After sinking 150 hours of my life into Mass Effect 1, 2, all the DLC, all the books, all the comics, Mass Effect 3 had a lot to live up to as the conclusion to the current storyline.
I’ll keep the below as spoiler free as I can, and I defiantly won’t be discussing the controversial ending in any detail.
As with all the other games, I did every single mission, had every single possible conversation and picked up everything I could. After every mission I would walk around and speak to every member of my crew just incase there was an update, or any anything additional I could get from the game.
EA in my mind did a very clever thing this time round, they introduced war assets, and Galactic Readiness. Both of these could be increased by playing multiplayer or generally speaking to people and running side missions, these then apparently made a difference for the end game.
In addition they added the free Datapad app for iOS which did 2 things well, it allowed you to play a time based resource gathering game which tied into your EA account and added readiness to your main game. I have to be honest, once I’d finished with the iOS ‘game’ I had 100% Galactic Readiness with only playing one game of ME3 Multiplayer. The other thing it did well was allow you to download messaged. These messages were from people you’d interacted with throughout your last gameplay, and would simply say something like ‘Hey Shepard, Got all the families settled and everyone’s working 24/7 now’, or other stuff based on the conversations you’ve had. Over the course of the game, I probably had 100+ messages, which just added to the whole experience, and kept the universe alive even when I was at work.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to play as often as I wanted (every night, weekend, free moment), due to other commitments, however from buying the game, the game took me around 45 games hours and possibly a couple of months to complete, this included the day one DLC.
The game itself seemed very streamlined, a lot of the fiddly bits that existed in Mass Effect 2 were dumbed down or removed totally, allowing it to be a very smoother experience. I didn’t spend hours mining for resources to upgrade weapons, these were just bought.
Kinect support was there, however I didn’t really use it, I think I tried it out for maybe one or two gaming sessions, but found it got in the way more than anything. It seemed to pick up background noise a lot and assumed each noise it heard was a command. Realistically I was quicker using the controller than using voice commands, and when I switched it off, I didn’t miss it.
The graphics are gorgeous, from the opening to the final scenes, as well as the sound design. There was one particular sound effect that actually scared the crap out of me, which I believe it was intended to do. For people that have played the game, it was the sound you got when you’d scanned an area too much.
A lot of people complained about the day one DLC, however the squad member that you pick up does actually add a lot to the story. If you didn’t bother with the DLC I’m assuming you’ll miss out on a whole load of back story, so if you’re as invested in the Mass Effect universe as I am, I’d highly recommend playing the DLC as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the conversations.
Thoughts on the ‘controversial’ ending. It’s something I’ve had a couple of days to think about now, and to be honest it’s something that has been at the front of my mind for the past couple of days. I don’t think after around 200 hours invested in ‘Mass Effect’ it’s the ending I would have liked, however after mulling it over, it’s fitting for how I played the game and did feel ‘some’ closure. To be honest, it’s a similar feeling to watching Donnie Darko for the first time…trying to understand what I’d seen, and then spent some time googling to understand more, so for that, hats off to them.
All in all, I loved the game from beginning to end, and I’m interested to see how the ‘extended cut’ ending will hopefully answer some of the question that I’ve currently got going around in my head, but if you’ve played Mass Effect 1 and 2, I’d highly recommend playing this just to experience it for yourself.
Approx Time taken to beat – 45 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Assets, Comics, Commitments, Conclusion, Conversations, Datapad, DLC, Ea Account, End Game, Free Moment, Gameplay, Games, Ios, Lot, Mass Effect, Me3, Missions, Spoiler, Universe