I began playing Mass Effect after it had been sitting, uninstalled, in my Steam library for many months. I bought it after waiting for the Legendary Edition to go on sale – the Legendary Edition being a remastered collection of all three games in the original trilogy (Mass Effect: Andromeda is separate.) Being a huge sci-fi fan, I’m surprised that I missed out on Mass Effect when it was originally released back in 2007. It’s equally surprising that I know next to nothing about that game’s plot – with how popular and acclaimed these games are, I’m shocked I haven’t accidentally read spoilers before.
At its core, Mass Effect is an RPG with a captivating story. I can feel the sense of importance and urgency as soon as I set foot on Eden Prime, and learned of a much larger threat. I was pleased to discover that ancient Prothean technology is at the core of Mass Effect 1’s story – with a certain Prothean artifact being the key to unleashing death and destruction within the universe. This game seems to hit all of my favorite bits of sci-fi/fantasy – cool ships and land vehicles for exploration, interesting alien races, and cool tech. The Protheans in particular excite me, as I learned early on that the Prothean were a highly advanced civilization that went extinct. In their absence, they left behind technology that allows us to jump, or “warp,” to deeper parts of space. Protheans also created the bio-tech used in weapons and armor, dubbed the “Mass Effect.” I love the idea of found tech and I think it makes for a very intriguing and mysterious story element. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Protheans, and what exactly caused them to disappear.
Besides being a cool RPG, Mass Effect is also a third-person shooter. I was apprehensive about the game for that reason, being that I haven’t played very many shooters and I’m not that great at them. Mass Effect, however, puts an emphasis on story with the shooter-type combat being a vehicle to drive that story along. Being that there are many interesting characters in the ME world, you can choose between several characters to pick as Squad Mates; teammates that will follow you into battle, and fight alongside you. Squads add a light management element to the game – you can upgrade their gear, spend skill points after every level up, and interact with them to deepen your bond. So far my favorite Squad Mates are Garrus and Wrex, but I also like to bring in Kaidan for his first aid specialty. Playing Mass Effect feels like I’m at the cusp of discovering a whole new world, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
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