Let me start this off by saying that I have been a loyal, almost rabid fan of the Mass Effect franchise. Between the first and second installments I have played the games through at least 20 times.
When the third title released, I had high hopes for it. I was chomping at the bit to get out in the galaxy and whip some Reaper ass.
So what did I think about it? Continue on and find out.
With all facets of the game considered, I have both good and bad things to say about Mass Effect 3. As we know, many people have complained about the lack of closure in the way the game ended, even to the point that Bioware is working on an alternate ending in an effort to appease fans of the series.
I’ve also heard people complain about combat and the quest progression. People have commented that the combat is like a 3rd person version of Modern Warfare, where you walk into a wall of enemies you have to clear, then move on to the next wall, kill them, wash, rinse, repeat.
To this, I say “That’s a shooter…name one which hasn’t been just like that – including the first two games of the series.”
On the quest progression, the chief complaint that I have heard has to do with the game’s tendency to remove quests and quest areas from the galaxy map, with no warning, if you don’t complete other quests in the order the game expects you to. I, too, experienced this and am of the opinion that it’s a game-breaker. If I want to do a priority mission when it suits me to do so, that shouldn’t stop me doing non-priority missions (side-quests) just because the game doesn’t think I did them in the proper order.
And, Bioware, if you’re going to jack my quests, at lease remove them from my journal so there’s not a nagging reminder that my cornhole got hijacked by you guys. You’ve also failed to make some quests in SWTOR abandonable…I can’t help but wonder if it was the same guy working on the quest logs of both games. If so, give him an energy drink and a quick slap to the side of his head so maybe he’ll wake up.
Now I’m going to talk about multiplayer a little bit and then I’ll get on to talking about my take on the end of the game.
Multiplayer in ME3 is quite a bit of fun, if I’m honest. It’s run in a horde mode style with numerous waves of enemies coming at you, which you will have to defeat in order to move on the to the next wave. Every few waves you get a bonus round where you can earn cash for completing the objectives (or fail out of the whole thing if you don’t complete it). The cash can be used to buy upgrade packs which will give you access to new weapons, single use (1 full game) upgrades to ammo, armor, etc…and other goodies like new character races, classes, bonus XP, medpacks, ammo refills and so on.
When you start a game you’re deposited on to the map with your team mates and given a short amount of time to get things in order before the enemies start coming. Placed throughout the map are ammo containers for you to fill up with, when you need them and plenty of cover for you to get out of the line of fire.
You’ll have a few seconds between each wave of enemies, as well, so it’s important to make sure you ammo up and get to a good starting spot before the bad guys come again…The bad guys, by the way, will come in the form of Cerberus, Geth or Reaper forces and are taken straight from the single player campaign. Cerberus seems to be the easiest force to make it through, with the Reapers being the toughest – Those banshees and brutes can make it difficult, especially during the final “extraction” round where your goal is to simply survive long enough to get picked up (appx 2 mins.).
I played quite a bit of MP with some friends from around the globe and had a blast the whole time; Even the frustrating bits were hella fun. (Shouts to my boys Clarknova, LowTEK ISR and Nightvenom. Thanks for the wicked fun matches)
Simply put, the multiplayer aspect of this is the best aspect of the game, bar none.
And now, the ending:
I’m going to start this off by saying that this piece is going to be overflowing with plot spoilers so if you don’t want to have the game spoiled, stop reading now and come back when you’ve finished up.
The ending -
Wow…what I can say? Where can I even begin? Attempts to even think of the words which might suitably quantify what I feel about the ending of this game leave me in a quandry. I don’t think I have it in me to express my feelings about the last several minutes of this game so, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll give you one
Yeah, so you get to the end, you get blown up after an impossibly long sprint through open terrain wherein you’re being shot at by a Reaper who I assume is Harbinger (The oldest and largest of the Reapers). After you get blown up, you go in to a slow motion phase, where you’re trying to run along and make it to your goal. Your armor is blown to bits but I could tell that the assests used were specifically for N7 armor, which is rather weak considering I was wearing Cerberus armor before I got nuked.
