The True Face of Mass Effect


Mass Effect 3 arrives in Europe on 9th March. With it comes a personal dilemma of intergalactic proportions: to play the closing chapter of the trilogy on the PS3 or the 360. I bought a replacement 360 two years ago for the sole purpose of playing Mass Effect 2 and I bloody loved every last minute of it. Although it went multi-platform shortly after, I don't regret my purchase as it allowed me to play my favourite game of 2010 (tied with Red Dead Redemption) at a time when I most needed an RPG in which to lose myself and un-wind of an evening, having just moved back to the UK, desperately searching for a job in a shit economy, looking for a property to rent and also trying to organize wedding.

I have just over a week and a half to decide whether to continue with the ME experience on the 360 or transfer this space epic to the PS3 - my console of choice for multiplatform releases. If I stay with the 360 then I ensure continuity and can expect a range of easter eggs. However, by staying the course I would miss the latest addition to the series - online co-op - as I have never been a subscriber to Live and refuse to pay extra for online multiplayer.

If I jump Normandy (ship) to the PS3, then I deny my 360 its reason for existence and will discard all of the choices and characters that shaped my time with ME2, elements that would otherwise be transferred to part three. I have considered buying or even renting a copy of ME2 on the PS3 and recreating my 360 run-through for the purpose of continuity, but with so many new games that I'm desperate to play, including a brand new platform to sink my teeth into, I would struggle to justify revisiting a game just to preserve a few familiar faces and relationships.

If I do end up with the PS3 version, which in all likelihood I will, then I'll be kissing my Shepard goodbye. My commander was a charismatic and kind hearted man, though he wouldn't think twice about fucking you up if you killed a colonist or spilt his pint in Afterlife. He was a terrible dancer, though he had a way with the ladies/blue things. His compassion and excellence in the field ensured that his team emerged from the final showdown unscathed, including the angry Sinead O'Connor lady who I repeatedly tried to get killed. His face was free of unsightly gashes.

That is not the face Miranda fell in love with

Mine was a rather vanilla Shepard. In a moment of unsurpassed creativity, I even decided to stick with the default Shepard face, the one that I knew from the cover art and game videos: cropped hair, hard faced with a passing resemblance to Rob Lowe. That was my idea of how Shepard should look, the face that Bioware saw fit to plaster on all promotional material and the one that best suited the voice provided.

I tried to customize, but my heart wasn't in it. Every time I introduced a protruding chin, a beard – usually a staple of my custom characters - or crazy eyebrows, it just made him look 10% less likely to save the universe. It was not a mug I wanted to be staring at for the next 30 hours, so I played it safe and everything worked out just fine. Who knows, if I had opted for a dimpled chin or dreadlocks perhaps Garrus wouldn't have survived the final mission and Miranda would have been less keen to sit on Shepard's face the night before the main event.

Usually, whenever I'm given the option to create a character from scratch they end up being of the male, human variety, bearded and middle aged. My Dragonborn was a half-arsed attempt at re-creating Sean Bean/Eddard Stark, and my hero of Ferelden looked like Tom Cruise in the Last Samurai, only with beard and locks of brilliant white. I did look to mix things up with Saints Row the Third, but my purple lady with a huge rack and a well-kept moustache lasted only as long as I continued to be amused by her gyrating, bollock-naked in the middle of a busy street (about 20 minutes).

Whatever the face, I have a feeling that I’ll be experiencing the latest Mass Effect on the PS3. If I am to start from scratch, then I'd like to think that I might veer away from the norm, perhaps even creating a female commander (with a beard), but chances are it’ll be default-face Shep that’ll be saving Earth come March 9th.

Comments

  1. Get it on 360. There were too many cool Easter Eggs on 2 to get it on PS3, especially if you haven't played 2 on PS3. Plus, if you don't like your Shepard at the end of 3, you can always play the trilogy from scratch and make the Shepard you want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is true, but I would be giving up entirely on the co-op which would be a shame. I wonder if the easter eggs are going to be things that I'm even going to notice (I only played ME2 once, 2 years ago).

      Delete
    2. It's not just that you'll see cool bits though, a lot of the Easter eggs in 2 would add to a mission or give a completely new side mission, you'd be cutting out just as much if not more than if you didn't do MP. It's not like you can't do MP on XBL either, add me on XBL and you can join all the game nights I'll be doing for ME3, I know plenty of people getting it there.

