RPS Asks: Favourites From The Mass Effects?

By Jim Rossignol on March 4th, 2012 at 5:54 pm.


So I am busy playing through Mass Effect 3 at the moment, with my collected thoughts on the events, happenings, and systems therein to appear on Tuesday. I’ve been doing a bit of retrospective browsing over the first two games, too, and comparing events in those to the events in the third game. This process led me to wonder this: what has been your favourite event in the games so far? And why?

As a follow up question: who is your favoured character? Garrus seems like the obvious choice for acerbic/murderous sidekick, and I generally take him on missions for the sound of his voice, but I think Thane was the highlight of Mass Effect 2. Anyway: speak your brains, show your working.

, , , , .

244 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Noodlemonk says:

    When I heard “You WANT me to arrest you?”, and Wrex quickly replies half laughing and clearly not impressed with the officer, “I want you to try.”, I was in love with a big bad moloch horridus for the rest of the series. I can’t wait to spend some more time with my good old buddy.

    I too am extremely fond of the first dialogue between Shepard and Sovereign – that’s the stuff! I still get goosebumps just thinking about it.

    Finally, I just love hanging around the generic first station on Noveria, where you park the Normandy. For some reason I have a soft spot for being inside, when there’s a blizzard going on… It’s rather cosy…

  2. malkav11 says:

    Edit: Oh look, my comments are uneaten, so this was a doublepost!

    I’ll just note a couple of other favorite bits:

    “Scientist Salarian”, of course.
    The obnoxious fanboy, carried between two games.
    Learning that the Asari appear different to different races, and may just be messing with our minds to reproduce – creepy!

  3. Vinraith says:

    @Anthile

    How the hell did I miss that? Ah well, I’ll get it right second playthrough.

    Then again, you’d lost out on his loyalty mission that way. Hmm. That’s probably why I didn’t do it, I suppose.

  4. Lokik says:

    When playing Renegade, Zaeed and Wrex were my favorites. Tali and Legion with Paragon. Garrus is always a nice choice though.

  5. Metonymy says:

    Ive tried more than once to enjoy this series, but the environments just seem dessicated to me, completely lacking in life or creativity. It lacks soul, like a bad episode of Voyager. Then the weapons and enemies are all slight variations on a single theme, and the ‘plot’ is horny simpletons standing around imagining themselves to be important. It’s just dead on the inside, and I feel sorry for people who don’t quickly move on to something better.

    • jalf says:

      Has it occurred to you that those people might just have seen something in the game that you missed? That, perhaps, they don’t need to be felt sorry for?

      If not, I feel sorry for you. It must be sad to have such a hard time coping with subjective matters, the fact that others might experience things differently or have different opinions than yourself.

      Really, there’s no law that you have to like Mass Effect, but “feeling sorry” for people who do? Really?

  6. Premium User Badge

    jaheira says:

    In ME1 cutting off the council on the video conference screen thingy. And getting a phone call from my mum. More games should have phone calls from our mums in them.
    In ME2 it was Shepard’s response to the prison warden’s demand that she relinquish her weapon ie:
    “I’ll relinquish one bullet. Where do you want it?”

    • TheBigBookOfTerror says:

      Oooh that is a good moment. I really enjoyed the renegade moments in ME2, they usually were funny, which is why when I tried it on Mouse I was absolutely horrified and disgusted with myself when Thane and Shepard proceeded to knock seven shades of shit out of him. Anyone else usually was a “bad guy” but seeing what I thought as a cocky, self-serving snitch revealed to just be a poor scared kid trying to make it in an uncaring galaxy was heartbreaking. I even tried apologising but was quite pleased he didn’t accept it. Why should he? I tried to keep playing but I couldn’t live with it, I never did it any other time during either games as it’s not authentic otherwise but I had to reload to a previous save. That’s not a problem with the game, I thought it was brilliant they went with that and it made me feel a bit wary afterwards of constantly trying to be a “cool” and laconic badass. I wish I had the guts to go with it and leave it in but it was too much!

  7. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Favorite moment was the suicide mission. I loved most of both games, but the finale of ME2 gripped me the most by far. I kept thinking “I hope I have done nothing wrong, and they all survive”. They did, and I was happy.

    Favorite character is hard, because I like most of them. I am not a big fan of Miranda, because this whole “I’m made to be perfect” thing irks me. She is also kind of a bitch. Grunt and Zaeed are kind of boring, compared to the others. If I had to pick one from the rest, it would probably be Tali.

