After watching the final episodes of HBO's ROME last night with my wife (excellent series, such a shame it was canceled prematurely though they at least wrapped up the storyline they were on), I decided to keep my arse firmly glued to the couch and play some Mass Effect.
Over the course of the past week and a half, ME has been pretty much the only game I play with little dabblings in NBA 2K8 ad Crackdown here and there to boot. So imagine my surprise, when after a marathon (for me anyway) session of 3 hours, I found myself watching the credits roll on what has been one of the best gaming as story experiences I've ever had. 24 hours, side quests included, to complete a BioWare RPG. I even got the Achievement points for "Completionist" or something like that, which signals that I had finished the majority of the game along with beating the main campaign.
I don't feel that it was short, nor do I feel remorse for finishing the game so swiftly. I just didn't expect a BioWare RPG to be less than 40 hours long minimum. Maybe it's because of the need to get the game out for the Holidays, but I think it's more likely that where the story ends is where they want the game to end as the 1st part of the trilogy.
It has a cliff-hanger, but luckily it's not like the end of Heroes Season 1. It wraps up a lot of plot lines, including the major arc of the game, so I feel like I accomplished my goal of saving the galaxy... even if it's only for the moment. One hell of a game. I can't recommend it strongly enough. If you're a fan of intelligent science fiction, action games, or more importantly games with real feeling. Go get it.
Oh, and I did make whoopee with a blue alien. It was... unique. Weird might be a better word. But I will say this: it was very tastefully done, and in no way "cyber-porn". Oh, and there are some hefty choices that need to be made as you work towards the end of the game, but go with your gut. My guy ended up being a major Paragon (good as opposed to Renegade) and I think my ending was one of the "good ones". As long as you're not naturally a prick, you should be fine. Worst case scenario, make a separate save file in Virimire before you reach the Krogan research labs (you'll know what I mean) and then replay the game from there if you want to see a different path's ending. It's what I'll be doing.
Cheers and have a good weekend!