Now that this current console generation is winding down, we’re seeing more and more collected editions pop up. The latest one is for what is arguably the BEST franchise of this generation. That’s right; it’s none other than Mass Effect.
Mass Effect took mechanics from different genres and created something that is truly unique. It had the customization and dialogue trees from rpgs mixed in with modern 3rd person shooting action. This is a game that made the dreams of Star Trek geeks like myself come true since it gave us an entire galaxy to explore and a variety of aliens to interact with. Commander Shepard became a symbol for an entire generation of gamers. Here was a character that you could build from scratch but because he (or she) is fully voiced, had more life and character than previous, mute customizable main characters.
The story of the trilogy rivals that of any in the realm of science fiction. While the main plot of the series is epic in every sense of the word, the real draw for most fans of the series was the characters. Mass Effect had many alien characters yet every one of them felt “human”. The entire main cast was fully realized and it was easy for people to find ones that they could identify with. There are tales of people who shed genuine tears when some of their favorite characters died. The writing of the Mass Effect games was mature and didn’t talk down to its audience. Mass Effect set a standard for narrative that many other games would try and still try to emulate.
Decision making was another great thing about this series. Different choices could drastically change how the story would pan out. You could play as a Paragon, a Renegade or something in between. Not only did your choices affect the title you were playing but they would also impact the sequels. This gave players a real sense of continuity between titles and really made them feel like the story they were playing was unique.
Playing through each of the titles in order will make you appreciate how much the series has been refined and retooled with each passing game. Although the first Mass Effect was big on ideas, it lacked in the gameplay department. Clunky shooting and cover mechanics along with a confusing inventory system marred what would have otherwise been a great game. Mass Effect 2 was almost a completely different game from its predecessor and may just be the most improved sequel of this generation. Mass Effect 3 took the already solid controls of ME2 and made them that much better. One of the great things about video games is how much improvement can be done to a series over a relatively small amount of time. The Mass Effect trilogy is a text book study on how greatly and significantly a franchise can evolve.
The trilogy box set itself is pretty slick. It opens up into four sections. When you first open it up, you see the famous N7 logo and when you open that up you get to see all three disks and the manual. Behind each disk is a black and white version of that game’s cover. The box doesn’t take up too much shelf space either which is always appreciated.
If you somehow have never played a Mass Effect game then this collection is for you. It comes with all of the games and with most of the games’ DLCs (details below). Even if you own all of the games you may want to trade them in and get this set since it takes up less space than the three boxes would. The Mass Effect Trilogy collection is a MUST buy for fans of video games, sci-fi or just great story telling and characterization.
• Three of the greatest games of this generation in one box
• Packaging doesn’t take up too much space
• Mass Effect on a disk (PS3 owners)
• Doesn’t have all of the DLC for every game
• Mass Effect didn’t get overhauled graphics or controls
Mass Effect Trilogy was developed by Bioware and published by EA. It is available now for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
Mass Effect Trilogy DLC info:
Mass Effect: Bring Down the Sky (PC, PS3)
Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station (PC)
Mass Effect 2: The Cerberus Network (All platforms)
Mass Effect 2: Normandy Crash Site (All)
Mass Effect 2: Zaeed - The Price of Revenge (All)
Mass Effect 2: Cerberus Weapon and Armor Pack (PC, 360)
Mass Effect 2: Alternate Appearance Pack 1 (Not available for any platform)
Mass Effect 2: Alternate Appearance Pack 2 (NA)
Mass Effect 2: Arc Projector (All)
Mass Effect 2: Arrival (Not available)
Mass Effect 2: Firewalker Pack (PC, PS3)
Mass Effect 2: Kasumi’s Stolen Memory (PS3)
Mass Effect 2: Overlord (PS3)
Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker (PS3)
Mass Effect 2: The Firepower Pack (PS3)
Mass Effect 2: The Equalizer Pack (NA)
Mass Effect 3: From Ashes (NA)
Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut (NA)
Mass Effect 3: Leviathan (NA)
Mass Effect 3: Omega (NA)