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  1. #1
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    Mass Effect; Never Played It; Advice

    So someone talked me into trying out the Mass Effect series. So tired of sword and sorcery I could cry anyway, and I have never played a Mass Effect game.

    My question for any friendly RPS Readers is: Do I start with the first game? I was told it is lacking compared with 2 and 3, but it seems somehow...wrong...to not begin there. Any recommendations are welcome.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Play the first game, definitely. It sets up the universe, arguably has the best story, a good set of characters and mechanically is fine. Not amazing, but it works. If you like what's presented to you by the end of it, get 2 and see how you feel with that and the same with that into 3.

    There'll probably be a lot of people who say "The ending of 3 ruins the entire series!" blardy blah, but don't let that concern you right away. If you have some interest, get the first one and try it out.

    Also, play as Female Shepard.
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  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spider Jerusalem's Avatar
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    play the first game (and do play as femshep) and then pretend it's the only game in the series.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Play them in sequence and import the save games as you go, there's really no other way to play. Trying to start with a later one means you miss out on a fair chunk of the story from the other one as well as lots of little minor plot points which can carry through all the way to the final game.

    The combat in ME2 and ME3 is much better than in ME1; the first game's combat is fairly boring and a bit clunky, it gets better as the series progresses. People complain about ME2 removing a lot of powers and such but they were re-added in ME3. Also lots of people complain that ME2's story isn't as good as 1, but it's important to remember that ME2 is really a bridge between 1 and 3, so it can't resolve any major plot points. It does have much better interaction with the major characters though.

    And yeah the ending is a little ridiculous, but it doesn't invalidate the rest of the fun you'll have (despite what people will tell you). It's a great series. It's not the messiah of game writing, it's not Planescape: Torment with spaceships and blue aliens, but it is extremely entertaining.
    Last edited by soldant; 27-04-2012 at 02:21 AM. Reason: Typo

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Femshep ftw!

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Skip the sidequests.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    The combat in the first game is clunky, but if you can get over that it's probably the most well rounded of the three from a story perspective. More than anything the ME games are games about characters, the overall plot arc becomes convoluted and riddled with plot holes, but the story of the characters you meet is pretty great and holds the whole thing together. You don't really want to miss the introduction of some of the characters by skipping 1.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    It's popular for some reason, but don't bother with the sequels if you don't like the first game. They're slicker and shootier but no more interesting.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    I can only reiterate what people said: Play 'em all, in order, keep the savegames as you go, and play femshep.

    Hell, by the time you finish (this is prolly a 100+ hour investment) EA Bioware will have edited the final ending. :P
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  10. #10
    Network Hub Capt. Eduardo del Mango's Avatar
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    I'd never had a go at them either (the Zero Punctuation reviews seem to match my tastes pretty well and his vedict was "well written dull FPS in space"), but bought ME2 and... Thought it was a well written dull FPS in space, got bored after three hours and gave up. Reading this, though, I'll have a go at ME1 and see if engenders any more attachment to the characters (apparently the primary motivation for continuing through).

    For what it's worth, the point where ME2 got switched off was when my Astro-PA said of my big basilisk/tiger power-armour suited mate that she "Just wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything was going to be all right", and there was no option to smash the heel of your boot into her face and throw her out of an airlock.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. Eduardo del Mango View Post
    For what it's worth, the point where ME2 got switched off was when my Astro-PA said of my big basilisk/tiger power-armour suited mate that she "Just wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything was going to be all right", and there was no option to smash the heel of your boot into her face and throw her out of an airlock.
    Dude. Garrus is awesome, and anyone who wants to hug him is awesome by proxy (if a bit of a dork).
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  12. #12
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    You have to start with the first one - my advice is to set the difficulty low and just hammer through the story and get a feel for the game. You should get drawn into that aspect of it and be glad that some of the random quest/mission stuff is just easily knocked-on-the-head (and the combat can be a bit ropey too - so just turn that difficulty down).

    You aren't playing ME games for the detailed combat or tedious exploration bits anyway - it's all about the story/characters/experience - hell, if you love it you can go back and try it on 'harder', later.

