special..." Casey Hudson, project director For BioWare also added: "So we wanted to be able to give people a much more combat-oriented, lighter-story experience. You’re going to go to a kind of casino gaming fight club space station."[49]

The DLC pack was revealed to be titled Pinnacle Station after it was leaked on the Swiss Xbox website; the only other information revealed about it was that the DLC would take approximately 2–3 hours to complete.[50] The events on Pinnacle Station take the form of mission styles such as Timed, Hunt, Capture, and Survival. Once the player has beaten the eight initial missions, they're awarded with four extra missions. When all twelve have been beaten, the player is able to attempt a five-minute Survival mission in which the odds are against them. The DLC pack was released on 25 August 2009.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 360: 90.71%[51]
PC: 89.78%[52]
Metacritic 360: 91/100[53]
PC : 89/100[54]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[55]
Computer and Video Games 9.0/10[56]
Edge 7/10[57]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 9.17/10
Eurogamer 8/10[58]
Game Informer 9.75/10[59]
GamePro 4.75/5 stars[60]
GameSpot 9.0/10(PC)[61]
8.5/10(X360)[62]
GameSpy 5/5 stars[63]
GamesRadar 9/10[64]
GameTrailers 9.6/10[65]
IGN 9.4/10[66]
Official Xbox Magazine 10/10[67]
X-Play 5/5 stars[68]

The Xbox 360 version of Mass Effect has received wide critical acclaim. On the review aggregator Game Rankings, the game had an average score of 90.71% based on 86 reviews.[69] On Metacritic, the game had an average score of 91 out of 100, based on 74 reviews — indicating "universal acclaim."[70]

Xbox 360 reviews

Game Informer awarded Mass Effect a 9.75 out of 10, declaring it "the next big franchise for science fiction junkies to latch onto... a huge step forward for video games," and that it "rings in a new age of interactive storytelling." The key negative points of the review were the balancing issues and problematic AI of the combat system.[71][72] Official Xbox Magazine gave Mass Effect the sixth '10' in the magazine's history, raving, "Mass Effect is a great science-fiction novel in video game form. Meaning, it mixes the highest caliber of pure story with the decision making and raw action of the best games." The OXM reviewer also praised it saying "It's the best game I've ever played" and remarked that it had "The best story ever told in a videogame. Period."[73] Electronic Gaming Monthly awarded Mass Effect a Gold Award with scores of 9, 9.5, and 9, also citing that the negative points of the review were balance issues with the character classes, as well as a steep learning curve with the Mako IFV.[74] GameSpy and X-Play both gave it a 5 out of 5 and a special episode "Mass Effect takes interactive entertainment to breathtaking new heights and is wholeheartedly recommended. This is one of the best games of the year, and will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest games ever made."[75] Shacknews praised, "While the core gameplay is nothing new — sometimes disappointingly so — Mass Effect represents a generational jump in storytelling artistry."[76] Slashdot's review also praised the storytelling, saying "[The] storyline Mass Effect will have you laughing, furious, and deeply saddened — in some cases all about the same character." GameTrailers gave Mass Effect a 9.6 out of 10, one of its highest reviews ever.[77] GameSpot reviewed the X360 version as "a great game with moments of brilliance and a number of small but significant obstacles that hold it back from reaching its true potential." It subsequently reviewed the PC version and gave it a higher score calling it "best choice for experiencing this excellent game."

IGN awarded the game a 9.4 of 10, and while saying it was "a new high mark for storytelling in games," it also pointed out a common criticism in most of the reviews for the game, that while "the RPG elements are outstanding," the "glitches, poor AI, and weak squad mechanics weigh the game down."[78] Eurogamer stated in its review, "Mass Effect is most definitely a great game with an awful lot going for it — but one that doesn't quite deserve unquestioning praise."[79] Awarding Mass Effect "The Best RPG of 2007," GamePro raves about the tremendous amount of depth to the game, from the character customization options to the world at large. The negative to the game they mention is that "the elevator rides are ridiculously long."[80] In October 2008 IGN declared Mass Effect the Best Xbox 360 game.[81]

In an interview with Gamedaily Corporate Vice President of Global Marketing for the Xbox 360, Jeff Bell was quoted as saying Mass Effect "...has sold more than a million copies in less than three weeks."[82] According to updated figures from Microsoft, in the six weeks after the game was released, it had sold 1.6 million copies.[83]

