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E3: BioWare shows off its new sci-fi role-playing game

by Erin Bell, special to CBCNews.ca

BioWare, the Edmonton studio responsible for creating the Star Wars-based role-playing game Knights of the Old Republic, as well as the fantasy-themed Jade Empire for the original Xbox console, were on hand at E3 to demonstrate their latest project, Mass Effect.

First impressions of the science fiction-themed role-playing game (an Xbox 360 exclusive) seem to indicate Knights of the Old Republic on steroids. The story follows Commander Shepard, who is who is a sort of galactic law enforcer trying to uncover a mystery that could destroy all life in the galaxy. Like Knights of the Old Republic, various characters can join Commander Shepard's party and fight together in real-time squad-based combat.

Mass Effect6sized.jpg
Screenshot from Mass Effect.

Another similarity is that these characters interact with each other within the party, and depending on their allegiances and dispositions, will either behave with hostility or affection. (In the demo, for example, there was tension between Garrus and Wrex, two different aliens whose species traditionally hate each other.)

Further similarities to KotOR include the ability to travel through the galaxy by spaceship, and to land on and explore several planets, some of which are part of the main storyline and others of which are simply there to be discovered and uncover new side-quests.

However, Mass Effect seems to expand on KotOR's concept of moral choices affecting the game experience. Throughout the course of the game, Shepard will be forced to make serious decisions that can permanently affect his relationships with other characters and alter the course of the plot.

Erin Bell is a Toronto-based freelance video game and technology journalist, and is reporting on her fourth E3.

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Comments

Carolyn

Aw, damn! The one time I'm interested in an XBox game! *shakes fist at empty wallet* But yeah, this game looks neat! Games that involve a lot of choice and strategy... I love those! :D

Posted July 13, 2007 03:35 PM

Claudio

Ontario

Another game I've been following for a while. Looks fantastic and if it does play like Kotor or Jade Empire, then its sure to be a winner.

Jeez, where am I going to find the time to play all these games >_

Posted July 13, 2007 03:43 PM

James

Vancouver

This game looks amazing!....Everything about this game screams "Game of the year"...although there are about 5 games this year that do that as well.

Posted July 13, 2007 04:23 PM

Kris

Alberta

what are the other 4?

Posted July 13, 2007 05:16 PM

James

Vancouver

Well I think
Halo 3
GTA 4
Maybe Bioshock, or Killzone 2
COD4
Halo Wars
MGS4
Ninja Gaiden Sigma
.....OK maybe more then 4 ha ha

Posted July 16, 2007 03:06 PM

Charles

Ontario

Anything with Ninja in it is a winner.

Posted July 16, 2007 03:38 PM

Garet

Winnipeg

What about Mario Galaxy or Smash Brothers or Metroid? They're all certainly Game of the Year contenders.

Posted July 16, 2007 03:45 PM

James

Vancouver

Charles I wanna know when will they have Ask a Ninja Game!

Mass Effect looks fantastic, however it looks very "involving", which may scare off the older non hermit crowd like me. I am probably going to buy it, but will I spend the time required to enjoy it fully...I doubt it. I am wondering if it is a game you can play here and there...and still enjoy it.

Posted July 16, 2007 05:47 PM

Dave

Ontario

Oh yeah, I can tell it's going to be game of the year from that ONE screenshot... open your mind.

Posted July 17, 2007 09:11 AM

Charles

Ontario

Re: Garet

Metroid = Sweet. Mario = Sweet. You = Right.

Re: James

DUDE YES.

Re: Dave

You know, you're right; there isn't a ninja in the screenshot, so I suddenly have mixed feelings.

Posted July 17, 2007 10:16 AM

James

Vancouver

Dave there is more available on this game then just this article. I have seen demos, and videos.....this game will be a contender for game of the year for sure.

Posted July 17, 2007 02:08 PM

Charles

Ontario

The main reason for my interest in this as of yet unreleased game is simply because it's an RPG. I love those.

...but I still want to see an Ask the Ninja game. Badly.

Posted July 17, 2007 03:53 PM

James

Vancouver

Here is the perfect name:
Ask a Ninja: Rise of the Minja's
Point of the game is to do verbal rambling combos.......LOL

Posted July 17, 2007 06:58 PM

Monkey

Winnipeg

*cough cough*CRYSIS*cough cough*

Posted July 17, 2007 07:33 PM

Carolyn

"Point of the game is to do verbal rambling combos"

Didn't Monkey Island already do that?

"You fight like a dairy farmer!"
"How appropriate; you fight like a cow!"

Posted July 18, 2007 08:04 AM

Monkey

Winnipeg

.. fine I'll go buy an island and put stupid people on it.

It'll be some non stop fun!

Posted July 20, 2007 12:04 PM

Carolyn

An island? Well, so long as you're on an island, you might as well bring the Ghostbusters Nintendo game with you.

WORST. GAME. EVER.

Posted July 20, 2007 12:51 PM

Monkey

Winnipeg

First off the only reason I would visit the island is to poke the stupid people with sticks, other than that, as you mentioned, throw crappy games at them, lets not forget to throw that putrid ET game at them as well.

Posted July 20, 2007 02:08 PM

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