A Love Letter to the Original Mass Effect trilogy.
There will definitely be spoilers. Don’t read if you haven’t played the original Mass Effect trilogy.
Somehow, the Mass Effect trilogy got left off my favorite games list, which is odd. I consider those three games to be my favorite gaming trilogy. It might not be fair, but I treat them as one giant game and I wouldn’t know where to rank each one if I had to. They all have interesting aspects and different strengths.
I think I wanted to have the trilogy on my favorite games list, but I think I’ll leave it off for now because I didn’t remember it at the time of thinking about my favorite games. I give the trilogy this article as a way to pay homage to my appreciation for Shepard’s series.
My timing might be off, but I think Mass Effect grabs you and forces you to pay attention within about 1 hour. The moment you become human’s first Spectre is incredible. You’re telling me I can become a badass military spaceman and be the first of my race to have the honor of Spectre? Sign me up.
I think if I had to pick one word to describe Mass Effect it would be epic. I think that word gets thrown around too often but it’s really fitting for the scale and story of Mass Effect. The events that happen to Shepherd and push him forward are on a grand scale.
It’s hard for me to separate the story from the characters in those games because each smaller narrative arc pertaining to one individual made me care about the world as a whole much more. Garrus is my boy. Ride or die. And because I wanted a longer romance I tended to focus on Liara.
I’ve heard really great things about Jack’s romance over the years but I never went back to really get into her backstory that much. Which is sad because she’s a really awesome character from introduction into the Mass Effect Universe.
I was never really sold on Ashley as an interesting character or romance option. I think between her and Alenko, they are vying for worst squad member in that first game.
Wrex is a great name and a hilarious individual. I think imagining him, Garrus, and Shepard bashing some skulls makes for an amazing image. Over time I wanted to get all the achievements on Xbox 360, which I never accomplished, however, I could never bring myself to using anyone but Garrus and Wrex as squad members.
I mean why would I? Although the universe of Mass Effect was serious and relies upon dramatic overtones, that squad created an air of levity that couldn’t be matched.
What do I say about Tali? I think she had an amazing story throughout the Mass Effect series but I felt off put by never seeing her face. Sure, she would die if we ever got to see her without her mask but that mask kept her from being in my squad. She was awesome, just not awesome enough.
Mass Effect 2 easily had the best cast. With the addition of Grunt, Legion Jack, Mordin, and Thane that crew was destined for greatness.
I think some of the squad options in Mass Effect 2, namely Jacob, Miranda, Samara (or Morinth) Kasumi, and Zaeed, really didn’t add much to the game, but they were interesting characters nonetheless. Kasumi especially.
I have to say I switched my squad quite a bit in the second game. Not you Garrus, friends forever. I didn’t have Wrex anymore and Grunt didn’t seem that great compared to him, so Legion got that second spot on the squad.
I think having a geth revere Shepard in the way that Legion did Shepard really made for an awesome addition to the team.
I definitely used a better variety of squad members in Mass Effect 2, that’s for sure. I think Thane, Mordin, Grunt, and Jack all saw some squad time. I mean really they all deserved because each one of them had an interesting and varied backstory.
Combat really kicked it up a notch in ME2 and made the actual game much more fun to play. Granted the gameplay wasn’t the be all end all of this series, it definitely helps having fun actually playing while you’re enjoying the engrossing story.
We definitely saw a dip in interesting squad members in the final installment of that series. Having EDI playable was really fun. Getting Tali, Garrus, and Liara all back into the main squad really felt like the stories were more intertwined and involved than ME2.
I didn’t much care for Javik, James, or Ashley/Kaidan. I just don’t think the humans are the most interesting part of ME. I loved the introduction of varied races and species that enabled a different feel for the game.
I think in ME3 my squad consisted of Garrus and Tali for the most part. I never really cared for biotics in the game so I tended to focus on tech and weapons, which is why I used Tali and Garrus.
However, the gameplay in ME3 was vastly better than the other two. I really enjoyed the multiplayer and the variety of classes. Sure, you could play those classes in the main game, but the multiplayer chaos felt really good.
I loved having different classes in one game and trying to survive for as long as possible.
According to the N7 HQ, the website designed to track ME3 stats, I played multiplayer for 18 hours and spent most of my time with a vanguard as an N7 slayer. I don’t think multiplayer in that game had any business being as good as it was, it was really a blast.
The time spent playing isn’t really that interesting because it isn’t that much, but the fact that I played the vanguard more than anything else surprises me. I spent most of my time playing as a soldier in the main series so to see my self split from my own norm makes me question going back and replaying the series as a vanguard.
From the characters to the story to the gameplay, I think the first Mass Effect trilogy really is something special. I remember my time with Garrus and Wrex as we wrecked our way across the galaxy fondly. But, I doubt I’ll go back anytime soon, but that’s based on time, not on my appreciation for the game.
Thanks for reading,
As always, see ya later, love you, bye.