Is the first Mass Effect still worth playing?
Yes
94.6% (435)
94.6% (435)
No
5.4% (25)
5.4% (25)
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Poll: Question regarding the Mass Effect Trilogy

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Eddie the head:

idon'tknowaboutthat:
It's funny how people here are either saying ME1 is the best or worst of the three. I guess that shows you that whether you will enjoy it or not is completely up to your tastes and whatnot in gameplay and storytelling.

Yeah, like I said people have a tendency to attach to the first game in a series that they have played. For most people Mass Effect 1 was there first Mass Effect game so they hold it above the other ones despite the improvements. What I mean is I don't think it's much "tastes" as it is nostalgia.

If you played Mass Effect 2 then Mass Effect 1 and liked it more, I would like to hear why. If you played 1 then 2, your opinion means less to me. Just me but if you say the first game you played in any series is the best, you better have some damn good reasons why.

I must be an anomaly then. I played the first one first and thought it was pretty damn mediocre. I didn't actually begin to like the series until I played number 2, which is still my favorite. XD

Though I favor Mass Effect 2 by far (In fact, it is one of my favorite games), I still recommend the first as a powerhouse of a game.

Do it for Wrex, he'd do it for you. But really, play it! It wasn't my favorite(part 2 holds that title), but damn if it wasn't a really fun ride that sets up everything in the sequels. Also, Tali+ Specre shotgun= nasty. I almost always roll as a vanguard so I needed a tech who could fight and damn if BioWare didn't gift wrap me one as a major early plot point. Get the "rich" achievement/trophy early as you can. It unlocks Spectre weapons and they are super tough(rich is unlocked through selling items and having 1 million creds, I don't think you have to get them all from selling though).

Jezzascmezza:

sunsetspawn:
Seems like a troll thread. Skip the first one? If someone said that they could only play one then the answer would be to just play the first one. The narrative and "universe" are very well constructed, while 2 & 3 just feel like "games" set in said universe.

I'm definitely not trolling.
I'm completely new to the series, and had heard things about the game-play experience of the first Mass Effect being rather clunky, especially by today's standards, so I was simply wondering whether it was worth my time putting up with said game-play, as well as dated graphics, in order to get and understand the first act of the story.
Judging by everyone's responses, it seems as though it is.

Fair enough. If you like RPGs, especially of the Bioware variety, you will adore this game and be a bit flummoxed when you move on to 2 and 3. If you just like shooters, blast your way through the main plot points and relish the story.
If you like both, well, then perfect.

After playing the first mission and one main plot mission you'll know if you want to see and do a lot of the side missions. Actually, I knew by the end of the first mission.

Anyway, play the game on Veteran because Normal is too easy. Hardcore is more appropriate for an experienced gamer, but you need to unlock that. Insanity can be overkill.

Don't be afraid to skip Mako-based side missions if they're driving you crazy. Make sure to do a few of them though because they REALLY set the tone of this space odyssey. You can dip out on any side mission and head back to the Normandy so no worries.

Shit, all this talk is making me want to play this game a fourth time. Actually, it's making me wish there were another game like it so I could play that with a fresh story and characters. Makes me wish Mass Effect 2 & 3 has been like this...

damnit, now I'm all depressed and shit.

ThriKreen:
snip

I just checked your biography and it states you've worked on Neverwinter Nights, as well. Which is my favorite D&D-based game of all time. I want your babies.

OT: Definitely. The first Mass Effect is the best of the three, in my opinion. It's slightly clunkier than the others, but the way it introduces and immerses you into the universe is just awesome.

Also, importing your character and choices into ME2 and ME3. That's pretty much the main feature of the series, and it would be a crime not to do it.

I deffinitely think you should give ME1 a go. Whilst its gameplay is lacklustre compared to the rest of the series, it has an excellent story (better than ME2's in my opinion) and is just a part of the series as the later two games. Playing Shepard through all three games with the same save also feels really good, by the end you'll have an attachment to him/her and the characters you've been on the adventure with. As for linking to the other games; it sets the story, introducing you to the characters and setting and so on, but it's not integral. There are a few decisions you can make and characters that may or may not die that carry on to ME2 (so ME3 subsequently) but I wouldn't call it essential for linking the series together. I would call it essential for the fact that it's the first game in an epic trilogy though, you'll enjoy it :)

EDIT: ME1 starts off quite slow but it's all part of building up Shepard and the main villains' characters. Stick with it!

