January 24, 2013
Gaming in Stereo: Best of 2012 Day 4
Two days left and two songs to go. The two that moved me in two different directions, but the strongest directions. The seconded best song of 2012 was Clint Mansell’s “Leaving Earth” from Mass Effect 3. Listening to the track now as I type this, and it still gives me goosebumps. The first 30 0r so minutes of Mass Effect 3 is incredibly powerful. Despite all the warning Shepard gave humanity and the council, the Reapers invade and start the process of destroying humanity. As the Normandy flies in to save Shepard, Anderson asks Shepard to ask the council for help. As Shepard departs, he witnesses the child he tried to save earlier board a rescue craft only to be shot down by a Reaper. As the Normandy departs for space, more and more Reapers land on earth to help in the irradiation. This scene and the powerful, desolate piano set the tone for the incredible dark finally to this amazing series. One man’s fight to stop a force bent on systematically wiping out all life in the Galaxy, leaving Earth to burn, watching other worlds fall in the process; this is the despair the song greatly wraps around. The heavy brass notes, denoting the Reapers, is crushing. Despite the “controversial” ending this was the height of gaming last year. I still play ME3 almost a year after it’s release and I love every minute. I have never been so crushed by an opening of game, this is how epic trilogies end. I have had disappointments of trilogy endings in the past, Resistance 3, Return of the Jedi and it’s happy bear time are just to name a few. If you make a trilogy around something that is going to bring doom and gloom, bring all the doom and gloom you can throw at it. Now there were great moments in ME3 that weren’t all death and doom, which did focus on finding humanity no matter the species or despite all the death and destruction, cherish the little things. As I said the last two songs pulled me in two different directions, this one pulled me into despair, but gave me a reason to fight, to have my Shepard be the galaxies savior, and despite the choices, do the right thing. Enjoy what I feel is the second best song of the year and what I still firmly believe was the best game of last year. I will put the video of the scene below so that it can show the context of how power this scene is.