As Commander Shepard, you lead an elite squad on a heroic, action-packed adventure throughout the galaxy. Discover the imminent danger from an ancient threat and battle the traitorous Saren and his deadly army to save civilization. The fate of all life depends on your actions!
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (3,599 reviews)
Release Date: 28 May, 2008

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Recommended By Curators

"Good Port. Lots of pc options with good performance and K/M controls. Needs .ini tweaking to go over 60 fps and a mod to add controller support."


"One of the best role-playing games in recent memory... Makes you feel like the badass warrior you were meant to be... The refined PC version is your best choice for experiencing this excellent game." - GameSpot: 9/10 | Editors’ Choice

"Raises the bar for the role-playing genre... Mass Effect's greatest strength is the quality of the narrative… Mass Effect takes interactive entertainment to new heights and is wholeheartedly recommended." - GameSpy: 5/5 | Editors’ Choice

About This Game

As Commander Shepard, you lead an elite squad on a heroic, action-packed adventure throughout the galaxy.

Discover the imminent danger from an ancient threat and battle the traitorous Saren and his deadly army to save civilization. The fate of all life depends on your actions!
  • 2007 New York Times Game of the Year
  • A Stunning universe with high resolution graphics and textures
  • Controls and interface optimized for PC gamers
  • Includes free additional content — face off against the horrific Batarians
  • Customize your character and embark on a pulse-pounding adventure in an immersive open-ended storyline
  • Incredible real-time character interaction
  • Thrilling, tactical combat as you lead an elite squad of three
  • Interplanetary exploration of an epic proportion

System Requirements

    • Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® XP with SP2 or Windows Vista*
    • Processor: Intel P4 2.4 Ghz or faster / AMD 2.0 Ghz
    • Memory: 1.0 GB RAM or more (2.0 GB for Vista)
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible, ATI X1300 XT or greater (ATI X1300, X1300 Pro, X1600 Pro, Radeon 2600 HD, and HD 2400 are below minimum system requirements); NVidia GeForce 6800 or greater (7300, 7600 GS, 8500 are below minimum system requirements)
    • Hard Drive: 12.0 GB or more free hard drive space
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    * WINDOWS VISTA OR WINDOWS 7 USERS: Launching “Mass Effect” from Steam requires the setting “Run as Administrator”. If the User Account Control feature of Windows Vista is enabled, launching “Mass Effect” from Steam will result in failure. For users with User Account Control enabled, launch Steam using the “Run as Administrator” option or launch from the windows shortcut.
Helpful customer reviews
591 of 678 people (87%) found this review helpful
26.6 hrs on record
Posted: 20 August
I am Commander Shepard and this is my favorite game on Steam
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109 of 116 people (94%) found this review helpful
40.2 hrs on record
Posted: 26 June
Quite simply, this is an essential purchase and gaming experience.
Excellent storyline, great characters and voice-acting and a genuinely involving plot.
Your gameplay decisions and character looks even port over to Mass Effect 2 once you've finished (and ME2 is an absolute must-play title!)
Sale price is leass than a pint of cheap beer now. What are you doing reading this? Buy it and get playing!
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291 of 373 people (78%) found this review helpful
53.5 hrs on record
Posted: 15 October
This is the best elevator sim on the market. If you like elevators, this is a must play.
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77 of 83 people (93%) found this review helpful
40.1 hrs on record
Posted: 29 October
Favorite game of all time.

Awful inventory system, didn't really care about the combat system, couldn't care less about upgrades, weapons, etc, graphics could have been better, BUT...

But if you are a fan of epic science fiction stories (Dune, Hyperion, etc) as I am, with the vast, diverse and interesting worlds and species and their relationships to each other along with an ominus evil lurring to destroy the galaxy, then BY GOD this is the game for you.