  13. #13
    Let me repeat what Sabrage said: Skip the sidequests! Unless a party member asks you to do it, it's a waste of time in a cookie cutter environment.

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spider Jerusalem's Avatar
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    beware the mako.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    To back up the rest of the advice, as well as my own, I also advise you to not play as a soldier. It gets stuff done, but it's rather boring.
    Powered by Steam. And biscuits. I'm also a twit and dabble in creative writing.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    To back up the rest of the advice, as well as my own, I also advise you to not play as a soldier. It gets stuff done, but it's rather boring.
    Pff. Revenant is fun.

    Also, am I the only person who thinks "well written" and "dull" are contradictions in terms?
    Last edited by Nalano; 27-04-2012 at 04:26 AM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    I could of course be entirely forgetful, but I don't recall there being a revenant type in ME1...? The class is built like a tank though, so if you don't want to die, good go-to choice.

    Also, you're not. I don't think much of ME is dull, just uninspiring at times.
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  18. #18
    Network Hub Capt. Eduardo del Mango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Also, am I the only person who thinks "well written" and "dull" are contradictions in terms?
    I think in this context (given 'written' can refer to a game's dialogue, its overarching narrative, its cinematography, its programming, or to the entire game holistically) both terms are too open to interpretation to be considered contradictory. The sense in which I meant it was that a game can be "well written" in so far as the characters can be entirely believable, but that doesn't stop those characters from doing dull things (e.g. setting out on a mission to save the galaxy with dull combat in a dull spaceship which interacts with planets in a dull way*). Putting it another way, a "well written" play can be brought to life by a crap director with crap actors and crap props and crap ice cream at the interval.

    Additionally, a game can be "well written" for the constraints of the medium, which wouldn't contradict somebody finding the limits of the medium exciting - e.g. your charater can be well written given that tradition/technology dictates three to five discrete dialogue options per instance, but even if those options were provably "well written", that wouldn't contradict somebody finding that process of picking one of those options unfulfilling, or "dull".

    Were it a non-inteactive medium then it might be harder to reconcile "well written" and "dull", but obviously there's a non-narritive element and it's reasonable to expect to be excited by both elements - if I'm solely after "well written" I can grab a book, but given I purchased a sci-fi space opera game I can have expectations of it exciting me beyond being "well written".

    *Dull in my opinion, from my limited time with the game.
    Last edited by Capt. Eduardo del Mango; 27-04-2012 at 05:52 AM.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    I could of course be entirely forgetful, but I don't recall there being a revenant type in ME1...? The class is built like a tank though, so if you don't want to die, good go-to choice.
    There's no Revenant in ME1, but ME1's combat's been blown away by later iterations anyway. I concur with previous: Run it through on Easy (it's easy to screw with the weapon mods such that nothing stands in your way anyway) as the harder difficulties just makes things take longer, not makes 'em harder. (KoA suffers the same issue.) That said, the last time I was afraid of a Krogan was ME1.

    I can understand how, while the writing is great, the gameplay may be dull (and YMMV on both counts), I'm drawn to wonder what makes gameplay fun. Obviously the mako/planet-scanning were flops, which is why Bioware dropped 'em like bad habits, but I didn't necessarily see the combat sequences as so different from your average TPS as to detract from the experience.

    For me, for instance, sound means a lot. I love both BF3 and ME3 because they make a great deal of use of my subwoofer, and when things blow up they sound meaty. Also, the chunky salsa you turn people's heads into helps, too. :P

    btw, just found this gem:

    Shepard: How's your focus, EDI? Any big questions?
    EDI: No.
    Shepard: Any small questions?
    EDI: No.
    Shepard: Any lingering issues?
    EDI: About what?
    Shepard: An imperfect designer who could be seen as a warped father figure, maybe?
    EDI: Definitely not. Did something prompt this line of questioning?
    Shepard: I've just learned you have to ask about these things.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Also, am I the only person who thinks "well written" and "dull" are contradictions in terms?
    Not really. I find Planescape: Torment's conversation parts riveting, but the rest of it is fairly boring. As Eduardo has said, one can impact the other in this case. On the whole I have to push myself through the combat parts to get to the conversation parts, and overall it makes it tough going and fairly dull.

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