Review: Mass Effect 3 Demo
Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:25 AM
Perhaps I don’t have the Mass Effect bug, or maybe it’s because I play a lot of other games in between which fails to keep the Effect fires burning, but for me, this demo was mainly to try and help kindle the embers and get me back in the mass mood.
Though just lately, demos aren’t always the best idea. Nowadays demos are ‘unrepresentative of the final copy' and for you ME story fans, you'll definitely not want to take anything here too seriously. The demo begins with starting your character almost from scratch, since they're saving the 'game save carry over' for the full game, you'll be creating a new character for the demo, queue the seemingly irrelevant 'Psychological profile questions.' Once that’s out of the way you'll be able to choose what sort of demo of the game you'll want. You can have the full experience with story and action, just the story or just the action. In fairness, why would you go for anything other than the full experience? Part of the entire franchise is that YOU make the decisions and follow the story. You be the good guy, you be the badass etc, its one of the first and few games that truly plays off your choices not just for the game, but for the entire story arch of three titles. Having the game make those decisions for you is like having someone read a book for you, only to tell you how it ends in the most bluntest and out of context way possible. In other words, it would be boring as hell!
Decisions aside and we get chucked into the game. Starting with the Reapers invasion of Earth, once again, Shepard has been unexplainably kicked out of the alliance force. This small introduction segment gets us familiar with how the game works again. Though the game plays so similarly to titles like Gears of War, not to mention most of you Mass Effect fans have probably been hounding the previous two titles to get nicely re-acquainted, so it’s highly unlikely you'll need a button recap. On escaping to the Normandy we get some nice visual set-pieces of the initial attack. It’s all good looking n all but there’s something still a little off about it. Perhaps its the strange way Shepard runs with weapon extended fully like he's holding a burning flame in his hands, running on twiglets for legs. Or maybe its that enormous city scape under chaos backdrop that doesnt really seem to involve you in anyway, its just there. Floating in the background if you fancied a gander.
In fairness, the majority of the game itself hasn’t changed from Mass Effect 2's original mix of cover based shooting. Shepard still navigates and sticks to walls like he's a forklift, friendly A.I still look for every chance to get in your way during combat and the A.Is special attacks like Push and warp still don’t really have that much of a greater effect in the middle of battle, even if you do remember to tell your allies to do it. The weapons were a little slow and clunky but we can hope that weapon upgrades and newer better weapons will be available down the line (lets all pray the good ones arent the pre-order ones)
The most notable addition to combat is the inclusion of a more useful melee attack. Back in ME1/2, should you have gotten close enough to the enemies, pulling the trigger would see you wallop them with the butt of your weapon, however, that funky orange; minority report style hand computer now doubles up as a bladed weapon. A quick tap of B will see the blade pop out to do a little bit of damage, holding B will give a much stronger attack, but is so slow your victim has time to move out of the way and pull your pants down from behind you and attack you for even having the cheek to try and hit them with your Jaffa Cake armband.
The only other real addition is the whole Kinect stuff. It feels strange that the whole 'Its better with Kinect' is being added to the biggest sci-fi shooter out there and does it really make it better? Mass Effect 2 was pretty damn awesome in its own respect, so can yelling at the TV repeatedly until Kinect finally understands what your jibbering about make the game better? I find it hard to believe. And lets face it, this game is not only a futurisic space game, but dabbles fairly in the political side of things, so get ready for a plethora of long-winded and awkward words to say to activate dialogue sequences. Try and decipher that with a deep West Country accent Kinect.
Back to the demo and after escaping Earth to build an intergalactic army to fight back against the Reapers, the game skips forward a few missions to lead us to a planet in conflict. It’s quite hard to get the main idea of the story from the demo since its going to be different for everyone. Characters like Ashley and Wrex make appearances in the demo, but for some of you, those characters could be dead in your games universe, so as story driven as Mass Effect is its best to switch off and just focus on the shooting. Amongst the enemies we get to fight in the demo include different kinds of reapers and now Cerberus troops. The demo ends with a large fight against a manned walker mech.
Whilst the fight itself was quite simple, it’s nice to see that more large scale battles are definitely on the cards with ME3. The fact that we're now dealing with a full blown universal invasion, it calls for nothing less than massive battles and huge set-pieces, whilst the demo doesn’t show any of this off, fighting larger enemies hopefully gives us hope that ME3 will be the biggest yet.
In conclusion, the MasS Effect 3 demo doesn’t really do the game many favours. The story is out of context and probably wont even be the same should you play from a previous game save. The demo is available from today, or if you don’t want to ruin it, just play through Mass Effect 2 again.
Mass Effect 3 will be available in stores in March.
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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:40 AM
This is a role playing game that actually makes a fine shooter too, and easily better than most of the Gears of War inspired shooters we normally get... but this game will be over 30-40 hours in length!
I'm one who can't wait to finish the fight, and the choice of missions (the opening level of ME3, and the trip to save a female Krogan) demonstrated a decent amount of variety. Surely I wasn't the only one who went WOW when the reaper hit the Earth during the opening mission?
This was just a combat demo so the story purposefully wasn't touched upon at any length, and clearly the final game will be a whole lot more impactful when it is YOUR Shephard saving the galaxy. (Femshep I hope!!).
You also failed to mention the co-op 'horde' style mode, which although unlikely to make a lasting impression it certainly looks fun enough to break up the main story when you want a quick blast with a few like minded friends.
My overall report would say a little rough around the edges, especially in the single player levels which looked like an older build of the engine, but enough there to leave me salivating for this Friday!! (Not that I'll be playing it this Friday as I have an Insanity run on ME2 to finish first!!) :-)
Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:42 PM
Same reason as to why I left out the part about the Horde mode was that it was only activated once the demo was out publically, therefore nullifying my review since everyone could have just gone out and played it themselves So i had to get it out before the demo launched.
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