No.0009 Mass Effect

Posted by hsvlad (142 posts) -
1001 Videogames I must play before I die! 
 
No.0009 Mass Effect 
 
I have played a lot of Mass Effect since it came out. I didn't really know anything about it when it came out. I was living with family at the time in Denmark and my cousin was going to go get a new videogame and asked me if I wanted anything. I said Mass Effect on a whim and gave him some cash. About an hour later I got a call from EB Games (they have both EB Games and Gamestop in Denmark for some reason) asking if my cousin was telling the truth when he said he was buying the game for his older cousin, he was only about 15 at the time. Apparently they didn't assume that was some kind of trick and let him buy it for me. The first time I played it, I didn't really get into it. I think I probably restarted my save about five times before I finally settled in and got deep enough into the story for it to grab me, but once it did, it never let go! 
 
 
 
The thing that really pulled me into Mass Effect was the world it built. Most games like it are either using a previously established universe or they create something new but leave it too shallow. Mass Effect felt like it had existed for decades! I was sure that it must have been based on a series of novels or comics, there was just so much there. There were almost ten alien races, each with a rich and intertwining history, most of it absent of human involvement. Everything about its universe felt new and exciting and I wanted to explore all of it. I honestly believe that as sci-fi universes go, Mass Effect easily stands with the likes of Star Trek and Star Wars. Mass Effect is so good it stopped me being able to like the new Battlestar  Galactica series! After reading about how the Geth and other AI's worked in the games fantastic Codex, the Cylons seemed painfully simplistic.  Sure you could upload your personality into a new body, but the slight changes in hardware speed and build quality would result in you having a different personality!  
 
This is gonna get technical for a second but hear me out.  
 
 That isn't something Mass Effect made up, its based on the fact that it is impossible for computers to generate truly random numbers. They can only produce pseudo-random numbers which will differ based on the hardware of whatever computer has generated them but are still eventually predictable. If the software that comprised an AI used random number generation in any way, which it almost certainly would somewhere, then moving the same software to another piece of hardware would result in different pseudo-random numbers, thus changing the way that part of the AI worked. I don't know enough about the subject to say how much the personality of the AI would differ. It could completely reset and develop into a different  personality entirely or it could be exactly the same except now it actually quite likes Battlestar Galactica. The fact that someone at Bioware sat down and figured all of this out is what captured me. That information isn't needed in order to enjoy the fiction surrounding the Geth or other AI's in that universe and it isn't even openly presented to you,  but its there if you want to look for it. So is just about every other detail you could possibly want to know. Alien history, the command structure of the Alliance military forces, how ships achieve faster then light (FTL) travel, why the weapons never have to be reloaded, how some people have telekinetic abilities, the universal banking structure,  alien religious beliefs, the list goes on and on! 
 
                   
 
I had intended just to play a bit of the PC version to refresh my memory but in the end I blasted through the whole game, trying to make the opposite decisions to those I've made with my main, 360 Shepard. It's a shame that Mass Effect 3 will be an Origin exclusive, perhaps only temporarily but none the less it means it will be a long time before I get to finish the story of my second Shepard. Also if the PC version of Mass Effect 2 is anything to go by ME3 on that platform will be absolutely gorgeous!  If you haven't played it yet and are looking for a game with as much story as action I can think of few games I would recommend more! 
#1 Posted by hsvlad (142 posts) -
1001 Videogames I must play before I die! 
 
No.0009 Mass Effect 
 
I have played a lot of Mass Effect since it came out. I didn't really know anything about it when it came out. I was living with family at the time in Denmark and my cousin was going to go get a new videogame and asked me if I wanted anything. I said Mass Effect on a whim and gave him some cash. About an hour later I got a call from EB Games (they have both EB Games and Gamestop in Denmark for some reason) asking if my cousin was telling the truth when he said he was buying the game for his older cousin, he was only about 15 at the time. Apparently they didn't assume that was some kind of trick and let him buy it for me. The first time I played it, I didn't really get into it. I think I probably restarted my save about five times before I finally settled in and got deep enough into the story for it to grab me, but once it did, it never let go! 
 
 
 
The thing that really pulled me into Mass Effect was the world it built. Most games like it are either using a previously established universe or they create something new but leave it too shallow. Mass Effect felt like it had existed for decades! I was sure that it must have been based on a series of novels or comics, there was just so much there. There were almost ten alien races, each with a rich and intertwining history, most of it absent of human involvement. Everything about its universe felt new and exciting and I wanted to explore all of it. I honestly believe that as sci-fi universes go, Mass Effect easily stands with the likes of Star Trek and Star Wars. Mass Effect is so good it stopped me being able to like the new Battlestar  Galactica series! After reading about how the Geth and other AI's worked in the games fantastic Codex, the Cylons seemed painfully simplistic.  Sure you could upload your personality into a new body, but the slight changes in hardware speed and build quality would result in you having a different personality!  
 
This is gonna get technical for a second but hear me out.  
 
 That isn't something Mass Effect made up, its based on the fact that it is impossible for computers to generate truly random numbers. They can only produce pseudo-random numbers which will differ based on the hardware of whatever computer has generated them but are still eventually predictable. If the software that comprised an AI used random number generation in any way, which it almost certainly would somewhere, then moving the same software to another piece of hardware would result in different pseudo-random numbers, thus changing the way that part of the AI worked. I don't know enough about the subject to say how much the personality of the AI would differ. It could completely reset and develop into a different  personality entirely or it could be exactly the same except now it actually quite likes Battlestar Galactica. The fact that someone at Bioware sat down and figured all of this out is what captured me. That information isn't needed in order to enjoy the fiction surrounding the Geth or other AI's in that universe and it isn't even openly presented to you,  but its there if you want to look for it. So is just about every other detail you could possibly want to know. Alien history, the command structure of the Alliance military forces, how ships achieve faster then light (FTL) travel, why the weapons never have to be reloaded, how some people have telekinetic abilities, the universal banking structure,  alien religious beliefs, the list goes on and on! 
 
                   
 
I had intended just to play a bit of the PC version to refresh my memory but in the end I blasted through the whole game, trying to make the opposite decisions to those I've made with my main, 360 Shepard. It's a shame that Mass Effect 3 will be an Origin exclusive, perhaps only temporarily but none the less it means it will be a long time before I get to finish the story of my second Shepard. Also if the PC version of Mass Effect 2 is anything to go by ME3 on that platform will be absolutely gorgeous!  If you haven't played it yet and are looking for a game with as much story as action I can think of few games I would recommend more! 

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.