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The last DLC for this series came out March of last year (though there are rumors Bioware announcing something for "Mass Effect 4" in this year's E3 and/or Pax Prime), but I love this series so much - flaws and all - I had to start a topic.  I'm hoping I'm not alone with the "Mass Effect" love.

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Oh boy, Mass Effect. Probably my favourite series of games.

 

The first Mass Effect was the game I got with my 360, and I absolutely loved it. Looking back at it, it definitely has some flaws. The story is the generic Bioware "save the world" plot, the gunplay was mediocre, the inventory management terrible and the Mako just sucked. The universe and the characters were great though. I just loved walking around and talking to people and reading the codex.

 

Mass Effect 2 was even better. Everything builds up to the final mission and it absolutely delivers. The gameplay was much better this time. One of the best examples of streamlining a game without dumbing it down too much.

 

I have mixed feeling about Mass Effect 3. On the one hand, it has all these amazing moments. It was one of the best experiences I've had playing a game. On the other hand, that ending. The entire trilogy completely selfdestructs in just fifteen minutes. One of the worst endings I've ever seen. I've replayed the game, but never past the point of no return at the end.

 

I don't really know what to think about ME4. I hope Bioware doesn't continue to mess up its games by rushing them for release.

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ME 1 is pretty flawed. 2 and 3 are actual shooters while 1 is considerably more of a dice-rolling game that happens to superficially look like a shooter, and its systems can be very clunky. But the endgame/climax of 1 is really quite spectacular.

For me the ending to 3, even in extended cut versions, was gruesomely unsatisfying.

"You can't win everything! You know, like how the quarian/geth conflict ended up!" Screw you, Bioware. You actually designed a couple of methods where players with high enough Paragon/Renegade points actually could force a win-win scenario there, so why did the game ending not let me do something similar?

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ME 1 is pretty flawed. 2 and 3 are actual shooters while 1 is considerably more of a dice-rolling game that happens to superficially look like a shooter, and its systems can be very clunky.

Yeah, 1's gameplay mechanics are not great; 2 and 3 were a pretty big step forward in terms of that. Also, graphically – at the start of 2, which I played right after finishing 1, I was shocked when the cutscene ended and it was regular gameplay but it still looked like a cutscene!

 

But: the overall storyline in 1 I think might have been the best of the trilogy (without having replayed any of them – should get to that eventually). 2's whole Seven Samurai thing was fun but sometimes felt kind of tropey, and the majority of 3 felt like a bunch of cool things strung together but without a really strong arc or cohesion to it. (Kind of like Uncharted 3, compared to 2; 2 was a masterpiece of pacing, where 3 was too heavy on the giant setpieces and so on.)

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The entire trilogy completely selfdestructs in just fifteen minutes. One of the worst endings I've ever seen. I've replayed the game, but never past the point of no return at the end.

 

I"m likely in the minority...

 

But I applaud the creators of ME for clearly having a vision for the series, and a defined endpoint and sticking to it. (Was it the ending I wanted? No. But it's one that seems entirely appropriate; sometimes there IS no win no matter what your "score"; the game highighted that with the Kaidan/Ashley death scene way back in ME1.)

 

Read the LONG essay "The Indoctrination Theory of Shepherd in Mass Effect".  The author really tok their time in alanyzing points of the entire trilogy (but focusing on the ME3) and explains how the whole last game is essentially one big mind-fuck.

Edited by ShadowDenizen

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The Indoctrination Theory is entertaining, but the way Bioware talks about it, I think it's at best a great fan theory that they never intended but just lucked into.

 

the game highighted that with the Kaidan/Ashley death scene way back in ME1

OK, but this theme is contradicted by the win-win geth-quarian resolution you can get in ME3...

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I loved my Mako. I will take all of the discarded, unloved Makos and make them my own. Like an army of metal turtles with cannons. Then we'll see. You'll all see.

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I have to say, I absolutely adore this series. I've had connections with games before (Final Fantasy VII, for example), but nothing that compared to the way Mass Effect draws you into its world.

 

Yeah, the first game had some mechanical flaws, and there was a bit too much to do, sometimes with too little direction. But it was an introduction point, your first look at this universe and the races and cultures within it. And it was pretty great. The Alliance and the Citadel and the different alien races all seemed fully formed, and with a degree of history behind them that most other gaming franchises have never managed. Bioware did a great job of setting this world up.

 

Mass Effect 2 was a huge improvement on all that, and started to really forge emotional connections to the characters in your group. If you played Shepherd as a nice guy/girl, as I did, then I think you get rewarded with seeing genuine friendships blossom between these characters. You see the likes of Miranda and Jack open up and change through that game, in what feels like an organic way (though is still only scripted responses). It's quite something. And I found myself wanting to play through it again once I realised that a couple of ship upgrades and loyalty mission failures cost the lives of some of my teammates, during that final mission.

