Announced at Microsoft's X05 event to be the first in a trilogy of Xbox 360 Exclusive games, Mass Effect is a third-person science-fiction action RPG developed by BioWare and published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 on November 20, 2007 and later published by Electronic Arts for the PC on May 28, 2008 and finally available as part of the Mass Effect Trilogy-set on the PlayStation 3 (and as a standalone download on PSN). Set in the year 2183, almost three decades after humanity discovers a physical phenomenon known as "mass effect", players control a customizable soldier of the Human Alliance (either male or female) known by the surname Shepard, as he/she explores the vast galaxy (where humanity is still a newcomer on the galactic stage) in order to investigate the actions of a rogue alien named Saren Arterius.
Like some of previous BioWare RPGs, such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, Mass Effect utilizes extensive character building, engaging dialogue trees, consequential morality, and a branching narrative. However, the game controls like a standard third-person shooter (like the Gears of War franchise), complete with a cover mechanic and over-the-shoulder aiming. Mass Effect eventually became a trilogy of action RPG games, with Mass Effect 2 released in early 2010 and Mass Effect 3 released in early 2012. The franchise also spawned several spin-off games, comic books, and novels.
Players can import completed characters from Mass Effect into Mass Effect 2, transferring both the character appearance and all major decisions (as well as most minor ones). Importing a character also grants experience and credit bonuses.
Mass Effect draws its gameplay from two distinct lineages: KotOR with its various trees of dialogue, and an action based third person combat system. This is a shift from the turn-based combat BioWare has dealt with extensively, to a third-person shooter with a cover system, a first for the company. Conversations are carried out via dialogue trees on Mass Effect's "conversation wheel", which instead of telling you exactly the line you character will deliver, gives the general gist and tone of your response, in an attempt to make conversations flow better. However, you can wait as long as you want to choose a response after the other person is done talking, with no difference in the dialogue or reaction from the NPCs. Occasionally, a dialogue tree option will appear red or blue, which means it requires a certain skill level in either charm (blue) or intimidate (red) to unlock that dialogue option. Pressing the correct button while someone is talking ("X" on the Xbox 360 version) will interrupt their line with yours, but they will not react to being interrupted. It is a function to speed up the pace of the dialogue, or skip over it entirely if you have already heard it before.
Combat is third-person, gun based, with biotic abilities (comparable to Force Powers form the KotOR games). Combat is set in real time, although you may pause the game and select a power or readjust your aim at any time by holding the designated key or button. This brings up a circle menu listing the powers of you and your two squad-mates. You can choose any power from any party member currently in your squad to queue up from this radial menu, and your teammates will use it when you resume the game. The cover system works by simply going up to a wall (high or low) you wish to hide behind. Shepard automatically takes cover and you can move left and right and shoot over the cover (if you are crouching behind something) or around it.
There are a number of choices in the options menu relating to your AI squadmates determining how frequently they use their abilities. The strictest of these requires the player to individually command the AI to use an ability, whereas the loosest allows your teammates to use abilities whenever they are available. Both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is left to the player to decide which option best suits their own style of gameplay.
The player has a pool of six companions, two of which can be chosen to accompany Shepard on any venture outside your flagship, the SSV Normandy. There is one character of each class as described below, giving the player a variety of options when it comes to combat. These teammates can be controlled using the D-pad, where each direction corresponds to a squad command. Up directs your squad to move to a certain location, down tells them to hold position and take cover if under fire, left orders them to regroup on you, and right tells them to attack a specific enemy.
In the true spirit of open-world RPGs, the player can choose where to go via an appropriately futuristic galaxy map. There are multiple star clusters available to travel to, each with one or more smaller systems inside it. Each of these systems has its own planets in orbit around a sun, and they player is free to use the galaxy map to explore each of these worlds. Every single world has an individual description, and the majority can be surveyed at the push of a button, which allows the player to find (for example) rare minerals, or ancient artifacts, which are used to complete side quests. One planet in each system can also be manually explored by the player, which takes place via a vehicle called the Mako.
Players can choose from six different classes for Commander Shepard, each focusing on a different set of abilities for use in combat situations. These abilities are split into three categories:
Combat - Focused on weapon efficiency and physical fitness. Combat users primarily have the ability to improve their weapon handling.
