Mass Effect 2 is just around the corner. January! It’s hard to believe after waiting so long for the sequel to the greatest “space opera” we’ve ever played. But what to do until then?
Play Mass Effect over Thanksgiving, obviously! Honestly, Thanksgiving is four-and-a-half days off, and who wants to spend it with family? Yuck! Instead, here’s ten reasons you should pop Mass Effect back into your 360/PC in preparation for the sequel.
10) Time for a Refresh
Chances are you played and beat Mass Effect back when it first came out, two years ago. Two years is a long time, and it was great fun, wasn’t it? Chances are you don’t remember half of what happened five minutes ago, let alone two years, so it’s time to play through again to reacquaint yourself with the outrageously good storyline.
9) Get to level 60
As soon as you pop that disc back in, it’s going to hit you: should you play as your old character, make a new one, change things around…hell, there are a lot of options. Glad you remembered it’s an RPG Sherlock. Start out simple: did you get your character to level 60? Getting to level 60 and transferring that data gives you a bonus in Mass Effect 2, so make sure you get that done first. If you’ve already done it, play as a girl Shepherd. Who knows, you may look good in tight spandex.
8) Play as something different (Paragon/Renegade, Engineer/Adept/Sentinel etc.)
Got a level 60 character or higher? Great, now do it again a few more times. I bet you played Mass Effect once or twice through and only with one class, didn’t you. There are six classes, and you picked the easy soldier class. Lazy ass, it’s the fastest to play through, and the BORINGEST. Play as the other classes, and you may find that they’re not as dull or hard as you think.
7) Talk to everyone, try new conversation choices
While you’re playing as another class, take advantage of the game’s huge dialog system. There’s thousands of lines of dialog you missed the first time around. Try something new: be nice for a change you jerk, or just shoot first and ask questions never. Whatever you already did, don’t do it again, that way you keep the game fresh.
6) Make different decisions
Speaking of changing dialog, don’t stop there. Change your actions, and do everything differently. Because the saved data passes from Mass Effect to Mass Effect 2, some of the decisions you made will influence the next game. Don’t you want to know how they turn out? That’s why you’re going to have at least two savegames, each one making the opposite decisions every time. Whether you’re going for a full Paragon/Renegade, or some weird crap you’ve conjured up, those decisions are important. Make sure you get them all.
5) Play on a harder difficulty
I know you’re a casual gamer. You like to play on easy, play online with your little girly friends, and stay away from ranked matchmaking. Man up wuss, and play on a harder difficulty. Mass Effect isn’t a hard game, and it’s one of the few that will teach you to play a shooter and RPG without anyone knowing how much you suck at videogames. Don’t worry, I won’t say anything.
4) Buy and play the DLC Pinnacle Station
Buy and play through the DLC (or if you’re a PC gamer, download it for free. Boss!). It’s the only DLC for Mass Effect, it’s cheap, and it’s two more hours of gameplay. Stuck at level 57 and don’t want to play through the whole campaign again for three levels? This could be your ticket out of that. Plus it’s more decisions, more story, more dialog, and more fun. And if you’re on a PC, you have no excuse.
3) The holiday season is bare. Play old games!
This holiday season, almost every major release was pushed back, Mass Effect 2 included, because of Modern Warfare 2. In fact, now the staff is sitting around wondering what the hell, because we have no games to review. Sad, but it’s a golden opportunity to get through this golden oldie one more time before it ships in January. So tell your friends to piss off, sit yourself in front of the game, and beat it.
2) Get reacquainted with familiar places
Assuming you’ve read and followed the reasoning thus far, you’re going to play Mass Effect again. And perhaps again. And maybe a fourth time. While you’re doing it, get reacquainted with the locales in the game, because some of them will be coming back. You’ll probably stumble around the galaxy for an hour trying to remember where important events take place, but that’s not important. Key locations will come back, and there’s a lot of running. Get it down now so you don’t have to later.
1) It’s Mass Effect. Duh! (Oh, and ME2 comes out in 2 months, and this’ll take awhile)
It’s Mass Effect you wet fish. You need a better reason to play it again? Look at the metacritic score! Remember your fond memories. Hell, what else are you going to do, watch the Comedy Central Thanksgiving holiday specials? Pfft, you’ll be in front of your computer or Xbox. Might as well not waste your time with friends jumping on between 20 daily meals, and spend it productively making sure your Mass Effect 2 experience is as wholesome as can be.