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File: 1689385603773.jpg (91.46 KB, 1280x720, me4.jpg)


I recently replayed the trilogy and tried out Andromeda for the first time. I don't want to talk about the ending of 3 because it's been discussed to death, but more about the direction of the series and some of the underlying themes.

In Mass Effect 1, the central idea is about humanity's place in the galaxy: will they work together with the council species or advance their own interests at the expense of everyone else? The framing itself is (although not that unusual for fantasy/scifi) worth commenting on because every species is governed by an ethnostate, and representation on the council is through a representative from each ethnostate deemed worthy of joining its ranks. The games never reject the framing either, only examining some of its consequences like the sterilization of the krogan. Humanity's government is expansionist, militaristic, and dominated by corporate interests, with entire planets handed to corporations for colonial settlement. Other species have corporate worlds as well, the asari in Mass Effect 2 are even shown to have a world with legalized slavery. Mass Effect 2 drops Mass Effect 1's theme and goes for a "grittier", action movie/heist story. Andromeda tries to address them but they lose all salience when the conflicts are an entire galaxy away and 600 years in the past. 1, 2, 3, and Andromeda all bring up AI and organic/synthetic conflict but they take it in 20 different directions and use it as a convenient plot device more than something to explore.

The art and music for each game is great, and the combat and level design gets progressively better with the series, but it really feels like they lost the sense of exploration the first game had. Not as in exploring with the Mako, which sucked, but reading planet descriptions for interesting tidbits and getting the sense that the galaxy is much bigger and more mysterious than the player will ever realize. With each installment the galaxy feels progressively smaller as the overall stories get more focused, but the pacing isn't any better for it. Looking back, the Reaper invasion seems like the wrong direction for the series, and I sincerely hope they aren't setting up for another synthetic vs organic storyline but that seems like all they can write about anymore. I expect they'll lean even more into action movie explosions-and-narrow-escapes stuff with 4 as well.

Hot take: half the squadmates in ME2 didn't even belong in the story.


I have always been annoyed with how alien planets and civilisations are depicted in media. For some reason writers think that planets are the same thing as a country with only one species and culture.


You're right, it's silly that all alien worlds basically only have one climate and so on but wouldn't the alternative be unworkable? If every planet had as much complexity as Earth it would be impossible to show any of it. Even games set on Earth rarely feature more than one country.


I stopped caring about the series when it was revealed that all the choices you made were meaningless. I don't think it would have been asking for that much just for ME3 to have a Fallout style ending with a quick vignette about each place you interacted with.


ME 2 > 1 > 3 > Andromeda
It's not interesting fighting reapers and other "galaxy ending" threats because the only way that can ever be resolved is through finding a McGuffin artifact to nuke them all. The true interesting stuff is the cutthroat politicking and intrigue going on between species and planets and companies and governments etc. Actually I'd say even Cyberpunk 2077 has a better plot than the mass effect trilogy. ME is so overrated.


It’s not like we ever get so see full planets or whatever anyways, they could always simply state that there is something out there that we simply don’t get to see. The same thing with other cultures and species, if you don’t have the resources to show it just imply or mention it in dialogue or whatever.


I like the blue women, they're pretty


Some other disorganized thoughts on the series I had floating around:
>Andromeda can be safely skipped
It may as well have been a completely different franchise because the pillars of the setting are just window dressing and it has significant downgrades in a lot of ways. The UI is astonishingly bad and they tripled down on the action movie scenes and one-liners.
>people rightly shit on Kai Lang for being completely out of place, but no one ever talks about that Japanese character on Noveria who uses -san and -sama honorifics in English for no reason
>they never found a good implementation for the paragon/renegade system
In each of the games it encourages players to go all in on one for fear of locking themselves out of future choices, even if it's not something "their" Shepard would have done. Scrapping it was for the best, the psych profile approach Andromeda took was better even if it had no bearing on the story.
>a lot of the corruption and corporate dystopia stuff is treated as just the way things are, or are addressed tongue-in-cheek at best
There aren't any meaningful alternatives presented and you get stuck cleaning up the mess on corporate colonies more than once. I shouldn't expect a systemic critique and Shepard is basically one of the galaxy's top glowies upholding the status quo, but still. Oh, and
That and Bailey being introduced in 3 like an old friend when the only things he talks about in 2 are taking bribes and roughing up suspects. Fuck him too.

True, and Mass Effect 2 and 3 even go further and say that humans are apparently uniquely more genetically diverse than any other species in the galaxy and that's why the reapers find them so interesting (that and Shepard becoming Action Jesus, Galactic Superhero in 2/3). Seems like a cop-out to not have any variation within alien societies.



don't care, still sexy


B-b-but he's a willing tool of porkies, you can't do this!
I always felt better letting him have his thing with Tali.


It's like this because if every planet had a reasonable amount of diversity, the stories would either be very complex or the character of a given planet would have to be flattened out to the average of its characteristics.

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