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

What New Yorkers need to know about the…

A measles outbreak in New York City has spread further, the health department said Wednesday.

Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

The Word

Paul Walker's brothers will replace him in 'Fast…

Ever since a car crash took Paul Walker's life, fans have wondered what the "Fast & Furious" franchise would do without one of its most beloved stars.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.