Mass Effect is a science-fiction role-playing action game developed by BioWare for the Xbox 360 and PC. It is the first installment in a trilogy.
Mass Effect was released in 2007 on November 20 in USA and Canada, November 22 in Australia and New Zealand, and on November 23 in Europe. It was also released as a Limited Collector's Edition, containing bonus materials including an art book and the Galactic Codex: Essentials Edition 2183 booklet, which gives background on the Mass Effect universe.
The game was later re-made by BioWare and Demiurge Studios for the PC, and the PC-DVD version was released in summer 2008. By summer 2008 there were also versions of the game translated into Spanish, French and Italian. A Japanese-language version is in development for the Xbox 360 only. Mass Effect is available via Xbox's Games on Demand; the full game is available for $19.99 in the USA and $29.99 in Canada.
The game is set in the year 2183 CE which is 35 years after humans discovered Prothean ruins on Mars which revealed the secrets of the Mass Effect Field which can reduce the mass of an object through the use of element zero. This unlocked faster than light travel and mankind began their journey among the stars.
You take on the role of Commander Shepard onboard the SSV Normandy en route to the human colony of Eden Prime in an operation to recover a recently unearthed Prothean beacon. The crew is joined on the mission by the turian Spectre Nihlus Kryik from the Citadel's Office of Special Tactics and Reconnaissance. The mission was meant to test Shepard's suitability for the role as a Spectre but quickly changes when the Normandy arrives at the colony to find it's under attack by an unidentified alien space craft.
When your squad arrives you identify that the colony is under attack by geth forces lead by a turian Spectre named Saren Arterius who later kills Nihlus. When you locate the beacon it activates and imparts strange visions in Shepard’s mind. After the mission is complete you return to the Citadel Council to inform them of what happened and the actions of Saren. After the council rejects your initial accusation you start your own investigation which leads to Saren being declared rogue and Shepard achieving Spectre status himself. Shepard is then given command of the Normandy with orders to hunt down Saren. While doing so you unravel his plot to bring back the ancient machine race known as the Reapers and so it is no longer just about bringing one man to justice, but also to save a galaxy from extinction.
- Players: 1
- Resolution: Xbox 360: HDTV 720p/1080i/ 1080p // PC: unrestricted screen resolution.
- Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
- Developer: BioWare Corp.®
- Format: DVD for the Xbox 360, DVD for PC
- Rating: "M" for Mature (USA). Age "12" (UK). 18+ (PEGI). 16 (usk)
- Availability: November 20, 2007, PC Edition released May 27, 2008
|OS||Windows XP / Windows Vista|
|Processor||2.4Ghz Intel or 2.0Ghz AMD||2.6Ghz Intel or 2.4Ghz AMD|
|Memory||1GB (Windows XP) / 2GB (Windows Vista)||2GB|
|Graphic Card||Nvidia GeForce 6 series (6800GT or better) /
ATI 1300XT or better
|Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX or higher /|
ATI X1800 XL series or higher
|Sound Card||DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card and drivers||5.1 sound card recommended|
- For the best results, make sure you have the latest drivers for your video and audio cards. ATI X1550, X1600 Pro and HD2400 are below minimum system requirements.
Changes from the 360 version
The main differences between the PC and 360 versions are tweaks to the combat GUI and the inventory system. The Power Wheel is replaced in the PC version by a tactical HUD that allows for more precise squad commands and the ability to hotkey tech and biotic talents. The often-criticised inventory system from the 360 version is also overhauled to be more user-friendly. Other differences include minor adjustments to the Mako's handling, an increase in speed to the Normandy's lift, and a minor graphical upgrade and a change to the hacking minigame (used when decrypting doors or containers).
There are no extra assignments or new characters in the PC version and the story is unchanged. However, it does allow the PC release of Bring Down the Sky to be downloaded for free.
- After you reach 550 MB of pagefile (see the Task Manager in Windows) the game may crash or lead to loop graphic sequences. You will need to reboot your system or manually clean the pagefile. This bug is caused by nVidia graphic cards and Realtek audio card. One solution is to run the game in window mode and disable music and speech.
- On Therum in the PC version, after Bring Down the Sky is installed, certain areas of the terrain become solid black, regardless of terrain type. Sometimes going to the configuration window (exiting the game, running the game launcher, and selecting configure, or running
MassEffectConfig.exe) and selecting Repair > Delete Local Shader Cache Files, may sometimes fix the problem. Vista users will need to run the application in Windows XP SP2 compatibility.
- Quickly pressing the Enter key in confirmation prompts can sometimes leave a window stuck on the screen ("Convert this item into omnigel?"). The game no longer responds to keyboard or mouse input. However, it's still possible to autosave and autoreload through the console or rebounded keys.
The PC version of Mass Effect was originally intended to use SecuROM, including a periodic 10-day re-validation, meaning the game would cease to work after ten days without 'checking in' online. After criticism, this aspect of the DRM was removed from the PC version on 9th May 2008. The PC version can be authenticated five times. However, later copies of Mass Effect did not contain any internet authenticating activation mechanisms, allowing it to be installed limitlessly. In March 2009 Mass Effect was released on the Steam platform without the SecuROM copy protection due to the copy protection built into Steam.
In addition to the Mass Effect planned trilogy of games, BioWare has thus far released two pieces of downloadable content via Xbox Live Marketplace, "Bring Down The Sky" and "Pinnacle Station". Bring Down The Sky is available as a free download for buyers of the PC version and Pinnacle Station is available for $5 at the EA online store. A spinoff game for iPhone and iPod Touch, Mass Effect Galaxy, was released in June 2009.
The series is also expanded in tie-in novels, the first of which was the prequel Mass Effect: Revelation. The second, Mass Effect: Ascension, is set just after the events of the game, and reportedly bridges the first game and Mass Effect 2. A third novel, Mass Effect: Retribution has been released by Del Rey.
A comic, Mass Effect: Redemption, was released beginning in January 2010.
Ex-Marvel CEO, Avi Arad recently obtained the rights to create a film adaptation of the game. It is reported that the movie is now in the early development stages and it will be produced by Legendary Pictures with Casey Hudson, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuck of BioWare serving as the executive producers but Arad is still looking for a writer. 
- Downloadable Content
- Codex/Player Tutorials
- PC Cheats
- PC Tweaks