Product Type: Electronic Arts Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... it brings a close to the epic storyline, it finishes off the characters stories and gives you some closure surrounding shephards story, If ... more
Tell me another story about 'The Shepard'
Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Dialogue, Battle System, Story, Scenarios, Cutscenes
Disadvantages: Less recruitable characters, Kai Leng
Without doubt one of 2012's biggest video game releases, the end of the Mass Effect saga had to come to an epic end. WIth 'The Reapers' hunting down all intelligent life in each of the galaxies, harvesting millions of human and alien souls to 'stop the chaos', Commander Shepard must once again rise to the occasion and stop them at all costs. The Reapers first destination? Earth. This time it really is personal. For those who are unfamiliar with the mass effect franchise, you'll most likely be lost in the plot as it has spanned 2 very long games beforehand - that and characters, dialogue and subplots change depending on your past experience of both games - destroy a species, kill off a character, make your choice. That said, ME3 isn't exactly impossible to get to grips with thanks to the addition of the default plot choices when choosing new game and not importing a previous character.
The battle system is largely the same as the others in the saga and seems loosely based on Gears of War's battle mechanic, in a third person perspective with a lot of ducking and diving for cover, but with the paused like state for selecting abilities. Compared to the first 2, its far slicker and faster, a real improvement, especially with the new choice of advanced melee and mapped bumper/d-pad commands. The story element is as fantastic as ever and experienced gamers will remain attached to old crew members and mourn/cheer their fate. New, fresh conversations can be found for all recurring characters, new and old. Though the addition of Diana Allers seems thrown in at the last minute, as a mild mannered interviewer who asks a couple of questions but thats about it. Her and Traynor's romance conversations are dreary and rushed.
The story finally comes to an end with a climactic battle through London (by far one of the best levels in recent gaming history let alone mass effect). Fighting new enemies such as Banshees - reaper engineered Asari', Brutes - gigantic charging behemoths, and numerous other basic and specialist troops. One real disappointment is the miniboss Kai Leng - a stereotypical asian cast member, who, in the age of guns/blasters, insists on using a samurai like sword - even though the guy is Chinese. It really seems as if a child put him in there because he is like a techno pathetic ninja samurai. He does his job though, of making you hate him as an enemy (at one point he sends you an email talking trash about how he 'whooped' you in battle) and its not as if the battles are well thought out either as you can never really beat him until the end because of his 'plot armour'. Other than him though, the other battles are decent, whether they are against hordes of troops or even a reaper.
The musical scores have been great in all the games, but this one features a sombre piano concerto that really hits the spot for the grim chance of success. The idea of the game is to unite species and combine forces to take on the reapers in a final showdown. You make your choices whether to help a species or doom it to extinction. You have 'Galactic Readiness' to determine the outcome of your final battle, which is mostly based on multiplayer. This may displease some gamers as ME has strictly been single player, but the MP is actually very well done. There are no children screaming down the mic, no gamer vs gamer choices, just teaming up against numerous enemies across random maps, difficulties, acquiring new equipment via earning and spending points. Make your own custom character like your Shepard, and take part in the engrossing 11 wave long MP. Its really quite addictive and each game lasts approximately 20 minutes - the time really flies.
The levelling system is similar to 2, but offers more distinct choices and even adding/removing new ones and finding updates. The galaxy map has changed a fair bit though, as scouting each galaxy (if under attack) has a chance of alerting the reapers to your location. Scanning is still involved, just less frequently and there is no more bouncing around in vehicles that look and feel like a remote control car. The endings have received bad press lately, as they bare minimal differences, regardless of the choices made and there is no happily ever after ending. I personally found that while the endings weren't spectacular, they did not deserve such negative criticism from gamers. Its a worthy end to a brilliant series, but I wouldn't be surprised if Bioware/EA caved in and made lots of DLC or even a fourth installment, similar to that of the Halo series.
I only came across the Mass Effect series in early 2011, but I bought each one, played them in order, and they were some of the best hours spent gaming for a long while.. Different as well.. no other game can rival the genre known as a space opera. One of my favorite game series comes to an end in spectacular fashion. We can only hope it is not the end of decent single player, campaign based games.
Summary: A must play for any Mass Effect or RPG fan.
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