“Mass Effect” is a science-fiction action and role-playing game (RPG) created by BioWare, the commercially and critically acclaimed RPG developer of “Jade Empire™” and “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.” “Mass Effect” delivers an immersive, story-driven gameplay experience with stunning visual fidelity. As one of the first human beings to step onto the galactic stage, you face a grave threat that may destroy all of civilization. Your job is complicated by the fact that no one believes that there is any threat at all. Travel across an expansive universe, exploring the uncharted corners of the galaxy, searching for pieces of the truth in order to discover how to defeat the coming destruction.
A Spectacular New Vision of the Future
The galaxy is trapped in an endless cycle of extinction. Every 50,000 years, an ancient machine race invades the galaxy. With ruthless efficiency, the machines wipe out all advanced organic civilization. They leave behind only the scattered ruins of technology, destroying all evidence of their own existence.
Few believe this ancient legend. You, however, know it to be true. The fight to stop this extinction event has become the most important mission in the galaxy.
You must act without remorse, without hesitation, and outside the limits of the law.
It is your mission. As Commander Shepard of the SS Normandy, you will take your elite recon squad across a galaxy in turmoil, in a desperate race to stop the return of an enemy without mercy. To stop this enemy, you must act without remorse, without hesitation, and outside the limits of the law. Your only imperative is to preserve the safety of civilized life in the galaxy - at any cost. You must become the tip of the spear of humanity, for you alone know the full extent of what is at stake if you should fail.
Science-fiction Role-playing: Perfected
Mass Effect allows you to create your own customizable version of Commander Shepard (or jump in and use the pre-created character) and plunge yourself into the center of an epic science-fiction story. Choose your squad-mates, your weapons, skills and abilities, and customize your vehicles, armor and appearance - you are in complete control over your experience.
In the course of your mission to stop the machine invasion, you may choose to follow the path of the soldier, the tech-specialist, or the biotics-specialist…each of which brings an arsenal of unique yet equally powerful abilities to use against the enemy. Wield a multitude of weapon types with precision accuracy…utilize your technical skill to turn enemy war machines against their creators…or unleash the full power of Dark Energy against your foe with devastating effects.
As you progress throughout the game you will improve your character's skills, abilities, and equipment (including weapons, armor, biotic implants and more) to ensure that you have the means to face the growing threat before you.
This customization also extends to the MAKO - the rover with which you will explore the surface of hostile alien worlds. You can improve your vehicle's grip, speed, armor, boosters, weaponry and more.
The role you choose to play in Mass Effect will have tremendous consequences on the galaxy around you. You will face moral dilemmas in which the decision you ultimately make will significantly alter the fate of civilized life in the galaxy.
The Vastness of Space Beckons
Your mission will take you into the deepest reaches of known space - and beyond. Aboard your ship, the Normandy, you will choose which planets to investigate, and where to take your team. In addition to the major worlds of the main story arc, you will have the freedom to visit a wide array of uncharted planets and other locations such as asteroids and abandoned space freightersadrift in space. On many worlds, take your team planet side in the MAKO in order to explore and find alien life, ancient artifacts and ruins, rogue trader colonies and a host of other amazing discoveries.
Lose Yourself in a Living Galaxy
Mass Effect combines astonishing photo-realistic graphics with innovative new dialog systems to create a cast of living characters to interact with. Engage these characters in real-time conversations that allow you to immerse yourself in dramatically charged situations.
Characters communicate with full voice-acting and amazing animation that displays their emotions right down to subtle nuances in their facial expressions. Every wrinkled brow and slight twist of the mouth is captured to infuse every interaction with a feeling of realism.
Lead Your Squad in Intense, Real-Time Combat
The struggle to stop the return of the machines will ultimately be a violent one. You will assume responsibility for the lives of your squad as you lead them into often uncharted, hostile alien environments. Each decision you make could mean the difference between victory and disaster. Although combat will take place in real-time, you will have the ability to pause combat and issue commands to your squad which they will then execute with the precision of a highly trained elite force. Upgrading certain skills and abilities as you level up your character will also allow you to increase your ballistic skill - this can ultimately lead to easier aiming, more damaging use of weapons, and biotic effects with the power to turn the tide of battle in your favor.
* Incredible science-fiction RPG with a rich, engaging story line. On a distant planet an amazing discovery is made. Players must determine the fate of humanity as they lead an elite tactical strike force in an effort to stop an entity so malevolent that it threatens to tear apart the very fiber of galactic civilization. “Mass Effect” will take players to new depths for an action-RPG, where, unlike in most RPGs, they will be faced with morally complex decisions that have significant impact on the fate of all life in the galaxy. Players must succeed in their quest — no matter what the cost.
* Exploring uncharted worlds and uncovering a mystery that defies imagination. In addition to the main story arc of the game, players will be able to visit a large number of uncharted, unexplored planets that are side quests independent from the main story. At any time during the campaign, a player can choose to explore one of these planets and have an opportunity to discover new alien life, resources, ruined civilizations and powerful technologies.
* Real-time, squad-based combat. “Mass Effect” features a real-time, squad-based tactical combat system. Players will enjoy intense, challenging and exciting third-person action and squad-based combat. Players and their squad-mates will be able to engage the enemy with ranged weapons and covering fire, biotic powers and science-based magic, and technological powers — all of which will be accompanied by amazing visual and physics effects that will add tremendous excitement and drama to the battlefield. Whether they usepowerful biotic powers or the latest in military hardware, players will be well-equipped to take on whatever comes their way
* Credible digital actors. “Mass Effect” will feature a huge cast of incredibly realistic nonplayer characters, enemies and party members. Each of the characters encountered will have realistic facial and body movements. A revolutionary advanced dialogue and AI system gives them engaging personalities, creating individuals so realistic they will seem like the first true “digital actors” ever seen in a video game. The resulting experience is one in which players will feel as if they are part of a rich, living world.
* Character customization and deep role-playing systems. Players will be able to choose from and customize a variety of stunning, photo-realistic character appearances at the start of the game, and can increase various statistics that will affect their performance during gameplay. The reward system in “Mass Effect” is deep, well-integrated and extremely engaging. New equipment, weapons and armor that are acquired during the course of the story will change the appearance of the characters.
* “Mass Effect” will give players a huge breadth of additional customization options for their characters, weapons and vehicles. Talents and abilities will be upgradeable, and advanced talent options will become available at higher levels. Weapons and vehicles will be customizable to include various effects, abilities and upgrades. Each character class will have unique talents and abilities that will increase in poweras players progress through the game.
* Next-generation gaming defined. “Mass Effect” takes full advantage of the hardware of Xbox 360, providing players with exciting new experiences, including photo-realistic, high-definition graphics on an epic scale, and amazingly realistic characters who bring the world alive. Players will be immersed in a massive universe of unbelievable scale, meet characters who feel real and, most important, interact with them in ways that have never been possible before. As the future of gaming goes online, premium downloadable content and recognition of achievements will be available via the Xbox Live® online game service.