Mass Effect 3 Review

Mass Effect 3 is the final game in the Mass Effect Trilogy.  It is set just like the other two games in space and in the future as the human race encounters other sentient life forms which causes different trouble and different benefits alike.  But where the real meat of the story here is that the universe is under attack from an ancient alien race called the Reapers, who have roles in the other two games but come in full force in the third with the beginning of the story beginning with the reaper attack on earth, where we find our hero, Shepard, being held up by the alliance military. After the attack, it is a mad dash for the shuttles off of earth so that the universe’s different races can come together to defeat the reapers.  No spoilers here, so I’ll stop right there with the story and get on with some other aspects of the game.

There are several squad mates as well as other characters who from previous games that play significant roles in the game.  I won’t say who returns but the ones who do help make the storyline much more rich, and if playing from the previous games, it immerses you so much more into the story because you have built up a relationship with these different characters.  Also, if you killed any important squad members in the previous games, it has an effect on the storyline and can even play a role in how the endgame plays out.

The new Normandy is also an upgrade from that of years past.  It is still the same one from Mass Effect 2, but was given a retrofit and the new upgrades to it makes a nice bonus.  The different decks house the different members of your crew.  Different levels also serve different purposes such as areas where you can change the upgrades on the weapons you carry and can even buy more upgrades and modifications for the guns within the Normandy.  This is a welcome upgrade as you do not have to revisit the Citadel anytime you want to upgrade your weapons.

Speaking of the Citadel, it has been completely changed from the lackluster version that was in Mass Effect 2.  It now looks similar in the first version of it, but has many more upgrades.  There are several new areas to explore within the Citadel and six total levels ranging anywhere from the shady Purgatory bar to the Presidium embassies where all of the politicians are.  The shops are also better and when you visit them you will then be able to purchase whatever was in that store on the Normandy.

The galaxy is yours to explore with a different galaxy map set up due to the reaper invasion.  It is divided into different sectors with different places to visit in each galaxy.  Also, scanning for minerals is gone, which takes out the tedious task of getting all the upgrades for the Normandy that there were in Mass Effect 2 (they do not return at all in the game).  Now, the Normandy is equipped with a scanner that can detect items of interest which can range from free fuel, to war assets.

War assets are a new idea that comes with the invasion of the reapers. The galaxy needs to be ready in the event of a reaper invasion, and to get them ready. Shepard must find these war assets to help aid in the galactic readiness, which determines the chance that the galaxy will be able to counter, or destroy a reaper attack.  The readiness directly impacts the endgame depending on how ready Shepard and the galaxy are.

Gameplay is largely the same as Mass Effect 2 with some refinements.  The ways of getting in and out of cover is much more fluid and makes it easier to get from cover to cover quickly without exposing yourself to the enemy. Gun play is good and feels better than most third person shooters.  The enemies are smarter and only pop out of cover to shoot at you and can truly be difficult on harder modes, making you have to think on your feet to top the enemy.

The re-addition of the different guns and gun mod system from the first game is a welcome addition as it gives more choices to what play style anyone wants to do.  One thing I do not like is the weight system that is used for the weapons.  It makes it so that players have t choose whether to carry guns or use their powers with not much space in between.  Not a big issue, but can be annoying.

The graphics and sound are both top-notch and looks better than almost every game, at the same or almost better than Skyrim, which is truly saying something.  The voice acting is great and there really isn’t more to ask for from the Bioware team.  Other than a few graphical tics and sometimes an area not loading instantly can cause a disturbance in the gameplay experience.  Not enough to be a problem though and the patches that have already been released take care of most of these problems.

On the note of downloads, Mass Effect 3 shipped with there already being a day one DLC, with the people who ordered the collector’s edition getting the DLC for free and it being available on the Xbox Live marketplace for 800 Microsoft points.

All in all, Mass effect 3 will most likely go down as this years game of the year for a lot of people.  It has everything that you could throw into a great game and more.  It shows the true dedication Bioware had to this series and makes it possibly on of the best games, and series, of all time.

Multiplayer review will be up later this week.

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