Poll: Question regarding the Mass Effect Trilogy

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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.
Thanks everyone for the feedback.
The overwhelmingly positive response in both the poll and in your comments has encouraged me to give the original Mass Effect a shot. I'm about 4 hours into the game and enjoying it for the most part so far. The graphics and game-play are surprisingly decent considering their age, and the combat, while not perfect, is still definitely manageable; it just takes a little while to get the hang of. I'm really enjoying the story and characters though, as well as the writing, so I'll definitely play the game through to the end for those areas alone.
That being said, I just got up to my first Mako mission, and boy is the handling on that thing awful. Hopefully I'll get used to it, but it's tough going at the moment.
Still, it's worth slogging through I reckon, judging by the overall quality of the rest of my experience with the game so far, so thank you fellow escapists for encouraging me to play an enjoyable, immersive game that I may have otherwise passed over.

Quite a few people consider the first game to be the best.

I am most definitely not one of those people. I think it's easily the worst of the three. Worst gameplay, worst characters, worst weapons, worst interface, worst class mechanics, worst graphics, worst level design. You name it.

However, it's still well worth playing as part of the trilogy. It introduces the setting and many of the central characters. It establishes a lot of the pillars of the story. Also, if you import your Shepard from ME1 to ME2 and on to ME3, a lot of your previous choices are reflected and referenced. The sequels just aren't the same without that aspect.

If the gameplay gets on your nerves just bump it down to easy mode and blow through the combat.

You should definitely give ME1 a playthrough. I gave it like 7.

The gameplay sucks but there's something about it I loved. It was REALLY RPG-like. The other two devolved into shooter-fests.

Me? I loved number 2 the most.


so far for me they were quite frankly the greatest games I ever played...thats why the whole fisaco hurt so much

I'd say play them...you may not be impressed...but I'd say its worth a go for the journey at least

that and Garrus Varkarian

It's still my favourite in the series - definitely worth playing.

What you could do though is just play the main missions. There's a whole heap of faffing about you can do with side quests, DLC, galaxy exploration and stuff that'll pad it out to about a 35-to-40-hour game.

If you just stick to the main quests though then you'll have had the experience, seen all the coolest and most important moments and you'll know pretty much everything you need to know for the series going forwards. And you'll probably be done in more like 12-15 hours.

ME1 gameplay doesn't suck. People that say so don't know what it means for gameplay to -actually- suck. I played through ME1 in the last 2 weeks and I'm still loving it. Now to give a more balanced view of ME1:

-It has the best story out of the three games. Really, it's the game that got everyone hooked to the series. And not because of the gameplay but because of the story and setting.
-It has the best characters in it. They're very nicely fleshed out even if you have to dig a little to find all the info. And if you don't like that, well no need to do it then.
-The story in 2~3 really will make more sense if you've played 1 before.
-The graphics are not terrible even for this day and age. Textures were still kinda low res in area's, but the game makes up for it plenty of the aesthetics.
-It doesn't have stupid ammo clips, and instead works with an infinite ammo, heating system. You can shoot a certain amount of time before a gun overheats. The heavier the gun, the faster it overheats. (Sniper: 2 shots, pistol: 15+ shots, etc)

-The loot system is very bloated. Too many different items, most of which aren't really useful compared to others.
-The movement is a bit clunky, but it could be a lot worse. ME2 and 3 do have better movement though.
-Leveling skills up doesn't have a direct noticeable effect most of the time, giving very small bonuses. Something 2/3 do better. Your equipment and level is where it's at. Which sucks a bit.
-The side missions are very plain and generic. It's usually just 'go to planet X, kill everyone you encounter' or 'go to planet X, get Y item'.
-The mako sucks. Though the planet scanning in 2 sucks even more imo.

I say start with ME1. The entire game can take you over 40 hours to complete 100%. But the main mission takes about 10~14 depending on how fast you are. And it's hours well spent. Then once you're done with the main mission, you can move to 2.

It's worth playing because Wrex. He is by far the best character in that game. Also be cautious of something I call the "virgin effect" the tendency that people have to latch onto the first game that they played in a series. And say it's better then the sequel(s) despite the improvements. Mass Effect suffers form this big time. I am not saying don't listen to those people, I am saying take what they say with a grain of salt.

Short version. Yes because Wrex, but 2 and 3 are better.


I like you.

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.

Three awesome games which keep you busy for a looooooooooooonng time with awesomeness for the price of one NEW game?
Nah, would'nt do that if i were you, buy Halo or something CoD instead.

*is actually beeing sarcastic, go buy it now silly monkey!*


Ow and "Deanna Troi" voicing the smexy Matriarch Benezia makes ME1 awesome!

I would say that the original Mass Effect is arguably the best Mass Effect.

It's certainly my favourite, and I've played it though many more times than Mass Effect 2 and 3.

1 was my favorite so I would say give it a play

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.

If you don't give the series a go, you will miss out on the best SP experience of this console generation, bar none.

