Posts Tagged ‘Mass Effect’

The RPG Scrollbars: Adventures In Spaaaaaaace!

Today, a little bit of heresy. I’m going to talk about adventure games. Specifically, about a thing I’ve always loved in them, when they offer the chance – that sense of being given a ship and a universe to explore. I get a shiver when I look at the star-map. I feel proud of my usually low-resolution, 256-colour VGA vessel. And yet, jump genres to something like RPG or strategy and the moment is just gone. Why does No Man’s Sky, a game that actually supports that wanderlust, not give me anything close to the same thrill that something like Space Quest V still does, even knowing that Space Quest V is a) limited to a handful of worlds, each only a few screens in size, and b) makes your cool ship a garbage scow full of people who pretty much hate you?

I don’t know, but I love this screen. This, more than any Galaxy Map, is a screen that whispers “You can go anywhere. Do anything. The universe is yours…”

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Mass Effect Novels To Bridge Gap Between Andromeda

Last week I wrote about how Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site] wasn’t chained by the choices you made at the end of Mass Effect 3, and how that left a lot of questions unanswered. Well, answers are coming next month in the first of four Mass Effect tie-in novels published by Titan Books that aim to bridge gaps between Andromeda and the events of our own Milky Way.

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Mass Effect Andromeda Isn’t Bound By The End Of ME 3

There is a lot of questions floating around the big black hole of Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site]. Who is the lead character, Ryder? How did they get to a whole other galaxy? Can I romance the Mako? But perhaps an equally important question is what kind of impact the final decision of Mass Effect 3 might have on the story. According to an interview with Eurogamer, the answer is not a whole lot.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Rise Of The MOBA Heroes

Hello there. This week, I’m writing not just as an RPG columnist, but as president of the newly formed League Of Folks Who Don’t Really Play MOBAs But Are Bizarrely Hooked On All The Trappings. As far as I can tell, our membership is roughly a billion people and counting. That’s what happens when the likes of Blizzard and Riot spend literally tens of dollars creating gorgeous videos to promote their worlds, yes, but it goes somewhat deeper than that. Have you ever watched a new character reveal for a game you know you’re never going to play? Then the sickness might have spread.

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Mass Effect Andromeda Details Slip Out

BioWare have been keeping a tight lid on Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s [official site] plot, but it seems some details have appeared in the form of a customer survey. Not the world’s most reliable format, as these tend to be, “How would you feel about a game that featured a race of evil melons as the main antagonists?” before asking you about your mobile phone usage, but likely indicative of the direction in which the game is heading. So if you want all your news about the game to be carefully spoon-fed to you via the appropriate PR departments, look away now.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Sacred Worlds

Most RPGs ask you to save the world, but not all of them offer a world worth saving. Honestly, there’s been quite a few where given the choice I’d have joined the evil overlord just to beat up all the potion vendors who wouldn’t even give me a discount before the final battle, and for the mere chance of stabbing the guard in Act 1 who wouldn’t let me into The Town Where The Actual Bloody Game Starts.

This week though, I’m interested in the other side of that – the worlds that become more than just a place to grind for loot and XP. The places that feel real. Beloved worlds, which don’t necessarily correlate with beloved games. I really enjoyed Skyrim for instance, but Skyrim as a world largely leaves me cold for reasons that have nothing to do with the Frostfall mod. That’s not the same as saying it’s bad, or any real quality judgement at all, simply that for me it never became a second home, more than a playground. Fallout New Vegas meanwhile, despite its problems, ticked all of the boxes. It was a world I could believe in, get immersed by, and not want to leave, which given the current political climate around the world is quite probably for the best.

Here are some of the most special worlds for me. How about you? Note, we’re talking entire worlds, as in the settings for whole games, not specific places like, say, Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII or FFXIV. Those are cool too, but… another week!

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Have You Played… Mass Effect?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The original Mass Effect was one of my entry-points to RPGs, a genre I’d bounced-off-of throughout the 90s. But Mass Effect’s sci-fi, Star Trek and 2001 trappings held my interest even as the indifferent combat and dull planet-exploration did their best to convince me that I should call it quits.
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