Will your decisions have a Mass(ive) Effect?

Will your decisions have a Mass(ive) Effect?

William Voorhees, A&E Manager

It started off just like any other day in the year 2186.  The people of Earth carried out their daily routines.  That was when the Reapers attacked.

Mass Effect 3 is a third person shooter/ RPG developed by Bioware and published by EA.  It is the thrilling conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy and was released March 6, 2012.

Your primary objective in Mass Effect 3 is to stop the Reapers at all costs.  For people who haven’t played any of the games in the Mass Effect series, I will provide some brief information that you should know.  The Reapers are a massive army of giant, sentient “space ships” that reveal themselves every ten thousand years to harvest all forms of intelligent life.  These life forms include the main races of the Milky Way Galaxy: humans, asari, salarians, turians, krogan, and quarians.

As Earth and many other planets are being slowly overwhelmed by the Reapers, you take control of the veteran Alliance officer, Commander Shepard.  As Shepard, you fly across the galaxy in your ship, the SSV Normandy, trying to unite all the races of the Milky Way and acquire war assets to aide in the fight against the Reapers.

The setting of the Mass Effect series spans across the entire Milky Way Galaxy.  Over the course of the game you will be doing a lot of long distance space travel.  This is made possible by mass relays, which are basically giant rail guns used for covering massive distances in miniscule amounts of time.  Some of the locations that you visit are the post apocalyptic, krogan home world of Tuchanka; the militarized, turian moon Palaven; and the “capital” of the galaxy known as the Citadel.

Many improvements have been made since Mass Effect 2.  First off, the RPG aspect of the game has been upgraded.  In the second game, you would get points for leveling up that could be placed in your abilities.  All it did was power them up until the last upgrade where you could choose one of two options.  Now, there are many more options for customizing you and your squad mates’ powers.  Another big improvement is the ability to modify your weapons.  You can purchase an all around performance upgrade and you can also add attachments.  These attachments can include enhanced scopes, larger ammunition clips, and so many other enhancements to improve your firepower.

There are not many down sides to this game.  The only thing that I can really see wrong with it is that it feels shorter than the last game.  In Mass Effect 2, you had to do missions to recruit most of your crew.  Later in the game, you had missions you could finish to gain your squad mates’ complete loyalty.  In Mass Effect 3 your squad kind of forms as you progress through the missions.  This time, you don’t need to win their loyalty.  I can see why this would help though.  Instead of focusing on individuals, you are supposed to be focused on the big picture: the safety of the galaxy.

Mass Effect is known for its deep, enthralling single player experience.  With Mass Effect 3, Bioware decided to take a chance by adding online multiplayer.  This proved to be a success even though it messed with the formula of the game a bit.  The multiplayer, known as “Galaxy at War”, consists of four player co-op matches in which players must work together to survive waves of enemies.  While this new mode provides hours of fun, it also affects the single player.  When you get through the waves of enemies successfully, your galactic readiness increases for single the player.  This, rather obviously, is how ready the galaxy is to fight the Reapers.

All in all, Mass Effect 3 is a truly awe inspiring game.  In my honest opinion, it has already secured its position as game of the year.  It has the perfect balance between narrative and game play.  If you consider yourself a gamer, you need to buy this game.  Before buying it though, I would highly recommend playing through the first two games so that you understand the plot and get the complete Mass Effect experience.