Insanity Crash: The World will look up and shout "Save Us!" and I'll whisper... "No."

So, I bought an Xbox360 game this weekend and started playing it on sunday night and I can say it is probably one of the best games I have ever played. The game, Mass Effect, is so deep I can't quite imagine anyone making it. The levels are great to play through, the storyline is compelling, and the gameplay it pretty much the most interesting set up I have played in a long long time.



So, the story. Basically, I am Mark Shepard (I chose the first name) and I am an Alliance solider. I am an infiltrator (I chose that) and I am Earthborn (again, I chose that) and I was the last man standing at an attack on a human colony a few years ago (I chose that too). It is set in 2183 I think and it is basically a big game version of something best described as an episode (maybe series) of Star Trek. I am a recent addition to the Spectre, the Citadels council (the guys who run the Galaxy) and the first human to hold that position. I am charged with finding a rogue spectre called Saren who is attacking colonies trying to unearth information about a group of extinct aliens called the Reapers who it is believed destroy every organic and intelligent lifeform in the universe every 50'000 years or so for no reason.

That is proper sci-fi guys. There are a few things wrong with it though - firstly, everyone speaks English and there is no Babelfish in sight. Also, everything is referred to as "years" and "metres" which are surely a human thing. The game is so spent on making it seem that us humans are new to the galaxy that it is jarring that the rest of the universe knows what we are talking about.

The game is set about as an RPG where I talk to members of the crew, either being a nice boy letting them talk and being courteous, or being a dick, calling them bastards and basically being a shit to them. This effects the storyline and the outcome of the game.

And in true RPG fashion I am stunned by the depth of the game. I can talk to pretty much anyone, about loads of topics, and have hundreds of weapons with many many upgrades and items to use. And some nice battle sections, it feels like what I wish Halo was when it came out. Steve and I have enjoyed watching the story unfold and the length of the game (approaching 8 hours of gameplay and only on the third of eight chapters, with millions of side quests ignored for now) I am truly sucked into the world of Mass Effect. Jumping across the Milky Way is great fun.

The length of the game is refreshing as Steve has played through Gears of War in a couple of days and also completed Call of Duty 4 in a few hours (not an exaggeration, I played it really badly last night for an hour and completed 1/3 of the game). These other games have multiplayer options that are supposed to extend the length of the game... since when did multiplayer excuse a game for being short? I much prefer a long single player story rather than a short story bolstered by a large number of multiplayer options.

Anyway, something else that caught my eye is the trailer for Watchmen (see it here). The graphic novel - say comic book at your peril - is immense, and I suggest you pick it up NOW, but for the uninitiated, here is a quick synopsis of an incredibly deep book.

So, in the 50s a group of vigilantes who were carrying out the acts seen in comic books of the time join forces to create the Minutemen, who would organise together to sort out crime. A few decades later and their children/replacements/new heroes are taking over, and are being quite effective. However, the government are not enjoying it and pass the Keene Act in 1977 to Ban all the vigilantes. All of them hang up their costumes - except one. Rorschach feels that his mask is in fact his true human face and his "mask" is his true identity. In 1985 he enters an apartment of Edward Blake, who had been murdered by being thrown out his apartment building. Rorschach discovers that Eddie Blake was infact the Comedian, a member of the very vigilante group that Rorschach was part of.

He realises that there is a plot to kill all the members of the vigilantes that are around, and warns the Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II. In fact, there is something much more sinister going on, which might be a bigger threat to mankind than Rorschach first thought.

It has truly one of those endings that make you go, "Christ!" and read it again. If the film stays close to the novel (which, from the look of the trailer, it will) the director Zack Snyder might just have done the impossible. I seriously suggest you check out the trailer and read the novel.



The naked blue guy? He is Doc Manhattan and the only one who actually has super hero powers. And is the reason that Russia are about to nuke America. And makes a clockwork cathedral. On Mars. Yeah... just read it okay?