I just finished playing Mass Effect and its sequel Mass Effect 2. I bought these in the Steam sales at Christmas and was thinking I’d play them in the evenings through this vac, followed by Mass Effect 3 which has just come out; in fact, I won’t be playing this last game any time soon.

Essentially the problem is side quests. You have to do these because otherwise you miss out on cool stuff happening in Mass Effect 2 and 3 based on previous decisions, but they’re really not that much fun. I am including the companion quests and loyalty quests in ME2 in this, even if some of these are in fact compulsory: they all resolve into gunning your way through loads of stuff, which is dull because it’s what the entire game is like. And in Mass Effect 1 the sidequests are even more boring as they don’t really involve characters.

The main quests of both games are very cool, though, because the Mass Effect universe is so cool. Non-humans run the show in the universe and one reason why I enjoyed Mass Effect 1 so much more was that those politics were much more important; by the second game they have faded into the background which is a shame. The main quest in the second game is so short because there isn’t much to reveal, because most of the game is stupid sidequests. I think they could have made it all a lot more exciting if they’d made more of the main quest, in both games really.

Here is an interesting article which probably goes a bit far, but, the game certainly did have me wondering about some of the philosophical questions the article says it makes one wonders about:

Why Mass Effect is the Most Important Science Fiction Universe of Our Generation