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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: Mass Effect 3

Developer(s)               BioWare

Publisher(s)                Electronic Arts

Platform(s)                 Xbox 360, PS3, PC & WiiU

Release date               March 2012

Genre(s)                     RPG, Western RPG
 

Mode(s)                      Single Player

Rating(s)                    ACB: MA15+, BBFC: 15[10], ESRB: M, PEGI: 18, USK: 16

Back then, I only knew the series three years after official the release of the first Mass Effect on xbox 360. I bought a used one for 50 Saudi Riyals (13 US Dollars). It was a damn good price but only to play it after a couple of more months later & after spending more than a hundred hours on Dragon Age Ultimate Edition. By the time I played it I felt in love and my interest grew bigger when I finished the second installment. So here I am (after a longest vacation from my gaming blog) to review the third and final chapter with my personal thoughts to it.

                                              Citadel, still looking good from this angle.


Presentation:

Okay, the selling point. Where they shine and spent most of their efforts just to make $$$. Bringing big names in Hollywood for voice acting, great OSTs, profound graphics and more solid battle system gameplay and I know we get it. They gathered them all to give us a ride to put us on the edge of our seat & have our Shepard’s last journey for one last time. Overall I was impressed and seeing its transformation all the way from the first one. At most, it has improved as mentioned.

                                               Larger than life cut scenes


Graphics:

It is obvious to find that their first priority is to impress the naked eye to the point of overlaying the fundamentals of what we were supposed to look at. However, none the less, it is what it is and I am again impressed. Not to mention memorable cut scenes.

                                             A small gimmick from the Devs, yeah but still fun.


Gameplay:

First is their single player, I can say that it’s relatively shorter in length (that’s what she said) than the first ME and became a little bit less RPG-like and a bit more of a Third Person action Shooter. However, it didn’t fail by keeping me occupied till end also because of how the story was told. Even with a few hiccups, the modifications in controls felt a lot fluid than the last & triggering fire felt way better as well. As always, one of the best things I like about this is carrying over your progress all the way from ME 1 felt very rewarding in character records, achievements, abilities and money but sadly most of those didn’t matter when as you reach to the end of the game.

Secondly, the biggest new thing in the game is the obvious online multiplayer mode. When I first tried it I thought of two games, Gears of War in terms of controls and Killzone 2 & 3 in shifting game modes. Yes, Killzone and GOW just had a one night stand somewhere and made Mass Effect 3’s Multiplayer mode baby.

Actually the mix was a pretty good & exhilarating experience. Given that third person shooters always has camera issues but it hold up well to be a competitive multiplayer experience. I personally say right now that GOW still keeps the crown in 3rd person shooter online MP feel if I were to compare it to this game. But none the less, the gameplay really works very well & the AI won’t disappoint players.

                                             Best played if you have previous data from ME 1 & 2


Audio:

Also, we can’t call it Mass Effect if there were no big names in it like Keith David Williams (Captain Anderson), Martin Sheen (The illusive man), Seth Green (Joker)…etc. Despite there were some crews that didn’t impressed me much, most have given life to characters they were assigned to in which most of the fans will forever remember them to be part of the awesome modern RPG game. I personally wished for Hans Zimmer or Ramin Djawadi to do the score but everyone could only hope, but surprisingly things worked out well in the end with so many composers contributed for the game.

                                            Surprisingly fun Multiplayer mode


Overall:

Okay, on a professional standpoint it’s a sure shot to the eyes of the bull and for the new comers they would definitely enjoy the experience (preferred to play previous ME for an epic feel and experience). Even after playing the first run they can spend more time on the Multiplayer mode. However, on a personal note, yes it was intense, emotional, great graphics, gameplay, storyline but wait… the ending however shattered my expectations to a low seeing all endings made me realized that they haven’t spent enough time and effort on the last hours of ME3. “Effortless work” per se, I mean it looked like Bioware slacked off yet again (first there was Dragon Age 2). I don’t mean not to try this game out, but at the first day priced DLCs only to find that they’re already in the CD/Game are obvious making of a dirty business and a dirty scheme to milk out consumer’s wallet. But have it your way, buy it or not, I’m sure you’re content on your decision.

Update: after replaying the last mission with the extended endings, I felt that they pretty much redeemed themselves. More elaborated endings which pretty much fill in the blanks. After seeing the ending I chose I felt like replaying from the first game, I think it’s that good.

 So here’s my score.

Score             8.5 (before extended endings) – 9.0


Pro(s)
Eye popping graphics
Tremendous sounds effects and music
Improved battle system mechanics
Multiplayer mode will keep you busy
High profiled voice actors and actresses
So many emotional encounters in the series
Update
Good work on the extended endings
Before entering the citadel at the last mission, there was a small but powerful scene (love it!)

Con(s)
Shortest of all three Mass Effect games
Leaning towards as a mainstreamed third person shooter less of an RPG (i.e. critical decision making events, more limited explorations)
Effortless last hours of the game till the end (before the extended endings update)
First paid DLCs weren’t necessary (I bought the collector’s edition only to felt that the DLC characters played important roles in the game.

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