Mass Effect’s Shepard Pops Back To Say Goodbye

Mass Effect won’t be the same without Shepard, will it? All things pass, and all flesh is grass (or cybergrass), but I’ll miss the old girl. Still, she has come back one last (?) time in a short video to say goodbye and hand over to… whoever the hero of Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] will be. Casting suggestion, BioWare: that there Jennifer Hale is great, isn’t she?

This short vid was released on Saturday for this year’s N7 Day, BioWare’s annual Mass Effect fan love-in. There’s no gameplay from Andromeda here, just what I understand is known to the youth of today as “the feelsings.”

I got goosebumps, but I’m easy to manipulate – as stony as I am, play soaring orchestral music and I’ll get misty-eyed over someone reading their shopping list out loud in the the supermarket’s veg aisle. It’s dangerous this time of year, when Christmas music is piped in. “Shallots…” they whisper, leaving it hanging, and I bite my lip to force the tears back inside

Mass Effect Andromeda, if you’ve missed the fuss, is blasting off into a new galaxy long after the original trilogy, and… we don’t know much more than that. Except a new Mako to drive around in, ME3-ish combat, and probably no familiar faces. It’s due towards the end of 2016, so I suppose we’ll start seeing more of it in the months ahead. For now, you might also dig the concept art in here and these motivational posters.

“What even is rocket?” they mutter as the Carol of the Bells stirs and I fall to the floor weeping and wailing. I am now banned from two Scotmids, the Marks & Sparks in the train station, and the big Tesco.


  1. The Dark One says:

    Hah, I half-expect the game to come out and have them make the ship’s VI be based on FemShep (onlyshep) or something.

    • Jekhar says:

      They could rip off worse games than I-War, so why not? I would not complain to hear more lines from Erik Schäffler.

    • Jenks says:


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      particlese says:

      I somehow missed the “‘s VI” on first read, which conjured a rather strange image.

  2. Hieronymusgoa says:

    that sound at the end always gets me…

  3. Der Zeitgeist says:

    Looks a lot like the trailer from Interstellar:

    • akstro says:

      I always thought of ME3 like Interstellar. The journey to get there is amazing and then you get to the end and think “whhhhhyyyyyyyy”.

      • DaceX says:


        Having only played the extended ending of ME3, I personally liked it. Sure, your decisions were not really important,not direktly. But they shaped your journey, and influenced you, as a player, how you want to resolve this conflict, by means of the one thing you did through the whole trilogy: giving you a choice.
        The execution could have been better,and the extended cutscenes made the result more satisfiying than it would be initially,but the intend is there.

        Your movie example,aside from creating a stable timeloop, a rarity in fiction in general, was pretty cringeworthy,i fully agree. Impressive movie, but the reason why it all works in the end ruins it quite a bit. I don´t mind that the personal connection between him and his daughter enables this somehow, but it could have been a mystery they don´t solve, or maybe the future will solve, to create itself. Time was such an important factor this whole movie, don´t throw in this whole “love” thing.

        I´m starting to ramble again,sorry.

        • mattevansc3 says:

          Criticism of ME3’s ending really depends on how you interpret the term “ending”.

          For me the ending is all about closure and therefore the entirety of ME3 was the ending. There were numerous plots tied up throughout my play through. Mordin Solus’s redemption, the end of the Geth War and even the scene with Garrus towards the end. In all of those instances the end results were impacted by choices I had made in earlier games. That whole “3 button” controversy at the end was a bit silly and detracted from the good work Bioware put in throughout the rest of ME3. Of course that could just be down to the fact I stopped being invested in that storyline after defeating Saren.

          • DaceX says:

            Thats a really good point. In that regard, ME3 served pretty well as a Finale to the Series, or at least to Shepards tale. Most if not all conflicts get their own scenario and resolution,there is no unfinished business.Not galaxywide,they have a bunch of new challenges ahead, but everything Shepard touched is done by the end.
            Fine job indeed.

