Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Best Gaming Moment of This Generation.

The Best Gaming Moment of This Generation
Originally Posted on and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 8/17/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy

The little boy's face that will haunt you through the title
   In the Mass Effect series I had moments of anger, hate, and even disgust towards characters that lead me almost astray from being a Paragon. Mass Effect the series also had moments where I wanted to laugh, cry, and overall relate to the characters as they became oddly human like due to Bioware's angle at storytelling. They let us feel as if we know the character, relate to them, and in ways they are us, not just us, but literally almost just like us due to the Paragon and Renegade system. Throughout the series I had moments where I thought "this is it, this is the moment I will never forget.", and in truth I had a few of those. One of them being when my character Andrea Shepard had to decide to save or destroy a Mass Effect Relay and kill millions of Batarians to slow the Reapers or let it stay and let the Reapers approach at their normal speed. I chose to destroy it and a part of my creative self hated that decision, but justified it by understanding it was for a greater cause. In Mass Effect 3 we learn that in the Mass Effect 2 Arrival DLC we did not have, but only a few months more to prepare for the greatest war the Council Races would ever see. 

Do we ever forget the dead? Shepard's dream.

  Once Earth was assaulted I was quick to take notice of this little boy Commander Shepard risked life and limb to rescue in the final moments of the first area only to watch him step onto another ship, and sadly be destroyed with it. In the game we later learn that our character never even never forgot this event. Instead he or she is haunted and tormented by this. The dream not helping as players explore it trying to learn the truth behind what it means, why it's happening, and even questioning whether or not Commander Shepard could have saved him. Through exploring these scenes the reason became clear. BioWare being the great writers and designers as they are, wanted us to question the hope of humanity, to see a bittersweet side of Shepard as the story built up. They wanted us to see that Shepard just like us is human inside, has regrets, and even weaknesses that we'd never seen before.

It begins to finally unfold
   Of course as the story behind the boy unfolded as did the emotional grasp for it begin to take place, it made me truly question whether or not my Commander Shepard wasn't just made this way, but designed to pick at us internally. In many ways they did design this just for that, creating a new side of Commander Shepard that I had never seen before, one that made me almost want to shed an internal plea for remorse as Shepard's ability to be strong began to shatter and others could see his shell around him break. It was the moment when we finally got to meet this child in the dreams did that reality once more settle in and the discomfort take place. It was my realization that Commander Shepard was not just strong for others, but had no one to be strong for him. Instead this boy represented that weakness and inner struggle that Commander Shepard had been fighting through the entire several year span of the Mass Effect Trilogy's time frame. This moment and realization made me come to understand that the story of this boy and Mass Effect all tied together, that it all defined everything players had been working towards, and also is why I chose it as my personal "Best Gaming Moment" of this generation. BioWare as a developer is well known for their in-depth story writing, carrying on subplots, and making gamer's question their own motives and this is no exception. In short Mass Effect has been a masterpiece that many would say is very hard for them to out do.

   The Mass Effect Trilogy is out on all consoles for 39.99 USD at most major retailers. PC prices may vary with sales and promotions. 

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