The lights are on
The third installment of Mass Effect 3 was wrought with a grandiose soundtrack along with some great improvements to both new and old mechanics of the series, but how exactly does the third and final iteration of the series stack up with that of the previous installments? Honestly this game was better than expected and certainly has exceed my own personal thoughts of the game.
Putting aside the ending and the uproar it has generated amongst gamers who had fallen in love with the game since the first iteration. Mass Effect 3 has boasted some impressive changes to the game and has gone back to what made Mass Effect 1 great in the first place. Your character (shepard) has been given new skills and subsequent animations that make the Commander more deadly. Not only have Shepard's melee attacks changed but the powers as well, biotic shockwave is no longer a cascading bouncing matter on the ground but rather a midair shockwave. So for those who have grown accustomed to utilizing powers in a certain way these changes may throw many off; but for the most part these changes are welcomed. Many of the classes that utilize these powers have also seen a change not only have a few additions been added but the RPG elements evident in Mass Effect 1 have made a return the likes of which look strikingly similar to the aesthetic of Mass Effect 2.
Much of the RPG elements that were evident in Mass Effect 1 but absent in Mass Effect 2 have made a full return in the third installment. While heavier in terms of RPG fighting mechanics the same cannot be said for the dialogue options that have become accustomed to this game. While much more variety was given in both Mass Effect 1 as well as 2 the dialogue in Mass Effect 3 seems to be severely lacking. At most players are usually given two dialogue options boarding on roguish speech to that of paragon; while with the additional boost of paragon or renegade meter players can push the envelope and be given three (depending on how the player plays it can be four) dialogue options. Of this change it is merely just as I like to say extreme renegade or extreme paragon speech nothing too different from what was presented before but a stronger emphasis as to how Shepard will reply to a person and the tone he or she will convey.
While the tone of dialogue has certainly dropped from the previous two the planetary scanning system has certainly been improved. No longer is it a chore as in the second iteration to scan the planets looking for material by parking at each planet and scanning; but as it stands now players are given a beacon that is shot from the ship that will essentially "scan" the planets. While it still may be a chore for some many will perhaps find it to be a lot easier and more efficient to scanning the vast amounts of planets instead of picking and choosing which to go to. While this is obviously a better change one also has to now take into account the reaper presence. With each beacon outcry from the ship reaper forces will be alerted to your location of which a bar at the bottom of the screen will alert the player as to how long until the reapers enter the sector. Once in the system reapers follow the player until they leave the sector often times the reaper forces will stay in the sector until a mission has been performed elsewhere.
While the game mechanics have seen some much needed changes and improvements from the second game, the musical score just as well has been improved and definitely fits the part of Mass Effect 3. Pitting the player in the greatest fight against their life several musical composers have certainly proved their worth in providing a soundtrack for the final conclusion of Commander Shepard's story.
Sam Hulick, Christopher Lennertz, Cris Valasco, Sascha Dikiciyan, and Clint Mansell have certainly outdone themselves in musical score of this game. Producing music that chills straight the bones of the player and certainly helps the player get into the game. Clint Mansell's piece titled 'Leaving Earth' certainly looms of the player as commander Shepard leaves Earth in the hopes of recruiting the galaxy to help fight the reapers. This game musical score can also be seen in the various trailers that have been presented with the game. It is in my opinion one of the strongest synthasized pieces to grace the Mass Effect universe, with a haunting remind of the reaper sound playing throughout the duration of the track while producing a soft sound of the on-coming war with the synthetics bent on wiping out civilizations.
While I could go on about the musical score of the game it is best if a person's listens to the track rather than read it and of course it would be best experienced by playing the game and letting the scenes play out. While I cannot provide reader's with the scenes or perhaps I'd rather not due to spoilers I will at least present the sounds of Clint Mansell's piece 'Leaving Earth'
Mass Effect 3 has certainly surprised those at launch and later on down the line with an added feature that most thought was impossible. A Multiplayer mode for the series. While it seemed odd to have such a thing in Mass Effect 3, bioware's take on this mode has turned quite a few skeptics of the added feature into addicts of the feature.
The multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3 gives players the option of playing the various classes that can be chosen in the single player portion of the game. The main difference in this mode is unlike Shepard as the player progresses they are limited in terms of that classes structure unless they chose another. Which is to say that if a player is to chose the Soldier class they will not be able to get cross-class training and learn biotics later on down the road; to do so a player will have to chose a character that has biotics such as an Adept or Vanguard.
As with all classes players are given the option of playing Male or Female which is a standard option for each but to add to this players are also given the chance to play as the various alien races present in the Mass Effect Universe. While some notifiable ones are absent from the game the primary ones as seen through the the two iterations primarily the first are up for grabs. Krogan, Asari, Turian, and Salarian are all in the game but there is more than just the differences of opinion for these races. With each being tied to a specific class players can choose whether or not they wish to play an Alien or a human. If that wasn't enough to get players to want to try the multiplayer mode each race also boosts several differences from others in not only their animation and apparent differences but also how they can be played. While humans are able to tumble and roll in the multiplayer mode the Turians are unable to do so; and while Humans usually attack with their fist or the side of their armaments Asari do a biotic explosion that is an AoE to those enemies that may be around her.
Obviously the developers have spent some time and thought into the multiplayer mode and it certainly has shown also boosting some of the RPG elements that are present in the single player portion of the game. Though to gain admittance to these characters players must first gain access to them by getting them in the store which is much like a lottery. With three primary packs (at the game's launch) players had the option of choosing recruit, veteran and spectre packs. Each going up in increments as to how much of a percentage they would have to snag a rare item (to which would be the playable races). A player's best option was always spectre for gaining races but was quite hefty in price for those just starting out. Each having their own price points that could be bought with either in-game currency or console specific payment option at least left the option open for those who wished to use them at the start.
While there were several aspects I did not touch upon the ones I did shine the light upon hopefully has convinced others to pick up Mass Effect 3. Despite the uproar about the ending it is still worth a game that should be played by gamers. If one has not jumped into the series I would definitely suggest picking up the previous installments and working their way to three. This is by far a game for the ages and cannot recommend it enough for those to try it out.
Verdict: Worth the money!