Mass Effect 3 – One Year Later

Remember one year ago when we were all playing Mass Effect 3? Remember all the buzz before the release? Remember the surprise the MP was actually worthwhile? Remember the rise of the infamous indoctrination theory? And of course, we all remember the shitstorm the ending caused … When Rabidgames purchased the last DLC and the farewell to Commander Shepard, Citadel, it was the perfect opportunity to have a second, probably more objective look at Mass Effect 3:

Story

Well, not much has changed here. Leviathan and especially the Extended Cut have enhanced it a bit, but overall, it still has the well-known highs and lows. Playing through Mass Effect 3’s campaign again does only change small things due to your decisions in the first two games. The perception is still the same. It may be interesting here and there, but it’s nothing major – which is still a shame. Tuchanka and Rannoch are still – and will probably forever be – two of the best pieces of video game narrative. Still, if you think about the overall story, it is still incredible how insanely awful it all fits together, and even now, there are tons of plot holes in Mass Effect 3’s narrative (what the fuck happened to Harbinger, why is everything weird on the Citadel, how the hell can anyone survive an exploding space station in the stratosphere, and so on).

Gameplay

Here, Mass Effect 3 is simply fun – most of the time. Different classes allow different styles, obviously. Rabidgames’ ‘current’ Adept run (usually the team consists of Liara and Javik) is basically an insane biotic explosion galore. However, this tactic sucks against Cerberus and their millions of shields and barriers … The first run as Engineer felt different, and Rabidgames’ planned third run as Renegade Infiltrator will be different as well. Bioware did a good job here, so let’s give credit where credit is due.

While it is fun, there are also two drawbacks: The first one being the incredibly linear levels. You proceed to narrow corridors, shooting, cutscene, walking, shooting, cutscene, rinse and repeat. The second drawback is the apparent episode-like character of Mass Effect 3: You go somewhere, tick of the boxes (kill x, rescue y, bring back z), then you go back to the Citadel, never to return. Thanks to the lack of exploration, it rather feels like you’re watching a TV series about Commander Shepard, whereas Mass Effect 1 really felt like being a part of the universe. Anyway, played in small chunks, it is still fun, especially with Javik’s banter.

DLC Policy

We’ll talk about MP later, and let’s face it, the Extended Cut was nothing but Bioware closing 7/10 giant plot holes, trying to salvage this shipwreck of an ending. Let’s talk about the 3 planned single player DLCs for Mass Effect 3: Leviathan was alright; nothing too special, some nice story and lore, some adventure lite puzzles, alright, worth purchasing. Omega, however, seems (Rabidgames hasn’t bought it – and no intention of buying it full-price) like a big rip-off – and beyond that, a lame one … temporary squad mates we don’t get to keep, a hub we cannot revisit … come on! Overall, Leviathan and especially Omega look like ripped from the main game, just to be sold separately for some more bucks. Citadel, however, is something different. It is simply a piece of fan service, a farewell to Shepard and all of our surviving friends. It’s not to be taken seriously, and it definitely is fun. Good job, Bioware. And yet, it hurts. Bioware still have it, they can still write good lines (how often do you laugh out loud when playing video games) and they still know what we want – it’s just a shame they don’t live up to their potential all the time …

Multiplayer

Mass Effect 3’s MP is addictive. Rabidgames knows since he has started playing it again. And things have changed since Rabidgames left the MP half a year ago: Geth White Gold has become harder since camping is a thing of the past now, there are tons of new classes (we can play as an AIU (an EDI clone), a collector(!), a Geth Prime(!!!), oh, and there are Volus) and weapons, new environmental hazard maps, new enemies (seriously, fuck those Dragoons), challenges … it has become harder but also better. Sadly, the once trusted Salarian Engineer has been nerfed … Decoy is practically worthless now … But still, the multiplayer of Mass Effect 3 is still really good – and all DLC is still free. Of course, this is not because EA and Bioware a humanitarians, but because they want to sell their micro-transaction packs – well, whoever pays real money to buy random packs must be out of his fucking mind anyway!

Rabidgames deems: Mass Effect 3 has been dissected and torn to pieces – some of the criticism has been justified by all means, some of it might have been exaggerated. At the end of the day, Mass Effect 3 is a good game. But it’s not a great one, it’s not the game the Mass Effect trilogy deserves. Worst of all: Bioware is still capable of being the best writing team in the industry, it’s just … they rarely use their potential. One year ago and today, it is a shame. Had Bioware shown proper artistic integrity, Mass Effect 3 could have been a sublime masterpiece instead of just a good piece of software. That might be enough for EA, but Bioware used to have aspirations beyond cash …

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: