Mass Effect 3 is such a great game (clears throat). It deserves nothing more than being bullshit RAAaaaANT! All images are courtesy of the Internet and are copyright to EA Games (publisher) and Bioware (developer). I do not own these images (heavens forbid) I do not own the copyrights to the massive disappointment that Mass Effect 3 was. We use them for educational purposes only, to demonstrate how BAD of a game Mass Effect 3 really is.

Mr. Towelhead reviews:

mass effect 3_cover

MASS EFFECT 3

Talking about Mass Effect 3 (from here onwards ME3 or simply put “this piece of shit”) has become an endless rant about the ending. Like others before me I will not even touch on the ending. This review has the purpose to demonstrate how BAD of a video game Mass Effect 3 is, disregarding the GOD AWFUL and COLORFUL ending.

STORY

You would think there is not much you can do wrong on the third installment of a franchise. Well, Mac Walters, Neil Pollner and John Dombrow, credited as writers, did the impossible. The story of ME3 is, missing in the best case scenario, while most of times its a galactic grocery shopping tour going from rumor to rumor. Yes, you hear rumors and decide to investigate, thats part of the background story.

I know Hollywood has a trauma with the “Last Resort” plot. We have seen it a million times. Independence Day (1996 Film): We install a virus on the Mothership, we destroy all other ships. Reign of Fire (2002 Film): “We kill the male dragon, we kill  the species.” Matrix Revolution (2003 Film): Neo fights Mr. Smith, the machines spare humanity. The concept exists in generalyzed forms in other medias. For example; some vampires and werewolves stories rely on the plot of: Kill the original one to kill them all.

God I wish this scene would one day become true.

There is no place like home. There is no place like home. There is...

“There is no place like home. There is no place like home. There is …”

And you may wonder, what has a “Last Resort” plot lost in Mass Effect 3. Well… ME3 had a fairly original, marginally interesting story, all they needed to do is bring the conflict to an epic conclusion. But now we have a “Last Resort” plot, called “the Crucible”. No one in the game knows what it does exactly, but God bless them, they build it anyway. And so the story resolves around you finding resources to build such device… I get that video games are primarily supposed to be fun, rather than realistic. But really? What military or government would spend trillions of credits in a thing they have no clue what so ever.

The “game-plot of the game”, so to speak, is well done. You roam the galaxy convincing all the different forces of the universe to join you for the final battle. Its fun to finally appease the old hatreds among the different races. BUT. Its all good until you realize you do this to no avail (but that would be talking about the ending… my bad).

The hallmark of the Mass Effect games were the different paths you could choose in each game, and the terrible consequences of such decisions. Sometimes it meant and extra cameo, sometimes it meant the death of a fellow squad-mate. In ME3 decisions of the past change, nothing of weight, only cosmetics.

MECHANICS

ME3 features a “streamlined” button configuration with a single button responsible for 8 different actions in the game (taking cover, leaving cover, running, combat rolling, climbing cover, jumping cover, opening doors and grabbing items). I mean why not, if it only worked well. You will find your character doing all sorts of crazy things except taking cover in the middle of a firefight. Which is marginally annoying in the lower difficulties and fatal in the higher ones.

Gears of war is THE 3rd person shooter for good reason. You can reload your weapon and change weapons while running, rolling, taking cover and even while moving in cover. Try anything like that in ME3, tough luck, your character has to stop, take a coffee break, and then (if he’s not dead already) reload his weapon.

Mini-games are gone (Mass Effect 1 and 2 had them, in the form of hacking events). Vehicle sections are also gone (you could drive a tank in Mass Effect 1 and hover in a high speed tank in Mass Effect 2).

LOST POTENTIAL

ME3 features a terribly bad designed system of exploration. You have to scan worlds while avoiding enemy ships, if they touch you, its game over. Something like this is unacceptable in the 2010’s. More over Assassins Creed III, demonstrated how to implement naval combat in a 3rd person game successfully.

Assassins Creed 3 naval fights are out of place in a Stealth Game, but WHAT THE HELL! YEAH!

Assassins Creed 3’s naval fights are out of place in a “Stealth Game”, but WHO CARES! :D

Just imagine how much fun it would have been to, at least try to escape a naval-style, galactic battle between the player’s spacecraft and the enemy’s spacecraft. The thought of it brings to mind tons of game exploration features and upgrading potential. Picture it in your mind. At first the Reapers [enemy ships] catch you, you barely try to escape, if you fail = game over. With time, tons of exploration and upgrades you could even fight them. And lastly with skills and luck you may… defeat them!

