So, the day's finally come. After those endless rumours last year and a formal confirmation in November, Mass Effect Legendary Edition is finally out today, and I've witnessed no end to the excitement. Between friends/peers/industry figures, I've seen people talk about returning to this world, sharing their custom Shepherds, how they'll be making the exact same choices they did years ago, and it's almost enough to make me want to jump in. Almost.
Fact is, I never played these games the first time around, so a lot of this hype is lost on me. When the original Mass Effect dropped, I was 14 and could rarely afford games that weren't gifted to me.
Not that I would've played an 18 rated game, of course. We had an Xbox 360, sure, though at that point, my time was spent going through Football Manager, Amped 3 and Lost Planet. Providing I wasn't on the Wii that is, playing another round of Wii Sports.
I Skipped Mass Effect The First Time, So Why Do I Fear Missing Out Now?
Mass Effect was a game I'd heard about at school but it never truly registered with me. Basics aside, all I really knew was that it featured someone called Commander Shepherd, your choices affected the story, and there was... *ahem* steamy content. I only started paying attention when Mass Effect 3 dropped, and though I still don't know the specifics of it, that ending... well, need I say more? I've never looked into why it was so divisive, but the ensuing controversy put it on my radar.
Despite that sour note, friends kept telling me I needed to play it, though plenty steered me away from Andromeda when that launched. I'm a big RPG fan, so I can appreciate why they assumed it'd be right my speed, but I never felt compelled. Not like I would for a new Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, Persona, or Trails game, anyway. I just don't take to Western RPGs that often, Bethesda's work on Fallout 3 and Skyrim being key examples of games I could never get on with.
By all accounts, I shouldn't be experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) just because BioWare's remastered this trilogy nearly a decade later - honestly I'm surprised they'd not done it sooner - and yet, I keep contemplating buying Legendary Edition. Perhaps it's a sign of good marketing. Any PR team worth their salt will generate hype, and though we'll try to deny it, everyone is susceptible.
When you're seeing good friends talk about Legendary Edition like a long overdue reunion, giving detailed accounts about what made them love it - and without spoiling the story, much to my thanks - that's a powerful double whammy. In some ways, I'm reminded of The Last Of Us Part II's launch - even now, I've still not played it, having opted for Hades instead - and that specific FOMO passed after several weeks.
Realistically though, I'm frequently guilty of impulse buying, but I probably shouldn't spend £60 on Legendary Edition while my existing backlog remains neglected. I'm absolutely delighted for everyone else returning back to this beloved franchise, but there comes a point where you've got to cut your losses. I can see myself eventually diving in later this year, but for now at least, I'm resisting that urge.