Mass Effect 3 is the highly anticipated sequel to Mass Effect 2. This marks the end to Commander Shepard’s journey. After the events of Mass Effect 2 Commander Shepard returns to the Alliance, is stripped of his rank, and isn’t allowed to have any outside contact with his former crew or anyone else. The beginning of the game has Admiral Anderson, and Commander Shepard walking towards the human Council on Earth. You’re introduced to James Vega for the first time, if you’ve never played any other Mass Effect game then you’ll know who these two characters are, and you’re also introduced to either Kaiden Alenko, or Ashley Williams. For those of us that has played and beat the two games before this we know exactly which one we’ll be running into. After a very brief conversation with Kaiden, Shepard learns from Anderson that the Reapers have indeed reached them.
Earth’s defenses have been decimated and before Shepard could convince his superiors to fight the Reapers landed on Earth and started to destroy everything in sight. This is how the game begins and when you take control of Shepard your first mission is to escape Earth and build an army large enough to fight the Reapers and put an end to them once and for all. Commander Shepard will meet some new people along with those he’s known for years. This is the way Mass Effect 3 starts off and it’s awesome. I always thought the Mass Effect games started off great. In all of them you have a strong opening stage that sets the tone for the rest of game.
Mass Effect 3 has the best opening out of the three. The soundtrack in this game is perfect. Every scene was accompanied by an amazing song. Sometimes a bad soundtrack can make a great game feel weaker while strong ones can make a game better. Mass Effect 3’s soundtrack definitely makes the game better. Some of the best tunes I’ve ever heard are in this game.
The gameplay in Mass Effect 3 is actually faster then it’s ever been. Commander Shepard is more responsive and a lot more agile. Commander Shepard can leap across things, climb ladders, dodge, roll, dash faster, and the melee attacks are a lot better now. Before you could only do a single weak hit on an enemy. Now you can actually pull off combos with weapons and if you hold down the attack button you’ll perform a special move that’s class specific. Biotics have been improved upon making them a real force to be reckoned with. The character inventory screen has also seen some nice improvements. The Normandy once again has been upgraded and is even bigger then it was in part 2.
Graphically Mass Effect 3 is a beautiful game. It’s a definite step up from part 2 but not as much as leap forward then part 2 was from part 1. The Reapers look awesome and all of the environments are filled with a great amount of detail.
The dialogue however feels weaker then it’s ever been. You don’t get a wide variety of choices like you did back in part 2 when you’re talking to someone. You either get a paragon option or a renegade option. There are rarely any neutral options available. Mass Effect has always been known for making choices and Mass Effect 3 definitely has that but not in the actual dialogue when you’re talking to most npcs. I would have loved to have a vast amount of options to talk about with everyone.
The voice acting as usual is spot on in this game. Everyone did an excellent job. I can’t think of a single npc that had a bad voice.
One thing that I’ve always liked about Mass Effect sequels are the cameos that older characters make in the game. If you’ve been around since part 1 then you’ll know who Conrad Verner is. I always have a lot of fun when talking to him and he makes a return here in part 3.
There are a new types of enemies for you fight in Mass Effect 3 and they’re obviously the Reapers. The Reapers are a force to be reckoned with and i’m overjoyed to say that. In most games that have some type of huge threat to the existence of mankind it never actually feels like they are when you fight them. In this game the Reapers have decimated most of the galaxy and everyone is too busy trying to stay alive then help Shepard retake Earth. The choices you make in this game are bigger then the last two games. This time you get to choose between making certain species extinct. Will you cure the Genophage and give the Krogan Race new hope for their people or will you doom them to extinction? Will you choose the Quarians over the Geth after you learn the truth behind the Geth? It’s all up to you and it plays out beautifully.
Mass Effect 3 delivered on every single level that a game could deliver on except one and you all know by now what that one thing was and that’s the ending to the game. I thought the ending to Mass Effect 3 was weak but i’m in the minority here because I didn’t think it was terrible. It was obviously rushed and Bioware made up for the weak ending in the extended cut DLC. That doesn’t excuse what we got though. The original ending to Mass Effect 3 was really weak and confusing for a lot of people. I will say that the extended cut was a lot better then the original ending to the game was and it took a lot of guts for Bioware to admit that they did a crap job on the ending and fix it for all of us. I don’t know any other company that would do something like that for their fans.
One new feature that’s been added in to Mass Effect is multiplayer. It’s your standard horde mode but done in a Mass Effect style and it’s freaking addictive. I can literally spend hours on multiplayer in this game. At first you can only choose from human characters but you can unlock every other character in the game by spending credits that you earn from completing stages with your squadmates. For modes like Silver or Bronze you can play anyway you want but for Gold and Platinum teamwork is essential. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen some action hero wannabe try and solo a Reaper horde and die. The only race that’s not playable are the Protheans and we all know why that is.
Instead of Multiplayer taking away from the game it added to it. Mass Effect marks the end of the three best games ever made that tells a single story. Part 2 being my favorite game of all time but that doesn’t take anything away from this game. If Mass Effect 3 would have had the new ending from the beginning then I would probably be here saying that this is the best game in the trilogy and is my favorite game of all time but that’s not the case. Mass Effect 3 is a damn good game but in the end it’s Mass Effect 2 that sticks out the most.
I have very high hopes for the future of Mass Effect. While it was hard to say goodbye to Shepard and his friends I know that all good things must eventually come to an end.