Alright let’s keep on blogging! If this is your first read of this series of blogs what I am writing about is my adventures through gaming this year. As a person who needs to spend their money wisely I don’t end up getting ten current year games and as such have never been able to make a proper game of the year list. As such I pick up older less expensive games and the occasional current year game. So really these blogs are just a poor gamer who wants to be part of the game of the year fun. The games in this series are not a countdown of quality but simply in the order I played them. So enough of the preamble let’s go MASS EFFECT 3!
Wow where to start with Mass Effect? Um I guess I’ll start by saying I have a 360 friend who was obsessed with the original and ME2 and would argue that Mass Effect was why his 360 is better than my PS3. I will not bring a fanboy argument in here (although he is a major Xbox enthusiast) however, I was secretly very jealous of this Xbox exclusive. So much so that I began having serious thoughts about purchasing a 360 (it would have been mostly for ME but Halo also would have been played I have fond memories of the first Halo on PC). I am not really a person who will get into my console is better than yours argument (except with that irrational friend who brings out the worst in me) I simply preferred Playstation because I had owned a PS2 and wanted the Sony exclusives over Xbox ones (and a Blu Ray player). But at the point in the cycle 360’s were pretty cheap and I was putting a lot of thought into getting one. And then a miracle happened! Mass Effect 2 (from what I heard the superior game, argument will surely ensue) was coming to PS3, with a motion comic which would catch me up on the firsts story! I nearly jumped for joy and all thoughts of buying a 360 vanished. I pre-ordered the game (one of the few times I`ve ever done this) in part because I LOOOVED Dragon Age: Origins and believed based on what I heard about the game plus that the developer behind Dragon Age made Mass Effect that I would love it. I did, played the game back to back paragon sentinel and then renegade on hardcore. Got the platinum in record time and waited eagerly for the obvious sequel.
Mass Effect 3 was released and I kept away from everything leading up to it. Watched maybe one trailer and hid from any potential spoilers to keep the game untouched for when I played it. I can`t remember but I think I picked this up the first week of its release and once again zoned out and played it obsessively. Then when I finished I once again jumped back in to see the Renegade way of playing and how different decisions would affect the end. I`ll go ahead and say SPOILERS now so people don’t get pissed. Obviously there are numerous threads complaining or supporting the game. My personal opinion was that the ending was poor but did not in any way affect my feelings about the series itself. Which is that it had amazing characterizations, atmosphere and setting which blew my mind. For me Tuchanka was the highlight of the game. Particularly the Paragon version of it when Mordin chooses death to stop the genophage which is quite honestly the moment in videogames that elicited the most emotional response from me. I was quite honestly touched and this cemented Mordin as one of my favourite characters of all time. Even the Renegade version was moving although I felt like the biggest dick in the world. One of my complaints about the story not to with the ending was how some of the romances were handled. From what I heard from people who romanced Miranda in ME2 they felt they got the short end of the stick (which they prob deserved, who romances boring old Miranda :P). I felt this also (it seems if you did not romance a ME1 character you got a weaker romance) as I romanced Jack as my Paragon Shep (he he good guy with bad chick oh yeah) and with the exception of some funny Paragon prompts the romance itself was rather unfulfilling in this game. As for my Renegade Shep who romanced Tali it was a WAY better pay off (even though the pic was a cheap sub for her real face) and from what I hear Liara is sort of the best one (maybe when ME1 comes to Ps3, FUCK YEAH!, i`ll do a faithful romance to her through all 3 games) so ME1 player romances get best payoff. Note: I know Tali isn`t a romance option in ME1 but she is a partner character in the game and gets more development.
This is going to be a long one I see…so I`ll quickly touch on the ending. Obviously I didn`t like the 3 dumb choices at the end as well as the deus ex machina of the citadel being a weapon which can end the war. The endings themselves did make the player think but I just didn`t like the direction of the series is going to be going. I mean I think the Earth stranded with different races on it is cool, however the whole use of the relays to travel the galaxy and explore planets seems to the series bread and butter. I`m not sure the direction the series will go now, I assume it will be a prequel of some sort or a single planet based story. I honestly would prefer a prequel as the idea of not being able to travel is a bummer. So that was my main concern, as well as the fact that 2 out of 3 of the endings feature Shepard disappearing in some sense and one in which he is (probably) still alive creates bigger issues for the series if they are going to continue save continuation. I feel like people would be pissed if their saves don`t move over but I don`t see how they can with the different branches the endings take. And the space child and the Buzz voice over were atrocious. Especially the voice over…I mean I get it but damn it just seemed out place with the quality of the voice acting for the rest of the game. Ok enough of this ending blather on to game play stuff!
As far as I am concerned the game play from 2 to 3 did not vary too much which I liked as jumping in was easy and familiar. The new melee attack was cool but honestly as a sentinel if someone was that close normal I was exploding my shield and melee wasn`t something I used. Even though it has become a Bioware trope of sorts to gather allies and go to war (Dragon Age: Origins, ME2, ME3) I liked the whole galaxy at war stuff and enjoyed collecting assets for the war effort. I was disappointed that these assets did not affect the endgame cutscenes where I thought I would see Aria fighting with mercs etc. on Earth. Maybe this is something they addressed in the new ending (haven`t played it yet, might do it once I get Leviathan and Omega DLC). I didn`t particularly like the more limited squad in ME3 (I`m sorry Vega but another human why) and once again the backseat that many of the ME2 characters took. I mean they all had their story moment to shine but I would have liked one to be a permanent member of your squad. So while I`m sure people who enjoyed ME1 had no real complaint about this fact and don’t get me wrong I love Garrus and Tali I just found the squad was simply new ME3 members (EDI, James, Prothean) or ME1 peeps (Garrus, Tali and Liara) and left out some my favourites from ME2 (Mordin, Jack, Grunt etc.). A minor gripe but after ME2 where I thought they had such a great cast ME3 seemed limited in that department. I`ll finally touch on the multiplayer which I was like ugh Mass Effect multiplayer why. Then I played it originally just to get my galaxy at war to max (a great motivation to play touché Bioware) and loved it. I played it long after I was done with the story and was delighted that they added stuff to it for free (Batarian soldier OH BABY). So this was a great surprise and loved that it was typical multiplayer DM or TDM style.
So finally I`ll quickly address the trophies. If you had trophy hunted for ME2 trophies that list is very similar to the ME3 list which basically is doing everything. I personally found the hardcore trophy in ME3 to be significantly easier than ME2 but perhaps that is just me. Also ME3 encourages to play the multiplayer with the get galaxy at war to 100% which was another motivator to play it. Overall a basic list which is easy to get if you are Mass Effect obsessed like I am. It simply rewards you for playing the crap out of the game which you would do anyway.
Alright guys thanks for reading if you made it this far. Next up in the blog series is a game you Bombers helped me to choose….Bulletstorm.