Windows reviews

Early reviews of the Windows version by Ars Technica and PC Zone have hailed it as the "definitive" Mass Effect, and an outstanding port to the Windows platform. The game entered the US Windows game charts[citation needed] at number 3, beaten by two different versions of Age of Conan at 1 and 2. The first mainstream print magazine review of Mass Effect for Windows was from PC Zone, scoring 92%. PC Gamer US gave the game a 91%, giving as its main flaws its "horrible inventory system" and that it only has one ending [sic].[84]

Awards

Mass Effect's showing at E3 2006 was well received and resulted in the game winning several awards during the expo, including the Game Critics Awards' Best Role-Playing Game.[85] One of the most recent and arguably more significant awards the game has been awarded the #1 spot on IGN's list of "The Top 25 Xbox 360 games.[86]

Following its release, Mass Effect received numerous awards. During the Spike TV Awards, the game won "Best RPG."[87] GameTrailers awarded the game "Best RPG" and "Best New Game Franchise."[88] During its Reader's Choice Awards, TeamXbox gave the game awards for "Best RPG" and "Best Story," as well as its "Game of the Year" award.[89] GameSpot gave the game "Best Voice Acting" and "Best Original Music."[90] IGN awarded the game "Best RPG," "Best Original Score," and "Best Story."[91] The New York Times recognized Mass Effect as its "Game of the Year."[92] A complete list of awards can be found at the game's official website.[93]

Controversies

Media coverage of the sex scene

Mass Effect has an optional romantic subplot. Shepard can develop a relationship with a human party member of the opposite sex (Kaidan or Ashley), or with a blue-skinned alien woman (Liara). The couple can sleep together close to the end of the game; a cutscene then shows a series of fast cuts of a sexual encounter, although no specific sex act is clearly shown. A New York Times article compared the contents to U.S. evening network television.[94]

The scene first came under fire in conservative blogger Kevin McCullough's article, "The ‘Sex-Box’ Race for President."[95] McCullough employed strong, false statements such as "Mass Effect can be customized to sodomize whatever, whomever, however, the game player wishes," and "with its ‘over the net’ capabilities virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away."[96]

McCullough’s article was met with outrage from the gaming community. McCullough issued an apology by saying, "I DO apologize to the gaming universe!" He went on to say, "I still do concur with my original position that the objectionable content in Mass Effect is still offensive."[97] McCullough’s handling of the situation was parodied by popular gaming webcomic Penny Arcade[98] and online comedy site LoadingReadyRun.[99] His host website eventually took down the article.[100]

On January 21, 2008, a Fox News segment "The Live Desk With Martha MacCallum" discussed Mass Effect[94] with the heading "'SE'XBOX?' New video game shows full digital nudity and sex." MacCallum stated that the game "leaves nothing to the imagination" and features "the ability for players to engage in full graphic sex" where the player gets to decide what happens, cited critics as saying that the Mature-rated game is marketed to children and teenagers, and read a rebuttal from publisher Microsoft stating that the company abides by rating systems and provides monitoring tools for parents. Psychology specialist and author Cooper Lawrence and video game journalist Geoff Keighley were interviewed. Lawrence described sexual content in video games as teaching their active users, adolescent boys, to consider women as objects of desire valued solely for their sexuality. She added that the game's player character is a man who decides how many women he wants to be with. Keighley focused on challenging the accuracy of previous statements, saying it is a choice to play the protagonist as a male or a female. He also described Mass Effect as having an optional, brief sexual situation as the culmination of a romantic relationship in a 30+ hour game, and argued against the false accusations of graphic, full-frontal nudity within the game. MacCallum and Lawrence admitted that they had not actually played the game.

Electronic Arts, BioWare's parent company, requested a correction of "serious errors" from Fox News in an open letter.[94][101][102] Fox News responded that EA had been offered a chance to appear on the channel.

On the 25th, Lawrence, who had since watched someone play the game for about two-and-a-half hours, retracted her earlier statements in an interview. She added that she had been told the game was similar to pornography, and noted that she "has seen episodes of Lost that are more sexually explicit." In the interim, largely as a reaction from an offended gaming community, her latest book attracted hundreds of customer reviews on Amazon.com which rated it one star out of five. Many of these reviews noted with irony that they had not read her book, but heard from someone else that the book was bad, and thus voted low.[94] In an editorial, G4's Adam Sessler referred to the interview as a "litany of falsehoods" and parodied Lawrence's statements.[103] The controversy came to be known for the fact that the most explicit content actually shown was the side profile of a breast and led to the popularization of the internet meme "alien sideboob."[104]

Singapore M18 rating

Mass Effect was banned in Singapore for a short time before it was lifted with an M18 rating. Censors in the country said that a scene with an alien and human female caressing was the main reason why the game was not allowed to be sold in Singaporean video game stores.[105]

Street date violations

On Friday, November 9, 2007, 11 days before the official release date of the game, news on the internet surfaced that the game was available for sale at several Kmart stores in the United States. This was later confirmed by BioWare Community Coordinator Chris Priestly on the official Mass Effect forum.[106] The street date was also broken in Australia on November 16, 2007 by EB Games who received their copies of the game early and took it as a sign to begin distributing. This was repeated by several other game retailers, including JB Hi-Fi, Gametraders, Zellers, and GAME.[107]

Digital rights management

On May 6, 2008, BioWare confirmed that it would be using the latest version of digital rights management software SecuROM with the Windows release of Mass Effect.[108] This decision attracted criticism as SecuROM would require online activation after installation in addition to a "check-in", where the product must re-validate itself every ten days or it will cease to operate until the next successful check-in.[109] On May 9, 2008, BioWare decided to remove the ten day periodic re-authentication, saying that it "listened very closely to its fans and we made this decision to ensure we are delivering the best possible experience to them." Players will still need to connect to the server before they launch Mass Effect for the first time or download new game content.[110][111] The game can be authenticated three times. After that players will have to contact EA Customer Support, who may then on a case-by-case basis "supply any additional authentications that are warranted."[112] EA has since released a De-Authorization Tool for certain SecuROM Protected games released after May 2008, which includes Mass Effect.[113]

The March 2009 Steam release of the game removes the SecuROM DRM and replaces it with Valve's online distribution and DRM system, which ties the game license to an online user account.[114]

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External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Mass Effect is an action role-playing game developed by BioWare for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. The game takes place in the year 2183, with the player assuming the role of an elite human soldier named Commander Shepard, set out to explore a vast universe on his or her ship, the SSV Normandy.

”Many decisions lie ahead... none of them easy.”
Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.

Contents

Commander Shepard

  • You're trying to make me laugh. You think I'm here to amuse you. To make funny sputtering noises when you offer an insult instead of a reward.
  • You assume I give a damn. That's cute.
  • We don't have time to deal with this idiot, charge!
  • If you don't stop nagging, I'll turn this ship around and drop your ass back in that volcano.
  • If you want to see more of that package than me beating you with it, make a serious offer.
  • I haven't been shot in the head nearly enough times for that to sound like a good idea.
  • Nothing is ever simple, is it?
  • I'm packing fire and steel, if they want to fight with claws and teeth it's their funeral.
  • You won't look so smug with a hole in your head.
  • Find something we can use to get out of here. Somebody up there needs my boot up his ass.
  • You can expect me to kill you next time we meet.
  • I'm pissed off, and when I'm pissed off I shoot things! Find me more bugs!
  • If we present you for a medal you'll have to sit on a stage and listen to politicians make speeches for a couple of hours. Fun, fun.
  • [To Joker upon asking about his nickname] I was just thinking about how much you remind me of Santa Claus.
  • [Upon seeing a building-sized creature] We are going to need bigger guns.
  • My brain's just been scrambled like an egg!
  • Make sure he's dead.
  • What would anybody want with Krogan testicles?
  • I've had enough of your snide insinuations! (Punches reporter in the face.)

Ashley Williams

  • A million lightyears from where humanity began, and we walk into a bar filled with drunk men drooling over half-naked women shaking their asses on a stage. I can't decide if that's funny or sad.
  • Why is it that when someone says 'With all due respect' they really mean 'Kiss my ass'?
  • A pessimist is what an optimist calls a realist.
  • I see a strong, passionate man. With a great ass.
  • [To Kaidan after entering Chora's Den] Hey LT, Put your tongue back in your mouth before you trip over it.
  • If you want me to put on a tin skirt and dance in front of a crowd of men, I want dinner first. Sir.

Urdnot Wrex

  • Don't piss in my ear and tell me it's raining, I've known plenty of dirty C-Sec agents.
  • If I die here, I'll kill him.
  • Typical asari meddling. About time it bit you in the ass.
  • My people have a saying. Seek an enemy of your enemy, and you find a friend.
  • An explosion now and then is nice. Keeps the mind sharp.
  • Well, there was that one time the Turians tried to wipe out my entire race. That was fun.
  • When was the last time you ever saw a krogan scientist? You ask a krogan if he'd rather research a cure for the genophage or fight for credits, and he'll choose fighting, every time. Its just who we are, Shepard. I can't change that. No one can.
  • Little bitch. [Ashley shoots him]
  • A lot of people died in this place. Now it's time for a lot of geth to join them.
  • I could use a snack. Is there any fish out in that lake?
  • A private docking bay. Wonder how much the Alliance had to shell out for that.