      Delete
    3. My problem with 360 is that I don't have the Live service, as I'd never pay for it considering how rarely I turn on my 360, which would mean no co-op. Otherwise, I'd love to join you for some multiplayer.

      Anyway, its now a mute point as I found a cheap copy of ME2 on the PS3 and went ahead and bought it. It probably means that I'll be starting ME3 a bit later than everyone else but I'm looking forward to having an excuse to jump back into ME2.

      Delete
  2. I already have a hate for this game and the only reason that is, is because everyone I know is so divided on which system to get it on. half my friends are getting it on PS3, the other half 360. it really sucks, I actually have never seen such a divide before. I would recommend getting it on 360 just because you built your shepard on there but the co-op is so much fun it can't be denied. if I was you I would seriously look into getting my hands on a copy of ME2 for PS3 and plowing through it in the week leading up to ME3.
    by the way, sorry I haven't been around for your last few blogs, just been busy taking care of stuff and getting in as much game time as I can

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, no problem. Hope the prep for the book is going well.

      Playing ME2 on the PS3 would be good, only it would mean that I'd have to put off playing ME3 for at least a couple of weeks (ACR, Vita and Asura's Wrath are keeping me busy at the moment and I'd like to play Binary Domain sooner rather than later).

      Delete
  3. I think your best bet is to pick up a copy of Mass Effect 2 for PS3 and power through it. The "Easter Eggs" are just as important as the multi-player.

    I also tend to make a Shepard that looks like me too. Then I also play through the game as a squeaky clean "nice guy". I went back to Mass Effect 1 and made a female Shepard, and found that it was a lot easier to adopt a different play style when my avatar no longer looked like me. Now I have 2 Shepards to transfer over to Mass Effect 3. Nice guy "me" Shepard, and a hard ass "lady" Shepard. Both play styles are a lot of fun for me, and I feel like I get a lot of value out of the game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to agonize over character creation in games like ME. I spent far too long making my character in Skyrim, only to see him for all of about 20 minutes across a 100 hour game!

      That's great that you played ME across two different characters. These days, I almost never revisit games - trophying and multiplayer aside - even when I thoroughly enjoy them. It's probably the biggest change in my gaming habits over the last few years

      Delete
  4. I have no choice since I only have a Ps3, but it would definitely be a tough decision if I had a 360 as well. I'd rather not pay for xbox live, so would I be willing to give up co-op entirely just so I could keep my character? Either way, it looks like it'll be a great game

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought a PS3 copy this morning, so that answers that question! I'll try to remember to add you on PS3 (ajapam?)then perhaps I'll catch you for co-op some time.

      Delete
  5. i just bought mass effect 2 for the ps3 with the hope that i can get into it. i've heard so many great things about it. i started to play the first one twice but quit only a couple of hours in.

    i always go with the default face for my character. i started doing this after playing new vegas and spending quite a bit of time making my character only to never see his face.

    thanks for the lumines tips. slowly getting better. when i first started playing i was using the touch screen. not the way to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have also tried to play ME1 twice, and quit both times after about 5 hours. I just couldn't get into it, yet I loved part 2.

      Lumines with the touch screen? No wonder you were struggling! I saw your score had jumped up, though I'm never quite sure what scores the game is and isn't showing me. Its doesn't seem to upload to the tables everything i do and the world block is a complete mystery.

      Delete
  6. it's funny you brought up scores and the world block because i was going to add questions about those but didn't want my post to drag on too long.

    my score is only for voyage mode. i misread the playlist trophy description and thought i just had to make a 12 skin playlist and clear it. i did that and got over 150,000 and my score didn't reflect that. i don't get the world block either. i think you have to go in and it will upload your blocks. i've played and had it say i didn't contribute.

    are you going to go for the plat in uncharted? i'm playing through on crushing right now but i'm going to be way short on black market trophies. do you understand that? i guess you can trade but if you trade for one card/gem you need then you will be missing what you trade. i don't like the fact they add trophies to something associated to random drops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scores are a bit confusing. I think the total score, displayed on the left of the menu screen is your best Voyage total plus the totals from other modes such as 30 sec timer. Perhaps playlist doesn't contribute to the score? As for world block, it always says I haven't contributed. The only time it worked for me was on launch day and it boosted my level by 15!

      I wasn't aware of the black market trophies. I'll add that to Lumines scores and Near as parts of Vita that I have no clue about! I may go for the platinum - just depends how much I want to do a crushing run-through.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

TGS 2017: A Preview of my TGS

Game Think

The Best & Worst Games of 2017