Mega games get mega reviews in a megaly disordered fashion.

Monday, 19 March 2012

MASS EFFECT THREE WAS FUN FUCK YOU (single player edition)

Attention: spoilers!

Now that that is dealt with: let's first have a look at the part of the game that didn't suck, namely: 99% of the game.

Mass Disrespect 3 returns to the series on the slightly confusing note of Shepard sitting in a detention centre. For those who didn't download the DLC Arrival for ME2: everyone got angry that you fucked over a bunch of non-council terrorists (who get destroyed by Reapers anyway) which in turn allows everyone in council space to sit on their arses for a while debating whether or not Shepard is a liar/badman/hero. Cue Earth being taken by Reapers while Shepard learns the basics of shooting a gun and punching things with laser fists.

To be fair, the tutorial is one of the better parts of the game by allowing people new to the series to get acquainted to the control system, old players to go "oh shit, Shepard can now somersault!" and everyone to laugh at the gangly flailing that is Shepard's running animation. However, it kind of also set a bad tone with veteran gamers. Anyone who picked the Ruthless backstory for Shep and played through both games as a Renegade (badman) is forced to look at Shep's tortured face as a child dies, even though you may have let umpteen people dies previously and not given a shit about them. To top it off, the Reaper that kills said child is quite happy taking down taxis whilst the most advanced ship in the galaxy is floating ten metres away with it's hatch open and Shepard staring out with a melancholy expression.

The game proceeds through the established channels of recruiting players and nations, much like previous games, and stays pretty fun throughout. Team mates make welcome returns and have made significant steps forward whilst Shep has sat on this thumbs apparently doing shit all apart from making touching speeches. But: OUT OF THE WAY, FUCKERS! The trick is that most impressive part of the game's characters doesn't lie with the guys in your team. It's about the people you meet who showed up in the other games. The meeting with Thane who now spends all his time in hospital due to his chronic illness (but still gets himself killed fighting an asian cyber assassin ninja from space) is only topped by Legion sacrificing himself to give Geth true AI, finally creating unity and peace between Quarian and Geth. I felt more attached to Wrex and his macho headbutts than to James Idon'tevenknowhissurname who spends all his time cleaning his "gun" and pretending to be a hispanic.

There are so many things thrown in for people who have played the previous games that you can't seem to step anywhere without going "I remember thaaaat" and nodding happily. Fuck, the best bit of the game was a side quest that managed to link in multiple quests, as follows:

A doctor is complaining about broken Medi Gel dispensers and a Cerberus preacher. After fixing the dispensers you find out that the preacher is (REF #1) Conrad Verner, your number one fan. After sorting him out, he calls (REF #2) Gavin Hossle from Feros to give you some bonus data which can't be accessed without the (REF #3) Elkoss Combine license. Then, this can't be decripted without (REF #4) Asari matriarch writings from Mass Effect 1. After changing my boxers, Conrad points out his Cerberus link, who pulls a gun on Shep. Conrad catches the bullet with his chest, Shep punches the guy, I thought it was all over. THEN (REF #5) Jenna from ME1 pops up to say that she put duds in the gun. Mind blown. And the game is full of tiny points like that. You are constantly assaulted emails concerning people from your past who have helped save the day in small ways, or who decide to aid the war effort. It also means that your war assets are through the roof for returning players by the halfway point, even without multiplayer, but heyho.

So, the game is good, the back-referencing is fucking perfect, graphics are good, story is great, the enemies are challenging when placed in certain situations, the final assault on Earth, including the "final sprint" is spafftacular, and ends. Ish. I don't really remember. It's a bit of a blur.

Imagine: you've just spent 40 hours collecting assets and soldiers (and reputation. Still no idea what the fuck that is) from across the galaxy and making Shepard the most holy person since Prometheus picked up some modelling clay and then...none of it makes a blind bit of difference. In ME2 they pretty much play a ticklist of: "Yep, you bought double glazing, that saved a life. Oh, and good job for picking the robot to hack shit, that was a clever move". In ME3 you get nada. No gold medal for your time completing side quests. No Hanar comforting the dying in their last moments. No (and this bit REALLY pissed me off) Elcor charging into battle with mounted chainguns, which the game pretty much promised me. From there, you divert any kind of last boss (sorry, Marauder Shields. You were a worthy opponent) and proceed to having a stand off with the Illusive Man, who appears to be nothing but a pawn. Bit lame, seeing as he was a major character for two games and then gets discarded like a piece of gum when there isn't a bin around. "Uh. Shit. I'll just casually drop this on the floor when no-one's looking. Sweet, no-one saw...think I'm in the clea-" NOPE. Fuck you, Bioware.

The ending's almost redeemed by the sad death of Captain "Token" Anderson, but then plummets straight back into the "eh" regions by the appearance of a psychic ghost robot child who tells you the entire trilogy now boils down to three bullshit choices (destory the bad guys and some good guys, control the bad guys, make everyone semi-robot things). Over a hundred hours (if you did all the side quests in all three games) and the endgame is a choice between three morally questionable decisions? No. And to top it all off, each of the endings look exactly the fucking same. No. What about my Paragon or Renegade points? No.

It's like eating a delicious meal and then having the chef come out and tell you that you've been eating feces all along and that you can't leave until you've finished the meal and licked the plate clean. Yeah, it was a delicious quiche, I can't deny that, but you kind of ruined the entire meal. Now, I don't want to see Shepard baking cookies with the council races, or a Krogan/Salarian marriage, but I cured the fucking Genophage, united every race in the galaxy, gave the Quarians their homeworld and apparently made organic races into semi-robots (still not sure on that one). I'd like some fucking closure. But there was none coming. Apart from some bullshit about Shepard maybe being indoctrinated and that the end was him fighting the indoctrination and Buzz Aldrin telling us all that there will be more shit pie arriving at our tables soon. YUM, GRUBS UP GUYS. Cheers for everything, Bioware, and cheers to you EA for being douchebags with the failing business that is Game PLC.

On a closing note: Marauder Shields will be always remembered, never forgotten. RIP

Cliff Notes: 39 hours of fucking amazing gaming, with a return to ME1's sidequesting roots and an excellent carry on from the level/other shit that you got in ME2. 1 hour of shite.
Rating: Mostly 8/10. I'd give it 9, but they don't put a Krogan in your squad which sucked ass.
Would I recommend it to my friendsIf they've not played the other games then probably not. If they have then I would, but I would advise them shutting their eyes and covering their ears for anything after disappearing into the Citadel at the end....

Also, I promise that the next reviews will be more review based, shorter and less tear filled. 

No comments:

Post a Comment