 

Then there's Mass Effect 3. Honestly, I think a lot of people were determined to dislike it from the start, hurt that their favourite characters were sidelined. And it was a shame that Miranda, Jack and Thane were tertiary characters, after being significant parts of the second game, but choices had to be made somewhere. I love the third game, because it drew genuine emotional responses out of me. Going back to Final Fantasy VII, I remember my shock at the death of Aeris, and how I kept playing in the hopes I could bring her back. Well, Mass Effect 3 had a different impact. There weren't a lot of shocks, but there was a lot of emotion.

 

The stuff with Thane was touching, and there was something genuinely moving about seeing such a deadly assassin confronted with something he had no chance of beating. That scene with Garrus, at the top of the Citadel, was as good as any buddy movie bonding moment I've ever seen. The constant reaffirmation of brotherhood between him and my Shepherd was a warm thread, running through the game. All the stuff with the Quarians and Geth, and the different options you could choose, along with the emotional fallout of them (I've watched the youtube videos of what happens if you allow the Quarians to die, and it's horrible). The one that really gets me (and I was genuinely surprised at the strength of my reaction, because I never had much use for him in ME2) was Mordin. When he said "had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong" I genuinely got a lump in my throat. Then listening to him sing Gilbert & Sullivan as he did what he had to do. Being able to give Tali her homeworld back, and ending the Quarian/Geth war, seeing Admiral Raan and the Geth Juggernaut talk about where the Quarians would build their settlements was a moment you had to love.

 

That's what the third game did. It paid off on all the character development and growth and the storylines of the previous two games. Some of it hurt, and some of it felt great, but for me, it was a new standard for gaming that I'm waiting to see anyone else match (Bioware themselves might manage it, with Dragon Age 3). I don't care about the endings, or the controversy over them. It made sense to me that I couldn't really win, because the Reapers were just so immense a threat. It made sense that there would be a real bittersweet taste to any 'victory', and that my Shepherd would have to sacrifice himself and other things he held dear. Again, I'm more about the emotional journey than I am about gameplay mechanics or boss fights.

 

Through this whole series, you were given tough choices. You didn't have a clear, 'this is right, this is wrong' set of options. You had to make your choices based on your own feelings, and then you might learn later on whether you chose correctly or not. Did you leave Kaiden or Ashley? Did you save the Rachni Queen or kill her? Did you save the Council or choose to attack Sovereign? All the loyalty missions of ME2.

 

Speaking of the gameplay, though, by the third game, this was a damned fine third person shooter, with a well honed team structure, and a nice variety of abilities and weapons, to satisfy any style. And there were enemies to fight that could be damned scary. The first time (and every time since) I heard a Banshee's scream, I panicked. Every time a Phantom shows up, I drop everything to kill the bastard before it can get me. But I've never liked the vehicle sections. At all. I don't like the vehicle sections of most games, because they're annoying 'go from point A to point B... but not that way, that's a dead end. And so's that way.' sequences.

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Finally been looking around the Game thread, and just wanted to pop in and say that the Mass Effect trilogy is one of my favorites.  Not perfect; the ending was a letdown, but I did think the outrage was a bit much; but overall, I really loved the setting, the characters, the missions, and the story.  If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the second one, but I think all three had their strengths and weaknesses.

 

The choices the series had were great and suspenseful: the "Save Ashley or Kaiden" choice is still one of my favorites.  I remember actually spending a few minutes just sitting there, and thinking about it.  And, then being shocked when whoever you didn't choose actually died, and there wasn't some kind of last-minute cut scene to save the other.  No matter what, it happened, and it sucked.  Although, to be honest, in subsequent play-throughs, it was easier: Ashley all the way.  She was a flawed character (her bigoted views at aliens in the beginning), but I found her more interesting, while Kaiden was overall nice, but I found him kind of dull compared to everyone else.

 

Not sure who my favorite characters are: off the top of my head, Thane, Garrius, Miranda, Ashley, and Joker would all certainly be in contention.  Mordin too (and man, his fate at the end killed me.)

 

Oh, and the voice cast was spot-on.  If they ever do a film as rumored (which, I'm kind of worried about, since I don't think they can do it justice), they better at the very least get Seth Green and Keith David, because I can't see anyone but those two playing Joker and Anderson.  Same with Yvonne Strahovski as Miranda; especially since she was both the voice and model for that character.

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The choices the series had were great and suspenseful: the "Save Ashley or Kaiden" choice is still one of my favorites.  I remember actually spending a few minutes just sitting there, and thinking about it.  And, then being shocked when whoever you didn't choose actually died, and there wasn't some kind of last-minute cut scene to save the other.  No matter what, it happened, and it sucked.  Although, to be honest, in subsequent play-throughs, it was easier: Ashley all the way.  She was a flawed character (her bigoted views at aliens in the beginning), but I found her more interesting, while Kaiden was overall nice, but I found him kind of dull compared to everyone else.

