As far as finale’s go, there are none bigger than Mass Effect 3. In just two games, the series has skyrocketed into something else altogether. Bioware are having a really busy couple of years.
The first Mass Effect introduced us to the world, it’s inhabitants and really everything that could potentially be at stake. Mass Effect 2 brought the threat into some real clarity and showed that the stakes were on a galactic scale and not only that, but that the threat was already on our doorstep.
The game opens with Shepard on trail for his actions during The Arrival DLC story in which he destroyed a Mass Relay in order to delay the arrival of the Reapers. However, the trial is put to an end when Earth is attacked by the sentient machines, which has been brilliantly shown in the teaser trailer released last year.
Utterly powerless to fight back against the garganchuan exterminators, Shepard flees the planet with the goal of uniting the alien races of the galaxy and striking back against the ancient machines and put a stop to a cycle that has been reoccurring since the dawn of time.
Much as been said about the combat in Mass Effect 3. In the first game, the combat was a bit of a mess in my opinion, cheap deaths were aplenty and difficulty varied greatly depending on which character class you played. Mass Effect 2 was much better, focusing on a cover based system and limited the amount of powers the player had access too, but also refining each one so that they had a more defined effect in combat.
Opinion has ranged from ‘combat is entirely different’ to ‘not much has changed’ from various commenter’s and developers, all in all though reaction has been positive. Movement has been made easier and the ability to gun and run seems to be a style that might work now with the improved melee abilities.
The in depth convocation trees and character depth is coming back and the game piles on top of everything that was good about the previous games and makes it even better. Combat, stunning environments, varied and interesting characters, it’s all back and it’s all better.
One of the bolder moves from developers was the game’s new features utilising the Kinect. This is a feature everyone involved with the Xbox360 seems desperate people be impressed with. The big feature is the ability to use abilities and command your AI teammates around the battlefield simply by speaking.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the Kinect, it’s always seemed a bit gimmicky to me. And while many of the people who have tried it all say it’s a fantastic feature, many critics have already pointed about that more often than not, the Kinect will misinterpret your speech and you’ll end up throwing a grenade when you want to send Garris into cover.
My point is, While Mass Effect 3 is Kinect compatible I wouldn’t feel like you’re missing out on anything if you don’t already own one. This isn’t a trend I want to perpetuate.
The game is also set to include a multiplayer mode, a decision that has been met with some controversy considering the news that playing the multiplayer seems to be necessary in order to achieve the best ending in the single player mode. Multiplayer seems to come in the form of co-op mission modes where a squad of players work together in order to achieve a goal. Multiplayer is fine, but having it directly affect the single player campaign seems like a very risky decision.
Criticisms aside, Mass Effect 3 has been a long time coming, and if Bioware’s recent form has anything to say about this game, it very well might be the highlight of the year.
The game hit’s stores early this March. Are you looking forward to it too?
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