If you're getting into the series then I guess, but otherwise, avoid it. It's absolutely terrible. The only aspect of it that isn't complete shit are the characters, and even then they aren't very well written.

Ok, I'm going to give an extremely controversial opinion but you asked; not only is the first Mass Effect worth playing but it's the only one worth playing. Mass Effect had some weak game-play, they clearly didn't do the concept of a third-person shooter well; yet it has the best antagonist is the series with truly memorable characters and a passable storyline. Conversely, Mass Effect 2 reads off like poor fanfiction. It's all about endless character wanking and no plot in sight. Mass Effect 3 has the distinction of actually continuing the story and ending it in an utterly nonsensical manner. That is not my only gripe with the story (I MADE A MISTAKE! + other narm).

While ME2/3 did change the gamplay it went from a bad third-person shooter to a parody of Gears of War. You knew if a fight was coming up because there were conveniently placed chest-high walls everywhere. What's hilarious about this is that Bioware marketed the game as not requiring cover, oops.

Mass Effect 1 is, IMO, easily the best game in the trilogy. The gameplay is a little clunky, and have fun learning to drive the Mako [Its not that hard, but the first time you're in it its quite odd], but I prefer it to the rather average and monotonous gameplay of the 2nd and third. Yeah, in this you still spend a lot of time hiding behind cover, but you can also run out with an assault rifle/shotgun and dodge the bullets if you'd prefer [Well, a few of the bullets =P], or sit back at 500m to a Km away and snipe the enemy, dependent on where you're fighting.
Its also a lot more open then the other games, and there is usually more than one way to go about completing a mission [Not just in the choice department, but also in map layout and which path - if not both - you'll take].

Unquestionably yes, it's definitely worth playing. I'm not gonna lie, the gameplay isn't quite as good as in ME2 or 3. But if you've never played either of these, then you wont know the difference! And whatever people say about it, I LOVED the Mako sections in ME1, and spent hours playing around on the surface of random planets!

And that's not even touching on the story and characters! If you start off in ME2 without taking your save in, it'll never be as good as if you made all the choices yourself. It wont feel like it's your story your playing, you're just jumping into someone else's story.

So that's a definite yes from me!

ThriKreen:

Jezzascmezza:
So my question is: should I bother with the first Mass Effect?

Along with all the other supporting arguments, first chapter, get the whole story, get the setting, yadda yadda.

The final argument is that you should because I worked on it and skipping it would make me a sad panda.

And you don't want to make me a sad panda, now do you? ;)

So how clear was it that Bioware was going downhill towards the end of your employment with them? I fail to believe that people didn't see the writing on the wall. Is it as I assume, that the management of EA slowly drizzled their fowl attitude onto the management at Bioware, which in turn slowly drizzled it onto the staff?

What I'm getting at is that Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins had soul. This same soul can be traced back to most Bioware games of the past, but ME and DAO were the last games to retain it. It's an intangible quality, but I think most Bioware fans know exactly what I'm talking about.

So, how is it that their games has the soul removed?

sunsetspawn:
So how clear was it that Bioware was going downhill towards the end of your employment with them? I fail to believe that people didn't see the writing on the wall. Is it as I assume, that the management of EA slowly drizzled their fowl attitude onto the management at Bioware, which in turn slowly drizzled it onto the staff?

I'm sorry but should I chalk "fowl attitude" up to an autocorrect?

At the risk of sounding like I'm speaking for him or anyone else most people would consider it poor-form to derail a thread by asking someone to trash a former employer. Especially when said former employer has been making highly controversial creative decisions.

Absolutely, it's worth playing first. While the combat and mechanics are nowhere near as polished as the sequels, the story is great, it introduces you to good characters that will stick throughout the series, and it gives you some context that you simply cannot get in the next games.

Playing the first Mass Effect is also good for making it so that your choices there are reflected in Mass Effect 2 and 3, which is one of the big draws to the series in and of itself, despite the ultimate payoff being a little lackluster. But hey, it's the journey and not the destination that's the best part.

