Saturday, 15 December 2012

Mass Effect: Homeworlds

Lowdown: Background stories for key Mass Effect characters.
Homeworlds, the most recent and thus far last addition to the Mass Effect comics canon, is a direct go at providing the back stories to four of the game trilogy's most favorite characters. There really is not much more to it than that; however, it’s not like there’s anything wrong with delving further into the stories of the characters we know and love.
Starting off this roundup is James, who – having just escaped earth upon the arrival of the Reapers – flashes back to his family background story and the life of crime he was deprived of upon joining the Marines. I would say this story is the weakest of the lot, with relatively low add on value to the game and a story that we’ve all read and seen many times before. Obviously, James suffers from stiff competition in the face of characters that have been there since episode 1. On the positive side, this is the first time I see normal life on earth portrayed visually in a Mass Effect deliverable, which is rather interesting even if it’s very Blade Runnerish.
Tali’Zorah (Tali) picks things up with her story of how she got to that crucial point in time when she first met Shepard on the Citadel [back in Mass Effect 1]. As with James’ story, there is nothing here to really shake your perception of Tali as you know her from the game.
Moving on, we get to my pick for best story of them all, Garrus. It’s a bit of a rerun of James’ story, only done better: Archangel (Garrus) is defending his Omega balcony from waves of mercenary attacks, knowing all too well the end is as near as his ammo running out; what better thing to do under such circumstances than flashback to days gone by and recall the past’s poorly made choices? The story is not only good, it integrates perfectly with the Mass Effect 2 mission where Archangel is recruited.
Last, but definitely not least, is my favorite Mass Effect character: Liara. The previous subject of Redemption is now full time Shadow Broker, deservedly portrayed in a non baby-ish manner. The story, however, provides not much more than an answer as to how Shepard finds a Liara enjoying the best of Cerberus’ hospitality on Mars as Mass Effect 3 starts.
Animation styles vary, to one extent or another, between stories. The visual result is more than pleasing, but again – the trick is in the plots, and the plots are nothing more than dot connectors filling up the video games' lesser stories.
Fills up some gaps for lovable characters, but mostly lacking in truly shedding light on the deeper layers of those very same characters. In other words, these stories won't amount to much without the games they rely on.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read, but then again it would be very hard to write me up with anything about Tali, Garrus and Liara that I would not enjoy. 3.5 out of 5 stars from this fan.
P.S. By the way, this means that Blasto is still the best Mass Effect comic out there.

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