Reviews for Mass Effect Trilogy
Sci-Fi Fan? Not Got Mass Effect? Why?Rhoobarb | Dec. 31, 2013 | See all Rhoobarb's reviews »
In my 28 years of gaming, the Mass Effect Trilogy ranks as my top gaming series so far, that is not to say that the games are without fault.
There are games that are more fun or challenging out there. It is fairly linear and story based, so the re-playability once completed is limited to playing it all again with a slightly different character. Occasionally it can be frustrating, and at other times too easy.
So why do I consider this to be the top gaming franchise then? Because I have never had a game, or games, provide me with such entertainment from start to end. This is the gaming equivalent of the Star Wars Saga with a large dose of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
It is an epic story that follows Commander Shepard and his efforts to prove the worth of humanity to a wide range of alien races who are, at best, indifferent to humans and their relatively recent exploration and colonisation of the galaxy.
The story starts while on a mission to assess Comander Shepards suitability in becoming the first human Spectre, a top level covert agent sanctioned to work under the high council of alien races. The mission goes badly wrong at the hands of a fellow Spectre, an alien called Saren. Vowing to investigate and stop Saren, he recruits a motley crew of alien races to help him with many of the obstacles for which he may face. Over time Shepard gleans that Saren is a very small part of a much bigger threat, that could be the end to all sentient life in the universe.
The story progresses through all 3 games, with the path followed dictated by the choices and decisions you make throughout. As an RPG game, there is a certain amount of stats fiddling and character leveling, but nothing too intensive. There are two major elements to Mass Effect, the first being that Mass Effect is very much a 'talkie' with a lot of dialogue for all the main characters. Talking is also where most of the major progression choices are made, from reactions and responses toward other characters, to making story critical choices. The characters and voice acting are very well done (with a few well known voices among them), and provide a wide range of emotions and responses to various situations. The amount of time you spend interacting with Shepard and the world of characters around him, you actually begin to feel for them. You want them to succeed in their mission.
The second element being that Mass Effect is a squad based shooter. For nearly every mission you are accompanied by two recruits of your choice. Each of the characters has a range of strengths and weaknesses, picking the right squad members can make things a lot easier. The battles can be exciting and intense, with the AI generally doing well on both sides, aside from a little predictability. The choice of weaponry, aside from upgrades, is down to your choice of main character, and of those you take on the mission with you.
The graphics are not amazing in ME1, but we are talking about a game that was released in 2007, things certainly improve from 2 and into 3. The sounds are top notch throughout, with a lot of gunfire, a lot of background fx aiding to a very atmospheric audio experience. The soundtrack is brilliant, Jack Wall And Sam Hulick have created a huge, amazing collection of tracks that accompany the series perfectly. Orchestral with electronic undertones, the music ranges from blissful and chilled, to fast paced and action orientated. A collection of the best video game soundtracks ever.
The gameplay is just right, the shooting sections of the games are accentuated with cut scenes and dialogue that actually keep the flow of the story going rather than stopping it like a barrier until you complete them. There are many non-combat areas to explore, hundreds of characters to meet and help, or be helped by, all of it contributing in whatever small way to the scale of the game. There are also a lot nice touches that add a lot to the experience as a whole. It all feels like you are playing a movie.
There are some areas that I felt were a bit too much of a grind, the planet scanning and resource gathering was a particularly boring necessity. Driving the Mako is erratic at best. And some of the 'go here and do that' missions seemed more like busy work than contributory to the goal of the story.
Other than those minor irks, a truly amazing game series!
DLC is not something I would normally mention. But in the case of Mass Effect Trilogy, aside from the armour and weapons, the DLC adds quite a lot to an already expansive game universe, to the point I would say you are missing out by not having it, and for some reason that rests a little uneasy with me. Most of the DLC adds a large amount in the way of either the lore, current story, or extra characters. All of which develops your game towards your end goal. The bad news being the DLC is only really available from BioWare themselves, is not exactly cheap, and very rarely goes on sale. If you can afford it I would get it, as it really does add to the experience.
If you are a Sci-Fi fan, and are not scared off from some light RPG duties, then I would get the trilogy, no question.
Like any book, the story needs to be played from beginning, through middle, to end.
One of the best RPG's of all time!alphalegion | March 4, 2013 | See all alphalegion's reviews »
Mass Effect is by far one of the best RPG series of all time. The series has long-running decisions that you could make in the first game, and could have drastic consequences in the final game, as you are able to carry your character across to the next game, right the way through the trilogy.
The voice acting in all of the games is absolutely superb, some of the best I have seen in gaming, and the character models and animations in the Mass Effect 2 and 3 are simply stunning. The environments throughout all the games are all amazing, with actually the first game featuring some of the best, even if the texture qualities aren’t as good as the later games, the terrain itself can sometimes be visual-perfection.
The story throughout the trilogy will keep you engaged from start to finish, and although the original ending to the series was highly controversial and disappointing to some fans, with the new Extended Cut DLC that comes with the trilogy (on disc) it highly improved and you will not be disappointed with the stunning and near-perfect ending the trilogy provides you with.
This is certainly a trilogy worth playing if you haven’t done so already, and if you are a fan of the Sci-Fi genre and RPG’s, you will not be disappointed!