Biotic - Focused on special abilities using the character's bio-amp implants. Biotic users primarily have the ability to manipulate dark energy fields, which can cause direct damage and disarray to enemies.
Tech - Focused on special abilities using the character's omni-tool. Tech users primarily have the ability to incapicitate enemies with ranged shock attacks. They also have the ability to decrypt electronic locks.
Class proficiencies are restrictive in both weapon specialty (the effectiveness of each specific weapon type) and armor choice (higher combat classes can carry heavier armor, granting better damage protection).
Armor Specializations: Light, Medium, Heavy (unlockable)
Class Talent: Grants the user bonuses to health capacity and health regeneration. After rank 6, users can pick between the Shock Trooper specialization, which grants the user bonuses to health capacity and damage resistance while improving the recharge time of Immunity and Adrenaline Burst, and the Commando specialization, which grants the user bonuses to weapon damage while improving the recharge time of Immunity, Assassination, and Marksman.
Armor Specializations: Light
Class Talent: Grants the user bonuses to damage resistance (against tech-oriented attacks) while improving the recharge time of First Aid and all tech-oriented abilities. After rank 6, users can pick between the Operative specialization, which improves the user's recharge time of all tech-oriented abilties while increasing the effectiveness of Sabotage and Overload, and the Medic specialization, which improves the recharge time and effectiveness of Neural Shock and First Aid (allowing medi-gel to revive fallen squadmates).
Armor Specializations: Light
Class Talent: Grants the user bonuses to damage resistance (against biotic-oriented attacks) while improving the recharge time of all biotic-oriented abilities. After rank 6, users can pick between the Nemesis specialization, which grants the user bonuses to the duration and damage of all biotic abilities while increasing effectiveness of Warp and Lift, and the Bastion specialization, which improves the recharge time of all biotic abilities while improving the effectiveness of Barrier (improving the shield regeneration speed while in effect) and Stasis (allowing enemies under Statis to be damaged).
Armor Specializations: Light, Medium (unlockable)
Class Talent: Grants the user bonuses to heat buildup reduction of both pistols and sniper rifles and damage of tech proximity mines. After rank 6, users can pick between the Commando specialization, which grants the user bonuses to weapon damage (while improving the recharge time of Immunity, Assassination, and Marksman) and the Operative specialization, which improves the user's recharge time of all tech-oriented abilties while increasing the effectiveness of Sabotage and Overload.
Armor Specializations: Light
Class Talent: Grants the user bonuses to the accuracy and damage of pistols while improving the recharge speed of both biotic and tech abilities. After rank 6, users can pick between the Bastion specialization, which improves the recharge time of all biotic abilities while improving the effectiveness of Barrier (improving the shield regeneration speed while in effect) and Stasis (allowing enemies under Statis to be damaged) and the Medic specialization, which improves the recharge time and effectiveness of Neural Shock and First Aid (allowing medi-gel to revive fallen squadmates).
Armor Specializations: Light, Medium (unlockable)
Class Talent: Grants the user bonuses to the damage of both pistols and shotguns while improving damage resistance against biotic attacks. After rank 6, users can pick between the Shock Trooper specialization, which grants the user bonuses to health capacity and damage resistance while improving the recharge time of Barrier (also improving the shield regeneration speed while in effect) and Adrenaline Burst and the Nemesis specialization, which grants the user bonuses to the duration and damage of all biotic abilities while increasing effectiveness of Warp and Lift.
Weapons in Mass Effect come in four basic types (five if you include grenades), and each one has a variety to choose from, ranging from the most basic weapons that can be bought at almost any store in the game to highly sophisticated rare weapons that are a lot more difficult to obtain. It's possible to upgrade weapons along the way in a variety of ways. The ability to pause the game at any time and swap weapons adds to the strategic element of Mass Effect, and choosing the right weapon in a combat situation can mean the difference between victory or defeat. Guns don't require ammunition, but can overheat if fired excessively, prompting the player to fire in controlled bursts or upgrade weapons with heat sinks. Depending on the character and their attributes, some weapons will prove more efficient than others.
