Mass Effect 3 Review

Mass Effect 3 Review

When Mass Effect arrived on the scene, it arrived with some real gusto. It gave us the epic sci-fi tale of Commander Shepard, a character who, while being very integral to everything, could also be unique to every experience. But it also gave us gameplay experiences that had been done before, but never with such precision and longevity. Here we had a game that allowed you to make different decisions and they would actually mean something, and not just in that game either. Mass Effect 3 is the culmination of this and it's where you get to find out how the decisions you've made over the past two games will come back to haunt you.

The final installment in this epic trilogy picks up shortly after the events of Mass Effect 2. Shepard's team has managed to take down the Collector base/Reaper factory, to varying degrees of success, but in the aftermath of those events, Shepard is briefly imprisoned by the Alliance for his/her rouge actions under Cerberus.

Fortunately, the Reaper's arrival in the Milky Way quickly pushes any lingering hostility to the side. Mass Effect 3 opens with a bang, as the Reaper's launch a full scale invasion of Earth, devastating humanity's defenses with ease. Shepard reluctantly retreats to seek Council support and begin the wider battle for the survival of all organic life.

Mass Effect's well-realized and detailed universe has always been a strong selling plot for the series, and the third installment in every way lives up to the lofty expectations. It's a tale that will see you traversing around the galaxy, attempting to drum up support for the war effort against the Reapers. But it's arguably the story in the Mass Effect franchise that feels the most coherent, perhaps because it feels as though so much is at stake.

As you progress through the game, relationships will again show how paramount they are to the core Mass Effect experience. The game does a great job of building on these relationships, especially with former squadmates from the Collector mission. Those who survived the suicide mission gradually make appearances in Shepard's latest quest, more often than not in unexpected ways. Overall, Mass Effect 3 feels far less formulaic, in terms of narrative, than its predecessor. Managing this complex web of characters and situational permutations seamlessly is a real credit to BioWare.

It's also quite interesting to see the differences between the default play-through and that where a save has been imported with historical data. Familiar faces show up in different places depending on how history has remembered them and it does help to craft a unique experience. You will often find that the moral decisions you have to make may be swayed depending on who they focus on. For instance, if an old comrade is leading a squad, are you more likely to support them than if it was a new person, who's fresh in Mass Effect 3?


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