A Grand and Stunning Conclusion to An Epic Trilogy.
Mass Effect 3, like everyone else, is a game that all gamers have been anxiously awaiting ever since the final moments of Mass Effect 2. When Shepard and Company destroyed the collector's base, you knew that things were going to get heated up, especially in those final cutscenes. It didn't help my impatience by releasing some of the most epic trailers over the past year, and Mass Effect 3 almost turned into a case of "Skyrim" level of anticipation for me. Note the word: almost.
While Mass Effect 3 springs its way into consoles everywhere, and it is mostly a satisfying conclusion to an epic trilogy, arguably the most memorable trilogy (this side of Halo), I can't help but walk away with a minor case of disappointment from the final journey as Commander Shepard.
To start off, every trailer and almost all details pointed at the ability to recruit every single character from your past two games, which would have made this the most badass thing possible. However, at the end of the day, you only get to choose from one of six different characters for your party. Three of them are from Mass Effect 1, and the rest are either new characters or returns from the previous game. One of these characters is that infamous day one dlc package, you know, the one Bioware totally says isn't on the disc. Yeah. But moving on from that: this isn't a gigantic letdown, but it was some what of a letdown. That doesn't mean you won't see these characters, they do show up. Pretty much everyone that is alive from the previous games will show up at some capacity. Now depending on your choices and mistakes, that will be different for everyone. In my game, a lot of people were dead. I didn't get to see Wrex, Tali, or Kaiden because they died in the original game. Then with the epic fail that was the importing glitch, when I replayed the final mission in the previous game, a few of those characters died as well. So I felt some what disappointed in that regard, but that's a disappointing feeling I will lose over the summer, as I plan to play through all three games again. I also was a bit thrown off that after the initial attack on earth, you feel pretty lousy when you are away for so long "collecting assets to assist in the final battle". It made me almost forget the staggering war on earth that was going on.
Being that this is the final game in the trilogy, the whole paragon/renegade aspect is much diminished this time around. While I mostly played through the game as a paragon, I didn't feel bad when I chose a renegade action or two. The previous games did an excellent job of making you feel like an ass for being an ass, this game abandons that. Also, if you enjoyed the journal telling you in detail every aspect of your current task, kiss that goodbye, as Bioware decided to rehaul that for no apparent reason.
With that said, the only other aspect of disappointment would be in the controversial ending of Mass Effect 3. No, I won't spoil it, and I didn't hate it, but I did walk away somewhat disappointed that there probably won't be a true Mass Effect 4, that's for sure.
This time around Bioware decided to create a new take on Horde mode. These missions can be played with up to four people, and for the most part offer an enjoyable experience if you are playing with a team of decent people. It isn't the catastrophe that most people thought of when it was originally announced.
Shepard's final journey took me about twenty-five hours to complete on normal, which is about five hours longer then Mass Effect 2. I enjoyed almost everything this game had to offer, and on a scale it is one of the most epic games I've played. The biggest thing you can walk away from this game saying is that, they just don't make complete stories/trilogy's like this in the game world. In fact, other then Halo, there aren't really anymore great game trilogies that have stories as epic as this (sorry, Gears 3, you were kind of bad). Mass Effect 3 isn't going to win any new fans over, but for those that have lived under a rock for the past five years, do yourself a favor and take the journey. Start with the original Mass Effect, and work your way to three. You won't be disappointed.