life-long thing, at least I will have a blog post to show for it.
3.5 million ME3 players, 2mil ME2 players, and the countless pirates, we have made close to every one of the numerous significant variations of Shepard’s conversation options. Think of it as a million monkeys working away not on a typewriter, but on a chessboard: resulting in a trove of anthropological insights not only on the choices people have made, yet (more importantly) what they have thought of their and others’ choices.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are the vastness and detail of its world, Tamriel. Six months after pirating buying my own copy, I continue to stumble upon rich, self-contained stories on the path less traveled. The appeal in Mass Effect however is in the possibilities always in front of me. On any one day, I can choose to either punch reporters in the face or invite them to my cabin. The game invites me to search out Easter Eggs through conversation, interaction, and exploration.
Insanity level / Sentinel) as a Renegade. Going ‘evil’ gave the game plenty of replayability but left me feeling dirty – case in point, fatally shooting Mordin, one of the coolest characters on the starship Normandy. One player describes Mordin’s murder as the “saddest moment in Mass Effect 3” – though I doubt it is quite as sad as Tali and Legion’s double-suicide, which I almost turned into a triple-suicide.
action, science fiction and horror narratives – the HG Lovecraftian elements of the Cthulhu-like Reapers, case in point. Then there are the healthy doses of anthropology - the idea, for instance, that the technological superior Protheans ‘guided’ the Asari, passing themselves off as gods, in their early cultural development is straight out of Chariots of the Gods?
Alan Shepard – the first American in space, and the fifth on the moon. The two Shepards appear to share some strong parallels: adventurer, pioneer, and comedian. Our Shepard is essentially a jock, though (s)he can surprise – for instance, (s)he is also openly and confidently bi-sexual. Much of the story of Shepard is about helping others realize their full potential, and get past their fears and complexes. Shepherd is a spiritual adviser and matchmaker. The characters in her/his squad thank him/her for having helped him grow – and reaching such points can either ensure that they survive to the final battle and beyond (as with Cortez), or provide Shepard with their bonus power.