Great characters, a plethora of game-changing choices, awesome antagonist, amazing story, incredible dialogue... Simply excellent. I cannot recommend this enough.
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55 of 58 people (95%) found this review helpful
313.0 hrs on record
Posted: 26 October
It probably hasn't aged as well as some other games out there, but it's the first game in one of the greatest trilogies of all time set in a unquestionably plausible, if fictional, universe. The later games may have better graphics and slightly improved mechanics, but without completing ME1 you won't have the proper foundation to fully appreciate them.
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51 of 54 people (94%) found this review helpful
171.8 hrs on record
Posted: 26 November
Punched a reporter.

10/10 would punch again.

In all seriousness, Mass Effect is a well-rounded game from BioWare, the people that defined my childhood with such classics as Neverwinter Nights, and my all-time favorite, Knights of the Old Republic.

This first step into the trilogy, puts you into the boots of Commander Shepard. He (or she) is given the task of stopping a rogue Spectre from... you guess it, taking over the galaxy (OF COURSE!) Along the way, you pick up a colorful cast of characters that help Shepard every step of the way.

One of the things I really like about Mass Effect is its approach to morality. It is not the standard good vs evil choice. To put this in Star Trek terms, Paragon Shepard is more like Jean-Luc Picard or Kathryn Janeway, always willing to go for diplomacy first. Conversely, Renegade Shepard is more analogous to Benjamin Sisko; doing whatever it takes to get the job done, and sometimes crossing the line. But even though ReneShep may cross that line, he or she, is willing to live with the decision regardless of the consequences.

Gameplay may seem a little archaic especially when compared to the later games in the trilogy, but there is something about it that I find charming in its design. Sure, inventory management can be a bit of a hassle, but let's face it, no game has ever really had a perfect inventory system. The shooting is solid enough, even though the guns sound like pea shooters (This only applies to the pistols. The shotguns, and sniper rifles have weight to their sound assets), and the variety of ammunition types, equipment and powers allow for a lot of replayability. Plus, you can take your completed Shepard, and import him or her into the next two games, taking your decisions with you.

So, what about Shepard? Take a seat, relax, and begin your journey to find out.
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148 of 204 people (73%) found this review helpful
26.4 hrs on record
Posted: 16 October
If you've played this and you don't like it, then you're just a big stupid jellyfish.
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36 of 41 people (88%) found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: 6 July
Mass Effect 1: The game that started it all.

If you read or watch Youtube videos regularly about "Top 10 Best Gaming Moments in Recent Memory" or "Top 10 Best Video Games of Last Generation" or something along those lines, you've probably seen Mass Effect get pointed out in one of those top 10s very often. After having enough of seeing Mass Effect mentioned on one of the lists, I decided to get Mass Effect and see it for myself. After completing a playthrough as a full out paragon war hero soldier and even imported my character to Mass Effect 2 (Where you can find my review here) and I think Mass Effect was simply outstanding. It had the best overall plot of the three games and had several unforgettable moments, there are quite a few flaws.


For the visuals, they took some time to get used to because in some ways it looks like you're watching a TV show in the 80's-90's. However, in time, I was able to get used to the visuals and was highly impressed. For a game from 2007, the visuals are very good. Obviously, they don't compare to Mass Effect 2 and 3's visuals, but I'd prefer not to compare this to the other games.


The gameplay is probably the weak point of the game. I understand that this game is partially a tactical shooter, but let's be real here: You don't need to use the abilities for each character, the enemies are either easy to kill or too difficult to kill, and the AI is awful. I didn't like the firing at first how it decreases your accuracy, but I got used to it after the first few missions. The gameplay definitely did not age well in the past few years, that's for sure.


The story is the strongest point in the game. Saren plays the role as the main villain very well. I wouldn't say he's top ten worthy, but he's still an amazing character. Too bad it started to get cheesy towards the end. As some people have said, Mass Effect does not actually take off until Virmire, where several of the biggest moments in the trilogy are encountered. The other characters are pretty cool, like the Krogan bounty hunter Wrex (Who is 100x cooler than Grunt in Mass Effect 2) and Liara, an Asari biotic who studies the Protheans, an ancient race who was destroyed by a certain group of people. Overall plot was the best in the series and was just awesome. I don't want to spoil it, so just buy the game!


