I recently completed Mass Effect 2 and then straightaway played Mass Effect 3. In fact, Mass Effect 3 and my worry about being unable to avoid spoilers for any longer were the reasons I decided to buy a new 360 back in February and I am still surprised I managed to avoid spoilers for this long.
I have blogged about Mass Effect 2 and my love for it before:
- Things I’d like to see improved in Mass Effect 2
- It’s time for Mass Effect 2!
- Mass Effect 2 – First Impressions
- Mass Effect 2 – Some more thoughts
- Mass Effect 2 – “Oh no, here comes disc 2″
- Mass Effect 2 – “Who observes the Observers?”
- Mass Effect 2 – Oh yes, there was that whole saving the galaxy thing..
Finishing the game in the end was strange. In some way I felt like I had spent so long playing it [over two years with several far too long breaks] that I expected more from the end than I got out of it. The ending was somewhat climatic, but the lame final boss fight [lame mostly for the character rather than the boss fight itself] and the ending that just seemed to end left me feeling a little disappointed. Additionally, just like with Mass Effect 1, I wanted the ‘perfect save’ which included saving all my squad members, as well as having everyone’s loyalty which was tricky with the last addition of Legion and the kidnapping of the crew.
Despite this I loved the game and it is definitely one of the best ones I have ever played for reasons mentioned in previous posts, as well as the great missions towards the end of the game, such as Joker’s rescue of the Normandy. Seeing squad members develop over the series was fantastic, too, and brought home BioWare’s extraordinary writing.
Mass Effect 3 started off with a bang and emotional. Leaving Earth and seeing the kid from the vents climb into a shuttle just to see said shuttle obliterated by a Reaper beam sent me crying and established the high stakes and dangers from the start.
Mass Effect 3 had many fantastic moments and scenes. Some of them include:
Seeing previous main characters reappear and play a pivotal part in the game. This includes the Rannoch, Palaven and Tuchanka missions. Having my experience shaped so much through the course of two games particularly came through with Tuchanka where my game played out with the following criteria:
- Having Wrex and Mordin survive Mass Effect 1 and 2 respectively.
- Mordin being loyal in Mass Effect 2.
- Having spoken to Mordin enough in Mass Effect 2 and getting him to sing in that same game.
- Saving Maelon’s data in Mass Effect 2 to ensure Eve’s survival.
Of course not having those would still have had the same mission, but with different characters to replace them and definitely not with the same experience and I love that the game can take all that information to shape my experiences.
Seeing previous side characters appear was great, too, such as Jacob or Thane, as well as seeing the impact they had on Mass Effect 3 and the changes they had gone through since the second game. At times it felt like they were just lining up to appear in a mission, but for the most part it was organic.
General character development yet again made the game as great as it is, as well as the writing. Too many moments made me laugh and there were a lot of emotional moments, such as Grunt’s end on Utukku, which at least for me wasn’t an end at all.
There are some things that I didn’t like about Mass Effect 3. They include:
- The Reaper fight on Rannoch with its bad design and pointlessness.
- Conrad Verner’s side mission. Whilst his appearance made sense in the context and it was lovely to see him over the series, the solution of his mission seemed incredibly unlikely and far-fetched though it was lovely to realise that the mission only played out this way for me due to a mission in Mass Effect 1 and the right choices with Conrad in Mass Effect 2.
- The dream sequences.
- The end.
The end of the Mass Effect trilogy deserves another post.