Best at close-to-medium range. Particularly useful as a backup weapon for when your shotgun or assault rifle overheats. Thanks to its great accuracy it's a great weapon to use when you need to stay on the move. Slowest to overheat out of all the weapons and can stay accurate for longer bursts as well. Early in the game they are the most accurate weapon to use. If you plan on investing in shotguns it's a very viable strategy to skip assault rifles altogether and just stick with putting points into your pistol and shotgun talents. With marksman the pistol can even become a viable option for long range combat, especially once you unlock master marksman. Pistols are highly accurate, fast to draw, easy to use on the run, and have minimum recoil. All classes except for the Sentinel can train in this weapon.
Shotguns are powerful weapons burdened with a high recoil, high overheating and slow rate of fire. They compensate for this by being extremely damaging in close range combat and for their tendency to knock enemies off of their feet. Soldiers and Vanguards can train in them. Characters with specialization in shotguns can activate a special ability which adds a significant increase to both bullet spread and damage for the next shot fired.
These are somewhere in between pistols and shotguns. Good at balancing between accuracy, range, rate of fire, overheating and raw firepower. Can also be highly effective in long distance combat for high level characters. Only Soldiers train in Assault Rifles, though Vanguards may choose a specialization option to do so. The special ability of the Assault Rifle is giving the player 30 seconds in which their weapon will not overheat.
Sniper Rifles have a very long range, very high accuracy, and are very damaging in well trained hands. However, the rate of fire is very slow, and are poor choices for close combat situations. Soldiers and Infiltrators can train in them. The special ability of the Sniper Rifle is a triggered mode that will make the next shot extremely powerful.
Unlike the other weapons available for use, you do not "switch" to the grenades to use them. A different key stroke or button press is used for grenades, and they can be used at any time that the player has them available. Grenades are handheld devices that act as either a timed (10 second 'fuse') or remote explosive, set off by hitting the grenade button a second time. They also stick to most surfaces. Only Shepard can use grenades. The player can buy upgrades that increase the number of grenades they can carry at one time. Mods can be applied to grenades for a variety of different effects.
Mass Effect is one of the few titles that allows in-game rewards for achievements. By unlocking certain achievements, the player can gain tangible in-game rewards that will apply to all future characters they create. Below is a list of these achievements and their in-game rewards. A new character can only select one bonus talent to use, although all passive buffs are transferred over.
Saren is the antagonist in the game and throughout the game you fight his loyal cohorts. Formerly a Spectre for the citadel council, he was stripped of his status and declared "rougue" after proof was found that he had allied himself with the geth, a race of synthetics, and was behind the events that occured on Eden Prime. He hates humans, who he believes are expanding and gaining political influence in citadel space much too fast, and seeks to put them in their place. Later on in the game it is learned that he is in league with Sovereign, who is a Reaper. Later in the game it is revealed that Saren is being controlled through introdicnation by Sovereign, who is using him to find the conduit and bring back the reapers to exterminate all organic life. The geth follow him because they view him as a messiah, who can bring about the return of the Reapers, who the geth view as the pinnacle of A.I. Evolution.
Along with serving as the flagship for Saren, Sovereign is also the Vanguard for the Reaper fleet. The Reapers are an ancient race of machines who pillage and cut a swath of destruction in the galaxy once every 50,000 years. By Citadel space faring species standards, Sovereign is an extremely advanced ship. It is able to land on planets, which is an almost impossible feat as the amount of mass effect field it would have to generate is almost incalculable. In addition, it can indoctrinate organics and make them its puppets.
An asari matriarch, Benezia is looked up to as one of the elders of her race. A Matriarch's wisdom is trusted above all, and they have many followers. Benezia originally attempted to dissuade Saren from his genocidal course by joining him and attempting to stop him from within his organization. However, Benezia (and all her disciples that had followed her to Saren's service) slowly fell under the spell of Sovereign's indoctrination, and they now believe completely in Saren's cause. Benezia is Liara T'soni's mother, although the two have not spoken for many years, and have an estranged relationship. Benezia can be found at the Peak 15 research facility on Noveria, where she is attempting to calm the rampant Rachni Queen.
The game begins on the Human Alliance vessel, the SSV (Systems Alliance Space Vessel) Normandy. As the player stands near a window, a conversation by Captain Anderson, Ambassador Udina and Admiral Hackett plays overhead. They debate whether Shepard is the right individual for a certain task with large political implications. After a brief introduction to some key crew members, including Lieutenant Kaidan Alenko and the pilot, Joker, the player is summoned to the briefing room. Some optional small talk with personnel onboard reveals that the Normandy is on a 'shakedown run' to one of humanity's most stable colonies, Eden Prime. They relay concerns that something is amiss with this explanation, as the presence of a full crew would not be standard protocol for such a task.
