I was thinking, as I often do (or don’t), that I should do a few articles on the video games that I play. I don’t play many, but the ones that I do, I thoroughly enjoy. I usually ask my brother’s advice on the different games, as he is an Assistant Manager of an EB Games store here in Australia. He knows the things I do and don’t like when it comes to all the different games out there. So far he hasn’t steered me wrong.
This article is on my absolutely most favourite game(s), Mass Effect. At the moment it is a trilogy of games, with the third game having come out earlier this year. The thing that I love the most about these games is the continuing storyline. A lot of people have given the ending of number three a fair amount of flack because it didn’t end the way they wanted it to. However, as a lover of storylines, I thought it was perfect. What you need to understand is, that everything you do and say affects the way the story is going to go; it may be a miniscule little thing but it has massive ramifications later on in the game. No joke. I was playing it
through a second time and I wanted to change the outcome of a certain character, however when it came to it, she still died. I had to go back to my previous save, do a different mission first, then go back to that mission and I managed to save a whole race of people and one of the main characters.
Another thing about this game, it’s like Joss Whedon and George R. R. Martin have written it, because no one is safe, not even you, as the main character.
So let me tell you about the story of the game without giving away major spoilers.
In the future, Earth has discovered the Mass Relays – a series of ‘wormholes’ as such that allow travel between different systems within the Milky Way. At the beginning, humans are not apart of the Citadel Council, which have Asari, Salarian and Turians representing. Humans are still trying to prove to the Council that they belong.
You play as Commander Shepard (voiced by Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale) – the first human Spectre (you can either be a girl or a guy – the guy version is super hot) who is a part of the Earth Alliance. When you start the game you are to choose his backstory (there are three different sections and you can have multiple match-ups), and you also choose his class. These different classes affect the powers and weapons he can use; the different powers have different effects on the different enemies, so choose wisely.
The main storyline is about Shepard and his crew trying to stop the Reaper invasion, especially in the first game and the last. Reapers are beings that indoctrinate other species in order to control them and
then to eventually wipe them out. What they do is wait for a species to become highly evolved and then destroy them so that another race can evolve and the cycle can start again. As you go through the games you pick up new characters that become apart of your team. When you go on a mission you pick two of them to help you out; each of these characters have different powers, so once again you need to pick according to the enemy you are facing.
In the second game, it’s a little different because instead of working for the Alliance, you’re teamed up with Cerberus, a black-ops faction that went rogue. I won’t tell you the story as to why you’re with them, because that is classed as a ‘major spoiler’. The aim of this storyline is to gather a massive team and destroy the Collector Base that is through the Omega 4 Relay; it’s pretty much a suicide mission – you get achievement points if you get all your members through alive.
Game three is intense. It’s all about fighting the Reapers, as they have started their invasion of the Milky Way. It’s up to Shepard to unite the forces of the all the species in the galaxy – from the Krogans, Turians, Asari, Salarians, Geth and Quarians. Each of these different species has their own issues with each other. It is one of the most in-depth storylines I have ever seen. At the end, you are left with a choice and what a difficult choice that is.
On top of the awesome story, the gameplay is one of the best I have seen; not that I’ve seen many. I love that you can choose whether you’re going to be ‘paragon’ or ‘renegade’, you can pick who you want to have a romantic liaison with (I always pick Liara T’Soni – the Asari archaeologist, she’s just too adorable and I have the statue on its way to me). You can even punch people out if they annoy you too much.
The characters in the game are top notch – I mean, Garrus, the Turian C-Sec officer turned mercenary, Tali’Zorah – the Quarian that does all her growing-up in three games, Miranda Lawson (voiced by Chuck’s Yvonne Strahovski) the genetically engineered Cerberus officer, The Illusive Man
(voiced by Martin Sheen), EDI and Joker (voiced by BSG’s Tricia Helfer and Seth Green respectively) … and even Claudia Black makes a few cameos in two and three as different characters. The caliber of the voice acting is exemplary!
There’s even a nice allusion to an Australian poet, Henry Lawson, which they have put as Miranda’s father.
Overall, Mass Effect is probably one of the best games ever. With enhanced gameplay over the three games, even adding online multiplayer for the third game, the amazing graphics and the fantastic storyline, I would recommend this game to everyone who doesn’t mind spending up to 40 hours playing a game and loves all the things I’ve told you about.
Mass Effect is available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.
 I’m using the male version because that’s who I play as.