Review by Zylo the wolf
"So this is how it all ends? Well great job Bioware!"
It's best if I say it right away, I didn't discover the greatness of Mass Effect in 2007 when the first game was released. I had a couple of friends that told me that the first one was great, but it was exclusive to the Xbox 360 and I just borrowed a friend's system a couple of months ago so I never had any interest to play. Mass Effect 2 on the other hand was released on the Playstation 3 as well but even if many of my friends said that it was an amazing game I still had no interest to play it since I knew that it is important to carry over your save file from the first game. But it was impossible to not get a little interested in the series during all the hype for the last game, so I asked one friend if I could borrow his 360 and another if I could borrow his games, and I loved the first game, and the second actually was as good as everyone said. Finally, only two months after the rest of the world, I could experience one of the most hyped game this decade.
Just as in Mass Effect 2, the game asks you if you want to use data from a Mass Effect 2 savefile. It's still possible to play through the whole game if you haven't played either the first or the second game, but then the game decides what happened since you made a lot of different important choices in the two previous games that will do some difference in this game. For example every character in Mass Effect 2 could die in the final dungeon if you made the wrong choices there and obviously they won't be in this game if they didn't survive. Personally I think you should play through the previous Mass Effect games before trying this one since then you will feel much more that your choices made a difference.
As in the two previous games the most important thing in the whole game is that you create a Shepard that you can live with. Once again you can select a new face for your Shepard if you weren't happy with the look your hero had in the previous game. And it doesn't matter what class Shepard had in the previous game, you can once again change it. The difference is that Shepard will be on the level you beat Mass Effect 2 with and then you get points that you can use to make your character better. A quick way to describe this level up system is that it's a slightly more advanced system than what Mass Effect 2 had.
I'm not going to spoil anything from the ending of the previous game, but it was clear that a powerful race called the Reapers was going to attack the galaxy to slowly wipe out all organic life and they would start with the humans homeworld, called Earth. The game begins here where Shepard reunites with either Ashley or Kaidan. After a couple of events Shepard warns the Council that all spices must work together in order to save the whole galaxy from these Reapers, and thus a new adventure begins where Shepard must travel all over the galaxy to convince everyone that they need to join forces to this big threat. Even if Shepard have managed to take out one Reaper in the past, there are now way to many for just one commander to handle.
In case if you have forgotten which class did what here's the six that you can pick. Soldier is just like it sounds the combat expert that focus on the weapons and don't really care about using powers. Many picks this class on their first playthrough because is seems to be the most simple one, but I'm not so sure about that. Adept is the biotic master class which focus a lot more on using biotic techs instead of weapons. The class comes with a lot of different cool techs which is best used if you can trust your comrades on the firepower.
The Engineer is the tech specialist which means that may not be the best with weapons, but they can send out drones to help them and with a good power they can remove a tough enemy's shield in no time. The other three classes are mixes between these three. The Sentinel is an underrated class which mix tech and biotech making it another excellent choice for those who want to play around with more than just guns. The Infiltrator is a mix of tech and combat skills, I don't really know what more I can say about them. My personal favourite is the Vanguard class, since it can both use good combat skills and biotech skills. If you are not sure which class would suit you best, then read a FAQ before you start the game.
The Combat system is kinda like the same as in Mass Effect 2. When you are in a gun fight it's important that you find different safe places where you can hide to charge up your shield. Now you also have a life bar which won't recharge when you hide and the only way to get this life bar refilled is to use madipacks, which can be found in some places. The equipment you choose is also very important in this game because their weight will not only make you slower, but it will also take more time to recharge your powers. This is no big deal if you choose a Soldier class, but there's no reason to carry that heavy sniper rifle AND shotgun if you barely use them when you can use biotech to cause even more damage.
As always when it comes to Bioware RPGs you get to choose if you want to be a friendly Paragon or a tough Renegade in your answers. But this time you don't have one bar for Paragon points and one for Renegade points, which is something I don't understand why they changed that. On the other hand I didn't see that many choices that was exclusive to how "good" or "evil" you where. But if you can pick a choice that's either written in blue or red, then it will most likely be a better pick than the choices which is in the normal color.
There's an Online Mode in this game where you are a random soldier and fight with a couple of others in an area full of enemies. The more you play in this mode, the more of your army in single player mode is ready to fight the Reapers. Since I don't got an online connection to my borrowed 360 I can only tell what friends have told me about this mode, but I guess most people only play it to get all the achievements and then play another game if they want to play online.
So is this the perfect ending for the series? Well there are a couple minor details that could've been better. For example Udina is the Human represent in the Council even if at least 80% of all players picked Anderson in the first game (because nobody liked Udina) and if you picked a female Shepard then you might not be able to date any male in this game. The only two males that you can date is Garrus (if you had a relationship with him in the second game) and Kaidan (If he survived the first game). I don't see any problems to date females as a girl, but Bioware could've added another datable guy. Finally there are only two characters which were playable in the second game that can join your party here, and I bet you all know who those two are.
But the real reason why this game didn't get a 10 was because I compared it to Mass Effect 2 and asked myself which game I liked more. While this game is not bad, I really liked that you worked for the bad guys Cerberus in the second game. That game also focused a lot more on the cast in your party while this focus more on the whole galaxy. The ending however was NOT a reason while I decided to give it a 9 because personally I thought it was just the way I wanted it to end. I played through these three games in a couple of months and didn't have to wait years for each part to get released, so maybe that's why I don't feel screwed. But all 3 games are excellent, and I'm sure that I will play through this fantastic series at least one more time...
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/17/12
Game Release: Mass Effect 3 (EU, 03/09/12)
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