The voice actors did VERY well when playing their roles. I think the best of the voice actors were either Ali Hillis (Liara) or Brandon Keener (Garrus) but Wrex, Shepard, and Saren's roles stood out, too. The music is awesome and I enjoy hearing it, the only problem I have with the audio is that half of the time all you hear is "pew pew pew" coming from the guns or "Shields down!" The music should've played some more so I can here my gun going "pew pew pew" while I hear epic music playing in the background. When the music didn't play, the mission felt very bland.


The replayability in this game is just about as strong as the other Mass Effects, but from what I've seen from others, this Mass Effects seems like it is the one that is replayed the most. The story wraps you in to the point you've realized you played the game seven times.


In the end, Mass Effect is a strong start to an amazing sci fi RPG trilogy. I highly recommend it. I assure you, you will not regret it.

Graphics- 8/10
Gameplay- 4.5/10
Story- 10/10
Audio- 9.5/10
Replayability- 9/10


+Best overall plot
+Great villain
+Amazing visuals
+High replayability
+Solid RPG elements

-Awful AI
-Tedious combat
-Music barely plays
-Gets really cheesy toward the end
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32 of 35 people (91%) found this review helpful
173.3 hrs on record
Posted: 31 October
This is my all-time favorite game! I hold the first game of the trilogy very dear. A great stroy, wonderful characters that develop throughout the games, romances everywhere and a galactical threat that makes you the paragon/renegade hero of the entire galaxy. I know all the criticism, I agree to most of it, but that doesn't make me stop playing this game over and over again and I have played it five times already, literally.
Be the man/woman you always wanted to be, emerge into this fantastic universe and see what you can do to make it a better place for all species.
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101 of 157 people (64%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: 27 October
We'll bang, ok?
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
58.7 hrs on record
Posted: 8 October
If you ever wanted to explore the galaxy, or if you like sci-fi, or you are a sucker for space operas, you can pick this game up right away.

You are Commander Shepard, and your Shepard can be a grizzled veteran marine, a tech savvy scoundrel, or a biotic powerhouse. He/she can also be something in between any of these classes. This game is all about the choices you make, and those choices will affect your environment, other characters relationships with you, how cheap or expensive new weapons will be at stores etc.

The exploration mechanic of the game is based on star clusters and star systems. As you travel the galaxy and solve missions, new clusters of stars will appear on the map, giving you more chances to explore.
Indeed, the crux of the game is exploration and the game does this part very well. As you explore, you will also gain bits and pieces of information which form the lore of the Mass Effect universe.

And now about this game's shortcomings. Fortunately, there aren't many, and they are nothing immediately off-puting.
The combat and gunplay feel a bit sluggish at times, and the exploration can get tedious at times. Planetary maps are not that large, but they feel empty expect for a camp here and there, or an anomaly.

All things considered, I highly recommend this game to anyone.
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16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
58.6 hrs on record
Posted: 17 October
TL;DR: Great game - engrossing storyline, decent combat system, fun exploration, slightly branching storyline. Classic. Buy it.

How did it take me so long to find you, Mass Effect? Where have you been my whole life?

As you can tell from the above text (and the blue thumbs-up symbol) I rather enjoyed Mass Effect. From the get-go till the end, the in-game fiction is well woven, making this one of the best developed sci-fi universes I've had the pleasure of being involved with. The intricacy of the universe certainly puts series like Star Wars (the movies, at least) to shame. There are lots of distinct alien races with believable cultures and histories (though for the most part they are all humanoid and speak English...). The future technology is well explained with the usual pseudo-science.

