Mass Effect musings.
As Mass Effect: Andromeda draws ever nearer I find myself getting more and more excited. It’s taken some serious willpower to avoid the hands-on reviews some of the gaming sites have been granted access to, trailer breakdowns, interviews, behind-the-scenes peeks, and so on. You’d think that someone as excited as I am for a new Mass Effect game would be devouring every bit of information he could find. On the contrary, I like to know as little as possible going in to a new game, or experiencing any kind of story I’m excited about. I like being surprised. It adds to the thrill, and having few expectations means more to discover.
So instead of hunting for news and previews, I’ve been musing about what made me fall in love with the original Mass Effect trilogy. I’ve spoken about my love of Mass Effect in past blog posts, so I won’t gush again about how much I loved the stories or even the (fixed) ending of the trilogy. Instead, these are some of the smaller moments, elements of the setting, or character quirks that made me feel like I was immersed in a living galaxy.
The music of Mass Effect was so distinct and wonderful. From the soothing ambience of the galactic map, to the frantic excitement of the battlefield, to the slow sadness of the trilogy’s finale, Mass Effect’s music is as much a part of the setting as the planets and its people.
Speaking of sound, there was no more satisfying sound to me than triggering a biotic explosion. Those detonations were mind-blowing (pun intended) and I hope Andromeda’s biotic explosions are just as good. Honestly, they could keep the same sound and I’d be thrilled.
The Quarians are my people and you can bet your ass I worked hard to broker peace between them and the Geth. It was, for me, the most heart-stopping moment in the trilogy and the most satisfying.
I still get misty-eyed thinking about Mordin Solus. (And if you chose any other option besides the one that made me cry, I don’t think we can be friends.)
I loved Samara. There was just something enchanting about her. The combination of the actress who voiced her and the woman they modeled her after resulted in a bewitching character I wasn’t prepared for. That she chose duty over desire, thus rejecting you, made for a strangely satisfying character moment. And you can bet your ass I worked hard to keep her alive despite numerous chances to let her die in the story.
I adored the Paragon/Renegade meter. Seeing it slowly fill up until it was wholly blue made me feel like I was actively progressing as a noble space knight. I never let it go red… unless I was stabbing Kai Leng.
Whatever the critics may end up saying about Mass Effect: Andromeda, I’m going to eagerly devour it and judge for myself. I know it’s not going to be Mass Effect 4, so I’m prepared to embrace a new cast of characters and leave my memories of the old crew behind me. But even though Tali and Garrus won’t be joining me this time (I always took them along with my biotic Shepard) I’m ready to explore a new horizon and see what lies among a new series of stars.