Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Mass Effect, a name in video games that has the possibility to go down in history as one of the greatest series of all time has its third installment. It hasn’t just been a game, it’s been a highly involved journey into character dynamics and universal warfare. It may be a little embarrassing to admit but, previous installments of the game had me laughing uncontrollably and crying in tears as I made and lost friends along my path, can’t say many other games have ever done this. This is why I knew when starting up and reviewing it, that this one would have to hit the pure gold standard. An idea that I wasn’t alone on. From the beginning even before it’s launch, it was already being considered Game of the Year material. How would it ever live up to this standard?
Mass Effect 3 has a much bigger focus on the storyline of Shepard, the main character, than the previous games. It starts off showing whole worlds being absolutely annihilated, and one of those planets happens to be earth. It is up to Shepard to stop it. The character dynamics of the game are almost untouchable, even by previous games in the series. When you’re backed up by characters in your squad that you have come to know well, over literal years of real time, you gain a certain amount of personal attachment to them, other games can’t even come close to that kind of depth. Knowing my squad well, and due to losing a couple of characters in the second game, I knew this time i didn’t want to make the same mistakes and have to watch my friends die. It was a constant effort during the game to try to do what was morally right even though morally right wasn’t always the easiest thing to figure out. Sometimes a single event in the game could be as important as any gun fight taking place, and people who may have been enemies before are turned into friends. It is a constant battle for not only the main character, but the player of the game to figure out where they fit into the universe of Mass Effect and where this will leave all the races of the universe by the fights end.
Another cool feature of the plot design is the return of old faces to this third installment. Shipmates that didn’t die in the second game come back, some with very involved storylines. decisions made in the previous game can be as subtle as the loss of a love interest to a violent and extreme shift of power. In fact it can be so significant at times that highlights of what happens in your version of the game may never happen to another person that has played the game and vise versa. This creates a meaningful amount of replay value as going back and enjoying Mass Effect 2 over again could mean a totally different player experience in Mass Effect 3. It is almost mind-blowing that the plot could be this involved, characters, storylines, decisions, personal involvement, it really has never been any better than this when it comes to decision-making in a game, and with this comes the human drama of saving a planet. From moment to moment Shepard is more desperate to save not only his/her planet but the entire universe, and her character shows it in her outreach and dark nature.
The visuals are undoubtedly some of the best in the industry. Mass Effect 3 keeps with the dark luminescence we’ve come to expect from previous installments. deep purples, reds, and blues of ships, characters skin, and outfits create an array of colors that become hard to look away from. The camera pans over an involved environment full of these colors and attention to detail becomes obvious. unfortunately however, this seems to turn against the game at a point as the full power of the system is being used creating some glitches in the game that could make you have to start from a previous save. The camera may create an unnecessary close up or just decide to look at a wall instead of the person talking. These glitches can be thrown to the side however, as starting from a previous save doesn’t seem all that bad when the rest of the experience is almost perfect.
Besides the plot of the game, battle action has always been another strong point. The technique for cover in this game has changed for the better as you can take cover from one object to another in a single fell swoop without coming out and recovering from a standard position. This makes things not only much easier but much more efficient as you don’t have to take bullets while you recover. Of course you always have the problem of a squad member being in your way every now and then, and it is a learning experience in the beginning, but once you have it down it is a refreshing and necessary add-on to the game. In the second installment of Mass Effect most of the time enemies were in front of you. It was shoot, move up, shoot, move up. Not in this game however, where I find enemies to be not only much more aggressive but will approach you from all sides. The environments are much more open, leaving enemies to be able to involve themselves in true gun and melee battles. I find it to be insanely more challenging and involved, something I didn’t find in ME2.
customization is also a plus in this game. More outfits, gun, and ship add-ons are available now. There are tons of choices one how to customize your weaponry which I find to be one of the most important elements. In a particular mission if you didn’t have the right weaponry it could be the end of you, and for good reason. It’s a focus of the game that I became really involved in and it’s a lot of fun to boot. guns that seem insignificant in the beginning can level up to become insane works of art. Melee attachments are one of the finer things of the game, broadening your ability to take down enemies at close range when they come up behind you without notice.
Without a doubt I would say this is one of the best games I’ve ever played. While it does have its flaws they cannot be taken into much account as the game is huge and every attention to detail was taken in creating such an involved atmosphere. Mass Effect 3 is innovative, imaginative, enthralling, and emotional. My attachment to a game has never been so vivid due to my love of the characters, the friends and enemies that I make, and the choices that make up my last moments. While I do belive the ending of the game itself could have come with some more excitement it is barely an issue when compared with the overall enjoyment I took away from the game. Mass Effect is a groundbreaking series that will never be forgotten, and Mass Effect 3 is a beautiful game that takes the amazing nature of the series to the very last moments.
Mass Effect 3 gets
Out of five
+Voice acting, character dynamics, art and graphical design, impact of choices made in ME2 and the present game on total game experience, improved level design, improved modifications, amazing plot and storyline, good controls.
-Slight glitches due to the size of the game, Xbox 360 version requires that you switch two discs on a constant basis, scanning can get old.
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