Awesome game, beautiful graphics and all the familiar faces that we have gotten used to… but what a disappointment this game’s ending turned out to be. This Mass Effect sequel that fans have been anticipating since forever and a day has led to almost as much fiery anger as did the Dragon Age sequel due to its short length and terrible ending. One of the best parts of the Mass Effect series has been the fact that decisions made from game to game affected the outcome of relationships and situations throughout the series. The reason why I say that the ending sucks so badly is that nothing, and let me reiterate NOTHING that you have done in Mass Effect 1-2, or will do in Mass Effect 3 has any bearing on the conclusion.
In Mass Effect 1 I felt like a hero, in Mass Effect 2 I loved my crew and sighed in relief as I got them home safely, but in Mass Effect 3 I felt as if nothing I did throughout the entire game mattered in the end.
Mass Effect 3 pulled the wool over my eyes in letting me believe that Shepard’s ambassador act in getting all the races together would hold some sway in how things end. Remember when you could actually lose crew members in the end of Mas Effect 2 based on your actions up until the end? In Mass Effect 3 you can still lose people, but the big picture answer to everything that has led up until this point – destroying the Reapers, is summed up in 3 endings that remain the same despite anything you have done prior.
Outside of the ending that not only depressed me but made me want to punch a hole in the wall, the game is absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. The textures have been redone, most of the people have been remodeled and there is a new smoothing effect used on the graphics to make the people seem soft and organic (Ashley’s lips mmmmmmm). Fans of Miranda’s ass shots can rest easily knowing that she still delivers, and the armor in the game has been touched up to accent the curves of the women moreso than the original Mass Effect.
The game itself felt very much like a return to the original Mass Effect, hell all of the people who helped Shepard on his suicide mission in 2 serve as mere afterthoughts in this one as the original squad of Shepard, Ashley (or Kaidan), Liara, Wrex and Tali-Zorah are the stars. Fools like me who chose Jack (Subject-Zero) as our main love interests are given tiny reunion scenes with our ladies as opposed to the lucky bastards who stayed loyal to Liara or Ashley.
Pro-tip: If you want to continue any kind of meaningful relationship with a person in Mass Effect 3, make sure that it isn’t one of the Mass Effect 2 crew members. Yup folks, Bioware pretty much screws anybody who “cheated” on their Mass Effect 1 lover.
The gameplay is amazing – I will not lie as I found myself easily sliding between obstacles, sniping bad guys, lighting em up with semi-automatic weapons and modifying my favorite guns in between missions. If there is anything that Mass Effect 3 wins above the former sequels it’s in the fire-fights. They are loud, exciting and very involved unlike Mass Effect 1 and 2 which didn’t feel as polished. The A.I. seemed to fight a lot better and commanding a teammate to do something comes out so much better than in the former games.
One of my favorite parts of Mass Effect 3 dealt with the new squad mates; the Normandy’s A.I. named EDI takes on a sexy humanoid form and she not only kicked ass in combat but made for some interesting conversation otherwise. You get a new muscular marine, badass by the name of James Vega and unlike Jacob Taylor of Mass Effect 2; this man packed a lot of personality and was extremely likable. This above all else is what killed me about how they chose to end the game. You have so many awesome personalities that came off as real people to the player (love Aria T’loak) yet in the end this game felt rushed, short and anti-climactic. To quote James Vega “WHERE’S THE MEAT!?” sigh, it was such an empty sequel.
In Mass Effect 3 the Citadel again is the main hub of civilization that you interact with and Bioware did a superb job of giving it a foreboding, sad feeling of the Universe ending. In the refugee areas you saw people hurt and suffering, in the hospital it’s overcrowded and hopeless, and all over the city you see men and women hooking up nonstop. Money sharks hurriedly close bank accounts in case there was no hope and even Gangsters wish to help out in putting a stop to the reapers. At Purgatory (the biggest club on the Citadel) people are dancing like it really is the end of the world, and for Commander Shepard the sense of urgency is beyond hardcore.
New Multiplayer Mode For The Boomers
Mass Effect 3 comes with a multi-player mode which allows us to choose a generic soldier (vanguard, sentinel, etc.) and team up with 3 other players to take on waves upon waves of Geth. As you progress on your character you can unlock more weapons, customization and even skills. While I found this to be a brief distraction when I wasn’t playing the actual game, I am sure that it will appeal to the more competitive players out there.
In conclusion I write all of this to say that the game had huge potential to be perfect and had me going up until the very end where I realized… nothing I did mattered. That just knocked the wind out of my sails and for all of the game’s beauty and wonderful gameplay additions it made me feel depressed. Is it laziness on the part of the development team, or is it a disconnect between the fans and the creators? In the past it mattered what you chose throughout in order to see it echoed in the ending but Mass Effect 3 feels as if I could rush through it without caring and be rewarded with the same ending as someone who took their time paying attention. That is inexcusable and for all the excitement that Shepard and Mass Effect has always been about, this was a really bad way to end the series.