Graveyards of Outer Space

28 01 2010

I started playing Mass Effect 2 today. I didn’t actually mean to. I had only beaten Mass Effect 1 for the second time (but the first on the PC) a few hours before. Yet it was calling to me, as new games are wont to do. So I opened up the box and noticed the “Cerberus Network” login card, figured it was worth at least having access to whatever bonus DLC they had, and fired that up. What it sparked, along with the game itself, made me feel really good about owning this game even if I don’t get the outcome(s) I am aiming for on my playthrough. There are some spoilers, slight I’m sure but I don’t want to ruin anything so more after the jump. This should not be taken as a full review of the game as I feel I have really just started to get to the meat of the game.

Final warning. I really feel that this game needs to be experienced fresh so if you don’t want any part of it spoiled please do not read ahead.
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Mass Effect 2: Choice is Yours, Don’t Screw Up

22 01 2010

In less than a week I and many others will become proud owners of Mass Effect 2, the much-awaited sequel to Bioware’s sci-fi RPG epic. However unlike many others I probably won’t be playing it immediately. See I only recently had the chance to sit down and start playing the PC version of Mass Effect, since I got the sequel for the PC now that I have a computer capable of running it. Currently I’m nowhere near finishing and with all the stuff I have to do (TF2 map, searching for work, etc.) I doubt i’ll have it done by the time my copy of the game arrives in my hands. Nonetheless I will keep myself as spoiler-free as possible because I want to go in untainted by experience and truly experience Bioware’s sinister plan to make moral choice a big deal in games.

Just from what I’ve read, they’ve not only made is so that Shepard could permanently die and thus be out of the third game, but also many if not all of your party members are equally as likely to be killed. All based on choices you make. Bioware is playing for keeps, and I think for those who get attached to characters, they’ll find themselves weighing the issues at critical junctures and hope they’ve made the right choice. Or end up playing the game over and over just in the hopes that they don’t screw it up this time. Or maybe even just accept the fate they wind up with, feeling regret but ultimately believing that they did make the sacrifices necessary. I’m just throwing things out here, I know many people don’t get emotionally invested in games but some do and it helps enforce the “games are art” argument.

It’s also a big risk being taken by Bioware, with the possibility of killing off the protagonist leading to vastly different game experiences in the third entry in the series. In fact they’d almost have to create two different games, one would think. However I feel they probably already have a plan, and I look forward to finding out what it is. For a game that I didn’t think was anything special when I started playing it, I’ve now found Mass Effect to be one of the hottest new IPs around, and I can’t wait to see what happens.