Back to The Future (Kinda): My Return to Mass Effect – Part 1

So, with the third instalment in Bioware’s epic space trilogy looming over my head, I felt now was a perfect time to return to the first two games in the Mass Effect series. This was for a few reasons. Partly, it was to keep the back story and universe fresh for the impending finale. Mostly, however, it was because I really wanted to have a super-powered Commander Shepard to take through to the final battle, and with the ability to carry over your save file from one game to the next, I figured it was about time I started getting ready.

However, this time around I’ve approached the game differently. Having played the two games already, and knowing the general nature of the recently released DLC for Mass Effect 2, I wanted to coordinate my game so as to push the story in a direction that was pleasing to me. That, and there are just a ton of things I wish I’d done differently in my first playthroughs.

For instance, this time I’ve decided to go with the female Shepard. I had played both games with the male version and found it average, but had been urged by many fellow enthusiasts to sample the female version, if only on the merits of apparently better voice acting. This has totally changed the way I’ve approached the game: amongst other facets, relationships with other characters have been approached more subtly, while my regular badass approach to everyone outside of my crew has remained.

On the badass not, I also decided from the get go that this would be a strictly renegade playthrough. For those that don’t know, your Renegade actions in Mass Effect 2 actually cause your character to change in appearance (for reasons of plot that I won’t discuss). Sadly, as much as I pulled out my “shoot first, ask questions later” approach, my Paragon points were two times greater than Renegade by what is essentially the half way point. So much for being an evil bastard…

Finally, I’ve taken a bit more of a completionist approach to side quests and missions. The game presents you with an entire galaxy to play with, filled with sub-missions, hidden ruins and collectible, and a lot more background into the universe you exist in. This time around, I’ve taken the time to mess around in this world, look at the undiscovered planets outside of the main plot, seeking out adventure and booty as I go. And I haven’t been disappointed. The recently released DLC has added tons more to this, meaning I essentially have an even bigger sandbox to mess around in.

Right now I’m sitting around the half way mark in the game’s main plot, and I still have a fair few days left of game time before I’ll be happy heading towards the final battle. Till then, I’ll probably be blogging my gaming sessions a lot, keeping you all up to date with this wonderful thing that has brought so much joy to my unemployed life. I need to get out more, don’t I?

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