Back in late 2007 Bioware released the original Mass Effect as the first of a three-game trilogy set in a fictional universe not all that different from our own.
Well, besides the fact that we were a minority race amongst many in the Milky Way galaxy and used Mass Relays to travel the huge distances.
Mass Effect 3 is the third (obivously) and final (by their estimation) game in this trilogy about a soldier named Shepherd and the galaxy’s battle against the mechanical menaces known as the Reapers.
However, you probably already know that. Let’s get into one of my Patent-Pending Short Reviews.
Keep in mind, I played through under Role Playing and with a new game (as I did on the previous two games). Also, THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW.
- graphics look amazing — definitely the best-looking game of the three
- controls seems a little bit better than the previous two games
- weapons loadout is a good compromise between the endless boredom of Mass Effect and the seemingly inconsequential Mass Effect 2 way of handling your weapons
- music is effective if sometimes a little bit too hidden — you are not going to be getting any catchy tunes out of this game, but that isn’t the point.
- more than once I would sit quietly for five minutes or more and weigh a decision that had to be made — you’ll know them when you see them, and depending on how you playd the prior games you might be able to make different ones, but I’ve never just sat there and weighed a decision in a game like that
- there are a TON of cameos from the earlier games, have fun trying to see them all
- there are times when it really feels like this might be the end, where people are panicking and things are just falling apart, and then there are times when you forget that all civilized life is getting destroyed — a little jarring
- the story is fairly linear with plenty of side quests to try and take care of
- the main areas are VERY varied, which is great — aliens worlds seem to feel more alien this time
- I never liked Udina
- it is amazing how entire cultures can ignore your warnings and then when it finally happens, they ask you for favors — I mean, really
- resources are minimized and are not as important as in the past, the focus is solely on the decisions that need to be made and the story
- while not my favorite game of the three (that would now be Mass Effect 2 … much like Empire Strikes Back), it is a very good and fitting end to the trilogy
If you liked the first two games you are going to like Mass Effect 3, and even if you didn’t you would probably still like the game a lot if you enjoy good storytelling with good gameplay tacked on.
I did not play the multiplayer because … well … Mass Effect is a single player game.
The Ending — HERE BE SPOILERS
Honestly, I liked it. I’m purposefully not going to read much of what other people are saying about the ending because, to me, the ultimate choice at the very end is perfectly fitting for what Bioware had been doing from the very beginning. The focus was on the choice to be made and what kind of “Shepherd” you wanted to be.
I chose to destroy the Reapers because that is what I was there to do. I might go back and replay all three of the games in order to try and fix a lot of the poor decisions that needed to be made, but even then, I am satisfied with the ending.
When given all three of the choices (control, destroy, or merge) it reflects on the universe that Bioware created as a whole. It started as a cut-and-dry organics vs synthetics romp through the first game and then began to blur a little bit with the second while Mass Effect 3 has you able to bring the Geth to your side to fight with you.
I’ll just stop while I’m behind.
I would recommend it to almost anyone, but it is a MUST PLAY for any fans of the first two. Ideally, you would play the first two games and then come into the last installment with all of the baggage.