The Mass Effect Series

Hello everyone, I have returned from the land of sickness and inability to write in full sentences. Today’s topic is the Mass Effect video game series. Mostly the second and third games since those are the games that I actually own (The first game never came out for the Playstation 3) In Mass Effect you have the choice of being a male or female character,so for the purposes of this review I will be referring to Shepard as a woman(because that’s the gender I always play as and Fem!Shep doesn’t get enough recognition). As a warning there may be possible SPOILERS.

Default Female Shepard as of Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect is a science-fiction role-playing shooter set in the 2100’s.  It has been 35 years since humans have made contact with the aliens of the rest of the universe. You play the role of Commander Shepard and the plot originally begins with you hunting down a bad guy named Saren. Turns out that Saren is just a pawn for a group of aliens called the Reapers(a highly advanced machine race of synthetic/organic starships). From there Shepard’s story is about saving the universe from the Reapers and Saren.

Mass Effect 2 picks up a short time after Mass Effect with the universe being much more at ease. Well it is until the Collectors (a group of aliens that work for the Reapers) blow up Shepard’s ship and she dies. Shepard is brought back to life and then has to defeat the Collectors and save human colonies from certain doom.

Mass Effect 3 takes place a few months after the events of Mass Effect 2. The story begins on Earth but instantly leads to Mars and then beyond.  The Reapers have attacked earth and it’s up to Shepard and her team to unite all of the alien species to become one fighting force and destroy the Reapers once and for all.

Mass Effect is an award-winning series, winning best game for the past few years. Which is understandable since the controls for the game only continue to get better as does the story line; becoming grander with each game. Mass Effect is also known for it’s large cast of characters.  Mass effect’s characters have a strange way of becoming friends and people that the player will actually start to care about(I was crying as I watched one of my favorite characters die).With likable characters Bioware (Mass effect’s production company) also crafted well told romances that the player can pursue if she/he chooses to.

Within the Mass Effect series there are about 15 different romantic options(One of them cannot ever be fulfilled and one of them kills you instantly,so be careful I guess)

An Asari

For each gender there are certain romantic options specifically for male and female. Originally,Mass Effect was going to feature a gay and lesbian option for players but it was pulled from the final version of the game (The voice work for the scenes remain though,so if you’re good with computers you could still play with those relationships). But the lesbians and men who love girl on girl still get a treat. They get the alien race called the Asari.

The Asari are an all female race, that can mate with any species or gender because of how their species has evolved.  An Asari character named Liara is romanceable  during The first game,when there is no same sex option for a person playing as male Shepard. This continues into the second game where their are more romantic options for each gender and yet another one for both Male and Female Shepard that is a human woman. Giving female Shepard another chance to have a same sex relationship but not having one for male Shepard.

Finally in Mass Effect 3, they introduced Cortez, A same sex option for men only. The developers also brought back the chance to have the original Mass Effect female only option to be an option for male Shepard. They also introduced a lesbian only character for female Shepard, which by Mass Effect 3’s release date wasn’t a special thing any more. I know for a fact that most people playing videogames are men. While women do play games (I mean i’m writing this article and i’m a woman after all) they are still the minority as are gay and lesbian players.  While it was great to see that there was a character that a woman could romance that was the same gender ,it warps into an annoying marketing ploy after you find out the other gay and lesbian options were removed before the final game.

Wow, that was a rant I wasn’t really expecting for me to write down but that’s what happens when this videogame series has taken over a good chunk of my life,about 60 or 70 hours of my life for each play through of a single Shepard through 2 games.  I love this game series, I love the setting, the plot,the game play, but most of all the characters. While I do have issue with how the Asari race is used from a marketing stand point I love most of the Asari characters that Shepard interacts with.

If you don’t fancy yourself a gamer I would still suggest trying the Mass Effect series. If you don’t like the combat the story and characters will suck you in. I promise you.

 

Mass Effect is available for PC and Xbox 360.Mass Effect 2 and 3 are available for PS3,Xbox 360 and PC

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