TWELVE YEARS ALREADY!
Sometimes, you don’t need a proper introduction; sometimes, there’s something that is close to a legend, something that marked a whole generation of videogame players that went looking for a good story, specially a space opera. Indeed, I know someone expects a Star Wars game to be great, but we are fortunate to have received a game that surpasses it and even created a whole new rich universe for us to explore. Mass Effect, those who had the opportunity to play it are not going to let me lie here; the epic journey of the Commander Shepard, our protagonist, is full of emotions. Happiness, sadness, excitement to know what’s beyond Earth, and a lot more were created magnificently in this game.
I remember playing the first Mass Effect. At first, I wanted to let it go because its controls were kinda clunky. The character movement was weird and the only reason I knew I was damaging the enemies was because their health bar was decreasing. Did it matter? Of course not! Once you’re in the story, nothing else matters. You have the option to create your own commander Shepard, male or female; you usually start with the default character (the guy on the Mass Effect cover), and you immediately start your mission: Recover a beacon in the human colony of Eden Prime. Your first enemies are the geth, the aggressive AI that is invading that place. At first, you’re going to believe this is your average story of the soldiers that need to face against these AI forces and look for their source. You’re right the first few minutes of the game. Then, everything gets complicated when you discover, almost at the very beginning, a traitor in the alliance: Saren, a Turian with the rank of a Specter, an elite soldier that reports directly AND ONLY to the Citadel Council. Just imagine the trouble that Shepard need to walk into to give the Council proof that one of the best soldiers of the alliance is now working for someone–or something–else.
Saren is controlling the Geth somehow, and the work of our character is to fight them as he/she tries to uncover the antagonist’s crimes. Though it’s worth mentioning that this happens early in the story, and you get the Specter rank afterwards; the main quest after that is to catch him, dead or alive, and make the traitor answer for his crimes. This is where everything starts to get complicated. Obviously he won’t just stand there waiting for you to fight. You investigate other planets and different solar systems across the galaxy, and if you’d thought catching Saren was the only issue among the stars, let me tell you how wrong you are. Yes, the plot starts with this antagonist doing the thing he does; but there’s no clear purpose until the very “last” encounter against him.
The journey through the game won’t be easy, though, you must do some “bureaucracy” (quests) before getting the Specter rank, and after that, you’ll meet a lot of characters, good and bad, that are there to accompany you or try to stop you. Along the way, you’re going to discover a lot of planets, alien races, and history. Your codex has a lot of information, and everything you do, the dialogues you have, the data pads you read, and any new lore discovery will be added to it. The game is lore-rich. And so interesting that even pausing the game to read its codex is an entertaining break from the conflict.
Let’s remember that this is just the first game of an EPIC space opera trilogy. A space opera that, in my opinion, surpasses any other that’s been in other games or movies. The conclusion of the first game makes clear that everything that happened was just the beginning of something way bigger than a war. It’d be the beginning of the commander Shepard’s journey along with his—or her—crew to see what’s really out there, waiting in the shadows of a vast galaxy.
See you all next year to talk a little bit more about Mass Effect, and its second entry in the series
Have you played Mass Effect? Did you love it as I did? Let me know!
There’s no way for me to describe how I felt the first time I played the game. The only thing I remember is that my passion for videogames returned thanks to Mass Effect. Adulthood can be tough and sometimes you just lose the feelings for your childhood or teenage hobbies. But Mass Effect, with its epic story and characters, made me feel as a child following a journey through space.
Thank you for reading me.
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