TA Top Five: Mass Effect Moments

By Marc Hollinshead, 6 months ago
The last generation of consoles has had some monumental series of games, whether that's because of the story, gameplay or something else entirely. The Mass Effect trilogy has been widely regarded as one of the highlights of the last generation, despite its flaws, and BioWare managed to capture the hearts and imaginations of many gamers across the globe with the three games. Now that the trilogy is behind us and Mass Effect: Andromeda brings forth a new age for the franchise, we thought that we should look back on the series and remember the moments that had our jaws hitting the floor, tears streaming down our faces and everything else in between. Obviously there will be major spoilers in here so if you're yet to play any of these games, proceed at your own risk!

Honorable Mentions

Mass Effect 2 Opening
Not even ten minutes in and the Normandy was up in flames.Not even ten minutes in and the Normandy was up in flames.

When a game begins with the main character dying, it's something that will turn heads. As soon as we went straight back to Shepard's story, the Normandy was ambushed by the Collectors in an adrenaline filled and rather shocking opening scene. In a few short minutes, we knew that trouble was already brewing, tragedy had befallen the original Normandy and its crew, and that Mass Effect 2 was going to be something truly special. It reminded fans exactly why they wanted to get back to the Milky Way galaxy.

Shepard Finds Love
Human, Asari, Turian, Quarian... no one can resist Shepard's charms.Human, Asari, Turian, Quarian... no one can resist Shepard's charms.

I'm a sucker for some good ol' fashioned romance, so whenever I got to a scene where smooching options were available, my eyes were glued to the screen. Seeing Shepard and his potential romance go from mutual acquaintances to a blossoming relationship was always heartwarming and it made the characters feel like real, emotional beings. With all the chaos and strife that Shepard has been through, knowing that he/she had someone special to come back to always made these scenes worth chasing.

Joker to the Rescue
Jeff Joker Moreau, saviour of the Normandy.Jeff "Joker" Moreau, saviour of the Normandy.

Throughout the entire trilogy, there is one fairly short segment where you get to control someone other than Shepard. When the commander and ALL of his companions decide to head out in Mass Effect 2, the Collectors conveniently commence an attack on an almost defenceless Normandy. With Shepard and his hardy crew gone, Joker, with EDI's assistance, has to dash through the ship with his crippled body as he watches his fellow shipmates get abducted and killed by the evil creatures. It's extremely tense throughout this portion of the game as you aren't in the role of the beloved hero and have to witness what happens when they aren't there.

Top Five

5. Legion Saves the Geth
Does this unit have a soul?"Does this unit have a soul?"

The Quarian and Geth war was one of, if not THE biggest conflict in the whole trilogy. The Geth, created by the Quarians, eventually rebelled and caused their creators to evacuate their own home planet to the point where they were forever trapped in contamination suits to guard their weak bodies from disease. In Mass Effect 3, the best Geth of them all, Legion, was given the chance to use Reaper code to finally give the Geth independence and essentially free them. If you manage to save the Geth without sacrificing the Quarians, a heart wrenching scene occurs where Legion uploads his own essence to the rest of Geth and while doing so, recognises himself as an individual and calls himself "I" for the very first time. As Tali answers "Yes" to his question "Does this unit have a soul?", Legion eventually collapses to the floor and saves an entire race of synthetics. Needless to say I was majorly tearing up at this point.

4. Mordin Cures the Genophage
I am the very model of a scientist Salarian."I am the very model of a scientist Salarian."

Mordin is easily one of the community's favourite characters of the series. His witty and comedic conversation never got dull and he packed a huge punch. Mass Effect 3 presented the chance to finally cure the genophage, a deadly method of halting reproduction in the Krogan race that was put in place by other galactic races. Mordin, belonging to a race the Krogan despised, went out of his way to create a cure which was touching in itself. Upon completing a particular mission with Shepard and allowing Mordin to go through with his cure, a scene played out where he stood in an exploding building, knowing he wouldn't survive, and planted the cure. While singing his famous "Scientist Salarian" number, he smiled and then succumbed to the destruction, ending the suffering of another race as his final act. The fact that he sacrificed his own life to help a race who essentially hated him caused this to tear up plenty of gamers.

3. Meeting Sovereign
I am the vanguard of your destruction."I am the vanguard of your destruction."

In the first Mass Effect, the Reapers were still extremely mysterious entities. We weren't sure of their intentions, where they came from and what they actually were. We had seen and heard of Sovereign, the Reaper vanguard in some capacity, but when Shepard finally met this behemoth, the dialogue between them was certainly harrowing. Sovereign offered nothing more than a declaration of defeat for the galaxy and he effectively told them that their fight was futile. His menacing and bellowing voice immediately brought up feelings of fear and uncertainty and there was a realisation that the Reapers were truly villainous. Despite not being the Reaper "leader", Sovereign is still seen as the most intimidating Reaper of them all.

2. The Suicide Mission
Could you take the risk to lose any of them?Could you take the risk to lose any of them?

If you want to do a final mission right, take a page out of Mass Effect 2's book. After acquiring numerous companions and gaining their trust, Shepard was finally ready to take on the Collectors and go right to the centre of the galaxy. With this came many potential casualties and plenty of nail-biting moments. The constant fear that any one of the characters we grew attached with over the course of the game could die was terrifying but at the same time utterly thrilling. As the game told me to pick a companion to lead a particular team, I was preparing for the worst. At the end of it all, witnessing Shepard run for his/her life back to the Normandy with all companions alive was an unforgettable moment and it made for an absolutely brilliant ending to a great game. The urge to reload a save after seeing Tali or Garrus get shot in the head was also overwhelming.

1. The Citadel Party
Everyone say Normandy!"Everyone say Normandy!"

There was a ton of action and battling throughout the trilogy, but nothing quite matched the "Citadel" DLC. The final outing for Shepard was pure fan service, providing jokes for the fans and brilliantly timed moments, the best of which was the party. The game literally gets Shepard and all (living) companions back for one last bash and the result is hilarious. From Garrus and Zaeed booby-trapping the apartment to Tali drinking herself stupid, the party was simply the perfect way to end the time we spent with these characters. When Shepard says "The best" after his/her love interest says it's been a good ride, we can see that the characters were reiterating exactly what we were thinking ourselves. Even with the galaxy in all-out war with the Reapers, there was still time to party all night.

The Mass Effect trilogy has many fantastic moments within it and we obviously can't get everyone's favourites in here. I personally loved Conrad Verner and every chance of punching the news reporter in the face and that's just two! When Andromeda arrives in 2017, let's hope that Ryder's adventure will provide just as many memorable moments as Shepard's.
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.