Mass Effect, released in 2007 is a third-person adventure/action shooter video game created by the legendary software house Bioware. It tells the story of Commander Shepherd, the first human SPECTRE who is sent on a mission by the Citadel Council to track down Saren, a rogue Turian SPECTRE who had led attacks on various outposts in Citadel space.
Ever since I played Knights of the Old Republic, more affectionately referred to as KOTR, I have been addicted to role-playing video games. Released by software house Bioware in 2003, KOTR was and in my opinion, still is the benchmark for any other game in this genre. Putting it bluntly KOTR was fantastic, it is the finest video game I have ever played; period. So when Bioware released Mass Effect on the XBOX 360 I was incredibly keen to see it.
My exploration of the Mass Effect lore did not start by playing the video game, no, my first foray into the universe was via the novel Mass Effect: Revelation, a prequel to the game. This novel gives you the back story of two main characters in the game, introduces some of the various alien races, the universe and humanity’s place within it. From this point on I was hooked.
The game starts on Eden Prime, a human colony which had been attacked by a Geth force led by the Turian SPECTRE Saren. The mission guides you through the controls, introduces you to some of your squad, namely Kaiden & Ashley, but more importantly, you get a first look at Saren and what he is capable of.
A good chunk of the game takes place on a Citadel, a giant Deep-Space Station, which serves as the political, financial and administrative centre of Citadel space. Here Commander Shepherd continues his investigation into Saren while picking up extra squad mates along the way. There are also numerous side missions to complete, which I’d recommend completing, they add an extra richness to the universe.
Artemis Tau, Feros, Noveria, Virmire
After your work on the Citadel is complete you take control of the SSV Normandy, a prototype deep scout frigate. (insert pic). The Normandy allows you to move freely around the universe following the trail of destruction left by Saren and the Geth.
It’s all fairly standard stuff until you get to the last of the four, Virmire, where the situation takes a sinister turn for one or more of you squadmates. The mission also comes alive after a conversation with an entity called Sovereign.
The End Game
Once Virmire has been completed the game then enters a linear path and you no longer have the ability to branch out to complete side missions around the galaxy, so make sure you get all the exploration you want to do before attempting Virmire.
Your pursuit of Saren then takes you to a previously unexplored world call Ilos, the final outpost of the Protheans, a long-extinct alien race. Here you learn about their fate, and what caused their extinction.
The final climactic battle takes place on the Citadel, where you get to decide the fate of the galaxy. The game now moves along a quite a pace, and it’s very hard to put down. You’ll find yourself in the final battle before you know it.
My Mass Effect journey started back in August 2007 when I read the novel Revelations. It has taken me nearly thirteen years to finally complete a playthrough of the game. Now that’s no reflection on the game its self, it’s totally down to me and life getting in the way, however with the COVID-19 lock-down in force I have found some time on my hands I managed to get it done, and I’m pleased I did. The story is quite superb, engaging and addictive. On the whole, the playability is still good, although sometimes it can get a little frustrating and repetitive.
Would I recommend this game in 2020? Yes absolutely, if you have not played it before and in lock-down, you have the time so it worth a go. It’s quite reasonably priced in the Microsoft store, so if you’re looking for something to play, and don’t want to shell out £30 to £50 on the latest game I’d say Mass Effect is a great choice.
Enjoy, stay safe