This is my Sixth 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 5 of the Gaming Diary:
When last I left the game, “Pepe” Shep had become a Spectre, and Saren got his Spectre designation stripped, thanks to a quarian by the name of Tali. If you will recall, Saren is a turian, once on the “right side of the law” who is now in cahoots with a machine race called the geth. The geth want to rule to galactic empire and destroy all life with the help of a beacon that has some sort of amazing telekinetic / intergalactic travel capabilities. Why are the geth and Saren involved? Saren is power-hungry, and the geth want Saren to bring back (resurrect?) their “robotic messiahs”, the Reapers. These original hyper-machine droids were capable of obliterating a whole planet of Protheans and then disappearing into the darkness, never to be seen again. Now the geth want the beacon to bring these bot boys back.
Chapter 2: the Citadel
If you will recall from Part 2 of my gaming diary, I had told you about the bewwwbly Matriarch who was also involved with Saren to get the beacon. At the end of Chapter 2, we learn a bit about the Matriarch. She is at the end of her life, revered in her community, and a cranky bitch in need of a sport bra, apparently…Her involvement with this whole Saren thing is questioned in the Citadel Council. It is concluded after Shep is made Spectre that he needs to find the Matriarch’s daughter, Liara, is a scientist on Artemis Tau, a planet in the galaxy. She specializes in Prothean research and is being sought by Saren. Shep needs to find her before it’s too late! With Garrus and Wrex on Shep’s team (my choice), it’s time to go do some intergalactic travel!
Chapter 3: Artemis Tau
Shep and crew land on Artemis Tau – a desolate, but lava-filled planet invaded by geth. After many a gun-battle, Shep locates Liara and invites her to come with them back to the Normandy, which she takes him up on. Just then, another kogan Bounty hunter working for Saren shows up with a group of geth. A battle ensues, and of course, Shep manages to kill them all. Everyone returns to the ship safely.
The next mission involves the geth and their attack on a colony on the planet Feros.
Before going onward to the next planet, you are given the opportunity to go around Normandy and speak with all the characters about their histories and culture. I liked this but my thorough investigation was all because I couldn’t figure out the map! (More on that later. ) Going around the ship, you are also given the chance to bone up the crew’s gear, and given a chance to do a little shopping. I got a bit more money to spend this round and wound up investing in a level4 assault rifle. YEEHAW!
At the end of this chapter, we are given the opportunity to create Shep’s crew for Feros. I again chose Garrus and Wrex, and loaded them up with the best weapons and helmets at my disposal.
Chapter 4: Feros
Landing on the planet Feros, we are told to find Fai Dan, leader of the Zhu’s Hope colony. The colony is overrun by geth, and Shep’s mission is to kill the geth transmitter found in some tunnels around the colony, and kill any geth they find.
I had to find Fai Dan first thing. I did, but got shot at by geth, then got disoriented and couldn’t find him again on the map. It was a bit weird; I had the crew travel through the tunnels, and along the way solved some unknown-to-me assignments, such as turning on the water valve, finding some power cells and killing a big animal for the colony to feast on. I didn’t realize it until later when Shep talked with some of the colonists after killing the transmitter that he should have probably talked to them first. Ah well, it all worked out, the colonists were thankful for the help, and gave Shep and crew some scratch for their trouble – right on!
We were also introduced to Ian Newstead; a guy who is by himself in the tunnels who has essentially lost it. He is alone, muttering to himself and can barely carry on a conversation without screaming.
Fai Dan directs the crew to go to ExoGeni, a company that specializes in intergalactic exploration and colonization – it has also become overrun with geth. This company secured resource rights of planets with undiscovered alien technology, i.e. Prothean tech, which means it’s also in the geth cross-hairs.
I get to go into the galaxy and explore the different planets. WOOHOO! Exciting times!
I remember when the hubs played this game – whenever he would be in the galaxy map in Mass Effect, this beautiful new age dreamy music would play that almost put me to sleep. I love that I can port to a different planet so easily!
When Shep first lands on Artemis Tau, he and crew are in a 6-wheeler vehicle with an automatic rifle attached called a Mako. I got to manoeuvre this thing around. If anyone has ever watched me try to drive a car in a game, it’s really something to laugh about.
Never mind, I managed to fail my mission once for driving my vehicle into the hot lava drink (Ooops…)!
There is plenty of action over the last couple of chapters as geth are coming out of the woodwork. I have to admit to not succeeding in every gun battle, but I got through them. I learned how to change guns and gear up all of my teammates mid battle, as well as how to heal myself. This knowledge base has helped immensely.
Another thing – SAVING YOUR GAME!! Whenever I was allowed to, I saved my game, because you never know when you’ll get killed and have to revert back to a battle you have already fought, which sucks.
Now, about the map that allows you to travel to different planets; it threw me off. See, I understood that my next mission was to go to the planet Feros, but couldn’t figure out how to get there using the map controls. I just figured I needed to complete some character convos with other characters in the game to get permitted to travel. No, turns out all I had to do was Zoom out on the map further. My total Duh-huh moment…At least I learned more about the players in the game, which is never a waste of time.
Finally, the conversation choices haven’t been that exciting. The human crew of the Normandy are being very up front about their feelings concerning working with aliens – they don’t trust them. Shep tells them to get over it. Suck it up and do it; which is what any Commander would tell their crew.
Until next time…