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…