(Sheppard and…. I forget, Oh Miranda thats it!)
It’s only fair that I comment on mass effect too, as alpha protocol was clearly modeled after mass effect, although with a significantly lesser budget and a whole lot less polish too it.
The first game especially had some controversy attached to it because of the alleged explicitness of the sex scene in the game, which was totally unwarranted as ive seen harder stuff on daytime tv (really! You only get to see a brief flash of female arse and that’s it). So the controversy was incredibly unwarranted propagated by absolute ignorance, but it brings me to the use of romance in the mass effect series or universe if you like.
Where as Alpha Protocol was more Fucking in games than Romance in games, mass effect at least tries to make the romance mean something as you grow to care about the cast of characters around you. So when you grow to be romantically involved with someone, at the very least your somewhat emotionally invested into it (well about as much as you can be in a video game and not being mental). The first game is where the romance was taken somewhat seriously and you slowly built the relationships up, to a point where you got it on with your chosen one just before the final no going backing mission, and it was fine for what its worth it was more about the character development for me more than anything else, and y’know it was handled with a modicum of respect.
However Mass Effect 2 (in my opinion) is where things got a little bit goofy, because in the game you could easily call Sheppard a pimp purely by reputation! And he was, often. It became more of an in-joke that any lady he comes across immediately want a taste of his pork sword. Maybe Bioware made it like that to help us lonely singletons think that anything is possible? I don’t know, Bioware have always had romance of some sort in their games and perhaps they thought romance and Sheppard being an utter chick magnet would help bring the gamers in? Slightly insulting to think that but i digress. If only real life was like that but hey women are different and unique too and there not always gagging for space cock like mass effect 2 seems to tell you.
(Dont worry that’s all you see! Although you have to wonder if the zips chafe a bit since she doesn’t take the suit off at all…..)
It is a bit of a change from the first one but if you get into the spirit of things and just go along with Sheppard being a super space pimp it’s a lot of fun (Don’t judge me!), you just have to go with it, as they say. Although again they at least try to make the romance seem to have some relevance, even to the point they bring in your old flame, who hates you because your working for an enemy agency, but still, theres continuity there its relevant to the story, which alpha protocol fails to do.
As for Mass Effect 3? It’s a bit more sedate in regards to the romance stakes, although this was the first one of the trilogy that had gay romances in, i wasnt going to specify as romance is romance right? But i guess for thoroughness there you go, anyway as it assumes you’ve already played the first 2 so you essentially carry on where you left off with whoever you romanced in the previous games. Although itll come back to haunt you if you tried to bed multiple women at the same time, not that ive tried to do that… honest! lol then you end up with nothing in the game which i guess is a commendable thing on biowares part to do, since it’s all about choices and that yes you can make some bad ones for sure. Since this one is more on the actual war happening with the reapers the romance does take somewhat of a back burner, but not in a way that you might expect. From what i got out of the game it was more of a supporting device for Sheppard, as the reapers are here and he has a galactic weight on his shoulder to save every life form from extinction…..
Now I don’t care who you are, that kind of responsibility would make anyone go stir crazy, so whoever you romance or whoever you choose as your partner in Mass Effect 3 acts as your I guess stabilising influence, to stop you going off the deep end so to speak. I liked the shift in tone, it gave it its own identity. As when all hell is breaking loose the last thing you’d think about is boning…. Unless you go for the polar opposite and all you think about is boning, each to their own!
I do commend Bioware for trying to add a greater emphasis on emotions such as romance and love etc but as you can see from this they went a bit all over the place but thank christ it wasnt as numb skull stupid as Alpha Protocol
Oh but don’t think this feature is all about how women can get mis-handled and mis-treated in games, the next one i have planned is one ive written about before, again, but this one is utterly sexist towards men…..
But until then,
Thanks for reading