3 / 6 / 12
Wow, I am NOT a happy camper at the moment. I had an awesome “First Impressions” video all ready for you guys and then . . . BAM! I lost all my editing that I spent almost an hour getting right and (long story short) Apple failed me. Hard! Anyway, back to business . . .
This week, I had a chance to check out the Mass Effect 3 demo (available on all three platforms now!) and trust me when I say that it does not disappoint. Right now, I’m going to go over my Top 3 and Bottom 3 impressions I had with the demo. First up, let’s talk Tops:
1) Moar Emotion: One of the all-time complaints I hear people say about the Mass Effect franchise is how Commander Shepard (primarily the male version) seems to have no personality whatsoever. Regrettably, the character is not the most colorful role in video gaming. Even Jennifer Hale (female Shepard) is guilty of the same thing. However, with Mass Effect 3, that all changes. Yeah, being an N7 Marine doesn’t exactly qualify somebody for broadway, but the enhancements done to the facial animation and increased persona in the scripting serve the game well.
2) Commandeering the Commander: Although not everyone is disappointed with the franchise’s playability, it must be said how much the controls have improved for Mass Effect 3. Most everyone is already familiar with Shepard’s newfound maneuvers (dodging, rolling, omni-blade) but the real treat is how fluid the gameplay feels. Despite the addition of new mechanics, Mass Effect 3′s combat works beautifully and it must be experienced first-hand to believe it. To top it all off, depending on your class, certain maneuvers will behave differently. For instance, the omni-blade for the soldier performs differently than in other classes. Check it out!
3) MULTI-tude of fun: I never thought I’d say this but, after a night of endlessly cooperative chaos, the multiplayer is for real! Initially, the inclusion of multiplayer functionality was a controversial move for the franchise. Not without reason. To have any kind of decent multiplayer system, a significant amount of focus must be shifted in its direction. Consequently, time and attention (9 times out of 10) falls away from the single-player which will no doubt produce a sloppy, unrefined, half-assed experience. Not so with Mass Effect 3. The single-player portion (although brief) gave me a glimpse of what is to come and I must say that I’m very impressed. To add even moar icing on the epic Shepard-cake, the multiplayer is awesome and all of you should try it. Expect a full review of both the single-player and multiplayer shortly after the launch of Mass Effect 3 on 3/6/12.
Warpath, we’re comin’ for ya!
1) “Frickin’ Framerate!”: Self-explanatory. While the multiplayer was fine, the single-player had numerous cases of framerate drop. The presentation was often inconsistent and would occasionally drop below the standard 30fps. Thus, the experience was borderline un-immersive and horridly detached. Of course, I have incredibly strong ties invested in this series so I’m aware that not everyone will think this is an issue. Although not game-breaking, I hope to see the framerate get smoothed out by launch.
2) The Bioware Face: You know those times when you’re walking around, minding your own business, and then something catches your eye. You wonder to yourself “Why is everyone looking at me funny?” Then you realize “Oh yeah, it’s Bioware. No wonder everyone looks like they’re deep in thought or . . . want to kill me.” Jokes aside, the facial animations of Bioware games have never been top-notch. Certainly improved in Mass Effect 3, but play a game like Uncharted 3 and tell me with a straight face that Commander Shepard is more expressive than Nathan Drake. Again, nit-picky, but worth mentioning.
3) MOAR! MOAR! MOAR!: If you can’t tell, I’m having a really hard time coming up with criticisms for the Mass Effect 3 demo. First of all, it’s not the complete game. Secondly, my first impressions are done from a fan-perspective so I’m more interested in discussing the good things about the experience instead of the bad. So, the final problem I have with the demo is this: IT’S NOT ENOUGH!!! 3/6/12!!! Get here ASAP!!!
-Fifth Fleet Out-