  8. InternetBatman says:

    I liked Garrus, Tali, Mordin, and Legion. Hated Jack, Shepard, Kaiden, Ashely. The game might have been better without humans altogether.

  9. stkaye says:

    I thought of this immediately: http://youtu.be/H_MW0hplZTQ?t=2m2s

    I remember this moment was when, in the first game, I suddenly got a feel for just what Mass Effect was trying to achieve. It’s tremendously exciting and inspiring – helped a lot by ME’s customarily strong soundtrack.

    After all this fuss, I kind of wished they hadn’t just dumped the council politics and spectre cachet so completely in ME2.

  10. DM says:

    Yeah Garrus is a fan favorite but I think he was quite… transparent during ME2 and he was hardly develloped during ME2, no real evolution from ME1 Garrus.

    My favorite ME2 character is Legion, I love his design, his ways of speaking, and his dialogue with EDI were pretty funny. Sadly he came into the team pretty late and thus is also not develloped as Miranda or Thayne.
    Mordin is a badass motherfucker too. =D

    • jealouspirate says:

      Exactly. I like Garrus and all, but it seemed like his story in ME2 was identical to ME1. It was like all the stuff I did with him in ME1 to sort out his authority/anger issues didn’t happen.

  11. Om says:

    Only ever played the first one and there was nobody that really jumped out and said ‘Hey, give a damn about me’. Which is one of the reasons that I never played the second

  12. Mike says:

    Wrex’s death in ME1. He’d made himself my favourite character after hating him initially. Gruff, abrasive, and unafraid to laugh at the ridiculous happenings of the early game in ME.

    Then Ashley shot him in the back.

    Which was a surprise because I’d not seen this kind of thing in videogames all that much before (besides, perhaps, a smattering in Final Fantasies). I certainly wasn’t expecting it to happen so early on to what I assumed was perceived as a minor character.

    I was pretty distraught. Everything after that point became a drive to help the Krogan in any way I could. I left Ashley to die at the end of Mass Effect as a result, too. Even with the option to change that outcome at the beginning of ME2 (I lost my savegame) I kept it as it was because it pretty much defined my entire story. I really like that the game managed to sustain that feeling throughout.

    • stkaye says:

      It’s a fantastic game that makes you feel allied to a certain turn of events like that: that’s roleplaying.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      It’s a fantastic game that makes you feel allied to a certain turn of events like that: that’s roleplaying.

      No it’s not?

      Have you read a good novel before? Seen a good movie? Do you think feeling attached to characters in those makes them ‘roleplaying’? Have you given this any thought at all?

    • Kadayi says:

      @Runs With Foxes

      Do you remotely understand the difference between passive and interactive media? Have you given this any thought at all?

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Do you remotely understand the concept of relevance?

    • Kadayi says:

      @Runs With Foxes

      I asked first. Go for it. Knock yourself out.

      *gets pop corn*

      Pulls up chair.

    • soldant says:

      @Runs with foxes – what you’re saying might make more sense if the cutscenes didn’t actually have any choices. As Kadayi said, the difference lies entirely in the interactivity. I don’t play a role in a book or a movie, I’m an external observer. In a game, I am Shepard, and this is my favourite argument on the citadel.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      So you agree that making some binary Moral Choices and feeling attached to a character constitutes ‘roleplaying’? How extraordinarily far that proud genre has fallen at the hands of Bioware and their fans.

    • Grim_22 says:

      I remember when that happened in my first playthrough. I got so pissed at Ash, all I wanted was a dialogue option to shoot her in the knee or something. I actually shot her several times in the face with my shotgun after the scene was over, frantically hoping that she’d fall over dead sooner or later.

      She didn’t.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Runs With Foxes

      Amusing as it is to listen to you rubbish Bioware and the people who enjoy their games from your high horse (which makes me totally think of of this:- http://xkcd.com/610/ )

      I think it’s important to point out that pretty much all CRPGs offer up a limited number of choices in terms of dialogue responses, and often you get shoved down the route of picking one side or the other. Hell some games don’t even give you that choice at all. There’s a clear end goal (kill the bad guy, rescue the princess, save the kingdom) and until you do that the game’s unfinished. Whether you side with the elves or the Goblins, or marry a horse is entirely moot.

