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Mass Effect 1-3 overall impressions *SPOILERS*


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*Note: Potential spoilers abound, fair warning...*


So, now that we've gotten through this trilogy, I figured people could give their overall impressions of all 3 games in one thread and what they liked and didn't like w/o the need for spoiler tags. So, fire away, anything from soundtrack to texture res to plot holes, etc...

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The Mass Effect trilogy, while horribly undertaken in terms of marketing (not all the time, but sometimes, the day one DLC being example) has been an amazing trilogy and brought an epic 5 years of gaming. Each game continued to revolutionise and improve on their predecessor.


However, the games do have texture res issues, but they have improved over the course of all three games, becoming rare in ME3. The story is well built and fantastic, the characters are amazing and it's a rare time where I genuinely care about my character.


The WHOLE trilogy is put down by ONE and ONLY ONE thing in my opinion, and you know what it is. The Plothole-filled Casper the friendly ghost ending

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The original Mass Effect was one of the best games I've ever played. I enjoyed every single moment of it (even the time in the Mako, you haters :p). The story was fantastic and the characters very memorable. The music was a solid mix of futuristic sounds that fit very well with the story and the atmosphere (especially the final scene and credits music). Almost all of the low texture issues could be easily fixed by tweaking the .ini files and by downloading a few texture mods (Garrus' face, Chakwas' uniform, etc.). Overall, the best one in the trilogy in my book.


Mass Effect 2 started a little odd with the whole rising-from-the-dead thing and the more shooter-ish combat system, but you gradually got used to it. The controls were a bit awkward, courtesy of the, as DarthParametric put it, Awesome Button™, and a very console-like feeling, but a good enough story always pushes combat into second place IMO. The characters, their stories and backgrounds were amazing. Places were also stunning, whether it was familiar ones like the Citadel, or new ones like Illium, Omega or Tuchanka. Planet scanning was tedious, but strangely, when I did it for extended periods of time, I began to like it. :D The soundtrack was not very memorable (except for the club music, which was re-used from previous games), but it fit ok with the corresponding mission atmospheres. There were a few hiccups regarding the graphics options in the game, but with some elbow grease you could edit the coalesced.ini and tweak the various options not available in the main menu. The story overall was very enjoyable, and even better with a few DLC's like LotSB and Overlord.


Mass Effect 3 was... hmm... I wouldn't say it was bad, but it certainly didn't exceed its predecessors IMO. All the places seemed a bit too flashy (probably because I haven't figured out yet how to edit the coalesced file :D), but overall the textures looked very good when compared to the first two games (even though a few NPC's look 20 years younger in ME3 than ME and ME2). The combat system was an improvement over ME2, but it could do without the omni-tool melee combat. The story overall was not the best, but a few quests were among the best in the trilogy.


In the end, the trilogy ended not with a bang, not with a whisper, but with a fart. But the good memories will always remain.

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To me the mass effect IP is done or majorly damaged.


How Bioware deals with this situation will determine if we see a ME movie, ME mmo or other spin offs happen or be successful.


I think it's time for games to start doing what movies do and do some focus groups with endings with high end IPs.


Personally the ending of ME3 just made me to not want to play any past ME games or any future ones.

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All three games:

Greatest strengths:

A living universe, getting better with each game.

The production values to let the designers put in a a lot of "wouldn't it be fun if" stuff, this also got better with each game.

A few really nice characters (Mordin, Legion)

Good combat that helped immersion while getting better with each game.

Made some people that there are more to games than shooting, like gay sex and a story it is possible to be invested in.



Biggest gripe I guess is a bad case of "cinematic-itis", seriously, if the writers want to change your perspective and take away control from the player, they should have a good reason, and "it looks pretty" is not good enough.

Related to this, conversations went from being mostly within your control, to one of those party games where you and a friend tell a story by saying one sentence each.

Plot is another weakness, the first one being decent enough, while the sequel made no sense (human goo collection) in addition to not contributing to the overall plot and the third had the Crucible and Casper. Seems like Bioware is a lot better at writing characters than plots.

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Now, I've only beaten the second Mass Effect (multiple times), and started a playthrough on the first one and am about halfway through it. Bought the third game last week, don't really care about spoilers.