 

That was never any sort of question for me. Ashley, every time. Kaiden was completely boring, and the only thing about him that was amusing was the direction of the scenes where you spoke to him on the ship. Clearly, they were designed with the romance subplot between him and femShep in mind, because the low camera angle and the way my maleShep sauntered up to him, almost leaning in, was hilarious.

 

Anyway, I did like Ashley, despite her xenophobia and her bad temper. And I think the romance subplot between her and Shepherd was actually more emotionally satisfying than the 'canon' Shepherd/Liara one. I also think Ashley really puts in a strong showing in the third game, which makes that choice worth it.

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I need the previous gen MEs to show up on the current gen consoles.  I want to unload my Xbox 360 and would love to see them on PS4 before ME4 comes out.

 

I played the first two games quickly before ME3 came out and would have loved to make my decisions organically instead of looking online and seeing what everybody else did.  My fault, but still.  Maybe I can right some wrongs with Dragon Age:  Inquisition.

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First off let me just say that this is one of my favorite games of all time. I was totally immersed in my Shep and all that characters that came along.  I had a few days off of work because of Hurricane Sandy when ME3 was out and just played it out.  The part I remember most was when I had to make the choice for Tali's homeworld.  She didn't take my decision well. I'm still not over it.  In my replays I've been tempted to make the same decision because I was so mad at her from the first time around.  She was one of my favorites.  Been through it all from the beginning with me.  WE ALL HAVE TO MAKE SACRIFICES TALI! I was so mad and heartbroken that I literally paused the game, paced around my apartment, eventually going outside.  I took this game very personally.  I'm still mad at her.

 

I think the biggest "fault" of the game for me was how some of the characters, mainly Wrex, I loved in the beginning got sidelined in the second and third games.  Wrex was my go to man in the first game. He was my bro (first play through I was FemShep).  I did everything I could to save his race and he's just like "Yo, so I'll call you later." and never answers my texts.  I get that he had to restart his society and whatever but he wouldn't even have the opportunity if it wasn't for me!  I can't totally hate it because I absolutely loved the friendship that developed with Shep and Garrus.  I barely took Garrus along with me on missions in ME1 because he would always "die" and I'd always have to revive him.  Somehow he became someone I took me with always.

 

The Kaiden/Ashley choice was my first "Oh shit this is serious" moment.  It was so difficult to make that choice.  I got over it in ME2 because they're kind of a douche to Shep because of the whole Cerberus thing.  I didn't take that well.  I get invested in the characters I play in games but rarely do I take it so personal like I did in this series.  So after that I was kind of like "Well screw you then."  I also didn't want to be in a relationship with either of them.  I knew there were other games and I didn't want to tie Shep down with either a xenophobe or generic boring dude.  I'm glad I did because then I met Thane for my FemShep (first playthrough). And Jack for MaleShep.

 

 

That's what the third game did. It paid off on all the character development and growth and the storylines of the previous two games. Some of it hurt, and some of it felt great, but for me, it was a new standard for gaming that I'm waiting to see anyone else match (Bioware themselves might manage it, with Dragon Age 3). I don't care about the endings, or the controversy over them. It made sense to me that I couldn't really win, because the Reapers were just so immense a threat. It made sense that there would be a real bittersweet taste to any 'victory', and that my Shepherd would have to sacrifice himself and other things he held dear. Again, I'm more about the emotional journey than I am about gameplay mechanics or boss fights.

This.  I didn't have the problem with ME3 that a lot of people had.  I came into Mass Effect late so I heard the rumblings about ME3 when I got into it.  I didn't look at spoilers but saw that there was a lot of hate and it had me worried.  Honestly, by the time I got to the end of the game, and this might sound weird, but I felt like my Shep was weary.  It would've been nice to have a happy ending, and in a lot of ways I think I did, but it just felt right to me that it ended the way it did.  I chose the synthesis ending.  I have no problems with making that choice for everyone to force them to get along.  I was sad that the game ended because I loved the characters so much but ME3 was so freaking emotional for me, along the lines of Telltale The Walking Dead, but I was kind of happy for my Shep that it was over. It was like she can rest now.  She did what she set out to do and now it was time for it to be over.  No one can expect her to do more because she made the sacrifice and it was over. It was just so much to go through and in the end I got to save almost everyone. Even if they are a little altered without their consent.  The fact that I felt the way I did about the characters and I did take everything so personally, to me felt like this was a great game series.  I was invested to the very end so it was money well spent.  And I still love to go back and play it again.  My friend that was playing it at the same time I was, we still talk about it.  We're always saying that we wish we could play this game for the first time again.

