Monday, March 19, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Review


 I am a big fan of the Mass Effect series. I gave the second game a perfect score, and I very rarely give anything that high. But the second game earns it for the gameplay, story, and characters, and it is my favorite game to play of all time.

So, you can imagine that I might be a little critical of the third game, hence the long review. There are very minor spoilers for the beginning and the ending, but nothing too serious.

The game opens with Shepard incarcerated for that little leftover detail of murdering thousands of lives in ME2. And, I know it should be a minor detail, but there are so many things wrong in the scene with Shepard’s incarceration.
1. He is not in a prison uniform (either that or they’re really stylish in the future
2. He is not restrained in any way 
3. His one and only guard has a giant man-crush on him
4. I didn’t honestly know he was in a cell except that it says ‘detention’ on the door
5. He is allowed to walk unrestrained in a hall with key military personnel
6. Last but not least, he also has a ten-inch blade on his wrist which I’m pretty sure he had since he was in his cell. I’m guess Shepard is following the honor system of incarceration.

Anyway, his six-month prison term ends when the reapers attack Earth. Shepard is reinstated and has to flee in order to rally other species to take back earth. Seeing the reapers attack Earth is a really amazing scene, and in my opinion one of the best moments of the game.

As usual I’ll start with the things I liked. The game has a graphical upgrade and combat feels improved with a smarter AI. Many of the decisions your character did in ME2 can be imported into ME3, for better or for worse. If some of your main characters died in ME2, they won’t be in this game. On the upside, if Shepard had a relationship with any of the main characters in either game, this will continued in ME3. There’s even romantic drama-such as when you fall in love with one character in ME1 but cheated on them in ME2. Another interesting feature is to see Shepard having a reputation as the savior of the galaxy, and it’s a new dynamic for his character, especially when he fails.

This is a good game, but not a great game. Why? Five reasons:

1. The characters: Most of the characters from ME1 are full-time companions, but unfortunately most of the main characters from ME2 only appear in a mission or two, and then disappear or get killed off. Personally, I found the characters in the second game to be far more interesting.
      2. Repetitive gameplay: I gave points for the advanced AI, but I wanted to fight more than two different sets of enemies. And yes, I am aware that there is a war going on, but a few more species would have been nice.
      3. Multiplayer: I might be one of the few gamers in the world like this, but I F*#&*$# hate multiplayer. I do not play well with others, and when I do it is usually embarrassingly badly. So when my single player’s ending are dependent I achieved in multiplayer, I am not a happy gamer.
      4A. Mission Map/Exploration: These are two minor points so they’re combined into ne. I never thought I’d miss this, but bring back the vehicles sections. The repetitive levels make me crazy for something...anything different. Even though ME2 didn’t have these most of the time, they knew how to break up the flow every now and then.
      4B. The Mission map is also a minor nitpick, but the one in ME2 told you clearly where to go and who to talk to. This map? Not so much. I get that it encourages exploration, but when you can’t remember who you are supposed to talk to because you’re doing fifty other missions at hte same time, it gets old really fast.
      5. The story-I really hate to ding points for this, but overall ME2 was just One could argue that it’s wartime and the tone is more serious, but Shepard was just under as much pressure in the second game, and he still had a few wacky missions. Like when a rogue captain turns his entire crew into caveman and proclaims himself king. Or when Shepard has to take down a murdering succubus by pretending to fall under her sway. More of that please!

      ME2 had several interesting plot ideas, ideas that either had a weak climax or where outright ignored. Why were the collectors (and reapers) so interested in Shepard to a point where they steal his body after he died? Never explained. Why is it so significant that Ashley or Kaiden became a Spectre? Never explained.

      People have complained about the DLC pack coming out on the same day (to be honest, I don’t really care) and the ending. The ending....well, I get where so much rage is coming from, but to be honest, I kind of saw some of it coming a mile away. The only thing that really ticked me off is that the ‘secret ending’ can only be achieved by getting a perfect score (multiplayer helps) and by choosing the most morally questionably ending.

      FINAL GRADE: 3 out of 5. A good game, but it should have been a great game.

      Best part of the game? Shepard's epic 'STEVE!' moment.

1 comment:

Chris Hewson said...

Maybe everyone had a giant man-crush on him, hence the lax prison sentence.

As for my gaming, I just got Shadowman 2: 2econd coming for the PS2! And from what I've heard, it's just as good as the first game!