Mass Effect has been around for 10 years and I thought I would write a little something about it since I’ve been gearing up to get ready to tackle all four games again.
It’s been a rocky year for Mass Effect. The series future is in doubt, and if you listen to most critics Andromeda is one of the worst games ever made and has the worst animations known to gaming. I really liked Mass Effect: Andromeda despite its flaws. The game has potential to be the next big Mass Effect series, but it was canned before it could take off. That’s not what this is about though. It’s N7 day! I’ve already defended Andromeda on multiple occasions and even placed it above Breath of The Wild in my top 10 games of 2017 so far list.
I remember walking into Gamestop 10 years ago looking for a new game to play on my Xbox 360. I was trying to decide between Overlord and the first Mass Effect game. I needed to see was the box art for Mass Effect and I was sold on it. I went home and 10 hours later I was still playing this game. It was amazing. I had never played anything like it before and I was hooked. I ended up putting more than 200 hours into the first Mass Effect game before the second one released years later. It was a great new IP that captured my heart and I fell in love with the story and well-written characters that the first game introduced. I became a huge fan, but it wasn’t until the sequel that I started to consider this series an all-time great.
Mass Effect 2 released three years after the first game did. I remember counting down the days to its release and how excited I was to finally get my hands on it. I can remember every little detail about Mass Effect 2 even though I haven’t played it in a few years now. Why? Because it had big moment after big moment and when I thought the game couldn’t get any better it did. There were tough choices to make, reporters to punch, squadmates to recruit, and a universe to save from the Reapers. Part 2 was a vast improvement over the first game in every way possible. The gameplay was better, the companions are better, the story is better, and introduced one of the best characters in gaming history with the Illusive Man. Mass Effect 2 is my favorite game of all time (tied with Skyrim anyway) and I’ve gone back to it many times since it’s release. After Mass Effect 2 released I became a lifelong fan of the series and then Mass Effect 3 was announced. This was supposed to be the end of the trilogy and the ending left a sour taste in many gamers mouths because of its ending.
I wasn’t in a good place when Mass Effect 3 released. I had been released from jail in November of 2011. I had gone months without gaming and was more focused on getting my life straightened out instead of playing video games. I was expecting my first kid and I wanted to be a good father for her. One day I was sitting up watching TV one night and noticed a trailer for a game that I hadn’t played in a long time. The game was Mass Effect 3. I remember dusting my old 360 off and decided that it was a good time to start gaming again. I went out on March 6th and bought two games. Skyrim, and Mass Effect 3. I completed Mass Effect 3 in two sittings. I played it all day and all night and when I saw the end credits roll I wasn’t mad or raging at my screen at the ending. I was happy because I had just experienced the end to the greatest trilogy of games of all time. Was the ending perfect? No. It was far from perfect actually, but the journey there was nothing short of a masterpiece and it left a mark on me.
Whenever a new trilogy of games are released (Final Fantasy, Wolfenstein, etc.) I think of this trilogy of games and the incredible journey that they took me on. Years after Mass Effect 3 I started to hear whispers of a new Mass Effect game set in a completely different timeline. The early rumors were of the first contact war between the humans and turians. This both excited me and worried me because I didn’t want to play a prequel to the greatest trilogy of all time. I wanted a continuation of the three games that I sunk so much of my life into. As time went by the rumors shifted to a brand new Mass Effect game that took place in a completely different galaxy and I was more open to it, but still a little apprehensive because I wanted to continue my journey with Commander Shepard. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Shepard and I was more negative than positive towards Mass Effect Andromeda before I decided to give it a chance.
Mass Effect Andromeda gave me what I wanted. A new Mass Effect game. I don’t think Bioware will ever top the excellence of the Mass Effect trilogy. I went in this game with an open mind was surprised at what I got. A good Mass Effect game. Great even. It had some great moments and I think Ryder (male) is a great protagonist. The companions are awesome and this is the only Mass Effect game to date to make every companion feel like a real family. They communicate with each other as much as they do with Ryder and I love that about it. I love landing on new planets and exploring them. I love getting to know my new companions, and I love the gameplay too.
So what does N7 Day mean to me? These games took me on an incredible journey. I care about the characters, the stories, and lore that Bioware has created for me to enjoy. I love Commander Shepard and I love Ryder too. I love Mass Effect and N7 Day is a way for me to express that love. N7 Day is about the greatest game protagonist of all time. N7 Day is about the greatest game series of all time and finally, N7 Day is about my incredible journey through the best games ever made that’s made me both happy and sad. N7 Day is the greatest day in gaming to me and that’s why I love it so much. It’s been a hell of a ride and I was happy/sad/emotional/angry to say goodbye to Commander Shepard, but I was very happy to welcome Ryder too.