In a technologically advanced future, an elite human soldier takes command of a prototype star ship and works to defend the galaxy from danger.

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(lead writer), (as Luke Kristjanson) | 4 more credits »
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5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Barr ...
Urdnot Wrex / Refugee (voice)
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Commander Shepard (Female) / May O'Connell / Destiny Ascension Navigator / Normandy VI / Refugee / X57 Scientist (voice)
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Garrus Vakarian / Turian Merchant (voice)
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Commander Shepard (Male) / Delanynder / Opold / Preaching Hanar / Businessman / Salarian Soldier / Thug (voice)
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Ash Sroka ...
Tali'Zorah nar Rayya / Jenna (voice) (as Liz Sroka)
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Saren Arterius / Balak / General Septimus Oraka / Inamorda / Michael Petrovsky / Krogan Blackmailer / Krogan Bouncer (voice)
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Major Elena Flores / Rebekah Petrovsky (voice) (as Leigh Allyn Baker)
April Banigan ...
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Storyline

In a technologically advanced future, an elite human soldier takes command of a prototype star ship and works to defend the galaxy from danger.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

20 November 2007 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,700,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the player destroys the final component of the rogue VI (Virtual Intelligence) on Luna, there is a block of binary displayed as the last gasp of the dying VI. The binary displayed is 01001000 01000101 01001100 01010000 which when translated to ASCI reads "help". See more »

Goofs

The timeline in the Codex lists the 100th anniversary of the first moon landing as July 24, 2069. The actual date of the first moon landing was July 20th, 1969, not the 24th. See more »

Quotes

Sovereign: We are legion. The time of our return is coming. Our numbers will darken the sky of every world.
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Connections

Referenced in JonTron: Top 10 Most Overrated Games of All Time (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

M4 Part II
Written and Performed by Faunts
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The game for Sci-fi geeks.
3 October 2008 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

ME combines the spectacle of Space Opera with the explorative spirit of Science Fiction.

The game is laced with little touches to make us fans smile – casting genre legend Lance Hendriksen (Bishop, from Aliens) as Admiral Hackett, presenting narrative parallels between Prothean beacons and the monoliths in 2001, and let's not forget the Thorian. Sci-fi has often explored the concept of plant life that challenges our ideas of what a plant's characteristics are. Oh yeah, and the Thorian has the ability to control people … an indirect nod to Invasion of the Body Snatchers? The makers of ME knew their genre.

And how about weapons named after Chess Champions? Don't make me break out my Karpov ...

In addition, ME's world sports little spices of realism that makes this future feel like a genuine possibility for our world. For example, the alliance uses naval terminology for interstellar travel even though the setting renders the words obsolete ("shore" party?). There's also a consistent naming scheme for Alliance vessels (named after significant battles). Our ship? The best in fleet? It gets named after the most significant battle in human history – The Normandy.

The universe is populated by some colorful alien races like the Elcor who speak in an eternal monotone, Solarians with an upside-down blink (the lower eye-lid is the more articulate lid), the Volus completely enclosed in space suits due to the living on low pressure worlds, the insect-like Rachni deliver a delightful homage to the Alien franchise while exploring Novaria.

Then throw in a codex where, if a player cares, they can find explanations that approach HG Wells levels of detail – things like why you never run out of ammo, to history of the various alien races, to stupid little pieces of trivia. If the player does not care, they can safely ignore it. There will be no quiz later.

While the setting is firmly established in the realm of Science Fiction, the story and presentation is distilled Space Opera. You take control of Commander Shepherd, an established hero in the human world about to make his mark on the intergalactic stage. A newly inducted "Spectre", you're charged with hunting down the traitorous rogue, Saren. The odds are stacked against you, and the fate of all sentient life hangs in the balance. May the force be with you.

As for the gameplay: you wander around the outposts racking up Mission Objectives and Side Quests ala any other RPG in existence. Mass Effect contains barely a handful of friendly outposts (located exclusively on Mission worlds), which is a plus in my book. I never liked needle-in-a-haystack RPGs. The combat side of the game is divided between the landrover vehicle named "Mako" (which the controls and the camera do not like) and battles on foot. Both take place in pause-able real time.

It's not that the Mako is unplayable, but it very noticeably lacks the precision you would expect. A simple task like driving out from behind cover, firing, and returning to cover is far more difficult than it needs to be. Also, when you have the main cannon's scope engaged, it's not uncommon to drive into an obstacle, nearly flipping the whole Mako over while Geth Armitures bombard you. Can't someone else drive while I aim and fire? I mean, c'mon Bioware, in this same game I can get Ashley and Garrus to charge into an ambush, Ashley lay down suppressive fire and use her Immunity ability to soak up more damage while Garrus Sabotages the enemy's Weaponry rendering them temporarily useless all while I bombard them with Singularity fields from a distance … can't we get some basic coordination going in the Mako?

Anyway, Mass Effect lacks the flashiness of, say Final Fantasy's magic and summons, but there is a certain charm to "Lift" which simply elevates an enemy into the air so you and your allies can fill them full of lead. "Just call me Darth Shepherd." And there's something satisfying about using "Throw" to push two Krogans over a railing to their deaths when you're standing 20 feet away. Or use AI Hacking to turn drones against each other.

As much fun as I had with Biotics and Tech abilities, I most enjoyed taking out a Mercenary Camp from a distant hill with the Sniper Rifle. A close second would be standing in the middle of a field with said Sniper Rifle while zombies (Thorian Creepers, whatever) raced towards me. "Run Forest!" Kaboom! "Aw, so close …"

On the negative side, inventory is a royal pain in the ass. Like other games in the genre, you outfit not just yourself but the rest of your team, and the amount of loot you acquire can make this a tedious and time consuming task made worse by some downright stupid menu behavior. For example, let's say you open a crate and find out you've exceeded the 150 item limit. Well, you're stuck in that window until you reduce that loot to omni-gels (essentially, destroying the items you just acquired.) Why can't I waste older, cheaper, and less effective crap? Or here's an idea – why can't I leave this new crap in the crate where I found it and come back later?

Also, while the main objectives take place on unique world with their own specific landscapes and features, all of the side quests feel like copy and pastes of one another. All the worlds have painfully similar terrain, the only difference being the color of the sky and the color of the ground. Same goes for the explore-able structures on the worlds – exact same building, exact same furniture … only the furniture is in different places. Hello monotony.

Oh well, minor complaints. It wasn't enough to stop me from immediately replaying it … and I haven't done that since Chrono Trigger thirteen years ago. Take that for what it's worth.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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