ME1 (Best Story, Most 'RPG-Like') > ME2 (Great Characters and Tactics) > ME3 (Awesome gunplay, character development and set pieces)

Also, with Extended Cut - the ending is great; and Leviathan/Omega will be out once you get to ME3.. total win gaming - go and buy it ASAP.

i did start doing the first game, but everything is a chore. i do want to go back to it though.

Do yourself a favour and don't skip the first one. It's excellent.

I'm in disagreement with the people who call it the 'best' of the trilogy, but - like with 2 and 3 - there are certainly aspects of it that are great, and parts of it that fall somewhat flat. At the time of its release, though, ME1 easily took a spot on my top-5 games list. It's been bumped off that list since then, but it's still a really good game. Realistically, it hasn't aged that poorly: it is still part of this console generation, after all.

Being able to pick up all three for the price of $79 is definitely a good proposition. The series is more than worth a playthrough, and that includes the first one, even now, several years down the line.

The only caveat I can think of is that, if you're planning on playing through the entire series, be aware that there are some pretty huge changes from 1 to 2, and if you're just going from one to the next - not waiting a couple years in between - the shift is likely to be somewhat jarring. Just be prepared for it, and don't get too attached to any of the gameplay aspects of the first game, as a lot of them are drastically altered.

Yes. The first game may have its issues with gameplay and graphics, but overall I find it to be the best game in the entire series. It's no worse than any five year old game has any right to be, and the story, setting, characters and whatnot are just amazing. I neve got how people could start a game series in medias res anyway...

Yes you should. It's my favourite game in the trilogy. The gameplay isn't that great, graphics aren't that great, but the levels, on the other hand, are fairly bigger, the Citadel is much, much bigger (although completely lifeless), and you get to know lots of characters that will be around for the next games. Guns, skills, space magic, story and mission structure are better, too, in my opinion. The way you had to travel all over the galaxy to gather a team before fighting the bad guy in ME2 was annoying. Yea the missions themselves were great, but the whole travel around thing was aa pain in the ass, with the whole "this guy has daddy issues, that girl was abused as a child, etc, but if you don't do these missions, these characters will most like die".

Oh, also the vistas. ME1 has some amazing vistas. I'd literally stop that terrible space car and spend minutes just staring at far away places.

As most people seem to think, yes you should get it! Personally I was uninterested in shooters or anything shooter related when I got ME1 but then I played it and well... I don't think I've had such a good time playing a game in such a short time. I usually need to play a few hours just to get invested, but ME1 just... worked. Get it, play it. The other two games will be so much better with an imported save.

Story wise, I prefer Mass Effect 1. ME2 just felt like it had such a small scope Who needs the vast majesty of the citadel, just plonk 2 small rooms together, use ME1 as a skybox and you're done. Who needs large planet surfaces when you can have a narrow corridor littered with chest-high walls and nothing else. And it took me some time to realize, and then come to terms with the face, that 'go see what's on the other side of the Omega Relay was supposed to be the climax of the game, not the first step in unraveling the mystery plot. And Mass Effect 3 had, well, the ending.

That said, ME1 has some gameplay issues. ME2 might have simplified the RPG elements a little too much, but getting rid of the god-aweful micromanage-tastic inventory system of ME1 was a choice I can fully get behind. Plus, I've put my second playthrough on hold after one too many times getting killed in one of those big sprawling levels and finding out the autosave points are a lot further apart than I've gotten used to.

Still, I'd give it a playthrough. It does enough right, and even better than the sequels, to deserve it IMHO.

Yeah, it's worth playing, the fact that it provides context for the others is reason enough to play it.

Apart from that, I thought that it was definitely the weakest of the series, with worse gameplay and a less interesting story and characters. I found Mass effect 2 to be the best, and Mass effect 3 could have been brilliant if the ending hadn't let the whole thing down. Even as the weakest of the series, it's still entertaining, definitely worth playing, and I would say take your time with it, don't just rush through the story missions.

i recommend taking your time, and taking the games in, Bioware's strengths have always been character and world-building, and a rushed play-through won't let you experience them to the full. This isn't to say the games don't have their flaws, the game-play of 1, the mining mini-game of 2, and (most of) the plot of 3, along with the decreasing scale and increasing linearity. Definitely worth playing, if not just to see what all the fuss is about, the fact that they're also an entertaining series of games is just a bonus

I definitely gotta say it is my favorite of the three, and no the combat isn't that bad, it's built around being an rpg, not a shooter (opposite of me2 and me3, which is fine in hindsight)

-the story is crafted way better than the 2nd and 3rd game, and better than most games I've played this generation, all the characters really compliment the atmosphere and overall scope of the story.
-Characters, needs to be said again, they all have their strengths and this is where you meet some of the companions you'll have through the next 2 games
-the amount of choices you have when it comes to customizing your character, powers/abilities/armors/etc..

