To each their own…

Published March 17, 2012 by reachandflexibility

So today before my smashing starts as Freya (pathfinder character) I figured the review of ME 1,2 and 3 should be written. I finished the 3rd one last night so here goes.

Mass effect is the story of Commander Shepard and her Normandy crew off to save the galaxy from the overpowered and quite terrifying Reapers. An ancient race of beings who clear the galaxy of life every 50 000 years or so.

So Mass Effect 1

 

Major Kirrahe “Our influence stopped the Rachni, but before that we held the line!
Our influence stopped the Krogan, but before that, we held the line!
Our influence will stop Saren; in the battle today, we will hold the line!”

I’ll try and sort these reviews in a sort of list view. Keeps it easy on the eyes and stops me ranting…Well hopefully :p

Cons –

Male Shepard’s voice is about as bland as England playing the rugby and whenever he does anything exciting you just think he doesn’t care. He seems to be out experienced with it by everyone in the game, even npc’s.

Planet scanning is a bit clunky. You get this thing called the mako to drive around and it drives badly. Each planet seems to be an overly mountainous (might not even be a word but fuck it) and I sort of wonder what happened to all the plains in the galaxy. Whether they have been destroyed or just been evolved out.

Pros –

Story is awesome, simple yet engaging. You’re put against questions of whether to destroy entire races or keep them alive despite knowing their history of pure destruction. Something which trust me you will find yourself thinking about even if you’re on a one track road to being the most bad ass renegade ever.

Voice acting by female Shepard is one of the best I’ve heard and as mentioned voice acting is perfect. Except by male Shepard. How he can romance the pants of even the sluttiest of asari I’ll never know.

The galaxy is huge and there are lots of areas to explore. With all this you’re looking around 40 hours of gameplay without the DLC (at least this is how long it took me)

Overall –

It’s an amazing game and one I would recommend to anyone. I played on pc so controls were very simple with the WASD and simple clicking to fire. On easy mode combat it’s nothing to worry about. Sound is awesome and you’ll find yourself in love with the soundtrack. Despite the cons of the game you won’t mind at all. They’re minor and defiantly not something you’ll find yourself quitting the game over.

Mass Effect 2

EDI: “I enjoy the sight of humans on their knees.”

Cons –

Voice acting by male Shepard is yet to improve. I wonder if it ever will (bear in mind I played female through them so I didn’t have to hear his Keanu Reeves impression style voice acting)

Mako driving has now been replaced by planet scanning – Though I don’t mind this so much personally, it can be quite dull if you’re wanting to just save the galaxy. It also takes away a lot of the planets that were quite relaxing to drive around (When you weren’t needing to go up hill that is)

Levelling skills and gear has been streamlined majorly to make it easier for the combat guys out there. Now we all know they’re 12 years olds who have apparently slept with my mum so they need all the help they can get but this was extreme. Though I don’t mind the combat itself as it was easier to navigate, I felt this took a lot out of the game as your character felt less yours. I barely levelled my character manually and instead just went for the auto level as it made no difference at all.

Where did my 9999999 credits go!!! Money is hard to come by and you need it for your upgrades. Don’t waste money on a million fish and items you won’t wear or you will regret it majorly.

Pros –

I don’t have to drive the mako anymore. Now I know I put this as a con too but I really did not enjoy the mako and the lay out of the planets. They were irritating as hell and after 40 hours the last thing I wanted to do was be killed by a threshermaw just so I could grab that damn node on the map. (A node that make no difference whatsoever to anything in the game)

Characters introduced are still as awesome as they ever were. Voice acting still as amazing as it ever was, even from the AI. and now more romance options so I finally get my Garrus!!!

More choices during cut scenes. Now I’m not one for  having to hit a button during a cut scene to avoid the evil monster trying to smash my brain in (RE4 I’m looking at you) but these were done pretty well. Jumping in and shooting near a guy to get his attention is something that should be an option in any game. I love this. Sometimes they are a pain to catch as you’ve just relaxed to see conversation but they’re defiantly a welcome interruption I feel.

Overall –

A still good game. The combat changes do make it feel a little different to the first but the story still keeps you enthralled. The ending is a non stop ride of excitement and even after multiple playthroughs i still find myself on the edge of my seat hoping to god that everything goes ok. Trust me like Game of Thrones, anyone can die (except Shepard that is – watch the adventures of blonde Shepard on youtube to watch this happen :p)

Mass Effect 3

Illusive Man: “Don’t turn your back on me, Shepard! I made you. I brought you back from the dead.”

