I recently finished Persona 4, and have been looking for something to fill the new void in my life. A friend suggested I try the original Mass Effect, and let me borrow his copy. I had been wanting to try the game for some time as I had always heard good things about it. A RPG where you shoot the crap out of things and have sex with aliens? Sounds fun.
So, last night, I grabbed a few beers and gave Mass Effect a whirl.
The first thing I noticed about the game was the massive learning curve. Within minutes of starting the game, I realized I would have to learn everything on a trial and error basis, with no help from the game itself. No tutorials, no instructional logs. Nothing. It took me about 2 hours to get things to work out the way I wanted to, and I’m not even sure I wont start over and try again when I turn it on tonight.
Someday, I might even get to playing the game.
Mass Effect, like many Bio Ware games, has a very detailed character creator. The face-creating technology is amazing, and there are hundreds of options, from eye shape to “cheek gauntness”. In theory, there are probably thousands of combinations. However, In my experience, there are really only 5 different faces you can create; burn victim, Danny Trejo, early man, Duke Nukem’s father and child molester. I hesitate to add this last “class” to the list, because every face I made looked like a sex offender of some kind.
This is a problem for two reasons. One, I hate using the “stock” character if the option to make my own is presented. Two, I am very lookist when it comes to fantasy. Heroes need to look like heroes. Villains need to look like villains. The stock John Shepard has the look heroes are supposed to have; young, tough, and sexy. You can tell he’s been through some sh*t, but he isn’t burned out. Alien chicks wait in line to have sex with him. My John Shepards look like group of middle-aged gang members and creepy high-school janitors who accidentally became military heroes on the way to the bar to talk about how easy the girls were when they were kids back on earth.
Maybe that is good enough for Starcraft marines, but not John Shepard.
I think next time, I’ll make the biggest jerk I can and be a total ass to everybody in order to match my character’s butt-ugly face. I guess I could always suck it up and play the original Shep too, but that would be boring.
Danny Trejo’s pretty bad-ass, anyway.