- Summary: BioWare completes the Mass Effect Trilogy with Mass Effect 3. Earth is burning. Striking from beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race. As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, the only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the Earth. … Expand
Positive: 23 out of 23
Mixed: 0 out of 23
Negative: 0 out of 23
Mar 6, 2012100It may not have the sheer landmass of their just-released MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic and it might not stand the test of time quite the way simpler, more focused games like Knights or the original two Baldur's Gate titles did, but it's still a wonderful game with tons of content, great production values, a masterful eye for humor and drama, and a cast of lovable characters that BioWare has been carefully slow-playing for the last four-plus years.
Mar 13, 2012100Mass Effect 3 will force you to make tough decisions on a galactic scale. You have to think them through and you feel bad about yourself afterwards. It really kicked me in the emotional equivalent of testicles. What a spectacular finale to the trilogy! [April 2012, p.44]
Mar 19, 201299Anyone who has invested any amount of time in the previous games will enjoy watching the final chapter of Shepard's tale unfold, and among the feelings of excitement and joy as they meet and fight alongside old friends for the fate of the galaxy, they will also feel just a tinge of disappointment and heartbreak as they bid farewell to the colorful universe and memorable characters BioWare has created.
10This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When Mass Effect 3 was first released, it truly deserved the poor scores it was getting. Not because of the game technology or graphics. Both of those had improved over ME2 (except the conversations, those still feel terribly clunky). What really earned it such terrible scores was the horrible slap in the face issued to long-time fans by in (my opinion) EA. In what felt very much like a rush job to avoid a launch delay, ME3 was released with an ending sequence that went against every promise that was made to fans since day one, which obviously upset the fans. Now I do understand that newcomers to the franchise have a hard time accepting this concept, but if you hadn't supported BioWare from very early on, and become a fan of this particular story during Mass Effect 1, you likely wouldn't understand. Personally, the original ending left me feeling a little bit empty. Having expected so much and gotten essentially nothing, it felt as if the machines were correct all along. In the end, all the struggles accounted for nothing. However, in a truly groundbreaking move, BioWare listened to it's fans and supporters. As they always had before EA gobbled them up, BioWare cared what we all felt about their creation, understanding our investment in it. In a move that shocked the industry, a new ending sequence was released. It did not solve every problem, nor could anything be expected to do so, but it did answer many, if not all, of the questions left by the original. It seems that this incident has been so quickly forgotten by everyone, but BioWare deserves the proper recognitiion for what they have done. Original review:
"Having played all three mass effect games, I waited with great hopes for this final installment. We were promised a final conclusion to the story that would leave no loose ends. Instead, we were given the exact opposite. While the gameplay and graphics show minimal improvements over ME2, the storytelling, conversation, and squad relationship systems have all suffered. Mass Effect 3 was truly an epic disappointment, one which concluded with a slap in the face for long time fans and players"… Expand
8The only reason Mass Effect 3 doesn't get a perfect 10 from me is the ending, plain and simple. Even since the release of the extended cut, I can't help but feel that BioWare didn't give this series the conclusion it deserves. That said, the game is absolutely fantastic, and by far the greatest sci-fi RPG to be released in a long, long time.… Expand
My first experience of the Mass effect series was through the second game in the trilogy, and that really did set the standard high straight from the off. I thought the best idea would most likely be to purchase the 1st game before playing the 3rd one as to account for decisions made throughout the saga. This turned out to be a rather meaningless venture as determined by Mass Effect 3. With the good, the graphics in this game are neat and arguably the best out of the bunch, it's polished and tidy with a few exceptions that require the gamer to overlook. Combat has been unstuck slightly from what in my view was a more static system in ME2 and ME1, refinement can be observed.
With the bad then, bearing in mind that most fans of the series will (rightly so) compare this title to it's predecessors, thats what these points are based off. The dialogue options came as a shock to my system, they took away what made the previously fun and exciting conversation choices and beat them down to formulaic two way cutscenes. Even if a player is to explore every single option in a wheel with more than two choices, it merely serves as providing information that mostly accounts for the people who have never played ME before, this trend is also visible with BLATANT repetition of the lore of some species (geth quarian war) that it makes long term players sit and think 'hmm i knew that'. Compared with the other two games, the "sidequests" in ME3 are for the most part dull fetch and return tasks to introduce a feeling of galactic warfare, yet in actual fact it is just another way of EA herding people to spend money in a cash shop to upgrade for the multiplayer seeing as it is the easiest way to increase "galactic readiness" which is ESSENTIAL if you want to end up with a "good ending", i won't get into that one.
