The Greatest Series I’ll Never Play

I’m cursed.

Years ago, I was following the upcoming release of Mass Effect with intense interest. I was on a deployment when the prequel novel, Mass Effect: Revelation, was published, but I still managed to get my hands on a copy and finish it two days later.

When Mass Effect finally launched, I just didn’t have the time to devote to it. So I put the controller down and vowed that I would return for a full playthrough when I could. But each time I picked it back up, I never seemed to make it very far beyond the initial Citadel visit. At first, I had numerous obligations and distractions to blame. Eventually, I started to get burned-out.

Then Mass Effect 2 came out.

Then Mass Effect 3.

With each release, friends and critics raved. “The first Mass Effect kinda sucks,” they’d confess, “Just start with Mass Effect 2! It has a comic that catches you up to speed and let’s you make the important decisions!” That would be the logical thing to do, right?

But I can’t. Why? Because I want to experience everything firsthand. Call me crazy, but I just can’t get over the feeling that blasting through a condensed version might cheapen the experience. How could the story still be as impactful? How would I make those critical decisions without getting to know the people and places that I’d be sending into danger? I have to finish Mass Effect first!

But I can’t. Why? Because the thought of playing through The Citadel for a sixth time makes my stomach turn. It takes hours to get through that first chunk of content, and I refuse skip a single side story or mission.

And so I’ve come to accept the fact that I’ll probably never play through the Mass Effect series.

Also, that I may be a snobby perfectionist.

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6 thoughts on “The Greatest Series I’ll Never Play

    • That’s good to know, because I definitely feel as though I’m missing-out. I’m very interested in Mass Effect, but I’m not so sure if it’s genuine or the result of the attention the series continues to get.

  1. It wasn’t so much the Citadel portion that turned me off from replaying to get all the way through from 1-3, it was that stupid vehicle when you landed on planets. I only made it about 1/2 way through Mass Effect before ME3 was on the horizon.

    As someone who generally feels the same way you do about completionism, I bit the bullet, started with ME2 and played it and ME3. No regrets, great games.

    • I know exactly what you’re talking about. Driving the Mako around on those barren planets was mind-numbing.

      I realize I just need to pull the trigger and jump into ME2, but I’m so damn stubborn! XD

  2. Each one of them have something that the others lack. I loved the stupid Macko missions from 1. I loved the characters from 2. Love the MP from 3. If you want to experience the world without missing the story just get into the MP. It doesn’t spoil much. Except the enemies.

    • I’ve heard the multi-player stuff in 3 was a great time, and I’m always more interested in co-op than competitive, so I’d love to try it.

      That seems to be the consensus among my friends – for every facet they fixed or refined in each iteration, something else was lost. I’ve also heard that each game throws RPG elements out in favor of a more action-oriented shooter experience in the end.

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