Back in November of last year I experienced Mass Effect 1 for the first time after purchasing the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, a collection of all three Mass Effect games in the trilogy as well as most DLC and updated graphics and systems. I was immersed in Shepard’s story, the alien cultures, and the military sci-fi themes. After completing the first game, I quickly jumped into Mass Effect 2 and 3, forgetting to take screenshots or otherwise document my progress along the way. In short, it did not take very long for me to become so fascinated by Mass Effect that it bordered on obsessive. For those players who equally fell in love with the series and then went on to learn of or experience the Mass Effect 3 ending, it might not be hard to guess what happened to my emotional state when the Normandy’s long journey came to an end.
The conclusion to Mass Effect 3 elicited a response in me unlike any other game I have played. That isn’t to say that a game has never made me emotional before. Undertale helped to lift me back up during a hard time in my life, when the Yakuza 6 end credits rolled I cried, many World of Warcraft cinematics have brought me great joy, Divinity: Original Sin 2 had characters that felt like real friends. Mass Effect, after its conclusion, left me in a depressive funk that I wouldn’t recover from for around three weeks. The story resonated with me in a unique way; in many ways, it seems like a game that was created with my specific interests in mind. Looking back on it now, it’s hard even to describe or correctly remember how I felt during those three weeks, but it felt like I was mourning a loss. Perhaps because I would never again be able to experience Mass Effect for the first time. I had come to love Shepard, the Normandy, and her crew so much that I was having trouble letting go. Pair that with the uncertainty of the future after the ending of Mass Effect 3, and you’ve got a recipe for emotional turmoil. I have been wanting to make this post for a long time to address the long gap between Mass Effect posts, the last one being published in December 2022. The reason for it is mostly due to marathoning the series, but partially due to my unexpected emotional response.
Mass Effect 3’s ending was controversial to say the least, and that’s even after allowing the player to choose from multiple different ending options. To say I was unhappy upon learning of Mass Effect 3’s endings would be a huge understatement, but now that I’ve had lots of time to breathe I do think they make a certain amount of sense. For me, most of the heartbreak comes from the trilogy having ended and not getting any concrete information on what happens to Shepard or her crew. I’m planning on creating a post dedicated to my thoughts on the Mass Effect 3 endings, so I won’t lengthen this one by rambling about it here. I also plan on replaying the trilogy, this time documenting Mass Effect 2 and 3 for the blog. The main point here is that I haven’t forgotten Mass Effect, quite the opposite! While the release date of Mass Effect 4 – or whatever the upcoming newest installment to the Mass Effect series will be called – is uncertain and probably a couple of years away, I will be sure to keep myself busy by posting about the trilogy.