Mass Effect 3 Demo or Not Overwhelmed

OK, Rabidgames played the single player demo for the upcoming uber epic sci-fi RPG soap opera Mass Effect 3.

First of all, the narrative comes off incredibly weak (does it really say Bioware?). Before the game starts everyone hates you, then humanity loses contact to everything, you get summoned to help them, the Reapers attack, all hell breaks loose, you’re the good boy/girl Shepard again and the tutorial starts.

Wait? While the Reapers annihilate humanity all around you and your lonely squad mate … you have to play a damn tutorial? Yes, you do. As a result, there is no insane action, and nothing feels epic about the start. Nothing. What about a virtual reality tutorial where Shepard is practising … and then Mass Effect 3 starts? Sounds better somehow.

And it doesn’t stop there. While the Reapers wreak havoc and kill humans by the dozens in nanoseconds, you are supposed to gather forces throughout the galaxy to ultimately come back to earth and liberate our dear mother from the Reapers. Hang on a minute … Wouldn’t the Reapers have cleansed the earth within hours, them being eternal and powerful and deadly? Anyway, you will likely spend (in-game) weeks cruising the galaxy looking for help in Mass Effect 3 Also, former friends Cerberus try everything to kill you despite them being the focus of the Reapers as well (OK, Rabidgames admits there is hope Bioware finds a clever solution for this weird logic).

OK, the gathering allies part. Fucking hell Bioware, you are really stealing from your own backlog, aren’t you? And do you think no one will realise? Ever? Mission failed!

Let’s see:
Reapers threaten galaxy ————–Darkspawn threaten Ferelden
Spectre Shepard ———————– Grey Warden
Unite all peoples of the galaxy —— Unite all factions of Ferelden

That’s a tad too obvious, don’t you think. It smells like Dragon Age Origins all over again. Just because it worked once does not mean you have to recycle it!

Alright, so the narrative either doesn’t make sense or it’s a cheap rip-off. But what about gameplay?

Luckily, that’s where Mass Effect 3 shines. You can play the way you want to – and you can develop your character more than you could in Mass Effect 2 – even in the demo! Grenades are back, your health doesn’t fully recover any more, and you have more abilities to choose from. Above all, the enemy A.I. has improved a lot. Those Cerberus guys you face try to flank you whenever they can, they move around and duck to avoid your fire and the turrets are a cool addition as well. Your squad mates are still a bit dumb though. Rabidgames also learned the hard way that taking cover does not always spell safety in Mass Effect 3. If the angle is right (or wrong) you get still hit. Good move, Bioware.

Rabidgames wonders: What’s wrong with the world? Bioware manage to develop a game with good gameplay mechanics yet they completely fail to craft a decent story around it! Maybe there is more to come, but there are big black holes sucking in logic anywhere. Even if the action is fine, the narrative falls flat on its sorry ass – and that’s basically the death penalty for a Bioware game. Let’s just hope the story is not as bad as it seems now …

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