Aside from The Orange Box, I also went back to Mass Effect lately. I’m not sure how much I have left to play, but since I’m over twenty hours in, it can’t be that much. It certainly feels like it’s drawing to a close.
I had forgotten how impressed I was with this game initially. The relationships between the characters are great stuff, I love the visual design and the combat is fun. The story is a grab-bag of new space opera staples – precisely the kind of stuff I’d love to put in a science fiction RPG, myself, being a fan of Reynolds et al.
I sat down with it for a couple of hours, but I spent my first comeback session reading. The game has this codex that’s constantly updated with new stuff as you explore the world. I had not even looked at it, being too busy saving the world, but I sure hope I did. Most of it is very relevant, not rambling at all, and adds to the game immensely. The game proper doesn’t do a very good job of explaining how it all hangs together and I can appreciate this maybe being a conscious approach, but Mass Effect leaves a little too much open for its own good. The codex fills it all in. If you’re only now starting the game, make sure you spend some time with the codex every now and then. The background it gives on races, places and technologies adds a lot of depth to the experience.
It makes me want to read that Mass Effect novel that’s out and hope that Bioware returns to its delicious science fiction world at some point. It makes me want to run a pen and paper scifi RPG again!