The Mass Effect Trilogy Is On Sale Right Now And Here’s Why You Should Play It
I should go (to Amazon right now).
The entire Mass Effect trilogy is on sale
for PC on Amazon on the PlayStation store right now for just $4.80, and that makes Amazon our favorite shop on the Citadel. If you’ve never played the game before, you absolutely have to take advantage of this deal and get ready for the best 100 hours of your life. If you don’t believe me, allow me to share my ME story with you to try to convince you to do the thing right now.
I’ve never been big on shooters – I’m more of a “chop people up at close range with a warhammer” kind of girl. But I love BioWare’s other titles, like Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age, something fierce, and people I respect have always told me that Mass Effect is a great game (plus, space!), so I decided to take a chance and bought the trilogy.
I quit after the first twenty minutes.
There was too much shooting; I was horrible at it; I didn’t understand what was going on or where I was or who these people were and wouldn’t it just be easier to go back and replay Dragon Age: Origins? I did have Alistair to re-romance as a human, after all.
But six months later the FOMO hit me hard, and I decided to give Mass Effect another (actual) go – and I’m so, so glad I did, because it’s basically changed my life. Which means my advice to you is, even if shooters aren’t usually your thing, give this game a real chance – because once you get sucked into the story, you’ll never be able to escape. Ever.
Here’s the run-down: humans discovered a thing out near Pluto called a Mass Effect relay, which is connected to other relays all across the galaxy and allows us to jump from one to the next, enabling us to travel huge distances in zero time. This led us to discover all sorts of other races – and threw us into some intense intergalactic wars and politics. You play as Commander Shepard, a bad-ass lady (because you’re obviously going to play as the far-superior FemShep) in Earth’s space army, the Systems Alliance Navy, who, largely by accident, gets dragged into the middle of a plot by evil alien machines to annihilate all life in the galaxy. Which would ultimately be a pretty bad time.
It’s a third-person shooter, which means you’re not likely to get as motion sick as you would with an FPS, and you can completely customize your character’s look and fighting style, which is awesome (I usually play as a Vanguard, which is a mix between shooting things in the face and “biotics” – magic, basically). There are a ton of familiar and super-talented voice actors throughout the trilogy, including Tricia Helfer, Yvonne Strahovski, Martin Sheen, Troy Baker, Freddie Prinze Jr., Claudia Black, and Seth Green. The first game is eight years old, and it shows – but you absolutely can’t skip it, no matter what anyone else tells you. They’re wrong. Start with the first game.
Because what makes these games truly great, something that people become utterly obsessed with, is the story. I suppose it won’t surprise you to hear that the writing in a BioWare game is top notch, but I’ve never played a game as immersive as Mass Effect. The world building is intense – I highly recommend reading the codex entries as you go, because there’s a lot going on – and each different alien race has its own distinct problems to deal with while you’re trying to get them to acknowledge the imminent destruction of the galaxy. It’s like a high sci-fi novel somehow got lost and made its way into the back end of a super fun shooter.
You’re able to make dialogue choices that can take your Shep anywhere from sarcastic-but-making-time-for-your-shit to sarcastic-and-would-rather-shoot-you-than-deal-with-your-shit. Jen Hale’s voice acting makes FemShep one of the most memorable female protagonists in gaming history – I can never tell if I want to be Shep, be in love with Shep, or care for her like she’s my child. There’s a lot of conflicting emotions. But how often do you get to play a lady in a game – a lady that can be queer and a WOC if you so choose! – that inspires so many feels? The trilogy includes a ton of other kick-butt female characters too, including engineers, warriors, thieves, robots, and monks, and none of them take crap from anyone.
Also you’re probably going to fall distressingly in love with either a sexy blue alien lady or a dinosaur bird alien man and there’s really nothing you can do about it. I’m sorry. Luckily, there’s tons of incredible fan-art and well-written fanfic online to help mitigate your emotions. Plus, if you play as FemShep and choose not to romance the sexy blue alien lady, the two of you have one of the best female friendships I’ve seen represented on any screen in a long time, and that’s worth playing the game for in and of itself.
Of course, ME isn’t without its flaws in representation, and many people hate the ending of the third game – though playing it years after its original release and downloading the free Extended Cut, I have to say I didn’t have any problems with it. But for someone who often struggles to find games that capture my interest all the way through to completing them, I’m almost done my second full play-through of the trilogy in less than twelve months and I’ve already gotten it tattooed on my body forever. So, you know. It can have that effect (so to speak).
The trilogy is just $10 from Amazon for PC (and just $10 per game for Xbox 360 and PS3) and I totally implore you to take advantage of this deal and immerse yourself into a world where ladies get to save the day. And also are the leader of a rag-tag band of misfit aliens who come together to form a spaceship-based family. Just make sure you bring kleenex for your tears.
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