Opinon

Happy birthday Mass Effect

I know so many people are going to write about Mass Effect, but fuck it. So am I.

I was relatively late to the world of Mass Effect. Computer games had been part of my life for a long time, but dedicated player I was not. I remember getting a NES for Christmas but our games were relatively few. Same with the SNES. After that it was a long gap before buying a PS2 off a friend to play Guitar Hero. There were a few PC games but basically, between moving countries and university degrees, there wasn’t a lot of time and money to get into gaming. Mostly I invested in books, tuition and travel.

However, eventually I moved in with @Psythor and he came with curly hair and an X-box.

And that’s where my love of gaming came in, in my mid-twenties.

After playing a few games, I was searching for something that I could really get in to. Like books, I didn’t necessarily want something stand alone – but something I could get my teeth into. Something to fall in love with the characters and universe (and the inevitable heartbreak when it all ends). And that’s how I came to Mass Effect.

I don’t know if it was @Psythor who suggested it, or something in my memory that made me stop when I came across it. So I bought some used copies and away I went.

And so I experienced the three games in a rush, one after the other, playing through and getting a hang of the game mechanics and how actions mattered in future games. I even had to restart the third one because I could not live with losing Legion AND Tali at once. Omg Legion. *Has a moment*

But I don’t know if it was the fact that I played all three in such a short period of time, or just really getting into gaming – but either way Mass Effect made an immense impression on me. I haven’t quite experienced it since. Maybe I never will. ButI hope I will. I don’t want Mass Effect to be surpassed in my memory but I’d love to be able to grasp onto the characters and stories of another game, like the way I do with the very best sci-if novels. Maybe it is one of those kind of games that come along once in a lifetime – the perfect combination of story, characters and timing. Well, okay not perfect. But good enough. Flawed and wonderful in equal respect.

It’s the series that made me really get into gaming. Even though I had been playing them for over a decade, it’s the first time I felt like this was something that was for me.

It’s obviously not just me. No single piece of clothing has elicited multiple people to stop me in the street and go “MASS EFFECT!” Which was both startling and hilarious. And the fact that we are thinking about the anniversary of a video game, a decade after it was released says something about the story and legacy of that game. I hope those that can make games will be inspired by the love that still exists for Mass Effect. My perfect job would probably be helping, in any some way, make a video game like that.

Mass Effect, like a brilliant series of novels, has great characters, story telling, action and adventure. It’s a place, no matter the threat of reapers, that you’d want to be able to visit. And if you were lucky enough, or brave enough, to be a crew member of the Normandy.

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