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Game Informer gives Mass Effect 9.75


Game Informer has reviewed Mass Effect for the Xbox 360 and the news is good. In short, the magazine thinks Mass Effect is one of the best games ever made. In particular, the magazine lauds the game's storyline and compelling characters. The review praises the game, noting that it has a deep and rich universe easily on par with Star Wars, even noting that it is "the next big franchise for science fiction junkies to latch onto." More importantly, the review notes that Mass Effect represents "a huge step forward for video games" and that it "rings in a new age of interactive storytelling."

The only downside of the game seems to be the combat, which is apparently hampered by balance problems and wonky AI. The review notes that the combat certainly isn't a deal breaker, and that it's still fun to play, but it's not quite on par with the grand universe present in the rest of the game.

All in all, Game Informer gives it a 9.75. How exactly one equates a game's deficiencies to a value of 0.25 we don't know, but we're sure the team at BioWare is pretty damned pleased (as are their new overlords, no doubt). Keep an eye out for the full review in the latest issue of Game Informer.

[Thanks, Morphy]

Mass Effect screens dazzle the eyes


Mass Effect's official site has a batch of new screens that showcase some close ups of the character models, whilst throwing in some action shots for good measure. These are really coming along and are a feast for the eyes. The faces look lifelike and have amazing levels of detail. Obviously, BioWare is putting the Unreal 3 Engine to very good use for this expansive title. Go check out the screens and tell us those make you plan on picking this up when it arrives in September-ish.

[Thanks, Tyler]

Mass Effect pushed back, may arrive in September

BioWare's golden child of an RPG Mass Effect may have been bitten by that dreadful delay bug. CVG is reporting that during a Microsoft held event this morning they learned, in quite unofficial terms, that Mass Effect has been pushed back from a Summer release to sometime in September. Quite frankly we shouldn't use the word "delay" since there was no official release date set, but our collective consciouses expected the game to come rather soon. So, until official word gets out or this is cleared up, we'll err on the safe side and re-program our brains to expect a September release.

Final Mass Effect transmission is ... final


Last week we told you about those viral Mass Effect emergency transmissions and today we're semi-pleased to announce that the final transmission was posted. Embedded above is the "Final Emergency Transmission" and to be honest, we still have no clue what the point of all this YouTube video fun was for. Maybe it was Mass Effect's marketing team planting seeds of Mass Effect'ness into our brains and nothing more, but we've come to expect more from viral campaigns. But, in the end, we have three blurry and compressed Mass Effect videos. Yup, it'll do for now.

Bioware explains those icky Mass Effect screens


The other day we posted about new Mass Effect screenshots hitting the intertubes and some of you noticed that they weren't all that pretty. Honestly, when we posted them we didn't notice the obvious lack of prettiness factor that Mass Effect has come to epitomize and therefore didn't touch on it. Anyway, you guys weren't the only ones to notice the degrade in quality, because CVG ran a story about all the ugliness. And today CVG got a response from Bioware agreeing that these screenshots are fugly, but having an answer to why they are in an explanation that goes a little like this;

"The whole truth of the matter is that the person at BioWare who took those screenshots made a mistake. People in our industry don't admit this much, but we do make mistakes. The person took those screens at the last minute as they were needed for the article. He did take them in game from areas of the game that worked and then he sent them off... He didn't clear them with Casey and the ME team though."

Indeed, those screenshots came from the game, but came from an unfinished non-representative portion of the final gameplay. Which, we might say, is quite comforting. So, in response to all this talk, Bioware released another Mass Effect screenshot representative of the actual game as seen above. Great communication and transparency of the development process always clears things up, thanks for the honesty Bioware.

New Mass Effect screenshots emerge


Are those Mass Effect viral videos just not giving you enough visual stimuli? Does your inner fanboy just yearn for more? Well, you can thank Gamespot for coming up with four brand new Mass Effect screenshots for you to look at. In these screens you'll notice not only a fair share of specular bloom goodness, but a whole bunch of those long legged spider creatures. Hopefully these screenshots will feed your insatiable appetite for Mass Effect content and if not, you could always analyze all that fansite kit goodness. Make the jump for more screenshots.

[Thanks, DjDATZ]

Emergency transmission: Mass Effect viralness


Tiz the time of year for grass to grow, showers to fall, and viral marketing to begin. And Mass Effect seems to be joining in on the swing of things by starting its own viral fun over on the inter-tubes of YouTube. YouTube member Spectre2183 posted two "emergency transmissions" and in the first one (embedded above) you can see what looks to be helmet cameras shooting all the action of an intense battle. The quality isn't all that great, which was probably intentional, but you can easily see some Mass Effect characters and gameplay. Also, further giving proof this is real marketing goodness, Spectre2183 has only posted these emergency transmissions and joined the YouTube community on March 26th. The second transmission is embedded after the break and be sure to tell us what you think this viral marketing will end up leading to.

