Mass Effect Galaxy Hands-On

We found a bank of iPhones tucked away in a corner of EA’s massive booth with some serious goodies on them. One big name was Command & Conquer: Red Alert, which we will be writing up and filming tomorrow. Another was Mass Effect Galaxy, a kind of bite-sized introduction to some of the characters that will factor heavily into Mass Effect 2. Details and video after the jump!

The star of Mass Effect Galaxy is Jacob Taylor, one mean hombre who’s equipped with powerful psionic abilities (known as “Biotics” in the ME universe) and all kinds of guns too.

Mass Effect is known for two things: real-time gunplay and lengthy conversations. Mass Effect Galaxy has a little bit of both. Combat is simple. You tilt the phone around to run around the level, while your gun auto-targets the nearest enemy. Biotic powers are accessed via touch buttons.

Dialog is handled via a scrolling menu on the right-hand side of the screen. Instead of the console game’s radial menus, various icons indicate your possible responses to whatever you just heard–thumbs up for positive, thumbs down for negative, and so on.

Although Galaxy’s art style and gameplay are very different, it still feels very much like Mass Effect. Part of that is due to distinctive little touches from the console game, like the red, triangular targeting reticles. The pulsating techno soundtrack also made the jump from console to iPhone intact.

Mass Effect Galaxy should be out sometime this summer.

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