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I have found my people!

 

I'm a casual gamer and MMORPG player who discovered "Mass Effect" by accident this past summer thanks to a huge deal on Amazon. I was browsing or something, saw an editor's post saying "the greatest gaming trilogy ever," and figured, "Hey, it's ten bucks. I'll give it a shot."

 

And holy crap. This then became the Summer of Mass Effect. I played the trilogy three full times this summer, bought all the DLCs, and it was one of the richest and most fun game experiences of my whole life. And I will most definitely play again too.

 

But what a great game. Incredible story and writing, great Scifi atmosphere. And the production is superb on all three (even if it's fairly apparent they ran out of money on 3). Even the voice actors are just fantastic casting -- Martin Sheen, Claudia Black, Seth Green, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Tricia Helfer, Yvonne Strahovski, etc. And as a Femshep, I have to say how amazing I thought Jennifer Hale was, as well.

 

I thoroughly loved ME1 even though the relationship building was still kind of sketchy (I couldn't stand needy Kaidan or clingy Liara honestly), and the combat and movement were still pretty rough. I didn't mind the Mako, but the sameness of the away missions did get old.

 

But then there was ME2, and it was like I'd seen the face of gaming God. Seriously. Best game I've ever played. All that growth, story movement, character development, emotion, friendship, romance... all leading up to that suicide mission no one would ever even salute them for? Man.

 

Yeah, the first game had some mechanical flaws, and there was a bit too much to do, sometimes with too little direction. But it was an introduction point, your first look at this universe and the races and cultures within it. And it was pretty great. The Alliance and the Citadel and the different alien races all seemed fully formed, and with a degree of history behind them that most other gaming franchises have never managed. Bioware did a great job of setting this world up.

 

Mass Effect 2 was a huge improvement on all that, and started to really forge emotional connections to the characters in your group. If you played Shepherd as a nice guy/girl, as I did, then I think you get rewarded with seeing genuine friendships blossom between these characters. You see the likes of Miranda and Jack open up and change through that game, in what feels like an organic way (though is still only scripted responses). It's quite something. And I found myself wanting to play through it again once I realised that a couple of ship upgrades and loyalty mission failures cost the lives of some of my teammates, during that final mission.

 

Me too. The rich choice possibilities, the great friends and villains, the infinite ways you can replay the game and enjoy it... The characters were why ME2 will always be my favorite -- the relationships, the loyalty missions, the conversations, the friendships and romances! For me it will always be the "Empire Strikes Back" of the trilogy -- the perfect cast of characters.  loved building those relationships of aliens and humans, a fragile team that can be your friends, frenemies, lovers, or betrayors. And the fact that you can lose or save them depending on how you prepare for that final mission (and strategize your team).
 

Then there's Mass Effect 3. Honestly, I think a lot of people were determined to dislike it from the start, hurt that their favourite characters were sidelined. And it was a shame that Miranda, Jack and Thane were tertiary characters, after being significant parts of the second game, but choices had to be made somewhere. I love the third game, because it drew genuine emotional responses out of me. Going back to Final Fantasy VII, I remember my shock at the death of Aeris, and how I kept playing in the hopes I could bring her back. Well, Mass Effect 3 had a different impact. There weren't a lot of shocks, but there was a lot of emotion.

The stuff with Thane was touching, and there was something genuinely moving about seeing such a deadly assassin confronted with something he had no chance of beating. That scene with Garrus, at the top of the Citadel, was as good as any buddy movie bonding moment I've ever seen. The constant reaffirmation of brotherhood between him and my Shepherd was a warm thread, running through the game. All the stuff with the Quarians and Geth, and the different options you could choose, along with the emotional fallout of them (I've watched the youtube videos of what happens if you allow the Quarians to die, and it's horrible). The one that really gets me (and I was genuinely surprised at the strength of my reaction, because I never had much use for him in ME2) was Mordin. When he said "had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong" I genuinely got a lump in my throat. Then listening to him sing Gilbert & Sullivan as he did what he had to do.

 

Great moments! (The Banshees freaked me out too...) But although I enjoyed 3 (and really loved playing it), I thought it was incredibly uneven, often badly written, and I hated everything 3 did with Thane. I do agree with you that there was a lot of good there, but I was still disappointed. I love it but it's by far the weakest of ME for me.

My problem was that 3 completely retcons and changes both Cerberus and the Illusive Man and turns them from grayscale to pitch-black. And worst of all, the logic of the entire Reaper motivation when explained makes absolutely no sense at all and basically amounts to

robots repeatedly wiping out all organics so that organics won't create robots that will wipe out all organics

... WTF?

