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Mass Effect 3

Posted on the 22 June 2012 by Gamermonkey
Mass Effect 3Mass Effect 3. It's a good game. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Mass Effect 3. There's been a lot of backlash with Mass Effect 3. I'm sure most of you know, the vast majority of players were unhappy with Mass Effect 3's ending. And yes, I am one of them. But more on that later.
For those new to the series, Mass Effect revolves around Commander Shepard. A soldier of the Systems Alliance, a military body and the representatives of Earth to the rest of the galactic community. Shepard discovers that the galaxy and all intelligent organic life falls victim to a synthetic race known by organics as "Reapers" who come to the galaxy every fifty thousand years to kill the developed organic civilizations for unknown reasons. Keep in mind, the reason become abundantly clear through the course of the first and second game. And guess what? The game takes place at the time when the Reapers are returning and Shepard must stop them from destroying not only the human race, but the rest of the galaxy.
Mass Effect 3 I'm glad Mass Effect 3 leans a bit more towards the RPG-like elements of the original Mass Effect. And that was a big complaint with Mass Effect 2. You can now customize Shepard and his or her squad much more than in Mass Effect 2 with a sort of branching tree mechanic. Basically, after level 3 of an ability, the player is given two options pertaining to the next seven levels. For example, you're leveling up adrenaline rush for your soldier class. Do you want the power to last longer? Or do you want it to buffer your shields a bit and add a bit more punch to your guns? You get the idea. Needless to say, once you hit level 5+ of any ability, and you're start to feel unstoppable.
Mass Effect 3 One of the biggest things Bioware does right with Mass Effect is its character-driven story. The story is exciting. It has just the right amount of the dramatic, mystery, suspense, and any other positive adjective I could use to describe it. You will want to know what happens next all the time. I feel that, unfortunately, nowadays that's an increasingly rare thing to experience with a game. And I'm so happy a friend of mine brought the first Mass Effect to my attention because of this.Think about your favorite book and everything that's right about it. When it comes down to it, it was the various elements that kept you turning the page. That's Mass Effect 3. You're just dying to know what happens to the characters and the relationships you've fostered, nourished, maintained, destroyed, and/or repaired throughout the series. You'll be hard pressed to find a game that gets you to genuinely care about the characters and the story as you care about Mass Effect. Mass Effect 3 continues to maintain and build on the character development of all the characters in the story. The characters feel organic, alive. They feel like real people. Heck, I've read reviews stating they feel like real friends. Perhaps  the reviewer in question should get out more.... Bioware does an amazing job of actually making the player care about the characters, their struggles, their triumphs, what matters to them, what's important, what they love, hate, and so on. And these aren't people sitting atop a hill. These characters have flaws, they don't always do what's right. They don't always make the right decisions. They have their own inner demons. Their own hopes and dreams. All of this works together to make the characters believable. Shepard is the most dramatic example of this as the player can essentially forge his or her own story with Shepard, making decisions they feel they would make if they were in Shepard's situation, or simply sticking to the stark contrast of good guy and bad guy decisions
Mass Effect 3The combat is even better than in Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 2 fixed many game mechanics the first game in the series just didn't get right. Shepard is fast, dashing into cover, rolling and jumping over and out of cover when needed, and dishes out the pain in a fun and satisfying way. Whether you're going in guns blazing and punching holes into your pathetic adversary, slapping your enemy with a singularity and then detonating the gravity field with a biotic combo, or shocking the enemy into submission using tactics and tech abilities, it's up to you. Fights have a faster pace to them with smarter AI that challenge the player to think a few steps ahead. not to mention quick reflexes will save your life time and time again. All the classes received a bit of an overhaul and are even better than before with new abilities while keeping old favorites. And all the classes have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, a pure soldier class may have trouble with shielded enemies or enemies with barriers. In such a situation, it helps to have a squad mate with tech abilities and another squad mate with biotics. And not only will the player have to stratagize with Shapard, but his squad as well, utilizing their abilities in the most effective and efficient way possible.One of my favorite things to do is to slap a Marauder with Overload and Stasis simultaneously, say with Garrus and Liara, and then sniping it in the head with the good ol' sniper rifle. And on top of all that, Mass Effect 3 now has online multiplayer. I was kind of hoping for multiplayer for the campaign, but it's still pretty fun and engaging. It's essentially horde mode, 1-4 players taking on waves of enemies on varying difficulty levels. You level up, unlock weapons and abilities and upgrades, and work together to survive. Still, when I play online I just can't help but think of the untapped potential that could have been in, say, 2-4 player in the story. That would have been really fun and a welcome addition.
Mass Effect 3The missions and levels are absolutely gorgeous. Let me tell you, it's a treat to traverse the galaxy and fight on different alien worlds, familiarizing yourself with the civilizations there while cracking some skulls. The Turians are reminiscent of the Roman Empire from their hierarchy to the way they organize their military. The Krogan are a race that has essentially doomed it's own existence with their inborn desire to fight and test and prove themselves. The Quarians are an outcast society confined to their ships; kicked off their homeworld in a misguided yet well-intentioned war with a synthetic race known as the Geth. And that's just to name a few of the races you'll encounter and have to work with; overcoming differences, classic ethnocentrism on all sides, politics, and personal gain, betrayals and scheming, and so on. It's a blast fighting and politically maneuvering all the different races into working together to defeat a common enemy. But now it's time to discuss the problems with the game.
Mass Effect 3Now, for my personal taste, I think there could have been more RPG elements made in the game. The improvement over the limited options of Mass Effect 2 is appreciated, but there's no doubt that Mass Effect has become a bit more of a shooter with some elements of an RPG. Another complaint is that the game is a bit on the easy side. I for one can't beat Mass Effect 2 on Insanity. I can beat it on Hardcore with any class, but Insanity stomps on my dreams of glory. Some of you may be reading this and scoffing. "This guy sucks. mass Effect 2 on Insanity is easy." Well, if it is easy for you, then pat yourself on the back. My point is this. If mass Effect 2 on Insanity is out of my league, why then is it so easy in Mass Effect 3? In interviews the developers stated that it would be harder. But maybe that's just me. Anyone out there think ME2 Insanity is easier than ME3 Insanity? Flying around the galaxy map for war assets is a bit boring. Thank goodness the mining was taking out. I'll take flying around avoiding Reapers any day over mining. Some of the interactions with your squad seems a bit underplayed at times. There's times when it's perfect, and other times when you're sitting there thinking "eh.... that could have been a bit better but oh well". Let's see.. Tali's face is a stock photo off of Google. That was disappointing. And of course, speaking of disappointing..... THE ENDING. I won't give it away, but to me, there's just too many plot holes and I personally feel that the ending is a contradiction of what the Mass Effect Games have been all been about: Uniting diverse peoples spanning an entire galaxy to work together to preserve and protect their right to exist while maintaining self-determination. In other words: Organics against synthetics (The bad synthetics). Mass Effect 3 is a game worth playing. Especially if you're an RPG fan. Or a science fiction fan. Or even a fan of first person shooters. I know people who typically don't like RPGs who ended up slobbering over all three games. Go buy this game. However, I will warn you it seems that about 8 people out of 10 do not like the ending. Perhaps the reasons why will be the topic of a future blog.
Mass Effect 3 earns a solid 8 out of 10.

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