Mass Effect 3 is the last in the glorious Mass Effect trilogy which brings back Commander Shephard and his crew as they try and deal the final blow to the reapers. I cannot emphasize how much I love this series and I personally think they are the greatest space opera games to ever come out. But enough about my gushing for five seconds and on to the game.
The game opens with the reapers invading earth and practically wiping it out within minutes through sheer superiority. This brings us to our resident hero that nobody listens to, Commander Shephard. Obviously your in the hunt for a way to fight the reapers but it’s not as easy as find x or y. You have to literally go around the universe gathering resources to aid in the way effort. This gathering of resources is represented numerically via your new war room on your ship. This room let’s you know your armies preparedness to face off against the reapers.
Gaining advantage is done in two ways. One is through scanning galaxies and finding military targets / information / etc in a bid to help out the way effort. The other is through making alliances in the game by trying to help others. This is not so black and white however as sometimes your enlisting the help of other seedier type of cultures and actually criminals. But what would you do to save your planet? Sometimes in these situations you need to be flexible and doing it in the most minimal way. This is very well represented throughout the game.
Obviously like the preceding games you have relationships with one of the women on your crew or otherwise but it’s also done in a way that just by being nice to them opens up opportunities. I felt like Shephard was totally hitting on every chick on two legs. But it was interesting to see how these relationships developed and the one which I went with finally really seemed like it fit best with the trilogy as a whole as to how I played it.
The story is pretty straight forward however there is always a level of intrigue. What is Cerberus really up to and are they all that bad. Again we are faced with the shades of grey. Sometimes it seem’s so blatantly obvious the other is bad but come a certain point you wonder were they right and just went about it in a more extreme way. Suffice it to say you are left at times actually wondering if you did the right thing. Never have I personally felt in a game that my actions had weight but also if I did go about it right.
You bump into your friends along they way and suffice it to say that some make it and some don’t but the story is done in an almost love letter to your relationships you have made over the previous games. It ends up that you feel that each friendship has had an incredible journey and while some ended unfortunately in game it’s done in such a way to make it feel appropriate and epic.
The ending to the game brought a lot of controversy. I downloaded the famous patch that expands the ending however I felt that without experiencing the original ending that it was a bit quick. I felt as though Mass Effect 2 had this long epic ending and while the ending is satisfying it felt short and not as impressive as it could have been. That being said it’s more of an artistic choice by the developers and it works with what was presented. However I think even with the most long drawn out ending I still would not have been satisfied as it was like saying goodbye to a group of friends you shared everything with over 3 games.
The controls were the same tight configuration we all know from the previous games. I felt that through most of the game I had no need to use any other weapon aside from the Avenger assault rifle. I also felt like I never needed to change what bullet type I would use. This made things a bit bland on the combat side of things. Also as I leveled up the characters I was thinking that they need to add more if they do another ME game. I enjoy that it attempts to be an action / rpg hybrid however I felt like all the characters in terms of skills were too similar. I would have preferred more uniqueness to the classes and I think the previous games even had more fluctuation in that regard.
In the end though Mass Effect 3 is a game that NEEDS to be experienced. If you never played the two other games you NEED to be playing those. As I mentioned Mass Effect 3 at the moment is the best space opera game to have come around. It’s action packed but it makes you think and moves you emotionally in ways you never thought could happen in a game. It’s storytelling at it’s finest.