TizzytheTormentor:
I am still on the fence on whether or not to try the series, I never played them before, I was planning to after all 3 were released, but after hearing about how disappointing the ending was, playing through everything and geting attach to the world and characters will leave me pissed off.

*sigh* I still want to try it, for now, I have little time to spend on games.

ME1 - Sets up the context, and has Wrex. It gives a constant air of child-like glee to see all the cool aliens walking around being characterized. ME2 shits on you if you don't import a character. RPG aspects had the "One stat gets a small boost" issue.
ME2 - Better shooting, better characters. Story is not as good and most of the RPG aspects are horribly simplified. Adds moral ambiguity to something that was previously seen as clear-cut bad.
ME3 - Bought Deluxe Digital Edition Yesterday. RPG aspects are a superior compromise between ME1 and ME2. Weapon system is the best in the series. Combat is best in the series. Liara's outfit is hot. Endings are perfectly fine if you have the Extended Cut and maybe Leviathan.

A universal issue with Mass Effect, though, is that you kind of need the DLC to get the real experience. Sure everything still happens if you don't play them, but it feels like it's better for you to have been there. In some cases it is, since some characters survive their problems if you're around.

O.T. I liked Mass Effect 1.

Eruanno:
Some old games lose their magic a bit with age and their gameplay becomes stale... Mass Effect 1 is not one of them. I have played it four or five times, the last time was last January/February-ish, before Mass Effect 3 was out. It still works. (At least for me.)

In a similar topic, other games i find endlessly re-playable... Kotor 1 and 2 and fable 1. i don't know why but they never really "aged" with me

OT: yes play it! it's the best, story, villain, and world building. now it did fall flat is some places. but the "fixes" in mass effect 2... well lets just say where ME1 falls flat, the "fixes" were like falling off a building... oh well they all rock

The usual Bioware plot formula (intro/ four worlds/ climax/ conclusion) with your favorite characters before they developed distinct albeit flanderized personalities, an antagonist who spends 95% of the game offscreen, and bland copypaste sidemissions = awesomest game ever.

And the clunky inventory and tedious micromanaging of 2%the increases in accuracy and bland +1 guns =awesomestbest rpg ever.

Seriously, name one interesting thing Garrus said in ME1 that wasn't about Krogan testicles. All the emo angsting with none of the humor and self awareness. And the story wasn't any more nuanced beyond being larger in scope. Stop Saren but first do all this tangential nonsense to pad out this 10 hour epic.

Politeia:

sunsetspawn:
So how clear was it that Bioware was going downhill towards the end of your employment with them? I fail to believe that people didn't see the writing on the wall. Is it as I assume, that the management of EA slowly drizzled their fowl attitude onto the management at Bioware, which in turn slowly drizzled it onto the staff?

I'm sorry but should I chalk "fowl attitude" up to an autocorrect?

At the risk of sounding like I'm speaking for him or anyone else most people would consider it poor-form to derail a thread by asking someone to trash a former employer. Especially when said former employer has been making highly controversial creative decisions.

Uh huh. A former Bioware employee pops into a thread and identifies himself as such so I asked a question that you clearly have a problem with, and it's just that, your problem. If you don't like it you can ignore it. Please don't start internet shit with me and if you can't refrain from doing so simply don't address me.

Worth playing? For sure. Absolutely required? Not at all. Despite not being all that old, there's a lot of rose coloured glasses out there in regards to ME1. It does have some great ideas and plays quite wel if you can look past it's shortcomings, plus it has a few of the best story beats in the series, but it's not exactly a must play. I would recommend trying it out if you're playing on playing the whole series, but if it really bugs you or doesn't click, I'd say you could skip it (or just use a walkthrough and burn though it as quick as possible so you don't miss the storyline).

1 is defiantly my favourite. I disliked ME2 quite a great deal but that's probably due to the fact I slogged through Gears of war only hours prior and that has to be one of the most boring games I have played, finished it only because I thought things would improve(GOeW) and when I started playing ME2 I felt like that had literally taken GeOW's popularity and made a Mass Effect to attract that crowd and I think it worked wonders for them I guess. ME2 also destroyed the awe the enemy inspired which really took even more away from the game in my eyes.

