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Games Mass Effect Trilogy Review

What is your favorite Mass Effect game? (including all story DLC)

  • Total voters


Well-Known Member
First, I want to start off by letting everyone know how I played the games, DLC I had, etc.

Platform: PC (1 & 2 on Steam, 3 on Origin) WASD
DLC: All relevant story related DLC installed and completed
Shepard: Femshep
Class: Soldier (all 3 games)
History: Spacer
Morality: 75% Paragon, 25% Renegade
Difficulty: Insanity
Bonus Power: Warp Ammo
Side Missions Completed: All in ME2 and ME3, most in ME1

Notable plot decisions/accomplishments

-Romance: None
-Wrex: Alive
-Virmire Survivor: Ashley Williams (Kaidan was just too wooden, I hated him)
-Captain Kirrahe: Survived Virmire
-Recruited all squad members
-Rachni: Queen Released
-Council: Saved
-Human Council Choice: Anderson

-Romance: Garrus
-Recruited all squad members (including Kasumi and Zaeed)
-Completed all loyalty missions and maintained all loyalties
-All squad members survived suicide mission
-Destroyed Collector Base
-Crew Status: Saved

-Romance: Garrus
-Councilor Udina: Shot by Shepard
-Effective Military Strength: 3500 (hacked save editor to 7000 because I didn't want to play multiplayer)
-Genophage: Cured
-Quarians & Geth: Made Peace
-Saved all possible ME2 squadmates/crew (with the exception of Kelly who accidentally died)
-Final Decision: Red Option - Destroyed Reapers (Shepard lived)

Mass Effect 1

Story: Absolutely fantastic story. It was extremely well written, no complaints. I thought it was awesome that you could go talk to lots of characters in the game and experience endless dialogue options, sometimes to accomplish specific things.

Voice Acting: The voice acting for Male Shepard was a bit unbelievable at times and painful to listen to. The voice acting for femshep was done fantastically well. All of the squadmates (except for Kaidan at times) were done well and really helped to add depth and believability to the game. The extras chosen for voice acting were pretty satisfactory as well.

Squadmates: Most of the squadmates for this game are incredibly varied and generally interesting. Kaidan and Ashley weren't all that interesting but choosing Ashley to survive was clearly the lesser of the two evils. The backstory to each of the characters was well thought out and helped to make the game much more interesting. I did hate that players could accidentally romance Kaidan just from talking to him, because of this I avoided talking to him. One of the most enjoyable parts of the game was talking to squadmates between missions.

Gameplay: The engine is certainly a bit archaic in the way that it feels compared to ME2 and ME3. "Use" of cover is pretty much not done in this game and ammo is unlimited. I did think it was ridiculous that the game actually allowed for the player to get to a legitimate unlimited ammo no refills state. I was dampening heat quickly enough that I could legitimately fire indefinitely without losing accuracy or damage. Sniper Rifles, though effective, were not done well in this game, too hard to use. I also thought that shotguns and pistols were generally useless. I pretty much used assault rifles and sniper rifles only. The paragon/renegade system was also a bit hard to use as the dialogue options weren't always 100% clear on what they would do and checks came too early.

That being said. I did appreciate all of the upgrade options, weapon/armor customization, and the varied combat options available (especially when you mixed gunfire, biotics, and tech.) Those things help to make this game the most pure RPG in the series.

Also, elevators took forever because they were technically loading screens. Squadmate AI was also pretty idiotic but hey, this was the first game in the series.

Story Mission Design: The mission design was critical to the success of this first installment in the series. The main story missions did not disappoint, they were fun to play, designed well, and brought significant story content with them. Every main story mission was a couple of hours long if you took your time, perfectly comfortable time.

Side Mission Design: Astonishingly bad. Every side mission in the game was generic and bland. You'd land on a typically lifeless planet in the Mako, drive around, shoot a few things, and complete the mission. It was all generally quite boring so I only did a few side missions (including Bring Down The Sky, Rogue AI, and Wrex's family armor). Every time you entered a structure in any of the 25 or so side missions, the interior of the structure would be 99% the same as the last, bunkers all looked and felt the same. Generally, it felt like every mission was copied from one master side mission and placed on a planet with a different color.

Graphics: There are several graphical issues in this game that include Garrus' face being super low res, various other random texture glitches, glitchy effects, etc. Nothing too extreme but it was there if you know what you're looking for. Motion blur was done poorly, this is especially obvious on elevators, it would have been better to have no motion blur than what ended up in the final product.

Sound: I didn't remember this from before but there are significant problems concerning sound in this game, especially in cutscenes. Characters would be very suddenly cut off, gunfire sound would suddenly go silent, etc. I would consider these to be major issues, the game is riddled with sound issues from beginning to end.

