The 'Ocean's Eleven' Mission Hiding Inside 'Mass Effect'
The Mass Effect series is a hard(ish) sci-fi role-playing shooter, very much about free will, the nebulous state of intergalactic politics, and the single space cop who can fix literally everything by shooting both people and things. The plot for all three games involves trying to thwart the centuries-in-the-making plans of an ancient race of sentient spaceships hellbent on destroying all of civilization for ... reasons. The series certainly isn't without humor, but Mass Effect is hyperaware that it's got bigger problems to blow up.
Which makes the Ocean's Eleven homage they slipped into the sequel's DLC all the more amazing.
Kasumi Goto is a master thief introduced through downloadable content for Mass Effect 2. (She's available in the recently released Legendary Edition, too.) And while she's around to fight alien bugs as needed, her character-specific arc is significantly more sophisticated. Specifically, it requires Commander Shepard dressing up all fancy, crashing a party, making small talk, and then robbing a nefarious art dealer. Y'know, George Clooney-style.
Due largely to the expansiveness and cohesiveness of the Mass Effect universe, the heist isn't as wildly out of place as it sounds and, naturally, devolves into a gunfight against robots. But a slower-paced mission that mostly involves searching for clues in the middle of a crowded cocktail party is still a little jarring, especially when most of the rest of the game is spent surviving a universe swarming with zombies and brainwashed bug monsters.
As for the Ocean's Eleven of it all, that's not just theorizing: completing Kasumi's loyalty mission nets the player the "Broke, Blind, or Bedlam" achievement – a direct quote from Don Cheadle's Basher in the first Ocean's Eleven. And, just in case that wasn't enough of a reference, when the player runs into Kasumi in the third Mass Effect, she's assembling a team to go knock over a casino. Danny Ocean would be proud.
Eirik Gumeny is the author of the Exponential Apocalypse series, a five-book saga of slacker superheroes, fart jokes, and assorted B-movie monsters, and he recently added werewolves and assassins to The Great Gatsby. He’s also on Twitter a bunch.
Top Image: Electronic Arts