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Sunday, May 27

Take Two: JJ reviews Mass Effect 3. Again


Mass Effect has always been a game where you can go back and play it again and have a wondrous experience without feeling like you've been there done that and be bored (for instance you can only do soooo many Gears of War 1 campaign runs for example). Not so with Mass Effect 3. Having spent 37 odd hours on my first run through which I really loved, despite the now infamous ending, I quickly jumped back into the second run through playing my renegade version of Sheppard known to all as Bella.

This play through I decided to do the opposite of what my "Aubrey Sheppard' did renegade versus paragon. There's something very appealing about Femshep running round the universe being a bitch.

So this time I let the Krogan's know of the plan to prevent the cure being released. Some how I still managed to let our favourite Salarian Scientist kill himself saving the Krogan. I saw a youtube video which suggested that I could have shot Mordin but I some how missed out on that option. I think I would have found it hard to do even if I had realised I had the choice.

If there's one thing that pissed me off about this game its the Geth versus the Quarians section. To find out that the Quarians started the whole mess and continued to be so bloody big headed about all these things was annoying. I only saved the Quarians on this second run through to get the differing story line and crickey seeing as I was going all out renegade, it was tough putting all those bullets into Legion's face. It felt like I was putting Short Circuit to death!!

I really did enjoy the mission where I entered the Geth hivemind or matrix or whatever it was and jumped around in a virtual reality (or simply a different state of mind, as that's how the Geth see things...). It was old school in it's simplicity but totally high concept which was good Mass Effect.

Let's talk about the ending again. I enjoyed it more the second time round. Yeah there's some oddities such as using sythentics to kill organics because organics make synthetics that kill organics but the ending is not the blindside or deus ex machina that so many people have suggested it is.

To my mind, the entire game dropped many many hints as to what the ending was coming to. Indeed, the whole plot point about Cerberus and Reaper control was a big pointer in the right direction - was the Illusive Man on the right path all along? It would appear so...and did he give us a lot of hints along the way!

I also chose the synthesis ending - I hadn't realised in my first run through I could just walk straight ahead... anyways as I did that I realised - why would Joker need to run away from the green light I just unleased on the Universe - then I further realised, he'd have had no idea what was coming his way. Still no reason why EDI was on the Normandy when she supposedly got destroyed by Harbinger on the means streets of London eh?

The Mass Effect game, is a massive universe with many stories criss-crossing into and out of each other. As much as I love these long convoluted star treks, I do love the little moments. Finding out the nice Bartender from ME2 was Liara's other parent was a nice little moment, saying goodbye to my gill wearing friend on his death bed was another. The sweetest bit in the whole game for me however was when Sheppard and Garrus had a sniper rifle shooting contest on the top of the Citadel. It was strong moment between two old friends, each knowing that from that point on, they might never get to shoot the shit again.

If you haven't played Mass Effect before two things - well done for reading to the end of this review and two - go buy it, and enjoy it. It's written so you don't need to have played the other ME games - however there's more value in the game if you have.

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