      Certainly ME isn’t Shakespeare, but then again neither is BG. PS:T is about the best written RPG we’ve had, and in that you play a pre-defined character with a fixed history and a limited number of dialogue options. About the closest you can get to a free narrative experience is something like the Sims where in the game-play is entirely emergent and often (comically) unpredictable.

  13. Sunjammer says:

    I always remember enjoying the games, but they portray curiously unmemorable events. I remember characters more.

    I liked Talia a lot, kind of irrationally. Just something about a faceless character lets you project in a way that’s rare these days. Also, Kelly, which in spite of its ridiculous conclusion was the only semi-realistic romance plot in the game.

    Also, I remember how hideous my custom Sheperd was

  14. Premium User Badge

    Reset says:

    Little moments I enjoyed-

    In ME2, when surveying the wreckage of the first Normandy, I found a datapad of diary entries talking about a crew member overcoming their feelings of xenophobia and growing to like the aliens on the crew. I assumed it was Ash, who I’d let die in ME1 because I thought Kaidan was a better choice to work with a team of Salarians on a delicate mission and then decided to rescue the larger group of people in danger. Then it turned out it was actually Navigator Pressly’s diary. Oh Ash, xenophobic to the end.

    Also in ME2, when my recently resurrected Shepard got a slightly passive-aggressive “How come you never write your mother and tell her you’re still alive” email from my spacer background mom. Really added layers to my interpretation of the character I wasn’t expecting to be there out of a small moment.

    Also memorable were the moments when the game pushed my typically paragon Shepard into going with renegade options or dialogue choices. In the confrontation with Saren at the end of ME1, I could’ve talked him into shooting himself, and I almost always prefer to solve problems with words and not violence when games give me the option. But for some reason angry threats about how much I was about to destroy him just seemed the right way to go here. And then in ME2, in Thane’s loyalty mission, I kept trying to hold off roughing up the interrogation suspect, but gave in and punched the guy the third time I was given the option to.

    Oh, and the Elcor Hamlet advertisement in the Citadel was great.

    • Premium User Badge

      Skeletor68 says:

      I loved the Elcor Hamlet production thing too. Very funny.

      Agreed about playing Paragon and being pushed into Renegade. I remember going back to the Citadel and speaking to the Council. After saving their ungrateful asses in the first they were still a bunch of limp idiots so I basically told them to screw themselves and rejected their offer to rejoin as a spectre. Emotion got the best of me there.

      Also my Mordin is dead. I picked him as a tech expert on the final mission (apparently scientists aren’t techy?). I’ll have to keep going without him now, a pity but will add weight to the storyline.

  15. diestormlie says:

    There is something frightening about hating your Player character.

    Additionally, Jack is awesome and Bad-ass. Period.

    • Bureaucrat says:

      Yeah, I found the way both Jack and Miranda developed disappointing. Satisfyingly badass ladies… until you dig into their respective daddy issues and they turn into blubbering softies.

      You don’t see this kind of thing happening with male characters.

    • Christian O. says:

      @Bureaucrat

      It happened with both Jacob and Thane in ME2 though.

  16. Buemba says:

    The opening of ME2, when you open the door to the Normandy’s command center and see the Reaper ship blasted a gigantic hole in it. Everything goes silent and all you hear is Sheppard breathing as he slowly walks towards the pilot cabin.

    Also loved the elevator conversations between squadmates in ME1. Their absence in 2 was particularly annoying after seeing how much better Dragon Age: Origins did them.

  17. Pinky_Powers says:

    I play as a wizard Female Shepard, so I like to have hard-boiled killers to round my party out. In ME 1 it was Wrex and Garrus. In ME 2 I fell in love with Jack in place of my Turrian and Grunt for obvious representation. In my last playthrough, however, I used Jack and Miranda for nearly every mission. I was surprised how well they worked for me.

    In terms of favorite characters… It’s a hard one. There are so many good characters in this series. But to be fair, Mordon has risen pretty high on my list. And I’m absolutely smitten with Tali, and have been from the outset.

  18. Deviija says:

    Favorite event specifically? Garrus’ romance. In general, I love everything relating to Garrus, from the humor to the sidekick status, to the friendship and budding love between these two allies that have been through hell together.

  19. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Killing the racist was my favorite moment & Thane is my favorite character.