ME3, which was even more like GeOW with a story seemed to do a LOT better with how it did it's change from RPGish game to full on, no real decision shooter until the end sadly :(

Eddie the head:
Yeah, like I said people have a tendency to attach to the first game in a series that they have played. For most people Mass Effect 1 was there first Mass Effect game so they hold it above the other ones despite the improvements. What I mean is I don't think it's much "tastes" as it is nostalgia.

If you played Mass Effect 2 then Mass Effect 1 and liked it more, I would like to hear why. If you played 1 then 2, your opinion means less to me. Just me but if you say the first game you played in any series is the best, you better have some damn good reasons why.

I bought one and two at the same time. Played one first, then immediately went on to two. Technically I still played one first, but its really not nostalgia when 1 is also the last [Read: Most recent] Mass Effect game I played, 'cause I found two and three to be disappointing and its not just looking on with fond memories of 1 - I actually play it and enjoy it more.

Why?
Combat. Yeah, its clunky. Its not as monotonous and downright boring though. Combat in 2 and 3 was... meh. 3 Was close to good, and the decent AI helped it some, but neither really grabbed me with their gameplay. Unless you were the vanguard, your job was to sit behind a wall and shoot when the enemy stopped. This effected level design as well, and the levels turned into bunches of chest high walls everywhere whilst you were walking down/sitting in small corridors and shooting with your average run-of-the-mill guns, unless you had a heavy weapon + ammo, which to me is not very entertaining. You died way too quickly out of cover, and whilst it was arguably more responsive, it was also more boring as well.
Now, I kinda covered a few points there, so I'll clarify a bit.
My main problem with combat was its focus on fast deaths and chest high walls as a cover based shooter. Good for you if you like that type of game, I find it incredibly boring as its just monotonous padding that fills up 3/4 of the game with you sitting there doing nothing.
Weapons were also meh in 2 and 3. They consisted of your average sniper, assault rifle, pistol, shotgun and SMG. Heavy weapons were fun, and more interesting than the grenades in 1 [Though those grenades were incredibly useful at times and I'd have liked both]. Normal ammo that reloaded so quickly it really didn't even matterand you received no info on a gun which made you guess whether it was worth using or not until you'd played around a fair bit with it. I also disliked that ammo was relegated to powers. That was meh IMO. Ammo is ammo, keep it as such.
Level design in 2 was better in some aspects, worse in others. It was better in the fact that there were no more cookie cutter side quests, in was worse in the fact that everything was just a corridor shooter fest where chest high walls would literally just pop up as you entered combat half the time. There was only ever 1 way to get to the end of a mission, and unless it was one of the few hubs there was nothing to explore either. One thing that I will give 2 is the suicide mission, as that was awesome all round.
In addition to this, the hammerhead sections were shit. The hammerhead was literally made out of tissue paper. It died faster than Shepard would have on foot. Add to that its missile homing was retarded and would always aim at the enemy you weren't looking at, and home in on them so you always missed, and those missions became some of the worst gameplay wise in ME2, though they were refreshing compared to the rest of the game.
Powers were also meh. Sure, there were a couple of interesting ones to use. They were the only ones you could use though because everything was put on cooldown when you used one power. No more alpha strikes, and your strategy ended up just revolving around your strongest power 'cause it was the only one you were going to use - it would save your ass if you were in a tight pinch, and if you weren't it was still the most effective means of taking out enemies. Also; Ammo powers. No.
The story was really just Shepard faffing about doing nothing whilst the Reapers started closing in. Yeah, the collectors were invented so he had a reason to be faffing about, but its relevance to the main story was pretty much 0. Had ME2 not existed, 3 would still make sense, just introducing the characters as you went along. Well, there was the issue of Shepard's ship getting impounded with an AI in it, but even that could be delegated to the Alliance building him a new ship and installing the AI from the moon base on it. I don't think I need to say much about three other than I didn't like it. Not just the ending, but the vast majority of it from start to finish, minus a couple of well done moments and Tuchanka.
No inventory, and equipping only at the start or midway points through missions, was annoying. Not as annoying as having what weapons you could use locked to a class though. That was BS. 3 fixed that issue nicely at least. They also were missing the hotkeys for journal, codex and squad menus that ME1 had, which became a hastle quickly for me when instead of just hitting J, O or U respectively I had to open up the menu, move around its annoying design that was obviously optimized for consoles, and then select what I wanted to do. Planet scanning was bad in 2. 3 somehow made it worse by telling you were the thing you were looking for was outright, so there really wasn't even a point to you scanning - it was just there to waste your time.

