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Mass Effect details, trailer

X05: News of Bioware's RPG.

Jade Empire and KOTOR developer BioWare has revealed the first details of Mass Effect, the new Xbox 360 title announced at the X05 event just last night.

Billed as a "science fiction action-RPG", the game puts you in the role of Specter, the leader of an elite strike force. You and your team have been tasked with fighting off the advancing armies of a legendary agent gone bad, and your journey will take you across many hostile alien worlds. And along the way, you'll find out that there's a much greater threat to deal with than anyone could have imagined...

It's all about choice-based gameplay, apparently, which means your decisions and actions will end up shaping the destiny of all life in the galaxy. In short, it's up to you whether you follow the noble path of righteousness or blat everyone you meet round the face. You can choose your character's appearance, too, and there's a whole range of equipment, weapons and armour to collect as you progress through the game. Combat, we're told, is of the real time squad-based tactical nature.

Along with the main game there are loads of side missions to have a go at, should you be so inclined, and plenty of previously uncharted planets to explore. It's likely to be well worth the effort since said planets will often turn out to be home to untapped resources, new alien life forms, ruined civilisations and powerful technologies.

We're promised "photo-realistic, high definition graphics on an epic scale," and a huge cast of characters to meet and kill. Xbox Live features will include premium downloadable content and "recognition of achievement" (we think they mean a high scores table).

To see Mass Effect in action, head on over to the game's website where you'll find a short trailer. A release date for the game has yet to be announced.