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Mass Effect 3
2,247
(1,550)

Mass Effect 3

4.6 from 7156 votes
 

There are a maximum of 68 Mass Effect 3 achievements (50 without DLC) worth 2,247 (1,550)

71,428 tracked gamers have this game, 9,067 have completed it (12.69%) | 160 want to boost

AuthorReview
Teysacs
71,546 (53,394)
Teysacs
TA Score for this game: 2,247
Posted on 19 March 12 at 19:29, Edited on 20 March 12 at 23:31
This review has 16 positive votes and 13 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Editor for GamingCollege.net

The Mass Effect series has always been a staple in the industry for what a good story should include. The level of dedication and depth that is put into the world is staggering. But even before the game came out, a plethora of questions surrounded the game and players questioned the very components that made this series rise to the top. Will I be able to beat the game fully if I do not play multiplayer? Can the single player story be changed that much due to an online component? How can the Rachni help me save Earth? If I forgot or neglected a species, does that mean the entire galaxy would fail? Well after playing the game I can safely say, I’m confused.

This confusion isn’t necessarily a bad thing mind you; it’s a confusion that makes me want to keep playing to see if I can make sense of it. It makes me want to reread all of those codex entries to find out what part of let’s say the Asari culture made them make this decision or another. It’s the little things we miss the first time around that makes the second time so much better. Now before I begin with the review let me just say this, I won’t be talking much about the specifics of the story lines, but I will make references to places or sections of the story. This is mostly because major spoilers aren’t nice and secondly, and let’s be honest, we all know that the story line is epic…at least up until the last 10 mins of the game, but that will be reserved for the end. I will say right now though, if you haven’t beaten the game and don’t know about the ending controversy, that means you either are very good at avoiding Mass Effect on the internet or you don’t use the internet. So if you didn’t know about this…well surprise! But do not fret my friends, I won’t be spoiling the ended for the one person who hasn’t beaten/bought the game yet, I will just give my take on it all. So with that cleared up, let’s look at Mass Effect 3!

The visuals are just as stunning as ever. Honestly, it is some of the best graphics that this generation of games have produced. Light refracts off of your armour with precision and you can see the dust in the rooms you’re blowing up. When Earth is falling, every Reaper looks like it could really fall out of the sky. And it is not just the in game graphics that give you wowzers in your trousers, as evidence by the trailers; the CGI is so amazing that it quite literally looks real during certain moments. So good, in fact, that you can’t tell if it is live action or CGI at times. Remember in Mass Effect 2 when you looked up at the star from your swiss cheese of a ship? It was stunning, all I could say to myself was “wow Bioware…you are just showing off now!” So I must give kudos to Bioware for really pushing what the generation’s hardware can do.

But there are some flaws with these graphics and it mainly comes from the characters and people. I’ve always turned the other cheek when alien’s mouths didn’t match with the words they were saying only because I remember that they aren’t speaking English. It is whatever technology that allows for the change in language. So I just suspected that a Turian would be speaking his language, but it would come out as English. And the same for every other species. With this train of thought, it’s obvious that the lips wouldn’t be synced up with what they were saying because it was a translation. Now flaws aside in that logic, I can’t say that I have the same sympathy for the humans. At the beginning you notice that when Anderson or Shepard talk, their mouths aren’t in perfect sync. You brush it off and don’t really pay attention for a while. Chances are, if you are like me, you were paying attention more to the subtitles or to the world around the conversation. But at some point later on in the game you notice it again and then it sticks. At times, I was caring more about why their lips were out of sync than the storyline itself. For the amount of effort Bioware puts into its games, it seems odd to me that this is even an issue. My only suggestion would be for Bioware to try and integrate the same technology used in L.A. Noire for the faces of all species, not just humans and then build on it with incorporating the whole body. With this, I truly believe that the lines between live action and CGI would be blurred.

Now when we look at a sequel to any game, we first tend to look at what has been changed from the previous game(s) and for some reason we then hone in on the negatives. I’m happy to see that the mechanics are smoother and the maneuverability is better than ever. Taking out a page from the Gears of War cover shooting handbook, Shepard now has the dexterity of Nathan Drake with the brutality of Marcus Fenix. I know that sounds weird, but for some reason it works. Moving around from cover to cover is quick, fluid, and easy to grasp. You feel like a feather you jump around so much. When you go into cover, you get a good sense of where you will stay. There wasn’t a moment where I wanted to go to one piece of cover and Shepard decided to go to another that was close by. They even devote a portion of the “first” mission to show off how easy it is. It is also nice that they have added a little arrow to show where you will be moving. I know that this sounds trivial and apparent, but when games have become more about the visuals on screen, the little things are easily overlooked or underappreciated.

