After lengthy wait, Mass Effect 3 has finally appeared across North America today and is getting ready to arrive in Europe on March 9, for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Now that it’s finally reaching the hands of fans from all around the world, it’s time to talk about some aspects before we publish the actual review at the end of the week.
We kick off this Gamer Diary series with the actual opening of the game. In case you’ve already played the demo, however, the opening won’t be a mystery, as it’s just the same first chapter we saw in the free trial, only with better graphics and textures.
After creating or importing your own version of Commander Shepard, you’re thrown into a pretty lengthy exposition sequence in which your hero (or heroine, depending on your choice) is taken by Admiral Anderson to a meeting of Earth’s leaders.
This is where BioWare makes its first mistake, as most new players will be completely overwhelmed by information and the array of characters being presented to them in quick succession.
Even players who’ve already gone through the first two games can be a bit confused, as they also meet James Vega, one of the all-new companions Shepard will have in this last set of adventures, who was only presented to fans through a comic book.
After an emotional speech, the action finally starts, with Earth being invaded by the Reapers, a race of sentient alien space ships that want to wipe out organic life from the universe, starting with humans.
You’re now taken through a bunch of shooting galleries, essentially, in which you’re introduced to various Husk enemies.
Again, the game doesn’t really explain who or what you’re fighting, so new players are bound to be confused.
Fortunately, probably one of the few redeeming qualities of the game is that it manages to make players care about saving Earth. I won’t spoil the moment but, in case you’ve got a fully functional heart, its strings will be tugged at during the final moments of the opening chapter.
BioWare bragged about the fact that Mass Effect 3 does a better job of introducing new players to the story but, at least judging by the tutorial, things aren’t exactly so, as even veteran players might encounter some awkward moments.