GAME'D: Mass Effect 3
Commander Shepard's epic journey comes to an end
Full disclosure: I love the 'Mass Effect' series. Everything down from the combat to the story pulls me in, and I've been awaiting the final chapter of Commander Shepard's journey ever since the final scene of 'Mass Effect 2', which showed the Reapers making their way out of dark space.
Bioware have a reputation for delivering an experience and a story, and perhaps most importantly, characters you care about, and form a bond with, or at least as close a bond that can be forged with a digital character onscreen. I went into 'Mass Effect 3' with the team I brought through a suicide mission alive, a Shepard who's story I've made my own, and high hopes, and true to all expectation, Bioware deliver the first true modern epic- the point where game and movie cross paths and join in perfect symmetry.
Well, obviously that's hyperbole, but we'll look into that soon.
Take Earth Back
First things first- James Vega isn't that bad; in fact, he's a pretty solid, grounded dude. Also, Jessica Chobot= meh.
'Mass Effect 3' begins with you at ground zero of the Reaper invasion- Earth. As Commander Shepard, you have to marshall the galaxy into a cohesive fighting force to take Earth, and ultimately, the rest of the universe, back from the threat that's plagued civilization for millenia. Gameplay has been improved, and Shepard is a lot more mobile than ever- there's no limit to how far you can dash, you can roll from cover to cover with a press of a button, and look for the higher ground on a battlefield. It's not entirely perfect though, as 'Mass Effect's cover button has always been a little sticky, making it somewhat inconvenient when dashing across a battleground only to find Shepard sliding into cover on the first waist-high obstruction he/she finds. The ability to look for higher ground gives ME3 a nice sense of dimensionality, as well as making it a whole lot easier for sniper players to gleefully camp and take out enemies without being snuck up on easily.
The guns have a real heft to them this time round, with each weapon handling in a distinct manner- not every assault rifle handles in the same way, and every modification you add to your gun gives it a unique feel, adding further to the RPG elements in ME3. Melee is also a welcome improvement in the series, though the uncancellable finisher blows are somewhat made ineffective if the enemy has moved in the time it took you to hold down the button to the game executing the command.