          • Wulfram says:

            The thing was, the resolutions to all those storylines, all that nice closure? They were basically torn up and tossed in the bin by the original endings, or at least that was how people (including me) interpreted them. The galaxy was too damaged and changed for the resolutions to the wider plots to matter much, while your companions were all apparently randomly stuck on some random planet.

            Of course the extended cut fixed that by basically adding a voiceover to say “THIS IS A HAPPY ENDING, PLEASE CHEER UP AND STOP SENDING US MUFFINS”, as well as making the relay network look more repairable and showing the Normandy flying again.

          • Malfeas says:

            I completely agree.
            The original ending was utter crap though. But! the rework completely saved it. I see no reason for the resentment many seem to still have.
            The reworked endings are beautiful and feel more in line with the entirety of ME3.

            I think that’s what was the worst about the original last scene: It didn’t live up to the standard of the rest of the same game.
            But they redid it, and quite nicely. I’m happy about the Mass Effect series :)

        • Cinek says:

          *spoilers continue + DX:HR spoiler included*

          There’s no reason to end something like the entire series of a games with a one choice between three buttons. As far as in DX:HR it was somewhat excusable by simplified mechanic of a boss fights and general lore – in ME3 it really felt forced. Almost as if someone got tired of writing and said “screw it, I want to do something else today”.

          As for Interstellar ending – guy would be dead long before reaching event horizon to go anywhere. The whole thing with having his spacecraft sandblasted and then magically disappear while robot from the other craft magically survived as a consciousness without a body, or whatever other BS they put in there was an insult to anyone knowing stuff about the black hole physics. Science-wise it’s one of most overhyped movies in last several years, cause the thing with entering a black hole is hardly everything where they screwed badly.

          • DaceX says:

            Good comparison. Yeah, the ending of DX:HR is pretty similar in that regard. I wonder if that choice will have an impact on the upcoming title.
            But..why shouldn´t it? I don´t deny that the execution could have been handled better, you could have been given more time to actually reflect on those choices.That was one thing DX handled pretty well, you learned about the options throughout the final Area, with a lot more downtime to think about these points. MEs cinematic nature did not give it enough space for that.
            But on a whole its just what you did the whole series, only on a much larger scale. Conflicts of smaller scale, like mattevansc3 pointed out, are all resolved throughout the game, the finale, the literal third act of the story.
            I can see where you are coming from, it could have been better handled. Maybe it was like you said, and I´m just interpreting way to much into it :P But apart from that,the game as a whole did its job quite well, I think.

            A friend of mine, who likes all things space, brought up comparable points about the black hole. One of those cases where the suspension of disbelief is really hard to maintain, especially since they were quite acurate with some other things (i heard).
            I kind of liked it as a scifi-story, but it will probably fall in the same category than Avatar: Was nice to look at in the cinema, will probably never see it at home on my own accord.Here I completely agree, it is overhyped.

          • Distec says:

            God forbid a slick, entertaining piece of Hollywood cinema might “insult” the intelligence of anybody who understands black hole physics. Which is common knowledge, of course.

            I wasn’t that keen on the ending either, imagery aside. But I’m a bit tired of this kind of language. It’s not like they fucked up something simple like How Oxygen Works. As far as I’m concerned, black holes in movies are “anything goes” territory, and Interstellar did a good enough job for me to suspend my disbelief over the metaphysical love bollocks.

          • Gilmir says:

            There were some major idiotic “science bloopers” before the ending that were way more ridiculous. The whole sequence where they go to the surface of a planet where time essentially slows down to a crawl for them and is still “running at full speed” for the orbiting spaceship must be the stupidest usage of relativity I’ve ever seen anywhere.
            And the argument about it all being science fiction, Hollywood, blah blah… is total bullshit.
            This movie tries to present itself as SCIENCE fiction. It was promoted as such. So basically you get dumb(ish) people going to see it who believe that they see a film based on science. While it has about as much common with science as “Star Wars” But Star Wars is marketed as a fairytale story in space. So Star Wars doesn’t make people dumber. Interstellar does. For me it’s comparable to the “Dan Brown effect”. People actually called CERN to complain about them doing research on antimatter because they believed the crap he wrote (and presented as science).

