Obviously there is no single video game out there that is ‘for everyone’ – but it is impossible to deny the large critical and commercial appeal of the Mass Effect series. Say what you will about the changes in combat, the addition of multiplayer, whether the characters got worse or better with each release and the ending – but what got players excited about the journey were the ‘moments’ along the way.
I don’t usually do lists or countdowns on here, but after investing so many hours into these three titles (I’m excluding the iPad ones because quite frankly, they were not very good in my opinion and did not spark anywhere near the response from me than the primary three titles did). Huge spoilers ahead (something else I don’t know if I’ve done before on here) – so read at your own risk! (though the titles have been out long enough that odds are if you have played the games, you have encountered these for yourself).
Five favorite moments from the original Mass Effect.
5) The Fate of Wrex
The hotheaded Krogan was a part of my crew. Sure, he was arguably my least favorite personally, but a tense argument with him leads to a situation where depending on what you have done to that point, you may not have any choice but to have him put down before he loses himself to a complete bout of rage. This in and of itself was a moment of some impact, but its ripples are then felt later in Mass Effect 2 as well.
This happened a few times, but the very first time I took to the rover and began to explore a world, I was greeted by often expansive, beautiful sights. The views from space looked good, but many of the planets successfully conveyed this feeling that you were a part of a much bigger universe than you might have realized right at first. I did not particularly care for the rover – I thought it handled poorly and I sunk an absolute ton of time just combing the surface of every planet along the way. Still, some of the views made it worth it to me.
3) Thresher Maw
Related to the above, really. As you explored planet surfaces, you battled elements when you were outside of the rover, and you had to battle often difficult to navigate terrain. None of that compared to the first time one of these massive alien worms began to shake the landscape nearby moments before erupting from the ground below. The awkward handling of the rover certainly did not make these battles any easier, but for anyone who dueled one of these behemoths outside of the rover, you realize that the tank-like armor could be a lifesaver.
2) The Rachni Queen
During your explorations in the first game, you encounter a laboratory on a frozen, desolate world. It has a creepy, vicious atmosphere to it as these insect-like creatures spring into action during your travels. And at the end? You get yet another moral challenge as you face two options: wipe their race out or allow them the opportunity to survive and play a part in the future storyline.
1) You can save only one
No single choice struck me with so much weight as the scene where Ashley and Kaidan, your two human companions from the start of the game, are both put into perilous situations. You only get to save one of them. At first, I thought I did something wrong. I loaded up a prior save and tried it again. Still I was losing either a friend or a potential love interest – and my campaign felt much darker, the weight of the world on my shoulders just a bit heavier after this unexpected turn of events.
What about you guys? Any particularly memorable moments you would like to share from the first Mass Effect game? Sound off in the comments!