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Thoughts from the Traverse: Reflections on Mass Effect

 

 

Thoughts from the Traverse

I recently completed my (I am ashamed to admit) fifth run through of Mass Effect. As I sat in front of my television in my 'I-heart-Spock' shirt and sweats, I realized how many hours I had sunk into this game. I have sunk over 100 hours into commanding, exploring, and conversing with the world of Mass Effect. And it is only this fifth time that the game has begun to bug me in subtle ways.

First, the game's tendency to pop in textures and objects is quite annoying and distracts from the beauty and cinematic feel of the game. Nothing ruins a stand-off between two people with guns quite like objects popping into existence all around them.(Note: for PC gamers, this isn't so much of an issue since it was largely fixed in the PC release)

Second is the way characters exit conversations. They awkwardly shift their eyes away and then kind of sidle off the side of the screen. It goes for every character conversation in the game and I sincerely hope that they alter it in Mass Effect 2.

The last problem is somewhat infamous and it's not actually so much of a problem, I just had some thoughts. I have played this game a lot, I think I established that. In all the times I played it, there aren't many times where you actually have to ride the elevators. I suppose if you didn't want to fast-travel (see: FAST) some players might overlook that aspect of the game and ride the elevators everywhere on the Citadel. However, on many of the elevator rides there is dialogue between squad mates and radio chatter discussing Commander Shepard's various exploits. I found the tiny acknowledgments to my accomplishments a nice gesture and also interesting to see characters interacting with someone other than me.

Overall the game is superb. Engaging characters, massive exploration, a strong story that will carry even some of the most trigger-happy/impatient players through to the end. Honestly, if for no other reason, you should play this game for the story. Not giving anything away, but you probably won't see it coming.

For the record, I realize how big a nerd I am. Now, if all the adoring masses who read this will excuse me, I have to go sleep/dream nerdy dreams. Which I hope will look something like this

 

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