Sidescroller: ‘Mass Effect 3’ closes the franchise on a cinematic high note

“Mass Effect 3” packs in the franchise’s mix of planetary exploration, morality-based conversation and combat.

The humble space opera has faded from television in recent years, leaving a “Battlestar”-sized hole in our collective hearts. Don’t fill that void with Jar Jar Binks in 3-D. That’s just humiliating. Play video games instead. “Mass Effect” is back, offering up one last slice of intergalactic swashbuckling before it goes up to that Holodeck in the sky.

These games, for the newbie, offer up an engrossing serial narrative dealing with humanity’s place in a, um, federation of planets. There’s action, plenty of talking and decisions that have actual consequences. If a character died way back in the first entry, assuming you played it, they are still dead in the third. Pretty cool, right? Still, this installment takes great pains to catch new players up on the story.

“Mass Effect 3” is a sequel in more of a cinematic sense. The gameplay is fairly indiscernible from “Mass Effect 2,” except for some simple Kinect functionality on the Xbox version. If you liked the franchise’s mix of planetary exploration, morality-based conversation and third person combat before, you’ll probably like it again. The story, however, is all new and manages to end the trilogy with earth-shattering aplomb.

Of course, this is 2012 and online multiplayer must be shoehorned into every video game no matter what. It’s not bad, if you play these games primarily for the combat. You can even parlay online success into more allies and weapons in the single player campaign. Beware buying used, though. It comes with one of those “online passes” that must be registered for 10 bucks if you want to play online. In space, nobody can hear you grab for cash.

Creepy online pass or not, this is one heck of a close-out for the series. The main storyline takes at least 50 hours to complete and every narrative thread you’ve been wondering about gets unraveled in ways that are often surprising. Play it and then wait patiently for a new “Star Trek” series. It should only be another decade or so.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.