‘Mass Effect 3’
An example of great storytelling
On Tuesday, BioWare released the final installment in its RPG trilogy “Mass Effect.” As a huge fan, I spent a few hours waiting in GameStop for the midnight launch, and when I finally got my copy of “Mass Effect 3,” I was absolutely blown away.
Having played the game for roughly 12 hours now, I can tell you that it is easily one of the best games that I have ever played, hands down. Everything that was wrong with the first (the clunky combat, the inventory system) and the second (the lack of customization, the overly linear feel) has mostly been remedied in the third.
The combat system is very fluid and dynamic. Simple changes in where I take cover or how I flank can dramatically alter whether or not I manage to survive until the next round. It entirely conforms to my personal play style, and the game is very quick and responsive. I feel as though this is how the Army’s Special Forces will be doing things in the future—quickly and entirely deadly.
This game is one of the most addictive and fun multiplayer games I’ve ever played. I probably played the demo for about 10 hours, and I can’t say enough on just how much fun it is to play alongside your friends for the good of the galaxy.
But the most incredible thing about “Mass Effect 3” is the storytelling. I am not even close to halfway through the game, and there have already been three cutscenes after which I was left with my mouth half-open because someone important to me was involved.
The dialogue is well-written (and I wouldn’t expect anything else from BioWare), but this game really shows the ways in which the “Mass Effect” universe has changed the storytelling game. This game shows that, in the genre of storytelling, video games have the capability to be equal with other mediums.
Playing “Mass Effect 3” is like reading a good book or watching a good movie (that happens to last about 100 hours). I have been playing with my character for three games just based on BioWare’s ability to let people import their save files from one game to another.
It is an engrossing, unbelievable game that tells an incredible story. It is an epic science fiction setting that forces you to make some seriously difficult choices about who lives and who dies.
If you have the time and ability to start the “Mass Effect” franchise from the beginning, please try it. This game is the culmination of years of hard work on the part of one of the best developers in the video game industry.
If you don’t, BioWare has made it their job to include newcomers. The game will change its storytelling around if you don’t import a save file, and you won’t be left out just because you are a little bit behind.
Seriously, play this game. It isn’t about shooting bad things (though you do that). It is about showing that video games have an incredible storytelling capability that is unique and distinct from any medium that has come before.