I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “I sure wish I had something to do with these free 500 hours I have”. Well search no more, friend, because over on Steam you can pick up a bundle containing the entire Dragon Age and Mass Effect collection—some of our best RPGs in 2023—for £17/$20. Yes, that includes Andromeda. Sorry.
The BioWare Mega Collection includes Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3 (in their remastered Legendary Edition incarnations), Mass Effect: Andromeda, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age 2, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. According to the wisdom of the crowds over at HowLongToBeat.com, that’s 500 hours of RPG if you go full completionist. When it’s not on sale, the bundle retails for £160/$190.
That is, by any reasonable metric, Too Much Game. We’re in ‘book a month off work’ territory, and even that might not be enough if you have literally anything else going on in your life at all. But (most of) these are some of BioWare’s best, and absolute classics of the cinematic RPG genre. If you’ve somehow managed to avoid them so far, you’re in for a treat.
If you’ve been deep in the Siberian wilderness for the last 20 years and don’t know what those games are, then A: thank you for reading PC Gamer dot com, solid priorities there, and B: here’s what they’re all about.
Mass Effect 1 through 3 tells the tale of Commander Shepard and their rocket ship full of attractive aliens as they try to save the galaxy from genocidal robots. It has lots of choices and lots of romance. The first game is, objectively, the best one, but plenty of people continue to insist the second game is one of the best ever made, and I suppose I can understand why. Even Mass Effect 3, which caused quite the controversy when it released, is still a pretty great game, edgy Troy Baker ninja aside.
Andromeda is, well, a failed experiment. In an attempt to disentangle itself from all the choices it let you make about the state of the Milky Way in ME 1, 2, and 3, BioWare set its newest Mass Effect the Andromeda galaxy. It didn’t take advantage of it, though: You only met two new alien races, both of which were quite dull, and the game’s writing took on a grating, Whedon-esque tone that drove many (including me) away. Still, it has its defenders, and you might find something to love in it if you try.
I’ve only played the first Dragon Age game myself, so I can’t tell you too much about the series as a whole, but they’re all gritty, dark fantasy fare. Think blood magic, elf racism, all that good HBO stuff you came to know and love in approximately four of eight seasons of Game of Thrones, but in an original setting dreamt up by BioWare that’s far more high fantasy than Westeros is. Dragon Age 2 is a black sheep, but nowhere near as reviled as ME: Andromeda, and hey, we scored it 94% in our Dragon Age 2 review. A move that remains entirely uncontroversial to this day.
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