Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mass Effect Trilogy Review

So, I FINALLY completed the Mass Effect trilogy. I didn't spend as much time as some people, but I played how much I wanted to and, after all three games, I finally feel like I have an opinion worth writing about.  My rating's gonna be based out of 10. I am reviewing the games as a single entity, and will rate on gameplay, characters, story, music

Gameplay: I'm just gonna get the worst thing out of the way right away. Let me be clear, as a trilogy the gameplay is questionable, mostly because a clear third of the trilogy's gameplay (Mass Effect 1) is incredibly fiddly and mediocre. Mass Effect 2's gameplay was a leap, and 3's was even more of a leap forward. I enjoyed that game the most by far, but found that the same old bugs kept it back. Although the games have a very noticeable improvement rate, it still retains some of the things that irritate the hell out of me: bad targeting and almost-perfect contextually-sensitive commands, that only screw up RIGHT when I don't want them to ( I swear, I had to restart quite a number of missions because of almost hilariously bad bugs).
Summary: While the 3rd game is awesome, 1 and 2's mediocrity don't quite make up for it. And those damn bugs.... 4 outta 10

Music: OK, this is where the series really is at it's best. I loved each part's music a lot, but again, 3 really is where the quality comes out in full force. I mean, I just might buy 3's sound track. It's that good. There's a good amount of quality, and each piece is just...perfect.
Summary: Um, yeah, already wrote it I guess. 9 outta 10

Characters: Oh, this is where you think I'd sing the praises of the game, right? Well, yes and no. While the supporting characters are amazing (Mordin and Tali, if only I could play with you all the way through!) and deep and inspiring, Shepard is not. He's nothing better than a tabula rasa, a man who's convictions and emotions are forced and contrived. I know I'm disliking the very concept of Shepard, but when I find that I like Link and Master Chief better than the Shepard I spent 100+ hours with, you can start to see the issue. And I've never even played a full campaign of Halo! That's a huge hit against what really should be rated higher.
Summary: Gah, Shepard, you're boring... 6 outta 10

Story: This yet another part that should be rated highly, but again, it's not. I was unable to download the updated endings for Mass Effect 3, so I was stuck with their original creative vision, and man, was I disappointed. There. Was. No. Frickin. Conclusion. None. The fact that I have to go look up these endings and/or download them is a horrible crime against the story. I mean, damn, people! After 100 hours of gameplay, and the original conception was this? Gah, no wonder everyone got so pissed. And, to be clear, I've looked up these extended endings, and wasn't a big fan of any but the secret one, the "true" one, as it were. If I'm gonna spend so much time on something, I want to be rewarded, not condescended too!
Summary: The quality of a story can be judged on it's ending. This ending sucked. 2 out of 10 stars

Overall, I'm completely turned off by BioWare games. The fact that I spent so much time and got very little to show for it just puts a really sour taste in my mouth. Remind me to just stick to table-top.

Overall Score: 5 out of 10

On the bright side, at least I know that there are other things to do with my time...