What makes the Mass Effect universe so interesting is the projected infancy of the humanity. Instead of being the front and center race as in Star Wars or Star Trek, humans have only recently joined the full-scale galactic civilization, populated by a great many different species that either look upon humans eye-to-eye or with reserved or open contempt. The heavy political themes in the game also add to the gravity of the situation handed to the player, and create a sense of diplomacy and importance to the mission at hand. Minor details and expansive imaginative concepts also add to the believability while retaining the space-opera themes that the game is obviously inspired by. Each of Shepard’s squad mates are fully realized characters with their own distinct personalities and mannerisms, and interacting with these characters is an fascinating experience due to the depth of each of their histories, and you will truly grow to like each of them in some way. Bioware has created a fully developed and tangible universe with different cultures, attitudes, and relationships that raise Mass Effect above and beyond expectations, and that is where is really counts. We’ve never been so absorbed by a game world since the excellent (and under appreciated) Beyond Good and Evil from a few years back.
Mass Effect is possibly one of the most massive RPG that I’ve seen in a while. It tries its best to present a believable story set in a new world and to this end it has succeeded in grabbing my attention and keeping me interested throughout the 15 hours of game time.
But the game is not without its flaws. While it looks pretty overall, the slow loading of textures can be pretty annoying at times. Also, load times inevitably break up an otherwise seamless experience between exploration and combat.