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Screenshot of Mass Effect 3 Robot

Mass Effect 3 is a science fiction action role-playing third person shooter published by Electronic Arts in 2012. It was developed by BioWare for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Microsoft Windows. This is the third and final chapter in the Mass Effect trilogy with a standalone game being announced for 2016. The latest installment goes by the name of Mass Effect Andromeda and it was also published by EA and developed by BioWare.

Key facts about Mass Effect 3

  • Mass Effect 3 sets the bar high with its state-of-the-art graphics and tells a compelling story.
  • The developers hired professional actors which resulted in superb voice work throughout the single player campaign.
  • Mass Effect 3 features an eclectic mix of role-playing and third person shooter elements, with the result being a fast-paced hybrid game
  • The game engine drew some criticism for the occasional glitches and overall inability to keep up with the stunning visuals.
  • Mass Effect 3 is played mostly in single player, but has a co-op mode which goes by the name of Galaxy at War.

The Mass Effect 3 games

Most of the time is spent playing the single player campaign of Mass Effect 3. Those who finish the set of missions have the option of replaying them or move on to downloadable content. BioWare has released a total of five DLC including some available exclusively for those ready for multiplayer action. The co-op mode called "Galaxy at War" was available right from the star. It allows players to join forces to complete unique missions, with up to four individuals joining a party.

These are the most exciting Mass Effect 3 games, but they also help with the single player. Those who complete these missions have a better chance at securing a perfect ending in the standard missions set. In multiplayer, players can go against Reapers, Geth, Cerberus and Collectors if they acquire Retaliation DLC. The difficulty level of these missions can also be scaled up or down, ranging from bronze to gold and platinum which stands for very hard.

Those who make the transition to platinum maps will be pit against random races that have joined forces. Each mission has a total of 10 rounds and players need to survive successive waves of incoming enemies. During these Mass Effect 3 games players need to work together to perform certain goals. Hacking computers, escorting probes, disabling communication outlets and transporting legal substances are some of the challenges at hand.

In cooperative mode, players won’t use the same characters from single player but create new ones from scratch. Players gain access to additional classes and races, each with unique abilities and a different set of skills. Players can level up and the cap is set for level 20, gradually unlocking new skill branches. The gameplay also differs slightly, with players being allowed to carry limited gear.

What is Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 is the third game in the trilogy developed by BioWare and it can be played on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U. It was published by Electronic Arts, the same company that has covered the entire series and will publish the standalone expansion Mass Effect Andromeda. The game has a lengthy and complex single player campaign and also features a co-op multiplayer.

Screenshot of Mass Effect 3 Groundside
Screenshot of Mass Effect 3 Groundside

Gameplay of Mass Effect 3

The gameplay of Mass Effect 3 as well as the story are influenced by the decisions made by players. Developers went a step further and even the actions made in the prequels can have an impact on the manner the narrative unfolds. Players have the option of uploading the Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 saved files or start from scratch. Regardless of how they choose to start, they get to decide between Action Mode, Story Mode and RPG Mode.

The difference between action and story mode is that the former is slightly more difficult and conversations have automatic replies. The game is richer in RPG elements without losing its appeal as a third person shooter. Players can use an impressive arsenal of weapons, with a total of 25 guns at their disposal. These weapons can also be customized, so players add barrels, scopes or use different ammo.

Mass Effect 3 has fewer characters than its predecessor, with few options when it comes as squad mates. Players improve their skills, gather better gear and weapons but also need to improve their EMS. This stands for Effective Military Strength and is regarded as a matter of War Assets. To improve it, players are supposed to pay more attention to planet scanning which is more intuitive in the third installment.

Combat has also changed to highlight the third person perspective and make the game more dynamic. Players need to take cover before engaging large packs of hostiles and use terrain to their advantage. It is also essential to keep an open channel of communication with your key members to survive in difficult missions. The basic combat mechanics were improved and made more powerful, with players being able to deliver killing blows with the powerful omni-blade.

Screenshot of Mass Effect 3 Fire Fight
Screenshot of Mass Effect 3 Fire Fight

Plot of Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 continues the narrative of the prequel, and begins with Commander Shepard in detention. He takes advantage of the vicious Reaper attack to escape from prison aided by Adm. Anderson. He heads on to Mars hoping to find their powerful artifact that would give humanity a fighting chance. After defeating Cerberus forces he learns about the plans of the hostile Illusive Man to control the reapers. He fails to dissuade him and his attempts to steal the data also failed.

He seeks the help of the Council, but when they turn him down he tries to find help elsewhere. This is how the plot of Mass Effect 3 grows, as Commander Shepard starts aiding other races. He hopes that by gaining their favor, he will be able to raise a sizable army and confront the Reapers. Initially, players secure the support of krogan and turian and then get involved in the word between the quarians and the geth. The next quests take him to the asari homeworld or Thessia to discover another hidden artifact.

The defense of the planet is complicated by his search for the hidden weapon that can help humans level the playing field against the Reapers. The Illusive Man fails to fulfill his plan and instead of controlling the reapers, gets indoctrinated himself. As a result, he gives away key information that allows the Reapers to attract the Citadel. In the final stages of the single player campaign, Shepard and his army of various races attack the Reapers Victory is at hand, but a childlike AI emerges and reveals his identity as the Catalyst, the creator of the Reapers. He gives the protagonist three options to prevail in this war and based on their decisions, players influence the end of the campaign.

Development of Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 was announced in 2010 but development on this game started one year before. In 2011, Electronic Arts released the first detailed information about the third installment in the franchise. One year later, players got the chance to take a look at the trailer, see the cover art and collector’s edition. A demo for the game was also presented to a broad audience at PAX Prime 2011.

Screenshot of Mass Effect 3 Schematics
Screenshot of Mass Effect 3 Schematics

Where can I download Mass Effect 3?

Mass Effect 3 can be downloaded from the EA website, alongside the prequels and the upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda. This is the same publisher that released Dragon Age Origins, Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Crysis 3. Those who want to experience the thrills of other genres, can’t go wrong with any of these games.

What are others saying about Mass Effect 3?

Mass Effect 3 enjoyed critical acclaim and most reviewers regarded the third installment as the best in the series. With an average score of 95 out of 100, it won multiple awards in 2012 including the prestigious best role-playing game of the year. At the time of its release, it had the best graphics, so good that the game engine struggled and was occasionally plagued by glitches. The popularity of the game convinced the developers to start working on Mass Effect Andromeda.

Mass Effect 3 tournaments

Mass Effect 3 has a cooperative mode that allows players to work together and complete missions. However, the multiplayer doesn’t pit players against each other and this game is not a candidate for eSports. Other first-person shooters such as Counter Strike Global Offensive, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Rainbow 6 Siege or F.E.A.R 3 are better at delivering this kind of thrills.

My rating of Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 was an amazing game back in the day and it still easy to recommend it to gamers. In anticipation of the Mass Effect Andromeda it is a must play and can generate plenty of excitement. The story can get a bit convoluted at points, but the possibilities for exploration compensate any deficiencies. I concur with both players and professional reviewers who regard this game as a leading RPG third person shooter hybrid. However, I can only go as high as 9 out of 10 with the review score.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Score
9
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