The Citadel has also sent one of their agents, a turian SPECTRE (Special Tactics and Reconnaissance) named Nihlus, to observe the proceedings, which further fuels the crew's suspicion. When Shepard arrives in the briefing room, Captain Anderson informs him/her that the Normandy is actually being sent to Eden Prime to recover what seems to be an ancient Prothean artifact. Nihlus, who is also present, reveals that, in addition to helping with the recovery of the artifact, he will also be evaluating Shepard. On this and several more missions, he will determine whether or not he/she has the skills for induction into the Spectres, the elite shadow operatives under the Citadel Council. The political implications of such a placement would bolster humanity's status into one of the elite races within Citadel space. Anderson further explains that humanity would then use this position as leverage to obtain a position on the Citadel Council.
Once Shepard is briefed, the Normandy intercepts a distorted distress call from Eden Prime. The planet is under attack by unknown assailants, and the local militia have been all but wiped out. After landing and a few engagements, Shepard learns that the invaders are sentient robotic life forms known as the geth. The geth haven't been seen outside their region of colonized planets, 'the Veil', for many centuries, so it is odd that they have attacked Eden Prime in force. Shepard guides them through the killing fields and rescues a trapped Marine, Ashley Williams, who becomes a pivotal character in the plot. Elsewhere, Nihlus encounters his friend and mentor, a turian Spectre named Saren Arterius. Relieved to see a familiar face, Nihlus lets his guard down and confesses to Saren that he is confused about the proceedings on Eden Prime, and why Saren is here. Saren calmly explains that he was sent to help him and, when Nihlus turns his back to him, Saren shoots him the head.
Shepard, Alenko, and Williams continue to search for the beacon, which leads them to tram station leading to the docks, and Nihlus' corpse. On their approach, the massive ship, Sovereign, is seen taking off. They discover a dockworker who was hiding behind a crate and after a brief interrogation they learn Nihlus' fate. Shortly there after they defuse several charges intended to eliminate all evidence of the geth invasion, and Shepard manages to find the beacon. The team member whose gender is the opposite of Shepard's approaches the beacon, and it begins to pull them forcibly towards it. Shepard leaps to the rescue, and consequently is lifted into the air. The beacon imprints on his/her mind a confusing and fragmented vision. After this brief succession of images, the beacon explodes, and knocks Shepard unconscious.
Shepard regains consciousness in the Normandy's infirmary. Conversing with Captain Anderson it is revealed that the human ambassador, Donnel Udina, has recalled the Normandy for a full explanation of the events on Eden Prime. He also informs the Commander that Ashley Williams has become a permanent member of the crew. After a cut scene showing the majestic Citadel Station and the Normandy Docks, the team proceeds to the human embassy. Some deliberation occurs with the Ambassador, and he informs Shepard that he has set up an appointment with the Citadel Council to bring Saren to trial. In the council chambers, Saren appears via hologram and vehemently denies any charges. Using his position of trust with the councilors, he attempts to manipulate them into believing the incident was caused by human error and accuses humanity of trying to cover up their own mistakes, citing his past with Captain Anderson as proof.
He comments that humanity's aggressive expansion needs to be stopped and humanity needs to be put in its place. Having no substantial proof, the Council rules that Saren is innocent and all charges are dropped. Commander Shepard, in conjunction with Capt. Anderson and Ambassador Udina, devise a plan to find evidence that would prove Saren’s involvement in the whole incident. During the course of his investigation, Shepard finds out about a local crime boss, named Fist, who is dealing with Saren. Depending on how you conduct the investigation, Urdnot Wrex, a krogan mercenary, and/or Garrus Vakarian, a hot-blooded turian C-SEC (Citadel Security) officer, leads you to his base of operations and assists you. After confronting Fist, Shepard learns that in exchange for a large amount of cash, the crime crime boss has set up an ambush for a young Quarian who approached him with information regarding Saren. Shepard rushes to assist the Quarian in the ambush.
