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
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.