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SciFi gaming for the Masses?

11/11/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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The rather over-hyped Mass Effect X-box-only science fiction role playing game hits US computer game shelves today, rolling out to retailers across the world in times for Xmas 2007.

Developed by BioWare, the creators of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, comes a space saga only for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system. Mass Effect aims to combines a SF story with sci-fi tactical combat - with the voices of actors such as of Seth Green, Marina Sirtis and Lance Henriksen.

Published by Microsoft Games Studios, you can assume the role of an elite human Spectre agent, Commander Shepard, entrusted with keeping galactic law and order and are charged with uncovering a terrifying truth. Faced with morally challenging decisions and squad-based combat that will affect the future of all races, players must travel across an expansive universe to stop a threat so great it could destroy all life in the galaxy.

"Mass Effect is like playing a movie. The magic of video games bridges science fiction, intense combat and intriguing story lines to create an emotional connection between players and their characters," Jeff Bell at Microsoft told SFcrowsnest.com. "The Xbox 360 platform allows developers to create rich and engaging stories not found on any other console."

Hmmm, not so sure about that, Jeff. How about the humble PC?

"We set out to redefine the video game experience with Mass Effect and create an immersive, highly interactive game that draws players into a compelling universe," added good old Ray Muzyka, CEO at BioWare. "Mass Effect creates an emotional connection between players and the characters they encounter."

Well, this one sell whatever we say, we suspect.

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