Okay, memes aside, I thought I would take a break from posting about mental health issues and make a post about my favorite game trilogy instead, the third installment of which comes out tomorrow.
Mass Effect was recommended to me by a friend. He told me he thought I would really like it, especially being the sci-fi nerd I am. I sort of said “Yeah, okay,” and made a mental note to check it out sometime. When I got a copy, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the cover, despite all the praise on the game’s case from critics. Then I played it.
I was blown away.
The basic plot of the trilogy is that you (the player) control a character named Commander Shepard, and you are trying to stop an invasion of ancient machine-beings known as Reapers from destroying all life in the universe. The character Commander Shepard is whoever you want him/her to be–you choose the character’s gender, appearance, and most importantly, Shepard’s every decision and action. This is essential, because the crux of the game is how you make your decisions. Unlike most games, every decision you make has repercussions, from choosing to be a Paragon or a Renegade to choosing whether or not to trust the Illusive Man and aid him.
Your decisions directly affect the game’s storyline, and you can choose to import your previous saves to the sequels, so that the game you play, even when just starting the second or third, is the game you created.
Mass Effect and its sequel are easily the most immersive games I have ever played, and I am an avid gamer. The attention to detail is beyond impressive. The creators of the game really made an effort to create an in-depth, plausible universe, and it paid off. There was information on how everything in the game worked (including the namesake mass effect utilized by the spaceships), and there was in fact so much in-game background information that I read only a portion of it.The characters, too, have depth; they are not your typical flat, stereotypical game characters.
The game’s visuals are incredible. There are many places (especially in the first game) that you are by no means required to go to, or even find–the game’s map is extensive–and even these places have gorgeous scenery and atmosphere. The soundscape, too, in very impressive and really helps the player get into the game. In the third and final installment, renowned composer Clint Mansell is helping with the soundtrack, something I’m really excited about, because even if you’ve never heard his name, you’ve likely heard at some point his most famous piece, the epic (and I mean epic in the original sense of the term) song “Lux Aeterna.”
So that, in 500 words or less, is why the Mass Effect trilogy is my absolute favorite game series. I intend to get my copy of the last installment this Thursday, and I can’t remember the last time I anticipated a game this much.