          • gwathdring says:

            As an astronomer who recognizes many of the problems with Interstellar, I don’t get the fuss.

            Yes, they made a big deal about doing research and consulting, but it wasn’t presented as a documentary or as an educational piece. If we crucify every movie that makes a big deal about it’s consulting team but ultimately still yield to the Rule of Cool over hard evidence … we’d get rid of a lot of really, really great movies.

            The movie’s biggest misstep was the love-connection, I feel, but even that worked for me as a piece of fiction; the breakdown of the movie, for me, hinges about the everything-was-part-of-the-plan time loop gimmick. I always find these frustrating as I feel they undercut the drama of the journey that brought both me and the characters to the conclusion.

            On a lesser note, I feel the film would have been better if he wasn’t rescued … we could have finished off with his daughter talking us through the new order of things and still cut to our lost member of the team building a base alone hoping to maybe someday be rescued. I feel like, in other words, it needed a less HAPPY ending at the least and possibly even a more ambiguous and less optimistic one would have worked … at the same time, the movie was very well paced and had me pretty worked up going into the bits of it that fell flatter … I’m not sure I’d have survived the movie really capitalized on it’s momentum properly. :P

            It’s a very well made film and I rather liked the bits about relativity, their accuracy completely aside. I don’t come to my science fiction for accuracy. I have science journals for that. Within the rules stated in the film … everything short of the final time-loop structure and the love-bond was internally coherent. It’s a shame the movie decided to be happier and nicer in exchange for killing it’s brutal emotional momentum and being less internally consistent … but the accuracy of it’s science doesn’t bother me.

            It’s fine if you personally can’t watch science fiction that isn’t “accurate” but I maintain that’s a preposterous stance to hold onto in the face of the ever-changing scientific scene and the necessities of story-telling. I have yet to meet a “hard” science fiction that wasn’t loaded with holes,and frankly I think the primary different between hard and soft science fiction is elitism.

          • gwathdring says:

            As for Dan Brown, people believing nonsense they read in a suspense thriller about hidden messages in artwork leading an author stand-in on a series of wild goose chases that inevitably ends in sex with the hot assistant … and believing it has a grounding in reality beyond the trappings of a modern non-magical setting … and further trying to advocate for science practice and policy accordingly? Those people have been let down by whoever is responsible for their education–most likely a lot of blame goes to their parents.

            You can’t blame Dan Brown or Interstellar for people not understanding that when it comes to assuming political and scientific facts from a clearly fictional work, one should never shoot first and ask questions later. Even when it says “Based on a True Story” or what have you. These aren’t even necessarily deceptive measures–they can frequently be valid storytelling conceits as in Lemony Snickett’s existence as a contact of Daniel Handler and other creative projects that become varying levels of LARP.

            There is a point where such methods can stretch into harmfulness, but I think that point is a very, very long way away from Dan Brown and certainly from Interstellar. Poor education in critical thinking and a general lapse in skepticism, not the allure of fiction, is the enemy here.

      • whilesleepinghesaid says:

        The ME3 ending was good – but just not appropriate. This is the great creative dilemma; how do you select from a whole series of ideas that individually are good but then construct a whole package that appropriately respects the creative context of what you’re making and the consumer themselves? This is why I loved the games but hated the ending… It’s similar to giving someone a thousand excellent fonts and asking them to make you a wedding invitation. Will they select a consistent appropriate design or just use *every* good font?

  4. mao_dze_dun says:

    *sigh* I really must find time at some point to finally play 2 & 3. Such an amazing Sci-Fi series.

  5. Shockeh says:

    It’s that final note; that one single tone is so Mass Effect to me, and instantly kicks off a thousand great memories. I can’t even remember where it’s from in the game, but I know it’s in there.

