Press Start: Mass Effect 3 (2012, PC)

‘Press Start’ is a new series I will be writing giving in-depth reviews on games I have just completed. This time, I’ll be talking about the latest installment of the Mass Effect franchise, Mass Effect 3. It is, for all intents and purposes, the end of Commander Shepard and the Reaper threat.

IGN Rating: 9.5/10
My Rating: 9/10

Is there something in my eye or was that the most emotional and downright unsatisfying ending to a game I have ever bore witness to? Well, even though I risk water damage to my keyboard, I shall try to give you the basics.

Mass Effect 3 was by far the best in the series and I will miss Commander Shepard. For some it’s like losing a friend, for others it’s just a video game. I am the former. I’ve played all three of the Mass Effects and was always a little in awe of Shepard’s cheesy lines and battle prowess. I loved her to bits so, I apologise now for my emotions.

Plot:
As far as plot goes, apart from it being incredibly darker than the previous two installments, I really really really really really wish there’d been a non-death option. It seemed no matter what decisions I made, it didn’t actually count in the long run – and the whole point of Bioware games is that your choices are meant to matter.

It’s widely known that many of the fan base were extremely unhappy with Mass Effect 3’s ending(s), and I tend to agree with them. Part of me thinks Bioware’s reasoning was that if they continued with Commander Shepard’s escapades, it could have grown tired and maybe even formula. This hasn’t been seen, and hopefully never will be, in the Mass Effect series or any other Bioware games, thank God. But having said that, the next game didn’t need to star Shepard (and now obviously won’t). She could have gone off to retire with Garrus (Yup, he was my love interest. Judge me how you will.) and lived happily ever after in the knowledge that they saved the world. Done and dusted.

Anyway! Plot-line was fantastic bar the ending. The game was so much fun to play and I enjoyed every single minute of it, til the end. Don’t touch me.

Side-note. The Citadel DLC is literally the best thing to come out of Bioware so, grab that if you don’t already have it. If your LI is Garrus, there’s amazing content waiting for you in there. I’m not sure what it’s like for the other LI’s but I’m sure it’ll be just as good.

Gameplay:
Like Dragon Age, it’s much the same when it comes to user-friendliness and ease of control. You only really used the keyboard for movement or if you like using shortcuts. Everything else was either through the shift, spacebar or esc keys and, of course, your mouse. Easy.

I think it comes under game mechanics (gotta read up on that) but a lot of the cut scenes had people’s hands in the wrong places/not connected to/intersecting objects or other people. Camera pans and angles were sometimes completely off too. No idea how that’s fixed or what part of the game design it comes under, but I feel that needed a lot of improvement. I noticed the same in Dragon Age Inquisition (also by Bioware for those who don’t know), however not as prolific or as obvious. So I guessed they learned to some degree. Maybe it’s my computer – who even knows.

Graphics:
Graphics were great!! Especially considering the game is 3 years old. Nothing to complain about there.

Other:
I was raised on Star Trek so, Mass Effect was perfectly suited for me and I can’t wait to see what they come up with for Mass Effect 4 (if it’s ever released). I’m still upset though. I don’t believe in no win scenarios people! Maybe I can get a mod for an alt ending…
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