Mass Effect 3: One…More…Time…
So here we are, on the verge of starting the 3rd of a trilogy of epic sci-fi storytelling – Mass Effect 3. I’ve actually completed the game once using my femshep paragon infiltrator who has been unchanged since the 1st game but realized that I didn’t take good enough screenshots and missed recording down alot of the good stuff that happened… which is why I’ll be inviting you (yes, you!) to join me in this epic adventure as I walk through the game for a 2nd time.
This series of posts will be an ‘on the couch’ type of stroll through the game’s plot as I progress through it. Each post will be rich in spoilers so if you don’t want to be spoiled, I’d suggest getting the game and playing it yourself!
Without further ado, lets plunge right in-
For this playthrough, I’ll be importing my prized femshep infiltrator from Mass Effect 2. You can see the decisions she made throughout the games. Key points are that I was well aware of the oncoming invasion and therefore need to amass as large an army as possible, thus saving everything and anything I could. I also got her to romance Liara in the 1st game which continued through the 2nd game. However, this has no real bearing on the story and I will be leaving out all snippets of romance in this series of posts.
I made an attempt at giving her a reasonably feminine and generic look of undeterminate racial background. It worked to an extent but the game engine isn’t particularly robust when it comes to facial expressions so she still looked weird at certain angles and moods. Please put up with it.
For this playthrough, I decided to spice things up a little and play a class that’s pretty much the total opposite of my previous play style – the Adept. The old Eva Shepard was an infiltrator who relied heavily on her sniper rifle and timelag ability, picking off targets at distance with great precision and efficiency without taking a scratch. This time, however, I’m going to try my hand at flinging bolts of biotic energy to cause havoc in enemy ranks at medium range, only relying on my firearms as a last resort or as cover fire. With our character created, we finally set off on our journey…
The story picks up with Shepard stuck on Earth after the Normandy (her ship) was grounded and impounded following certain incidents. The committee and council have hardly done anything despite Shepards repeated, and possibly heretic-like, warnings that
WINTER THE REAPERS ARE COMING.
We’re quickly introduced to the new addition to the Mass Effect roster – James Vega. He’s a very one-dimensional character who receives little to no development unless you spend alot of time talking to and romancing him on the ship later. Since I’m enforcing renai kinshi (romance is forbidden), he will stay as the overly-chunky space marine-type forever.
Anderson’s been busy and despite my appointing him to sit on the council in Mass Effect 1, he’s gone back to the military. The tiny fleet you saw earlier wouldn’t have even been amassed if not for him. Anyway, it turns out the Earth Committee wants to see Shepard about something big.
On the way, we run into a familiar face. Ashley was one of the first teammates Shepard met in Mass Effect 1, and there was a point in the story where you had to choose between saving her or Keidan Alenko. There’s no method to save both so it was a very difficult choice. If you had decided to sacrifice Ashley, Keidan would appear here in her place. Since she hardly showed her face in the 2nd game, I was pleasantly surprised that she would return as a regular teammate now. It appears she’s matured alot and gotten herself a big promotion but alas, due to Shepard’s activities with Cerberus (an evil pro-human only organization…long story, go play Mass Effect 2), she’s still very unsure about where to place her trust.
As Shepard talked to the committee of dimwits, the Reapers snuck up on Luna Base (the moon), destroying it, then moving on to Earth itself within minutes. Before anyone could react, huge Reaper dreadnoughts descend onto the cityscape, firing their red lasers at random. Windows were shattered, tables were flipped, a gun was shoved into Shepard’s hands and we were finally out into combat, running around over rooftops and shooting at stuff as we made our escape to the Normandy.
Along the way, you find a boy who will haunt you for the rest of the game. He’s probably the brother of that creepy girl in F.E.A.R.
More running and you find yourself battling new types of monsters but they’re pretty much standard slow-moving things that shoot at you inaccurately. A few force pushes did wonders and I didn’t have to use a single bullet against them. The shockwave from an exploding spaceship forces you to change your course and so Shepard and Anderson run around in search of a radio to contact the Normandy with. Aforementioned radio is found near a crashed gunship which is also a dead end and you spend a few minutes holding ground, fending off constantly spawning husks while awaiting rescue. This was fairly exhilirating when I was using Eva the infiltrator since you run out of bullets really quickly but Eva the adept had no trouble whatsoever, using her biotic powers to throw husks this way and that.
Just as the enemy began to dwindle down to laughable numbers, the cavalry came in the form of our very own Normandy. Shepard is picked up while Anderson decides to stay behind to lead the remaining forces on Earth. The only way forward now is to rally as many forces as possible from the other races and return to take back Earth. With this in mind, Shepard reluctantly leaves the besieged planet. As the Normandy flies off, you watch the boy from the ventilation shaft climb into a shuttle only to be obliterated by the Reaper destroyer that lasers everything to death.
With that, the screen fades to black and the title of the game appears, thus marking the beginning of our quest to unite the races to defeat the Reapers, take back Earth, and BREAK THROUGH THE WALLS OF IMPOSSIBILITY.