There is more I could go on with, but that's probably enough. How does ME1 compare with this?

Combat in ME1 can't be called smooth in any sense of the word, but it was varied. Sometimes you were running through an enemy base shooting at everything in your path, sometimes you were in cover whilst rockets and sniper shots flew over your head, and sometimes you were a kilometer away from the action sniping your enemy. Whilst clunky, it managed to vary itself enough that I could keep my interest, and I could do what I wanted to in combat.
Weapons in one weren't great, but they weren't as generic as 2 and 3 either. You had overheat instead of ammo, which opened different methods of thinking about the battle. Weapon modifications existed or allowed you to specialise your weapon - a one hit ragdoll shotgun with one shot then overheat, or a fast firing 60 shot overheat shotgun - the choice was yours thanks to the mods you had. Ammo was ammo, and became fun to use for certain things like high explosives, though they could have explored that idea more. Heavy weapons didn't exist, which was a shame, but the grenades [Det packs more like it IMO] were quite useful and different to normal grenades too.
Level design in one fell for the trap of cookie cutter sidequests, which became monotonous. Even with that though, they were all had a different layout to each other, and some of those cookie cutter ships became atmospheric due to how they were set up. On the flip side, the main missions had more work put into them than the main missions of two or three, baring the suicide mission, IMO. They were long, contained sidequests within themselves, were non-linear in how to get through them - both in the way of talking to people and actual navigation through the complex - and were all available at once as options for what you thought had the higher priority, which 2 had to a certain extent, and 3 just threw that idea out the window. Levels were also not just chest high walls in a corridor for you to walk down.
The mako sections weren't as bad as everyone makes them out to be. It wasn't that hard to control the thing, and it actually felt like a vehicle rather than a fast floating ball of tissue paper. The planets lacked detail, but that was something that should have been improved upon rather than simply discarding the idea, and whilst lackluster in 1 they were optional, and always told you where the interesting stuff you wanted to find was. It was also more interesting that just scanning the planet at a slow speed. That was monotonous and filler content.
Powers in 1 were a bit over the top in how many you had, and they weren't that interesting most of the time, but they could all be used at once, giving there a purpose to leveling up more than one spell.
The story in 1 did what it needed to do, and was executed well. There were no real glaring "That's bullshit" moments, and the pacing was good throughout. The characters weren't as memorable as the ones in 2, but they were still interesting and nice to talk to.
Inventory was poorly designed and implemented in 1, but that just required a rework of the system and interface rather than complete removal. It was also less laggy and far more informative than ME2s armour locker, and around equal with 3s. Hotkeys were included so that menu traversal was not necessary, and you could quickly get where you needed to when you needed to. There was also, thankfully, no planet scanning.

2 and 3 definitely did some things better than 1, but 1 is overall the most enjoyable for me. It is a matter of taste in a number of ways. Some things I've criticized about 2 and 3 you might like more than 1, but I prefer 1 simply because that is my taste in all games - I dislike games that do things similar to my criticisms of 2 and 3, and in general enjoy those with 'clunkier' shooting mechanics, but more interesting overall IMO gunplay with non-linear levels - like Bioshock.
I will grant that a lot of my disappointment in 2 and 3 was that they didn't improve on anything that was poorly done in their prequel, and instead just removed it and maybe did something else, or not - especially in ME3.

Jezzascmezza:
So, a couple of days ago I saw all three Mass Effect games packed together and for the price of a normal new release game (79 bucks here in Australia, pretty much equivalent to 60 bucks in the US). Having never played any of them before, and after hearing great things about them over the years (for the most part), I decided to purchase it.
The reason I haven't begun to play any of the games just yet is because I'm not sure whether I necessarily need to play the first one- I know it'd probably be best to play it to have the story make more sense later on, but then again, I've heard the game play is quite clunky, especially by today's standards, and the game itself is fairly old, and therefore unlikely to be mind-blowing in the graphical department.
So my question is: should I bother with the first Mass Effect? I'd like to know your opinions on how well the game-play holds up, as well as how relevant it is to the other games in the trilogy. It'd also be nice to know if I'd be better off just racing through the story missions in order to get on with the other two games as quickly as possible, or whether I should take my time with the game because it still holds up as a legitimately great experience.
Thanks in advance.