In short ME3 takes a few steps forward in combat and graphics departments, even so these are still not perfect by any means, even small matters of convenience such as in ME2 your squadmate's ability they were using was highlighted on the tactical menu so you could see what you selected, here it's not, little things like that. ME3 takes a major step back in terms of dialogue choice, i can't even talk to my own companions without the game deciding when it it "the right time", even then i can only say a selection of similar phrases. I'd get the game purely for it being ME3 and the end of the series, but don't go in with a high expectation of it matching what you had come to expect.… Expand
4The Mass Effect series as a whole is an amazing piece of storytelling, backed by enjoyable and interesting gameplay and a cast of well crafted characters. The rating given reflects the complete experience of Mass Effect 3. Had the game concluded with the themes and narrative quality of the majority of the game, it would rate 8/10.
The game is immersive, reasonably well paced and takes pains to reintroduce the majority of 'fan favourite' characters at least for a cameo and is thoroughly enjoyable, if by no means 'perfect'.
In terms of gameplay, the combat is much improved, with the protagonist being far more mobile on the battlefield - however linking all movement commands to a single button which is interpreted situationally can be immensely frustrating - and the enemies are tactically more varied and force rapid shifts in player tactics. Unfortunately, the opponents are far from varied: Throughout the game there are essentially two factions you fight against in almost every encounter. Despite the focus on one-squad-vs-the-horde throughout the game, it does introduce a little variety in the form of shooting-gallery turret sections and a section in virtual reality.
As a roleplay game (RPG), Mass Effect 3 is far more restricted than its predecessors, with fewer dialogue options and ultimately less choices, however the immersiveness of the first two acts will cause most players to generally forgive this, at least on their first play-through.
If there is a complaint to be had (excluding the ending), it is in the fact that little of the prior decisions made in the series are actually taken into account within the Mass Effect 3 storyline: Species the player rendered extinct can be found throughout the game, artifacts the player destroyed utterly can be found on display, and so forth. While it is by no means uncommon or even unusual for sequential games to make assumptions and establish a 'cannon' series of events, the fact that Mass Effect 3 was specifically marketed as this not being the case causes it not to live up to expectations in that regard.
Additionally, regardless of player choice, Mass Effect 3 will force feed the protagonist with a lot of previously nonpresent anguish over certain events, which is very much out of keeping with the concept of player-determination.
Still, despite these flaws, it easily rates 8/10 for the first two acts, when viewed on its own merits. And for these first two acts, I would recommend this game to any fan of the Mass Effect series, with the caveat they immediately stop playing the game afterwards, and do not complete it.
And then, theres the ending.
On the chance that somehow, someone is not aware of this fact: A lot of customers are not happy with the ending (to put it mildly), and frankly, their dissatisfaction is perfectly justified.
The final act of the game dismisses the overall game theme of player choice and consequences thereof, railroading the player along a series of events - some agreeable, many not - until the point the game ends. Specifically the game, not the story.
In the final hour of one of the greatest epics told in the computer game medium, Mass Effect 3 utterly fails to deliver, from a narrative, psychological and philosophical perspective. Themes established from the beginning are discarded, new and inexplicable characters are introduced the very end, illogical and circular 'exposition' contradicts established story and background and last but not least, established characters are forced to act completely against their nature as the player is shoe-horned into an A/B/C choice, regardless of their prior actions through the series. Even the very narrative style is switched in the very last minute.
To make matters worse: The ending also, for no reason, destroys the entire premise of the game universe with utterly inexplicable and near-identical, emotionless CGI animations.
So sadly, despite 5 years of excellence in the series, 15 minutes of cutscenes (with no player control) quickly and thoroughly ruin the overall experience, and the game must be rated with that in mind.
As a disclaimer: Bioware are, and hopefully will continue to be, an excellent developer, who have produced some of the most enjoyable stories in the gaming media, which is one of the reasons the terribly written ending to ME3 is so surprising.
I would recommend people do NOT boycott the brand, or anything equally extreme, but instead avoid pre-ordering their products or relying on pre-release reviews, and instead wait for peer reviews, such as these here on Metacritic.… Expand
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