Mass Effect 3 Review – Save earth from annihilation, stand united against a common enemy; that’s basically the main message of Mass Effect 3. Of course, things can never be that easy and along the way, any decisions you make may or may not have an impact toward this goal. Should you save a violent race where killing is their sport? Should you sacrifice someone or something for a greater good? How do you define the greater good?
Other minor decisions involve, should I spend my money to buy a Koi fish to fill my aquarium? Will I have the time to feed them later?
Whatever decisions you make, Mass Effect 3 is all about a war story where what you do matters. The question is, how good is the story telling? What about the actions? After all, you can just rent a movie if story is the only thing that Mass Effect 3 offers.
Mass Effect 3 is the sequel of Mass Effect 2 and the original Mass Effect, so if you have been playing both games, you will feel at home here. It’s sort of a backfire as well because if this is the first time you are playing a Mass Effect game, you will be overwhelmed at first with many questions. The game itself tries its best to make sure that you don’t need to play the previous two series, but you can enjoy Mass Effect 3 more if you had. I played the other Mass Effect games but that was years ago so I’ve forgotten lots of things since then (couldn’t even remember the decisions I made previously). Thankfully, there is a help system called the Codex that explains everything about the Mass Effect universe and what happened in the previous series.
If you have played the second Mass Effect game and still have your savegame handy, you can import it to Mass Effect 3 and the game will steer itself to continue on what you decided before.
You will be playing as Commander Sheppard (you pick your gender and also the look of your character) throughout the character creation screen.
You then choose your class which decides what skills your character will have while you play Mass Effect 3. New in Mass Effect 3 is how you want to play Mass Effect 3 (More action oriented? Just want to know the story? ). This opens up Mass Effect 3 to different types of gamers and should appeal to more variety of people.
The graphic in Mass Effect 3 is phenomenal, I have to say. High quality textures make the game real life-like and makes it even more pleasant for you to explore and enjoy the scenery.
The skin and armor textures are some of the best ones I’ve ever seen in a game. Most character faces also look great though some actually look funny (it’s like the team wanted to make them as real as possible but in the end they look kinda awkward).
Most of the characters (Liara, Garrus, Miranda, etc) from the previous series are back in Mass Effect 3 and there are some new ones as well.
What I love about Bioware is that they excel at making you care about your own character and also the other NPCs (Non Playable Characters) in their games. Great design, graphic, and also voice over dialogues help a lot in achieving this goal. Mass Effect 3 voice over is simply one is the best one so far (though sometimes the volume level can be inconsistent in some cut scenes). Combined with great music scoring, Mass Effect 3 is both engaging and emotional.
War is not just about killing others; there are sacrifices and sorrow. Mass Effect 3 conveys this message accurately and you will feel the loss of your close friends (not going to spoil anything here), thanks to Bioware’s great story telling.
Combat is fast paced though you can pause between actions to change your weapons or pick a skill to execute. You can pick 2 teammates in a squad, equip them, and also tweak your weapons with mods.
Leveling up means you can learn new skills or upgrade your existing ones. If you can’t be bothered with this, there’s always the “Auto Level Up” feature – though I won’t recommend it.
There are lots of things to tell about the game, but the goal is basically to unite the whole universe against a common enemy called The Reaper. This means you have to collect “War Assets” as much as possible to stand against The Reaper’s attack.
Playing the multiplayer adds an effect to the universe readiness in fighting the Reapers back so you are encouraged to play the multiplayer aspect of the game to *supposedly* get a better ending (I’ve heard that lots of fans are really angry because of the Mass Effect 3 endings. I’m still half-way-ish through the game, so I don’t know what these fans are complaining about (guess I will find out soon). The multiplayer (coop) is fun anyway so you should try it a few times, at least.
Mass Effect 3 Review – Conclusion
Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 is simply the best of the series (despite of the bad ending rumors) in terms of graphics, gameplay, voiced-over, music score, and a more polished combat system.
There are tons of things to do in Mass Effect 3 (sub quests) and they are designed to make you feel that completing them has an impact to the war. This design makes you want to finish up all of the available quests.
You’ll also learn to care about your character and the others in the game (plus romance, like you could before – though expect surprises.. for example a cute character I liked, happened to be a lesbian and shrugged my pick-up line, sigh). Combat can be challenging at times but as long as you upgrade your skills and bring the right combination of squad, you will be fine.
There is an issue with the FOV (Field of View) in Mass Effect 3. It’s obvious that this is a console port (or at least the design was focused for the console). With a really narrow default FOV value (60), I got nausea quickly when playing it. Thankfully, there is a Mass Effect 3 FOV hack from the Steam forum to fix this (sort of).
Apart from the FOV issue, Mass Effect 3 is fun, engaging, and exhilarating. If you loved Mass Effect 1 & 2, then you’ll definitely love Mass Effect 3!