It was a tough break, the day my 360 died and took my Mass Effect game save with it, but after taking a deep breath and two weeks off I restarted my 'Mass Effect experiment' and began the trilogy all over again.
Although I stuck with a female Shepard and remained Paragon (I played nice) throughout, Mass Effect allows you to navigate the game in a non linear way, so I took missions in a different order and generally mixed things up from my first play through. It took 24 hours to complete it and then I was starting the second one all over again.
For those interested, Kaidan and Wrex survived Virmire and Liara was the love interest. (I played the relationship thing differently as Kaidan was a bit dull.)
Game two, which I'm the best part of 38 hours into now, is truly epic. The story is almost ditched in favour of the recruitment of your new team and then obtaining (and retaining) their loyalty but it's so beautifully delivered I've not minded a bit. This could be one of the greatest character driven games of all time. The action in this one is just that bit tighter and graphically it just sings in comparison to the first one but the team are so well fleshed out can't help but want them all to make it.
I'm well past where I'd got to on my original play through but I'm guessing I still have at least another ten hours or more of gameplay until the end.
I've downloaded most of the DLC for it too and been slowly working my way through some of that. 'Lair of the Shadow Broker' in particular, where Shepard reunites with Liara is a stunning, unmissable addition to the game.
|'Lair of the Shadow Broker'|
So having lost one Shepard to a system failure my 'new' Shepard is taking the Mass Effect universe by the scruff of the neck, being nice where appropriate, flirting with all and sundry and shooting the shit out of anyone that gets in her way.
And yes, I am now saving to the 'cloud'. Thank for your concern.