    Goddamnit, you’ve hooked me Bioware. Again.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    Please go, you totalitarian bastard. You, that sneaked into other’s conversations to stand as a moral guard you did not deserve. You, that justified genocyde convinced that it was a greater good. You that drove the entire galaxy through the only choice you showed them. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, so I really hope you burn in hell, Shepard.

  7. Bull0 says:

    …but Jennifer Hale is Shepard. Or was that the joke

    • Jekhar says:

      I didn’t get it either.

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        Risingson says:

        I know I am the only one here, but I hated Shepard more and more as I played the games because of the dialogue options: the supposedly “good” ones were quite self righteous and quite dangerous.

        And it’s Monday, I still have a huge hangover from Saturday, and as I am hating everyone, I prefer to focus my hate on a fictional character.

        • Myrdinn says:

          Not the only one. Played through the first two ME’s, and really couldn’t deal with Shepard anymore somewhere in the beginning of the 3rd game. Maybe femshep is better (yes, only shep) but maleshep was horrible (and my example when pointing out Fallout 4 reaaaally shouldn’t have had a voice protagonist)

        • Bull0 says:

          I doubt you’re the only one here, reading way too much into a cheesy space opera seems like exactly the kind of thing folks do around these parts. Just to be clear though – wasn’t replying to you, the article says “whoever the hero of Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] will be. Casting suggestion, BioWare: that there Jennifer Hale is great, isn’t she?”

          • Distec says:

            Let’s just cast Jennifer Hale in every female video game role ever.

            I like her, but come on now. I’d give kudos to Bioware if they didn’t go that obvious route again. Surely there are capable VO artists other than JENNIFER HALE JENNIFER HALE ISNT SHE SO GREAT I LOVE JENNIFER HALE MMM MOAR PLZ

  8. Necrourgist says:

    Goodbye Commander Shepard. We salute you, one last time! /salute

    This gave me the tears. As does most of Mass Effect. Damn it all, the feels >-<

  9. brgillespie says:

    82% of the game’s fans played as “Maleshep” in Mass Effect 3. Kind of sucks that Mark Meer didn’t get to do the voiceover.

    • RedViv says:

      Yeah, why doesn’t he get EVEN MORE screentime for people? That would be ONLY FAIR.

      • brgillespie says:

        I respect that you and other fans connected/identified with “Femshep”. It was an RPG, after all.

        However, as most of us seemed to have decided to play as the male Shepard, it would’ve been cool to hear Mark Meer punting the series into another galaxy.

        • Synesthesia says:

          maleshep can suck it.

        • RedViv says:

          I feel so sorry for you! This lack of representation of your choices, habits and preferences must be so awful. I’d not be able to know what that is like at all, for all that is good in the nine realms.

          • Distec says:

            I like how harmless statements of “I preferred Male Shep and it would have been cool to hear him” prompt responses like this.

            But don’t stop now. Go ahead and call him privileged and a shitlord. Then the ritual will be complete.

          • Cassius Clayman says:

            I completely agree with Distec. Although, on the other hand, how DARE people play as maleshep? Furthering the patriarchy and oppressing femaleshep. She never got to love or explore her trans/omni/potatogendered plot points because we denied her that opportunity. Unforgivable. Well, back to being edgy on tumblr. Toodles, shitlords.

            On topic, I’m kind of bummed that maleshep wasn’t the one to say goodbye. I wish they’d do two versions of this video. I mean, I’ve played the Mass Effect series 3-4 times now; this goodbye feels kind of hollow.

        • Arkayjiya says:

          Maleshep has been the focus of the overwhelming majority of ME’s marketing campaigns up to know. He’s been over-represented far beyond the proportion of people playing him over her. On top of that, did you not think that one of the reason femshep was so under-represented was because she was not marketed and more than that because female SF heroïne are under-represented in media? I mean apart from Ripley, who the hell comes to mind? So please stop the annoying rethoric about why being in the majority gives more right and/or legitimacy and enjoy the -brief- change with us!

          • Bull0 says:

            I’m on your side but LOADS of great sci-fi heroines come to mind! Princess Leia! River Tam! Pretty much everyone on Galactica! But yes, I agree. More of this sort of thing. “Why not Mark Meer” is easily answered by “because he’s crap”, gender politics aside, anyway.

      • anHorse says:

        Um picking Hale was entirely up to player choice

        If they chose not to pick her this isn’t some wrong that needs to be addressed by forcing balance, it’s just an indication that the majority of players preferred the male one.

        Thus if they actually wanted to sell the nostalgia of seeing Sheppard again the male voice would connect with the majority of their old customers.

        Quit trying to make this into a different kind of issue

        • Arkayjiya says:

          Yes, do explain to us why putting femshep in a commercial is “forcing the balance” and why it doesn’t apply to the previous statu quo of maleshep being in the majority of the promotional material even before they let people choose their char.

    • Lanfranc says:

      Who is “Maleshep”?

    • tomimt says:

      Everyone should play ME games as FemShep. Hale’s voice work is far above Meer’s. Plus it’s just far more interesting game as a female character.

      • gwathdring says:

        I don’t know. In ME1, I agree. But Meer gets a lot better through 2 and 3. By the time 3 comes around in particular, I liked Meer’s performance a little better. Hale’s fine, but her Shepard gets a little one-note in 3 which combined with Meer developing more range over the course of the series made me prefer a lot of his softer moments in particular.

        When it came to badass, Space Marine, kick-down-the-door delivery? Hale every time. Meer played that default Shepard attitude way too flat and dull. Hale gave it more contour and variance … but also didn’t stray as far from it as often in the later parts of the series.

        Overall, I’d call them pretty close and gun to my head I guess I’d say Hale did a better job all averaged out. But I really think Meer gets disproportionately shit on by Hale’s fans. Do we really have to toss one of them overboard to celebrate the other?

        • Frosty_2.0 says:

          I pretty much agree, though Mark Meer also never quite nailed a natural delivery, but that melts into the background a bit as you acclimatise to it. That always bugged me though, similar to the Major’s english VA (Mary McGlynn) in GitS:SAC S1 & SSS.
          Of his peformances I really only remember the ME1 Normandy “commencement” speeches and probably the ME2 launch trailer with the Two Steps From Hell (Heart of Courage) soundtrack – and that wasn’t in the game ;) –

          Jennifer Hale delivers naturally and her Shep kicks ass but there was an aloofness which didn’t gel with me initially, especially after playing ManShep first.

          I definitely liked Hale better overall, great job on this teaser; but people do pick on Mark Meer excessively.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      That statistic on its own is meaningless.

      Mr Shepard was the cover art character for the first two games and was also the default character model.

      Just because 82% played as the default Shepard it doesn’t mean 82% actively chose to play as him. Whereas the 18% or almost 1 in 5 players that played as FemShep actively chose that particular character model.

      • anHorse says:

        “actively chose”
        Yes it does, there was a male or female option in character creation. Don’t lie to make a point

        • Arkayjiya says:

          No it does not. You’re trying to prove a point using what you want to prove as a criteria of choosing the sample.

        • Kollega says:

          The default character option in ME1, the one that lets you completely skip the character creation, is the Earthborn Sole Survivor Soldier MaleShep. And a lot of the aforementioned 82% might have just skipped character creation entirely like I did back then. So no, the notion that a lot of people might have ignored FemShep because they didn’t bother with character creation is not a lie. Also, if that theory of mine is true, then a hell of a lot of people played the game as the Soldier without ever trying other classes, and I’m pretty sure that Soldier is not seen as a good choice in ME either.

          (DISCLAIMER: I completed ME1 once and ME2 once as MaleShep, and barely ever played as FemShep, because I thought I would only screw up with proper character creation – so my point is backed up by personal experience.)