Your decisions matter in the first game:
Don't kill Wrex.
Don't let Kirrahe die.
Save the Rachni Queen.
Save the Council.

Those impact the 3rd game in the most significant way. So, I recommend playing the first game even for those things.

But yea, the first game is really good. I highly recommend. It's fun, it's dodgey, but it's fun.

sunsetspawn:
Uh huh. A former Bioware employee pops into a thread and identifies himself as such so I asked a question that you clearly have a problem with, and it's just that, your problem. If you don't like it you can ignore it. Please don't start internet shit with me and if you can't refrain from doing so simply don't address me.

I don't have a problem with the question, I simply stated it's inappropriate to derail a thread by asking someone to trash their former employer. Trust me, with how many times I've attacked Bioware on these forums I'm not some fanboy trying to quell dissent. I'm not trying to start "internet shit" with you, maybe you should stop being so hostile?

BlakBladz:

Your decisions matter in the first game:

Funny, because last time I checked, they didn't do fuckall to anything besides flavour text and a couple alternate scenes. The choices mattered in the same way the choices in the Walking Dead game mattered - you have limited agency over anything related to the narrative, but you're fooled into believing you do.

Don't kill Wrex.

Which does nothing besides change a two or three scenes in the second game, and two or three scenes in the third. You get the exact same outcome if you have Wreav and lie to him about the Genophage cure to get his help.

Don't let Kirrahe die.

This is the one I always laugh at. In actuality, you gain more War Asset points in the long run by letting him die in the first game, then playing through to the third. The only extra thing you really get is that one scene on Sur'kesh where he talks to you again. Everything else is just meaningless.

Save the Rachni Queen.

Which makes no difference besides a handful of War Asset points. If you save her, she shows up again. If you don't save her, you find out that the Reapers made a copy that looks just like her. The only net result is that if you spare the indoctrinated clone, it gives a hit to one of your War Asset branches. No big sweeping, "we'll help you cleanse the darkness" style resolutions like the second game implied.

Save the Council.

For a whopping difference of 30 War Asset points. Nothing changes regardless of whether you saved them or not, besides flavour text. Both the old/new Council still doesn't believe, and gets convinced if you save them in the Citadel. The "fleets arrive" scene doesn't change in any way if you have the Destiny Ascension (besides one ship model being different).

Same thing with the Collector Base. There's a difference of 10 points depending on if you saved it or not, and the only thing that changes are three lines of dialogue. It retroactively made the big moral decision of 2 completely pointless, because it ends up the exact same way.

crazyrabbits:
- snip -

eugh....I'm really sick of talking about mass effect with people like you.
The entire game is irrelevant, the playing the trilogy is an arbitrary time sink that accomplishes nothing but wasting between 40 and 100 hours depending how you play.... Like most games.
Most decisions you'll make in your entire life will be pointless and irrelevant. They might change a couple of conversations or how wealthy you may or may not be, but shit is pointless.

For the game, decisions matter.
Just like my decision to drink coffee in the morning matters, or whether I want tea.

ME2 was good, but I hold the first as the best of them. I won't waste money on ME3.

This is how I vision ME4

- Will Shepard save The Normandy?
- Will the galaxy prevail?
- Are the EA board of directors really reapers?
- And will the employes of Bioware commit suicide out of pure despair?

Definitely play the first game. It was and indeed remains the best of the trilogy.

Combat clunky?

How so? You lightly press against cover to enter, pull away to exit, that's really clunky compared to pressing the A button? Sorry I don't see how one is more 'clunky' than the other.

Not once in the first Mass Effect did I ever get stuck to an exposed wall while running for cover

When you are in cover you pop-up to aim and shoot, or use powers, just as you would in the following two titles.

You have the ability to crouch in Mass Effect 1. Many don't see it as a huge thing but it lets you take advantage of cover without the need to be pressed against it.