Tali'Zorah nar Rayya

  • I'm pleased that the imminent destruction of all organic life has improved your career opportunities.
  • What is it about you [Commander Shepard] that makes people think we enjoy being in harm's way?
  • My name is Tali. Tali'Zorah nar Rayya.
  • I'll be right behind you... that armor, it is in good condition?

Joker

  • I'm not good, I'm not even great, I am the best damn helmsman in the Alliance fleet!
  • Too close, Commander. Ten more seconds and we would have been swimming in molten sulphur. The Normandy isn't equipped to land in exploding volcanoes. They tend to fry our sensors and melt our hulls. Just for future reference.
  • Ah, hey, Commander. Next time we touch down, let's try not to park the ship in a colony of mutant zombies. Just thinking out loud here.
  • One wrong step and CRACK! It's very dramatic.
  • Boy am I glad to be off Noveria. I don't know which is worse; the cold or the corporations. One will freeze your balls off, the other will sell em' out from under you. With all due respect, Commander.
  • Look, you remember to zip up your flight suit on the way back from the bathroom, that's good. I just shot us halfway across the galaxy and hit a target the size of a pinhead, that's incredible.
  • I have to be real careful when I get up to take a piss, though.
  • They all got their asses kicked by the sickly kid with the creaky little legs. One guess who was smiling at graduation.
  • Put the Normandy in my hands and I'll make her dance for you, just don't tell me to get up and dance, unless, you know, you like the sound of snapping shinbones.
  • The world's not going to hand you anything if you go around grinning like an idiot.
  • Ah, dammit! No sign of pursuit!

Saren Arterius

  • Is submission not preferable to extinction?
  • Your species has to learn its place. You're not ready to join the Council. You're not even ready to join the Spectres.
  • I'm not doing this for myself. Don't you see, Sovereign will succeed. It is inevitable. My way is the only way any of us will survive.
  • You would undo my work. You would doom our entire civilization to complete annihilation, and for that, you must die.
  • Goodbye, Shepard. Thank you. [Shoots himself]

Sovereign

  • Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh. You touch my mind, fumbling in ignorance, incapable of understanding.
  • There is a realm of existence so far beyond your own, you cannot even imagine it. I am beyond your comprehension. I am Sovereign.
  • Organic life is nothing but a genetic mutation, an accident. Your lives are measured in years and decades. You wither, and die. We are eternal. The pinnacle of evolution and existence. Before us, you are nothing. Your extinction is inevitable. We are the end of everything.
  • Your civilization is based on the technology of the mass relays, our technology. By using it, your society develops along the paths we desire. We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.
  • We have no beginning. We have no end. We are infinite. Millions of years after your civilization has been eradicated and forgotten, we will endure.
  • We are legion. The time of our return is coming. Our numbers will darken the sky of every world. You cannot escape your doom.
  • Your words are as empty as your future. I am the vanguard of your destruction. This exchange is over.
  • (Through Saren) I am Sovereign. And this station is MINE!

Others

  • Lorik Qui'in: "Let me go?" Do humans consider conversation a form of imprisonment? Well, that would explain why humans are less willing to sit down and talk.
  • Richard Jenkins: Even paradise gets boring.
  • Krogan Warlord: Surrender... or don't. That would be more fun.
  • Gianna Parasini: See ya round the galaxy, Commander. I owe you a beer.
  • Engineer Adams: Relax, Pressly. You're gonna give yourself another ulcer.
  • Inamorda: If you don't stop poking me, I'll throw you off that balcony.
  • Inamorda: Stupid base-10 math. That's what they get for having extra fingers.
  • Anoleis: Good, I received a dozen urgent messages while you dithered about.
  • Matriarch Benezia: (before dying) No light? They always said there would be a light...
  • Captain Kirrahe: We are trained for espionage - we would be legends, but the records are sealed.
Glory in battle is not our way - think of our heroes, the Silent Step, who defeated a nation with a single shot. Or the Ever Alert, who kept armies at bay with hidden facts. These giants do not seem to give us solace here, but they are not all that we are.
Before the network, there was the fleet. Before diplomacy, there were soldiers!
Our influence stopped the Rachni, but before that we held the line! Our influence stopped the Krogan, but before that, we held the line! Our influence will stop Saren, in the battle today, we will hold the line!

