We’ve talked quite a bit about sports video games during this Video Games Week. As it turns out, however, there are actually video games out there that are not directly related to the world of sports. I know we’ve got quite a few gamers out there, so I’d like to open things up a bit.
What is your favorite non-sports video game or game series?
Those of you out there that are gamers have probably figured out my answer based on the photo that accompanied this story, but my answer is the Mass Effect series that has been around for some time and actually wrapped up in 2012.
No, I’m not counting Mass Effect: Andromeda, which was not as awful as everyone seems to think it is. I’m talking about the original trilogy.
The Mass Effect trilogy centers around a human soldier named Commander Shepard. The overarching storyline of the three games is that you are attempting to rally the races of the galaxy to band together against a race of synthetic beings known as the Reapers. The Reapers come through the Milky Way galaxy every 50,000 years and wipe out nearly all organic life and, wouldn’t you know it, they’re just about due to come back again. Naturally, the races that populate the galaxy have an issue with this.
For more of the details on the basics of the series. . .and to prevent me from writing an Arif-length article on the Mass Effect series (which is something I could certainly do). . .I’ll direct you to the Wikipedia entry for the series right here. You can go as far down the proverbial rabbit hole as you’d like from there.
Everything about the Mass Effect series was incredibly well done. . .well, just about everything. The voice acting was top-notch, the characters and the storylines were very good, and it was cool to see decisions that you made in Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 impacting events in Mass Effect 3. It really gave you the feeling that the missions you were going on and the choices you were making really mattered.
Honestly, the Mass Effect trilogy is quite possibly the greatest gaming trilogy of all time. . .until you get to the last 20 minutes or so.
The ending of Mass Effect 3 was almost universally hated. There was no epic one-on-one boss fight at the end of the game as there was in the first two games of the trilogy, though there was a huge battle in the streets of London that led up to the ending. Without giving too much away, fans were generally ticked off about the lack of closure and the fact that, after hundreds of hours spent blasting your way through the galaxy, all those choices wound up not meaning nearly as much as you thought they did in the first place. The uproar was so loud that Electronic Arts wound up putting out a “Extended Cut” that expanded on the previous ending, though that didn’t satisfy a whole lot of people, either.
For me personally, though, that last 20 minutes isn’t enough to ruin the rest of the trilogy. Again, there were so many great characters and stories to play through over the course of the three games that it’s hard to let the ending ruin things too much for me. The best overall game in the trilogy might be Mass Effect 2, honestly. It certainly has the best ending sequence, as you and your team embark on a “suicide mission” to take down a base in a remote part of the galaxy. If you make the right choices along the way, it’s not really a “suicide mission” at all, as you can make sure all of your characters survive if you do things properly, but that’s how it’s framed.
If you’ve never played the Mass Effect trilogy, it’s definitely one that is worth exploring. It’s available on XBox, Playstation, and PC, though if you have the Playstation version you’re going to need to break out your PS3. . .the PS4 isn’t backwards-compatible to allow you to play it on there (though apparently the upcoming PS5 will be). I’ve never played it on PC, but I’ve heard a lot of people say that’s the best experience.
But, enough about my thoughts on the subject. I want to hear about your favorite video games, non-sports category. Have at it, folks!