From the astoundingly stiff weaponry of 1995's GoldenEye to the alien arsenal of the Halo franchise, video games haven't always had the most realistic arms. But, in Bioware's Mass Effect franchise, the game designers opted for scientifically accurate weapons.
Kyle Hill, of Nerdist's' series Because Science, explores the scientific plausibility of the weapons in the Mass Effect franchise.
One example Kyle gives is the weaponry in the Mass Effect universe that uses electric current and the mysterious "element 0." These weapons use electromagnetic forces to propel objects towards enemies, resulting in potentially fatal impacts. In the game, these weapons seem like just far-fetched imaginings of a fictional universe. But, according to the physical relationships within the Lorentz force, this weapon works in accordance with the actual laws of physics. This force acts in response to an electric current, and so when a current runs through a conductive material, it will create a magnetic field which will create an outward force that could, in theory, propel a projectile.
In fact, in our own non-virtual universe, we already have a weapon that operates under the same scientific principles: the rail gun. This weapon can propel projectiles at speeds that other weapons cannot match. And so, in both theory and application, the science behind the weapons that use this propulsion in Mass Effect would realistically be capable of both working and inflicting the damage that they do.
As our own reality continues to look more like science fiction, it is certainly interesting to see fiction mirroring reality.