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By Elisabeth Rappe Author Page Facebook Page Twitter Page
What I’m Thankful For
As I said before, I only just got an XBOX this year. The second game I bought was the first Mass Effect because my friends swore it was one hell of an RPG. I loved it. Obsessed over it. There were many nights I’d pop it in to play for a few hours, and be greeted by the sun.
Even so, I didn’t race to buy the sequel. My passion for Red Dead Redemption carried me through the summer, and it just felt awkward to jump back into space opera. I was planning to finally buy Fallout 3 because I was still into wide open and desolate spaces. But man, I started to miss Elisabeth Shepard. I wasn’t exactly jumping to hunt Geth again, but hey, at least I knew what I was getting with Mass Effect 2. I was banking on familiarity. Hell, I got to take my old game data with me. What surprises could there be?
Many! In the first 10 minutes of Mass Effect 2, Shepard’s world is turned upside down. You lose your ship, your crew, yourself. Everything changes. You don’t even get to keep your sense of triumph and victory left by the last scene in Mass Effect. Now, I played enough games in Ye Olde Days to know that sequels always fuck around with weapons and controls. Here, it actually fits with the story, and that makes it awesome instead of annoying. (And hard as hell. I kicked ass at this game once! Not anymore.) It would have been easy for BioWare to just give you business as usual — Go hunt those Geth! More Reapers have been sighted! — but they didn’t. They mess with you. Perhaps my inexperience is showing, but I think it’s incredibly brave.
I’m only in the first levels, but this is sweeping, epic stuff. This is a real story. There’s loss, confusion, and anger. Everything is off-kilter and melancholy. The characters drink and reminisce with a touch of bitterness. When good things happen, and you meet a familiar face, the sense of elation you feel is genuine. What John Marston and I had was special and will undoubtedly never be replicated, but Mass Effect 2 definitely hit a few emotional beats.
As Elisabeth Shepard said “Fuck it!”, had a drink, and went all Renegade in her first mission, I had one stupid thought “Man, I’d love to see this as a movie!” But that’s stupid. Because I already have — and played it to boot.