 

And while I liked the emotional moments you mention, I also felt that too many were inconsistent writingwise -- I didn't mind Thane's potential outcome in 3 so much as the fact that the writers utterly seemed to forget (except for a hastily added emote) that he was ever a love interest at all (and it wasn't much better for Jacob or Jack romancers -- only Miranda's and Kaidan/Ashley's seemed to have been thought out), for instance.

This same unevenness can also be found in Mordin's writing (his POV is literally the opposite of what it was in the previous game, as touching as his scenes are), Legion suddenly lies constantly, but so do the boneheaded Quarians (much as I love Tali). And that's not even getting into the game's about-face on the Genophage, where it's evident what the game wants us to think and do, even if those things don't really actually make sense.

EDI's evolution also bothered me in 3 (especially the insulting sexbot design), but it worked better than it should for me simply because she is surprisingly well-written and because Tricia Helfer is a wonderful actress who imbues her with so much warmth.

 

As far as Thane, my main problem with ME3 was the way it kept throwing creepy Kaidan at me, with the character acting like a dumped ex-boyfriend (my Femshep had never romanced his whiny ass) while ignoring her actual LI Thane. (Like when she went to the hospital to visit Thane but the game is so convinced you're there for Kaidan (or Ashley) they are the only references and NO ONE ever mentions poor Thane at all (and even the ME2 crewmates, never ever bring him up once).

So basically, in 3, my character was forced over and over again to say and do things without a remotely warm/personal response or option toward Thane as her LI -- for instance, in the hospital, or when Kai Leng shows up (the worst), or most notably even in the final scene with him, where there's one slight line change but nothing more and no romantic closure. At least the Citadel DLC fixed this to a degree (it was very moving, if exasperating and heartbreaking).

 

So I only played ME3 once without mods. After that, I found it much more satisfying to play through with the ThaneMOD and MEHEM mods, and the game made far more sense and had better and more consistent character progression.

 

The Kaiden/Ashley choice was my first "Oh shit this is serious" moment.  It was so difficult to make that choice.  I got over it in ME2 because they're kind of a douche to Shep because of the whole Cerberus thing.  I didn't take that well.  I get invested in the characters I play in games but rarely do I take it so personal like I did in this series.  So after that I was kind of like "Well screw you then."  I also didn't want to be in a relationship with either of them.  I knew there were other games and I didn't want to tie Shep down with either a xenophobe or generic boring dude.  I'm glad I did because then I met Thane for my FemShep (first playthrough). And Jack for MaleShep.

 

This.  I didn't have the problem with ME3 that a lot of people had.  I came into Mass Effect late so I heard the rumblings about ME3 when I got into it.  I didn't look at spoilers but saw that there was a lot of hate and it had me worried.  Honestly, by the time I got to the end of the game, and this might sound weird, but I felt like my Shep was weary.  It would've been nice to have a happy ending, and in a lot of ways I think I did, but it just felt right to me that it ended the way it did.

 

I was so surprised by the Ashley/Kaidan choice in ME1 -- it definitely got to me too. My first playthrough I ended up saving Kaidan by accident (I loved Ashley and thought she was a lot more fun), and by ME3 in my first playthrough, although I didn't shoot Kaidan, I wanted to (but packed his ass offscreen instead). In all ensuing playthroughs, I happily nuked Kaidan on Virmire and took Ashley along ever after -- besides, Ashley's character growth is really interesting, and she's so much fun in battles.

 

In my third replay, I got all the DLCs for 2 and 3, and the DLCs for 2 were a lot of fun (especially the superb Lair of the Shadow Broker, which finally made me like Liara), and the ME3 Citadel DLC is one of the best, sweetest, funniest, coolest things ever. ME3 is worth playing just for that DLC alone.
 

But what an amazing and rich and immersive game series. I loved all the relationships and friendships, and it was fascinating building a character through all of it (evolving her from the first game and events all the way through the end of 3).

 

And that was what was so cool -- I was surprised at how moved I was by the game many times. The relationships and characters are wonderful. You get to really care about Shepard and the crewmates and it's always such a treat to meet up with her old crewmates again in the next games (I kept wanting her to hug them but evidently soldiers don't do that, LOL).
 

In fact, my Femshep's friendships with Liara, Anderson and especially Garrus were what saved ME3 for me in spite of my frustrations with the plot. Her final scenes with them were some of the loveliest and most moving in the trilogy, and I really felt the weight of all three games and histories behind them, that emotion and respect. I love the games, but it's the characters that really set them apart, and the characters I'll remember -- and that will keep me coming back to play again in the future. I envy anyone playing them for the first time.

Edited by paramitch

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Pro:  GORGEOUS.  Like, FF XV is the most beautiful game I've ever played, but this blows it out of the water.