  20. thestage says:

    Who is your favorite character? What, are we 12 years old? Am I supposed to use the words “badass” and “epic” somewhere too?

    • Premium User Badge

      jaheira says:

      Some us might be twelve years old, I don’t know. Feel free to use the words “badass” and “epic” wherever you like, though it would be most appropriate to use them when describing things which are either badass or epic.

    • NathanH says:

      Bonus points for “visceral”!

    • Geralt says:

      Well aren’t you all grown up and mature. It’s alright, naming your favorite character in a fictional story is something everyone does, including grown ups since we all like some characters more than others.

    • Jimbo says:

      Wrex is the best and because ferocious!

    • Antsy says:

      That was an epic and badass stand against all things childish. Don’t worry though, you’ll learn to appreciate the childish again some day.

  21. pierrot says:

    I’ve seen broadsheets ask the exact same question about The Wire

  22. kyrieee says:

    The obvious answer is…

    SHEPARD! :D

  23. Jauffre says:

    From all the awesome parts throughout the game, I love Bioware’s humour. Especially the Turian who gets friend zoned on Illium with the Quarian. I laughed for so long about that. My favourite characters are Garrus/Tali. Garrus is awesome by default and I love Tali’s awkward personality.

    I really wish I didn’t kill Wrex in ME1 as it seems so many people liked him in ME2. But oh well, I didn’t know how else to do it and I can just make another game for it.

  24. Suits says:

    the dude from the DLC ofc

  25. McDan says:

    So many things, my favourite game series after all. Well favourite companions would have to be Garrus and Tali, I suppose liara counts as well seeing as she’s always the romance option when I go for it. But having Garrus and Tali present in all three games (hopefully) just makes them seem like pretty solid best space buds!

    The most fun I’ve ever had was in the first ME, in Feros on my second playthrough on insane with a character, blasting away geth and infected colonists with a fully upgraded shotgun. So much fun. There’s a little side mission in ME2 that comes close to that on a planet with seemingly infinite husks and you have to blow up a reaper artifact. Ah! Too many good moments! The story DLC for the second game was amazing as well, best would have to be the shadow broker one, the first part of just finding liara then the assassin was so good. I’ll stop otherwise I could continue all night. Favourite. Game. Series.

  26. stevendick says:

    I loved Mordin’s rather ADD/Asperger-flavoured dialog. Having just watched Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I’m reminded of the similarity of Lisbeth and Jack – both broken individuals, but powerful in their own right.

  27. sharkh20 says:

    Punching the reporter….twice.

  28. Henson says:

    Virmire. This is where things felt real.

  29. hypercrisis says:

    talking the final boss into killing himself (shame he came right back)

    and renegade cutscene actions

  30. Asklepios says:

    One of my favorite game series, besides t.ex. with Dragon Age and Witcher.

    Favorite moment:
    In the end of ME2, I thought I did everything right, nobody should die. Then, after the human reaper is killed, Mordin lies dead. That was an awful moment, since Mordin was one of my favorite characters. But then again, feeling awful for Mordins death makes it my favorite moment. I really haven’t felt so before over a game. It really makes me feel like I’m really playing the story. And I love it.

    I still consider loading a saved game and make Mordin go with the crew members. I really want to, I want Mordin to survive. But I won’t. This is my story, and despite how bad I feel for Mordin, or actually becouse of it, I want to play it trough as it goes.

  31. Runs With Foxes says:

    Funny how everyone’s favourite moments in this series are all about cutscenes, conversation options and character dialogue. Not a bit of actual gameplay to be found.

    My favourite moment has been over the past year or so: the huge backlash against Bioware for making mediocre screenplays aimed at their inbred community of emotional manchildren, and turning the popular definition of RPG into ‘third person relationship simulator’.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Equally, I think it’s a good direction to go in to put more stats under the hood. You can make games where you expose every algorithm in the game to the user, or you can make a game that attempts to abstract all that away. Bioware don’t have an obligation to make either.

    • sinister agent says:

      So, Kaiden then?

    • TheBigBookOfTerror says:

      I actually treat the games as more advanced versions of the interactive movies of the 90s. It’s still gameplay, just not in the traditional sense. While there are flaws, I do find the action exciting and have no complaints other than I hated the Hammerhead. The Mako was much more fun. The scanning wasn’t too bad, but I won’t miss it if it’s gone from ME3.