After the slow motion bit, you get into a long, drawn out conversation with the Illusive Man and then, once you’ve gotten rid of him, the kid who you’ve been chasing through the dream sequences appears, explains that he is the catalyst and breaks down this whole Reaper invasion thing for you.
The Reapers invade to make sure organic life never creates synthetic life which rebels against them and takes over. Once this process begins, the Reapers come in and wipe everyone out to reset the “cycle”.
So…Synthetic life comes in and wipes out every advanced race in the galaxy in order to ensure that synthetic life doesn’t wipe out every advanced race in the galaxy?
Who the hell thought this crap up? Seriously, I want to know who thought that would be a great idea. Can I PLEASE have an audio recording of the meeting where some half drunk dim-wit said “Hey guys, I have a GREAT idea for the ending! The Reapers, you see…They come in to wipe everyone out once someone has created synthetic life which is capable of rebelling and wiping everyone out…They’re really killing everyone to save everyone from the synthetics and make sure the galaxy is able to continue growing and thriving!”
I’m pretty sure it was a high level exec who thought that shit up because if it was a common writer, they would have fired him, then thrown him off the top of the building. Someone HAD to force them to do that…Right? I mean, there’s no way anyone who isn’t completely detached from the CONCEPT OF FUCKING REALITY could possibly think that’s viable, right?
So now, you have a choice: Kill the reapers and all synthetic life, control the reapers or join with the catalyst and fuse organic and synthetic life together, making everything a hybrid.
Oh, also…Any choice you make will completely destroy the Mass Relay Network.
Let’s look at those choices:
Shepard is part synthetic. We know this from ME2 so taking the option to wipe out all synthetics should kill him, as well as EDI…and the Geth. It will also kill the relays so people can’t travel around the galaxy anymore, effectively cutting off all survivors form any from of aid or rescue.
Controlling the Reapers will allow you to take control of the reapers and have them do the bidding of the galaxy. Big whoop! What are they going to do, make giant fucking balloon animals at children’s parties? It will also kill the relays so people can’t travel around the galaxy anymore, effectively cutting off all survivors from any form of aid or rescue.
Combining all synthetic and organic life? What? Who CARES about that shit? So you’re telling me I can make a single race of Reapers out of the whole galaxy and it’s going to kill me in the process? SIGN ME UP, CHIEF!!! That sounds like just the thing I need to get closure after 5 years of this series! Choosing this option will also kill the relays so people can’t travel around the galaxy anymore, effectively cutting off all survivors form any from of aid or rescue.
I really don’t have any idea how they thought dropping such a flagrant cop out on us was acceptable, after so many people have spent money and time playing this series over and over again, waiting for things to be explained and closure to be had.
SENTIENT FUCKING MACHINES ARE GOING TO WIPE OUT THE GALAXY TO STOP THE GALAXY FROM BEING WIPED OUT BY SENTIENT FUCKING MACHINES!!! I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the sheer scope of that unbridled asshattery.
I’m 100% certain Drew Karpyshyn (Lead writer for ME1 and 2) shit his pants when he heard about this…considering the original ending was more like this:
“The Reapers as a whole were ‘nations’ of people who had fused together in the most horrific way possible to help find a way to stop the spread of the Dark Energy. The real reason for the Human Reaper was supposed to be the Reapers saving throw because they had run out of time. Humanity in Mass Effect is supposedly unique because of its genetic diversity and represented the universe’s best chance at stopping Dark Energy’s spread.”
By the way, Drew has since resigned from Bioware and, though he says it is unrealted to ME3, one has to wonder.
One also has to wonder why they didn’t stick with the original ending…That one was 1000 times better.
I’m not sure what’s going on there at Bioware but they’ve been dropping the ball a lot lately. Is it because they’re run by EA, now? Who knows. All I do know is that they need to pull their heads out of the collective heineys and stop making really stupid story and gameplay decisions before they see people stop buying their work.
Also, I wasn’t going to rate this game when I sat down to write this but…now I’m going to and here’s my review.
The multiplayer portion of the game kicks ass. The single player portion of the game is pretty good except for the quest progression idiocy and the end of the game is probably the worst I’ve ever been exposed to. All in all, a 9 for the MP and a 7 for the campaign. We’re calling this a 7 overall, though, due to the fact that I can.