Mass Effect 3 – Review (PS3)

Mass Effect 2 was one of my favourite games from this generation, giving the chance to shape the destiny of whatever version of Commander Shepard that you created. So I was really excited to see how Bioware were going to close out the trilogy.

The game takes place after the conclusion of events in the Mass Effect 2 DLC expansion ‘Arrival‘ and now that the Reaper threat is real and imminent Shepard finds herself reinstated and back on active duty.

Your decisions from the previous game carry over and any casualties your crew sustained are also mirrored here. For Mass Effect 3 you’ll be tasked with banding together a, mainly, fresh crew. There are a couple of exceptions but on the whole all of the characters from your crew in Mass Effect 2 that you bump into have no interest in re-joining you on board the Normandy.

So it’s a similar set up to before as you go about the galaxy recruiting your new crew and trying to do your best to prepare for the upcoming fight against the Reapers.

This third instalment felt a little bit more lightweight in terms of play time and clocked in at around 30 hours, whereas Mass Effect 2 was closer to 40 hours. However having said that there is more DLC upcoming that adds to the campaign and in the last game there was no multiplayer component.

Speaking of multiplayer, it’s safe to say that Bioware have delivered what we all hoped it would be – of no consequence to the single player (other than adding to your ‘Readiness’ rating – one of numerous ways to increase it) and a fun blast of online action.

It’s the same sort of horde mode seen frequently elsewhere but it’s well executed and gives players to chance to control the non-human species in the Mass Effect universe (Quarians ftw 🙂 ).

Going back to the single player campaign and it would be remiss of me not to at least mention the ‘ending’ debacle that plagued the game. My spoiler free take on it is one of pure frustration. Even with the new DLC ending added on I didn’t get the resolution I was looking for.

I didn’t have any issue with the ending itself, which was what most people were arguing about – it was the lack of clarity… If characters are dead in the ending of my playthrough show them dead! It was fine in Mass Effect 2 so why not here? Anyway it doesn’t really affect the game too much – I just found it really annoying after investing so much time in the series.

Overall I found Mass Effect 3 less enthralling than the previous game – it’s certainly a very good game but I just didn’t like the crew members as much in this instalment. The ending soured the game slightly for me just because it feels like all the other endings at least offered some sort of closure. The multiplayer is a great addition and I would definitely recommend trying it and if you played Mass Effect 2 you’ll enjoy seeing out the story and watching you Shepard do her stuff.

Rating: 9/10

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Mass Effect 2: Arrival – Review (PS3 DLC)

One of the contenders for Game Of The Year, Mass Effect 2, brings some DLC that bridges the gap between 2 and upcoming sequel Mass Effect 3.

Providing you didn’t inadvertently kill off your Commander Shepherd during Mass Effect 2 😆 you continue on as the same character.

A missing secret agent on the edge of the galaxy sees Admiral Hackett call you in for a covert operation. Get them back and find out what you can about the threat of an imminent Reaper invasion.

Firstly let me get my crushing disappointment out of the way. During Arrival you go solo for the entire mission. I was expecting to have my squadmates with me as per the rest of the main game. Perhaps indulge in some conversations about the events that concluded Mass Effect 2 but sadly this wasn’t to be.

After getting over that it was pretty much business as usual. If you liked Mass Effect 2 then Arrival is more of the same – the point here is advancing the story as opposed to improving the gameplay.

Arrival certainly does that – sitting at around the 5 hour mark it’s a great bite sized chunk to carry you over/prepare you for Mass Effect 3.

There isn’t much that differs from the main game but this is well worth it at the price on offer. I would’ve loved to have had squadmates with me as I felt without them the game lost a little bit of it’s tactical nuance but it’s a DLC pack I’d recommend if you have any interest in the Mass Effect universe.

Rating: 7/10

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