The story was pretty good. As Shepherd, a man/woman in the Alliance (human) military, you start off investigating a distress call from a remote colony. Things go bad pretty quick, and you discover secrets which threaten the security of the galaxy. The next bit of the game concerns you gaining the trust of the Council (galactic government) in order to become a super-special-ops sort of dude. Then it's time to recruit a team of the best aliens and humans out there and set about saving the galaxy from it's ultimate doom!

Gameplay is as a 3rd person, squad-based shooter. The controls are easy to pick up, and allow you to bring up a squad menu which pauses the game and allows you to tell you squad members to use their biotic powers (think the Force from Star Wars but better) or tech abilities, or switch weapons and so on.

As a sort of space-RPG, you choose your class in the beginning, which defines what weapons and abilities you can use. You also level up during the progress of the game, allowing you to hone those skills. You can also set it so you can control the levelling-up of your squad members' skills as well. You do tend to pick up a lot of loot, allowing you to get new weapons and armour, upgrade existing ones and so on, depending on your class. Unfortunately, you have only a limited amount of inventory space, and it fills up pretty quick. I kept finding myself having to empty my inventory in the middle of levels.

A great feature of this game is exploration, as you get put in command of the experimental Alliance frigate, the Normandy. You can fly her wherever you wish, and land on many planets with the Mako jeep/tank thing. Lots of people hate the Mako for its wayward handling, but I loved it! The only downside is a lot of the optional planets are pretty repetetive/boring.

One thing which I liked in this game (compared to the second) is that it is not divided into "hub areas" and "combat areas". You could be attacked anywhere, even on the Citadel (the galactic capital). You never know whether a mission will be a simple mission where you just have to talk someone down, or whether you will have to fight your way through rooms full of enemies.

This brings us to another thing. Choice. People often get sniffy when video games claim to offer choice to the users, saying they follow the same storyline anyway, whatever choice you make. Well, this is mostly true. However, there are several choices you can make in the game which are imported to the second, which can make the game much harder, or very much alter the tone. I enjoyed having the choices personally, as it made me able to at least feel like I was doing things 'my way'.

I should go.
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24 of 35 people (69%) found this review helpful
30.8 hrs on record
Posted: 15 November
Mass Effect is pretty cool, I guess.

You play as Shepard, who can be either male or female, but I played him as a man, so I will be addressing him as a he.
Sorry Anita.

The game takes place in the future where I somehow haven't conquered the world. Humanity, in its efforts to into space, exluding Poland, find a ancient alien relic called the Mass Relay at the edge of the solar system. They activate it, which is apparently a big no-no, and starts a interstellar war with a alien race called the Turians, it's okay though because you can bang one later. All greviances lost.

Depending on the backstory you picked for Shepard, there is a chance he can compete with Batman on the world's deadest parents competition. As part of the Earth military, Shepard is sent off to a planet called Eden Prime where he must find out what happened to the country bumpkins and their space farms. He finds corpses, oh no! After the death of a Spectre, this games version of the hall monitors, Shepard is brought to the forefront of the galactic community as the first human hall monitor. Gonna monitor those halls so good. Through his Star Wars journey, Shepard discovers new friends, bitter enemies, and discovers his infatuation for blue buttcheeks, you go Shepard, get that blue berry.

The combat is a mix between RPG elements and cover based shooting. You hide behind chest-high walls while popping out occasionally to shoot some fool or hit them with your Jedi mind powers. Like all older Bioware games, Mass Effect likes to tell you what's going on. There is a codex that covers aliens, places, alien places, weapons, alien weapons, goblin darts, and historical events, and alien historical events... Did I mention the aliens? They're kind of important. I appreciate the time they took into making the game feel like it has it's own world instead of just being a series of events.

The story isn't the greatest thing ever, but it does enough to get you lost in it and forgetting that you live on a raft going down the Mississippi because you won one too many hobo fights without throwing the match. Let's see you catch me now, Booker.

Should you play Mass Effect?

The characters are fun to be around and the story and gameplay is engaging enough to keep you interested. Your journey for blue butt cheeks should last you a few hours and it will probably keep you interested enough to play the sequel. Not the second sequel though, don't do that to yourself, you're beautiful and don't deserve that.