In debt, the quarian agrees to help with the trial, and the group heads to a more secure location, the human embassy, to reveal the evidence. The Quarian, who introduces herself as Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, plays a recording taken from a geth. In it, Saren's conversation with an unidentified person, possibly female, reveals his involvement in Eden Prime. As well, a cryptic reference to 'the Conduit' and the return of the Reapers is mentioned. The humans take this new evidence to the council. The evidence gives the edge required to sway the council. Saren is found guilty, his Spectre status is revoked, and he is named an enemy to the Citadel. Udina demands that the Citadel send its fleets after him to track him down. However, the council denies the request, pointing out that a fleet cannot track a single person, as well as the political implications of such an act (a war with a number of rogue systems). Shepard volunteers to go after Saren, if he/she were given the authority. The turian representative opposes the move, saying that humanity is not ready for this honor. Shepard points out that it was a turian who broke the law. He relents and the Citadel Council appoints Shepard Spectre status, a first for humanity. The council informs Shepard that it has a few leads that may tell them what Saren might be up to, the player is given a couple of options as he can go to investigate reports of geth in Noveria and Feros or look for Matriach Benezia daughter, Liara in the Artemeus Tau cluster.
Artemeus Tau Cluster
After heading to the cluster, the player finds a mining colony and after landing on the planet the player finds that it is under attack from the geth and that the mining colony that was there has been wiped out. After the player journeys through an underground cave, he/she finds Liara. She is trapped behind a force field that she claims she activated to protect herself from a krogan and geth that were looking for her. She denies any involvement with her Mother and Saren and Saren’s men who seek to use her expertise in the Protheans for their own benefits in fact attack her. Being a researcher on the Protheans, she is also very interested in Shepard because he/she has had contact with Prothean technology and attempts to help the player decipher the information in the form of a mind meld. She also makes an astounding claim that the evidence she has managed to piece together shows that the Protheans were not the first civilization to disappear from the face of the galaxy, rather this cycle has continued for eons.
After rescuing Liara, Shepard goes to the colony Zhu’s Hope on the planet Feros which is under attack from the geth. The colonists seem to be barely hanging on and Shepard does what he can for them in the form of helping take out the geth command post and communications. He also learns of the Exo-Geni headquarters that can be reached using the Prothean skyway. On the way there, the player finds a small group of colonists hiding in an underground bunker of sorts, they claim that they have been separated from the rest of the colonists. Julianna Baynham is one of the few present there alongside a representative from Exo-Geni named Ethan Jeong who is extremely jumpy. Julianna asks you to look for her daughter Elizbeth who she thinks is still stuck at the headquarters. Jeong repeatedly warns you not to go about snooping in Exo-Geni matters and to make the excursion as short as possible. After fighting their way through the skyway the team reaches the headquarters and locates Elizbeth who is alive and well. Shepard ventures into the complex to find answers and runs across a krogan who is demanding information from an VI.
After dispatching of the krogan, Shepard learns about the Thorian that is buried under the colony, Zhu’s Hope. Shepard proceeds to disable the force fields and damage the geth ship that is attached to the headquarters. He returns to the group in the bunker and confronts Jeong on the issue of the Thorian. Meanwhile, Jeong has reestablished contact with Exo-Geni and has orders to purge the place. The player can either talk him down if his charm skills are high enough, or threaten him. Alternatively, the player can shoot Jeong in the head and kill him instantly. The player also learns that the Thorian is controlling the colonists and that using a simple anti-Thorian gas will temporarily paralyze them and allows Shepard to continue unhindered. It is the player’s choice, but regardless, Shepard battles his way to the freighter that is near the heart of the city. There, he encounters the colony leader as he is struggling with the Thorian for control of his mind; it seems that the Thorian has ordered him to kill Shepard for his transgression but he ends up shooting himself in the head, then saying that he is free now. The player goes on to move the freighter and descends a stairway. There he spots an massive plant-like creature that spans many levels, after approaching it the Thorian "secrets" an asari who claims to speak to him. The asari/Thorian tells him briefly of Saren and how he betrayed him, he also refuses to talk to the Player and the asari along with multiple Thorian Creepers attack the player.
