God is Real and it Wants us Dead: The Religious Terror of Bioware’s Biggest Games (originally posted at Polygon, 12/12/2014)
By Tauriq Moosa
OPINION text didn’t translate from copy-pasta on original article.
Games are often better at conveying horror than most other mediums, due to our direct and real-time responses.
This year, we’ve experienced the constant dread of Alien: Isolation and the grotesque physicality of The Evil Within. Overlooked, however, is the cosmic horror in BioWare games.
“We impose order on the chaos of organic life. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.” These are the words of Sovereign, the first Reaper you encounter in Mass Effect. At this point, you discover that all life has been essentially created and guided by these godlike creatures. Now the Reapers are coming to end what they created.
The entire Mass Effect trilogy is preparing for war against beings who are more powerful than anything in existence because they, essentially, created existence.
Here, all of life is told their creator wishes it to end. This isn’t nihilism written in the stars, it’s death row on a cosmic scale as everything marches towards the gallows. To fight seems futile; as Harbinger puts it in Mass Effect 2, creation seems to be “dust struggling against cosmic winds.” The entirety of existence is little more than the ant farm for uncaring gods.
BioWare’s love of cosmic animosity toward creation found a new twist in Dragon Age as well.