I give Mass Effect two butt cheeks out of ten. President Kennedy was the fastest random speaker in the world with upwards of 350 words per minute.

Also, I have a curator now, you should probably check that out if you like reading the stupid crap I type out on here. You can find it here.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
26.4 hrs on record
Posted: 30 June
Long Review

Hi friends, today I'm going to review Mass Effect, aka the best game series in the world. Let me start by saying I've been a gamer for 10 years, I've played A LOT of games on many different platforms. The combat is mediocre as there isn't a lot of variety, you have your standard weapons, pistol, sniper, machine gun, to using skill moves (Biotics). The graphics aren't bad but their definitely nothing special but what do you expect from a game made in 07, also a lot of people, including myself have been having some issues with screen tearing. There are a few minor bugs here are there but nothing too serious that would make the game unplayable. Now you might be thinking "I thought you said this was the best game series in the word", why are you listing it's flaws? Theres but one reason, the story is amazing, It's like nothing I've ever played before, theres so much detail and effort put into this game it's amazing, it makes you forget about all the minor flaws the game has. I can't recommend this game enough, even if you're not into single player games this game will change your attitude in a heart beat. 9/10

Short Review

You get to have sex with aliens.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
31.3 hrs on record
Posted: 30 September
Let's place this review in context: I first started playing Mass Effect 3, then Mass Effect 2 and now finally, the first Mass Effect. I will compare this version with ME2 and ME3

Seven years after it's release, it's still one of the better games. The graphics are a little outdated, but nothing disturbing. The combat mechanics and the use of biotics have been better implemented than in ME2 and ME3. Too bad they didn't stick with this combat UI. Also the way that weapon upgrades work is much more extensive then with it successor games.

Mass Effect one has the strongest storyline of the three games, but as a result, lacks a bit of character development. You don't get to know the characters as well, like in ME2 with the loyalty missions.

This game is easy to get by for a few bucks during sales and is definitely worth it.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.1 hrs on record
Posted: 15 August
The first game of the Mass Effect franchise

Sci-fi RPG

+ Voice acting
+ Classes
+ Great story
+ Has replay value
+ Choices have consequences
+ Unique alien species
+ Can be a customizable male or female
+ Character dialogues
+ Optional romances
+ Awesome spaceship

Possible improvements: would have been awesome if I could customise squad armor, too bad I can't.
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27 of 44 people (61%) found this review helpful
30.1 hrs on record
Posted: 31 October
I've played it to completion 4 times and loved each time.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: 30 October
It's finally here! after all that damn work I can finally get to writing this thing! So, what is Mass Effect? well, think of Farscape/Firefly/sci-fi Game of thrones, it is one of the best RPG's I have ever played! back in 2007-ish I was hooked on this for a very long time so long that I forgot Halo was still a thing...Yeah you'd think I'm being overly dramatic but I didn't know Halo: ODST existed until someone told me, obviously showing you this game can put you in a coma!

The gameplay: while this game is a pretty kickass RPG it has some, well, bad combat, now before you start looking in the other direction back in the day you really didn't care how the combat felt until the shooter games became king people started getting a little spoiled, by spoiled I mean everyone wanted everything to be like Call Of Duty and thank god that day has come and gone (CoD: Ghosts) but if you give this game a chance and enjoy it for it's beautiful story instead of the combat parts of the game you will love the hell out of this!