The only mechanic I would have liked to see that wasn’t added was blind shooting. Because of how cover shooters have developed in the past couple of years, it does seem like an aspect that is needed. It would take so much weight off of your shoulders if you could just blindfire your assault rifle or pistol from cover instead of straight up exposing yourself, especially on insanity. It wouldn’t have to be a perfect shot and no one should expect it to be.

The second part of the game that has had a noticeable improvement is the AI, both ally and enemy. They finally understand that there is a firefight going on and will actively try to figure out what the best place to set up is and sometimes try to flank. Also, they for the most part don’t stand in the middle of the battle shooting; the first thing they do once the bullets start to fly is find cover and go from there. There were a couple of times when Ashley decided to try her hand at being Master Chief, but outside of those few moments it was never a problem. It was also nice to see that they would coordinate their abilities in order to take out targets. I know that they did this in the past, but now it seems like the order is more responsive. There were plenty of times when I told Liara to throw out a singularity and then Garrus hit the soldiers with a concussive shot. However, there is an unfortunate problem that is still lingering with the ally combat system. There will be many times when I’ll tell Garrus or Javik to hit an enemy with Concussive Shot or Dark Channel while I’m in cover and all the power does is hit the wall that I’m behind. Even if the game acknowledges the fact that the enemy is targeted. I have no idea if this is just my own stupidity with the game or just something that happens from time to time and everyone just says “oh darn, that was stupid of me.”

Furthermore it is great to see non squadmate allies fighting with you as well. In the mission on the Salarian homeworld, seeing Major Kirreh being active in the fighting instead of just being another character to talk to is great. And it’s not just this one moment, which is something I think everyone loves. Because this is a galactic battle, we all understand that it just can’t be Shepard and his posy beating up the bad guys. There are an absolute butt load of other able bodied fighters out there and they all want to save their worlds as much as you do. And thankfully, Bioware realizes that it’s not just battles with Major Kirreh’s and Shepards, it’s also the soldiers held up in Big Ben or an adept artillery group shelling from behind the lines. This puts everything into a bigger and better perspective for all of us. And these other people around you aren’t just background people or shells; they actually attack and help you take out targets. It’s not revolutionary to have random soldiers around you in games, but for the Mass Effect series, it really does help show you that you are not alone in this battle.

Ok so here comes the controversial part, the storytelling. Well not quite yet. As far as I am concerned, this is the best story out of all three of the games. At every twist and turn you feel engrossed and connected on more of a level then I thought I could ever feel for a game. It affected me so much that in my delusions while I was sick last week, all I could think about was that I’m letting my squad and the galaxy down. I seriously thought that I was Commander Shepard. Looking back it’s embarrassing as hell…I mean come on; I’ve never shot a target let alone killed thousands of enemies for the good of the galaxy. But to me this shows how enticing the story is. You take yourself out of reality and the world of Mass Effect becomes a new reality for you. When you see an old friend die, you get a lump in your throat. When you see Ashley or Kaiden for the first time, you feel happiness at being with your right hand man/woman again. I think other games have done this on some level, but not on the level that Mass Effect does.

I thought this euphoria was going to ride into the wind with me, forever and ever…but then the ending came. To be fair, the last mission is the most epic mission in the series, hands down. It is perfect as far as I am concerned, up until quite literally the last 5 or so minutes. I won’t tell you what the ending is and if you want an alternative take on it, be sure to check out GOODKyle’s theory about it (link to video at bottom). What I will say is that whether it goes down in the record books as being the most famous or infamous moment of the series, I am with Bioware 90%. After watching the ending plus the secret ending, I will say that I understand why they went the route they did and I respect them for it. It makes you learn acceptance and how you can’t have everything that you want in the end. On the other hand, there is a tiny hole in my heart. Some things that I’ve been wondering since the first game were not answered and I can’t tell if that is how Bioware wants it to be (which I’m sure is part of it) or it’s something that will come up in a later game or in DLC or never at all. Bioware was never really one for leaving plot holes or lore out of the equation so I still have hope for them.

