Mass Effect 3 PC Review: Prettier, But Pretty Much the Same
NOTE: This is the second review we’ve done for Mass Effect 3, with the first concerning the Xbox 360 version of the game. Rather than restate too much in this review, I recommend you read the original for more points on story, gameplay and multiplayer that are universal to both versions.
Mass Effect 3 might have a PC version that was released at the same time as its console counterparts on Electronic Arts’ new downloadable platform, Origin, but make no mistake — the PC version is a port of the console game. Though a few extra options have been thrown in to clean up the graphics and give players a little bit more control, there’s very little that’s different about the two versions.
But if you’re faced with the choice of playing either PC or console without the mitigating factor of 100 hours or more of save files to transfer from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, for most players, PC is the winner (and you can move your saves to PC from Xbox 360 with this guide right here). But it’s a close race, ultimately boiling down to player preference for how Mass Effect 3 controls: gamepad, or no gamepad.
Mass Effect 3 (2012): PC (reviewed), Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: March 6, 2012
In my review of the Xbox 360 version of Mass Effect 3 — which was the first copy Game Front was able to get its hands on, before the PC copy became available — I wrote at great length about the many quality moments of the story. I still feel that, by and large, Mass Effect 3 contains some of the most incredibly resonant, emotional moments ever created in a game, especially for players who have been sticking with the series all the way through.
Much less powerful is the emotional impact for players new to the series, but BioWare has made up for it by making the game a whole lot more accessible than ever before. The primary component to that is the ability to switch between the classic RPG experience, a story-only experience in which combat is downplayed, and a combat-only experience in which story plays out as cutscenes with only the most major decisions presented to the player. Newbs should have significantly less trouble finding their way into Mass Effect in this third installment of the game than in the last.
So since we’ve already handled the story components in another review, this review is going to focus on the more technical and, frankly, somewhat boring aspects of the port. Just because we’re not talking story doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be counted, however — the game is still a powerful piece of the Mass Effect series even with the contention surrounding the ending (more on that later).