On March 5th, 2013, the final chapter of Mass Effect DLC will hit. This is a rough moment for me, as I’ve spent years falling in love with this universe and these characters. I know there will be more Mass Effect games and that they’ll probably capture seasons of my life like this series did, but it’s still hard to move on.
Mass Effect 1 launched in November 2007. It was one of the first games I ever played for 360. I adored it. Everything about it reminded of why I loved games like KOTOR and the like. I bought all the DLC that was released and played through it multiple times; rethinking decisions and conversations that I’d had with characters to hone my Shepard into the perfect one I wanted. I was essentially writing and re-writing Shepard’s tale.
Mass Effect 2 came along during my second year of college. I pre-ordered the collector’s edition and stood in line for hours with some of my friends just to be able to pick it up at midnight. This installment allowed the decisions of the first game to be imported. That was the first time I’d ever heard of something like that. My Shepard was still my Shepard. I played this one multiple times and in multiple ways as well; knowing that the conclusion would come in the next game. I made sure to replay the ending and make sure ALL of my squad-mates survived. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet.
Mass Effect 3 launched over Spring Break for my senior year of college. I decided to stay at the school and play it instead of head home for the holiday. I spent the week pouring over the game and the decisions and alternating play times with food and episodes of “Archer” on Netflix. Hours were spent having conversations, revisiting old friends, and making the final journey with my Shepard.
Then I beat it. I finished the game, cried a bit, did a final save, and turned off my console. Shepard’s tale was over. Then the Extended Cut was announced, and more DLC (which I expected). Shepard had a few more adventures left in him. I’ve purchased all the DLC (story-wise) for the game so far and I’ve been playing through it these past few weeks. I’m coasting my play times so that I’ll be able to jump into the last bit of DLC on the 5th. After that, I’ll have to say goodbye for real.
I think that I’m ready this time. I’ve grown to love these characters, and had to say goodbye to some of them during the play-through of 3 anyways, but this time is for good. There is no replay after this completion. My Shepard’s tale will have written its final pages and will be closed. Rarely does a game like this come along. The Mass Effect series has held my attention, money, and time for almost 6 years, and what a great 6 they were.
I’m excited for what BioWare does in the future, and I’ll eagerly await whatever they decide to release. For now though, I’m saying my goodbyes to Mass Effect.
You changed my life, and I’ll never forget you for it.