Other Glitches/Issues: On a few random occasions I experienced the disappearing squadmate/death glitch. This didn't mean that the squadmate was gone forever but they had disappeared and were disabled in the game until I reloaded from a fresh launch of the entire game (happened on Virmire and Noveria)

Hardest Part of the Game on Insanity: Krogan Warlord on Therum, no question.

Overall score: 7.5/10

As good as the game is, it just suffers from too many technical issues and the side missions are generally terrible. You'll get a much better experience out of this game if you play no side missions (other than Rogue AI, Wrex's armor, and Bring Down the Sky). The game also requires insanely high morality checks pretty early on in the game and even to experienced players such as myself it's basically impossible to pass them. I REALLY enjoyed the game and can look past all of the issues therein because I love it so much but others probably can't.

ME2 and ME3 reviews coming soon!


Well-Known Member
Mass Effect 2

Story: This game had a very unexpected beginning that I thought was very well done, it totally wiped out any preconceived notions I may have had about this game. Mass Effect 2 doesn't have quite as much of a focus on the main story even though many connections and plot points are still maintained. It was a nice change of pace from the overarching main story. It was interesting from Horizon all the way until the end. I thought that the connection between Shepard and Cerberus was done very well and the morality decisions were quite nice to have.

Voice Acting: High quality all around, most of the characters really came into their own.

Squadmates: Sorry, I just have to say this, the squadmates in the second game were the best in the series. I appreciated that Garrus and Tali made a return (and all others were touched on in the game). There were so many ridiculously diverse personalities available, every character was extremely unique, I loved that about the game. The only real disappointment is that you have to get Legion pretty late if you play the game properly, he's got some hilarious dialogue lines.

Miranda's face was scary (didn't seem to move quite right) and Jacob was generally boring and creepy when he'd try to hit on you constantly.

I was sad that this game didn't include quite as much dialogue with some squadmates as the first game. Don't even bother talking to Garrus until about halfway through the game, he's too busy with "calibrations" haha.

Kasumi and Zaeed were both excellent additions to the game.

Gameplay: This is where the feel for the gameplay really became great. Running, aiming, using cover, switching weapons, everything was done very well. I especially liked that in order to succeed the player had to use ALL weapons available, especially on Insanity, it's basically a requirement.

The controls felt very tight and the enemy and allied AI were reasonably smart as well.

Overall, this game plays extremely well, especially when compared to ME1.

Weapons, power upgrades, armor, etc. were all simplified to an extreme degree. I enjoyed having all sorts of options in ME1 but I can see why they changed it up. I do feel they made it a little too simple though, could have had more detail and a few more customization options.

Story Mission Design: Could not have asked for better. Period.

Side Mission Design: Outstanding. The side quests were very well done. I thought it was pretty neat that not one of the Loyalty missions felt like another, they were all really quite unique and helped to bring a lot more depth to the characters.

DLC Design: Let me just say, Firewalker was useless and I only did the first out of those missions before quitting because they're so boring.

Overlord was a bit better but I was still strangely disappointed by it. It was kinda cool but it also felt very disconnected from the rest of the game, the story didn't really tie in and there was no unique dialogue. I did appreciate that David appeared at Grissom Academy in ME3.

Arrival was pretty good, I really liked that mission. It was pretty difficult in many spots but was definitely manageable. I did not pass the last stand achievement and make it through all 5 waves of enemies., it was just too hard.

Shadow Broker was incredible. There's seriously nothing to complain about other than opening that stupid quintuple locked door on the Shadow Broker's ship. It was also really nice to get Liara back and understand what happened to her in this game, her absence was strange at first. Possibly the best DLC in the series (though, 3 had some really good content)

Graphics: A few noticeably low-res textures in the game. The game also suffered pretty severely from lack of proper Anti-Aliasing. None of these are huge deals but they're definitely there. The game was very brown (mostly because things were meant to be dirty, old, terran orcanic, etc.) I actually thought this worked really well and played well to the tone of the game. I thought Miranda's face moved sort of strangely when she spoke, probably could have animated that a bit better.

Sound: I don't think I noticed any real sound issues in Mass Effect 2. It was strange that you could go talk to Kasumi on the ship and walk all the way over to Garrus' location before she stopped talking, this could have been fixed. The sound also bugged out completely during the sky car chase in the Shadow Broker DLC, that was the only time it happened and I confirmed it wasn't just me experiencing this issue.

Other Glitches/Issues: There are a few bugs in various missions where certain events become unavailable (such as opening a certain door in Thane's loyalty mission) but none of them are a big deal. Also, if you map buttons differently from the default settings then the on-screen tips show up with the wrong buttons, not helpful. Importing a save from Mass Effect 1 required some very strange workarounds considering that I was playing both games on Steam, it worked in the end but it took some doing.

