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The Mass Effect series makes its debut on the Nintendo in this special edition of the Wii U game. Few other games have the amount of hype that has surrounded the release of Mass Effect 3 and while it does have slight flaws, it is a fitting end to BioWare’s epic sci-fi trilogy and well worth calling your mates round to enjoy.
Lambs to the slaughter
Mass Effect 3 sees you take control of Commander Shepherd as he seeks to prevent the extinction of all organic life in the universe by a race of sentient machines called the Reapers. The Reapers hibernate in deep space for fifty thousand years at a time before they are given a signal to wake up and unleash havoc. Rather annoyingly for Shepherd, and the rest of humanity for that matter, Mass Effect 3 begins with the Reapers having invaded Earth. It is up to Shepherd to help defeat this seemingly unstoppable foe and restore order to the Universe.
A tale worth telling
Like the previous Mass Effect games the storyline is rich in detail, satisfyingly varied and deeply immersive. There are plenty of twists and turns as the narrative progresses towards the thrilling climax and there is ample room for the player to dictate in which direction the action heads. Those familiar with Mass Effect will find this every bit as good as its previous incarnations while those new to it will be astounded by the level of detail present and possibilities available. The excellent voice acting and well-scripted dialogue should also be commended. One of the strongest elements of the Mass Effect series has always been the excellent narrative which drives the action, and Mass Effect 3 is no different.
Though possessing the deep storytelling and character development of an RPG in gameplay terms, Mass Effect 3 plays primarily as a very proficient third-person squad-based shooter. There are minor glitches and the AI could maybe be slightly improved, but this is only nit-picking, because for the most part this game can compete with the best of them in terms of third-person shooter gameplay.
The majority of the action sees you joined by two squad-mates of your own choosing, each with their own special abilities. The Wii U has some slight differences in this department, as the GamePad touchscreen allows for players to order around squad-mates using a map displayed on screen. Additionally to this, the GamePad allows players to micromanage their squad-mates’ weapons and abilities without having to pause the game. This slight advantage aside, the game plays in a very similar fashion on the Wii U as it does on the X Box 360, Playstation 3 and the PC. The Wii U version is, however, slightly less competent graphically and does not have any of the downloadable extras available on other platforms. Another new addition to this version of the game is the ability to play an optional multiplayer mode, and achievements here can feed directly back into the main game. This feature was initially controversial, but it is actually pretty successful and adds for plenty of replay value to what is already a potentially endlessly replayable game.
Though the Wii U is not the desired platform on which to enjoy Mass Effect 3, this still makes for an excellent game. After the success of the first two games and the hype surrounding the release of the final part of the trilogy, Mass Effect 3 could be forgiven for falling short of the excellence expected of it. This is not the case, however, as Mass Effect 3 delivers on almost every level. The gameplay is excellent, the story captivating, the voice acting spot on. This is arguably the game of the year and perhaps the finest of the Mass Effect series. That aside, it is also a worthy end to one of the most groundbreaking trilogies in the history of gaming.