My Thoughts On The Mass Effect Series

Believe it or not, I’m a fan of Bioware RPGs. Sure, while the games they put out now tend to be watered down in terms of RPG mechanics, I can still find a fair bit of enjoyment in playing them. I’m not one of those hardcore fanboys who believe Bioware can do no wrong, I’m just a fan in passing who will play a Bioware game as long as it looks good to me. Another reason is that Bioware is a Canadian video-game company, and I always try to be supportive of companies that come from my home country.

While I do plan to review some of the Mass Effect games at some point, I wanted to talk about my experiences with the series. After all, Mass Effect: Andromeda is due out in a couple of days and it’s the third game in this venerable series. It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since the first game came out, and it’s even harder to believe that I’ve never really beaten it. Sure, I’ve sank several hours into the first game, but never really finished it.

mass-effect-2-game-wallpaper-1
In space, nobody can hear you go Super Saiyan.

I’m trying to fix that now, as I recently started replaying Mass Effect 1. ME1 is a special kind of game, as it’s one of those rare action RPGs that strikes a good balance between accessibility and hardcore RPG elements. Please keep in mind that this came out in 2007, around the time when complex RPGs were on their way out. While it definitely lacked a fair amount of more hardcore RPG elements, the basis of what makes a good RPG was intact.

The game had some weird archaic design choices though, such as side-quests ending with giant blocks of text, or a really boring and cumbersome inventory system. Still, things like this still made for an interesting game. Mass Effect 1 told the story of Commander Shepherd and his quest to hunt down a rogue alien and defeat an army of metallic monstrosities known as the Geth.

After the success of ME1, came ME2. I remember getting this game sometime in 2011 and absolutely loving the hell out of it. Sure, it wasn’t as complex as ME1 was, but it was still entertaining. The story devolved into a series of side missions and several RPG elements were just chopped out for some reason. Regardless, Mass Effect 2 was still an absolute treat to play through.

Mass Effect 3 was a hit or miss game for me. I don’t think it’s a good game, nor do I think it’s a bad one. It’s just kind of middle of the road, it lacks gameplay nuance and a lot of characters are just kind of forgettable. I can forgive the ending, but things like how pointless the upgrade system felt are awful. Weapon upgrades almost never need to be used, I could go through the entire game with the same unchanged weapon and never really need to change things up.

The story never really grabbed me, but then again I haven’t really explored the lore all that much. I just felt it was a bit generic, feeling more just like a generic sci-fi story as opposed to the epic dramas of the past. Still, I feel Mass Effect 3 is worth checking out, as it does offer some fun scenarios and some cool looking gear to collect. It’s not as in-depth as the first game, or as polished as the second, but it’s still fun. And that was my thoughts on the Mass Effect trilogy. Brief, but I do plan to tackle these games more in-depth later. I hope you guys enjoy reaading this post and I wish you all a great day!

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