Mass Effect 3 (PC, PS3, XBOX 360)

Yes, I know it’s been 3 months since my last rant but in my defence I spent that time getting a new computer, doing exams and generally not giving a shit. Now though I’m bored so I’ve decided to finish off this rant which I started writing 2 months ago. So to christen the new hardware, the finale of Shepard’s tale of conquest and heroism. In 2157, humanity discovered that it was not alone in the universe. Thirty years later, they found a peaceful place among dozens of galactic species. But this idyllic future is overshadowed by a dark past: Reapers, a sentient race of machines responsible for cleansing the galaxy of all organic life every 50,000 years, are about to return.The leaders of the galaxy are paralysed by indecision, unable to accept the legend of the Reapers as fact. But one soldier has seen the legend come to life.

And now the fate of the galaxy depends on Shepard …

The story begins with our first visit to Earth. Shepard after being discharged from the Alliance Navy is asked for help as the Reapers come to the galaxy to kill off all organic life. Suddenly the Reapers show up on their doorstep and shit goes down. Shepard makes a hasty retreat to unite the galaxy against the machine overlords. You’d think with the eradication of life in the galaxy as a consequence of failure, people would be more eager to provide their support. I suppose it just shows the ignorance and stubbornness of other species, dam aliens.

The first thing I want to mention is that the game is Origin exclusive. It’s crap yes I know and not just because of the spyware, ban friendly admins and complete lack of legal liability (because that isn’t reason enough). It just isn’t as good as Steam, Valve have a good system going with their absolutely amazing sales, major support for indy developers and competitive prices. Origin as I’m aware doesn’t have sales, stocks EA exclusive games and the prices are a rip-off at best. Sadly though EA are a bunch of selfish robbing bastards so as long as we want to play EA games, we sadly have to keep getting cock slapped by them.

Anyway, now the game. The game-play is pretty much that of Mass Effect 2, there are a few new tidbits for example Shepard can do a heavy melee attack by holding down the melee attack button which comes in very handy. Another new feature of the game is the weapon system. There is a good number of weapons available all of which are split into 5 types of weapon Pistol, Sub Machine Gun, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun and Assault Rifle. Each has about 4-5 different weapons and can be upgraded as and when you see fit. The customisation of weapons is one of few areas where Mass Effect 3 surpasses it’s previous instalments. The new hardware also gave me a chance to play the game in 3D. 1 word, DON’T. Aiming is a bitch, shadows are flickery and some items aren’t even where they should be, for example a shinning light appears both to the left and right of where it should be. Out of interest I replayed the 2nd one in 3D to see how they compared. It turns out that Mass Effect 2 had none of these problems… Why!?

I noticed a fair number of inconsistencies and rough edges through the game. One that annoyed me the most was just how many times wire frames of one object will pass through another. Who ever was in charge of QC at Bioware for this game, I hope they were shot out of a canon into the sun, or at least got a stern telling off. Another inconsistency I noticed was with that of the whole romancing of characters. In the end I ended up having a relationship with a character that died earlier in the game. That is a big whoops if I ever saw one and no amount of bull shit is going to wash that down (e.g. “It was a memory of Shepard’s” or “She was revived through Lazarus Project 2.0”).The game can just feel rough at times, as if it could of spent a little longer in development just to sand it down to a smooth finish. Sadly though EA is not interested in quality, just numbers like $200million.

If you remember back to it’s original launch, Mass Effect 3 was getting a lot of bad press for it’s ending. A lot of harsh things were said about it. I personally wasn’t enraged by the ending like most people, I was just disappointed. The original endings did not explain what actually happens at the end. Although the extended cut adds a prologue to each ending, I feel it’s too little too late. When Bioware stated that Mass Effect 3 was going to have multiple endings I expected your choices throughout all 3 games to contribute to which ending you get. How wrong I was, turns out at the end Shepard is put into a room with 3 choices in front of him, each choice giving you a different ending. This means every decision you make throughout the game makes no difference to the ending. Talk about falling at the last hurdle.

Now for my final thought. Mass Effect 3 feels like a game that was made just to satisfy the fans. Many of the elements feel half arsed like no-one really cared whether the game was going to be good or not. As if Bioware just wanted to end the series and be done with it, thinking “Mass Effect 2 has been sitting above our heads for a while now and demands for the 3rd instalment have been increasing. Lets just get it over with, that way no-ones going to yell at us for not doing it”. Kind of like Metal Gear Solid 4… and what I’m doing now.

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