Dialogue

Kaidan Alenko: Mineshaft. That's the source of the signal.
Ashley Williams: Smells like ambush, Commander.
Kaidan Alenko: I agree. This thing didn't crash. Somebody moved it here.
Commander Shepard: Your grasp of the obvious is inspiring.

Urdnot Wrex: So tell me, who'd win in a fight between you and Shepard?
Kaidan Alenko:What? Commander Shepard is my superior officer. I can't imagine us ever having a fight.
Urdnot Wrex: You can't? That's why Shepard's your superior officer! And that's why Shepard would win.

Mira: Online. How can I help you?
Commander Shepard: Activate the neutron purge.
Mira: I'm sorry, but I can't do that without proper code authorization.
Commander Shepard: Uh, sic semper tyrana-- *cough*
Mira: That is not the correct code, please report to security for arrest and interrogation.

Commander Shepard: You think I'm crazy don't you?
Urdnot Wrex: Sometimes crazy is the best way to go.

Commander Shepard: You krogan live for centuries, you must've had something interesting happen.
Urdnot Wrex: Well, there was this one time when the turians almost wiped out our entire race. That was fun.

Garrus Vakarian: I really hope we get to see the Normandy in combat.
Urdnot Wrex: Only an idiot wishes for combat in a stealth ship.

C-Sec Officer: You want us to arrest you?
Urdnot Wrex: I want you to try.

Urdnot Wrex: This is the great turian General? How did your people ever defeat us?
General Septimus: I may be drunk, krogan, but you're ugly. And in the morning I'll be sober.

Kaidan Alenko: We're fighting a gigantic, super advanced race of machines and I don't know if I should be in awe or be scared because they're aliens?
Commander Shepard: The turians are aliens and we put a boot up their ass.
Kaidan Alenko: This is different. We're going to need a bigger boot.

Garrus Vakarian: No salarian hearts, no turian livers, not one krogan testicle.
Commander Shepard: Your kidding right? Why would any one want krogan testicles?
Garrus Vakarian: Some Krogan believe that testicle transplants can increase their virility. Counteract the effects of the Genophage. It doesn't work but that doesn't stop them from buying. They'll pay up to 10,000 credits each. That's 40,000 for a full set. Somebody's making a killing out there.

Kaidan Alenko: What was that!
Urdnot Wrex: Probably just debris. Don't have a panic attack, I'll protect you.

Commander Shepard: We're not looking to start a fight.
Urdnot Wrex: Why not?

Tali'Zorah: The credits are being funnelled to this terminal, all we have to do is disconnect it.
Terminal: Probability of detection 100%. Initiating self destruct sequence.
Urdnot Wrex: ...or not.

Urdnot Wrex: Do your people ever talk about how you unleashed the geth on the universe and then got banished from your own world by them?
Tali'Zorah: Do your people ever talk about how you tried to take over the universe, but were struck with a virus to make you all sterile?
Urdnot Wrex : All the time.

Tali'Zorah: So, Dr. T'Soni, all these Prothean ruins we're exploring - this must be like a survey for you.
Liara T'Soni: Not exactly. For one, I am usually alone on my expeditions, and two, they involve much more time for study... and far fewer explosions.
Tali'Zorah: Yes, it's a pity that most of the technology I had planned to bring back to the Flotilla has subsequently tried to kill us.

Anoleis: Shepard! I demand you place this bitch under arrest!
Gianna Parasini: You have the right to remain silent. I wish to God you'd exercise it.

Scientist A: Okay okay, this one will get you.
Scientist B: Ugh... not again. How can you joke at a time like this?
Scientist A: Just listen. So, there are these two hydrogen atoms and they're talking. One says to the other, 'Hey, I lost my electron!' And then the other one says, 'Really? Are you sure about that?' And then the first hydrogen atom says, 'Yeah...I'm positive!' Hahaha!
Scientist B: Just shutup. God.

Charles Saracino: If aliens express their opinions at gunpoint, then why shouldn't we?
Urdnot Wrex: Because they have bigger guns?

Urdnot Wrex: Bah, we're wasting time, we could have beaten him into cooperation.
Garrus Vakarian: No we couldn't.
Urdnot Wrex: Yeah we could; think he lifts anything heavier than stacks of hard data?

Turian Council Member: Shepard, do you enjoy genocide?
Commander Shepard: Depends on the species – turian!

