Archive for the ‘Mass Effect’ Category

I decided to replay the entire Mass Effect series rather than continue with my return to the Mojave Wasteland. I decided on a completely Renegade playthrough, but more or less abandoned that after completing Mass Effect. Being a complete and total asshole really isn’t in my nature, although I made a heroic stab at it for the sake of the story. But I racked up entirely too many Paragon points in Mass Effect and more or less turned Paragon for Mass Effect 2, although I did not pass up the opportunity to give the Illusive Man a piece of my mind at almost every opportunity. In the end I blew up the Collector Base and then moved in to Mass Effect 3.

As much as it galls me to admit that the Illusive Man was correct, I took the Control option for the ending of Mass Effect 3. But I did it because it was the only option that fit with all of the decisions I had taken up to that point and then started a New Game Plus with the same character (male Shepard with an Infiltrator Class).

In following up on that choice, a thought dawned that perhaps my dissatisfaction with the ending of ME3 might be more related to the failure of the Hero’s Journey than to any major inconsistencies in the ME3 story itself. I’m still trying to digest that idea and will have more to say on it later, but I haven’t changed my opinion on the ending. I’m just trying to get a better handle on why I’ve been dissatisfied. The quest for clarity will bear some interesting fruit, I hope.

After all of that running around, downloading, testing and installing mods. it turns out that New Vegas still feels a bit old. Maybe not “old” per se, but “tired” in that even with the perks and mods, it still has that “been there, done that” kind of feel to it. I strongly suspect that close to 1000 hours of playing time goes a long way toward explaining that. After playing up 11 or 12 levels (haven’t really touched the main quest or the DLCs), I decided to fire up Mass Effect. This was largely because of the conversation between Gopher and StarduskLP over on YouTube.

Gopher and StarDuskLP (a couple of weeks ago)

Somewhere in their 90-minute conversation, both Gopher and Stardusk reminded the audience that Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 were awesome games. Neither seemed particularly fond of Mass Effect 3, although for different reasons. Stardusk’s reasons were more or les in line with mine, while Gopher’s seemed a bit more forgiving, but still disappointed with the final release. In any event, it seemed worthwhile to go fire up Mass Effect, especially since I didn’t need to worry over-much about DLCs (there were only two). That turned out to be a misplaced assumption, but still…

My immediate problem was that after downloading and installing Mass Effect, it absolutely refused to launch. I tried two solutions, one of which worked, but I’m not sure which one because of other issues:

Solution #1: run the game as an administrator (even if your user account already has administrator privileges). Maneuver to the Mass Effect binaries folder in your Steam installation(Steam\steamapps\common\Mass Effect\Binaries) and right-click the MassEffect.exe. From the context menu either select “Run as administrator” or “Send to –> Desktop (create shortcut)” and run that shortcut as an administrator. You can do much the same with the MassEffectLauncher.exe in the Mass Effect folder, but the “Play” button was a dead end. The launcher would let me into the configuration utility to set graphics options, though.

Solution #2: in the same binaries folder, copy the PhysXCore.dll file to “C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\PhysX\Engine\v2.7.2\” (I needed to create the v2.7.2 folder, which required elevated privileges).

One of those worked, but again, I’m not sure which one since I was messing with DLC-related issues at the same time. My last saved game was made with both “Bring Down the Sky” and “Pinnacle Station” installed, but neither of those DLCs came with the newly downloaded game. For “Pinnacle Station,” I fired up my Origin client, downloaded it and ran the installer. The installer gets install path information from the registry, so you absolutely must make sure that the game is running properly before trying to install the DLC.

“Bring Down the Sky” was a freebie DLC for PC-version purchasers, but does not come with the Steam version of the game. Steam users will need to download it separately. The link provided by BioWare in their support forums is for all languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian and German) and it did not ask me for a product key, so I assume that this will be true for other users, too:

With that taken care of, I was able to get back into the game. I’m pretty much decided that it’s about time for a Renegade playthrough, but we’ll see how that goes.