-the sidequests can be pretty dry at times, so don't go through with many of those unless you really are a completionist
-the mako can be quite clunky at the start, they should've taken some hints from star fox 64
-the amount of items you pick up would fill Scrooge McDuck's vault, and that's saying something.
-the game starts off pretty slow, until you become a spectre prepare to wade through it a bit.

-If you play it right, you can become an overpowered monster by the end of the game, with the guns/abilities I had, I was literally sprinting through entire waves of enemies with my assault rifle.
-While there are shit tons of items, this gives you lots of ways to customize you/your teammates, so it goes both ways
-Some people hate a voiced protagonist, but I think it works great for ME (fuck all you mark meer haters, male shep!)

it just doesn't do the series justice unless you play the first one, i promise you that.

Probably worth a play through. At the very least worth giving it some time and as long as you don't hate it outright finish it through once if for nothing else cause it will make everything else make a bit more sense.

You should start with the first game, at least to understand the story better.
It has some rough edges that would need improvement, but it's worth a try.

Mass Effect is definitely rough around the edges, and can be incredibly frustrating at times. But what it does better than any other part of the series is introducing and indulging you into the Mass Effect universe. The other games focused more on the characters, this one focuses onto the world itself. And not to spoil anything, the first 10 minutes of Mass Effect 2 already make Mass Effect worth playing.

My advice: suck in as much as you can. This is the game where you are introduced to the characters and the world, try to make the most of it. It will be worth.

Yeah, play the shit out of the first one. You'll understand the other two a hell of a lot more and you can then import your save onto the next game. Do it for Wrex!


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.

If you don't give the series a go, you will miss out on the best SP experience of this console generation, bar none.

ME1 (Best Story, Most 'RPG-Like') > ME2 (Great Characters and Tactics) > ME3 (Awesome gunplay, character development and set pieces)

Also, with Extended Cut - the ending is great; and Leviathan/Omega will be out once you get to ME3.. total win gaming - go and buy it ASAP.

Can't get it ASAP, I have little time for gaming at the moment (College, part time work, assignments and hanging out with friends) I will probably get the trilogy collection for Christmas! So the extended cut vastly improves the ending? Awesome! Does the trilogy come out with all the DLC for 1+2 or only some of it?

The first Mass Effect is the only game in the series that comes closest to role-playing. That alone is reason enough.

And it's the set up for the rest of the story. Granted the rest of the story doesn't go anywhere after the first game, and totally mucks itself up come Mass Effect 2.

I'd say that Mass Effect is the best in the series. The combat isn't quite as showy as the later games, and the powers aren't as good, but it's still quite fun, especially since it's a lot less "cover based shooter" than the later games.

More importantly though, the story works in Mass Effect, which it just didn't in 2 and 3. In my opinion, the first is a good game, 2 is alright, and 3 is just a bad game.

Edit: Oh, and the inventory was a pain, but in later games I did miss the whole system of comparing different items to see which was better, they lost the whole Diablo "Find bigger numbers!" aspect of it all.


Let me put it this way:

I Played Mass Effect 1 all the way through, completed every side mission, every optional objective. I missed nothing. I played Mass Effect 2 and 3 and got many scenes and little side missions as a result of my interactions with characters in the first game.

After that, I started a new character in Mass Effect 2, didn't bother going through the first one again and used the default settings. The lack of additional scenes and dialogue was quite stunning. Granted, I only missed them because I had previously seen them all before, but the world felt all the more hollow and empty because of it.

My recommendation? Play all three games in order. The world will be richer, more immersive and you'll really feel like your character has affected the lives of many more people. Plus, if you play ME1 first (the weakest of the three games) your overall Mass Effect experience can only get better, right?

Indeed. I'd say all 3 are still worth playing, they are all good solid games in their own rights, despite that debacle of an ending

The first one is the best of the series. Besides, if you only play the first one, you'll avoid the bitter experience of the other two :)

Well worth playing. The first game is clunky and has a texture pop in problem but is still a great game. Plus with the vehicle missions it actually feels like you're exploring the universe. The other two whilst they added a lot and smoothed out alot of the problems did get a bit repetative.

They all have their strong points.

ME1 introduces the universe and feels like you're doing something truly significant and reqards you for exploration.

ME2 smooths out gameplay and makes it feel like a continuation rather than a sequel of the same story. The DLC is also brilliant.

ME3 up until the end you're constantly feeling like you are making history with everything you do, even with the terrible ending.

Yes. Not only is it still worth playing, it's the best of all of them. The story is the best, the bosses are fun and (shocker) it's an action-RPG as opposed to an action game with RPG elements (see ME 2/3). Don't get me wrong, ME 2/3 are still great games, but the first one is the best. The combat takes a little bit to get used to but it's a blast to play and remains to be one one of the only games to which I've applauded when the credits came up (the others being Bioshock, Silent Hill 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, The Orange Box and Portal 2).

The first game is the best. Missing it out would be doing a disservice to yourself.

Even without considering the fact that your actions in each game have an impact on the other games, it's too good an experience to miss out on.

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