This is my fifth entry in my gaming diary for Mass Effect (Xbox 360).
The short of it: A casual point-and-click gamer plays an RPG for the first time by herself.
The task: To play Mass Effect (the first one) in its entirety and to document her experiences along the way.
First-time reader and need context?
Update from Part 4 of the Gaming Diary:
Shepard and crew are told by Harkin that they can find Garrus, a C-Sec officer at the medical clinic on one of the wards of the Citadel. If you will recall, Garrus investigated Saren in an attempt to have his Spectre rights taken away for a suspicion in two areas: alliance with the geth and his desire to have the beacon for himself to wipe intergalactic life off the map. Garrus was not able to complete his investigation by the time Saren was brought in front of the Council.
Chapter 2: The Citadel
Shep and crew go to the medical office to find Garrus who himself is trying to locate a quarian (an alien) who might have some information linking Saren to the geth. We find out that, yes, the quarian had been there – was treated for gunshot wounds and was looking for a Shadow Broker to trade some information for a safe place to stay. The Doctor who treated her sent her to a guy named Fist, an agent to the Shadow Broker. As it turns out this Fist dude is actually working for Saren, which means this quarian could be snuffed out unless Shep et. al can get to her in time.
Garrus meets Shep at the clinic and manages to become part of his crew. Garrus’s opinion is, even though they are both turians, Saren is a disgrace to his people. At this point, Garrus tells Shep that the Shadow Broker has hired Wrex, a krogan bounty hunter, to take Fist out. Plans are made to find him.
Fist happens to be back at the peeler bar where Harkin was originally, and word got out that Shep was going to show up. Immediately his crew is under attack. After succeeding in killing off Fist’s crew, Shepard turned into a badass with gun to Fist’s head, demanding information on the quarian! Fist acknowledges that the quarian is being held captive because of information she knows about Saren. Amazingly, Shep cools down and lets Fist go, telling him he never wants to see him again.
Finally, we are introduced to this quarian, who goes by the name of Tali. She is an unsettling-looking character as her face is covered behind a strange mask. She tells the crew what she knows: that she does have intel linking Saren to the geth, which stems from retrieving audio recordings from a dead geth. We also get some backstory on this race of geth: that the quarians invented the geth and that the quarians had to go into exile once the geth revolted. We also find out these geth worship the Reapers – the first and most revered “hyper-intelligent machine race”. The Reapers were responsible for the destruction of the Prothean civilization, and haven’t been seen in a long time. The geth are using Saren as a prophet to bring them back, and take over the galaxy. Shep believes the information Tali has is enough to take Saren down.
Before heading to the Citadel Tower with the evidence, we meet Wrex, who is the Bounty Hunter looking for Fist. Wrex thanks Shep for “taking care of Fist”, and pays him money for doing so. Now Wrex wants to come along.
With Tali’s help, the Citadel Council brought Saren to task, stripping him of his Spectre rights, and giving Shep Spectre rights himself!
Can I just say, WOW to this story. I am completely riveted by it!
We see a ton of action at this point in the story. Basically, every room Shep went into, he was being attacked by an assassin or a thug.
The original members of Shepard’s team consisted of Shep, Ashley Williams and Kaiden. In this segment we had three new characters that joined Shepard’s crew – Garrus, Tali the quarian and Wrex the Bounty Hunter.
Garrus was the first to join. Because Garrus needs to be a part of my team, this meant I had to switch out either Kaiden or Ashley, as Shep is only allowed two other members. This menu you accessed to pick your squad on Shep’s team honestly confused me, as it has each character available standing there with coloured bars above their heads. I assume they indicate how much strength each character holds, yet, you click on the character and a “strength” menu indicating basic, tech and combat strength pops up in the same colour scheme as what is above the character’s head and it indicates a different strength! Confusing! I could be wrong, but I thought Ashley had only combat skills and Kaiden had more versatile skills. Based on that I switched Ashley out, keeping Kaiden and bringing Garrus in. For Tali, I switched out Kaiden, and lastly, when I no longer needed Tali, I added Wrex to Shep’s team. I don’t know if I am doing the right things with this but I seem to be progressing just fine in the game, for what it’s worth.
There haven’t been any real hard conversation decisions that Shep has had to make this time (that I’ve noticed…)
Last thing I am going to talk about are the side missions!!
If you actually spend time exploring the different areas in the game, you get a chance to interact with side characters, have side convos and get asked to do side missions! So far, I have been involved in two.
There is one side mission where you are given a scanner and asked to scan these crab-like creatures around the Citadel. Easy enough to do, and it’s supposed to give you some money.
There is also a scenario you are presented with where you stop to help a man return his wife’s body back home to him. She was an officer and casualty of the war on Eden Prime. You are asked to speak to someone who can pull some strings, but you find out the body is being held for analysis. I tried asking this guy questions to persuade him to let the wife’s body go, but there was no chance. I left it alone and told the man I was sorry, but that I was not about to go against an executive order.
You can ignore the side missions if you want, but I have decided to try them if I come across them.
Until next time…