Mass Effect: Paragon Lost protects the colonists

Funimation has released the first trailer for its upcoming anime video game adaptation.

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is set between the narratives of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, and follows James Vega, one of the possible crewmates in the games. The plot sees Vega defending a colony he’s stationed on from an attack by the mysterious Collectors.

The subtitle is actually a reference to the moral compass system in the game, by which a character who does mostly good deeds is refered to as a ‘paragon’.

If you’re not familiar, Mass Effect is an open ended role-playing video game in which players have to make decisions that dramatically affect the outcome of the overall story. Cumulative over the three games in the trilogy, players can have wildly different experiences up until the end.

Unfortunately, Vega is one of the least interesting of all of the possible characters that can be recruited. He’s a human military man who is pretty much average and boring in every way.

It’s interesting that the producers here, which includes some of the production team for the games, decided to tell part of his story. Perhaps they see him as a blank slate upon which a new story can be told.

Hopefully, this film will not try to tell any part of Shepard’s story, mainly because every single person who played this game played Shepard their own way, and so there would be no way to make the Shepard in the film match up with the Shepard already in people’s imaginations.

The default Shepard is male, yes, but then again, there is no default personality. Players could choose to make shepard nice, noble, mean, apathetic, horny, abusive, or any combination thereof.

In my head Shepard is not only female – she is a fiery, no-nonsense, red-head who cares deeply about her crew, but cares nothing for anyone else. She’s gruff and impassive with those who try to control her, and reacts poorly to authority figures. Every one of those traits was my decision in playing the character, and if the Anime depicts Shepard as anything else, it will be unwatchable.

There is no mention of Shepard in the trailer or any of the press material though, so perhaps we’re safe.

Here’s the official synopsis:

[Mass Effect: Paragon Lost] follows the early career of Alliance Marine, James Vega. Vega leads an elite Special Forces squad into battle against a mysterious alien threat known as The Collectors. Stationed at a colony in a remote star system, Vega and his soldiers must protect the civilians from a ruthless invasion determined to capture the population for unknown purposes. Learn more about the Mass Effect universe with an unprecedented glimpse into the haunted past of Mass Effect’s newest hero!

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is slated for a direct to digital home video release on December 28th, 2012, pushed back from the recently announced November 13th release date, which was itself a push back from the originally planned Summer 2012 release. It can be pre-ordered over on Amazon.