My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After the last few forays into the Mass Effect comic series, I’d started to wonder if they weren’t for me. I’m happy to say that Homeworlds, the fourth entry in the series, is an excellent change of course and gets things moving in a direction that I really enjoyed.
We get some backstory scenes for four of Mass Effect 3’s crewmembers: James Vega, Tali, Garrus, and Liara. It was interesting to see how the game universe handles the incredibly deep number of choices, as depending on how you played through Mass Effect 2, it’s possible that up to two of these characters will be gone by the time Mass Effect 3 starts. The story handles it by varying where in the narrative they take place: one is pre-ME 1, one is pre-ME2, and the others are just before ME3. I won’t specify which are which, to avoid spoilers.
It’s great getting to spend time with these characters. The crew members are my (and I imagine most players’) favorite aspect of the Mass Effect universe. It’s fun getting to spend some time with them and to see them operating on their own, outside of the long shadow cast by Commander Shepard (your player character).
There’s so much going on here, however, that it’d be almost impossible for a non-game fan to piece together what’s happening. Normally, that kind of thing rubs me the wrong way; my rule of thumb is that a video game story should be able to stand on its own. But it was so much fun getting to reconnect with a few of my favorites and I enjoyed the stories so much that I’m willing to overlook it.