As a cynical old person, it takes a lot to get me truly excited for something new in gaming these days. So, to a certain degree, I guess it might make sense that the one thing in gaming that has me excited this year is something that’s not new at all. And that would be playing through the Mass Effect series for the umpteenth time, only this time via the Legendary Edition.
Okay, maybe not the umpteenth time. Officially *puts on glasses, reads notes* it would be my eight playthrough of Mass Effect, and my fifth time with both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. Take those numbers as you will, because I really can’t wait. And my note-happy self has already written down plans for my first Legendary Edition Shepard: Lynn Shepard, a ruthless spacer engineer who will go renegade all the way. Not only will she be my first full renegade FemShep, but she’ll also be my first engineer, the one original class that’s remained elusive to me. She will also likely romance Kaiden, mainly because I’ve actually never successfully completed his arc in the series.
Maybe it’s lame to have all this planned out already, but I’ve written before about how playing Mass Effect instills an intensely comfortable “welcome home” feeling, and part of that come from knowing what to expect. One of my most favorite books is Alice in Wonderland, and I read my well-worn paperback version every couple years, for it imparts that same feeling. Nothing about the story changes – the White Rabbit is always late, the Cheshire cat still smiles, and the Queen of Hearts is never any less maniacal – I know what to expect from page to page. My inclinations towards or aversions from certain characters change with time and life experience, but the process make me happy, because it’s like visiting with an old, dear friend. That’s what Mass Effect does for me. In world that’s currently filled with whole bunch of discomfort, you can’t blame an aging gamer for seeking out her safety blanket every now and again, can you?
That said, the Legendary Edition does harbor one thing, or rather, 40 things that are brand-new to me, and that’s all its DLC. Okay, “40” is probably overstating that, since within that total are various armor and weapons packs, but still, I never played any of the expanded content from any of the original games. So I’ll finally get to visit the Lair of the Shadow Broker, meet Zaeed and Kasumi, and uncover the secrets of the Leviathan. As someone who only just last year first experienced all the extra (and amazing!) content in both Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, the fact that this year I’ll get to do the same with my other favorite BioWare series is all too exciting a prospect.
However, it’s not exciting enough for to jump on pre-ordering it. Because while it does have a release date (May 14th) the world is still a mess, so there’s no telling if that will stick. Of course I hope that I does, because there’s nothing I would love more this summer than to spend it saving the galaxy once more with Commander Lynn Shepard. It will be a wonderful homecoming, indeed.
Lede image © BioWare, Electronic Arts, Inc.