Late To The Game: Mass Effect 3 Xbox 360 Edition

Waited almost 4 years for disappointment

[Note: I got my account back after I wrote this review. However, it didn’t have any of my saved files from ME1 or ME2. In addition, this is review was based on the original ending and not the new one Bioware made after the fan outcry.]

I’m starting a new idea for my blog in which I review a game that’s already been released for some time. My goal is to practice my writing since I figured if I play a game, I should write a review.

However, I got side-tracked writing this review for two reasons. One, I worked at a temp job that occupied most of my time. Two, I kept playing other games like Borderlands 2 after I finished Mass Effect 3.

How all the fans felt after the ending.

That said, the sub-header is true, to an extent.

Please take a few things to take into consideration when reading my review.

First, my Xbox rrod in the summer of 2011. At the time, I decided to wait and purchase a Xbox One thinking it would be backwards compatible (it wasn’t). Second, since I’m borrowing a friend’s 360, I tried downloading my Xbox Live account I hadn’t used in years. However, it got locked down, even though I knew the username and password. In addition, there are a plethora of video games I want to play that I haven’t, such as Borderlands 2 and Red Dead Redemption. Based on the limited amount of time I had, I decided to bite the bullet and start a new game in ME3.

This also meant I didn’t play any of the multiplayer component. I think playing the campaign only was a better choice considering I wouldn’t use the Xbox Live Membership much after I return the console. Moreover, I didn’t have any of the DLC. Again, borrowing a console and would rather pay the Gold Membership when I get a Xbox One.

That said, this is one of the few games I purposely saved to when I had free time. I didn’t read any of the reviews (which was hard). However, from the heat it got over the ending, I knew something bad was up. But I’ll get to that at the end.

As a quick refresher, you play as female/male Shephard who’s out to stop the Reapers, a superior artificial intelligence that wipes out all  sentient beings every 50,000. In ME3, everything comes to an end.

This is a great game due to many factors.

The story is compelling, even though it’s just event after event. Bioware also did a great of job revisiting previous locations without backtracking.

Decisions in the game are also felt (at least before the ending) as your build your galactic forces. Unless you made all the right decision in ME1 and ME2, you feel the impact of your choices, especially when you have to make political decision that impact, your military force.

The graphics are amazing, even on the Xbox 360. You can see every debris and facial expression in the game. The occasional graphic hiccups and lagging don’t hinder the game much, but is noticeable.

I also enjoyed the combat. Bioware watered-down the RPG elements throughout the series, as ME3 is really a RPG-shooter. Areas are expansive and New enemies such as the Brute and Banshees force you to keep moving.

Some areas of the game I didn’t like as much. For example your teammate’s AI is still terrible as they will constantly get themselves killed more often than not. I also wished they had left the heavy weapons as an inventory choice.  It can be hard to find it on the ground when you have a Banshee in your face.

I also missed the vehicle emissions from ME2. I thought the Hammerhead was a huge improvement over the Mako in every way. Unfortunately, those missions became a side note with limited interactions.

Another issue are the side missions. Either you conduct a bunch of fetch quests while trying to avoid the Reapers, or if you do something, it was a Defend-the-hill mission.

Finally, the ending was terrible.

I basically felt a sucker-punched (as I’m sure many others did) after investing 100 plus hours into the series, including dlc from ME1 and ME2. As someone who bought into the “your choices matter”, it didn’t matter in the end. More importantly, with the enormous emphasis on the finale, it didn’t help for the game to take a plot twist at the end.

This fun video pretty much describes the anger by the fans. But Bioware/EA dropped the ball as your decisions from ME1 to ME3 didn’t mean anything. The game basically had the exact same ending but with slightly different colors.

I spent about three hours the next day reading up about the controversy. I agree with many of the people who argued why the original ending was terrible, which tended to be the new twist at the end and the forced endings.

Ultimately, I found this to be a great game and series, despite the final chapter.

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