Throwback Thursday Review – Mass Effect 3

After getting my first platinum, I felt exhilarated. I wanted to keep going and earn another platinum, and it was just just luck that Mass Effect 3 had been out for a little bit of time and I had already done multiple playthroughs. So I figured what the hell, I might as well get the Mass Effect platinum’s back to back. With all the controversy surrounding the ending, the addition of multiplayer, and some DLC issues, here’s what I thought of the game:

Once again you take on the role of Commander Shepard for one last battle to save the galaxy from the Reapers. Finally, the rest of the galaxy now sees the threat of the Reapers because of their attack on Earth.

Reapers Meme

It’s your job this time around to gather another crew of familiar faces, with some new faces, and unite the entire galaxy to end the Reapers once and for all. Well, maybe you’ll end them, but you’ll have to see for yourself. Time is not on your site this time around as you rush around from place to place deciding the fate of different alien species from the Krogan, the Geth, and yes, the Rachni are back. All of this leads up to what should have been an epic battle, especially if you were able to unite everyone, but fails miserably in every way possible.

Don’t get me wrong though, just because the final battle is underwhelming and accompanied with an ending that just doesn’t fit the tone of the overall series, the rest of the game is epic. The battles throughout the game are some of the best that I’ve played. It’s hard to even choose which is my favorite because they’re all amazing which is why the ending is so unfitting. Now, I could go on and rant about why the ending was just so horrible and why I thought it was the worst ending ever, but I’m not. It’s been well over 2 years since this game came out and while I was upset then about the ending, I’m over it now. Like some people, I have moved on and accepted the ending for what it is.

I remember when this game first came out, I played for 10 hours straight. This game will have you playing so that you forget about time as the story of Commander Shepard is told in only a way that BioWare can do. You’ll see characters that you’ve grown to love die, some as heroes and some just because, you’ll rekindle relationships from previous games or even end them, and you’ll make some pretty heavy choices

All of this greatness boils down to nothing really which is sad especially considering the amount of time that you’ll put into this game. After spending three whole games with not only Commander Shepard but also with this crew of diverse individuals, you never really see how it ends for them. Sure with the extended cut you’ll see a slideshow of some of the characters and what they’re doing, but it isn’t a proper send off and not a proper way to end a story. Luckily this doesn’t effect the rest of the game, even though I know how badly it ends, and to this day I really despise the ending, I’ll still play it from time to time just because. I just make it a point not to replay the ending.

Kudos: A huge kudos to BioWare for the introduction of Steve and Samantha, the only fully gay and lesbian characters throughout the whole series. After having my renegade Shepard romance Thane in 2 just for a trophy, it was nice that she wasn’t forced to form any old romance again in 3 for a trophy. I truly liked the development that was put not only into the Samantha romance and character, but the bond that she was able to easily form with Steve. I just could have done without that awkward shower scene.

The playability of this game is a huge improvement from 2, and if you’re playing 3 right after 2 you’ll see why. Not only does the cover system work a little better (it’s not perfect) but the melee is also improved. Each of these improvements made the game easier to play and had a more natural feel to them. Unfortunately bugs and glitches were once again a problem with this game. Hard freezes had me pressing the quick save button every couple of minutes and there were some weird things going on with Liara and Shepard’s head and eyes while talking in Liara’s quarters with Glyph hanging around. With the amount of patches released for this game, none of these bugs and glitches were really fixed.

An improvement in graphics for this game payed off as the whole game was absolutely beautiful. There was so much detail put into just about everything and it showed. Faces were more detailed then ever as well as surrounding scenery that really showed off the beauty that is Mass Effect.

There are a total of 69 trophies for this game including all of the DLC. All of them are extremely easy to get and really just require you to play the game as well as the multiplayer. The once extremely hard to get Insane trophy is now super easy as this mode of play was dumbed down and now feels like you’re playing casual. There is really no reason why this platinum shouldn’t be obtained.

This is the first Mass Effect game that includes multiplayer. You and three other people will face off against different factions in different areas for an overall goal of completing some objectives and then extracting. There are four different difficulties so you can play however you feel comfortable playing. I personally loved this multiplayer. I put just about 900 total hours into it and to this day still play from time to time. The addition of challenges made me play even more and challenge myself to complete goals for the different badges.

Kudos: All of the DLC for the multiplayer was completely free! More maps, characters, and weapons were of no cost to the player. Awesome!

Now I normally don’t comment on DLC since it’s really not part of the game and is totally optional whether or not you want to spend the extra money to buy it or not, but I have to say that this game had some of the best and the worst DLC that I’ve ever played.

Let’s start off with the bad first. One word. Omega. Yes, the DLC that everyone was waiting for since it was so heavily hinted at throughout the game, turned out to be the biggest waste of time and money that I’ve ever encountered. For $15 you’ll get an extra 90 minutes of gameplay that feels like it should have come with the game to begin with. Not well developed, the story is basically just Shepard and Aria taking back Omega from Cerberus so that Aria could sit on her ass and rule in the bar like she had done before. Complete and utter waste of money.

Now for the best DLC, the Citadel. It’s BioWare’s thank you and love letter to the fans as it gives the fans just about everything they could want except for a better ending. Have one last adventure with your crew facing off against Shepard’s evil clone before throwing one last epic party. You also get the chance to interact with your crew a hell of a lot more giving each of them a send off that they deserve.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Great overall story.
+ Improved playability and graphics.
+ Addictive multiplayer.
+ Epic battles.

What’s Not So Great:
Underwhelming final battle.
Unfitting ending.
Unfixed bugs and glitches.

Not the best way to end the story of Commander Shepard, but not the worst either. Even though this isn’t my favorite Mass Effect game, it is one of the better games when you compare it to the original. Definitely a game that should be added to anyone’s collection.

Join me next week when I review my third platinum Assassin’s Creed 2.

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