Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mass Effect: Redemption Graphic Novel Review

Mass Effect: Redemption is a graphic novel published by Dark Horse Books with the story written by Mac Walters. Walters is one of the main writers for the videogame Mass Effect 2. Redemption is a prequel to that game. Redemption is the story of Dr. Liara T'soni's search for her friend, Commander Shephard. (Liara is pictured above.) In the game, you play Shepard who can be male or female. Anyway, Shepard is lost when his ship, Normandy is attacked by a mysterious group of aliens called the Collectors.

Liara's journey takes her to the lawless Terminus star systems. There she meets the a contact named Feron. Feron informs her that Shepard is close to death, perhaps in stasis. Later Liara and Feron are attacked by mercenaries. They escape with the help of the Cerberus group, a pro-human possibly terrorist organization. The group is run by the shadowy Illusive Man and his second in command, Miranda. He offers Liara assistance in looking for Shepard. He informs her that the Shadow Broker, a mysterious information agent, is trying to get Shepard for the Collectors. She agrees to his aid and with Feron in tow, they search the underbelly of the galaxy, meeting crooks, and smugglers along the way.

If you haven't played Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, you're probably going to be lost reading this graphic novel. John Jackson Miller's script is short on exposition. He makes up for that with exciting action set pieces. But if you've played the games, especially the first Mass Effect, you know Liara. And in this book, she's a wild woman which is out of character for her. Miranda who plays a big part in Mass Effect 2 is given very little to do here except to look gorgeous. Feron is not fleshed out and it's hard to like or dislike him.

Omar Francia's artwork is realistic and beautiful. The color palette of Michael Atiyeh are vibrant with plenty of Asari blue. You see the Asari are blue skinned aliens. And Michael Heisler's lettering is clear. Bonus features are gorgeous paintings by Daryl Mandryk.

If you loved the Mass Effect games, you'll like this prequel. If you haven't played at least Mass Effect 2, you probably won't get anything out of it. One cool thing about the book. It sets up the side missions that you do for Liara in Mass Effect 2. The book also serves as exposition to the downloadable content mission to Mass Effect 2, "The Lair of the Shadow Broker." The grade for this enjoyable book is B +.

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