5 reasons to hate Mass Effect

Mass Effect is one of the greatest series of this console generation – in the top three, easily. But even our dearest loved ones get on our nerves from time to time, like when they make you take really slow elevator rides, or clutter the whole house with piles of tedious inventory. It's better to get these things off your chest from time to time, rather than let everything build up, so here are our five biggest grievances with our dearly beloved space opera. We hate because we love. 

1. The suicide mission

So, the end of Mass Effect 2 is quite cool and cinematic. What's not cool though, is the stringent and obtuse rules that govern who survives and who dies. First, if you don't go directly to through the Omega 4 relay to the Collector base after obtaining the Reaper IFF, a huge chunk of your crew (non-squadmate) will die, and although the dialogue hints at the urgency of your mission, there's nothing that explicitly indicates the consequences if you decide to wrap up any outstanding missions before continuing through the relay. Seasoned gamers are used to ignoring the disconnect between the urgency of the narrative and the reality of being able to dick around until you actually select the mission to continue, and it's easy to mistake that to be the case here.

Above: "I died because I was so distracted thinking about how we didn't finish our chit chat. derp" -Legion 

Furthermore, even completing each character's loyalty mission doesn't ensure they'll survive the assault on the Collector base, even if you select the correct person for each task. For example, I sent my loyal Legion into the vents as the tech specialist, but he kept getting killed and I couldn't figure out why.  Turns out there was a dialogue option I had missed while talking to Legion after his loyal mission, and only after exhausting all options for post-mission small talk did he manage to make it through the mission. Would a robot's performance really hinge on whether or not you talked about his feelings beforehand?

2. The Mako

It's like BioWare designed the Mako's handling and controls to be as annoying as possible, and then designed the terrain of each planet to play off that shittiness for maximum frustration. The thing handles like it weighs less than a pound – and don't blame the planets' respective gravities, because it doesn't seem to affect Shepard when he's outside the vehicle. A Schwinn cruiser handles rocks better than the Mako – if a single tire hits any minute irregularity in the terrain, the whole thing flips on its back like a goddamn turtle.

And why do the shields take so long to recharge, even with squadmates with maxed out tech on board? Throughout the course of the game you could practically read an entire Mass Effect novelization during the time you're forced to spend waiting for your shields to charge (seriously, you should have a book handy).

3. Mining

"Oh, you hated the Mako? So you hate exploring awesome alien landscapes? You hate seeing the breathtaking majesty of all the horizons in the galaxy? Here, have this shitty minigame instead then, you little shits." 
–Some asshole at BioWare

4. Forced flirting

Above: Yuko of Johnny Wander sums it up perfectly  

Nothing says romance like having it shoved in your face with the force of a thousand clueless pick-up artists. It's painfully obvious who the "canon" romance options are in both ME1 and ME2, and the dialogue becomes so ridiculous that it's impossible to take seriously. As female Shepard, say anything remotely friendly to Kaiden or Jacob, such as "hey buddy, I don't want anyone on my crew to die, and that includes you I guess" and they respond saying they're "flattered" and would be totally interested in sexing you up too. What the!? If you're playing paragon, it's impossible to avoid their advances, and often the dialogue wheel does nothing to warn you that you're about to enter the sexytime talk zone.

And speaking of romance…

5. Only girls can be gay in space?

Yeah, yeah, asaris are technically mono-gendered, but let's be real – anatomically speaking, they're indistinguishable from blue-skinned human women except for their tentacle-esque hair. Even the Galactic Codex: Essentials Edition 2183 (included with the collector's edition of Mass Effect) states that "while asari have only one gender, they are not asexual like single-celled life—all asari are sexually female."

Above: One man, one woman 

Even in Mass Effect 2's expanded smorgasbord of intergalactic romance options, which includes no less than three girl-on-girl options, there isn't a single option for male Shepard to romance another dude. And even then, it's still a step back from the first game, because all three girl-girl hook-ups are confined to side romances – all six main romance options are hetero, whereas at least in one you could have a main girl-girl romance with Liara. Despite the tastefulness of each romance's presentation, the one-sidedness of boy-girl or girl-girl only options makes it feel suspiciously like a skeevy attempt to titillate straight male gamers as opposed to actually being inclusive to girls who like girls. Why even include girl-girl options if you're not going to include boy-boy options too?

We can only hope, given BioWare's inclusive stance on the romance options of Dragon Age 2, that Mass Effect 3 will include a romance option for people who want to play as a gay male Shepard too. 

