Mass Effect: video game review
Storyline: Mass Effect 3 is the final act to the Commander Shepard’s story arc. In part three, the malignant space machines known to galactic civilization as the reapers, have returned from dark space to harvest all organic life. Earth has been taken and the rest of the galaxy may soon follow. As Commander Shepard your task is to unite the galaxy under one banner while dodging landmines, literal and political, in order to retake Earth. Mass Effect 3 continues the series staple of importing save-games from the previous title in order to change the storyline. Unfortunately the majority of these decisions have no real effect on the finale’s story. Characters that may have died in a previous game are simply replaced with random no-name characters, and in the worst case scenario characters only briefly reference past decisions. Despite these unfortunate design choices, fans may want to play the game twice in order to get the full experience, that is if they can suffer through the ending. Mass Effect 3’s story is enthralling up until the last half hour in which the story seems to be a bit of an afterthought. The ending feels as though it was mocked up at the last minute with its numerous plot holes, deus ex machina plot device, and lack of closure.
Gameplay: The Mass Effect series has always teetered between the RPG genre and third person action leaving one side favored more than the other. Mass Effect 3 leans more toward third person action, but is the most balanced in the series. Shepard is far more agile in the third game with the ability to dodge during firefights. Shepard is also far better at moving in and out of cover. One issue that arises from these enhanced controls is an overtasked A button. The mechanics of Mass Effect’s combat has changed as well. All weapons that Shepard acquires have a weight and this weight controls the cooldowns for powers. The lighter the weapons Shepard carries the faster Shepard’s powers regenerate.
Presentation: The textures and character models show little improvement over those in Mass Efffect 2. The overall art design of the game remains the strongest part of the visual presentation as it was in the previous games in the trilogy. The lighting system still has a tendency to black out characters faces in and overuse the lens flare effect. The scope of the battles and their size have been increased over the previous entries in the trilogy but the universe is at its most constrained in this entry it continues to limit the focus of the game from the open worlds that could be explored in the first game to the scanning of planets in the second the focus has narrowed and as a result the game has a smaller and more polished experience presented.