Commander Shepard: Would you kiss anyone I ordered you to?
Ashley Williams: That would depend. If it were a superior officer, that would be a violation of the regs regarding fraternization. I'd be required to decline and relieve you of command – Sir.

Joker: I thought I was going to get a chance to put the Normandy through her paces.
Commander Shepard: Who knows Joker, maybe we'll get to play hide and seek with Sovereign.
Joker: You know it doesn't sound that much fun when you're saying it.

Kaira Stirling: You know what we did to cop killers on my world?
Urdnot Wrex: You're breaking the law working for bribe money. You know what we do to dirty cops on my world?

Mira: It looks like you are trying to restore this facility. Would you like some help?
Female Commander Shepard: Oh crap, a pop-up.

Commander Shepard: In case you hadn't noticed, this whole place is falling apart!
Krogan Warlord: Exhilarating, isn't it?

[Shepard and his party sneak up on a Krogan trying to enter a restricted area]
ExoGeni VI: I am unable to comply. Please contact your supervisor.
Krogan Commander: Damn it! Tell me what I want, or I'll blast your virtual ass into actual dust!
ExoGeni VI: Please contact your supervisor for a level four security exemption, or make an appointment with-
Krogan Commander: Stupid machine!
ExoGeni VI: If there is nothing else, please step aside. There is a queue forming behind you for the use of this console.
[Krogan turns and sees Shepard]
Krogan Commander: Oh, good, I need to kill something.
[Shepard shoots the Krogan]

Lorik Qui'in: Lady Benezia was also dressed for her role. An Asari in a pinstripe suit set tongues wagging among the younger male employees, so to speak.
Kaidan Alenko: It does sound like something you'd find on an extranet fetish site. ...What?
Urdnot Wrex: I don't get how a clothed female can be more attractive than a naked one.

Kaidan Alenko: It looks like the Geth built themselves some sort of church.
Ashley Williams: Hey, If they’re looking for God, I’d be happy to speed them on their way.

Ashley Williams: Hm, nobody died.
Kaidan Alenko: I could shoot someone if it'd make you feel better.
Ashley Williams: Nah, I'm good.
Commander Shepard: You're not really a "people" person, are you?
Ethan Jeong: I like people. I just like them more when they're helping the company cut a profit.

Commander Shepard: Shut up and get over here.
Ashley Williams: Make me.

Liara T'Soni: We almost died out there and your pilot is making jokes?
Commander Shepard: Joker pulled our asses out of there. He deserves the rights to a few bad jokes.

Commander Shepard: Every time humanity asks for help you ignore us!
Ambassador Udina: Shepard's right! I'm sick of this Council and its anti-human bullsh...
Asari Councilor: Ambassador!

[Shepard has just shot Wrex]
Kaidan Alenko: Commander, are you... all right?
Commander Shepard: I'm feeling a hell of a lot better than he is.
Kaidan Alenko: Uhh, yeah, I guess so.

Ashley Williams: Dad passed on a few years back, he's probably still watching though, so behave.
Commander Shepard: He's not a zombie is he?

Commander Shepard: Are you sure you're capable to fly?
Joker: Um, I don't fly with my feet, Commander.

Turian Councilor: You released the Queen of the Rachni! How many generations until THEY take over the galaxy?
Commander Shepard: Three...no, four!

[When observing the scenic view over the wards]
Commander Shepard: The council represents more races than I thought. No wonder they're careful with newcomers.
Kaidan Alenko: They probably just want to keep everything running. It has to be hard keeping all these cultures working together.
Ashley Williams: Or maybe they just don't like humans.
Commander Shepard: Why not? We've got oceans, beautiful women, this emotion called love. According to the old vids, we have everything they want.
Kaidan Alenko: When you put it that way, there's no reason they wouldn't like you. I mean, us! Humans! Ma'am.
Ashley Williams: You don't take much shore leave, do you, L-T?

[When Liara admits to finding Shepard fascinating]
Commander Shepard: Sounds like you want to dissect me in a lab somewhere.
Liara T'Soni: What? No! I did not mean to insinuate-- Ah, I never meant to offend you, Shepard. I only meant that you would be an interesting specimen for in-depth study. No-- that's even worse!
Commander Shepard: Calm down, Liara. I was only joking.

