The latest Mass Effect 3 commercial to run during AMC's hit TV show The Walking Dead seems a little more capable at selling the title to Mass Effect virgins, but not by much. It's nice that this trailer works to show us that there are many little side human dramas playing out amid the backdrop of the game's climactic battle for the Earth. It's not so nice that none of these dramas appear to involve any actual playable characters from the game. We get Shepard acting like a poor man's Master Chief, a barking dog, and some crying, angry strangers.
Am I crazy for thinking that the majority of unique and compelling aspects of the Mass Effect series come from the interactions between Shepard and the various alien beings he encounters? Am I totally out of line for thinking that the series is at its most involving when Shepard is humbled by his own inherent human disadvantages and inadequacies, and when he learns that trusting in his relationship with seemingly unapproachable "alien" beings is the only way to survive?
Would it be a better use of these trailers to at least attempt to convey those ideas? I think so, especially seeing as these ads have been airing during The Walking Dead, a show that carries many of the same themes. Sadly, it looks like they're going for the "It's a futuristic fantasy game with a WAR going on!" routine. That's a shame.
A look at how the game plays would be a nice touch as well, but that's probably asking a lot.
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5:00 PM on 03.30.2015