Pro:  FemRyder is the default, like MaleShep was.  Considering it took them three games before they even let FemShep be on the box, this is progress.

Con:  Fucking crafting.

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2 minutes ago, junemeatcleaver said:

And you had to flip cover over.

What makes me even madder about that is, despite it being basically a nothing-burger, Jennifer Hale still said that was the moment from the entire experience that hit her hardest.

The series did such great stuff with gender and sexual orientation, it's just annoying that they didn't have faith that people would play such a great game with a woman on the box.

And her performance blew Mark Meer's out the water.  Come at me.

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And her performance blew Mark Meer's out the water.  Come at me.

I completely agree!  I've almost always played the series as FemShep - I tried to play it once as male Shepard and got bored and didn't make it to ME2 (I switched back to FemShep).  

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I played as Male Shep, purely for the reason that I didn't like FemShep's romantic options. That was a big part of the overall storyline for the game, in my view, but they wouldn't give her Tali or Jack as options. Jack, especially, should have been, considering she actually says in the game that she's had relationships with women.

Hopefully they'll do a better job in this new game of giving FemRyder some more interesting possibilities.

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4 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

I played as Male Shep, purely for the reason that I didn't like FemShep's romantic options. That was a big part of the overall storyline for the game, in my view, but they wouldn't give her Tali or Jack as options. Jack, especially, should have been, considering she actually says in the game that she's had relationships with women.

I suspect that Jack would have been an option had she been playable in ME3.  But, though this may be heresy, the emotional arc that her ME3 story followed was better than if they'd tried to bring her into the main plot.

Regarding Tali, common rumor is that Ash Sroka refused to allow it.

I always play as MaleShep because I was waiting three games for him to finally had a same-sex romance option.  My husband always did Renegade FemShep.  I have a hard time making Renegade choices.  Whatever that says about me.

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On 12/17/2016 at 10:46 AM, Danny Franks said:

I played as Male Shep, purely for the reason that I didn't like FemShep's romantic options. That was a big part of the overall storyline for the game, in my view, but they wouldn't give her Tali or Jack as options. Jack, especially, should have been, considering she actually says in the game that she's had relationships with women.

Hopefully they'll do a better job in this new game of giving FemRyder some more interesting possibilities.

I have to admit I wasn't thrilled with FemShep's romantic options in ME1 - Liara, who got on my last nerve and Kaiden, who was a douche.

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18 minutes ago, Mierin said:

I have to admit I wasn't thrilled with FemShep's romantic options in ME1 - Liara, who got on my last nerve and Kaiden, who was a douche.

MaleShep had to contend with Ashley, the SpaceRepublican.

Edited by starri

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Honestly, I think having Kaidan as a romance option for MaleShep in ME3 made up for keeping in around.  I killed Ashley without a second thought.

But that's my own personal bias.  I like Steve too, but I don't know how I feel about moving in on someone who's still in mourning.

Although FemShep does get Trainor, so there's that.  "My shower is for winners."

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I killed Kaiden, because I thought he was a complete drip. Ashley started off as a space racist, but her romance storyline made her a better person, and even without the romance, she's a stronger character in the sequels (even if she only appears in Mass Effect 2 briefly). Yes, she's a Space Republican, but at least she's not a Space Human Supremacist, like Cerberus, and it's not really her defining characteristic.

When you look at all the characters in the games, a lot of them are racist or prejudiced against at least one other race. It's not a harmonious, Federation-style world they live in. Turians and Krogans hate each other, Krogans hate Salarians, Quarians are dismissed as scavenging rats, Volus are seen as grasping and greedy, everyone looks down on humans. Hell, the game gives you the option of making Shepard a much bigger racist than Ashley, and playing into the worst views that the other races have about humans, if that's the way you want to play it.

I think Ashley gets one of the most clearly defined arcs in the series, from random survivor on Eden Prime, all the way through to becoming the second Human Spectre. I find that quite cool. But she's still far from my favourite character.

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9 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

Ashley started off as a space racist, but her romance storyline made her a better person, and even without the romance, she's a stronger character in the sequels (even if she only appears in Mass Effect 2 briefly). Yes, she's a Space Republican, but at least she's not a Space Human Supremacist, like Cerberus, and it's not really her defining characteristic.

I softened on her when if you end up with the cruddy ending to the geth/quarian situation in ME3, she's inconsolable after Tali dies.  But I still didn't mind her being the first hard choice.  Kaiden with FemShep is a drip.  Kaiden with MaleShep, that's a bit more interesting.  Kind of like I find Liara more interesting as an LE for FemShep.

"Counting."

"Anything in particular?"

"The number of days you've lengthened my life."

Sniff.

ETA:  I think Miranda and Jack have the best emotional arcs, and that's without either of them being playable in ME3.  For the dangerous prisoner we met on Purgatory to end up as a teacher--and as a GREAT teacher--gives me warm fuzzies.

