Adventure Gamers Review of The Adventures of Commander Shepard

Adventures Gamers Review of The Adventures of Commander Shepard
March 30, 2017


The universe is in terrible danger. The Reapers, a race of synthetic beings, are poised to wipe out all organic life. Only if all the other races come together will it be possible to counter this threat. Commander Shepard, hero of the Alliance, knows exactly what he must do. Wasting no time, he leaps into action and heads out in search of side quests. Because, as every hero knows, if you want to save the universe, you need to build up experience by doing a whole bunch of favours for random strangers first.

In The Adventures of Commander Shepard, Kung Fu Circus Games has produced an effective spoof of the prevalence of side quests in role-playing games, particularly in the Mass Effect series. The graphics are done in a highly detailed and semi-realistic cartoon style. The lead character is a slightly exaggerated recreation of BioWare’s default male version of Shepard, and other various alien races from the series also appear. The entire adventure takes place on the Citadel, with recognisable locations including the lake side and embassy area. The characters are smoothly animated, both within the game and in the opening and closing cutscenes. The cinematics are also fully voiced to a high standard, though dialogue in-game is text only. For the most part, the action is backed by ambient crowd noise to reflect the bustling life of the Citadel. This is supplemented by sound effects such as the Commander's footsteps and the beep of equipment. The title screen features a specially written song extolling the virtues of the hero.

Mouse control uses right-click to look and left-click to move and interact. Dialogue trees have been laid out like the conversation wheels from the Mass Effect games, though for most options their position on the wheel does not count as a Paragon or Renegade choice. Where a dialogue will affect your status, a red or blue symbol appears next to the choice. You will need to talk to everyone at the station to find out what they need. Tasks range from reconciling lovers to finding fish in the lake for a Krogan. The latter matches a quest from the main series, though previous solutions won't prove effective this time around. To fulfill the quests, you will need to explore thoroughly, often revisiting conversations as you get more information. You must also make extensive use of your inventory, more than once mangling priceless collectibles to achieve a mundane task. If you get stuck, Avina, the Citadel VI guide, can provide hints. The whole experience is presented in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, with the action hero treating these mundane challenges as deadly serious. There are extensive spoilers for the Mass Effect games, so it is recommended that players complete the originals before trying this.