CHARACTERS

The Mass Effect series gained a huge fan following because the characters portrayed where well written and voice-acted. ME3 features mostly a small cast of new characters with zero personality. Even old ones have detrimental personalities. The game was rushed to cash in on the momentum of Mass Effect 2. Fair enough. The industry does that often. But there are solutions to that. You increase the budget and personnel working on the game. In ME3 you get the feeling that the budget was not spend where it should have. I don’t see Casey Hudson [Director of Mass Effect 3] with white hairs and sleep disorders, he looks like a well rested spoiled brat with too much time on his hands.

Is THIS the face of a man who's WORKED his ASS off for the sake of the project! HA! TELL ME!

Is this the face of a man who’s WORKED his ASS off for the sake of a project?

GAMEPLAY

Enemies have extremely weird hit boxes [hit boxes = the parts of the “body” of enemies that register damage to said enemy]. You can unload your entire machine gun clip on the center of mass of an enemy and do nothing to its health. But you can fire a head-shot to the empty space next to the enemy’s head and blow its head clean off his shoulder. Don’t believe it, try it out.

My biggest frustration was trying to hit a gigantic enemy closing in, in slow motion, and STILL MISS because the hit boxes are f* up.

The game’s worst feature are the enemies. ME3 is a 3rd person shooter. [A 3rd person shooter is a game that focuses on firearm combat around a main character whom the player will control, and see in a 3rd person, over-the-shoulder camera-perspective, very often these games rely on cover mechanics]. As such, a big part of the game are the enemies you encounter and, basically, provide the challenge.

A good 3rd person shooter features varied types of enemies with different strategies and levels of difficulty to challenge the player, tests his (button pressing) skills to the maximum, force him out of cover and surviving. At the end of the day, make the experience of playing the game, actually exciting. Now imagine you face exactly the same enemy over and over again for the entire duration of the game. Sounds boring? Well get ready to play Mass Effect 3.

ME3 features two different enemy types. I mean, really!? The Super Mario series features THREE basic enemy types. Goombas, koopas and piranha plants (or if you prefer mushrooms, turtles and human-sized piranha plants).

mass effect 3_evil family

Bowser [main baddy of the Super Mario franchise] could teach the development team of Mass Effect 3 a thing or two about enemy design. I mean look at those evil turtles!

Back to business. Bare in mind that the Mass Effect series used to be a Role Playing Game with a GREAT story, GREAT music, and fairly decent combat mechanics to drive the story forward. ME3 is a poorly designed 3rd person shooter, with only TWO different enemy types. I MEAN ARE YOU CRAZY. By the way Mass Effect 1 and 2 had each six different enemy types. And to add insult to injury the enemies are similar between themselves. LAME!

Say hello to the Cerberus Family

mass effect 3_family

It’s time for some sarcasm: PUT ON A FAKE CASEY HUDSON FANBOY ACCENT “But they are really different! [slurp] One is a normal soldier, the other is like a leader of the soldiers, and the other is like an engineer, just that it looks really similar to the others… [slurp]”.

VERDICT

Mass Effect 3 deserves nothing higher than a:

2 / 10

It is a rushed and poorly designed 3rd person shooter with a bad story. Our expectations were enormous and the developers should have known better. The only good thing about Mass Effect 3 is that I felt compelled to play a real 3rd person shooter like Gear of War. And for that it deserves some credit.

P.D. If I may say anything about the ending. I think I speak for many when I say I was hoping for a Renegade Interrupt to blow the star child’s head off. The ending I was hoping for was Shepard gathering all the races of the galaxy, and instead of wasting resources on a machine, we have no reason to believe it would work, put ALL the money into weapon research and development. Then we PISS every single bullet in the entire universe against the reaper. It least it would have been a fun way to go out.

BTW if you haven’t already I HIGHLY recommend you check out this dude:

The Rageahölic

rageaholic

He’s got a great review of Mass Effect 3, and it’s in VIDEO format! SO you don’t have to read!

[click on the Linky link here for da VideO]

I think that my review of Mass Effect 3 is somewhat influenced by the truths discovered in his reviews. But I wanted to verify it, so I got the game from the discount second hand binge and checked it out for myself. And here it is.

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