It has been very hard to play through the original Mass Effect, the gameplay in general is just very underwhelming and I just don't find the plot to be as good as its sequel. I do like the characters though, Kaidan, Ashley, Liara, and of course Tali. And the Mako.. it's just been very hard to get into the first title. I know why people like it, and I am still trudging forward, but it has not rubbed me the same way that its successor did.


I will say that Mass Effect 2 was an incredible game; after playing the original, it is clear to me that removing some of the 'rpg' parts of the game (all the customization in armor, weapons, etc.) was a very good thing. I find myself hindered having to change things constantly. I bought Mass Effect 2 on a whim, randomly decided to play the demo, it was on sale at Steam, and voila, bought just like that. The main storyline wasn't anything epic, but the characters were so good. There wasn't one unlikable member of the cast. My favorites being Miranda, Thane, Jack, and Samara, the inclusion of loyalty quests made the game - together with the last level, made the game a top-notch and a lasting effect on me.


Started Mass Effect 3, and it's been good and fun, more like 2 than 3, though I am a little disappointed in my favorites not being in my team. I just liked the ME2 team better, I guess, though I love having Kaidan and Liara again. We'll see how I feel towards the ending; after Final Fantasy XIII-2's ending, I'm pretty sure I can handle any kind of troll ending.

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I’ve already written several long posts for this thread, but have deleted them because they rehashed my ending feelings and that isn’t what Mass Effect is about to me. So I’m not going to go into great detail, just because I am tired of others telling me how I am wrong about a video game I played. I’m just going to go with the main reason I love the Mass Effect franchise.




I don’t think I have ever came close to crying in a video game, but in Mass Effect 3 I did more than once. While I have laughed many times in video games (many times it being unintentional), I don’t think I have ever laughed so many times during one game. Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 had their moments, some unintentional, but Mass Effect 3 had to set some kind of record for the number of times I lol.


What made the series find emotional connections with the me to bring out these emotions? Hours of my life wasted in front of the 360? No, it was the characters. I formed an emotional connection with characters in a video game (something I thought was impossible beyond the PC). I cared about what happened to Tali, Mordin, Thane, Wrex, Garrus and pretty much everyone but Carth Jr. Thane dying was inevitable, you knew it almost from the moment Shepard meet him in Mass Effect 2, but I was not prepared for his last wish to be a prayer not for his soul, but Shepard’s.


I think this also leads to the major gripe many have with the ending. They also formed an emotional bond with these characters and want for it to be spelled out explicitly what happened to each of them. Me? I’m happy deciding for myself who lived and died. FWIW Tali and Garrus lived at least in my Mass Effect universe.


So what is my lasting impression of the Mass Effect series, well developed NPC characters that went beyond what I expected in a video game. Characters that I watched go from merely pixels on the screen and became something that could actually produce an emotional response. Praying the paragon interrupt would actually stop a death or hoping I did every quest possible and choice wisely in dialogue choices to prevent a death of another. It made me wonder if the renegade choices lead to another death or could it prevent a death.


So I have enjoyed my time in the Mass Effect universe. The last 5 minutes is not going to ruin my experience and I got my closure for what was important to me before the final assault. I got to say a final goodbye to some old friends and have one last laugh. Only hope when my real time is up that I get the same type of opportunity to say goodbye to my real life friends.

Edited by mimartin
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I loved all of the games, I found the plots to be good enough since I was more interested in the characters anyway. I loved the way ME3 is brutal to you and your allies, when Mordin went up to the Shroud I was actually saying out loud "do it quickly and get out!" and when he died... I was shocked. And in awe, not many games these days (I dont think many games have ever) make me bond with certain characters, spend dozens of hours talking with them, and then just kill them. Same was with Thane. I didnt mind the fed-ex missions because I found (for some odd reason) playing tag with reapers kind of fun, and for that reason I pretty much searched every system I went to. The main quests were amazing, Rannoch and Citadel especially.


And then the end came. I still havent felt like playing any game after that s***storm. It was just so horrible, full of plotholes and lazy, poor writing. I also wanted my choices to actually matter, and I wanted closure, both were promised, neither were delivered.

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