Edited by starri

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6 hours ago, starri said:

ETA:  I think Miranda and Jack have the best emotional arcs, and that's without either of them being playable in ME3.  For the dangerous prisoner we met on Purgatory to end up as a teacher--and as a GREAT teacher--gives me warm fuzzies.

Unless you make the mistake I did the first time I played Mass Effect 2 and have sex with Jack when she propositions you midway through the game. If you do that,  you confirm to her that you're just like all the other selfish people she's met over the years, and it shuts down her character arc. She ends up dying on the suicide mission. Turning her down when she wants to screw opens up her romance storyline and/or her storyline to becoming that awesome teacher in Mass Effect 3.

My favourite character will always be Tali. Starting off as the hapless, naive young woman on her Pilgrimage, who honestly felt like a tertiary companion in the first game, albeit a very endearing one. She ended up as my choice for Shepard's romance, even though I really liked Miranda's storyline (and she's Yvonne Strahovski). I didn't even realise how much I liked her until that moment, early in the second game, when you run into her on Freedom's Progress. 

I always made sure that I saved Rannoch for both the Geth and the Quarians, because even watching the YouTube video of what happens if you choose the Geth makes my heart hurt too much. I didn't even know that other characters, like Ashley, reacted to it.

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The Rannoch mission is the emotional high point of the story for me, not the climax.  It makes me cry every single time.  Just talking about it can make me verklempt too.

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If you own an Amazon Echo, a Kindle Fire, a Fire TV or any other Amazon product that has Alexa, grab a tissue and ask it "Does this unit have a soul?"

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I want the Quarians in Andromeda. I especially want to see how they're settling back in on Rannoch. But I don't think we'll get to see that.

But the game does look like it's going to be pretty amazing. I just hope the characters they create will be as memorable and as vivid as those from the original trilogy.

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12 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

I want the Quarians in Andromeda. I especially want to see how they're settling back in on Rannoch. But I don't think we'll get to see that.

I think that's pretty much guaranteed. The Andromeda project left the Milky Way in 2185, while the events of Mass Effect 2 are occurring. So any of the events in Mass Effect 3 will not be referenced. We may have some Quarians on the Nexus, but they would be from the Migrant fleet.

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Honestly, I think having Kaidan as a romance option for MaleShep in ME3 made up for keeping in around.  I killed Ashley without a second thought.

This is what I did for my first playthrough - it was fine until Kaiden utters the phrase "I forgive you for cheating on me." (My FemShep romanced Garrus in ME2 after her falling out with Kaidan.)  I actually yelled out at the TV "WE WERE ON A BREAK!" and have disliked Kaidan ever since.  For me, the best BF for FemShep is Garrus. :-D

I <3 this moment so much.  One of my all time favourite moments in the entire trilogy.

Quote

"Counting."

"Anything in particular?"

"The number of days you've lengthened my life."

Sniff.

Edited by Mierin

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My plan to buy this on the day of release has been thrown into chaos. My girlfriend and I are spending the last week of March in Ireland, visiting her sister and new baby. I'll have to wait until April to play it. Damned kids ruin everything!

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My residency starts in July.  I have to finish this, FFXV, and finally get around to Uncharted 4 before then.

I've kind of gotten obsessive at trying to parse the meaning behind the names.  I know they've said Ryder is named for Sally Ride, but considering the obvious Shepard being an obvious Christ figure, I can't help wondering if there's something else.  And the Tempest is clearly a Shakespeare reference, to maybe parallel Prospero trying to give Miranda her life back?

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I am currently in the "Liking a lot, not loving" camp.  I'm not going to go into spoilers, except to say that the gender of the player character is handled in a unique way, and when you're starting a new game, it defaults to Sara Ryder over Scott.  And whatever skin color and facial features you give to your Ryder, the game skins Ryder Sr to look like he could realistically be the father of your version.

The gender diversity in general is really impressive.  One of the first characters you meet who is not a member of the crew of Ark Hyperion is a female krogan, which I totally didn't expect.

I get what BioWare was going for here, but I think this will end up being the same kind of progression, which will take an Andromeda II to iron out some of the wrinkles.  A college friend of mine is married to one of the team members at BioWare Montreal, and I know they worked really hard to put out the best possible game.

Re:  Other races

Spoiler

There IS a fifth ark.  The Initiative wanted to bring along the quarians, and they in turn were bringing drell, hanar, volus, and elcor.  But they launched later, so aren't expected with the Council species.

