How Big is the Effect? Massive
Mass Effect has all of the marks of an awesome game. The combat looks sick, the character creation is in-depth, it is almost a role playing game and Seth Green does one of the voices.
The basic story is:
The story revolves around an ancient alien prophecy stating that every fifty thousand years a portal opens that separates the “normal” universe and a realm beyond, releasing an ancient artificial intelligence that will harvest all organic life, and the time of their return is approaching. As the first human Spectre Ã¢a‚¬a€oe sworn defenders of galactic peace Ã¢a‚¬a€oe Shepard’s mission is to halt the advancing armies of Saren, a legendary Spectre agent gone rogue. Saren has mysteriously taken control of the Geth, a race of rudimentary A.I. networks for whom he intends to use to shape the galaxy in his image with, and to exact revenge against humanity for their perceived injustices against his people.
Thanks Wikipedia. Basically you have to save not just the world, as most RPG’s require, but to save a whole bunch of worlds AKA the universe. As you travel through this world you find yourself making a lot of choices on the fly. These choices will reflect throughout the game. On top of that you choose your character’s background; is he a spacer, a colonist or Earthborn. Then you decide more of his back story; was he the sole survivor of a huge battle, a hero of a huge battle or is he known as ruthless, willing to do anything to get the job done. All of these little background choices will reflect how you are perceived by others in the game.
The combat system is a little hard to explain but here goes anyway. You directly control your character and while doing that you have slight control over your squad members. You can pause and select what you want them to do and what you want them to aim at. Otherwise they are run by a fairly smart AI. As you travel around the galaxy you will have the freedom to explore the universe as you see fit, going to whatever planets you feel need your universe saving skills.
All in all I think that Mass Effect will be a great game to waste a couple weeks on. There should be some replay value since you can select a different background and different response to dialogue which will reflect in the rest of the game.