Throwback Thursday: Revisiting Mass Effect 2’s Epic Cinematic Opening (VIDEO)
After BioWare’s decision to put the future of Mass Effect on hiatus, the series’ direction is looking pretty uncertain despite its assured continuation. Split-reception of the most recent entry aside, the planet-hopping, alien-bedding, and Reaper-fighting exploits of the original trilogy nonetheless remains in the majority of fans’ hearts. Each title notably opens with an epic showcase to catch players up to speed with Commander Shepard and crew, but Mass Effect 2 accomplished this in a way players likely wouldn’t have expected: it killed the main character.
Of course, the space-faring sequel didn’t lead with that ominous revelation, as it actually began by introducing one of the series most memorable and enigmatic characters, the Illusive Man. In between cigarette drags and observing a nearby supergiant, the mysterious figure convenes with his right-hand Miranda to discuss the destructive events of the previous game. The two laud Shepard’s iconic accomplishments and express the utmost importance of their survival in the wake of an impending Reaper invasion.
In a small twist of irony, this scene is immediately followed by a devastating attack on the Commander’s ship The Normandy, brought forth by a debuting race of antagonists called the Collectors. The aliens’ powerful weaponry is unlike anything experienced in the games’ thus far, a fact stressed by the Normandy’s complete decimation after only one hit. Players are forced to witness as their base of operations and essentially all progression up to that point is set ablaze in a fiery hellscape.
Normandy personnel immediately evacuate in effort to avoid becoming interstellar barbecue, all except the ship’s endlessly determined pilot Jeff “Joker” Moreau. Players set out to jump ship with their brittle-boned buddy, but the dire inferno makes it apparent that only one more will leave the wreck alive. Without hesitation, Shepard hurls Joker into the final escape pod before the Normandy dramatically explodes, leaving players to watch as their character tumbles down toward a nearby planet, and to their ultimate demise.
Those familiar with the remaining hours of Mass Effect 2 know that Shepard eventually sees resurrection by the hands of Illusive Man’s Cerberus organization, recruiting the commander to take part in a confrontation with the Collectors. Players wake to this new adventure alongside fresh lineup of squadmates and even receive an all-new ship in the improved Normandy SR2. Pretty much everything from the first game is seen from a renewed perspective, all beginning with status-quo shattering opening of Mass Effect 2.
What do you think? Were you as blown away as the Normandy when you experienced Mass Effect 2 for the first time? Which moment from the sequel is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! Also, be on the lookout for the next Throwback Thursday where we’ll highlight yet another piece of trivia from gaming past. For entries from previous weeks, check out these next few news stories:
Eric Hall2712 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.