Commander Shepard: Anoleis is paying you to shake this place down. That makes you a criminal. I can kill criminals.
ERCS Guard: You're bluffing.
Urdnot Wrex: You're right. They're actually going to let me eat you.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Mass Effect
Box artwork for Mass Effect.
Developer(s)
Demiurge Studios
Publisher(s)
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Release date(s)
Xbox 360
Windows, Direct2Drive
Steam
Genre(s) RPG
System(s) Xbox 360, Windows, Direct2Drive, Steam
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s)
ESRB: Mature
PEGI: Ages 18+
BBFC: 12
OFLC: Mature Accompanied & Restricted
OFLC: File:OFLC R13.svg
System requirements (help)
CPU clock speed

2.4GHz

System RAM

1GiB

Disk space

12GiB

DirectX version
Version 9.0c
Followed by Mass Effect 2
Series Mass Effect
This is the first game in the Mass Effect series. For other games in the series see the Mass Effect category.

Developed by BioWare, creators of Baldur's Gate and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect is an epic next-gen RPG released worldwide in November 2007 for the Xbox 360.

Taking on the role of Commander Shepard, you lead an elite squad on a heroic, action-packed adventure throughout the galaxy. In the not-too-distant future mankind discovers alien technology on Mars that allows them to begin exploring the galaxy by finding and activating "mass effect relays" that have been lying dormant, left behind by an ancient alien civilisation that disappeared 50,000 years ago. Humans are able to join in with the galaxy's other species and begin to spread across worlds.

Not everyone is pleased with these events, however. Some species resent how quickly the humans have established a strong presence, and a traitorous elite Spectre agent named Saren has turned rogue and is pursuing his own agenda.

Mass Effect allows for open-ended gameplay amidst a deep, immersive story and is presented in a cinematic style.

Plot

The story revolves around an ancient alien prophecy stating that every 50,000 years a portal opens that separates the "normal" universe and a realm beyond, releasing an ancient artificial intelligence that will harvest all organic life, and the time of their return is approaching. As the first human Spectre—sworn defenders of galactic peace—Shepard's mission is to halt the advancing armies of Saren, a legendary Spectre agent gone rogue. Saren has mysteriously taken control of the Geth, a race of rudimentary A.I. networks, whom he intends to use to shape the galaxy in his image, and to exact revenge against humanity for their perceived injustices against his people.

Table of Contents

Classes
  • Adept
  • Engineer
  • Infiltrator
  • Sentinel
  • Soldier
  • Vanguard
  1. Eden Prime
  2. The Citadel
  3. Artemis Tau
  4. Feros
  5. Noveria
  6. Virmire
  7. Ilos
  8. Return to the Citadel
Galaxy
  • Argos Rho Cluster
  • Armstrong Nebula
  • Artemis Tao Cluster
  • Attican Beta Cluster
  • Exodus Cluster
  • Gemini Sigma Cluster
  • Hades Gamma Cluster
  • Hawking Eta Cluster
  • Horse Head Nebula
  • Kepler Verge
  • Local Cluster
  • Maroon Sea Cluster
  • Pangaea Expanse
  • Sentry Omega Cluster
  • Styx Theta Cluster
  • Serpent Nebula
  • Voyager Cluster
Appendices
Downloadable Content
  • Bring Down the Sky
  • Pinnacle Station

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Mass Effect

Developer(s) BioWare
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studio
Release date X360
November 20, 2007
PC
May 27, 2008
Genre Action
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: M
Platform(s) Xbox 360, PC
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


Mass Effect is a role playing game developed by Bioware. It was initially exclusive to the Xbox 360 but was later released for PC. The will be a trilogy spanned over the life of the Xbox 360. The trilogy will also include episodic content that will bridge each game together. The first game was released on November 20, 2007, and the second, Mass Effect 2, is in development.

Del Rey Books recently released a novel that is to act as the prequel to the events in Mass Effect the video game. The title is Mass Effect Revelation. The book is 323 pages long and is written by New York times best selling author Drew Karpyshyn. The book is available in most major retail stores.

Contents

Gameplay

Mass Effect is a third-person role playing game with third-person shooter elements embedded into the gameplay, similar to Ghost Recon. A player has the ability to pause realtime combat and issue commands to his or her comrades and resume gameplay. The player has the ability to upgrade the main character in many ways to allow special skills to be used during combat (i.e. more damage, easier aim, etc).

During the space adventure the player assumes the role of Commander Shepard. The game features an avatar editor that allows the payer to choose Shepard's physical appearance including gender. The customization system has been heralded as very detailed and photorealistic. Shepard is in command of a ship called the Normandy and it's crew. The Normandy is the primary space vehicle and carries the crew to their specified destination. The galactic map in Mass Effect houses 30 confirmed planets that range in different environments from Arctic to desert. Some of these planets are not part of the main story arch thus they additional missions to the game.

