Mass Effect

Common Sense Media says

Ambitious space journey with mature themes.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Character's moral choices determine whether you're perceived as a model officer or renegade. Those choices also impact future interactions and force you to consider the consequences of your actions.

Violence

Some blood, but nothing incredibly gory. There are a couple images of impaled humans, but not much else. You'll fight some organic species, humans included, as well as robots. Most battles involve using pistols, shotguns, rifles, and grenades. Most of the emphasis is placed on the dialogue and exploration.

Sex

Partial nudity. One scene alludes to sexual encounter, but shows nothing graphic. Creation of female character opens door for same-sex encounter.

Language

Occasional curse word used, like "ass" and "s--t."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game has one brief sex scene involving an apparent female alien. The scene more alludes to sex as opposed to showing graphic acts -- but the encounter even occurs when you create a female character, which opens the door to same-sex relationships. The in-game violence is on par with most shooters, but isn't gratuitous; players will shoot with pistols, shotguns, and rifles, and use grenades. But the focus of this game is on the interactive storyline where players decide the dialogue of their characte, leading to moral decisions about whether you traverse the galaxy as a diplomatic hero or a renegade willing to bend the laws, and these decisions have consequences.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In MASS EFFECT, your character must traverse galaxies to thwart an ancient machine race's effort to wipe out all organic civilization. How that story unfolds is mostly up to you. You'll start by selecting a character -- you can opt for the standard protagonist, Commander Shepherd, or create your own from scratch. Gamers have six classes to choose from, each with varying degrees of combat, technological, and magic-like (\"biotic\") skills. Players control their character's dialogue, and can therefore dictate how interactions play out in the future.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mass Effect represents a bold attempt at reshaping the RPG, if you can get past the glitches and inconsistent action.

It's anchor is its engaging, robust storyline. Powerful voice acting, lifelike facial models, and cinematic presentation make Mass Effect's story one of the few you can truly invest in. Action, on the other hand, doesn't reach the high bar set by the story. For the most part, it's solid, but suffers through inconsistencies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this game compares with other role-playing games. Did you feel conflicted making some of the moral choices? Should more games involve equally engrossing storylines where you decide your character's reactions?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:BioWare
Release date:November 19, 2007
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence (Xbox 360)

This review of Mass Effect was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byastist7 December 30, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

I'm sorry, but "No Kids"? Too far.

CommonSense has been doing a very poor job of estimating the age rating for "M" rated video games. The are only two moments in this game that threw it into question for an "M" rating rather than a "T". One moment is a very brief sex scene in which no sensitive areas are shown, and the other is another brief moment when a man is impaled by a tentacle, although this is nothing near as graphic as, say, Gears of War. Thrust me, this game should have been rated Teen, and CommonSense has been slapping a "No Kids" rating on every single "M" game without truly giving much thought to which age group this is suitable for. Ages 13+.
Teen, 14 years old Written byfclax99 August 3, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Does not deserve m rating!

Mass effect is an amazing game! It doesn't deserve an m rating. The thing to be most worried about would be the violence which is pretty much on the same level as halo. There is almost no language and there isn't any sexual content in the whole game. I would give mass effect T- for violence and language. Also mass effect has an amazing story so you will not be disappointed if you buy this game.
Adult Written bykathy221 December 2, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
I am a teacher and a parent of two teenagers and a 10 year old. I asked one of my students in sixth grade what a good video game was that I should get my fourteen year old for his birthday. He recommended Mass Effect, so i got it and my teenagers loved it! After seeing the game being played, i realized that it had little blood and almost no explicit content. I let my 10 year old play it, on the grounds that any innapropriate content would be reported to me. A few swear words came up, but that was all. It really does not deserve an M or a Not for Kids.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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