Before venturing out into the big and wonderful space of the universe, I explored the wide plains and corrupted lands of Thedas in Dragon Age. I’m mentioning this because if it wasn’t for this game, I don’t think I’d have ever realised my complete and utter love for Mass Effect. The system Bioware had in place for DA was something I really enjoyed…the cut scenes and choices that could potentially effect the rest of the game…they really had me hooked on from there. Don’t forget custom characters! I’m a sucker for creating my own character. Anywho, I’d completed the game and decided I wanted to find something similar and I remember coming across Mass Effect while searching for Bioware games…I’d steered clear away from it because me being the silly teen brain that I was, thought it would scare the crap outta me. ‘Ho how wrong and right I was!
Mass Effect is the type of game that makes me love it and hate it at the same time. I am absolutely terrified of playing any zombie games. I will, however, watch movies and TV series about zombies and zombie apocalypse scenarios…did I tell you that I love those movies and shows? Yeah. How bloody weird is that. I just get so freaked out because I feel like I really AM being attacked by zombies behind my controller…but when I watch it, it doesn’t really directly attack me. So there’s the opening part of ME that has these monsters that, well, I HATE even hearing them in all 3 games now. You’re off on a small mission to recover God knows what the fudge on Eden Prime and poor old Corporal Richard L. Jenkins, yes this is a character, has a brief moment after landing before being shot down by these things called Geth. On your way scouting the area you see these spikes, I mean already I’m thinking “oh god no, what the hell are those?!” and no sooner that I thought that I hear these moans and groans. Oh God I almost wet myself. One of the first freakin’ monsters you encounter might as well be futuristic bloody ZOMBIES. ZOMBIES. Don’t even get me started on the things that scare me in the third game…there are too many to count and every time a certain mission comes along, I end up chanting to myself “it’s okay, you’ve done it before…just turn off the sound…they won’t get to you then”.
I won’t be going over any storyline with this article as I feel there is just so much of it and I really want to talk about the characters and how much depth they have in comparison to other companions I’ve encountered in games. I honestly think, and this is my own opinion here, that Bioware really takes character development to the next level. As this is a game where the choices you make can literally spell the end of your team I find you really learn more about them the more you play, especially their interactions with each other when on away missions or at the citadel/omega etc. If you actually listen to what characters say then you can learn a lot from their background, what they want to do next or in the future…it’s the same in the Dragon Age games as well and I find that it’s something I love. Idle banter while waiting to shoot off some enemy heads. In my first playthrough I never really bothered with character quests or learning more about my companions…so when I played through a second time I actually started to really feel the connections with each of them. Garrus was always a favourite and from the get go he was ALWAYS in my team, like, he never bloody left because I dragged him eeevveeerywhere. Tali was my other companion that I just couldn’t seem to shake off, she’s just too adorable not to love once you realise the type of character they made her to be.
Taking character development to the next level, like I mentioned, is something they do a lot and it shows through the 3 games. Over all the journeys you take together, through the suicide missions and near death experiences they start to become more and more…hard. I wouldn’t say they were cold, but Tali definitely becomes a lot harder over the course of the games and bar Garrus almost losing his face, he’s still is the Turian from the first game…only with more layers and backstory. When Commander Shephard, that’s you, dies in the second game it really shakes the foundations of your reoccurring companions. Some begin to resent Shephard for not telling them they were alive and well, while others understood and were just so overjoyed to see her/him alive. There is just so much to talk about when it concerns character development. You may also find that the new changes of character change your point of view of the companion, too. I found that one companion in the beginning just…annoyed the crap out of me, but as he developed more over the games I began to see something I overlooked before. I actually realised he didn’t actually annoy me and instead I found a new appreciation of him. Bioware does this to create a rich and continuously developing story so that you as a player get the most out of the experience.
After talking a little about the characters, I’d like to move on to a few questions I’ve asked another Mass Effect fan. I wanted to get a different side of the game from another gamers perspective, because although I absolutely love it to pieces…I know that everyone has their own view and I want to show that in this next part. Plus…I just can’t stop loving everything to do with ME…
I want to introduce to you Oriana and her response to my questions. Thank you for being a part of this article!
Where did you find out about Mass Effect? What drew you to the game?
I found out about it when it first came out as I usually kept up with everything. I was about 16 at the time. Used to play it over and over again.
Space and guns. I originally hadn’t thought that there would be an option to play as female so I was pretty pleased with that.
This was bound to be asked as an obvious question and everyone will have a single favourite character they love, but what about two that you love more than the rest? What sets them out from the rest?
Kaidan – Kaidan has a deep set honest reason to hate the world and he doesn’t. He’s kind, loyal, honest and all round. Everything he went through should have changed him and made him a very nasty person. He also grows as a character from Mass effect 1 which is blatantly obvious. I know almost all the characters grow, however they completely changed and that’s what sort of got me. With Liara she was this sweet sensitive kind person to literally someone I couldn’t stand. Kaidan, he grows but he’s the same person.
Samara – come on who doesn’t like the kick ass super hero mom with three bat shit daughters? She is such a strong character I find it pleasing. In a lot of games older women are hardly introduced to any series because they have to have a measure of wisdom, wit and character and somehow Bioware threw it all into one with her. Also she’s drop dead gorgeous which definitely pleased me.
Have the games influenced you at all as a gamer? If so, could you explain in some detail how?
The only thing that did get me was the paragon and renegade statistic. In most games I’m not too concerned about being the bad guy or the good guy, in this game it taught me to think about my actions before making them. In a game that is very good to teach to people I think. Fallout 3 had your karma system which I sort of got into from Mass effect so that’s about it.
Out of the three games, which do you like the most and why?
Mass Effect 2. I knew the stories of each of my characters I liked and I could watch them in a controlled setting where I wasn’t insanely freaking out because of the reapers ending the world. It set the back drop for the final game. I learnt so much more about the galaxy, it was a well-rounded story I felt. Also got to romance Garrus.
A lot of people didn’t like the ending to the last game or at least they didn’t like how rushed it felt. What do you think about the ending? The intention had always been to end it a certain way, but do you think they could have done a better job to wrap up the trilogy?
The ending was rushed. I honestly hated it from the get go. It wasn’t very explanatory until Leviathan DLC came out and it took me two playthroughs to fully comprehend what had happened. Everyone ultimately wants a happy ending, even the Warden in Dragon Age Origins got a choice of whether or not they wanted to die and a way to circumvent that from happening.
I felt as if my choice was taken away. I would have liked an option to at least choose whether I live or die. Whether Anderson lived or died, whether I ended up with the person I romanced or at least a finale to what happened after I died. They gave us pure bullshit. Hate the remastered ending, hate the ending of Mass Effect three.
They could have done so much more and were lazy. End of story.
How do you feel about the new game releasing in 2017, Mass Effect: Andromeda?
I have no doubt it will have amazing graphics, epic ships and equipment. Great looking characters and all that.
I think the story will be rubbish. I have no high hopes I have been far too disappointed by all the games I’ve been waiting for recently. I do have it on preorder for all 3 platforms and I no doubt will play the hell out of it.
I do not, however, expect great things. Guilty until proven innocent. I await Andromeda with extreme reluctance, I’ve no doubt they are rushing for the fans now too.
As we all know, the first 3 Mass Effect games had always been set out to be a trilogy…what are your hopes for the new one?
I have no hopes. I reserve judgement with trepidation.
And that’s a wrap! Mass Effect will return in the future.
Next time on Deviate from Reality: Dragon Age, the world of Thedas!