The three Mass Effect games are some of the most loved in the history of gaming. Great characters, strong third person cover shooting, emotional moments, and extensive player choice still lies at the heart of Mass Effect 3. Not much has changed since Mass Effect 2, besides a new multiplayer component and slightly better combat. Mass Effect 3 is still a story driven experience, and a great one at that. The core narrative is actually quite simple; the reapers are trying to destroy earth, and you need to stop them. However, there are many, many interconnected stories within the main one. From the get go, you get an immense sense of scale; this universe has real weight and depth. This really shows in the characters, almost all of whom are well constructed and likable. Just like previous games.
So what has changed then? Well, the combat is slightly less clunky, with better animations and great weapons. Commander Shepard is far quicker this time around: the player is able to vault over objects, roll left, right, forward, and back to avoid gunfire or just to look cool. The cover system remains largely unchanged, and it works fine most of the time. The only complaint I have is that sometimes members of your team are in cover, but if you want to roll into that same bit of cover, Shepard gets stuck in a weird rolling animation, getting shot on all sides, looking like a complete idiot. Besides that small issue, the third person shooting is quite enjoyable, and in fact a lot better than the standard RPG combat mechanics. So is it still an RPG then? The RPG elements have been stripped to their bare minimum. You have far less dialogue options then what was in Mass Effect 2, and they occur far less often.
Mass Effect 3 Video review by Respawned To Kill
As good as the story and combat is, it’s the characters that steal the show. They are absolutely fantastic. It’s quite easy to see that each one has been carefully thought through. There are an enormous number of these characters, each with their own story to tell. After spending a couple of hours with the game, you will probably find yourself really getting attached to some of them. While I won’t spoil plot points, I can say that there are some extremely moving scenes in the game. Some show key characters die in dramatic fashion, and most of them had me close to tears. These moments bring such powerful feelings, it’s easily that most emotional game I’ve ever played, far more so than Mass Effect 2. So, the new multiplayer, is it any good? It’s basically a four player co-op survival mode, with the expected levelling system. You gain points and then purchase weapons and upgrades with them. Despite being loads of fun, it’s not quite a full fledged multiplayer like, for example, Assassin’s Creed. It’s more like Dead Space 2’s multiplayer. It’s a nice extra, but not especially necessary.
- Solid third person cover shooting
- Exceptional characters
- Memorable end to the franchise
- Great graphics and facial animation
- Interesting game world
- Less dialogue options
- Unnecessary multiplayer
Bottom Line: Mass Effect 3 is a fitting end to an incredible series. It’s tons of fun, packed with great characters. I’m certain it’ll steal away many awards this year, just like Mass Effect 2 did in 2010.
Written by Jesse Kuhn