First Impressions: Mass Effect 3
After playing for several hours last night and quickly losing track of time, I can already tell that Mass Effect 3 is going to be a huge game to go up against. I’m looking forward to meeting all of the characters and finding out all of the twists and tricks this game has to offer, but for now let me offer my first impressions of the game.
Thankfully the game forgoes much of the tutorial that you would come to expect in other games. It assumes you know what you’re doing at this point and appears to assume that you shouldn’t even be playing the game if you haven’t finished the last one. That’s a tall order for a big game, but I appreciate treating the customers like they are smart.
Mass Effect 2’s parred-down stat screens for each character is back, but each skill now offers different way to level it up. It takes some notes from the upgrade system in Bastion and tweaks it to the Mass Effect formula letting you choose how exactly you want to level up a skill. Do you want extra damage or extra range? Do you want to hit another enemy for a bonus or do you want to grant a bonus to teammates? I was a little nervous to make some of these decisions, but I realized the game will allow you to reset the skills while you are on the Normandy later.
I noticed an absence of hacking in this game, which I said “good riddance” to. I couldn’t stand the ridiculous hacking mini-game in past iterations, especially the awful Simon-clone one they had in the first.
Other than that things feel much like Mass Effect 2. The combat uses the same gunplay as before, many of the same skills are available with some additional new ones. I play as a Vanguard and the charge skill was available right away, which was a lot of fun to play with again. It takes a little time for the game to “warm up” and get you out to exploring on your own, but not long. By the time I was at this stage I had to call it a night.
Probably the best thing I have to say so far is how great the fan service is on a lot of parts. I hope it doesn’t sully the game too much, but I love seeing characters from past games, the wall of downed soldiders on the Normandy or even the fact that I get to punch a reporter in the face again. Its all here again with some new lines and new twists and I wouldn’t have it any other way, can’t wait to save the universe for real this time!