Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mass Effect Trilogy, My final thoughts


To say I am a huge fan of the Mass Effect Universe is like saying the sky is blue. I love almost everything about the series, the individual lore of every species, the beautiful visuals to the amazing music. I bought the first game on a whim for the xbox 360 and after the first mission on Eden Prime I was hooked. I had to explore every nook and cranny of the galaxy, no side quest left unfinished. And when I finally stopped Saren, with his army of Geth I had to play it again and again. 
Right before the sequel launched my 360 died, I eventually gave up and got Mass effect 2 on the Playstation 3. I was bitter, not having my Shepard and having to wait till the interactive comic DLC launched to get my Shepard…or as close as I could. This bitterness tainted my first few play-throughs and I didn't really enjoy the second game. 
When Mass Effect 3 launched I was working 80-100 hrs a week and didn't have the time to play it. I was also not on social media, so I didn't hear about the major conflict between fans of the game and the creators until it was mentioned on G4. I finally played the game and to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. 
I say all of this to frame my original opinion of the series as a whole. I recently played all three of the games back to back and I have a clear perspective on how I feel and why I feel the way I do. First I know thousands of people have written on the Mass Effect Trilogy and I know that a lot of people are tired of it, this will be my first and final words on the original Mass Effect Trilogy. 


Mass Effect: 
Original opinion- Perfect, no faults the best scifi game ever! 
The story telling and the flow of the story are the first game's greatest strengths. The music is it's second greatest feature, the score ties it all together. I found the combat taxing and glitchy at best, I found myself rushing through the combat just so it would end. The exploration seemed redundant and did the minimum to help level and score paragon points. Overall still my favorite part of the trilogy but no longer do I see it through rose colored glasses.
Final Opinion- Great Introduction 
into an amazing scifi universe, gameplay isn't all that great but is passable. 


Mass Effect 2: 
Original opinion- It was okay, story sucked, combat was better…I guess.
They kill you, great way to start the second game. A year passes, everyone you know has moved on and now you're working for a terrorist organization. Woah!  The combat is vastly improved and the story isn't as weak as I originally thought, the exploration still seems forced and redundant but the side quests are not as repetitive. Also the DLC enhances the overall experience instead of just feeling tacked on. 
Final Opinion- While the story isn't as powerful as the first game; it is a compelling sequel and the improvements to the combat system are very appreciated. Overall a great game that continues on a great story. 


Mass Effect 3:
Original opinion- WTF! Ugh! 
This is it, the epic ending, the final battle, everything you've faced, all the sacrifices and tough calls have lead to this moment. Did it live up to the hype? I don't have an answer to that. How I feel is bittersweet, I feel like from the beginning of the game it feels like the final goodbye. The dialogue, the music, the visuals all hint to the inevitable final farewell to Commander Shepard and the heroic crew of the Normandy. With that said, the game excels in combat much like the second game, you feel in control and thrive in combat. The story hits the emotional notes and flows fairly well but at times the game feels like a series of fetch quests. I think it's also important to say that without the DLC (Leviathan, Omega, Citadel, and extended cut) I would probably still feel the same as I did when I first played the game. The Citadel DLC is humorous and fun, which I feel is desperately needed in this very depressing ending. Speaking of endings, do I still loath the end? Do I hate Bioware for red, blue, and green? No, I do not. While it's not the ending I wanted or wished for it still is an amazing ending. Also many games, tv shows and films never make it as far as Mass Effect did, with that said I believe they achieved a great success in accomplishing what they did. I feel happier and at peace with where my Commander Shepard's story ended. I am satisfied with the end of what is still my favorite scifi video game experience. I thank Bioware for creating a rich and immersive universe in which I got to explore, befriend and defeat compelling and rich characters. PS you can't hate anyone that thought up the Krogan. 
Final Opinion- I love the Mass Effect Universe, I love the characters, the villains, I love the music and the visuals. I do not love the ending but I am okay with the ending, the gameplay is great and the story is strong. Overall a great game that everyone should at least try out.