IMPORTANT WARNING: The text of this article appears light SPOILERS to Mass Effect Andromeda and very hard to Mass Effect 3! Read on only if you have already completed the triple, or you never intend to turn it on.
The sci-fi series Mass Effect is rightly considered one of the best ever created in the video game industry. It brought with it a well-told story, the film quality of the interviews, an elaborate world full of interesting cultures and their representatives. Our world would be much poorer without Commander Shepard.
Even in the best series, however, slightly weaker pieces must appear. Those of you who watch our podcasts regularly already know that, in my opinion, the oldest are the best Mass Effects. Number one for its excellent, patient building of a believable world. Two for a better combat system and absolutely great companions aboard the SSV Normandy.
It logically follows that I’m not so excited about the third part or the spin-off of Andromeda. No, that’s a weak word – I consider Mass Effect 3 to be a colossal screenplay failure, and Andromeda a piece of dry cheer, an average soulless game.
So let’s put aside for a moment the eternal question of which Mass Effect is the best, and think about which is the worst. From my point of view, it is a very close duel.
Bored or angry?
This is a difficult comparison because we are talking about two completely different kinds of evil. Mass Effect 3 works absolutely great for me about 20% of the time, when the final unraveling of the Genophage dilemma, the conflict between the Quarians and Gethy, is unraveled from the tangled threads left to him by previous episodes, or when it deals with the interpersonal relationships of the Normandy crew. But the remaining 80% roll my eyes at how terribly nonsensical things are happening on the screen. Black and white, ecstasy and sharp pain.
Andromeda, on the other hand, is gray and yawning. The first few strictly linear clocks are still very good, but after the infinitely boring open planets open before you, after the absolutely dilapidated Angarans and Ketts join the ensemble of old known races with all their complexities, the trip to the new galaxy changes into such a little more storyless and less social MMO.
Whoever thought that a story game like Mass Effect would show the player’s progress on individual planets with a regular progress bar, I would like to freeze back to the cryospleck. When the only significance of all the dumb side tasks is to tap a few lousy percentages into the “habitability” deduction, when basically the same can be said about major missions, it’s clear that someone didn’t quite understand what Mass Effect is doing Mass Effect .
The evil Ketts have a germ of a good idea – I like the idea that it is only one faction of the all-galactic empire, and probably a faction rebelled against the central government. But the game absolutely refuses to work with it, and the Kettas only make other boring, wannabe villains, whose menace is totally undermined by the ridiculously childish character of Archon.
Far Cry in space
Andromeda, on the other hand, also receives positive points from me, because playing it is generally more pleasant for me than in the case of the third Mass Effect. Sit down with her, enjoy a hilarious, jetpack-powered combat system, freely switch builds, not think too much about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, and simply travel around space and shoot – in such limited mental mode, it’s pretty decent fun.
The companions on the way to the new galaxy do not seem bad to me. I liked to talk to Liam and Peebee, Cora is more likeable than Ashley, the very concept of escaping from the Reapers makes perfect sense and sometimes, in some rare moments, the idea of definitive separation from all loved ones in the Milky Way evokes even those emotions…
Andromeda commits the most heinous crime: It is forgotten.
But there is little. If the game wasn’t called Mass Effect, if it was released by Ubisoft and it was called Far Cry: Into the Future, maybe it would be easier to overlook its screenwriting shallowness. This way, with the cult name on the cover, it’s really not easy.
Andromeda commits the most heinous crime: It is forgotten. If it didn’t exist, the world wouldn’t lose anything at all, not even a furious quarrel. Because in the end, no one cares much about her.
Mass Effect 3, on the other hand, causes furious quarrels, so often. The quarrels between apologetics, who enjoyed the end of the trilogy and did not like, for example, the unfortunate ending, and the inquisitors, who seem to be upset and the whole main story that precedes it.
I will not hold you back with lengthy treatises on why I belong to the second group. In short, I can only say that I am irritated by almost everything on Mass Effect 3, from start to finish. The fact that the Reapers suddenly appeared in our galaxy, even though you last slammed the door in front of them. The fact that Shepard’s plan is, in the face of a militarily invincible enemy, to gather a giant fleet of all races in one place and… simply die if it were not terrible God from the machine in the form of the unexplained Crucible.
There is, of course, Cerberus, who has become a galactic superpower from a fringe organization, whose fleets and armies can playfully compete with organized governments, led by Illusive Man, who blabberes on nonsense after nonsense without being able to argue with rational arguments. Kai Leng works for him, who probably fell here through a wormhole from the outer universe, where he tried to harshly outvote Steven Seagal.
And then the end. Distinguished by the color of the explosion. Not making sense in terms of motivating the Reapers (we’ll kill you so you don’t build machines that will kill you – really?). His nonsense is personified by the head of all the Reapers, who decides to entrust the fate of the galaxy into the hands of some Shepard, because. Just. THEREFORE.
Crumbs of perfection
It excites me to remember how my favorite series turned out, just as I will never look at the Game of Thrones with the same eyes after the eighth row. And pain is far worse than indifference, isn’t it? So we’re done. Mass Effect 3 is a worse game!
… But she is not. It is not, because if he does not correct all his multiple sins, he can at least partially compensate for moments of genius. These, as I indicated above, are always based on the great foundations built by previous works, but I do not want to deny Mass Effect 3 and its creative team the deserved merits.
Thus, for example, the final solution to the Genophage question is elaborated excellently. People for whom Mass Effect is more of a shooter will experience breathtaking action sequences at Tuchance and perhaps the most “cool” moment in the entire history of the series, when they enjoy a giant desert worm on Reaper. And the conflict that drives the whole mission would scatter many professors of ethics.
I don’t think the popular choice to cure Genophage, give it to my friend Mordin, and satisfy the good old Wrex is far from as positive as it seems. Yes, you will please two of your loved ones, you will save an entire race from extinction, but at what cost? Probably at the cost of a huge, brutal galactic war over the next few decades – to believe that under Wrex ‘s leadership the whole of Crogan society and culture will change in a few years is somewhat naive.
The same is true of the heartbreaking conclusion of the saga of the Geth and the Quarians. There is an absolutely believable drama at Rannoch, and it’s up to you whether you prefer innocent robots or vengeful organics, or whether you manage (and it’s a bit of a cheap option conditioned by the points of charisma) to resolve the whole situation amicably.
Throughout this sequence, I adore how “human” the characters behave. How the Quarian Admiral acts, from Shepard’s point of view, irrationally and treacherously when he breaks the agreement and launches an attack on hated enemies, but how does this completely correspond to his personality and the motivations he has revealed to you until then. It was to be expected, it is a logical consequence of setting up these particular infantry on this particular board, which is otherwise something that Mass Effect 3 has huge problems with (why Illusive Man actually opposes me and tries to destroy me when his plan to control the Reapers unconditionally requiredto succeed in my mission first?). There are no logical excesses here. Here I feel like in a nicer Mass Effect 1 with more fun shooting.
So, that’s it. Despite all my late failures, Commander Shepard eventually wins over Miss Ryder, so the tone of this article is far from as controversial as the headline might suggest. But let me tell you, it was about the breasts of a skinny Salarian, and nothing, not even a remaster, nor a fourth part, will probably force me to look at the trio with the same love as the first two of Shepard’s adventures.
How are you? Did any of you enjoy Andromeda more than Mass Effect 3? Or do you consider the three to be a dignified completion of the trilogy? Let us know in the comments or write to our Discord.
Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.
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