3-6-12 : The Mass Effect
(this post is not trying to make a point)
(Please excuse the grammatical errors, I'm just reflecting out loud here. )
Mass Effect "Vigil" all versions (via Zandercode) (the sound of something great)
As I sit here Feb. 15th, trying to force myself asleep; I find myself feeling very conflicting emotions. I am not writing this about an iPad, or Nexus, or ultra-book. I am writing about gaming. This is merely a commentary. A collection of thought about something I've experienced since 2007, coming to a close. Sitting here readying my self for next months release I find my self both incredibly excited, and...well possibly saddened. This universe that I have poured my time (so much time), energy, patience and emotion into will end, one way or another. The characters that I have gotten to know, care for, hate, I will have to at some point say 'goodbye' to.
via files.xboxic.com (Garrus, Ashley, Liara)
To me gaming can be as powerful a medium for expression, storytelling, imagination, as music, film, art and writing. To me there is art in a game that pushes boundaries. What I find most interesting about this franchise in particular is my introduction to it had been a complete accident. In 2007 I was in, what I considered a 'drought'. There were only a handful of games that peaked my interest. None of whom were RPG's. I have always had, somewhat of a soft spot for the time suck Role Playing Game. Where I could get immersed in a world that seemed frankly, at the time, more interesting than my own.
via images.wikia.com (The Citadel)
However my RPG experiences all had 1 thing in common, they were all turned based. The Final Fantasy series, Legend of Legaia, Skies of Arcadia, these were the type of RPG's I was familiar with. I never dared venture into anything more because I didn't feel that the gameplay changes would maintain my interest. So I sat on the computer, looking through website after website on games in the RPG genre looking for my 'next great adventure'. I stumbled upon this game, "Mass Effect". The publisher, "Bioware", whose work I was wholly unfamiliar with.
via chesthighwalls.files.wordpress.com (Normandy SR1
I had seen stories, articles, reviews about 'Knights of The Old Republic' and how great it was. This game however, seemed everything I was not interested in when it came to a RPG. It wasn't turned based, it was set in space, the gameplay seemed like a game I had been introduced to a year before called 'Gears of War'. All minuses in my book. The review marks however were all high for some reason. Besides it didn't feel like I had much other choice. For some reason I didn't really respond to what a had seen out of the other RPG's and Fable II was not to come out yet.
via www.thegameraccess.com (once unfamiliar faces)
So I took a risk, and plucked my money down. When I was home I immediately put the game in. The next moment almost seemed surreal. I was then met with the start screen. In any other game I would have went right in, but the music track, which I now know as 'Vigil', seemed to almost paralyze me. I couldn't move. I was just caught in such a sense of...curiosity. This current conflict I now feel seems a result of that 'curiosity'. Somewhat like, to what someone who'd read every Harry Potter book experienced when he/she picked up that 'last one'. You know it's the end. You could see it coming from a mile away. You are at the very height of anxiousness to know how it ends, but then you get that tinge; that feeling of 'will I never feel this way about anything else?'.
via media.desura.com (Illusive....indeed)
That is the second feeling I have. That the universe you've so engrossed yourself in, you'll never feel that specific way about again. You'll never feel that pure sense of, almost an ignorance, about the universe you're about to experience. While at the same time, as with Mass Effect 2 & 3, anxious to see people you've grown comfortable making decisions, facing challenges, arguing, fighting both with and against, establishing relationships, watching them come apart only to hope they'll be grown back together with. March 6th feels like the ultimate bittersweet moment. Some part of me almost wishes the game was pushed back a little, so that I wouldn't have to face it. Even as I understand that Bioware has insisted that 'Mass Effect' universe has and will continue, Shepard's (MY Shepard's) story will undoubtedly end.
via fc00.deviantart.net (goodbye?)
This game's universe, these characters, these relationships as they are, as only I've experienced in particular within my own story, will end. Mass Effect has always seemed like the future I wanted to live in. It had a grittiness to it. It had that intangible moment that it seemed to focus on. In Star Wars, and Star Trek, humans have gone through that introductory period where we have to establish ourselves in the galactic community. Mass Effect comes in right at the heart of it. We're new, seen as somewhat abrasive, ignorant, arrogant, always in a rush, eager to prove ourselves both in thought and practice as an advanced race....almost exactly as we are now.
via www.videogamesblogger.com (Think we'll get this far?)
There is a truth here. That idea that our technology has evolved a bit faster than we have. That we may be capable of traveling here and there accomplishing with our technology, but that we have only evolved just a ways past where OUR humanity now finds itself. Somewhat hurdling towards the precipice. Perhaps the reason I look at the Mass Effect universe as a future I'd like is because in that universe, they survived that precipice, but here, in reality, I have my doubts. Or maybe it's just because I have an active imagination. Either way, March 6, the reality of all my decisions, both good & bad & random shades of grey, relationships be they friend or enemy or maybe both, will all come to a head.
The beginning of the end. Or the end of the beginning as the case may be. If I could, I'd play in this universe for a lifetime, hell several. I will say however that as saddened as I am to see this universe end as it is, I'm beyond excited to see where it goes. John Shepard or not. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to help Garrus finish his calibrations. Maybe we'll talk later....