This is the a series where Brie will recap and review the hit video game trilogy, “Mass Effect”. New posts will be published every Thursday and she will weekly stream (unscheduled) on twitch.tv, posting notifications on Qwerty’s facebook and twitter. Warning: These posts will be full of spoilers. You can start from the beginning here.
Admiral Hackett, Captain Anderson and Ambassador Udina discuss Shepherds qualifications in voice over while you stare out the window at what I assume is Earth. We cut to a brief summary of the discovery of the Mass Effect technology (through an ancient Prothean ruin on Mars) and then cut to Joker preparing for a Mass Relay jump while Shepherd walks briskly through the Normandy to the bridge. At this point we are introduced to Jeff “Joker” Moreau and Lieutenant Kaidan Alenko. Joker announces his “hatred” for Nihlus, a Turian Spectre, and Kaidan sheds some logic on the situation. Anderson requests that you join him and Nihlus in the comm room, when you arrive Nhilus is the only one there. You discuss Eden Prime and it’s purported to be a paradise and one of Earth’s first, and very successful, off-world settlements. Anderson joins you and reveals that there’s more to this visit. A Prothean beacon was uncovered and you’re there to secure it for transport, the Council is also using this opportunity to observe and evaluate Shepherd to see if she’s a viable candidate to be the first human Spectre. Suddenly you’re interrupted by Joker letting you know that there’s an emergency transmission from the planet. It’s from the Alliance soldiers on the surface, they’re fighting, and dying. You see a very large unfamiliar ship in the video and the transmission goes dead. It’s decided that you’ll take a small team to the planet including Nihlus who will scout ahead. In your team are Kaidan and the very important and long term companion, Richard L. Jenkins. You land on the beautiful planet and get to really start playing.
The first enemy you encounter shoots and kills Jenkins, you and Kaidan mourn briefly and then move on. You fight your way through Geth until you come upon Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams, in a battle of her own, and witness as one of her companions, or possibly a colonist, is impaled on a spike to eventually become a Husk. You assist her and find out what she knows about the attack, the ship, and the beacon. At this point we discover that the Geth are an enemy that we haven’t seen or heard from in 200 years and wonder what they are doing here. Ashley joins your party and you move forward to the beacon site only to find that it was moved to the spaceport. You leave the dig site and encounter Husks on the top of the hill. After riddling them full of holes you move past the clearing and cut to Nihlus who has made it to the spaceport and sees that a Spectre colleague Saren is there. This is surprising to Nihlus who didn’t expect to see him and accepts Saren’s assertion that he was sent by the council to check things out. They discuss the situation and once Nihlus turns his back, Saren shoots him in it. We cut back to Shepherd who is now just above the spaceport and encounters shots from below and more Husks. As you make your way through the spaceport you discover that Nihlus is dead and learn from a hidden dock worker that another Turian named Saren was responsible. The dock worker informs you that they took the cargo train to where the beacon was moved and suggests you follow them. You encounter more enemies along the way, but reach the controls. This cuts you to a view of Saren instructing his lackeys to blow the station up, and see him interact with the Prothean beacon.
Once you reach the station you have a certain amount of time to disarm four bombs on the platform while battling Geth. Once you’ve disarmed the bombs you make your way to the beacon. You find it and begin a transmission to the Normandy and turn around to find that Kaidan got a little too close and the beacon is now pulling him towards it. You push him out of the way only to be pulled in yourself and then levitated by the beacon. It fills your head with vision and images that are indistinguishable, it breaks, and then everything goes black.
Quote of the Day: “You remember to zip up your jumpsuit on the way out of the bathroom? That’s good. I just jumped us halfway across the galaxy and hit a target the size of a pinhead. So that’s incredible.” – Joker
I love this quote because it really introduces you to Joker’s humor. Very sarcastic in the way that only Seth Green can pull off. He knows he’s got talent and nothing is going to dissuade him from that opinion. This comic was a really fantastic read showing how Joker got the Normandy gig; his confidence is completely founded.
Poor Jenkins, poor Nihlus, they never had a chance. Also, poor gas bags that just float around Eden Prime with no purpose other than being super fun to shoot at.
I had a really hard time this mission. Adjusting to the PC controls after playing exclusively on the Xbox for all three games presented a bit of a learning curve. The mission itself is quick and easy since I’ve done it half a dozen times now, but there was trying to figure out how to work the gun, or access the radial menu, and one moment during my first encounter with the Husks where my strafe right key got stuck, and I kept moving and couldn’t figure out what was going on. I also wasn’t using an actual mouse, so the controls with zoom and shoot were very awkward on the track pad.
All in all I enjoy this mission, it’s a fun introduction to the mechanics of the game and gives you a good idea what the combat is going to be like. For the purposes of this re-play, and because I’m more invested in story than being the best combatant ever, I have my settings set to casual/easy with high assist in targeting.
I actually wasn’t much for shooter games before this series. I found it difficult and frustrating. It wasn’t until the 3rd game where I realized that I was actually enjoying the third person shooter aspect more than my traditional turn based. I felt more invested in the character, more involved in the story, in my successes and the failures. When I froze someone and then made a head-shot that exploded their face, that was all me, my skills. I was responsible for that supreme awesomeness!
However, to be clear, I still haven’t found a first person shooter that I can really get behind. I started playing Bioshock for the first time a month or so ago (because Bioshock: Infinite looks amazing and I have a problem with jumping straight to the 3rd in a series without playing the predecessors first) and it’s been too anxiety inducing for me. Not having a map to show where my enemies are located, and not being able to see if someone was behind me has been too much. But Mass Effect really proved to me that I can aim, that I can enjoy real time battle, and that it does make me feel more accomplished.
I’m also really enjoying this replay knowing what Saren’s ship really is, and understanding the Geth, or the fates of those around me. It’s one of the reasons I re-read books so often or re-watch movies, it gives you a new perspective, a new lens, a totally new experience.
This mission was a rough start in terms of having to figure out the controls, but I’m really looking forward to this journey.
Next week we’ll spend some time on the Citadel, but for now you can watch the prologue prior to landing on Eden Prime.