          • gwathdring says:

            43% of players went as Soldier. The next highest is only 18%, but more than half of players did at LEAST customize their class. This doesn’t suggest that the number of low-customization players isn’t significant, but it doesn’t support the notion that they account for a massive portion of Male Shepard players, either.

            They did not realease data on character Background choices that I could find, nor does this account for players who selected a new class after playing Soldier in earlier games.

            I’m still in shock at how many people lost Wrex in ME1. I’m guessing most of those 36% of players who didn’t see him in 3 didn’t lose him in the suicide mission. Although … is Wrex’s death “Default” if you start a new ME3 game without importing a save? Because that would make a LOT more sense.

            All in all, it does make sense when compared to other gaming behaviors–most gamers hang around the default choices unless strongly encouraged and enabled to do otherwise. But at the same time, the numbers don’t necessarily support that the 82% is mostly because of this phenomenon.

      • Kollega says:

        Looks like you’ve beat me to making the point I wanted to make by a minute or two. Strange minds thing alike?

    • Kollega says:

      You know, I played Mass Effect 1 when it came out in 2008. Since that was seven years ago, I was younger, stupider, and a lot worse at actually enjoying mechanically complex RPGs (and make no mistake, Mass Effect has more complex mechanics than, say, linear shooters) than I am right now. Even if right now, I’m absolute rubbish at it too. And I think that I’ve carried an explanation for why FemShep is fan-preferred but MaleShep is played by a larger amount of players: a lot of people might’ve just stuck with the default character because they were intimidated by all the character creation options. That might explain why, statistically, male Shepard was played by more people, but the active part of the fandom likes female Shepard more.

    • Buggery says:

      Mark Meer’s voice work was garbage though? At least Jennifer Hale knows how to emote.

      • gwathdring says:

        You either didn’t play ME3 with Male Shep, or you have a very biased ear.

        Meer’s work in ME1 was fine. Nothing special, but it did the job just fine. Hale … slightly better but nothing to write home about. There was much better work from a lot of side-characters. Both got better for ME2 in different ways. Meer developed more outside of Generic Space Marine and Hale got a lot better are her Not-Generic But Still Space Marine. Both were still rather outshone by the side-characters, both were still fine and Hale’s best moments were better especially in full on kick-in-the-doors Renegade mode.

        By 3, though, I feel Meer improved a LOT. Hale really refined the contours of her angrier take on Shepard while Meer’s dour renegade-ish Shepard continued to be functional but boring. But in the softer and quieter moments, Meer handled himself quite well in ME3. Hale was by no means bad but I actually felt like Meer’s performance in ME3 had a fair bit more range to it.

        Hale did a much better job in default No Nonsense Shepard mode. Meer started out functional but bland in both modes, but came to do quite well outside of that core Space Marine which he never managed to make less than convincing yet dull.

        Neither party delivered many lines that really wowed me, neither managed to outshine the supporting cast, and neither really disappointed or turned in garbage scenes that didn’t fit with the tone of the character.

        You want garbage, play a Bethesda game. Or KOTOR.

  10. Alfius says:

    I played ME 1 and 2 with the male Shepard then went back and played some of 1 with the female Shepard. Based solely on the first 50% maybe of ME 1 it felt like the role was very much written with a male protagonist in mind, with the female option added in as an afterthought, a few witless one liners about kicking dudes in the balls aside.

    Perhaps Femshep came into her own in later outings after she picked up more of a fan base.

    • Alfius says:

      Err, was meant in reply to the above.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      Having done exactly this the other way round, I had exactly the opposite viewpoint. Who was this bloke play-acting my Shepard???

      I think it just comes down to which Shepard you played first.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      That is what sold me on FemShep. You look at some of the best female roles in SciFi and there’s very little “femininity” to them or at least they are absent of the female clichés and tropes.

      Samus Aran, Ripley and even Princess Leia could be gender swapped with very little work needed.
      By just being a female skin for a male character with a good VA she instantly becomes a strong, independent character without going all Destiny’s Child.

