Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 by Nick Maunders
Mass Effect 3 marks the final chapter of the Mass Effect trilogy. Having been released nearly 2 months ago I’ve had time to explore all of the quests and missions and surroundings of the game to write this review.
At the beginning of the game you have the option to import a character from Mass Effect 2 (if possible) or to create a completely new Commander Shepard from scratch. Now unlike in Mass Effect 2 however there is no interactive comic which allows you to make choices from the previous games which could impact upon how this new game is played out. Although admittedly, making a comic that would span both of the previous games to allow you to make these important decisions would be a little burdensome, I feel that it would have made the game much better for any new players to the series or perhaps if you’ve started your third game on a new gaming platform. However that doesn’t mean that any new players should see this as a disadvantage as compared to the game as a whole this matters very little.
Unlike with the previous two games in the series this game may appeal to a much more widespread audience. Generally the game is categorised as an RPG, however this game gives you two more options which allow you to play it a little differently. The three modes are Action Mode, Story Mode and RPG Mode. As you’d expect RPG Mode is the usual for Mass Effect players combining dialogue with combat to make the game a complete experience. Action Mode may appeal to more combat oriented players who care little for the dialogue of the game (and as such all dialogue choices will be made automatically) so the player will only need to focus on the combat of the game. Story Mode is the opposite of Action Mode where dialogue choices will have to be made manually and the combat of the game has minimal difficulty. Therefore it seems that this game really has something to offer no matter whether you like shooters, RPG’s or in some respect simulations.
The game has really improved with the number of RPG style effects that have been included. Character customisation has been improved with more options, and the levelling system has also been greatly enhanced – perks now branch off to different powers which allow for a greater level of customisation. You can also customise your weapons with different ammo types, scopes, and barrels etc. which allow for over a hundred possible unique weapons.
The combat system in Mass Effect 3 has been changed and advanced from the previous games. A new instant melee kill has been included into the game (which can be activated by holding down the melee button); this makes closing in on the enemy a much better option from the previous games – this type of behaviour would usually get you killed. However, staying a distance from the enemy also has its advantages and this also has been improved. The cover system for the game has greatly increased allowing a much more fluid movement to find cover and simply to negotiate the battlefield much more effectively. You now get increased options when hiding behind cover as well with the use of blind-fire (to shoot at your enemy whilst only holding your gun away from cover).
With a more advanced combat system comes a more innovative AI system. Enemies in this game are the smartest in the series with the ability to not only think as an individual but now to also work in groups and support other enemies which can make things much harder in a combat situation. The variations in enemies have also increased with many Reaper style machines and organics as well as actual Reaper ships.
Also new to the series is the multiplayer mode known as “Galaxy at War”. Although this is separate from the campaign mode with respect to characters, the completion of missions from this mode will help to the overall units received in the campaign mode which will increase the chances of a perfect ending – it should also be noted however that it is still possible to get this ending without having to play the multiplayer missions. Players get to play as a variety of species with up to 3 other players. Missions mainly involve surviving a few waves of invasions from an enemy force before retreating and being extracted.
The purpose throughout the campaign is to gather enough units to destroy or at least combat the Reapers (the games main antagonist); this is done by completing missions for certain groups whilst collecting units and other resources along the way. Naturally the amount of resources and units at the end of the game has an impact of how well you will survive against the Reapers. Without issuing any spoilers it appears that a majority of people are unhappy against the ending which has not been as interactive or as varied as the game was originally thought to be. However I feel that although this could have been improved it doesn’t affect the brilliance of the game as a whole and the other parts of the game such as the combat, the story (before the end), the customisation etc. are all great.
Therefore I suggest that if you have not yet played Mass Effect 3 you go and get it because it’s definitely a game worth having. I’d rate it 95%.