When Bioware announced in 2005 that it is working on a sci-fi trilogy that will allow players to choose how the series will unfold through the series of choices they face in the game, and carry over those choices between games through the save games, it was taken with a pinch of salt. Despite the reputation Bioware had built for itself as one of the premier RPG developers in the world (Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age are all Bioware titles), that was a dream too good to be true. But when Mass Effect came out in 2007, it spellbound us with a richly detailed world and an amazing story.
Bioware trumped us all over again with Mass Effect 2, with the build up in the story, amazing gameplay, and just like they promised: the ability to take forward your story from the previous game through your save games. The series turned into every RPG fans dream come true (even in the age of Skyrim). Mass Effect 3 launched on this March 6th was awaited as the epic conclusion to this epic sci-fi fantasy trilogy. While we talk about the third and final game in the series, stay calm we are not giving away any spoilers.
Hoping against hope that you are one of those gamers that has been living under a rock for the last few years: Mass Effect 3 is about our galaxy, where there are many civilisation - both organic and synthetic, and the adventures of one human - Commander Shepard as he (or she) fights a menace that turns up every 50,000 years to clear the slate for life - the Reapers. The story builds up from the discovery of a conspiracy to the epic conclusion of the battle to save the galaxy with Commander Shepard leading from the front. All long the way, are allies - relationships that you build throughout the series spread out across the galaxy. Friends, Lovers, Silent spectators, innocent victims, they are all their. And there are choices and sacrifices to be made.
Mass Effect has never been about gameplay. It has been about story, characters, relationships and narattion. It also had a good gameplay to support that, yes. Mass Effect 3 doesnt change much in terms of gameplay. It brings in its share of upgrades, a huge range of new weapons, a complete class of enemies, but it is all as expected and there are not many surprises here. The sound and music of the game is also as expected out of the series, befitting and epic. Voice actors have again done an astounding job to bring out the characters and make them real and make believe. In short the game takes all that was good from its predecessors and doesnt screw around with it, while builds on incremental gameplay. The final game also adds an interesting multiplayer component, built around the lines of Left for Dead, it is an amusing component for what is undoubtedly the most epic single player game ever made.
Sadly, not much can be said about the story without giving away an immense load of spoilers, let us just say: the reapers are finally invading earth and the galaxy, and it is upto commander Shepard (You) and your team of relationships (built over the series) that stands in the way of the reapers and galactic destruction.
The series has never been short of critcism. It has seen it all: loyal fans cribbing about some erratic gameplay glitches, uproar on your ability to romance aliens, even homosexual romance for that matter. Mass Effect 3 tops it all with a huge fan uproar on the ending of the game. And that issue about the day one DLC. While that does offend the sensibilities of the loyal gamer, thankfully it does not take the fun out of the playing experience, kudos to Bioware for that. But please Bioware, over the years, we have come to expect better out of you. Give us an ending that has consequences and resolutions.
Having said this all. Mass Effect 3 is a game that does do justice to the series and in many ways (ignoring the climax) is a befitting ending to the series. The game has recieved critical acclaim and has been gathering astounding reviews. While we dont like giving out numbers, this game is just what it should be: a Must play.