Official Release Date March 6, 2012
My review is only the single player demo that I finally got around to trying.
I’ve played and finished both Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. I must admit I didn’t do every side quest there is but I did do some, time permitting and had a blast playing. I enjoy the space action type RPG game like Mass Effect. There’s some RPG elements but nothing to the sophistication or as deep as say Skyrim. That’s fine by me. Bioware has even offered an option for different types of gamers. Ones that would rather focus on the story and ones that would rather focus on combat. The difficulties change based on the selection. Looks like they are trying to cater to a wider audience of gamer types.
Personally, I had a great time with the Mass Effect 3 demo for the Xbox360. Once again, you are John Sheppard, all around badass, ready to save the universe. It starts off with the usual character creation menus and options. I went with normal difficulty for now with the Vanguard class as I recall doing so in Mass Effect 2 and had a lot of fun with it. I would recommend a class that has some biotic/special abilities. Rather than just shooting regular blaster guns, you have more flexibility to utilize different powers and strengths. This plays out more once your get a squad together and can be more tactical in defeating enemies based on everyone’s abilities. I love comboing charge with the shotgun. Devastating!
The beginning sequence plays more as a tutorial giving you pop up help on controls and movements. It gives you a bit of back story and foreshadows some things to come. I won’t spoil anything to those who haven’t tried it yet but it’s a nice refresher for the Mass Effect world for those who haven’t looked at the series since whenever the last one was released….namely me.
It didn’t take long to get used to the familiar controls again. When the first short sequence ended, I thought for sure that that was the end of the demo and thought to myself, “wtf that’s it?!?!”. Thankfully it moved to another sequence which is apparently later in the game that is purely action focused where you and your squad must reach checkpoints and complete an objective. Not too difficult except for those pesky turrets! You can’t just run and gun to a certain degree. You have to be a bit more tactical in your approach.
- Character models looks good, along with the voice acting. It’s always been good.
- Lip syncing/facial gestures are adequate. Nothing like L.A. Noire which to me is the standard in this regard, but definitely not game breaking.
- Was nice to see some familiar faces again like Wrex and Garrus.
- Graphics look a bit crisper and sharper than previous games.
- Mass Effect 3 demo has that similar polish that we’ve come to know and love.
- Running animation looks weird
- The combat is more or less the same as previous. Movements can get a bit “jerky” trying to roll and take cover around objects since it’s a third person shooter (TPS), especially when the action get’s up close.
- Shooting mechanic is decent but does feel a bit slow especially aiming down sights. That might be alleviated by playing around with the sensitivity settings though.
- Demo was more action focused. I wonder if that’s the direction of the series…less RPG, more action?!?
- Demo did not demonstrate much in terms of RPG elements other than all you to see some screens with skill trees and point allocation system. Just view only for the demo.
The Old Guy in Me Says
If you are a fan of Mass Effect 1 or 2, you already know you’re getting it. Everything is a bit smoother and more refined than previous and looks like it will wrap up the trilogy nicely with the final battle with the reapers. If you wanted to, just like previous games, you can pour hours and hours into this game with various side quests and missions. The beauty of it is if you don’t have that kind of time, you can still enjoy playing the main quest which I expect will take a number of hours anyway. Although hard to tell in the demo, this iteration might be more action focused which may deter or disappoint those looking for a deep space RPG game. To tell you the truth I am okay with it as I generally have limited gaming time anyways. However, I suspect the final product will please Mass Effect fans both old and new. The demo just highlighted the action elements to “sell” the game to a wider audience. I don’t think they’ll neuter the final game as some people fear. I’ve already got the game pre-ordered using some gift certificate I won.
Definite Buy (get it cheaper if you wait a few months since EA games tend to drop fast).