‘Mass Effect’ defines great RPG experience

Editor’s Note: This is an article in our ongoing “Great Video Game” series in which readers and staffers alike are asked to submit a few hundred words about a video game that they consider to be great.

Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

By Austyn Riley
Guest Contributor

With all the controversy surrounding BioWare’s sci-fi role-playing game “Mass Effect 3,” I think it’s a good idea to reflect on where this series started out. Back in late 2007, before anybody was complaining about day one downloadable content or the “shallow” ending of “Mass Effect 3,” BioWare created a revolutionary game called “Mass Effect.”

When this game was released, it changed the role-playing game (RPG) genre forever. It had a fantastic story with cinematic cut scenes that rivaled the production value of some movies and it also introduced the infamous dialogue wheel.

The dialogue wheel is a circle that appears at the bottom of the screen whenever the character is engaged in a conversation. It contains six short statements that the player can pick from when deciding what the character will say.

The dialogue wheel also has a morality system built into it. There are “Good” and “Evil” choices on the dialog wheel and as you pick more and more of these, extra dialog choices become available. This allows you to perform significantly more noble or more devious acts as you see fit.

The great thing about “Mass Effect” is that the entire story is dependent upon these choices. As a result of these choices, different things occur in your particular universe. In fact, it’s even possible for certain characters to die in one player’s universe while surviving in another. That means that everybody’s experience with the game is unique.

Plain and simple, “Mass Effect” is the reason I play video games.

I still remember when I played it for the very first time. I immediately fell in love with the story and all the characters.

I did everything there was to do in the game. I completed all the side missions, explored all the different dialogue choices and even got all the achievements. This is one of the best games I’ve ever played and it definitely deserves your attention.

So, if you own an Xbox 360 and have not played “Mass Effect,” please stop playing “Call of Duty” long enough to enjoy this masterpiece. There will still be n00bs to own whenever you get back.

Does reading this article make you think of a video game that you consider great? Please send us an email at lariat@baylor.edu with a suggestion for a “Great Video Game.” Please include a few hundred words on why you consider your game to be great and you just might find your opinion here.