Mass Effect 3 Review - Don't Fear the Reapers

Game:Mass Effect 3
Ten Ton Hammer
Ten Ton Hammer Rating
77

Multiplayer - 82 / 100

I never thought I’d be writing a section on the multiplayer aspect of a BioWare game. Anyway, what we’ve got here is a glorified Horde mode from Gears of War where 4 people attempt to survive over a sprawling area. Ammo stations are scattered liberally throughout, keeping guns filled and enemies reeling. &However, every few stages will have an objective that resembles king of the hill, or capture-and-hold types throughout the level. This changes the focus from offense to defense, and in the later stages when some of the truly nasty enemies start spawning, can make things super hectic. Your teammates can revive you if you fall, but if you die alone, expect to be executed by the enemy in short order!

Play as any of the races in multiplayer, each with unique abilities and passives.

There is a leveling system just like single player, with similar traits and classes to unlock. You make credits from missions which are used to purchase random goodie boxes that can contain equipment or additional bonuses—of course, these can also be purchased with cold hard cash if you want a quick edge or have money to burn. Your multiplayer stats do affect your single-player game to an extent, so you might not want to neglect this entirely, to avoid spoilers. Stupid as that is, the multiplayer is a great distraction and a good time.

Still, that ugly ‘port’ feeling rears its ugly head when there is a loading screen for host migration as they leave. Not only that, but there's literally no way to chat via text or keyboard in game. Don’t have a mic? Don’t want to wake up everyone else in the house? Sucks to be you.

Value - 65 / 100

So with a more diverse package, how does the actual game hold up? For 60 bucks, I completed the story in ~30 hours and put in a solid 10 on multiplayer and I’ve had my fill. That’s a bit of a disappointment in my book, mostly because the writing felt a little sub-par and the game overall plays out like a console shooter with a side of biotics and tech. Will DLC extend it? Absolutely, ME2 proved that you can put out stellar DLC that is well worth it, but we can't review a game based on future prospects, can we?

Lasting Appeal - 77 / 100

Mass Effect 3 is a great showcase of how to make a fun multiplayer timewaster component in an RPG, and if others could learn from it, we’d possibly see a resurgence in the dying genre. I just don't feel nearly as attached to the new cast as I do the old ones, and basically glossed over the side quests for the new team to get back to people like Thane and Wrex once more. We’ll remember the crazy cooperative sequences, some epic music pieces, and Garrus once again proving that he is the goddamn man, but on the whole this game is a forgettable shooter that I wish I could have rented.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Those left alive have some pretty cool cameos (Jack!)
  • Music took a huge step up from ME2
  • Multiplayer actually doesn’t suck

Cons

  • This game has too many plot holes for such a great studio and house of writers. The reapers can purge entire galaxies, instantly bypass Earth’s defenses and take over the moon before anyone notices, yet take their sweet old time purging one planet?
  • Combat feels really easy, even on the higher difficulties
  • Seriously? Only a few characters from past games join you again? What the hell!

Conclusion

I love this series, and I still enjoy this game. But I don’t enjoy it because Mass Effect 3 is a great game; I enjoy it because of the scenario and characters built up over the last few years. Standing alone, Mass Effect 3 is a cover shooter with a few decisions and side quests to complete along the way while the Reapers take their sweet time incinerating Earth. As much as I love chilling with the old cast once more, I can’t believe I have to prove myself to the same clans whose asses I’ve saved over the past few games time and time again, and STILL people are like, “Reapers? Don’t know what you’re talking about Shepard.”

So while the writing and pacing may detract a bit from what should be the most epic of space conflicts, you’ll still have a good time blasting the hell out of aliens, robots, and your former employer. It just doesn’t feel like as big of a step forward as the second game was from the first.

Overall 77/100 - Pretty Good

Metacritic