[Featurama] Remembering the Good in Mass Effect

Mass Effect 3’s 1.9gb downloadable addendum is dropping June 26th.  With it will come a flood of controversy.  I caution you all in these coming days.

It will more than likely be as messy as the backlash that came from the game’s infamous ending.

This focus on the 15 minute finale has gotten a few of us here at Twinfinite thinking about the good that the games have brought us.  There was more to this franchise than a choice and I think people have forgotten that.

Below are a few of the staff’s favorite moments in the biggest RPG of this generation.

The Mass Effect series lives in such an amazing universe that its’ tough for me to pick a single moment as my favorite. How do you pick between the first time you fight a Thresher Maw in the Mako or boosting around in the Hammer head? The standoff with Wrex in ME1 or helping Grunt as his krannt in ME2? Captain Kirrahe’s “Hold the line!” speech or Mordin singing “Scientist Salarian”? When the source material is so stuffed with amazing moments, be they comical, inspirational, serious, sad, or just plan badass, it’s damn near impossible to pick one thing as a favorite. So regardless of what Chris said I’m picking the whole shebangabang as my favorite thing. If he doesn’t like it, he can meet me outside the office for a good ol’ fashioned knife fight.

So, it looks like Hadlock is some sort of goddamned knife-fighting champ.

Anyways, my favorite moment from the ME series is all the little interactions you have with your crew. I’ve never been so interested in learning about my squad members in any other game. It adds a sense of clarity and focus to threats that are galactic in scope. Especially in Mass Effect 3, where millions of people and entire planets are being wiped out, I found myself more concerned with the safety of my crew, past and present, than the scores of casualties around the galaxy. The camaraderie I developed with my crew provided a sense of motivation to make sure my squad withstood the storm and made it to the other side alive.

I did what you said Chris, please get the knife out of my shoulder and let me get to a doctor…

My Shepard (Dave) was a cosmic badass. A reporter-punching galactic hero. But above all else, he was a woman’s man, an intergalactic lover.

Miranda Lawson: the perfect woman. Even she could not resist his immortal charms, his Keanu-esque visage, his deadly smile.

I had helped rescue her sister, assisted in getting her revenge on her father, and even lent a kind ear to her as she lamented the woes of being perfect.

Needless to say, she wanted Shepard. Right before the fateful suicide mission, she pulled him into the engine room.This was the perfect moment: the thunderous roars of the engines enhancing their every movement.

The perfect man making love to the perfect woman in the perfect spot at the perfect moment. It was sheer ecstasy.

And yet, that wasn’t even my favorite moment in Mass Effect. My Shepard headbutted a Krogan once. It was glorious.

One thing I really enjoyed about the Mass Effect series about ambient conversations and events that go on while you are running around. In Mass Effect 2, it was funny being able to go to every single store in the Citadel and record myself saying “I’m Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite store on the Citadel” to get a discount. Additionally, it was hilarious to find that every time I entered one of those stores afterwards that message would play back at me.

The single most moving moment in the entire series actually contains a callback to that joke. It’s about 3/4 of the way through Mass Effect 3 when Garrus invites Shepard to hang out with him high up in the rafters of the Citadel. There, they talk about the journey they’ve been on together, how their friendship has blossomed, and how it’s very likely they are not going to survive the upcoming mission. Garrus then suggests they have a target shooting competition, and you have the option of shooting the target or missing intentionally. I missed intentionally, allowing my friend his moment of pride. At that moment, when Garrus exclaims “I’m Garrus Vakarian, and this is my favorite place on the Citadel”, it made me laugh out loud and get a little teary at the same time.

There have been a lot of great characters in games, but I stand firm that Garrus is the only one who has ever felt like a true friend.

I’m probably one of the minority that champions the first Mass Effect as the best in the series.  It’s not the prettiest, nor the most dramatic, but it does have it’s own moments that really stick with you.

My favorite one of all was when I decided to tackle the moon mission some time near the end of my first playthrough.  My first run through Mass Effect was a completionist run.  I tried to be everything I could so I could say that I beat Mass Effect my first time.

So by this point, I was going through the motions of the game.  By this point, I started running around and exploring with the Mako instead of pushing forward with blasting turrets.  I was rolling around not really caring about anything for a good 5 minutes or so before I decided to take the thumb stickup and to the right to look up at the stars. Then I saw it.


It was huge.  How could I have missed it?  Big and beautiful as it was staring back at me.  While I had been so focused looking down at the Mako for all this time, I hadn’t even bothered to enjoy what Bioware had actually crafted.  It was a moment that I couldn’t really replicate in the rest of the series, but knocked me away when I first saw it.

This was a small handful of what we’ve come to enjoy from Mass Effect.  Tomorrow, go out there with an open mind.  The moments you have had with the crew of the Normandy are ones you surely enjoyed.  The stories you can tell from these games can fill a life time of debate.  This DLC will be but a foot note.

Unless they bring time traveling Serah and Noel in as canon.  Then you have my permission to rage.

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