When you want to just have some fun or want to instead fight your way through impossible odds then Mass Effect will deliver that for you in spades. In the Mass Effect you are Commander Shepard, an Alliance officer as well as N7 special forces and a candidate for Specter status with the Citadel Council. You are also humanity’s only hope to stop the coming thread from dark space just outside the galaxy, the Reapers. BioWare and Edge of Reality have done a great job of giving us an engaging and entertaining space adventure that will keep you coming back for more.
One of the great things about Mass Effect is that you are able to control so many aspects of both your characters history and how that character looks. Something that BioWare has been doing with its games for a long time. It makes you more connected to the game and you feel a vested interest in the character that you are making. It is one of the reasons that I like BioWare games so much. The character creation asks you questions about your, or rather the character’s past, what your character’s first name will be and then takes you to a facial reconstruction setup. You are able to make just about any type of face that you would want for your character, even choose between a male or female version of Shepard. With patience you could even make a face that closely resembles your own. It is a way to make you feel like the character is uniquely yours. But if you don’t want to spend all day making a character you could just use the presets and choose of of them to play. Personally I feel that to go that route you would loose a lot of the feelings for your character during the game.
The main plot of the game is that you are humanities chosen individual that is to join the ranks of the Spectres (Special Tactics and Reconnaissance). They are the not so secret agents of the Council with a great deal of power and authority. They are the left hand that does what the right hand can not. They gather intelligence, police when need to and investigate anything that they feel should be looked into. They also only answer to one authority, that of the Council and at times the military commands that they may have come from originally. You could say your character is a galactic James Bond but with more toys and better transportation.
Transportation, that is a two edged sword in this game. While in space your main ride is that of the SR-1 SSV Normandy, a stealth reconnaissance frigate of both Turian and Alliance design. It is the most advance ship in the Alliance fleet. The Normandy is given to Shepard to use as a Spectre. Another vehicle, that you will love to hate and hate to love is that of the M35 Mako infantry fighting vehicle. It is used to explore planets and even in some missions. The thing must have one hell of a set of inertial dampeners in it because the way it runs would kill just about anyone inside it. It bounce all over the place and yet can stick to and climb an almost vertical incline. It can take damage like you wouldn’t believe and has amazing firepower, when you can hit something. Aiming is almost pot luck with this thing and you have to always be moving in and out of sight range to do anything. You also have to have the vehicle at almost a level line of site with your target to get any kind of good shot. The first time you take the thing out you will probably blow the thing up. Not to worry though, you will just reload the mission and start again.
Back to the plot, you are tasked with tracking down and getting evidence of collaborative behavior of a rogue Specter by the name of Saren Arterius, a Turian. He is suspected of working with and for the Reapers and the ship Sovereign. Sovereign is the vanguard of the Reapers as well as a backup plan to make sure that the rest of the Reapers are brought back within the galaxy. Saren is helping them because he thinks that it will allow him to live when they come back and also because he has been indoctrinated by Sovereign. Indoctrination is a process where an individual becomes controlled by reapers or an agent of the reapers. It is a progressive process that the individual is not really aware of. It is that fate and the fate the Reapers want to bring that you are fighting against, even when others don’t see it.
In all this is a very addictive game and has at least 30 hours of gameplay or more. There are many possible ways to go about your missions where your choices will dictate how people react to you and whether or not you make an ally who could be a faithful companion and friend or that of an enemy who would rather see you dead. In a game like this the more friends you have the better off you will be. It is one hell of a ride and a ride you will want to have fun with again and again, even if the controls seem backwards at times.