This was my first play through the game as a full Renegade, and despite it being the third time I have completed the game I was pleased to find that it continued to surprise me.
Major spoilers ahead for those who have not played the game all the way through!
The ending in particular felt very different to my other playthroughs. Sure, the same basic things had happened - Saren and Sovereign were defeated; but the ending had a very different impact on me as the player.
This time round I had taken some pretty nasty actions in my quest to defeat Saren and his master. I had executed Wrex on Virmire and slain the Rachni Queen, effectively committing genocide on an entire species. Despite that it was my actions at the end of the game that changed the whole feeling of the outcome.
Instead of saving the Galactic Council from Sovereign's Geth army I allowed them to die in order to concentrate the fleet's attack on Sovereign alone. Not only that, but I supported the decision for Councillor Udina to become the leader of a new, all-human Galactic Council.
The first time I played through ME the game ended on a victorious note; celebratory at the defeat of the enemy and the heroics of my team, tempered with the knowledge that the true battles lay ahead.
This time however the feeling I was left with was one of betrayal; of an uncertain future and the rise of a militant humanity determined to forge their way through the Galaxy at the cost of all the other alien species. The language and tone of Udina at the end almost seemed to echo the Nationalist propaganda of the Far Right.
It left me feeling very uneasy.
I'm have very liberal views in real life, and playing a character who aided, encouraged and created a militant Nationalist government did not sit well! The cries of "Earth First" and "Aliens Out" at the political rally I gave my blessing to made me feel like I was a member of Babylon 5's Night Watch!
|Councillor Udina - not a nice guy!|
Having said all that, of course it's only a game, and I can't wait to see what my actions mean for the following Mass Effect 2 playthrough.
Is it odd that I felt bad for doing what some might think of as evil things in a computer game?
Perhaps I should stay away from playing a Sith character in The Old Republic (another Bioware game). After all, from what I have read it seems that you can choose to do some very nasty things if you wish. Daniel Erickson (lead writer) recently stated that as a Sith you can be so nasty to one of your companions that she ends up doing nothing but spending all her time on your ship crying her eyes out!
I'm not sure whether to be excited by the possibilities or worried that I may enjoy being evil!