After defeating them, the player goes on the offense and targets the Thorian's neural nodes. There is a brief cut scene which shows that the asari is reanimated, suggesting that the Thorian and the asari are somehow connected with each other. After the player destroys multiple nodes, wave after wave of Thorian creepers, and the asari clone, the Thorian crashes down and is "killed'. An asari bursts free and thanks the player, although she confesses that she wished the Player had not killed the Thorian. Shepard asks her questions about Saren and the Conduit and she agrees to him the "cipher". It will help the player better make sense of the images. She also gives her back-story about how her along with Benezia went to Saren to try and guide him down a gentle path. However, on Sovereign, he was all but unstoppable as the ship had an effect on all of them. Soon they found themselves allying with Saren and executing his plans. It is the players choice whether he kill the asari for her transgressions or let her go so that she can help the colonists that she had harmed.
If the player completed the optional side quests, then you will find that the power, water, and food is restored to the colony. In addition, if you used the Thorian gas then the casualties are minimal. The citizens thank you and vow to continue on with their lives.
The second planet that Shepard visits is Noveria, which is a icy world that is more or less ruled by the corporations on it. Although it is technically part of the Citadel, it operates outside the Citadel laws and, for that reason, many companies have set up research stations there. The research varies from Biotic implants to A.I. development, which is strictly forbidden in Citadel space.
Upon entering the planet it is immediately made clear that the authorities are the no nonsense type. They warn you that if your identity as a Spectre does not check out, your ship will be commandeered and you will face charges. Furthermore, the security chief refuses to let you enter the main complex with your weapons on hand. You can force a standoff with your weapons drawn, or you could stand down your party. In either case, Gianna Parsani, who is the assistant to Administrator Anoleis, confirms your identity and admits you into the facility. When you inquire about the location of Matriarch Benezia, Parsani informs you that she has gone to peak 15, which is rented by the company Binary Helix and cannot be reached because of a snowstorm.
Due to the blizzard, the shuttle system on Noveria has been rendered inoperable and therefore Shepard is forced to use the Mako to get to peak 15. However, to do so he is told that he needs a garage pass from Anoleis, who obstinately refuses his request. After much probing by Shepard, he says that there has been a Code Omega at peak 15 and that all communications are cut off. He is visibly agitated by Shepard’s questions and curtly tells Shepard to get lost. Anoleis Then, Parsani informs you that there are other ways to get the pass, and tells you about a man named Lorik Qui’in who needs help. He turns out to be a turian who is investigating Anoleis for corruption, but has run into some problems with Noveria’s corrupt security. He tells you that if you can retrieve from his office some data, which carries incriminating evidence, he will give you a garage pass.
Unfortunately, the office is overrun with security, and a fight ensues that forces Shepard to kill a lot of mercenaries in the service of Anoleis, who was trying to retrieve that information. You can either give that information to Parsani who says she is investigating corruption charges or you can give the information to Lorik Qui’in in exchange for a garage pass. Alternatively, you can give the information to Anoleis in exchange for a garage pass. Regardless of your, choice you acquire the pass. After you head out to the garage, a squad of geth ambushes you, and you learn that the Matriarch and her asari commando bodyguards have been covertly carrying geth in large metal boxes.
The local security seems stunned and speechless as to how geth soldiers could be hidden in the boxes since they had checked out as negative for element zero, which is a key ingredient in the geth power pack.
The player fights their way to Peak 15 encountering numerous geth along the way. After disposing of the enemies, the player enters an area where the geth are facing off against what seem to be giant insects. This is the player's introduction to the Rachni, a species that was presumed to be wiped out by the krogan a long time ago during the Rachni wars. Once within the main facility, it is discovered that the main power is off and that the V.I. (Virtual Intelligence), Mira is offline. After the player reboots her from her memory core she advises him of the situation. She tells him that a Code Omega was issued at the hot labs and as a result, safety features kicked in. She informs the player that the “landlines” have been cut and the main reactor has been shut down. After defeating hordes of Rachni, the player is able to reconnect the landlines, and, after fighting off the geth, the reactors are turned on, restoring power to the facility. Mira informs the player that there are survivors in the Rift Station and that Matriarch Benezia is likely to be there.