    • kyrieee says:

      ME1/2 doesn’t have much of what you traditionally call a cutscene, and most of moments people are referencing certainly aren’t. No, you’re not in direct control of your character during conversations, but the interactivity still makes you feel more involved than you would be in a cutscene and part of the reason people remember certain scenes is because they were impacted by the choices they had made.

    • Kadayi says:

      “the huge backlash against Bioware for making mediocre screenplays aimed at their inbred community of emotional manchildren, and turning the popular definition of RPG into ‘third person relationship simulator’.”

      You’ve a luminous imagination there. Also very classy getting the ad hom in there at the fan base.

    • thestage says:

      It’s not an ad hominem if it is 1) true, and 2) relevant to the argument. Not that I would expect anyone talking about their favorite moments in mass effect omg to be aware of any of this.

    • Premium User Badge

      jaheira says:

      “Funny how everyone’s favourite moments in this series are all about cutscenes, conversation options and character dialogue. Not a bit of actual gameplay to be found.”

      So what?

    • Kadayi says:

      @thestage

      Is this an invasion from the Codex or something? True? What’s true? That some people like a game and others seemingly despise them for it? Heavens forbid people don’t share the same tastes as others? Call the culture police, we’ve got ourselves a situation.

    • TariqOne says:

      It’s sort of endearing, the maelstrom of hormonal emotion churning in you over a fucking video game — and how you still pridefully struggle to wrap yourself in that little figleaf of feigned haughty indifference.

      We’re all really just human beings at bottom, I guess.

    • Saskwach says:

      @jaheira: ‘So what?’

      Because games are about gameplay and if you want to make a movie then make a B-grade movie with shitty dialogue but you can’t because you’re a HACK and everyone who likes your stuff is STUPID and IMMATURE and probably fondles GOAT TESTICLES and why are we even discussing STORY in a game games are about gameplay there is NO OTHER WAY.

      Seriously, I’m laughing my ass off. This troll is hilarious.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Saskwach sums it up.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Runs With Foxes

      You need to pay greater attention to what’s being said.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Seriously, remove the sarcasm and Saskwach’s post is right on. What a terrible state the industry is in if ‘games are about gameplay’ is used sarcastically now.

    • Christian O. says:

      Actually, yes, it is an ad hominem even if it is true and relevant to the argument. Ad hominems are logical fallacies which means that conclusions don’t follow from premises and thus aren’t logically valid. If I say that vegetarianism is bad because Hitler was a vegetarian, then I use a type of ad hominem (“reductio ad hilterum”) and while the comparison might be apt (the person I’m speaking to might be a bad person, as Hitler was a bad person), it does not logically follow.

      Ergo, attacks on character can be relevant and true but they’re still ad hominems, because you attack someone’s person and not their argument. You can claim that the argument is implicit in your attack of their character, but it does not follow from the premises you put forth.

      This argument is stupid, because genres aren’t absolute things (rather they have fuzzy standards) and treating them as such means you have to set standards down that most likely won’t apply to all things that you would deem part of that genre. You’re welcome to have a civile discussion about it, but let’s not fool ourselves into believing that genres are necessary for a game to be either good or poor. They only define what a good or a poor example of the genre is.

  32. TheBigBookOfTerror says:

    I used to hate Ashley but on my first and current complete ME1 & ME2 Ms Shepard, she didn’t display any xenophobic traits. Kaidan made the statements about Shepard liking freaky blue aliens and how there were too many foreign types on my crew. I’m sure I went through all the dialogue choices, it just never cropped up. I never liked Kaidan anyway though so he ended up a smoking crater and Ashley ended up being a loyal best bud through ME1.

    I was a bit ticked off that you really only get to know Jack and see her more vulnerable side if you go full paragon with a male Shepard. Although I really liked Miranda (she does have the capability to change, and she does in my story so I don’t think she’s a bad person), I tended to gravitate towards Jack. Once the loyalty mision was done with, beyond taking Jack on missions, there is no more interaction aside from a short chat and that made me sad.

    Somehow despite playing ME2 three times before, it was only this recent playthrough in anticipation of 3 that I finally saw Mordin’s rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan, it’s definitely a highlight.

    My absolute favourite moment is during Miranda’s loyalty mission, the renegade option when facing off against the mercs. Shepard shoots the exploding crate and Miranda unloads whole clip into their Captain.

