Mass Effect Mania 2016

The Original Mass Effect Trilogy

As I’ve mentioned before, the original Mass Effect trilogy is one of my favorite series of all time. If you’ve never played Mass Effect before, here’s the run down. First released in November 2007, the series begins in the year 2183, shortly after humans discovered interstellar travel, allowing them to make first contact with alien lifeforms. You play as protagonist Shepard, a special forces operative for Systems Alliance (the title for Earth and it’s interstellar colonies).

Mass Effect Commander Shepard

Commander Shepard is fully customizeable and you can choose to play as a male or female.

When I first began Mass Effect 1, I honestly didn’t think I’d make it through the first fifteen minutes of gameplay. The combat mechanics were clunky and aiming was pitiful (it didn’t help that I’m not that great at third-person shooters as it is). I stuck it out though, and I’m so glad that I did. The trilogy expertly spins the tale of Commander Shepard and their crew, who, time after time, and against all odds, save the galaxy from an ancient race bent on total annihilation.

Mass Effect 3 Reapers

Reapers attack Earth in Mass Effect 3

The story, which spans across all three games, is a classic tale of bravery, friendship, love, and resiliency. Along the way, you meet an amazing and diverse set of characters whom you get to know intimately. Your crew, made up of humans and aliens alike, becomes your family. You delve into their lives and learn about who they are and where they come from. They get to know one another too. They interact. And some of their stories even intersect with one another. This is one of my favorite aspects of Mass Effect. Not only does the relationship building strengthens the main story arc, as the player, you feel a kinship among your crewmates. I don’t want to make it sound like it’s all lovey-dovey, because it’s not. But no matter what happens, no matter what you face, you have your crew to fall back on. It’s us against the world.

Let’s talk about Mordin Solus for a minute, shall we? But before we get started with everyone’s favorite scientist Salarian, please note that there will be spoilers.

Mordin was one of my favorite characters. How could he not be? I loved him from the moment I met him on Omega. Not only did I think it was honorable that he stuck around to heal and cure plague victims, but I could relate to him in a way. The way he talked — his mind worked so quickly that when he spoke, it was quick and choppy. Gotta get it out before the mind moves on. Hashtag relateable. What really solidified my love for him was his rendition of Scientist Salarian. Too precious. And then I learned more about him — his relationship to the genophage; his complex feelings related to what he’d done. And his willingness to sacrifice himself to undo his mistake… I mourned him for days, crying whenever I thought about him.

Mass Effect Mordin Solus

I’m sorry, I know that was important, but you performed Gilbert and Sullivan?”

But that’s what I mean when I say that the writers really allowed players to really get to know each multi-faceted character. Each of them had internal struggles. Each of them trusted you enough to help them, and in return, they provided you with undying companionship and loyalty. In my opinion, Mass Effect achieved this better than any other game that I’ve ever played. From my romance with Garrus, to my sisterhood with Liara, each character — each relationship is unforgettable.

Mass Effect 2 Garrus Vakarian

“Codename: Archangel. All around turian bad boy and dispenser of justice in an unjust galaxy. Also I kill Reapers on the side. And you are?”

BioWare certainly knows how to tell an intriguing story. After those first fifteen minutes of uncertainty, I was hooked. The story itself is intricate, leading players in one direction, only to twist it, revealing one shocking truth after another. From the very start of the game to the finish, there was not a dull moment. You are constantly being faced with difficult decisions, which will affect not only you and your friends’ survival — but the survival of the galaxy. I became completely immersed in the world of Mass Effect, cherishing each moment.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

On November 7th, or as Mass Effect fans know it, N7 Day, developer, BioWare, released a ton of new content for their upcoming Mass Effect game, Andromeda. And I am so hyped! While the story of Shepard and the crew of the SSV Normandy has come to an end, a brand new story arises. The game centers around the Andromeda Initiative, a multi-species mission to colonize the Andromeda galaxy. You play as one of two twin siblings: Sarah or Scott Ryder. Their father, Alec Ryder, voiced by Clancy Brown (best known for his role as Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants and Lex Luthor in the Justice League animated series) is the Pathfinder, an N7 and spearhead for humanity’s search for  a new home. And, it would seem, that the title will be passed down to you.

New Mass Effect: Andromeda Official Cinematic Reveal Trailer Released on N7 Day

It’s a bittersweet moment as Shepard passes the Mass Effect torch onto Ryder twins, but I’m so looking forward to seeing where this new story takes us. All new worlds, characters, and conflict await us in the Andromeda galaxy, and I can’t wait to explore it.

Jane Shepard and Sara Ryder Mass Effect

“This is Commander Shepard signing off” by tumblr artist mynoodlesdoodles

Brand New Mass Effect: Andromeda Screenshots
  • Mass Effect Andromeda Screenshot

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