[Thanks, Jason]

Continue reading Emergency transmission: Mass Effect viralness

Bioware offers Mass Effect fansite kit for ... fans

Fans who are eagerly anticipating Mass Effect's release and want to start their own fansite will be happy to know Bioware just released an official fansite kit. This beautiful and functional fansite kit comes complete with wallpapers, avatars, screenshots, renders, logos and website GUI elements. It's pretty much a complete Mass Effect website in a box, just add water and mix vigorously for three minutes. On a side note, why can't we get over how darn pretty this game looks? It's simply stunning.

New Mass Effect screen shots


BioWare released a new batch of Mass Effect screen shots during GDC, but we must have been too busy actually watching the game to realize it. As usual, the new shots show off an enormous level of detail. In these shots we get some close up detail of several characters, including Mass Effect's robotic enemy race, the Geth, and a nomad race, the Quarians (pictured). The more we see of Mass Effect, the more we slaver for its arrival. Hit the "read" link to check out more screens. If you haven't already, you should also check out our eyes on preview of Mass Effect and our audio interview with BioWare's Dr. Greg Zeschuk.

[Thanks, DjDATZ. Via TeamXbox]

Mass Effect collector's edition sighted

Our friends at Xboxygen managed to snag an image of the European box art for Mass Effect. All in all the art isn't terribly interesting, and it's more or less identical to the American box art. There is one key difference though, this box art has a gold tone to it and it has the words "Limited Collector's Edition" emblazoned across the top. This is the first we've heard of a special edition. We don't know what it will include, but it's a fairly safe bet it will come in a special case and include an extra DVD or two. Who knows, maybe it will ship with a bonus planet or two.

What would it take for you to spend an extra 10 simoleons on a collector's edition?

Fancast Xtra -- BioWare interview with Greg Zeschuk


We got a chance to sit down with Dr. Greg Zeshuk, president of BioWare, to talk about Mass Effect. The interview was conducted by Joystiq's Ludwig Kietzmann. We captured the audio, which you can download on MP3 (Fancast subscribers will receive the audio automatically). A breakdown of our discussion can be found after the break.

Continue reading Fancast Xtra -- BioWare interview with Greg Zeschuk

Microsoft's GDC information blowout!

For those of you looking to find information on some of your favorite upcoming Microsoft Game Studios or XBLA games, just take a look at what Xbox.com has to offer. Over on the GDC section of Xbox.com you'll find a bunch of downloads for games like Forza 2, Blue Dragon, Mass Effect and Shadowrun. You can download fact sheets, press releases, and screenshots for those games including XBLA games like Schizoid, Eets Chowdown, and Jetpac Refuelled. So much information, so little time ... but get downloading because everyone knows you care.

GDC 07: Mass Effect eyes on


We sat down with Bioware's Ray Muzyka to check out the first hour of Mass Effect. Great games, he said, are memorable because of emotional moments. Muzyka stresses that Mass Effect will provide players with a truly cinematic, emotional experience. As if to prove his point, the demo takes place on a crisp HD display with a very loud surround sound speaker system. Muzyka picks up a control, starts the demo, and we begin Bioware's latest adventure.

Continue reading GDC 07: Mass Effect eyes on

GDC has Mass Effect demo, books in May


Mass Effect
will be demoed at GDC '07 next week, although BioWare and Microsoft aren't revealing any details on what we'll be seeing or whether or not it will be playable. Fortunately, our very own Richard Mitchell will be attending the event and has now been essentially cornered into giving you a hands on report on what he sees and hopefully plays in regards to Mass Effect. Then again, we don't see reason why he wouldn't tell you about it in the first place.

Also worth noting is the recently announced prequel novels by game writer Drew Karpyshyn, and they will help flesh out the backstory on the Mass Effect universe. The first book, Revelation, will go on sale in May for $7.99 USD. So, will a couple books and some hands-on reporting hold you over till the early summer release?

[Via XboxAddict]

Mass Effect not too massive for one disc

In the latest Mass Effect developer blog on IGN, BioWare project director, Casey Hudson, answers a few reader questions. The first question is the one that many will latch onto, though it is perhaps the least important: will Mass Effect fit on one disc? The answer is yes, but barely. Hudson admits that the team originally thought fitting the game on one disc would be a herculean task, but some technical wizardry came through in the end. Other more interesting questions followed. First, the game will support custom soundtracks, which should please all the Live jerks that put their music on so loud it comes through their headsets. Second, Mass Effect's lead character, Commander Sheperd, is highly customizable -- much more so than in KOTOR. Players will be able to choose the sex of the character, hair, facial features, and skill set. Not only that, but there will be plenty of gear in the game that affects your appearance as well. In other words, your not stuck with the brooding, shaven Sheperd you see above.

What sort of character will you create?

[Via Joystiq]

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