I’m a ridiculously obsessed Mass Effect fan. Having dithered, should I buy? should I not buy?, I ended up parting with £20, buying Mass Effect 1 and being enveloped by a futuristic universe where humans had ventured out of the solar system, met a fantastical array of alien races and were forging their new existence albeit at the bottom of the galactic pack. This awesome shooter come role-play game hooks you immediately from the start and before you know it you’re blowing up geth, building relationships with your squad mates, and exploring a brand new universe.
It’s now been revealed that Mass Effect 3, the final chapter of the series, is going to offer players the ability to indulge in gay relationships. Having only played through Mass Effect 1 once with the female lead Commander Shepard I’d taken the heterosexual route, with her first bedding Kaiden and then cheating on him in Mass Effect 2 and hotting it up with the immensely fine Jacob. The latter choice was really me just desperately wanting to see how he looked without his clothes on….and worryingly, even in pixels, I’d happily get some of that action. However, having only had this one female play through, I hadn’t realised that actually there were some gay options available, with female Commander Shepherd able to romance both Liara T’soni or Chief Ashley Williams.
Whilst gay possibilities existed for women, the gaming world seemed reluctant to allow the very attractive and macho male Commander Shepard to get his own man on man action….that is until now. Whilst I could only dream of Shepard getting it on with Jacob, or even indulging in some slightly wrong man on alien action with Thane or Garrus it has been confirmed that Mass Effect 3 will allow gay relationships for both men and women.
This is a major leap forward for the gaming industry, especially for titles including both shooter and role play action. But what I like especially in Mass Effect is that you decide. It’s a futuristic world where, of course, there are going to be gay characters. But the franchise doesn’t force anyone to play either way. You want to play it straight? You can. You want Shepherd to look for a little same sex romance as the world around him is destroyed by Reapers? You can do that too. So, in the same way as The Sims franchise made an open platform for players to do what they wished, so too has Mass Effect taken down that last macho man boundary. I applause you Mass Effect, and I urge you to put the hottest possible male romance options in Mass Effect 3 for me to enjoy, whilst I’m saving the Earth from the Repears and taking shelter from raining bullets and hostile bio weapon damage of course. It’s all just a day’s work for Shepard.