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Mass Effect 3 Review Bombardment
Review - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Tue 6 March 2012, 10:06:05Tags: BioWare; Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 is released and, what do you know, we already have a fair number of perfect day 1 reviews. This is like that thing Swen Vincke was talking about.
Eurogamer are emotionally engaged. Also, they did their game-journalistic duty by giving a whopping 10/10.
Almost without realising it, I check in on Soldier every time I'm at the Citadel. I loiter and eavesdrop to see how she's getting on, if they've managed to cut through the red tape and get her daughter to safety. Eventually, I overhear the Asari clerk happily telling Soldier that everything has been arranged. Soldier is overjoyed. So am I, in a weird sort of way. I never even interacted with Soldier, but her story felt important all the same. It's a little splash of happiness in a story painted in thick strokes of dread and hopelessness.Everything looks great on the XBOX 360, 10/10.
Most of the gameplay elements that worked with such success in Mass Effect 2 are used again for ME3, with minor tweaks here and there. Graphically we did notice a few slowdowns and frame-rate bumps during intense gameplay scenes or CG movie moments; thankfully they were few and far between. This may have to do with the console hardware or the fact that Bioware created one of the best-looking video games we have ever seen; everything from the textures to the shadows looks great. Describing this game as an action-RPG is probably the best way to go, although you will find little evidence, outside of the story, that Mass Effect 3 is in fact a serious role-playing game.G4TV figured that Mass Effect 3 satisfies better than anything, not just in games, but in any pop medium. ME3 better than Jesus, 5/5.
Mass Effect 3 and the entire series stand alongside Uncharted and Skyrim in exemplifying what games can do that cannot be replicated in other creative forms. What is so unique in this game is how the presence of its conclusion feels like the existential dread that infuses the characters that make up its universe. The paradox of the game becomes painfully prescient as it draws inexorably towards its conclusion. Here, Shepard is trying to determining the fate of everything but the inevitability of the final is inescapable. All the decisions you continue to make in Mass Effect may be less consequential but they feel all the more grave as if the game is becoming a testament to who you are, or who you want to be.Gametrailers endanger their journalistic credibility by only giving 9.5. What were they thinking?
Mass Effect 3 improves many of the series’ individual elements, and provides finality to a saga in which numbers of us have invested dozens of hours. But despite this success, it’s unable to reward the effort and investment of players in the same way previous games did. Still, it handles its subject matter in a way that invites you to care, and the addition of multiplayer does add another dimension to the game. When all has been said and done, there’s a very good chance that you’ll feel something.Incgamers discovered the importance of Fedex quests. Also, only 9/10.
What all of these relationships and narrative choices ultimately lead to is your war 'Readiness Rating'; a numerical value that literally tells you how ready for the final battle against the Reapers you are. This is increased by gaining the support of the galaxy's races, its various technologies and even influential members of the criminal underworld.EGM don't like the idea of Joker wanting to get it on with a robot, 9/10.
Whilst this is built up by simply progressing through the main story, it's also raised by indulging in missions that at the time seem innocuous. For example, a simply search-and-deliver mission within the Citadel (which will be a familiar location to Mass Effect veterans) resulted in the acquisition of an entire fleet for the war effort. The lesson is that, no matter how small something may seem, everything in Mass Effect 3 has the potential to greatly affect your standing and the survival chances of everyone (and everything) who's counting on you.
Mass Effect’s brilliant story remains intact, and if you played the previous two games, the payoff’s more than satisfying. Some cover and combat issues remain unsolved, though, and the idea of participation in a completely separate multiplayer mode potentially influencing your single-player ending is mind-boggling.Gamespot give a 9/10 having some minor nitpicks like scanning still not being much fun. Do tell.
The series' focus on player choice is as vital as it has ever been in Mass Effect 3. The effects of choices in previous installments have an impact in extraordinary ways here, more so than in Mass Effect 2. Sometimes the nods to prior choices are subtle. A lover might fondly recall her previous entanglement with you, while still supporting your new romantic interest. At other times, the impact is far more dramatic. Entire quests, conversations, and characters shift as a result of your actions in previous games (not to mention, your decisions in this one). As a result, you might be delighted by characters other players never meet, share intimate talks with crewmates other players never interact with, and deal with decisions other players never make. And as in previous Mass Effect games, your entire attitude when choosing dialogue options (paragon or renegade) can drive you to conclusions other players could never consider.Didn't see a rating there, but Giantbomb have a review too.
Even though it has some interesting ideas, it's hard to get excited about yet another take on wave-based survival, especially one that uses the occasionally-clumsy Mass Effect combat as its base. Once you start thinking about how most of the campaign's side content either uses these same multiplayer levels or has you performing extremely basic retrieval tasks, it's easy to start feeling slightly indignant about the whole thing.And last but not least, Videogamer dare to (!) give a mere 8/10. And that after BioWare invested years(!) of development time.
But only slightly. At the end of the day, Mass Effect 3 is a game for people who liked Mass Effect 2 so much that they absolutely need to see how it all ends. Despite claims to the contrary from the game's publisher, I really don't think newcomers will get much out of it at all. All it would take is getting to the new character creation screen and being forced to select between Numerous, Ashley, or Kaiden from a screen that asks you who died during your previous missions for a new player to realize they're being asked questions they couldn't possibly answer in an educated way. The value in this story is from seeing characters you adore dealing with a continuing situation. Even though it doesn't come together quite as successfully as it did in the previous games, those of you with an attachment to the Mass Effect universe should still play it.
Attempting to manage your mission codex can be something of a chore, too. Walk past NPCs and their conversations will register key data in your codex pertaining to sidequests. Often, they can be as simple as retrieving an artifact from another planet through mining, or obtaining an item elsewhere. But they remain highlighted in your mission summary until you complete them, and for many, the pile-up will prove alarming. Worse still, there's an unseen time limit to many of these and it's easy to miss them because you opted to tackle something else first.ME2 had better scores. I didn't see a single 11/10 yet.