November 7th: The day of the Shepard

Saturday was N7 day, an arbitraruy reason for Bioware to celebrate their greatest creation: Mass Effect. Bioware built up to the day by asking people what they were going to do during this landmark date. Personally, I spent the day playing Halo 5, not because I dislike Mass Effect, it’s just a three year old game at this point

While the day didn’t amount to much more than Bioware drawing attention to themveslves and a messege recorded by Jennifer Hale in a passing of the torch type deal, it did get me thinking about Mass Effect and how damn good it was. I’ve always been able to forgive a bad story if a game had good gameplay, Mass Effect was almost the exact opposite of that. It had one of the best video game stories in anything I’ve ever played.

MassEffectN7

The gameplay went from cryptically counter intuitive, to being so solidly built it was almost generic. And while it was never bad enough to actually start a witch hunt it was never why anyone went to the game. One part Star Wars and one part Star Trek, Mass Effect crafted a cast of extremely likeable characters and then put them in a situation that seemed so cataclysmicly dire that it physically affected me to so anything happen to them.

CTE5g5BXAAAzCTLSeeing characters and events link throughout the three games and seemingly insignificant choices show up again in some form two games later gave yet another layer of depth to a game I actually wanted to live in, in spite of the giant species destroying robots. With the trilogy over, the start of a new series is in the distance.

Mass Effect: Andromeda holds an incredible amount of promise in my mind, and yet next to nothing has been announced about it. All we do know it that is takes place many years after the original trilogy and in the Andromeda galaxy, presumably because the Reapers caused such a huge amount of damage that rebuilding wasn’t an option. While I loved where Mass Effect 2 and 3 went, I hope that Andromeda takes a lower key approach, focusing on letting us explore more and shoot less.

Seeing where the different races went, how their relationships have changed and a more hopeful state of the universe than the extremely grey and bleak universe the first trilogy gave us. I know it’s not as sexy to have things going well in science fiction anymore, but I’d like to see a more utopian society in display, at least for the first game anyway.

mass-effect-andromeda-140103Go more Trek than Wars basically, the Mako looks to be back and the prospect of exploring random planets again is exciting. I’m not expecting them to go full Picard and let you talk down violent alien attackers, after all, we’re still playing the burley space marine out to fill the galaxy with bullets.

I trust Bioware to provide me with another slice of their own brand of relationship simulator with some combat on the periphery, and I will drink up any details I can until then.

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