There are many games out there thick with lore. However, very few capture my attention and interest like Mass Effect’s and with good reason. A great deal of Mass Effect‘s backstory is told through optional audio entries which I often feel compelled to endulge in while I grab a snack to eat. I did this with the first Mass Effect and I’m repeating it with the sequel.
Why read manuals or in-game encyclopedia entries when I could get it all via narration? I much prefer to keep it all within the voice and aesthetics of the game and its universe. It may seem like a financially costly detail to include, but it shows commitment to the world and how much the developers want me to stay immersed.
Being immersed into Mass Effect‘s world requires more than just a bunch of voiced encyclopedia entries though. The politics, the problems and the people need to feel real as well. Nearly every problem in the Mass Effect universe felt plausible. Some of it may seem like jargon, but there’s usually an explanation to every little thing that happens within this universe.
However, no matter how well a developer integrates its lore, it takes more than an immersive world to make a good game. Sharp execution and strong mechanics are also required. The original Mass Effect was a bit sketchy in both areas, however it did show a lot of promise. And by the looks of things thus far, Mass Effect 2 is delivering on those promises which BioWare set out in 2007.
I suspect I’ll have a review of the game next week, but you really don’t need me to tell you how awesome Mass Effect 2 is.