  33. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    My ending. I fucked up horribly, but the pointless tragedies made the game my own. I was going through a rough patch and it was somewhat comforting to see a videogame character fail in her life goals as well.

    I would say the dialogue is pretty neat for a game, but Human Revolution topped it, so what a shame.

  34. Retsudo says:

    I scanned through the comments and I’m surprised no one has mentioned the Rachni. I was pretty happy to make a connection with a species near extinct and misunderstood in ME1, as well as hear from them later on in ME2. Even happier to find out they kept their word. I’ve been anticipating their return, and hoping they haven’t been conveniently forgotten. Probably the biggest decision that keeps me holding on to my save file.

    As for characters, Wrex and Tali in close 2nd. Legion deserves an honorable mention because the talks with him definitely changed my thinking regarding synthetic life as a people.

    The implications of the spoiler DLC are pretty interesting, but not so much to me as the potential swarm of Rachni beasts to blind-side the reapers.

    • TheBigBookOfTerror says:

      I think there are so many it’s easy to miss out such a glaring obvious choice. While there is a lot of valid criticism of some elements of the series, I think it gets a lot more right than wrong.

      One of my favourite features has to be the continuation of savegames. It must have been quite a gamble to put aside resources and time to implement it in the original when success was not guaranteed once the game was out. In an alternate universe there could well be a RPS article focussing on clever gimmicks that appeared in failed games and Mass Effect would be highlighted for having this ambitious feature that sadly never paid off.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jackablade says:

      I thought the Rachni queen was interesting because if you decide that the whole “I’m the last of my kind” sob story is a bluff and decide to melt her, it becomes clear fairly quickly that she was indeed lying. There are still planets swarming with nasty giant bugs that you’ll come across while bouncing around in the Mako. Of course now they’re probably going to ally with the bee guys against me, but that’s the price one pays for ones “no negotiation with bugs” policy.

    • Saskwach says:

      Yeah, in hindsight I think I should have melted the Queen. You can never be sure, but the choice as presented was essentially:

      1) Take a chance on love and beauty and risk another ride on the bug invasion merry-go-round, but this time without the rabbit-reproduction-super-soldier Krogan.
      or
      2) Kill her just in case.

      I’m all for love and beauty and best friends forever, but it’s not worth the risk in this case. If you decide to go with 2 you have nothing to go on besides the Queen’s own word – someone with every reason to lie if the truth doesn’t suit the person with the big red button. Whereas 1 has a pretty brutal interstellar war going for it.

      Don’t know how the Queen convinced me the first time tbh.

    • Premium User Badge

      piratmonkey says:

      But she’s not lying? The Rachni born without a queen are crazy because they can’t hear “the song” or whatever. And the Queen tells you, through an intermediary, that the Rachni were mind controlled by the Reapers to fight everyone. However, I would’ve preferred that it be revealed the Rachni had just wanted to expand or were provoked..

  35. Velvetmeds says:

    I pretty much liked everyone, except Jack, Jacob and that ME2 DLC guy… Aside from those, great characters all round

  36. DaFishes says:

    I loved all the alien squadmates. The humans were fine, but the aliens were way cooler. Garrus was my favorite.

    None of this matters, though. It’s all going straight to shit.

  37. The Hammer says:

    I think my favourite moment from the first two Mass Effects took place near to the end of the former, in which you’re hurtling the Mako down a several miles-long corridor, with the Vigil score from the main menu gradually replacing the level’s default music.

    Cue a detour into a chamber housing Vigil himself, an AI created by the Protheans to record all kinds of portentious information. Vigil ties up loose ends, and then presents you with an entirely new set of strings which are somewhat harder to knot.

    It’s the “epiphany” moment of Mass Effect, a prelude to the awesome Citadel battle to come, and oh so every emotional too, if you’re hooked in by the music, the voices, and the shimmering visage of the AI itself. Which I shamelessly confess I was.

    Mind you, I started this post with “I think”, mainly because I thought I’d remember other great moments deserving of praise. It turns out I did, but hells, too many to list.

  38. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    Favourite moments are difficult, especially since I’ve been replaying the series and a lot of them are fresh in my mind. Some of the dialogue in Shadow Broker, for instance, is just genius.