Apr 28, 2011



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Week of Hate


  • KA87 - April 29, 2012 2:08 p.m.

    I think you can now safely include the ending to 3 and the lack of involvement of most of your love interests from two in 3. Would it have killed them to have made Jack or Maranda one of your party members? Oh, and of all the reporters in the galaxy why did we have end up with the short and slightly overwieght one.
  • Boudro - April 29, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    Gayness is gay
  • christian-shaffer - April 26, 2012 5:04 p.m.

    I find it kind of humorous that so many people hated your point about a lack of man-on-man relationships and they added it to ME3. I think that point should be replaced with the ME3 ending as most would probably agree.
  • mutton11 - January 3, 2012 7 a.m.

    i completly dis agree mass effect is a classic i have every 1 and they're great
  • fatguy19 - May 1, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    I agree with you about number 5 however I can understand why bioware would not include a guy on guy option. The public perception seems to be that it is perfectly acceptable for two girls to be together but not two guys> If there were to by a guy on guy option imagine the controversey it would cause. It would be 100 hundred times worse then what fox news reported on ME 1. Great article by the way. I must say I enjoyed driving the Mako
  • Bawheidbob - May 1, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    Just what we need in the world the 'press square to suck alien man's dick button'
  • cameronl9 - May 1, 2011 1:41 a.m.

    How dumb are the people commenting on gay shit? Does anyone not realize that the girl-girl relationship was done because the entire Liara storyline would have had to be re-written with the female version of Shephard? Does anyone know even the slightest scratch of what it takes to make games? The game's storyline was originally written with a man in mind, and then all of his relationships would have to be transposed to the female version of him. Bioware didn't include lesbianism it to titilate immature boys, as if being a lesbian is somehow a showcase to pander to immaturity. This was done solely as a character swap as part of the game design. Seriously people, USE YOUR BRAINS!!
  • Jackariah - April 30, 2011 9:21 p.m.

    What a great comments section. My favourite is the lesbian and her wife calling gay relationships 'wrong and disturbing' if theres anything more than a high 5 involved. Hank at least is just most likely an uninformed basement dweller, Jenna is laughably bigoted. But of course being gay is just a choice, after all this is 1978 we live in. Sickening.
  • XD00175 - April 30, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    Haha, as much as I love Mass Effect, I was hoping for this. I especially like number 4.
  • lovinmyps3 - April 30, 2011 6:22 p.m.

  • PortalMe - April 30, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    This game blows hard
  • philipshaw - April 30, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    I didn't mind the suicide mission because when I played it on PS3 I had Kasumi and used here for the tech part and everyone in my crew survived so I was pretty happy with my ending. I do agree that it's a bit dumb only girls can be gay in space, the more options the better I say
  • SerpentineZERO - April 30, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    These comments are depressingly homophobic. And @BellaKazza, not everyone believes that, nor do they have to, so your argument is invalid.
  • zigs - April 29, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    I'm not quite sure what "homosexual behaviour" is, or how it differs from the behaviour of a heterosexual. Unless you somehow mean that love between two homosexual men or women is unnatural?
  • SolidEye - April 29, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    "The handful of horribly homophobic comments on this are just disgusting, disturbing and just plain wrong" No more wrong than justifying homosexual behaviour as perfectly natural and normal. The term homophobic is used to defend homosexuality and make anyone who opposes it as "ignorant". Homosexuality isn't racism.
  • Ravenbom - April 29, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    Yeah, I'm completely over romance options in Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Like Carolyn said in the comment she made at the bottom of the first page of comments, I think it would be better if there were no romance options and they made a cannon romance part of the story, more like KOTOR which basically had one romance option depending on gender. (Juhani was supposed to be an option too but it's super buggy) *how the hell do you make umlats? wtf recaptcha?*
  • Crabhand - April 29, 2011 8:57 p.m.

    Ugh can't agree more on the last point. And no, this is not so my GarrusxMale Shepard fanfics become reality. But they totally should. Let the bromance commence!
  • sharkweek - April 29, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    @Hank34 No one here wants to listen to your homophobic ranting I heartily suggest you take your idiotic opinion elsewhere.
  • zigs - April 29, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    The handful of horribly homophobic comments on this are just disgusting, disturbing and just plain wrong. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion I guess, but when it's founded in such ignorance, it's just bewildering. Especially Jenna's.
  • SolidEye - April 29, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    The less homosexuality there is in games, the better.

Showing 1-20 of 121 comments

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