Five years ago Bioware and the rest of the world embarked on a strange journey unlike any other. Fresh off of two KOTOR games Bioware got to make an original title. A third person shooter with RPG elements set in the distant future, in space gave the company the ability to craft a rich universe in which they could make new races, new civilizations and essentially their own franchise that isn’t controlled by George Lucas. Mass Effect was a test. While Casey Hudson had said they had the story for 3 of them they really were testing the waters with teh first one. Think about it, the ending of the first game could make it a stand alone game ala what A New Hope was like. You took the role of a basic military man, Shepard and were thrust into this unique situation where you made the choices and you controlled most of the events. The characters around you were rich, so when it came time to save Wrex or let him die you had to think instead of just letting your instincts take control. That is what Bioware crafted in the first one.
In Mass Effect 2, they kill Shepard right away and bring him back for what? A run at the collectors which sets up the Reaper threat that we fought off in the first one. With fixed up gameplay and the return of your crew you get deeper into the cast of rich characters and are introduced to a set of new characters. Of course Garrus comes back but he’s deeper and more darker. Liara has personal problems that she needs help with (fucking DLC). We also meet Jack, a biotic with a haunted past, Samara, the asari’s Batman so to speak with problem children, Jacob, a soldier with daddy issues, Miranda, the perfectly engineered female, Grunt, the tank bred Krogran. But who can forget Thane Krios, the drell assassin with a heart of gold and Mordin Solus, the salarian scientist who is seemingly on caffeine pills the whole game. Mass Effect 2 ended on the cliff hanger to set up the third installment, and your choices became paramount for the final installment in Shepard’s story. I say the final installment in Shepard’s story because Hudson said they might continue with the universe. So yeah. And with this Mass Effect 3 review I will do a new set up for the reviews of video games so here we go.
Mass Effect 3 picks up after the last DLC in the previous game, where you had to make a tough choice. Blow up a Mass Relay and killing a slew of Batarians or let them live and have the reapers invade. You are court marshaled and thusly reinstated to prevent the reaper invasion. The story follows up the entire series almost flawlessly. You want to sit there and play the game. The side quests help advance the story in most cases but it’s the main quests, the Cerberus quests that all end up advancing the story. When you encounter the characters from the previous games their sequences are more moving than normal since well the events that happen are powerful. It’s well written, almost the entire game is well written. When you reach teh final missions, damn powerful til teh very end which I’ll touch later.
The addition of the Omni Blade is really nice. It makes melee much cooler but it can also get frustrating but it just looks cooler. They really didn’t change much from a near flawless prequel. Adding in the ability to roll around also helps, instead of clunkingly moving out of the way of bullets and what not but now you can move easier and it looks cooler. Shepard still can’t jump but hey it’s an RPG. The gun play is the same, you need thermal clips but you won’t run out unless you are on the most difficult mode. Ammo is plentiful and since you can carry multiple guns you won’t need to worry. Gun upgrades can be purchased to increase the power of your weapon and you can also add things like a scope to increase accuracy. Leaving lots of customization. The powers are the same there isn’t much added to it but still. I played as a different class since my PC playthrough of the game (1 and 2) had me at vanguard which was broken as shit so no comment on that.
The improved visuals really help stand out. The characters look better than they did in the last game. Anderson doesn’t look like pure and utter shit like he did in the last game, but the unimportant human characters don’t look great but most of the aliens while they look redundant are well not god awful. The big problem with the visuals is the coloring. It looks really dark. If you can raise the contrast on teh game so that it doesn’t look like the dark of night all the time. If you tweak it enough then it won’t look as bad, so that fixes the problem. The voice acting is superb. With Seth Green returning as Joker one last time he gives a solid performance, as does Martin Sheen as the Illusive Man, although I would have liked to have seen more with him. The voice acting of Shepard at least male Shepard has improved greatly and he shows emotion for once. Go figure that in the finale they would add that in it.
The addition of multiplayer is a bit on the frustrating side, seeing as that you need it in order to get the highest readiness of the war. You take control over a human player in the war. Each class is open and as you play through you level up and earn credits. The credits unlock packs which contain other characters such as a Drell Adept and what not. It’s a fun way to kill time with 2 other players but the wave after wave of enemy and the occasional collect data missions don’t really add up to anything. Sure 20 minutes a match is great but with the connection problems we face it becomes frustrating to do anything.
But I digress. The package as a whole is phenomenal and totally worth the price. It is suggested that you buy the Collector’s Edition instead of spending an extra ten bucks on the first DLC that was out at launch giving you Javik and an extra mission and a slew of other stuff. Aside from the ending which didn’t really close much other than raise more questions and feel half assed this is almost a perfect close to a near flawless series that seemingly evolved as time went on. It’s not a perfect game as much as it is a 9.75 on teh scale.