It’s here, after two years of anticipation. Bioware’s massive science fiction trilogy Mass Effect finally comes to an end with it’s last and biggest installment Mass Effect 3. I’ve never seen a game gathering this much hype. I think it’s previous installments are the sole reason of this much hype, since Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 won numerous awards, including the prestigious Game of The Year awards by many gaming websites. With Mass Effect 3 the standard is touching the skies, it’s simply one of the finest game ever made, with impeccable story. I honestly couldn’t find any imperfection or whatsoever in the game.
As always, Mass Effect 3 puts you in the in the shoes of Commander Shepard, the first ever human to get elected as a Spectre. But this time, Shepard went over and outside testifying his allegiance to galactic govern. After working side by side with human-first establishment Cerberus, and jumping into the Omega 4 Mass Relay to fight the Collectors in the middle of the Milky Way, 2 years back in Mass Effect 2. Commander Shepard is facing biggest threat than ever, that can wipe the whole humanity. An advanced mechanical race Reapers attacked the earth, and it’s Shepard duty to fight for the earth and take it back.
Once conceived as traditional knowledge. Reapers decide to attack the earth, and destroy the humanity and earth forever. Coming back to the galaxy after 50,000 years of suspension, the Reapers carry on an overall assail on organic life, and there only objective is to wipe them off the face of galaxy. As soon as the game starts, Earth meets a massive attack from Reapers, killing million of people, with death toll rising everyday, it’s your duty to fight the Reapers and take back the Earth, not only for the sake of humanity, but for the whole galaxy that is filled with different species.
To face the Reapers that are destroying the Earth at a faster rate, Commander Shepard and his allies are not strong enough. Similar to previous Mass Effect games, you’ll have to explore the galaxy as you progress through the game, building up your reputation and finally staggering precipitately straight into the conclusion, but this time everything is dealt with a wide range of decision-making, decisions are more eventful than ever. This makes the plot more heavy and engaging resulting in a beautifully crafted story.
The Reapers pose a greater threat to every life in the galaxy. Driving Shepard to navigate through this cunning dominion filled with grievances, intense hatred and multiple disputes, in order to make an agreement between all the races in conflicts to work together and save the galaxy. The Krogans possess intense hatred towards Salarians and Turians for the deadly disease Genophage that nearly destroyed their race, while Quarians are in a war against their on race known as Geth for a thousand years. Disputes like this are everywhere, and as Commander Shepard, it’s your duty to bring peace among the these races, and get them to work together and fight the greater threat that can possibly destroy the whole galaxy. This alliance is the only hope to fight the Reapers.
Fulfilling such efforts filled with finesse domiciles at the core of Mass Effect 3. The Loyalty Missions that were in Mass Effect 2 are not a part of Mass Effect 3, things are not personal this time around, but it doesn’t mean that the protagonist Commander Shepard won’t be engaging in that much conversations, you will get to engage in many conversations through out the game and make decisions that will impact the overall progress of the story. You’ll still get to make new friends and many enemies, interacting with people will lead to exploring new things about them and extracting many interesting things from the game.
Things are not good this time, the threat to galaxy is greater than ever, Shepard needs to think at a larger and wider scale this time, get help from military, governments and many other races, collect pluses for war and form a superior level of Galactic Eagerness. These elements will become constitutional to the fall or rise of Mass Effect 3′s conclusion, and contribute a completely new point of view to this series, a point of new that’s brilliant and something new.
Like Mass Effect 2, you can still import your save files, this feature will give you a whole lot of new consequences. To those who are new to the series, you’ll be prompted to make a new character, but let me tell you one thing, if you’re playing Mass Effect 3, it’s highly advocated that you play the previous installments first, including the downloadable content that comes with Mass Effect 2, without playing them, Mass Effect 3 will feel shallow and incomplete.
If you’re a Mass Effect veteran, playing with a new character or an imported character won’t make a huge difference. Mass Effect 3 is more refined as compared to Mass Effect 2, while Mass Effect 2 bought some major changes in both gameplay and decision making sections, Mass Effect 3 only refines them and make them even more better than Mass Effect 2. One thing that bothered me in Mass Effect 2 was the planet scanning system, sometimes it was simply boring and frustrating, this time, Bioware almost removed it, though you can still visit and scan the planets, but there are only couple of planets that will be providing something useful to you. Another thing I loved in Mass Effect 3 was codex, unlike Mass Effect 2, codex in Mass Effect 3 provide some interesting knowledge about everything in the game.
