Is the Mass Effect Trilogy a Bona Fide “Masterpiece”?

It’s a must buy and packed with content, amazing story, characters, and gameplay
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Special thanks to Derek Huey for this fantastic review!

Played on Xbox Series X

Mass effect – I always seem to want to replay them but can never finish the first one again… can I finally do it this time? If I didn’t there wouldn’t be a review, so let’s uh, read on…

So it’s interesting to note about the Xbox’s backwards compatibility. Playstation users haven’t been able to play it since they had a ps3. So it does seem like a necessary remaster (or they should just embrace backwards compatibility). The beginning sucks you in and slowly you notice a lack of a push (no marker pointing where to to) so you end up just exploring where you want to go, no map follower so there’s that real feel of discovery, but also the feel of many times running backwards on accident because hallways look the same. Some pit stops. Oh god I hate these.

Finally beat the first mass effect since it’s first release. I remember renting it from a blockbuster on Xbox (it was an Xbox exclusive back then), for a week or weekend. I didn’t finish it, so I decided to buy it, since it felt like there was so much more to the game. Then after buying it I beat it that day, and was like, “crap, I should have just rerented it.” Also you seem to just be fighting the Geth and that’s just about it. Not much enemy variety, but the story is so nice. It’s a lot shorter than I remembered. That’s my experience with the first game. Also note that I didn’t complete all the side quests. I ended up doing a main quest that unfolded to the end, by the time I realized it, it was too late and the end credits were running.

Now it’s onto Mass Effect 2, the one I been secretly wanting to replay since it first came out, but never have yet because I could never get through the first game replay. Now I’m on it and holy crap does it hold up wonderfully with the game play, shooting just feels more fine tuned. Sniper head shots are more satisfying. We miss the Mako. At least I do. There’s so much I don’t remember from the original time I played it. I wasn’t much of a search every corner gamer as I am today. Damn the gameplay is so good. The first game you were like, “ehhhh.” While fighting but this one I just can’t wait to get into a space battle. Knowing it’ll be followed with great story. This feels like the ultimate Star Wars game without being Star Wars.

Mass Effect 2 is so well paced. It does have an odd driving section but even that was pretty cool and looked beautiful. Less leveling options, lost some cool rpg elements from the first game, makes up for it with improvements, just with we would have gotten both. Still a solid game and in my opinions surpasses the first one in the fun department. Love how open it is and how you can tackle whatever you want basically when you want, for the most part. Sometimes the game forces you to do a mission. The map is a lot cooler, but the whole running out of gas thing is like, really? I guess you can call it an rpg element. You drive a car, you need gas. You fly a spaceship all around the galaxy, gas that thing on up! There’s also a button that you can press that points you where to go whenever you want, so getting lost is a thing of the past or accidentally going backwards. Though you hardly need it, most missions aren’t open in the least bit, mostly just a corridor. You’d think this would be horrible but because of the combat, it doesn’t bother me too much missing the more open areas. Ran into an area that wouldn’t let me progress because a door wouldn’t open in Mass Effect 2. Don’t think I ran into any of these problems in the first game. It was an easy fix, just reloaded the auto save and the door opened. I don’t like how when you do a certain quest the game just goes toward the ending. I get it, if I knew before hand I’d do a lot more side quests. I wasn’t lacking doing them, I did some, but it feels like I might of missed a lot of the game.

Oh well, there’s one last game…. In the trilogy, let’s forget about Andromeda! We don’t talk about that game. Things that Mass Effect 2 did well was characters, and combat. It’s missing the gun and armor mods from the first game, I miss wearing armor and getting weapons. It kind of has it, but it’s not like we’re picking up guns, it’s more of a character change now you can use at the beginning of every mission. It toned the rpg elements down, wish there was a best of both worlds solution. If I remember correctly ME3 has even less rpg elements. Let’s find out. Now I’m on Mass Effect 3. So… holstering your weapon so gone now. Weapon mods are back! Gain one and lose one. Cool set pieces, I can’t recall the first or second game having any. Areas are a bit more wider. During a turret section the game crashes. Disc version, on an Xbox series X. First time it crashed. It is nice playing all the dlc, and not having to pay more for it. I remember Mass Effect 3s launch, and the day one dlc. That’s why I didn’t buy it day one.