    But in terms of major set-pieces, the attack on the Citadel at the end of ME1 is brilliant, and would be up there on the list of best game endings in my book. From the foreshadowing of the Conduit, to climbing the side of the tower, to the entire fleet battle. It manages to absolutely nail ‘epic’, without resorting to an incredibly difficult final boss; Saren’s tough but by no means the hardest fight in the game, and you can even talk your way out of the first part of the fight entirely. ME2 is certainly the better game, but the story and pacing of the first gripped me much more, and the ending just capped that perfectly. ME2’s suicide mission was clever, and very tense the first time through, but the Citadel attack just feels huge in a way taking out the Collector base didn’t.

    Favourite character is too difficult, really. Garrus and Tali would be up there, given they’re usually my main squad for most of ME1, but Mordin is fantastic as well. I really like Legion, too. The loyalty missions were a brilliant bit of design, as well; I found myself mixing up my squad more regularly after finishing them.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      Unrelated Addendum; saw top picture, thought Thane was getting it on with Dr Chakwas.

  39. Pattom says:

    Favorite scene in the series is still the mission on Virmire. Everything that makes this series worth playing is there: interplay between characters, choices with weight, ferocious combat, unexpected horror and tragedy. The first game has been fun this whole time, but this is the part that makes my jaw drop, and it never lets up from here on out.

    As for favorite NPCs, it’s a tie between Mordin and Garrus. Mordin because he’s Mordin, and Garrus because of the way he’s developed between the first two games. In ME1, you get to mentor this rough-and-tumble kid looking for a fight; in ME2, he’s the only one cool enough to be Shepard’s back-up. Second tier would be Wrex and Samara: their internal conflicts are pretty compelling, I think, once you get past the walls they put up.

    • gwathdring says:

      I’m with you and those above who have pointed to Virmire as the strongest set-piece. The Reapers felt more threatening on Virmire than ever before or after that sequence when Sovreign has a chat with Shepard. The mission felt like it had a sense of urgency, Saren still seemed like a threat in his own right, up to two team members could die, the dialog felt pretty solid, and the combat was relatively engaging. I even felt like more than Kaidan or Ashley was at stake at the end (will the Geth break past Kaidan’s lone defense and diffuse the bomb? What about the Salarian commando team?). I came out of Virmire intimately engaged with the game, and too filled with a sense of urgency to dither about with side quests. I wasn’t emotionally pulled out of the game again until Liara showed up en route to Illos leaving me with the options “let’s have sex,” “let’s have sex” (nicely), and “Get the hell out of my cabin.”

  40. Bureaucrat says:

    Favorite individual dialogue choices:

    ME1, after recruiting Liara, Joker makes some crack and Liara asks how he can make jokes when all our lives were at risk. The bottom-right option on the wheel is “He’s a jerk,” and voiceover is “Joker can be a real ass sometimes.” That crystalized an alternate narrative that feels a lot more likely to me: Shepard hates Joker. I mean, she’s a high-ranking military officer, responsible for the safety of a crew and the success of a mission. He’s a hotshot pilot who insists everybody call him by a stupid nickname, who makes a mockery of ship discipline, and who is on board in a position of responsibility in spite of being physically unfit for service on a ship of war. This is not the sort of person that military commanders like having around.

    ME2, when the perky receptionist chick says “Please, call me Kelly,” dialogue-wheel option “No.”

    • TheBigBookOfTerror says:

      I befriended the nutcase just so someone would feed my damn fish. Seriously, I can’t just order some lackey to do it? JACOB, FEED MY SPACE FISH AND CLEAN MY SPACE HAMSTER’S CAGE OUT RIGHT NOW!

  41. Ruffian says:

    Mordin! of course. his whole story arc was my fave. I also thoroughly enjoyed Legion being a part of your crew, and the way he fleshed out the geth as a race, was pretty interesting.

  42. bill says:

    The way my passive aggressive annoying sheppard responds to everything in exactly the way i didn’t intend just to annoy me?

  43. harlequin382 says:

    Unless i missed it, you are all wrong. . . Zaeed is by far the best character :) along with miranda- awsome combo

  44. evilhippo says:

    Jack was my fav… followed by Miranda and then Legion

  45. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    Wrex is my favourite character and the source of my only retconning of the story through reloading. Usually I’ll live with my decisions where ever they take me, but I couldn’t deal with Wrex being gunned down by Ashley who was a character I could never bring myself to deal with. If I’d been given the option to execute her on the spot then perhaps I’d have stuck with the story as it was, but just rolling on after my favourite character was murdered and having no choice of repercussion beyond a stern talking-to didn’t sit with me at all. I reloaded, went back hours in gameplay to build up sufficient paragon points in order to talk Wrex down. Would have been nice to be able to have the option sympathise with him, maybe even grab a sample of the genophage cure to analyse, but never the less, it felt more “right” in the story and meeting Wrex again in ME2 made it all worthwhile.

