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Mass ‘Effection’ – My Love for Bioware’s Baby

February 5th, 2010 by

I can’t remember the last video game that really got me.  Every waking moment spent dissecting strategies and tactics, wondering what the future held for my on-screen counterpart.

I do remember though, back in the very early nineties, spending whole weekends in front of my TV, exploring uncharted worlds, fully immersing myself in the holy land of video games.

Those were the days.  The days of my youth, and how I remember them fondly.  Never to be repeated, now that I’ve got myself tangled up in real life.

Yet it has happened again, and with an almost clinical addiction, I continue to explore Bioware’s Mass Effect universe, wondering whether two or even three playthroughs, is going to satiate my need for this wonderful science fiction realm, and that was before I had even played Mass Effect 2!

I wasn’t hooked instantly.  I was slowly drawn in.  Drip-fed information to keep me interested as the main players and plotlines took to the stage, and what a magnificent stage it is.  A place where John Shepard will rise to the challenge, and become a man of the Galaxy, for the Galaxy.  The savior of all known organic life.

The story of the first game plays out beautifully, yet leaves me wanting so much more of Bioware’s baby.  I don’t even mind everything that people criticized the first game for.  The Mako expeditions, the long elevator rides.  I loved them all and I am a little sad to see them go in the second installment.

They’ve taken all of my favourite aspects of Star Wars and Star Trek, and played me a Sci-Fi song so sweet, that I may even forgive George Lucas for the wicked rape and murder of his most famous work.

Yes, the Mass Effect lore has gripped me completely.  It’s one of the only games I’ve ever started playing again as soon as I’d finished it.  It’s a testament to the wonderful Universe that has been created, because as soon as I finish it again with the same character, I can see myself playing it again with another character class.  At the moment I’m almost watching it like a film.  I’m picking the same conversation flow that I did the first time, even though I have some new choices due to my character’s heightened charm abilities.

This definitely is the first time that I have bought a book regarding the characters.  I have bought both Mass Effect: Revelations, detailing David Anderson’s prequel mission with Saren, and Mass Effect: Ascension, detailing the continuing story into the Mass Effect 2 Universe.

These books and games are going to keep me occupied for months, and although I may live to regret it, at the moment, I have to say that this is the most engaging and detailed game that I’ve ever played.  Especially with decisions I’ve made from the first game carrying on into the second.  Nothing else seems to come close.  Will I finally be leaving Ocarina of Time as my best game of all time?  Will I be embracing Mass Effect as the saviour and bench mark of our modern times?  Only time will tell…

12 Responses to “Mass ‘Effection’ – My Love for Bioware’s Baby”
  1. avatar Freebird says:

    I finished ME2 last night. 35 hrs of gaming awesomeness.
    Can´t think of ANY other game that sucked me in that much.
    Loved it and I will be back to replay it…Probably more than once.
    My GOTY for 2010, don´t know what else they could release to top this.

  2. avatar Russell Chilvers says:

    Damn you Wayne you’re going to make me buy this early when I thought I could resist. Its a well crafted piece of prose for what is obviously a very well crafted game.

  3. avatar Wayne Shayler says:

    Thanks Hugo.

    I’m feeling guilty about playing the second, whilst I’m still in the middle of my second play through of the first game. I can’t wait to finish 2 so I then I can go back and finish 1, then play 2 again!

    It feels like I’m having a little taster of my ‘Truffe au Chocolate’ whilst I’m in the middle of my ‘Grilled Calf’s Liver’.

    Mmmm, liver.

  4. avatar David Murphy says:

    I can’t read this article. I just started ME1. :) Will do once I’ve finished though.

  5. avatar dudester says:

    While I do love me and the me series as a whole I just feel if they can add a few bits back in from the 1st game along with the shooter mechanics from 2 then they will really have an amazing game.

    I for one felt there could have been a bit exploration in the second but for story telling its easily up there with the best likes of uncharted 2 and the 1szt mass effect game.

  6. avatar Scott Frabisna says:

    And you still need to play KOTOR, In my opinion Biowares best!!

  7. avatar Phizzy says:

    I don’t get why this would suck you in so much. I played the first game and I thought the only cool scene was the one where ********* revealed itself in *****’s office. That was really neat. The rest of the game? I don’t know what kept me going.

    Edited for spoilers – Daren

  8. avatar Wayne Shayler says:

    I think it’s the believable world they’ve created, and the characters within it. Like I said, Star Wars is dead to me and it’s been a long time since the last decent Star Trek. This fits the bill perfectly.

    It’s also the same reason why you love MGS3 Phizzy. The same reason that Matt could ‘Peggle’ for England, and the very same reason that Daren sunk three lifetimes into Fallout 3. It just works. :)

  9. avatar FantomFanFlinga says:

    If you loved Mass Effect 2, then why not try Dragon Age, uses almost the same interface and is very similar in story telling arch.

  10. avatar Darko Maledictus says:

    I have to say this was a marvelous game! I could never finish the first game, got bored halfway through it, but Mass Effect 2 is a thrill ride from start to finish. A true work of art, perhaps some of the side missions could be longer, as some of them are 5 min short in length, but otherwise a stellar achievement! Hope the industry can keep it up with the quality :)!

  11. avatar Tertc says:

    Played ME1 and 2 got to say Me2 the best could not stop playing it did it in 35h

  12. avatar Wayne Shayler says:

    Yep, I’m still playing through ME2. Still loving it and I’m hoping to finish it this weekend.

    Not taking anything away from the game, but I am missing a certain sense of freedom that I felt with the first. I realise the M35 (Mako vehicle) was putting a lot of people off, but some of my journey’s in it were awesome. I loved that feeling of exploration. Finding a mineral deposit that wasn’t shown on the map rewarded more exploration.

    Still, a truly wonderful game and an even more incredible universe.

    I sat for fifteen minutes at work the other day, boring the pants off of someone as I briefly explained the Mass Effect universe, then specifically the Asari race! Incredible.

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