OPINION: A Tribute to the Mass Effect Games

Photo Credit: trustedreviews.com

Photo Credit: trustedreviews.com

Quin Benedict , OwlFeed Opinion Columnist

In celebration of the rapidly approaching first anniversary of Mass Effect Legendary Edition’s release in May, we’ll be looking at the reasons to get into this breath-taking trilogy. 

Wikipedia describes the role-playing games as “a military science fiction media franchise created by Casey Hudson, Drew Karpyshyn and Preston Watamaniuk. The franchise depicts a distant future where humanity and several alien civilizations have colonized the Milky Way galaxy using technology left behind by an advanced precursor civilization.” 

In less clinical terms, you play as a space soldier in a universe where humans now use advanced technology to travel the Milky Way and interact with aliens. 

As of right now, the original trilogy is available separately or as a bundle in Legendary Edition which includes extra content such as new characters, missions to complete, and decorative items that were previously only available through purchasing DLCs (DownLoadable Content). However, a fourth game is currently in development and is set to launch around 2024, though that could change.

Mass Effect has a choice-based storyline and morality system which may have consequences that span the entire trilogy, meaning-making a bad move in the first game could affect the third.

The morality system is straightforward enough. Since you play as a soldier there is no “good and evil,” more “good cop and bad cop,” Paragon and Renegade respectively. 

When making choices that color you as a ruthless stone wall that gets the job done no matter the cost, you earn Renegade Points. Choosing to be a compassionate bleeding-heart that’s more than happy to walk into fire for anyone earns you Paragon Points. Having enough points in either section opens up unique dialogue that wouldn’t be available to you otherwise and are often arguably much better.

Now that you have a vague clue of what’s going on let’s talk about the main character you role play as over the course of the trilogy. No matter the gender, your character will have the last name Shepherd. Congratulations this is the word you will be hearing the most alongside “Commander,” a close second being “Commander Shepherd.”

While there isn’t much you can do about that, you are able to decide how Shepherd looks. You have the option to go with one of the “default” faces provided for you or work from scratch to design an appearance that speaks to you. 

Your backstory has a small impact on the morality system of the game and will lead to the occasional bit of hidden dialogue but otherwise, it isn’t very important.

After deciding what style of combat suits you, either physical, tech, or biotic (space magic) abilities, you are unleashed onto the galaxy with an impossible mission. However, it is immediately clear you can’t do it alone.

Arguably the best part and definitively the most adored part of the Mass Effect Trilogy are the teammates who help you. Each character has their own unique combat abilities, personality, preferences, backstory, and perspectives to bring to your cause. The more time you spend together the closer you get to each character and their story. Eventually, you are able to befriend them and help with their problems.

These games have their flaws, a few bugs, maybe a handful of inconsistencies but that makes them great. There is so much love and care put into development and it shines through in every single aspect, from level design, lighting, character arcs, writing, and cutscenes. 

Keeping this as spoiler-free as possible has been incredibly difficult which is why I recommend you go out and play the Mass Effect trilogy for yourself.