Armour and shields are actually effective, instead of being stripped near instantly as in ME2 and 3. This gives you greater mobility around the battlefield as you aren't limited to looking for your next chest high wall.

In Mass Effect 1, your ability isn't just down to your ability to place a cross-hair but also by Shepard's skill with the weapon. I like this but many do not, part of the reason I do is that the enemy is bound by the same rules. Unlike the next two game the bad-guys can actually miss.

Story-wise the first game takes it for me because the story just feels so cohesive, everything feels as if it is taking place in the same universe, and Saren is a brilliant antagonist. That being said however my favourite story moment in the trilogy did take place in the second game, Tali's loyalty mission.

Mass Effect 3 story-wise is just bad. It isn't just the ending, the bulk of the game has poor writing. You get a few standout moments, Grissom Academy with a couple of the missions on Rannoch and Tuchanka, but overall you get the feeling the story stuff is just in the way of all the 'awesome' pew-pew shooting galleries.

Graphically I call it a tie. Mass Effect 1 shows its age with texture pop-in and copy/paste side-quest locations but the animation remains the best of the bunch for me. Shepard in ME2 and 3 moves like a hunchback gorilla.

ME2 makes the characters look the best but they move worse than in the first game. Mass Effect 3 has the best backgrounds but the characters all have a plastic quality to them and the game is rife with comedy animations.

I know I've rambled a bit there but if anyone has a specific question I'll do my very best to check back and answer them.

When I first finished Mass Effect 1 the very first thing I did was start again, I've put more hours into this game than I care to think about. When I finished ME2 I paused because I didn't like a lot of the changes but I still replayed it many times later because it has an overall feel of quality about it.

Mass Effect 3 I just stopped playing because I never thought I'd end up disliking a Mass Effect title as much as that. I reloaded a save to see what the Extended Cut DLC was like but I've not felt the desire to replay the single player portion of the game since then.

Oddly enough the best part of Mass Effect 3 is the one I did expect to hate and that is the multi-player. It's just a horde mode I know but it has an air of quality about it that the single player never achieved throughout ME3.

Jezzascmezza:
So, a couple of days ago I saw all three Mass Effect games packed together and for the price of a normal new release game (79 bucks here in Australia, pretty much equivalent to 60 bucks in the US). Having never played any of them before, and after hearing great things about them over the years (for the most part), I decided to purchase it.
Thanks in advance.

They released it in Australia a week early?!

I can't buy my copy until the 4th.

At least, I think it was the 4th. Or maybe that was a book. Now I need to go look.

But yeah, totally worth it, as your poll has overwhelmingly showed.

ME1 is a great game, and it's worth getting the story for ME2 and 3.

I played ME1 on PC after playing ME2 on PS3 and wanting the backstory. Now, I'm eagerly waiting the chance to buy ME1 for PS3, which is to be released on the same day as the three-pack.

Not only is it worth it, it is worth buying the game a second time to get it on my PS3 so I can play them all together, back to back.

The first game is a bit dated in some regards but it's certainly no slouch in the series. I think one of the larger problems is you're better off playing a Soldier class and using your allies to help with their powers. At least that's what I've observed.

I personally like the second over the first, but the first is still good to play for some background story and an introduction to the universe. When I got ME2 for free on the PC (it was some deal with DA2 pc), I did a play through and realized how much stuff was missing if you don't import. It's minor stuff in retrospect, but annoying when you're a fan.

The shooting mechanics aren't great, and it doesn't run all that well. (unless they optimized it better for the re-release) But they aren't so bad that you should avoid the best game in the series.

The atmosphere, visuals, music, sound are all geared towards old school science fiction, something the rest of the series unfortunately abandoned.

It's also one of the few AAA games with an understanding of subtlety, and the only game in the series with a decent, coherent plot (not the writing itself, that's solid throughout the series).

I loved all three and if you're planning on playing any of them, start at the beginning. That's the advice I've given every one of my friends who were interested in Mass Effect, and that's what I'll be saying till the day I die.