There are few alterations that are not convincing. Mass Effect 3 carries an inferior quest fetching system, that is less obliging and concerning as compared to Mass Effect 2. You can easily fetch side quests by hearing the nearby conversations without a proper context, this is not the way it should be. While the main quest is extremely dense on the story and action giving an amazing feel to Mass Effect 3, but the side quests will leave you desiring for more, Mass Effect 3 lasts 30-40 hours, including the side quests. After the release of Mass Effect 2, it was quite certain that Bioware downgraded the RPG elements and focused more on the action elements, Mass Effect 3 still feels like an action-RPG but with more strong focus towards enhanced weapon customization.
Third Person action returns from Mass Effect 2 but this time with diminished changes and upgrades. You can still choose different character classes depending on the style you’re gonna adopt, same goes for the teammates you’re gonna meet, new or old, it doesn’t matter. The level cap is 60, and it’s certain that you won’t be able to completely upgrade your character in a single play-through, thankfully, Bioware introduced a New Game+ mode where you can start the game again with all your weapons and upgrades, giving you the freedom to create an ultimate killing machine.
Changes in combat are instantly apparent. Shepard can now jump when asked, roll around in the field, and perform different platforming tasks, this time Bioware made combat a little more vertical, means you’ll get to see staircases in almost every level you’re gonna play, giving players a chance to think more deeply and apply new battle strategies on the battlefield.
Cover based shooting is still the main highlight of the game, and overall, it feels and works great. You can toggle weapons and powers using the trigger controlled radial, however, your allies are almost completely controlled by the AI system, speaking of AI, enemies are more smarter this time, they’ll react to your actions in different ways and will make sure they’re actually fighting you rather than standing in a place waiting for you to shoot them. Enemies will work in groups, they’ll be on the lookout to flank you and lay down suppressing fire. However, combat is not that difficult, you can easily win many battles without applying any strategy. It’s like “keep calm & shoot them in the head”
For the first time ever in Mass Effect series, Bioware introduced multiplayer component that will enhance your overall experience, while Mass Effect 3 is still all about singleplayer, the multiplayer mode that is similar to Gears of Wars 3 horde mode though not that good, but it is a nice addition. However, there’s nothing to worry about, since it’s not mandatory to play the multiplayer mode in order to complete the game. However, people who love to earn achievements and trophies will be playing this mode just to get virtual treats.
Multiplayer itself is quite fun, although it falls sometimes because of Mass Effect 3′s stiff and at times inexorable elements. With 6 levels from singleplayer campaign and 3 characters who are primary antagonists. Purchasing upgrades, leveling up and playing with up to 3 characters certainly satisfies the players. Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer may not feel brilliant, but it does not diminish the overall brilliance of the game, only enhances to some extent.
Visually, Mass Effect 3 looks a little better as compared to Mass Effect 2, the place where Mass Effect 3 shines the most is the sound department. With tremendous voice acting and brilliant background score, make it ambient or in combat, audio quality is simply one of the best. You may come across some graphical glitches, texture problems and out of the place lip-syncing, but these problems won’t mess with your overall experience. PS3 users reported few problems with Shepard getting stuck in a place, to solve this issue a restart was required, and there were no complaints from Xbox 360 and PC users.
At the end of the day, Mass Effect 3 is an extremely solid and brilliant game, taking the trilogy to an end and making us desiring for more. One thing’s for sure, Bioware outdid itself once again, Mass Effect 2 was a huge leap, and Mass Effect 3 makes that leap even more huge. I can easily say that Mass Effect 3 is one of the best game ever, and it’s quite rare to see a game like this, quite simply it can’t be achieved. But Bioware once again did it and they did it beautifully. Not sure what other critics decide, but for me Mass Effect 3 is certainly Game of The Year. Kudos to Bioware for making such a masterpiece. This is Commander Shepard, signing out.