Mass Effect 3 concludes what’s possibly the best science-fiction trilogy in gaming history. It combines all the elements from the first and second games and still finds ways to improve its formula. For my friends and I, Mass Effect 3 completes the journey we started in 2007 with Mass Effect, which continued in 2009 with the Mass Effect 2.
The most important aspect of any video game is game play. Bad game play equals a bad game. For the most part, the game play of Mass Effect 3 is quite stellar. A few new additions, notably the new dodge mechanic, are annoying but manageable. The shooting aspect of the game is solid and well improved over the series’s previous installments. The new weapon improvement system makes all weapons equally viable from the first mission to the last mission. Combat, now with the new ability to stab enemies in the face with an “Omni Blade,” is quite enjoyable for those used to shooter games and manageable for those who want something more strategic in their approach to problem situations.
Another vital aspect to the game play of the Mass Effect series is the conversation system, a major feature from the first game that boasts fully voiced conversations that allows the player to craft their character’s personality. Mass Effect 3 improves the conversation system by removing the stale, three-option approach used in the previous two games. There are no longer three options where the first means good, the second, neutral, and the third, evil. Now there are two options where the outcomes are not quite well known and they may go either way along the player’s morality chart.
Game play aside, the main reason people play the Mass Effect series is the story. This game’s story ranks comparable to the first game up until the final ten minutes or so. Mass Effect continues and concludes the trilogy of the series that sees the player leading Commander Sheppard in a space opera-like adventure across the galaxy in effort to destroy an invading army of sentient machines known as Reapers who are beset upon harvesting all life in the galaxy.
Mass Effect 3 sees the final confrontation with the reapers over the almost conquered battlefield of planet Earth. Following the invasion, players are tasked with assembling an army of all galactic species to lead a massive armada against the Reapers and fulfill the slogan of this game “take the Earth back.” Without spoiling anything, most of those who’ve played the game since its first installment will find the last ten minutes or so disappointing and inconclusive, but the game is still quite interesting and exciting for the majority of the time spent playing.
I recommend this game based on its story alone, but I also recommend to play the first game in the series. I guarantee you won’t regret it.