Thanksgiving for "Mass Effect" Weekend

Thank-you Bioware for giving us a wonderful video game to play over the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Yes, “Mass Effect” is indeed wonderful and I managed to play for ~30-hours over the 4-day holiday.  My husband only played ~20-hours.  It seems that he likes to watch me play the game (???).

Anyhow, “Mass Effect” is set ~150-years in the future when humanity has joined a galatic federation.  There’s some political machinations going on as the humans make the push to be a part of the ruling council.  I chose to play a female “Sentinel” — a character with both combat “magic” and healing capabilities and no weapons specialization possibilities outside of pistols.  I choose the street orphan personal background and the “ruthless” temperment.  So far these details have not played a major role in the story, other than a “renegade” tendency early in the game — although that could be more linked to my choices as I played.

This game is a combination RPG (role playing game) and First Person Shooter.  I’m not very good at first person shooters, which drove my decision to be a sentinel so can play to my strengths.  My other characters have beefed up weapons skills.  Since they are computer controlled, they have “absolute” aim and the amount of damage they do comes from the probability algorithm within the game engine.  I combined this with beefed up armour and natural defense to create a strategy that has worked very well so far while in combat.

Like past Bioware games that I have enjoyed, like the Icewindale and Baldur’s series, this game is heavily story driven.  The cut scenes are like little movies and the talking to the NPC (Non-player Characters) is fun, rather than a chore.  The most impactful part of this game was constructing the face of my character and watching her “come to life.”  The game has a face building systems that is much like “The Sims 2” and then a facial expression algorithm is applied to animate character (with the exception of the eyes — gotta work on the eyes).  When the character was first shown it was quite an amazing reveal.

I will share some screen shots later, including a couple that reveal why the game was really banned in SPG :).



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