The first game is important because of the story and worth playing on it's strength alone. That said, if you do play the first, focus solely on the main story missions. Being higher level does not make the game any easier (it remains exactly as tedious from a mechanical standpoint regardless of level) and the side mission stuff is incredibly tedious and, better still, none of it actually matters in any significant way. Anything the games draw on in a non-incidental fashion will come from those main quests.

The second game, in spite of what people are likely to say, is mechanically stronger than the first by a wide margin. There are plenty of accusations that it is less of an RPG because there are functionally fewer discrete choices to make in construction of a character as you play is largely a toothless one in my view. You have fewer choices to make, certainly, but at least those choices you do make are notable. For example, there was no functional difference between a soldier's use of a sniper rifle and an Infiltrator's until the second game. That said, while the second was the most beloved of the series it is also the weakest when it comes to narrative as the main plot engages in a long holding pattern while you accomplish some task that is notable but hardly earth shattering.

The third game is, in my view, the strongest of the bunch mechanically. This is because it functionally becomes nothing but a shooter in the end, but competence in the core gameplay area is important when you spend a great deal of time in action segments between the story bits. Most would agree that the narrative is strong throughout but the general consensus is the ending is weak. I don't particularly subscribe to that notion as the ending is narratively consistent but that is a matter of personal taste.

votemarvel:
/snip

Thank you. You've managed to encapsulate my feelings on both the series and my answer to the OP's question.

Seriously. Thank you. I was all set to launch into a tirade, but I read this post and it saved me a good ten minutes. <3

idon'tknowaboutthat:
It's funny how people here are either saying ME1 is the best or worst of the three. I guess that shows you that whether you will enjoy it or not is completely up to your tastes and whatnot in gameplay and storytelling.
Personally, I think ME1 is by far the best one. I've played it front to back, every sidequest at least 15 times. ME2 got dry and mechanical after 4 or so runthroughs. Somehow for me ME1 never got tired. ME3 is shit in comparison. Sure, 3 is flashier and cleaner, but it's just so lifeless, somehow. Never even finished my second run of ME3, it's just so robotic.

I think you've got it spot on. My boyfriend loved the first Mass Effect when it came out. But after playing ME2 he found he couldn't manage another playthrough of ME1. The combat just felt "really painful" compared to ME2, which stopped him enjoying it.

I've got the impression from what people say that ME1 is more RPG and ME2 is more 3rd person shooter. So it depends what you prefer. My boyfriend is a fan of both shooters and RPGs, and says ME2 is the perfect balance for him.

BeachSided:
Why would you 'not' play it? :/

It gives you 15 - 20 hours of additional understanding and back-story, which makes 2 and 3 even better to play.

Because it will take 15 - 20 hours?

Personally, I haven't played any of the Mass Effect games yet, but I am planning to give one a try at some point (probably once I stop being distracted by Borderlands 2 and Torchlight 2). But I do only want to commit to playing one, because there are a lot of other games I want to play as well and my free time is limited!

My boyfriend recommends I try ME2, as a) it's his favourite and b) he thinks it has the best shooting. (He knows I'm more of a gameplay person than a story person.)

Jezzascmezza:
So, a couple of days ago I saw all three Mass Effect games packed together and for the price of a normal new release game (79 bucks here in Australia, pretty much equivalent to 60 bucks in the US). Having never played any of them before, and after hearing great things about them over the years (for the most part), I decided to purchase it.
The reason I haven't begun to play any of the games just yet is because I'm not sure whether I necessarily need to play the first one- I know it'd probably be best to play it to have the story make more sense later on, but then again, I've heard the game play is quite clunky, especially by today's standards, and the game itself is fairly old, and therefore unlikely to be mind-blowing in the graphical department.
So my question is: should I bother with the first Mass Effect? I'd like to know your opinions on how well the game-play holds up, as well as how relevant it is to the other games in the trilogy. It'd also be nice to know if I'd be better off just racing through the story missions in order to get on with the other two games as quickly as possible, or whether I should take my time with the game because it still holds up as a legitimately great experience.
Thanks in advance.

-slap- play -slap- the -slap- first -slap- Mass Effect.

It is awesome, the graphics are decent, and for fuck sakes its what started it all. Think, theres a reason for it. I actually think the first one is the best one simple because the universe felt more real. (yes I'm talking about the Mako runs) Its a damn good game. Play it or I'll slap you some more.

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