Mass Effect houses an extensive campaign that runs from 18 - 30 hours long. The story surrounds an ancient prophecy when a technology based race returns to the galaxy to harvest organic life every fifty thousand years. Shepard is instructed to stop the advances of an ex Spectre agent (a defender of galactic peace) before he causes humanity too much trouble.

Aside from the extensive story involved in the campaign, the game houses a complex dialogue system that allows for new character interaction. When a conversation is initiated a player has three choices during the conversation. Each of these choices negatively or positively affect the way the NPC feels and responds to Shepard. For example, during an conversation a player can instruct Shepard to interrupt the NPC and demand an item from them. This same scenario could play out other ways with Shepard allowing the NPC to complete their thought and responding kindly. Not only does this new system feature a better dialogue system, but also features realistic physical reaction from the NPC and Shepard.

Storyline

Prequel Novel

The Novelization by Drew Karpyshyn introduces the potential player to the universe of Mass Effect. The story takes place around David Anderson, a Staff Lieutenant for the System Alliance Military. The story begins with an attack on a research station in Sidon in a section of the galaxy known as the Skyillian Verge. Once the SSV Hastings receives notice it is dispatched to investigate and sends Anderson into the base with a few other marines. To their horror they find that the base has been ransacked and all the scientists and guards have been killed. At the end of their investigation they realize that mercenaries rigged the base with a bomb. Anderson and company barely escape the blast.

After returning to the citadel questions start to arise. It is found that a member of the research team left the station before the attack. Kahlee Sanders is considered a fugitive and the ambassador for the system alliance sends Anderson to find her and bring her back for questioning. His investigation finally turns up a lead with Rear Admiral Grissom, an old earth hero. Grissom is found out to be Kahlee's long lost father.

When Anderson arrives at the Grissom residence Kahlee has already been to her father. He admits she came to him the night prior and asked for help, and he sent her on her way.

Collectors Edition

Mass Effect Collector's Edition

The Limited Edition with be available through pre-order only at retailers gamestop.com/ebgames.com;amazon.com; and bestbuy.com within the United States and in store in the EU. The Limited edition features are as follows: A Mass Effect fiction book titled “Galactic Codex: Essentials” - A 36-page guide to the Mass Effect universe, including a Citadel timeline and a guide to all non-human races, biotics and the key locations in the Perseus arm of the galaxy The Collectors edition retails for $69.99 and includes:

  • Galactic Codex - A 36 page guide including Timeline, index of non human races, key locations in the galaxy, and Biotics.
  • Mass Effect Art Book - 36 pages of concept art
  • Bonus DVD - includes exclusive Mass Effect videos, two themes, 12 gamer pictures, various demos

Pre-Order Bonus

Bioware released limited number of preorder gifts on a disk that includes:

  • documentary - introduces the game
  • Sound Track - 3 tracks from the Mass Effect soundtrack
  • Theme - 2 exclusive themes
  • Gamer Picture - 12 exclusive gamer pictures

See Also


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Simple English

File:Milky Way
A drawing of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It is a similar picture to the map the player uses to explore the galaxy in Mass Effect

Mass Effect is an award-winning 2007 science fiction video game published by Microsoft and developed by Bioware. It was released for the Xbox 360 and later on the PC. The game takes place in the year 2183. Players control an elite human soldier called Commander Shepard and are able to explore the galaxy on his spacecraft, the SSV Normandy.[1]

Contents

Plot and Universe

Mass Effect has a very detailed fictional universe, with many of the concepts based on real science. There are over 20 alien races the player can meet in Mass Effect,[2] with more planned for the sequels.

Themes

The game has a science fiction setting and explores themes such as space, racism, religion and the state of humanity. The main plot of the game involves the classic science fiction idea of robots or AI that have got out of control. According to the lead writer of Bioware, Star Wars, Aliens and Blade Runner were all influences on the games setting and plot.[3]

Setting

Mass Effect is set 180 years in the future in the year 2183. According to the back story humans discovered some ancient technology on Mars. This enabled them to build faster than light spacecraft. With this technology humans explored the whole Solar System. Twenty years before the game begins human explorers find that Pluto's moon Charon, is really a Mass Relay. Mass Relays are the only way to travel from one distant end of the galaxy to the other. Mass Relays are ancient technology created by the Protheans, the now exctict race that once ruled the galaxy. This enables spacecraft and people to be sent across the galaxy.

References








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