Are you a PlayStation 3 owner? Congratulations, you can finally play through the entire Mass Effect trilogy! To answer both the questions I’m sure you have: A) The Mass Effect trilogy will be released on PS3 at a “later date”. B) No the Genesis DLC doesn’t count. I’ll try to use as little hyperbole as possible, but bear with me.
The first Mass Effect is an entirely different beast then the two sequels. Mass Effect 2 & 3 are polished shooters that feature just enough light RPG elements to differentiate themselves from the pack. Mass Effect is a barely disguised D&D simulator set in space. The level-up screen is a convoluted mess that showcases a large list of poorly explained incremental stat boosts. Why exactly do I have to level up my pistol before I can begin leveling up my sniper rifle?
It doesn’t stop there, though. The inventory system is a complete mess. An estimated 16 metric f**k tons of equipment had to be sorted through just to find tiny increases in performance. If you don’t sell off your equipment every fifteen minutes or so, your inventory will fill with enough useless crap to give Mr. Sanford and his son a complex. Perhaps even the big one.
And the combat…Sniper Rifles sway like Charlie Sheen at an open bar, your teammates are apparently tripping acid the whole time and any garden-variety biotic can send you into the eighty second long knockdown animation on a whim. Character classes technically exist, but the only stats that seems to matter in the entire game are the ones that let you open things, be it chests, computers or conversation options.
But it has to be played. If you want to experience the best story in gaming, the first Mass Effect has to be played. The real beauty and art of the Mass Effect series is the thrill of experiencing Shepard’s story all the way through, and seeing the impact of your decisions. Facing down Wrex, sacrificing a team member, and deciding the fates of the Rachni, the human ambassador and the entire Galactic Counsel are decisions that need to be made. You simply can’t fully appreciate Wrex, or the hole created by his absence, unless you’ve stood toe-to-toe with him on Virmire.
And the thrill of, without hesitation, leaving Kaiden to his doom is a feeling that every self respecting gamer should experience. It’s one of my gaming high points.
I know I already gave a disclaimer on hyperbole, but the Mass Effect trilogy should be the PlayStation Game of the Year, no matter when it releases and what other games happen to also come out that year. The opportunity to play through the entire trilogy is that serious. I wouldn’t expect somebody to fall in love with the Song of Ice and Fire series without being able to read the first book. Likewise, PlayStation owners have been denied the most important gaming experience of this console generations (yeah, I said it!). Until now.
I’m not usually an advocate of rereleases and iterations, but any loyal Sony customers out there who haven’t ran a single Shepard through all three games owes it to themselves to pick this trilogy up. If snagging Portal 2 was a coup for the PlayStation brand, then gaining the rights to the first Mass Effect is akin to winning the entire revolution.