Mass Effect 3 Review
Finally, the much-hyped conclusion to the popular space opera trilogy is here. Mass Effect 3 does not rely on hype that has been generated by mere advertising but one that is anchored by the success of the series’ previous titles. Thankfully though, the developers have decided that hype is not enough and delivers with excellent power and feature upgrades. It even comes with a modern and realistic attitude on same sex relationships, which is a refreshing dose of reality that reflects our modern diverse world. It also gives players a realistic range of options to truly express their identity without being pigeonholed into gender stereotypical and restrictive choices.
The Good News About Mass Effect 3
One of the best upgrades offered by Mass Effect 3 is its improved AI that allows unique interactions based on class. The player can try out the differences by positioning Shepard as any of the possible classes. Because each class has its own set of abilities, the player has to come up with a different effective gameplay that suits those abilities. The player also has to watch enemies closely because they are also fighting smarter, for the most part, thanks to AI upgrades.
Decisions are also to be made on which alien races should be considered allies. Shepard is therefore not just a shooting and fighting commander but also a thinking, diplomatic one as well – the ultimate leader. This is expected as much from the franchise due to its compelling and strong storyline that unfolds with subtle but twisty subplots.
The game also does not put to waste the player’s efforts in the first two installments. With a saved game, the player can go back to the Mass Effect universe and pick up where he or she left off.
Speaking of efforts, they can be the result of a true alliance. For the first time around, a Mass Effect title comes with a co-op mode that makes use of real gaming companions instead of just relying on AI-controlled squad members. This mode may still have a long way to go in overtaking the primary single-player mode
The Bad News About Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer mode still needs a lot of polishing and tweaking and is somehow held back by the title’s very own rigid mechanics. There is little variety offered by the mode. Six maps are generous enough for a new mode but the missions within those maps are pretty similar. It looks like BioWare only added the mode to show that it can come up with a multiplayer for the title. The co-op certainly feels like something that the player only needs to try but can live without. The main mode’s side quests also need a little work in terms of execution.
The combat still has not risen above being a cover-based shooter. It may help if the developers could correct some simple problems such as the mapping of three functions on a single button. One button has been assigned for picking up items, dodging and finding a cover. This can only be alleviated by the use of Kinect. Not everyone makes use of Kinect, however.
The Bottom Line
Mass Effect 3 is a worthy addition and conclusion to the sci-fi trilogy. It sports impressive graphics, intelligent fighting, a brand-new co-op mode and an excellent plot. The minor errors can be easily forgotten. Some players, however, may pine for more co-op mission variety, less rigid mechanics and better response even without the help of Kinect.