Cons –

Now this is where it all starts to go downhill and I’m sorry for anyone who doesn’t/hasn’t agreed with me so far. This is all my own feelings from the games and hopefully everyone is entitled to their own opinions on the internet.

Levelling and gear has tried to be padded a little more since the second but not enough to make it actually useful. You’ll find 1 gun you like and will stick with it no matter how ineffective it is. I was a soldier with a sniper rifle for the entire game! Heavy weapons you barely get a look at apart from when you pick them up off corpses and even then they’re limited to use. Levelling skills is just time-consuming and again seems to make no difference at all gameplay wise. Yet again just use the auto level up for effectiveness.

Planet scanning has been replaced with galaxy scanning. You basically fly around the galaxy and at random ping your scanner to hopefully find something. Each ping will alert the reapers of your presence until they chase you out of the area and from then you’ll have trouble getting back in if needed until you complete a mission. I ended up resorting to a guide on this so that it was less random and I could get it done to 100% without destroying any sort of enjoyment in the game for me.

Characters can now not be interacted with around your ship unless it’s some sort of event. Now you just listen to what they have to say without any type of personalization. It’s a real downer for anyone who used to visit their crew members after each mission just to make sure everyone was all ok. Now you may as well not bother.

Knowing whether you will win against the reaper threat is confusing. You need to have a certain readiness in order to win and this is gained by scanning planets and making everyone happy (choosing renegade seems to screw you in places for this…I know, I know, it’s renegade and it should but still. I want to be a badass not all evil of the galaxy) And even then and this is the most irritating point – if you want the good ending (And I say ending with a taint of bitterness in my well… typing) you need to play multiplayer. Now if you’re like me and 1 you have no friends and 2 you suck at playing with the 12-year-old online who as previously mentioned are sleeping with my mum, you will hate this. All endings should be available to all players no matter how they want to complete it. This has bugged me quite a bit and I will angry face at the keyboard for this. I can’t change it so angry face will do for now.

Now onto the ending….Well its a copout. I don’t know if the writers had to go somewhere that day or they had a meeting and realised they’d ran out of budget to make something decent but it’s pants. I suggest playing to the final point where you’re given 3 options what to do and then close the game. Pat yourself on the back and come up with your own ending. Trust me anything you think up will be better than what is shown in front of you. So as not to spoilt it I’ll leave it at that for you.

Pros-

Romancing is still as good as ever and some lines are even sweeter. My last words with Garrus honestly bought tears to my eyes. (I’m quite an emotional person so maybe it’s just me lol)

Voices are still amazing – I can’t give an update on male Shepard as I’ve not seen him yet but trailers haven’t made me want to watch paint dry so that’s a good start I feel. Lance Henriksen being more present is always a bonus too.

Graphics have had a major update. Now I want to put this in cons as well but I’ll give the game a break at this point. If you’re like me then your character will look nothing like it did originally. There is a bug so you can’t copy old characters so you need to make them again and even then your character will look sort of offish if you copy it over but you’ll get over it as it’s minor. Graphics look good with each character and they look even better for the worlds around you (London is amazing)

Story is still good. It’s lacking in a lot of places but it’s still good. Bringing peace between races is pretty cool when you’re going through it all and the reports you get in about the end of the universe coming give the atmosphere a feeling that can’t just be shaken off. You do feel like you’re fighting towards something and you feel that you actually need to save the galaxy. An epic feeling that is missed by so many games.

Overall –

As many good points as there are with the third I would rather it hadn’t been made. I don’t like how it has tainted such as epic series of games especially with the ending it gave. Maybe they will release a DLC ending (something that god I wont be happy having to pay for). For now, I suggest just playing the first 2. Step into the 3rd but don’t waste that much energy on it. It’s not a bad game but if you want to experience Mass Effect and experience it for all the good reasons just imagine this one doesn’t exist.

Please don’t flame me with abuse on that final note I just felt really let down by it all when finishing it last night after what felt like so much work (there’s not even as much gameplay as the original ones too)

Hopefully my reviews were understandable. These are just for people who can’t stand the reviews online that go into insane depth. ^^

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4 comments on “To each their own…

  • Halleluiah, planet scanning is gone! It has returned in some form but one does not need to spend large chunks of time collecting resources to upgrade weapons and ship components. Planet scanning is mainly used to collect war assets in Reaper controlled territory but even this can still get a bit tedious at times.

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