    • PsychoWedge says:

      well, be fair now. the dialogs are written with no protagonist in mind so that every player can fill the role for themselves.

  11. Faults says:

    Hey, I know it’s basically obligatory nowadays for anything remotely ‘spaaaaaaaaace’ to use / rip off Sunshine’s score, but it would be nice if Underworld and John Murphy got a bit more recognition for their score rather than the cheap knockoff in the trailer.

    link to

    Still though, very much looking forward to seeing where Bioware take Mass Effect now that Shepard’s arc has officially ended!

    • soopytwist says:

      Technically they haven’t ripped off anyone. This style of “ascending” in music is called Adagio and is present in many scores. I’ve heard countless musical pieces that all sound very similar to John Murphy’s Surface of the Sun for the Sunshine soundtrack – that’s only because they’re all Adagio in whatever key minor or major.

      • gwathdring says:

        I believe you’re looking for Arpeggio (sp?). Adagio is a tempo (though, depending on who you ask and in what time period, it’s also a timbre/style/form).

  12. EhexT says:

    “ME3-ish combat”

    So they’re going with the worst version of the combat system then. The one where picking more than one active ability was actively punished, you couldn’t play a proper space wizard and the weapons worked like generic shooter guns except everything from beam weapons to rocket launchers ran on the same ammo.

    No thanks.

    • Frosty_2.0 says:

      It had the best combat & power usage by far, the actual campaign battles were nothing interesting but taking those powers & combos into the Co-op game and you see them absolutely shine, not to mention the great new class powers they added only in the Co-op game updates.

      I have no memory of being “punished for picking more than one active ability” in SP or Co-op.
      The bread and butter of combat was combos and balancing your weapons/attachments with your cooldown efficiency (depending on your build & class).

      • EhexT says:

        The global cooldown being the cooldown of the last power you used is the definition of punishment for not focusing on a single power. Have 5 different active abilities? Too bad you have to wait for the entire cooldown of the last ability you used to be over before you can use any of the others. ME1 had the perfect ability system – use as many abilities in quick succession as you want, but if you use them all up you’ll be out until some come back. It still rewarded focus by an ability being better but a single point or two in several was valuable too, as opposed to a complete waste.

        The best ME combat system would be the weight system of ME2 and ME3, the non-global cooldown system of ME1 and a combination of ME1 and ME2/3s weapon mechanics – guns that cool down on their own, but with the option of using a highly limited pool of heatsinks to instantly cool down a gun with a reload animation.

      • Frosty_2.0 says:

        @EhexT [Replied here to reduce post squishing]
        I would reiterate:
        “The bread and butter of [ME3 Power] combat was combos and balancing your weapons/attachments with your cooldown efficiency”
        ME2 had fixed weapon kits per class (& ME1) with similar cooldown times. In ME3 if you can’t work with those cooldowns adjust your loadout.
        With my approx. 1 – 3.5s cooldowns (and some of that includes cast/travel time of powers) I never felt anything was dragging in the SP Campaign and you can fire 3 powers at once with your squad. Hell, Shepard has the best cooldown efficiency & points to spare over everyone, including the co-op classes – Co-op being the only place where you get truly engaging, challenging battles, as well as the addition of some of the best powers & weapons in the game.

        So I very much disagree on Global Cooldowns being a punishment or step back, it’s a variation on Cast Times & Mana Pools. You’re using powers more often & consistently for combos that often cross classes and synergise with your team. It’s not about any one character firing a bunch of powers at once, it’s about making them count and work together.
        It gives a rhythm to the game and you instinctively know when a cooldown or power-chain is ready after playing a bit. Constantly setting up combos for you & team, picking targets – when & which power to use matters more from moment to moment. All the while other gameplay continues like dodging, re-positioning, kiting, staggering fire so they can’t dodge.
        Then you have insta-grenades, ammo power priming, combos like Vanguards’ ‘Charge + [Nova || Phase Disruptor] (powered by Barriers) + Charge’ or Annihilation Field’s aura instantly priming enemies, Biotic Hammer in Co-op etc…

        I always remember how sublime playing the Asari Valkyrie was; with Annihilation Field and her Biotic dodge I’d slide in and out of melee range priming and detonating while firing a burst in the cooldown period & watching I didn’t get flanked or fast dodge back if there was too much heat.