And with that somber note, let’s get into multiplayer. It is not innovative at all, it’s not revolutionary and in my opinion, not nearly as deep as I would like it. But by George it is addicting and fun as hell. The basic overview is that you can choose to play any of the types of Shepards that you can be from the game. So you can be an adept, sentinel, infiltrator, etc. and within each class you can choose from either a Human Male or Female and then two other species. This means that for the sentinel class, you can be a Human male, a Human female, a Quarian or a Salarian. But if you want to be a soldier, you can only be a Human male, a Human female, a Turian or a Krogan. This gives you enough variety where you can play countless hours as one class and still play countless more with another.

The one part about this that I feel is a double edged sword is that when you rank up, every unlocked species in that class raises to the same rank as the species you were just playing as. This means that if I unlocked a Drell vanguard and ranked him up to level 20, then all of my other vanguards would be level 20 as well. It is a neat idea that makes it so you don’t have to grind back up to the top, but at the same time you don’t get as much out of the classes as you would hope. After I hit level 20, I felt like there was nothing more I could do with the class. And with no “prestige mode” in multiplayer, it didn’t take long for me to just power rank with all of the other classes.
The plus side to being at level 20 though, is that you actually have a halfway decent chance of surviving a couple of waves of the Gold difficulty. Let me say this, I’ve seen and been part of teams that got completely wiped out on the lowest difficulty. Multiplayer is hard, and anyone that tells you otherwise is either lying or is a liar. There are only three types of enemies that you can face: The Reapers, Cerberus and Geth. Plus there are only three difficulty levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. I’ve never been more afraid of the weakest difficulty than I’ve been with this game. It doesn’t matter what difficulty I’m on, if I hear a Banshees scream I flip out and start looking all around frantically screaming “KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT!!!!!!!” It’s exhilarating, fun, and always keeps you coming back. The best analogy I can give is that it’s like golf. You might play the worst game of your life, but for some reason that one great shot or moment keeps you coming back for more. And killing that Banshee was my one great moment. I can’t explain it, I just feel like a BAMF every single time. Like I stopped the zombie apocalypse single handedly or convinced Florida to vote for Gore in the 2000 election. After that moment, nothing can stop me…except the 3 other Banshees that are behind that first one on Gold difficulty :’(

My last and quick complaint about multiplayer is that in order to gain new unlockables, guns, ammo types, equipment, everything, you have to pick from these random boxes. It bugs me only because you could get 10 upgrades for a weapon you have never used. Also, rarer items are obviously harder to get, which I understand, but the amount of time you have to put in before you get them doesn’t seem worth it to me. But then again, my patience level isn’t godlike yet so this probably is just me.

When we look at Mass Effect 3, we are not looking at this individual game; we are looking at quite literally a galaxy that took seven years to build and that we have all become part of. I’m still waiting for us to discover the Prothean ruins on Mars or the Relay next to Pluto, that’s how real this world feels to me at times. It’s great to see it all come together in a final hoorah and really blow my sox off. Outside of the ending, Mass Effect as a whole is the pinnacle of storytelling, in my eyes, and all writers should take notice. Even if you are not a video game writer, what these men and women have created is a spectacular display of why video games should be considered an art form. As far as I am concerned, this game should be up for nomination for an academy award. There are a few hiccups here and there, but that’s fine with me. As long as the Bioware team learns from their mistakes and makes their futures games even better.

Quick end note, Mass Effect 3 has made me so stoked for the movie simply because Bioware writers are doing it and now I know it will not disappoint.

Link to GOODKyle's theory http://youtu.be/ynYgr1rqEec

Given 5 stars by Teysacs
Sly Strategist In Multiplayer you can promote your level 20's up the the Theater of War. It will restart the entire class from level 1 again. That is kinda like the Prestige.
Posted by Sly Strategist on 22 Mar 12 23:11:04
Teysacs But from my understanding, nothing of significance is gained from it.
Posted by Teysacs on 23 Mar 12 20:03:27
lordevil3000 an even better video for the theory ( at least in my opinion =P )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythY_GkEBck
Posted by lordevil3000 on 17 Apr 12 00:33:57
VoodooN88 Your review is awesome, but like the game you failed in the end. Way to many stars. The ending to the game kills the replay value, who wants to play a game only to die again, and again, and again. It's reviews like this that make Bioware feel like they did it right. All they see are the stars. There is nothing that ties the ending together, OMG if they did a movie it would be awesome... if I walked out 10 minutes before it ended.
Posted by VoodooN88 on 24 Apr 12 11:33:35