    On a similar note, making my choice of what to do with the Geth that wound up being dragged into the AI core of the Normandy was somewhat memorable. The choice? Do nothing. As a player I know that he’s a friendly NPC with what sound like some interesting associated missions, but Shepherd does not the Geth have been consistent enemies throughout and as such activating one on the ship, the the ships AI core of all places, would seem to be an act of stupidity, particularly with the suicide mission in the very near future. I can justify the likes of letting Grunt out of his tank because I have had positive experiences dealing with Krogan in the past. The option was also there to hand the Geth to the Illusive Man, but at this point he’s not someone who’s motives I’m inclined to trust much more than a potentially killer robot.

    I’ll be interested to see how Bioware interprets my choice here.

  46. nabeel says:

    I have many favourite moments in the Mass Effect games, but definitely the singlemost coolest moment for me was the first encounter with Sovereign. The music and dialogue were just perfect, it was a short but ominous conversation that hit all the right notes for me in terms of creating awe and a sense of mystery and foreboding.

    A close second was the opening to ME2. The way everything goes quiet when you step into the damaged area of the Normandy and you can only hear Shepard’s breathing, chill inducing. And that shot of Shepard struggling to breathe and falling into the planet’s atmosphere just before the titles show, so disturbing and disquieting.

    • Premium User Badge

      Fiyenyaa says:

      The ME2 opening was amazing; the really evocative sound-direction makes it that much more noteworthy.
      Although I will say as a mega-nitpick; the fact that your shepherd is wearing armour types that aren’t actually available in the main game is quite annoying to me (my Shepherd was an infiltrator, and was wearing armour much lighter than the default ME2 armour that everyone wears after being rebuilt). Having played the ME3 multiplayer demo, I hope they do as good a job with single-player armour customisation as they did with multiplayer weapon customisation.

  47. jimangi says:

    I’ve never seen a game ending better than Mass Effect 2’s. No game I’ve seen has you lose major characters through mistakes like ME2 does. The turning of a person into Reaper goo is a whole lot more revolting when it’s Kelly Chambers. When Mordin looked like he was going to slip off the side of the hover -thing my heart was in my mouth (even though they can’t die on that particular bit).

  48. Tei says:

    My favorite events are… the visit to one of the protean worlds, … the sense of mistery was strong. Also that mission where you have to defend a room where a sniper has got stuck. I like that final where you kill that big monster that attack the citadel.

  49. TheIronSky says:

    Garrus was always one of my favoured characters – had good powers, great stories (“I had strength while she had flexibility…”), and too often saved my ass from husks when they swarmed in on me.

    Thane was not a favourite of mine. The Drell are certainly an interesting species, but Thane left so much to be desired, and after seeing him in action I didn’t feel like he anything more to offer than just being the slightly-ironic Drell assassin. Although, I must admit that his loyalty and recruitment missions were stellar. I really enjoyed seeing him drop through the air-ducts to assail Nassana and stand in the Blade-Runner inspired venetian blind-based backlighting. That was good stuff.

    I guess I’d have to say that Liara is my favourite character, since she has such a storied past and seems to have some serious dedication to her work, whether that’s saving Shepard’s corpse from the Shadow Broker or working on some intergalactic SCIENCE!

    Then I’d say Garrus is next, for reasons detailed above; followed by Mordin, because he’s just a quick-witted intellectual who’s as likely to heal you as he is to shoot you (in the words of Aria, I believe).

    Then I’d say Tali and Saren. Tali because she’s the main Quarian in the game (and Quarians are so damn interesting!) and Saren because it’s so much fun watching his slow descent into insanity and eventual cyber-kineticism.

    As far as moments, I’d say that it was pretty incredible when you spoke to Sovereign. He was the first bad guy in a long time that made me feel like I’d encountered a truly sinister inter-stellar being. Nothing can humble a man like the reaper-instilled fear of complete and utter annihilation.