The lights are on
I like playing video games and reading books, but I only do one of
those things professionally. I'm not qualified to assess Drew
Karpyshyn's Mass Effect: Redemption (in stores today) in terms of
literary merit. However, from a gamer's perspective, I can give you
five reasons why the book is definitely worth reading if, like me,
you're a fan of the Mass Effect series. 1. ContinuityThe
story picks up shortly after the events of Mass Effect 2, and includes
most of the major characters from the two previous novels, Revelation and Ascension.
However, this book seems to have a greater connection to the games than
its predecessors. Of course, it won't be required reading to enjoy the
next game in the series, but I will say (without spoiling anything) that
it will be difficult to have Anderson or The Illusive Man make
appearances in Mass Effect 3 without at least mentioning the events of
this book. 2. Learn more about the ReapersMass
Effect 2 concludes with the threat of an imminent Reaper attack. How
are these sentient machines preparing for their assault? Who are their
agents paving the way? How do they manipulate these agents from the
farthest reaches of space? Retribution provides answers to these questions...though they aren't always complete answers.[PageBreak]3. The Illusive ManThe enigmatic leader of Cerberus, The Illusive Man, plays a role in the events of Retribution.
He isn't the main character (like he apparently will be in the upcoming
comic series), but I enjoyed the opportunity to see more of this guy in
action. I'm still not sure exactly what his motives are, or what his
ultimate goal is, but I feel like I understand him a bit better.4. More OmegaI thought Omega was a great location in Ascension
and Mass Effect 2. I especially liked Aria as the ruthless pirate queen
of the space station, and I was a bit disappointed that Mass Effect 2
didn't let me explore the dark underworld of Omega even more.
Thankfully, Redemption returns to the wild, lawless setting – and Aria still presides over it all. 5. Hints about Mass Effect 3's plotThe previous novels each contained clues about major elements of the games they preceded. Revelation introduced us to the concepts of Spectres and Indoctrination while giving Saren and Anderson some time in the spotlight. Ascension
gave readers a glimpse of some key locations like the Quarians' Migrant
Fleet and Omega. I can't say much without spoiling it, but if the major
themes in Retribution are similarly tied to Mass Effect 3, that game is going to be totally awesome.(Thanks to the users at the Mass Effect Wiki for the images)
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