niccoles's Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360) review

Profound Sadness

Where to start? Well, I started my adventure by importing my ME2 FemShep and that worked without any hiccups (though her hair is a bit lighter). Now this was my femshep that was imported from ME2, which at the start gave me 57 level up points (she was lvl 29 in ME2) and that let me go immediately crazy with power selection (you could practically upgrade every skill in your tree up to lvl 3 and still have points left over). From there, reaper shit hit the fan and it was time to kick some ass. The controls from the demo are more refined and that is immediately apparent from the very beginning of the game (the controls have a looser feel to them rather than the more confined ME2 controls... makes me wonder why they didn't use a newer build in the demo). I would highly recommend importing your ME2 character (if possible) because it rewards you by giving you an awesome early edge in combat. You will start out with two squadmates (Ashley/Kaiden and James) but soon you will be reacquainted with your old crew from Mass Effect 2 (depending on the choices you made in the past ME games). The Normandy is mostly the same but is more streamlined. The command center has been slightly altered to include a war room that will have you communicating with aliens and persons of interest (Admiral Anderson). I like the change but the hidden load time from the war room to the command center is aggravating (even though there are two characters that will give new dialogue during the wait). The other new addition to the ship is the docking bay. This area holds the shuttle mobile and is where you can upgrade guns, equip armor, and buy supplies (eliminating the need to constantly going to the Citadel for new supplies). It's a nice touch but know that you have to visit the shops at the citadel before you can buy supplies from them via the ship. The galaxy map is more refined but largely the same (mining is gone but you are now given a sonar to scan for planetary anomalies). Missions are given in a similar fashion to ME2 but there's a twist that comes in the form of N7 missions. They are short, wave based missions that are interesting at first, until you realize that they are just the multiplayer maps being recycled into the single player for no reason. Otherwise, the missions in ME3 are not bad except for the ending mission. The ending mission is a complete piece of garbage that made me go from loving the game to absolutely loathing it. The ending makes no sense and even though there will be a supposed clarification DLC coming soon, it is still an atrocity. All the great dialogue in the rest of the game cannot make up for an ending that makes as much sense as the Founding Fathers fighting Mecha Godzilla. The multiplayer is also uneven. The mode lets you use any of the classes from the single player (soldier, adept, vanguard, etc.) and go bananas with three other gamers in a Gears of War based horde mode set in the ME universe. I thought this would go well but once your having to depend more on your own skills than having two NPCs helping you, certain character classes become useless and hated. I tried using an infiltrator but I still felt that it weak even though that character was level 16. I then considered changing my character but I forgot that you cannot use an alien character unless you spend multilayer points or your own money towards random multiplayer packs. This is a horrible way to keep players engaged as the random packs usually give useless or temporary items that don't help the fact that the characters should have more than three non customizable skills in battle. And as much as it takes cues from Gears, it feels like a step backwards because the gunplay is not that engaging for such a mode (to be honest, it never was). This game is beyond disappointing and falls apart due to corporate greed.

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