        Some powers probably do have a long cooldown with 1 point spent, I never found that to be an issue in SP though. Even in Co-op, where your points are more precious and the combat challenging; starting out I’d put 1 point in Shockwave for the stagger + to open up Cerberus Guardians under pressure. Typically you’ll only have one or two powers with longish cooldown and even 4-5 seconds I feel is acceptable with the pace of the SP Campaign.
        If you insist that you must be able to cast all powers at once to enjoy, that’s your call to make.

        Re – Weapon Reloads:
        Magazines/Universal-Heatsinks didn’t bother me, each weapon had it’s own pool anyway. I don’t really care for ME1’s heat system (didn’t help that it’s bugged with perma-overheat, to this day AFAIK) but when used it should display the actual shots remaining on the ammo display (like ME3’s Prothean Particle Rifle), not a ‘Heat Meter/Bar’.
        More important to me is the feel, performance, loadout setup of weapons.

  13. thedosbox says:

    I got goosebumps, but I’m easy to manipulate – as stony as I am, play soaring orchestral music and I’ll get misty-eyed over someone reading their shopping list out loud in the the supermarket’s veg aisle.

    Taking the piss out of John Lewis? Bravo.

  14. Rizlar says:

    Speaking of music getting you all emotional, Radio 4’s Last Word played a clip of this Diane Charlemagne recording the other day and real tears were shed in my kitchen.

    link to

    Rest in peace you beautiful woman, I never knew ye.

  15. soopytwist says:

    Are we to assume then that an “ark” is launched into deep space to travel the 2.5 million light years to Andromeda in an effort to save the species of the Milky Way from the Reapers, in case the war goes to crap (which it kind of does whatever ending you chose)? That’s a travel time of two and half million years at the speed of light so presumably the ship would be piloted by the Geth or on auto pilot with the very large crew in cryogenic sleep.

    • PsychoWedge says:

      Uh, ME is a universe where there is faster than light travel. and the way it’s made up is as such that the distances don’t matter. if you just jump from earth to alpha centauri or from the milky way to andromeda or from the milky out of the entire cluster so somewhere 5 billion light years away is of no consequence.

      • EhexT says:

        Pretty sure you need a Relay to go really far really fast. The slow FTL was fluffed as taking quite a long time to get between points of interesting – they just sped it up tremendously for ease of use and usually ignored or forgot that fact for their quest design.

        But then they also completely forgot that in ME1 the Reapers at the edge of the Galaxy are defeated because you literally strand them there with millenia of travel ahead of them and just had them magically arrive in ME2.

  16. wombat191 says:

    hope she does voice acting in the new game. she is mass effect for me

  17. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    I shouldn’t be surprised that the little montage of human spaceflight at the beginning makes it look like the US was the only country to build spacecraft should I?

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Not sure there’s a whole lot to read into there. They named the character after Alan Shepard. It’s a North American game.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    For such a simple short video that doesn’t show much except archive footage, this was strangely affecting. Slightly surprised they didn’t do two versions but I like that they went with FemShep.

    Maybe in the future (for probable sequels) they could do real-time trailers that take your character creation into account, so as to circumvent “that’s not my Shepard” type discussion.

  19. Legion1183 says:

    I had to make an account just to say this line (and the paragraph as a whole) cracked me up.

    “Shallots…” they whisper, leaving it hanging, and I bite my lip to force the tears back inside

    On another note I wish I had more time to go back and play the ME trilogy again as I’ve forgotten most of what happened :( I remember enjoying every moment of my long play sessions though. Let’s hope Andromeda lives up to the Mass Effect name!