The story: the universe around this game is almost flawless (note that I said almost so don't bite my head off in the comments when I post this lol) most RPG's constantly try to be LoTR or WoW or even Dungeons and Dragons but Mass Effect doesn't need "magic" to fuel it's universe for example: in all fantasy games I have played when someone needs something it's always easy to get and it has magic stamped all over it as the main excuse, there was this Argonian in Skyrim that was addicted to Skooma and all she needed was a simple bottle of health potion...Well geez that's kind of a slap in the face to people that actually do have addiction problems in reality! "addicted to drugs? no matter! we have happy fun time potion that can magically cure anything! in fact this stuff is so powerful why didn't we use this on that giant tree in Whiterun instead of sending a random hero to travel miles away to ♥♥♥♥ a giant tree off?" *face palm* fantasy...Anyway, so everything is explained with SCIENCE! from the engines of the Normandy to the very bones of each alien race and I love detail! I don't care if I have to read a book in the game just to get it I enjoy every bit of detail in a story and that's something Mass Effect succeeds in! yes there is codex reading but if you're a true fan of ME you would read it and get a better understanding of the world around you instead of rushing through the game like a mad man on fire.

Romance: yes, this was kind of unexpected for me too, at first I was surprised there was a romance system but interested in how this could further character development and that is one of the main goals you want to nail down in an RPG. Sadly there are only two romance options in this game, (at least for male Shepard I have next to no idea who the options are for femShep) in ME2 you have a much larger selection of love interests but in ME1 you can pick between Liara T'soni and Ashley, I'm not going to judge you by who you romance but I will warn you, do not romance Ashley! that ♥♥♥♥♥ is constantly complaining about aliens! making racist comments about them or she'll cram her christian ♥♥♥ down your throat! I'm christian and I don't run up to people and dump my faith on them! sorry I had to get that out of my system lol. Or you could take a pass on both of them and romance one of the characters in ME2 like I did, you may ask: "Peter, how could you take a pass on Liara?! she has giant blue boobs!" well mainly because I have always liked Tali a lot more than the other romance options, and she look's like a Bionicle! how can you not take advantage of that?! of course she isn't optional in ME1 but there might be a mod somewhere out there that changes that. And if you've seen my other stuff before you probably know by now I play a little comical trend in my joke boxes with Tali.

Final verdict: That's pretty much my best without revealing spoilers, I'm sorry if this may seem like a "cookie cutting" review but I don't want to spoil anything in this game for others! The game get's a well earned 8/10 not too much due to the lack of romance options because the dev's thought we wouldn't like anyone that doesn't have big breasts or "dat A$$" and the combat doesn't help it's case either but it deserves an 8/10 for giving us such a great universe to play in. This may not be the best in the series to other people but it's the start of it all and no one can ignore that!
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.2 hrs on record
Posted: 7 December
Mass Effect has an atmosphere like no other in gaming. The experience of fighting for the universe in a world I would best describe as "surreal" is something every gamer needs to try.

+ Keith David
+ Very good AI (Both enemy and friends)
+ Graphics are pretty much perfect. And by perfect I mean the style fits everything else the game is trying to do exactly how it should
+ Controls are exactly how you'd want them (Except for the Mako)
+ Story has lots of depth and is plenty interesting
+ Leveling up is amazingly satisfying
+ Plenty of armor, weapon, and upgrade options
+ Mako roaming splits up the on foot action very, very well
+ Keith David
+ Plenty of side quests
+ Combat has tons of depth
+ Recharging weapons make for unique combat
+ You can be a total ♥♥♥♥ to everyone you don't like
+ Keith David is amazing
+ Music is amazing
+ Did I mention Keith David!?

Not so good:
- It's quite linear (Which isn't a big issue at all, for me at least)
- Some bugs here and there (You may end up having to reload a time or two)
- You're glued to the ground (Probably more a personal issue)
- The Mako could control more smoothly

My complaints are minor while my compliments are off the charts.

If you have any sense, buy this game.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
406.9 hrs on record
Posted: 28 July
The game that turned me into a fandom nerd. Although this, the first installment of the excellent Mass Effect trilogy, can be a little slow to get going, it's not so much about the action but the universe and its occupants; really well realised characters in a fleshed out world. It really is the characters and 'lore' that makes this game. Just as well, as much time is spent conversing with these characters, discovering ancient secrets of the galaxy, in a well told story of galactic anihilation. And luuuurve...
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