Mass Effect Proves It’s Not a Small World, After All


After years of completely ignoring the game and weeks of contemplating whether or not I should give Mass Effect a shot, I finally grabbed a copy of the game. I’m a few hours in and have all six potential party members on my side. I have a lot to say about this game, which I’ll dole out in a number of posts in the future.

What I wanted to focus on first is the scope of Mass Effect. Without question, this is the biggest game I’ve ever played. In a number of ways, the Mass Effect experience is absolutely colossal to the point that it’s intimidating the heck out of me.

The team at BioWare really have created an entire galaxy for players to interact with. Starting from the outside and working inward, let’s start with the planets. There are a number of different planets for you to explore for missions and assignments. Even the planets that you can’t explore have an entire back story for you to read should you care to learn more about it. When you’re in a planet or a space station, the environments are generally big, full of variety and full of life.

Speaking of life, it’s the characters that inhabit the world of Mass Effect that really take this world to the next level of scope. There are an insane number of primary, secondary and tertiary characters. The game does an amazing job of fleshing out the stories of every character you need to know through countless hours of dialogue and back story to read. All the main characters in the game feel like they’ve lived a full life before you started playing this game. Secondary characters have a surprising amount of dialogue and back story as well. Even bit players have enough “meat” to their characters to make them feel like real people. In an age where most games have trouble humanizing their main characters, what Mass Effect is able to do with this entire world is blowing my mind.

Where the intimidation comes in is how how I control my Shepard to interact with this world. You’re constantly put in situations where your decisions affect the world. I’ve already encountered a few situations where I completely changed the world. While I’m happy with the decisions I have made so far, I know that this world could be very different had I approached these scenarios differently.

So far, I’m liking Mass Effect quite a bit. It’s not without fault, but overall I’m glad to be playing this. You’ll be able to read more of my thoughts about Mass Effect soon.

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