Posted by Chuck Corbin on Feb 16, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Impressions


The Mass Effect 3 demo came out two days ago, and so far, it has impressed me. Bioware seems to be pushing out a quality product, and it really shows when you look at the detail in this game. However, like anything, I wouldn’t call it perfect. There are a few flaws here and there, but as it is I think it’s going to be great when the game is released stateside on March 6th. I want to warn our readers that I’m about to go into some spoilers that will appear in the game.

From the little bit that we’ve seen, the story looks like it’s going to be another Bioware classic. The demo does not grab the save files from Mass Effect 1 and 2, but after you “build” your Shepard, it will ask you about who lived and died in the previous games, allowing you the player to see different dialogue based on who you’re with. It also allows you to choose between Action Mode, Story Mode, and RPG Mode. Action Mode will choose most of the dialogue options for you, and gets you straight to the action. Story Mode is the opposite, where it allows you to choose all available dialogue options, and keeps the combat to an easy level. RPG Mode is more like the traditional Mass Effect game, where it gives you all the dialogue options, but makes combat a bit more difficult.

For the sake of this little “review”, I went ahead and made a male Shepard, of the War Hero Spacer background, who lost Kaiden Alenko in Mass Effect 1. The demo contains only 2 portions of the story, and even though they are truncated a bit, it looks like there won’t be a dull moment. The first section that the demo shows us is the beginning of the game. Shepard is summoned by the Alliance Council, who had just received word that a massively strong force is on its way to Earth. Shepard confirms that it’s the Reapers, just when the Reapers attack Earth. Shepard and Admiral Anderson have to make their way through the besieged city, where they are under attack by Reaper husks and a new enemy called Cannibals, when they finally make it to the Normandy. Admiral Anderson decides to stay behind to help rally the troops left standing, and Shepard and his crew departs as Anderson reinstates Shepard as a Commander.

The second part of the demo skips ahead a bit where we find out that the Krogan and Turians are forming an alliance to help combat the threat. To help solidify the alliance, Shepard and his crew need to pick up a fertile Krogan female from a group of Salarian scientists. Urgnot Wrex is with Shepard, and nearly causes a diplomatic incident when he drops out of the shuttle carrying Shepard and his friends before clearance was given. After clearing up the misunderstanding, the demo seems to cut ahead a bit to show Mordin getting ready to transport the female Krogan to the landing dock. However, as they start the lift, Cerberus shows up and attempts to attack the lift and kill the female. Shepard and his compatriots fight off Cerberus as they follow the lift up to the top. Right before they can get the lift to the ship, Cerberus launches a giant Atlas mech to attack Shepard, and after a good boss fight, the mech and other Cerberus agents are defeated. As the Krogan female steps off the lift, Wrex attempts to be chivalrous by giving her his hand to hold on to as she steps down. Instead, she takes Wrex’s shotgun, and shoots a couple of Cerberus agents that show up, tell Wrex that she can basically take care of herself.

So that’s the demo’s story in a nutshell. Overall, I liked what they were doing for the most part, but there were a few things that bugged me about the demo. It’s possible that maybe it won’t be like this for the full game, but whenever I was playing the second mission, it didn’t seem like I was able to control my squad mates like I could in the first one. It’s possible I missed the commands for that, but even so, it seems like my guys were off doing their own thing while I was fighting the enemy. That doesn’t mean that they were just letting me get shot, but at the same time I liked how in the first two games I could tell my squad where to go. The only other thing that sort of bothered me was that it felt extremely linear. But, seeing that this was a demo, I’ll forgive them for doing that since they can only put so much in at that point. Hopefully, the full game is a bit better at that.

I do like what they did with the cover, though. Pressing the spacebar near a wall will make Shepard crouch behind it, and if you lean outside the wall, an arrow will appear letting you know that if you press the spacebar, you’ll roll out of it to the next bit of cover. The option of a melee attack also helped out a bit, when dealing with an enemy when you’re low on ammo, or when they’re right on you.  They still use the heat sink clips, however, so it’s a little bit of a pain in the butt to have to deal with ammo, but luckily I never really seemed to worry too much about using all my ammo in a critical situation.

So, despite some small flaws, I’m quite excited for Mass Effect 3 to come out. The game looks beautiful on my system, even though it’s over 3 years old. I’m sure I’ll be spending quite a bit of my time on this game come March 6th!

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