Shepard takes the tram to the facility and finds out that there are indeed people holding out there and that they are led by Captain Ventralis, who is the head of the station's security. He informs Shepard that the Rachni have been attacking them for a week and that everyone, including his men, are at their limit in terms of endurance. Rachni don't make good pets. In addition to the small security team that is holding out, there are also a number of scientists, who look shocked and on edge. However, one asari seems almost bored and is very disrespectful to you, accusing you of breaking her concentration while she was relaxing. The player can do a side quest to help one of the doctors develop a cure for the patients who have gotten sick. If Shepard chooses to help, he or she needs to talk to Ventralis for permission. Shepard is granted access to a medical facility where the cure can be concocted. There, Shepard and his fellow marines find a few more survivors, and after they develop a cure, the asari that was seen earlier, and a squad of geth ambush them. She informs him that she is an agent of the Matriarch, and is under orders to eliminate him if the opportunity arises. After defeating her, you can confront Ventralis, who will deny any knowledge of the incident.
Then, the player ventures to the hot labs in search of the Matriarch, but finds only the director of the facility. He explains to Shepard how they brought back the Rachni, who were seemingly extinct. It turns out that a Queen egg was left frozen on a derelict Rachni ship that had been floating about for untold centuries. Binary Helix found the Egg, and decided to clone it in order to make themselves an Army of Rachni. However, once the youngsters were separated from the Queen, they went rogue and killed anyone on sight. He conveys that the neutron purge must be activated and that the labs must be cleansed. However, before he can give you the activation codes, a Rachni warrior kills him.
After killing the Rachni, Shepard takes the codes and tells MIRA (V.I) to activate the purge system. Meanwhile, outside the room, Rachni gather by the hundreds. The player and his party escape in the elevator and the hot labs are purged. If you had done the previous side quest for the doctor then you can use the garage pass he gives you to sneak through the back of the facility and face Benezia. However, if you did not do the optional side quest, you have to go back through the facility. Ventralis and his men inside inform you that they have orders from Benezia to kill you, and attempt to do so.
After defeating them, you continue through the station. You encounter and defeat numerous other geth and humans, then come face to face with Benezia, who is standing on an elevated platform near a glass tank that harbors the Rachni Queen. Even if the player has Liara in the party, Benezia will not be dissuaded, she mocks Shepard and launches wave of wave of deadly asari commandos who are backed up by the geth. After the player fights though waves of these enemies, he can finally engage Benezia. She temporarily weakens and in her moment of weakness, she pleads with you to listen to her. She too talks about Sovereign’s indoctrination powers and claims that she had no control over her actions once she fell into its vice. She also informs you that the reason that she came to the facility was so that she could extract the location of the Mu Relay, which has gotten “lost” after a star that was nearby went supernova.
However, the Rachni found the relay and since the memories of the Queen are carried onto other Queens, he forced the information out of the Rachni. She confesses that she was not gentle and if Liara is present in the party, lets her know how proud of her she is. She once again loses control and Shepard is forced to put her down for good. Once she is dead, one of the other asari that was near her is reanimated, Shepard and the rest of the squad look on cautiously as she speaks, however it is the Rachni queen that is talking. The queen explains that she can use people temporarily when they are either unconscious or close to dying. She asks you what you will do to her, whether you would condemn her to the same fate as the rest of her species or if you would give her a chance and set her free. She claims that because she had no part in the War, she can be neutral and promises that she desires nothing more than peace. If Wrex is in the party he is extremely annoyed at this and points out that millions of his people died to put down the menace. However, the other person in your party interjects and says that you will be committing genocide if you do kill her. If you decide to kill her, she pleads with you once more and if you still do not listen she will look helplessly as you fill the tank with acid and thereby kill her. However, if you do free her she promises you that she will remember your kindness and will sing “songs” about you. If you have Wrex in the party he will slyly comment “Great, Bugs are writing songs about you, Shepard”. Regardless of you choice, your mission in Noveria will come to an end.
You will have pieced together another piece of the puzzle; that the Mu Mass relay will lead to a planet and that is somehow related to the return of the mysterious Reapers. After you make your report to the Citadel, you are informed that there is an Infiltration team on Virmire that has sent an emergency transmission and that the council believes that it has something to do with Saren. They also inform you that they have lost contact with the team on Virmire and have very limited data on the ground conditions.
Once the player gets to Virmire and enters orbit, Refer a Friend & Earn $5 Leaptrade Credits
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