Laymen’s Review: Mass Effect Trilogy
Note: This game was reviewed using a copy made for the Playstation 3, using all physical and non-digital copies of the game and is meant as a retrospective review, as all games are already released. Before anyone points it out: this is equal parts editorial and review as it tackles issues I find equally important.
Picture this, if you will: I’m sitting in front of my laptop waiting for the launch dialogue to come up so I can install my new copy of Mass Effect. I really didn’t check the requirements but that didn’t matter, I spent a good chunk of change – or, at least, my version of a good chunk of change – on my laptop, so it should be fine. Installation takes a while but this was a Bioware game – most games of their scope were huge installs. I finally boot up the game and the sad realization hits me – I have to tone down the graphical settings by a huge factor in order to make the game playable and, even then, the game skips during some of the more expansive scenes and during most of the up-close dialogue.
Fast-forward to the time when I decide to dive into the additional content and I’m literally pulling my hair out to simply enjoy the game. Not a fault of the game and it’s for this reason that I continued: it was my own ignorance that I ended up with this problem. I found the game amazing but I found that I was unable to fully enjoy and appreciate the game, especially the graphical wonder of some of the landscapes because of my crappy laptop. I was left for the desire to have more from Mass Effect but was unable to get it because the only other option was to play it on the XBOX 360; I didn’t have one and I didn’t plan on getting one just for this.
This ignited my desire to jump in the massive pool of awesome that was Mass Effect 2 and it was that journey that led me to pre-order Mass Effect 3, one of the most satisfying midnight releases I’ve ever taken part of, leading to one of the only collector’s editions unboxing videos I’ve ever done. I can thank my fiancée for bearing through that whole ordeal. Everything definitely got better from that unruly start to one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had.
Fast-forward, yet again, to the day Mass Effect Trilogy was announced: this was a chance for me to experience the original in its full glory. I expected for it to take longer to release for the Playstation 3 because the original wasn’t ever released for the system. They hired a group to port the game over. However, what with the delays, I expected there would be more to the game than simply a direct port with trophies stapled on. I was totally wrong. While, for a lot of people, that might have been disappointing, for me, this was just what the doctor ordered.
While the game has not really aged all that well, graphically, the game still packs a punch in every other area and still retains its relevance in gaming culture. Given that the trilogy just closed up recently and is still seeing additions all the time, the series will remain relevant for some time. I actually found the gameplay hard to adjust to because I wasn’t really able to engage combat fully and I’d grown fully adjusted to the other games in the series before coming back to this one. Everything was, to my knowledge, translated faithfully to the Playstation 3 and I was really grateful that it exists.
Other than that, you just have repackaging of the other two games, Mass Effect 2 coming with a voucher for all its downloadable content in the form of the “Cerberus Network” and Mass Effect 3 coming with a voucher for the download of its Extended Cut version of the ending.
If you’ve seen my YouTube videos, you know full well about my opinions regarding the Mass Effect series, specifically Mass Effect 3. I’ve had a long and trying history with the series and I feel pretty strongly about my opinions regarding it, as I’m sure some of you have figured out.
Who is Mass Effect Trilogy for? Collectors, newcomers, those who didn’t purchase DLC. Hell, it’s a nice way to round out anyone’s experience, especially if the only copies of Mass Effect games that you have are digital – I hear the problems people have with those versions are a little bit more prevalent, so having disc copies of all the games seems to have a certain advantage, in that regard. In all actuality, the games are intact and untouched, for the most part – so, if you don’t feel like repurchasing repackaged games, don’t buy this one.