MASS EFFECT 3 REVIEW
And so, after 5 years, the Mass Effect trilogy comes to a head. Mass Effect 2 will be remembered as one of, if not the best game of the generation. Is Mass Effect 3 a worthy successor?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Apr 6, 2012 11:38 (Apr 6, 2012 11:38)
Written by: Ian
Shepard your flock?
And so, after 5 years, the Mass Effect trilogy comes to a head. Mass Effect 2 will be remembered as one of, if not the best game of the generation. Is "Mass Effect 3" a worthy successor? Like with Syndicate, EA has faced barrages of criticisms from fans around the multiplayer, Kinect support and countless other issues. Is this because the fans love the IP so much, or is it a sign of troubled development?
‘Take back the Galaxy’ screams the back of the box when you pick up Mass Effect. Somehow, the game manages to live up to this bombast, with Bioware’s usual flair for storytelling shining right through. You can still import your saved characters from previous games (although with less success this time- some of you may struggle if you didn’t amend your character or have swapped HDD) and your decisions will still affect who you see and how they react to you during the course of the game, which is a fantastic achievement. The story does have minor niggles- at certain times you are caught in minor squabbles that you’d never do with a limited time frame, and at the end, it seems like all your previous choices pretty much go out of the window. 99% of the time though, and certainly throughout the main plot, everything is a beautiful mess of emotion, truly galactic strife, and the struggle and passion to overcome the enemy at all expense.
Mass Effect 3 hasn’t really done much to change up the gameplay. Your core run-and-gun 3rd person shooting is there, and it remains a little wonky. You may be doing far more of it though, because certain sections of the game definitely felt more ‘shooty’ than Mass Effect 2 ever did. The game is much easier to play though on the Xbox, at least, thanks to the amazing Kinect integration. Rather than accessing the power or weapon wheels, you can now just shout actions and weapons at your television, even using the names of your squad members when you want to be specific. Many pieces of Kinect integration have been a gimmick, but this is a real revelation that has changed the way I play Mass Effect and has meant that I’ve been a much more strategic player than in any of the first pair of games.
There are other ways to play though now. You can have the game choose story sequences for you in ‘action’ mode, which dumbs the game down rather, or if you find the action too hard, you can play in ‘story’ mode and murder everything in sight with ease. Returnees are way better off sticking with the default ‘RPG’ mode, however. In fact, both these new modes were designed with new players in mind, and EA have made a big song and dance over how friendly this game is for them. It’s not. At all. I love this universe and the characters, but if I was coming in cold, I’d be really confused. The game tries to tie together multiple storylines, and whilst it manages rather well, the sheer number of locations and people you run across needs some kind of background knowledge of what is going on.
Needless to say, if you loved Mass Effect 2, then 3 is just as good. The stupid mining game has been replaced, and there is now an element of danger to scanning as the Reapers are always around the corner. The dialogue trees, quests, and interactions are just as interesting as ever, and there is a nice mix of returning characters and locations, new spins on old places, and entirely new stuff. The game also hasn’t scrimped on content, with a full playthrough taking somewhere in the region of 30-35 hours doing just about everything and thus getting the best ending.