As we all know, Mass Effect 3, was one of the highest anticipated games of this year (and it is only March!) It has been a week since its release and the controversies about the game’s story have been floating all over the internet. Whatever your opinion may be, you have to admit, the game is downright awesome.
The best part about this entire game (or should I argue, series?) is the fact that every single decision you make affects the storyline in one way or another. At the start of every game, you have the option of importing your previous character and decisions into the next game. For example, if you let someone die in Mass Effect 2, they won’t be there to help you in Mass Effect 3. That kind of commitment to a unique story for each and every player is what really amazes me about the franchise.
My experience through the game was excellent. I decided to take it slow and do everything the game had to offer, which is opposite of how I play most game (rushing straight to the end). Let me tell you, I do not think there is a better way to experience the game.
When the game starts, you are instantly thrown into the action on Earth. As you know, the Reapers are here to essentially destroy every race in the universe and Commander Shepard will not stand for it. If you have kept up with the series, you will know that Shepard is one guy that just does not give up and will do whatever it takes to save humanity.
Once you realize the fight is too big for humans to face alone, Shepard begins his journey of traveling the universe and making allies of many different alien races. This is when the real game and decision making begins. You also have control over how long you actually want to make this game. You can do the bare minimum, gain a few friends, and tackle the Reapers from there. However, that seemed like a waste. I wanted to go all in. If Earth is about to be decimated by an alien race that has never been defeated before, I want the entire galaxy.
In order to do this, you must complete every side mission in the game. Side missions will give you more war assets, which will make the fight that much more epic in the end. Doing this, of course, is not required (there is only a minimum number of war assets you need to gain to win). You must also raise the Galactic Readiness level if you want the most epic experience. Also, for you achievement junkies, you will want to do this for a quick 25 gamer points.
The only way to raise your Galactic Readiness is to play multiplayer. While some people out there thought this was a let-down, I thought it was fantastic. Multiplayer is so much fun and easily adds a few more hours to the game play. You and four other allies have to fight off 10 waves of enemies that get progressively more difficult as it goes on. Depending on which map you choose, your Galactic Readiness will rise in that zone accordingly.
I did possibly everything there was to do before venturing into the final mission of the Mass Effect series. I brought the absolute biggest army I could gather (which is another achievement) and we began our attack on the Reapers to save what was left of humanity. The opening sequence to the final mission was beautiful and very well done.
The only downside to this entire game (and I am sure everyone will agree) is the fact that there was day one DLC. Of course, BioWare did not make this a requirement, but let me tell you, as someone who has beat the game with the DLC, the story would make zero sense without it. The DLC was such a massive part of the game, that is was a very bad call to not include it at launch. If you are going to play the game for the first time, I am sorry, but I highly recommend you fork out the $10 and grab the DLC before you start.
Now, let’s talk about the most debated moment in the game – the ending. To cut to the chase, I thought it was the perfect way to end the series. However, many will disagree with me. But, if you think about it, there could not be any other way to end it. Without spoiling anything, it goes out of the ordinary with the ending and, in fact, lets you CHOOSE which ending you want. You have three options, depending on which route you take, you will see a different cinematic ending (all three pretty awesome, by the way).
So, love it or hate it, Mass Effect 3 has been one hell of a ride. Between the stories, the characters, the epic tie between all three in the franchise, a gamer could not ask for anything more exciting. Yes, I am sad that it is over, but then I think to myself, “Is it really over?” The game is so big, that I can easily replay it three times and get a different experience each time based on the decisions I make. Long story short, if you have not picked up Mass Effect 3 yet, what are you waiting for?