Mass Effect: Legendary Edition recently released and fans can’t get enough of the video game space opera. Many people consider it to be the most iconic and best science fiction franchise in gaming and the improvements made in the remastered collection are only adding to the case.
Since the original Mass Effect is well over 10 years old at this point new players need to understand some things about the game. By going in with a few tips players will be more likely to hit the ground running in their initial playthrough and fall in love with a series many people fell in love with over a decade ago.
10 Mods Or No Mods
This tip is solely for those who decide to pick up the Mass Effect: Legendary Collection on the PC. Like most PC games some mods exist that can greatly improve and/or alter the packaged gaming experience. For Mass Effect 1 there’s a mod that pulls the camera back slightly and makes the gameplay and combat feel less claustrophobic.
Purists will say that the game should be played the way it was designed and intended, but there’s nothing wrong with making a choice that will improve the enjoyment of something, as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of someone else’s enjoyment.
9 FemShep Is The Choice
Mass Effect 1 was originally marketed in an era where every main character in every big video game release was a white guy with a shaved head or short hair. Over the years, the female version of Commander Shepard has morphed into the more beloved version among many fans. A large part of that is due to the tremendously talented voice actor Jennifer Hale.
Her performance brings the character of FemShep to life and her talent emanates off the screen. Some players may play as male Shepard voiced wonderfully by Mark Meer. But it’s important to understand how astounding Hale is in her performance throughout the trilogy. It’s a similar situation to Alexios vs. Kassandra in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
8 Default Vs. Created Commander Shepard
Regardless of the gender chosen for Commander Shepard, players can determine what the main character looks like. The game offers a handcrafted look that’s considered the canon appearance of the character but also gives the player a character creator so they can make their own unique Commander Shepard.
The animations will also present themselves best on the internal model, but if some players want to roleplay as themselves or another character, they should wholeheartedly run with it. It’s all about choice at the end of the day.
7 Take Time To Learn The Lore
This entry kind of goes hand-in-hand with the next entry centered on exhausting dialogue options. When it comes to role-playing games, there seem to be two general groups of players. Some fall in love with the lore and look for every information nugget while others enjoy it but are more focused on experiencing the game.
For both groups, it’s in their best interest to at least learn the basics of the lore. Knowing things about the Council alien races, the larger space-faring organizations, and the history of how humans arrived at this point are important to the plot in Mass Effect 1.
6 Exhaust Dialogue Options
Mass Effect is a series that provides all of the information regarding the universe and the characters in it and it’s up to the player to decide how much of it they want to experience. For those who dive deep into role-playing games and want to learn everything they can, both the codex and actual conversations in the game provide plenty of information.
By exhausting all of the dialogue options players are both learning more about the universe around them and also earning new resolutions to problems that may arise.
5 Trust Your Intuition
With the Paragon and Renegade system being so prominent in the game’s marketing, there’s been a built-up perception that the trilogy is centered on right or wrong answers. The truth is that it comes down to the player’s intent at that moment.
If they want to kill a shady criminal and don’t care about information gathering, then to them, they made the right choice. It’s not worth it to focus on whether or not the “right” choice is being made. Rather, what matters is what feels most authentic to the role-playing experience that specific player is trying to experience with Commander Shepard.
4 Understand The Classes
In the first game, players have the choice of becoming one of six classes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. These classes are titled Adept, Soldier, Engineer, Vanguard, Sentinel, and Infiltrator.
Each of these classes also has additional specializations players can level into, and with it gain new abilities related to their core initial choice in class. The game provides solid explanations and descriptions of each class and it comes down to the player figuring out what seems like the most entertaining or rewarding playstyle.
3 Paragon, Renegade, Or Natural
Mass Effect’s binary morality system may seem a bit dated on the surface, but there’s no reason players have to lean on either Paragon or Renegade in their decision-making. Those who are looking for a genuine role-playing experience might find it best to simply play the game naturally and let the conversations flow.
By committing to answers that seem the most logical at the moment, or the answer the player would give if they were Commander Shepard, there’s a likelihood that the player will be happier where they stand on that morality scale at the game’s end.
2 It’s An RPG First, Action Game Second
The interesting thing about the Mass Effect trilogy is that the action role-playing game sees an evolution where it starts as a hardcore science fiction RPG and throughout the three games becomes an action game with role-playing elements.
Mass Effect 1 happens to be the strongest and most dedicated role-playing game of the collection, so it’s important players know that going in. Entering a game with the correct expectations and mindset can mean the difference between hitting the ground running and stalling out before the journey even begins.
1 Pick The Right Class
After all of the classes are understood it’s important for the player to choose the class that makes the most sense for them. Whether it’s having access to a certain biotic ability, or proficiency with a certain weapon type, taking the time to make a thoughtful decision will pay off in spades once the game gets going.
Many of the achievements/trophies for Mass Effect 1 are tied to using certain biotic abilities, so players who are looking to complete the game in that manner might want to opt for a biotic-centered class.
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