Mass Effect 3 was full to EAs little pinchers. I sort of with the multiplayer was here, I wouldn’t mind trying it out. I still have my original disc for 360, maybe if I pop that in people may still be playing. If servers are even up. Also got the he opportunity to get Andromeda at GameStop for only five bucks. Never beat it and if it is as bad as people say, I bet it’ll be worth five bucks. I do enjoy how a bunch of small stuff carries over from each game, from little npcs like the guy who wants a refund, to bigger things like the bug creatures you save (or destroyed) in the first game. It’s little touches like this that makes these games special. A lot of the gameplay and story still holds up today as entertaining. So the second game had this weird vehicle you got to ride, that jumps, not the Mako, hopefully this game will have something cool like that. Still at the beginning of the adventure. But to every beginning there is an end, and we all know how this one ends. In tons of fans crying out at the same time, “why!?” It’s hard to tell what is dlc or not, which I like. Inventory system is pretty much like Mass Effect 2, you pick up gun blueprints or whatever and you’re able to equip them in between missions. Seems like we lot the heavy weapons also, at least so far, except for one shot gun I found but I like to keep a normal shotgun.

Mass Effect 2 seems to have little touches that were amazing. Like going into the women’s restroom and hearing EDI shame you for it. In ME3 the opposite sex restroom is completely cut off. I should have upped the difficulty, the fights are so insanely easy. Especially the big tank dudes, atlases I think their called. All the characters are like, “oh no, it’s coming!” Just for me to shoot it down in five or so seconds. There was never a challenge in this game. ME3 is a lot better than I remembered. It’s actually very good in terms of combat. Exploration is almost gone, the scanner is super lame now, pretty much no reason to have it. Half the time I just find gas anyway. It’s the whole seeing characters from the span of two games and how your story unfolds. It feels really personal, almost makes me want to play again doing different things.

Each game has horror missions, the first game is sort of ruined with the horror parts with the new lighting. It’s a bit too much, but part 2 and 3 has it nailed down solid. So nice and dark and atmospheric. Some things repeat, just ran into a part where I am disabling aa guns, like, I just did this earlier in the game on one of the dlcs, I believe. I think when ME3 first came out, a lot of games had a lot of turret sections. So I remember my first play through a long time ago I used to complain about it. I think the industry realized it also so games stoped having them in as much. Now, I’m playing and it’s been so long since I played a turret section of a game, it’s really cool to fight the same enemies but super overpowered. Funny how that stuff changes.

-ME3 ending spoiler So I fucked up. I didn’t know you could just shoot at the kid and trigger the bad ending, but I did it. Everyone I know is dead. Reloaded it and joined the reapers, everyone is happy -end of ME3 spoiler

What makes these games are the companions. You get to know everyone and their backstory. You actually start loving them. Part two seemed like the story just revolved around making your companions loyal, while the third one has way less of doing stuff for them.

Graphics – I remember the first game having some really dark and gritty part. Seems like they made the first game brighter to where the scary parts aren’t that scary. Feels a lot more colorful on the first game also. Two and three are how I remember it. Then again I played them both when they came out on a way smaller tv. The passage of time and nostalgia might be why it feels the exact same. The first game is the only game I could tell a real difference of. I do feel as if the games were made to play back to back. In the day when I played them I forgot too much stuff in between the games. Now I can see how much I truly didn’t understand my first play through a of each one. Making this the definitive way to play the trilogy, which is exactly what it is. All three games make one complete and amazing story.

Games rating
Mass Effect – 9/10
Mass Effect 2 – 10/10
Mass Effect 3 – 9/10

How am I supposed to rate this total package? It brings you a straight masterpiece. One of the best trilogy games have to offer. Should a final rating be all the games ratings added up? Or should it reflect the price of one game and getting three full games with dlc? I’m going to give it a rating I think this collection deserves. It’s a must buy and packed with content, amazing story, characters, and gameplay. This game deserves its high rating of a 10/10

It’s a must buy and packed with content, amazing story, characters, and gameplay
  • great content
  • amazing stories
  • endearing characters
Written by
Ash Hamilton is not only the owner of, but also one of its major contributors. A long time horror movie enthusiast, Ash has lent his personality to radio and television and continues to support his favorite genre through his writing and art. He also loves beef jerky and puppies... and low-grade street-quality hallucinogens.

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