Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
RPS Feature And its universally adored ending
I have no flupping idea what to expect from Mass Effect Not-4, aka Andromeda [official site], given all signs point to it being a clean break from the Shepard saga. But the reveal that combat will be similar to Mass Effect 3’s frantic shooty fare does start to make it a solid thing in my brain, rather than an entirely abstract concept with a few twinkly stars in it.
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RPS Feature From The Archive
Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history to pull out one of the the best moments from the archive. This week, John’s interview with voice actress Jennifer Hale. This post was originally published July 27, 2011.
Jennifer Hale has appeared in a great many more games than you probably realise. The person behind the voice of the female Shepard in all three Mass Effect games is also responsible for Metal Gear’s Naomi Hunter, SOCOM’s HQ, the spookily good British accent of KotOR’s Bastilla, and even the grunts and groans of Metroid Prime’s Samus, among literally hundreds of others in gaming, TV and film. We caught up with Jennifer as she drove through LA, to ask how she came to provide so many of gaming’s iconic voices, the combination of anonymity and fame, and which of the Commander Shepards she’s voting for to appear on Mass Effect’s cover.
At the end of Mass Effect 3, thousands of ships from all across known space come together to liberate Earth and smash the Reapers. Then a pretty cutscene plays, and we passively watch the ensuing cool space battle. But oh, what if you gathered and commanded the fleet, and they were following your strategy? What if the slog across the Milky Way were a bit more Homeworld-ian? Turns out I didn’t write those sentences as idle musings, that there is actually a purpose to this post.
Anyone who’s watched Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD, and possesses more taste than a toilet roll, will have noticed that it’s a massive stinking turkey of colossal proportions. Somehow making Agent Coulson an unlikeable character – an even more impressive feat since he’s surrounded by utterly hateable characters – it’s a miserable mess of dreary sub-sub-sub-CSI procedural tedium, and mortally embarrassed to be in the Marvel universe. It seems to go out of its way to avoid including anything regarding super heroes, and indeed anything directly relating to familiar Marvel themes, instead opting for that most tiresome trope: evil scientists. (Although without mentioning AIM or Hydra, of course.) Viewers of a recent episode of the somehow not cancelled series might have noticed their strangest decision yet: to use Mass Effect 3 concept art.
Just a snippet about something that was more or less a given, but I think it’s worth stating and knowing for the record that the next Mass Effect will entirely and definitely steer clear of Commander Shephard. The controversial outcomes of Mass Effect 3 do leave some room for ‘what happened next?’ investigations, but the three-game plot had tied itself in so many knots by that point that a totally clean break for the next set of Meffects is only sensible.
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There’s just something about goodbyes. Like, growing up, I had a pet parrot. She filled my youth with eardrum-skewering screams and will probably be able to take most of the credit for my first heart attack, which will come at age 29. Also, she’s going to outlive me. But, if she doesn’t, I’ll be a complete wreck when she finally closes her infernal, saliva-less beak, er, forever. Which is my way of saying the Mass Effect trilogy is kind of like an obnoxious cockatoo. Sure, it didn’t always do me right, but we grew together, and we had some magnificent times over the years. According to BioWare, Citadel is Shepard and co’s swan song. But hey, at least everyone (and apparently, BioWare really does mean everyone) is coming back for one last reunion tour.