A few hours ago a friend of mine named MJO1450 posted a blog “What game(s) made you cry?”. This got a lot of people talking about what games actually were able to extract one of the strongest emotions we as humans have, sadness. Sadness is brought on because of many things, mostly when something terrible and heartbreaking has occured. Emotional experiences is what some people who do not understand the essence of gaming state that gaming lacks, it is murderous, violent and absurd. They are not wrong, it is all those things, but some games take that extra step in the emotional direction and one games pulls it off as greatly as any game has before.
Mass Effect 3
This game has been given a bad wrap in terms of the ending, we have heard it all and read it all since its release. But forget about the ending for a second, this is not about that.
The Mass Effect franchise did something that no other game I have experienced has been able to do, allow you to connect to characters on such an emotional level. The comments to MJO’s blog overwhemlingly pointed out that Mass Effect 3 was the game that struck the highest cord when it came to emotional moments, sure we have seen characters pass away before in games and it has tried to hit the gamers heart. Though no game has been able to pull it off like Mass Effect 3. The franchise has taken you through over 120 hours of gameplay and Bioware was able to make you love, care and cherish the characters you interacted with.
From Joker your loveable pilot, to Tali/Miranda/Liara or whoever you decided to pursue as your love interest and all the way to Thane, Wrex and Mordin. I have such a connection with them all, through all the experiences we all shared, from the greatest of highs to the low points every Commander must face, you were never alone. I cannot name so many game characters from one franchise like I can with Mass Effect, sure I may be a bigger fan than most but even other games I love I forget some of the other characters involved.
Bioware allowed you to determine your story through choices when it came to gameplay and dialogue, this seems easy, but not many other developers have pulled it off in such a way. Skyrim may be an amazing game, but I do not care about any characters, there is no connection. This allowed you to feel as if you were Commander Shepard and make all these connections and moments feel so special.
Hell this may just be stating the obvious and my form of a positive rant, but this was a franchise I have loved from start to finish. The connection to my friends aboard the Normandy and the stories that unfolded, will always stay with me and the emotional moments along the way are still some of my most treasured in my gaming history.
Mass Effect as a franchise connects you with characters emotionally, lackluster ending or not, this was a franchise I will never forget.