Edited by starri

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I just finished Andromeda;  no spoilers but I really liked this game.   There were a number of reviews/comments that talked about "bad writing", but I became emotionally invested in a lot of the characters.  I really liked Scott Ryder's humor (especially when you play him sarcastic) and really enjoyed his connections with most of his companions.    My only gripes are the oft-mentioned poor quality of the faces (they just didn't look like something from 2017),  the repetitive nature of a lot of the task quests (especially the "find 3 of these objects because the original is corrupt/missing/encrypted" type) and the some of the pacing of the story.

Spoiler

For example, it seems pretty impressive that Sloane went from a being a member of Nexus security, to leading a mutiny, to being an exile, to taking over an Anagran port, to becoming basically a Pirate Queen.... in 18 months.     I also never really felt that the Initiative was struggling, even though they said so.  Construction of outposts was instantaneous (would have like to have seen them grow as planet viability improved) and the Nexus always looked to be in pretty good shape every time you were there.  Only Pathfinder HQ and the Cultural Exchange ever improved over time.

I'm definitely hoping there's an ME:A 2

Edited by jcin617

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I give them a lot of credit for being so quick to respond to some of the more pointed criticisms.  They've already patched the faces a bit (I'm in the middle of a move, so I've only seen the clips on YouTube), have made some of the flying sequences skippable (those were cool the first fifteen times), and have smoothed over a lot of the glitches.  I also really appreciate them being sensitive to the criticism they got for the male love interests for Scott.

I just wish they could patch the menu system.  And let me not have to craft everything if I don't want to.

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On 3/30/2017 at 8:50 PM, jcin617 said:

I'm definitely hoping there's an ME:A 2

You know there will. 

Spoiler

The quarian ark is still out there and there was that scary kett guy at the end.

But if there isn't or they go with a new protagonist like Dragon Age, I thought it made for a strong standalone game.

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On 4/15/2017 at 9:16 AM, junemeatcleaver said:

But if there isn't or they go with a new protagonist like Dragon Age, I thought it made for a strong standalone game.

One thing that I think would be interesting for Bioware to try would be if they had the player's actions, personality and such for Pathfinder Ryder transfer over to the next game, then have the player play as the other Ryder twin, with Pathfinder Ryder taking a support role for the game while also doing his/her own stuff that the player has no control over, then maybe have the perspective regularly switch between them for the third game. I can't think of any reason for the developers to go out of their way to have the twin's looks determined by the customization the player makes to Pathfinder Ryder if they weren't planning on doing something like that. I also find the idea of having your choices have consequences for your character and determining their actions and personality when they aren't in your control appealing, as long as there is a way, however specific and difficult, to be able to go back to ME:A1 to manipulate the results to get Pathfinder Ryder's choices outside your control to be as positive as possible, it would retroactively add replay value to ME:A1.

Spoiler

Then again, I also can't think of any reason for the developers to bother to have the twin's father's looks determined by the customization of Pathfinder Ryder only to kill him of a couple hours into the game either. They could have just said the Ryder twins were adopted or genetically engineered or something and it would have worked fine. So maybe I'm just reading into that more than I should.

Edited by immortalfrieza

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6 minutes ago, immortalfrieza said:

can't think of any reason for the developers to go out of their way to have the twin's looks determined by the customization the player makes to Pathfinder Ryder if they weren't planning on doing something like that

Was that supposed to happen?  I made my Scott look Indian and it reskinned Alec to look like him, but I just got the stock model for Sara.

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25 minutes ago, starri said:

Was that supposed to happen?  I made my Scott look Indian and it reskinned Alec to look like him, but I just got the stock model for Sara.

It's supposed to, that's why the pics for the codex entries for both the Ryder siblings and their father have them all wearing face obscuring helmets, which kept the developers from having to create pics that change depending on player customization choices. Or maybe I'm recalling it wrong and you can just customize both, same point either way.

Edited by immortalfrieza

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On 4/15/2017 at 7:16 AM, junemeatcleaver said:

You know there will. 

I wouldn't be so sure about that. I have no doubt there will be another Mass Effect game, but it doesn't seem like it will be anytime soon and might not be a direct sequel to Andromeda. Full disclosure, I have yet to purchase or even play Andromeda, so I can't talk about it's quality. I probably will once the price drops. Disappointing news none the less. 

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On 5/18/2017 at 1:36 PM, ZoqFotPik said:

I wouldn't be so sure about that. I have no doubt there will be another Mass Effect game, but it doesn't seem like it will be anytime soon and might not be a direct sequel to Andromeda. Full disclosure, I have yet to purchase or even play Andromeda, so I can't talk about it's quality. I probably will once the price drops. Disappointing news none the less. 

Yeah, I saw that.  I knew once the game was discounted to $40.00 less than a month and half after release it was most likely a dud (unlike something like Zero Horizon Dawn which is still about full price and that came out at the end of February).

Oh well.  Nice try, but obviously wasn't good enough for most fans.

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