I specifically created this account just to start writing reviews and showcase my opinions on any products I purchase. Mainly because I enjoy it, but also to see if you would enjoy it as well.
Anyways, on to my first review. Possible spoilers.
Mass Effect 3 is a bleak game…
The game begins with Shepard being put on trial for his involvement in the destruction of the Bahak system, killing millions of innocent batarian lives. But, luckily the Reapers decide to start invading Earth now of all times. So everything else is basically on hold.
Through out the prologue, thousands of people are dying at the start. Shepard and Anderson are lucky to make it back to the Normandy, of course now Shepard is reinstated as Commander, and Anderson stays behind to help fight the Reapers on Earth. But before Shepard leaves, an “innocent” child is seen boarding an evacuation ship, he glances at you. Only to be blown up along with several dozens. The same you tried to save earlier, but failed.
This is just the Prologue…
I’m not really going to delve deeper into the story. Mainly because I don’t like ruining peoples experience with a new game. But I can say its one of the best stories in gaming I’ve seen, there are certain moments where manly tears were shed. Other moments of joy, others excitement. The characters, voice acting, dialogue, and story are fantastic.
I would comment about the ending. But almost everyone else already has, so it would seem pointless to me, I will say that my first reaction was speechlessness. Then came the overwhelming wave of depression, any other feelings I would have, were gone. Couldn’t sleep that night, nope. The next day, I started looking it up and doing research, and now more and more I have made peace with it, but then I saw theories on what it all meant, and something clicked in my head, I thought, brilliant! Maybe they did the ending the way they did on purpose, I heard somewhere it was because the ending was leaked earlier, don’t quote me on that. Some say there is a major expansion pack coming called “The Truth” rumors of course, but I heard it also might be FREE. Knowing EA, I doubt it, but it is a worthy goal to look forward to. Bioware has dropped SEVERAL hints to what is really going on, and I think more people are starting to catch on, hopefully, instead of this boycotting nonsense. I understand anyone’s frustration, confusion, or disappointment, however, this has really gotten out of hand hasn’t it? It’s sad, Bioware isn’t stupid, they’ve made mistakes, quite a lot actually, but I don’t think they would deliberately try to screw us over. People should calm down for a minute and stop acting like it’s the end of the world. That is just my opinion of course.
But no more on that.
Enough of story.
Graphics are pretty. Frame rate is smooth… occasional stuttering, but its expected.
Lighting is nice, detail is good, same with backgrounds, occasional pop in, but insignificant. Overall, beautiful artistically and technologically.
Audio is good; voice acting is great, same with sound effects, and background noise.
But the score… Ugh, it’s so good. There are certain tracks that will excite you, break your heart, maybe even scare. Clint Mansell did a fantastic job, movie quality.
Oh and Faunts did the credits music, yay!! :D
On to gameplay…
Combat and movement have been improved significantly. The elements feel more refined, combat is still somewhat repetitive occasionally. But that barely happened for me. The shooting feels more précised, cover to cover movement is GREAT, much faster paced, and I like it. The RPG elements have been refined as well. Scanning is almost gone. But I prefer the way it is now to be honest. Basically, all you do now is go into a cluster and hit left trigger, it will scan your surrounding area, this way, you can get assets, artifacts, credits, or fuel easier. But don’t do it for too long, the Reapers will pick up your signal, then you gotta high tail it outta there. Customization is great, love it. Not as good as they promised, but still better than ME2’s. You can customize your weapons, armor, and abilities. Not tacked on, the customization is somewhat deep, I like it.
The biggest new feature I’ve seen is Galaxy at War. It’s interesting, albeit a little confusing at first; basically you have effective military strength and galactic readiness.
This in turn, will help your fight against the Reapers and decide the “fate” of the Galaxy.
From my experience, multiplayer is the only way to increase readiness, while throughout the story, any side quests you do, any planets you scan will give you war assets.
Essentially, these increase your effective military strength. The only way to get the “best” ending is to have your EMS over five thousand. Readiness also helps improve that somewhat. The readiness isn’t as important as EMS, you don’t have to play the multiplayer. But it helps. Of course, if you have the datapad or infiltrator app, that can increase readiness as well.
I don’t like when you stop playing for a day, and start playing the next, your readiness goes down 1%. Odd, but since you’re fighting the Reapers, I guess you can’t hold the positions forever. Might be happening to me only, I don’t know. In the story, there are six N7 missions to play. These missions are the multiplayer maps, only with Shepard, unfortunately they don’t increase your readiness.
Overall, an interesting concept, it works. It’s kind of neat honestly.
Multiplayer is fun, I still think it’s unnecessary, but its fun. The ability to choose from all the classes and races is great. A nice touch is that when you reach level 20, you can promote your character, this in turn makes you become a war asset in single player. You'll then be set back to level 1. It's kind of addicting.
Some people would complain that the ME series has become dumb downed to open to a wider audience, while I somewhat agree, the gameplay is still addictive and still retains its RPG elements to a certain extent.
Gameplay is solid, it froze thrice. Occasional framerate stutters, and an odd elevator glitch on the Citadel. It only happened a few times, and actually stopped later in the game. I believe it only happened when I tried to go to the refugee camp, however, later in the game when you go to citadel, you can automatically go to any section, embassies, purgatory et cetera, I started going to the camp first instead of taking the elevator, it must’ve fixed it. Odd, but oh well.
Very enjoyable game, one of the best I’ve played. Best of the series even with its flaws.
In my opinion at least. Before I finish this review, I’ll touch upon the Collectors Edition.
Only eighty dollars, good price.
Art book was nice, I’m getting the Art of Mass Effect soon, might do a review on that but this one is still enjoyable, and artwork is good.
N7 patch, pretty cool. I just need to find a top that fits with it.
Lithograph, once again cool. Possibly frame it, a little small though.
Comic book, very cool. About Aria T’Loak losing Omega. Only part one, but very cool, nice read.
Downloadable character, robotic dog, appearances, and weapons are all nice, even though From Ashes is day one DLC, (I know, I know)
Steel book case with both male and female Shep, its sweet.
Packaging is nice as well.
Overall… Mass Effect 3 N7 Collectors Edition is great. Story is wonderful, albeit depressing. You’ll get more out of it if you played the previous installments.
Contents of the CE are nice as well, especially for the price. If you like third person shooters, Sci-Fi’s, RPG’s, great characters and lore. This is for you.
For me, possible GOTY. If not, then definitely in the top three already.