Hardest Part of the Game on Insanity: It's a complete toss-up between facing Harbinger on the Collector Ship or Tali's Loyalty Mission. Both parts of the game are just ridiculous and nearly impossible.

Overall Score: 9/10

The game felt very polished, especially in the way it actually played. The music and graphics helped to create a very unique atmosphere (the game is very brown, lol). From Omega all the way to instating Liara as the new Shadow Broker (my last mission), the game was great fun and very interesting.

Generally speaking, the game is easier than the first game (because of all of the game engine improvements) but there are a few parts in ME2 that are disgustingly hard.


Well-Known Member
Mass Effect 3

Story: One word and one word only, epic. There were so many incredible and very satisfying moments in this game. Many of these moments were set up from the first game and it's obvious that they were thought through really well. I didn't see most of this game coming when I was playing the first game, it's quite good.

Voice Acting: Top quality all around. Once again, Jennifer Hale delivered the superior performance.

Squadmates: I don't get why some people didn't like EDI or James Vega. Both squadmates add something new and interesting to the series. Sure, you could argue that Vega was totally unnecessary but he was still entertaining and added an Alliance soldier and someone that Shepard could relate to, especially with the N7 aspect. I thought all of the squadmates in this game were good with the exception of the Virmire survivor. I kind of wish that both Kaidan and Ashley could have died on Virmire.

Gameplay: The roll function was totally useless because it was just too hard to use effectively. Other than that though, I was quite pleased with it. It's a slightly more refined version of ME2.

I was VERY annoyed with all of the grenades that the enemies threw, so ridiculous. I can understand a grenade every now and then but it seemed like someone threw a grenade at me every 15 seconds in combat.

Story Mission Design: Almost 100% satisfying. All I have is praise for the story missions. They led to the only logical conclusion (get over it, the ending was supposed to be like that)

DLC Design: The DLC in this game was varied greatly and all of it was awesome.

Leviathan: A very nice change of pace from the main story while also being important and relevant to the main story. It really helped bring the origin of the reapers and the indoctrination full circle.

Citadel: This answers that one question that everyone wanted to know about Cerberus and Shepard. Did they make more than one Shepard? Yes, they did. This was a fun mission, you get to use your whole team. The party was also fun too for people like me that like to soak up the feel of the world and character interaction stuff. This was a lot of fan service.

Omega: This mission is pretty long and amazingly, Nyreen surprised me as a character, not what I expected. This one was also tied directly to the main story while also working to wrap up Aria T'Loak's story arc quite nicely. It actually brought Merc groups, Cerberus, and the war on the reapers to light all at the same time.

From Ashes: Adding a Prothean to the game? I don't need to say anymore, best idea ever.

Graphics: The game was designed for XBOX 360/PS3 so they don't look nearly as good as they could have. Still, the game is pretty good looking and is clearly the best looking out of the trilogy. I don't recall seeing any graphical glitches other than Shepard's hair/head looking strange in Javik's room.

Sound: For once, no complaints. Sound was done perfectly in this game.

Other Glitches/Issues: I kept getting stuck standing in one spot in the Normandy's cockpit. Some sort of glitch that made it impossible to move. From what I understand, this has something to do with the fact that I wasn't using an analog stick.

Ashley is also broken in this game. She tries to use the same powerup constantly, it's a glitch known to Bioware and they didn't ever fix it. Ashley can't use any powers because she keeps automatically spamming the same ammo power over and over again. The only way to get past this is to manually control powers.

Hardest Part of the Game on Insanity: F
ighting Clone Shepard and Brooks. Totally unfair fight against the tankiest of all tanks in any game ever. This fight took me longer than any other part in the whole game.

There are other hard parts, not quite as bad as clone shep but still hard. Defending the missile batteries on the last mission was insane. It's the only mission in the game where endless banshees spawn. The Leviathan mission with the first double banshee fight in the game was also crazy bad. (there's a special place in hell for the person that created those things) The last Kai Leng fight deserves an honorable mention as well. Unlike many people, I found Rannoch to be easy except for the part with the triple Geth Primes..

Overall Score: 9.5/10

Absolutely incredible game. Extremely well polished, high quality all around.

My only real complaint with the game is that playing that terrible multiplayer mode is actually necessary to get the best endings. I didn't play multiplayer and instead used a save editor to edit my EMS (which was as high as possible in the single player campaign btw) in order to get the best endings. I did every side mission in the entire game, I feel quite accomplished after finishing this game.

My final decision? Mass Effect 3 is the best game in the series. Say what you will about the ending but you can't deny that the game was incredibly fun.

My personal favorite ending is a slightly modded one that shows Shepard definitively lived and putting up a plaque in honor of Admiral Anderson.