How Mass Effect Is Becoming More Like Transformers

How Mass Effect Is Becoming More Like Transformers

Not the toys. And not the Michael Bay horror films. I mean the 1986 animated feature.

At the time, Transformers: The Movie was notable for two things. One was the fact it killed everybody, traumatising an entire generation of young, impressionable movie-goers. The second, and more lasting, was the movie’s casting.

It was a mess. A glorious, haphazard mess. There were teen heartthrobs, oscar-winning actors, sci-fi staples, comedians, TV veterans, voice-over people, the works. Yet somehow the “throw as many random names as we can afford” approach actually worked, and better still, it made the flick memorable. Example? I once won a pub trivia night by successfully answering the question “What was Orson Wells’ last ever movie”.

With Mass Effect 3’s cast assembled earlier today, it struck us how much BioWare’s series had begun to take after Transformers’ batshit crazy approach. That with each game came an increase in the size of not just the cast itself, but how bonkers it was.

Where Transformers went the “elder statesman” route with Orson Wells, Mass Effect has Martin Sheen. Where Transformers hired a veteran voice man in Robert Stack, Mass Effect has veteran voice man Keith David. Transformers had sci-fi staple Leonard Nimoy, Mass Effect went and hired half the cast of Battlestar Galactica. Transformers had Monty Python comedian Eric Idle unexpectedly voice a role, Mass Effect went deep into left field and hired funny man Seth Green to play not a teenage loser, but a starship pilot.

And where Transformers shot for the swoon vote with Judd Nelson, fresh off Breakfast Club, Mass Effect now has…Jessica Chobot.

Now, I’m not saying Mass Effect is copying Transformers. It’s just, we noticed this morning that the Chobot hire had tipped the movie over the edge. For over 25 years, Transformers has stood at the pinnacle of crazy nerd sci-fi casting. Nothing came close to assembling such a talented, yet bizarre cast of talent.

But if Mass Effect 3’s new hirings don’t completely ruin the mix, it may have a little competition from a cast that includes a former President of the United States, a star of They Live and a girl who licked a PSP that one time.


  • The 1986 transformers movie was also the transition between the generation where Transformers was good and the generation where Transformers wasn’t good any more, so I hope this is wrong.

  • To me as a child of the 80’s, the original movie was and still is one of my all time favourites. In saying that, if these commanilites equal something half as decent as the movie, then i’m sold!

    • imagine it:

      [opening shot]
      fade from dark, stars appear,
      camera starts panning to see a little speck of shiny comes into view
      speck grows as it approaches the camera,
      what is it? could it be?
      and just as you realise it’s the Normandy you hear it



    • Not even that, the voice cast comparison is weak at best.

      Keith David and Seth Green were from Mass Effect 1, Keith David himself being a well known voice actor in Video Games and Children TV shows. Seth Green being a Sci-Fi Geek and Voice actor himself.

      Mass Effect 2 brought all those big name Hollywood voice actors to it because it was simply a good project from them to be a part of. Jessica Chobot for Mass Effect 3 is a face inside gaming culture thanks to the likes of IGN, it’s natural fit for a gaming geek to want to be apart of a solid franchise.

      The reasoning why Mass Effect can pull these kinds of names is due to the way Mass Effect is a big blockbuster title. Gaming is being seen less and less like a throw away entertainment and more and more Hollywood talent are supplementing their income by staring in video games. You only have to look at a lot of games these days that hire big names to be apart of their voice cast.

      Mass Effect like Transformers? Hardly, it’s grasping at straws; You could have gone for the whole Mass Effect is the Gaming Generation’s Star Wars and wrote about how its going to be once the end title screen falls.

  • So… I’m guessing this means Sheperd dies, passes his leadership to Grunt who promptly gets dismembered by the enemy for a worthless trinket, only to have the trinket save the day when held by the biggest crybaby the universe has ever seen.

  • Since when is Chobot better looking than Yvonne Strahovski?

    A nice thing to notice, but an esteemed actor from previous works in the genre makes sense, a good voice actor makes sense, a comedic character with a comedic voice actor makes sense… these don’t really copy TF, does it?

  • When Mass Effect gets a live action movie trilogy that completely ignores the main attraction for a bunch of pointless explosions and turns the US military into invincible soldiers from heaven, then we can start comparing franchises

  • This is journalism?

    FFS. How about something with a bit of substance instead of a slightly long forum post with paragraph breaks.

  • Hoping to offer an opinion as to why Mass Effect’s franchise, while brilliant is the bane of good sci fi.

  • Mass effect worse each new title.

    Get real. Mass Effect 2 was by far way better better than the 1st

    Only downside to ME2 was the bad guy in number 1 was far more evil and mysterious *That conversation with Sovereign in ME1 still is chilling to the core.

    Mass effect 3 shall be one hell of a ride!

    come on 36 more days!
    14 days til DEMO =D

  • THe 1986 TF movie was awesome – awesome I tells you – first cartoon movie I reckon that hired celebrity actors – it opened the floodgates – not to mention yeah – they killed everybody!

  • One of my absolute favourites. Don’t forget the epic soundtrack, which features the entire length of the movie – no silence – really the only soundtrack that if I hear any part of it I’ll likely tell what’s happenning right now.

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