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Warning: this blog is less of a rant and more of a general question to the readers. Mass Effect is a series based on interactive storytelling, where your choices shape the story. It's a game where you can be good, bad, and ugly! What I'm wondering is, how do you play Mass Effect?
Here's another thing. How do you make your choices? With most games that feature moral choices (i.e. InFamous) players often play the "proper" way, by playing as the goody-two-shoes who helps everybody, then playing as a complete jerk the second time around.
This often results in two distinct playthroughs, but in my opinion, it ruins the whole point of player choice. Seriously, why bother having choices if you've already predetermined what kind of character you are? What is this, Calvinism!?
Mark Meer had a backward way of doing it that sounds interesting to me. In an interview he said he liked to play as a villain first, then play the good guy second, so he can right his wrongs and find redemption.
The way I play? Well, I'm glad you asked! I project myself on my protagonist, making choices based on my own moral compass. For example, In Mass Effect 3, I let Qwib Qwib die, just because It felt "wrong" to let the non-combatant crew die. Instead of making a sacrifice for the greater good (which, for gameplay purposes, would have a better benefit, since it would boost my EMS score more), I based my desicion on what I thought was the right thing to do. Maybe this a weakness on my part, but it's that weakness that makes the narrative strong. This is the mark of a good story. I'm so immersed, I make choices based on right and wrong, and not just for fun. After my first playthrough, I play based on a preset character outline. I make choices based not on what I'd do, but what my character would do. For me, this helps make the story come to life, as the storytelling is more consistent, and the characterisation of my hero is more refined.
There are a myriad of ways to kill things in the Mass Effect universe. How do you kill things?
One thing I really loved about Mass Effect 3 (yes, there were good parts) was that the option to play your way was given. Whether you wanted to jump straight into the action, stick to just the story, or do a little of both, you could choose what type of experience you wanted to play. So I ask: