Might be a touch off topic, but ever hear of Now and Then and Here and There
It's an anime about the violence of war. It has a lot of grisly stuff that people like to pretend doesn't happen. Child soldiers, forcing child sex, genocide, etc. I mean, there is some pretty brutal stuff in this animal and the main characters gets tortured in the first few eps and get his ass kicked in every other ep.
Here is a link to information about it if you are interested : http://www.animeacademy.com/finalrevdisplay.php?id=378
The reason why I brought this up is that I just finished watching the series and now Mass Effect is fresh on my mind. I keep thinking of the characters or people of Mass Effect being put through such brutal circumstances.
They pretty much gloss over the subject of war in Mass Effect, wanting to aim toward soap opera feel and saving the galaxy. Doesn't go over exactly how much suffering each sides took during war time.
But then again, it was a intergalactic war which was fought with space ships and cannons. Not face to face with bullets flying like in the anime.
But there was the occupation of Shanxi by the Turians. There has got to be some brutality or something worth telling about.