Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 5258 Ratings

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  • 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
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Mar 13, 2012
    100
    Mass 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]
  2. Mar 19, 2012
    99
    Anyone 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.
  3. Mar 12, 2012
    95
    Mass Effect 3 surprised me in a very positive way. BioWare has delivered an excellent product that won't allow us to forget about Normandy's crew for years to come. The trilogy's conclusion should satisfy everyone and the grand finale itself is simply perfect - you will all be awestruck.
  4. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    Whether you possess a storied history with the series or come with a clean slate, Mass Effect 3 expertly entangles you in its universe and inspires you to care about its future.
  5. Mar 12, 2012
    90
    The efforts to approach a broader target group by ripping to shreds "complex" RPG mechanics, by cutting back on dialogue options and by emphasizing the action element, are painfully obvious. But the epic scale, the magnificent direction, the different story paths influenced by options that skyrocket the game's replayability and, in general, the whole "blockbuster" grandeur feeling outshine the various drawbacks. [April 2012]
  6. 90
    A great finale to a remarkable series. While Mass Effect 3 may not be perfect, the stirring story, smart writing and fast combat still make for an exceptional experience.
  7. 75
    So that's the story of Mass Effect 3, turned from potential masterpiece into a game sabotaged by greed and the „it's good enough" approach. It's unbelievable how easy BioWare passed over the opportunity for greatness and, despite the sales, I have a feeling that their reputation as great RPG makers is going downhill fast. Especially after this "back to back" performance with the fiasco called Dragon Age II.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Mar 12, 2012
    10
    Mass effect 3 is a fitting conclusion to the mass effect saga. It boasts significantly improved gameplay fluidity and mechanics, as well as a more varied campaign. The story is emotional, hard hitting, and diverse. The games visuals have been improved a lot, and the pc version looks quite spectacular despite and aging core engine, and runs smoother than the previous games to boot. In terms of streamlining - which I hate - the game is in between mass effect 1 and 2, the major disappointment in the game is the planet exploring, which has been stripped down. Imported save games determine a lot, from entire characters no longer existing in the story to conflicts that play out entirely different.Multiplayer is fun, and is not required to get the best ending in the game. In the end, mass effect 3 is special. As good as mass effect 2 in storytelling, and almost as good as mass effect 1 in rpg-like skill/item medications and exp distribution. My favorite in an acclaimed series. Expand
  2. May 6, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An awesome game! The strange "flaws" in the ending must mean there is more to this story coming on. It is a shame that the choices you made during the trilogy didnt count in the ending but whatever, i loved the feeling of making choices. After all this was one of the best gaming experiences i have had Expand
  3. Mar 10, 2012
    8
    I haven't had such an emotional experience from a sci-fi game before, and believe me, I've played quite a few of them. Mass Effect 3 is where everything in ME1 and ME2 falls into place. While not completely perfect, its still one of the best games I've played. Heres a comprehensive breakdown of what I think about the game:

    Graphics:
    Its engine is pretty much the same as Mass Effect 2's, with a small overall tweak to make everything prettier when it needs to, and bleaker when the situation calls for it. Weapons firing, explosions all have that oomph and everything looks very polished from beginning to the end. It may not have reached the standards that the latest and greatest have, but it still looks very nice. I've noticed a few texture loading issues, but it doesn't detract from the overall experience too much. Lip synch is an occasional issue as well, slightly amplified by the game's focus on dialogue, but really, it doesn't really damage the game all that much.

    Story
    I wonder why everyone hates the last 5 minutes. Personally, I thought it was such a powerful and emotional experience. I get that your 'training' didn't matter, but it IS a partial RPG game, not a pure shooter. Anyway, the whole thing was epic, powerful, and got me quite emotionally invested. Unexpected twists in unexpected places that involve unexpected people constantly kept me from being bored, and many situations and repercussions from the first two games kept the nostalgia going. There are some plot points that didn't satisfy me, but these are minor details. The ending was quite unexpected from a game like this, and personally it was quite satisfying. It does however hurt replay value, since it is quite drawn out.

    Gameplay
    Bioware seems to have taken the shooter portion of ME3 all the way. Headshots, accuracy, cover.. all the bells and whistles of the modern shooter seems to have found its way into the game. Improved AI made fighting a more interesting experience then before. There are some questionable decisions like rocket troopers and snipers that take your shield down nearly immediately, making it life difficult players who want to charge in and melee everything. The new player skill-centric combat also makes the previously useful allies less effective. Often, the only reason I take a character over another in a mission is because I believed they would have some interesting reaction to the mission (e.g. original cast in a familiar place), or, if there is no such connections, a single ability I would like to use against specific enemies, like Overload against shields. Its still fun, but its less ... Mass Effect, for lack of a better phrase. The improved AI also made some biotic skills really powerful, and some really useless. For example, in my playthrough, Shockwave has become so difficult to hit anything that I stopped leveling it, while Overload, being instant and potentially kills anything with one hit, became really powerful. I really hate the new husks by the way, they're annoying and doesn't give any sense of satisfaction.

    Sound
    Great music, great sound effects. The orchestral score, with the techy feel, adds to the impact of the whole game. No game quite moved me the way the end of the first sequence did, especially with the emotionally charged music playing. One can find that portion of the game in the free demo, just a quick fyi. Sound effects pack punch, gun fire, lasers, huge ass cannons, grenades, all explode and shoot with the oomph that one expects from a Bioware game. Voices are done very well, with the all star cast performing admirably. There is this odd need where I had to crank my speakers way up, but that might just be my setup.

    Multiplayer
    I've never really played Horde mode before, so I don't really know what most reviewers are talking about. Anyway, ME3 Multiplayer has you teaming up with three other guys to fight waves after waves of enemies. Your performance is determined as a team, how well you did, with things like not dying as bonuses, headshotting alot, using a certain weapon, etc. Its limited to a single mode, with a bunch of maps. Each wave can consist of different objectives, including kill everything, defend a point, kill specific targets, activate a bunch of nodes. Its not as exciting as a PVP multiplayer, but it entertains for awhile. It has a side goal of increasing Galactic Readiness percentage, which may or may not impact the ending you get. I'm not really sure if its possible to get the best ending without multiplayer, but looking at my own playthrough its a tall order.

    Conclusion
    Its not the best game ever made, but it certainly doesn't deserve the 1s and 2s that meta users are giving it. I liked how they took ME1 and 2 decisions into considerations, and it boggles my mind how much data it needed to take into consideration, since I'm a game programmer. In short, its a great last entry to a great trilogy. =)
    Expand
  4. Apr 21, 2012
    4
    If the first and second episodes were not, I would have given a 6, may be a 7 for this game. Unfortunately, they exist. This episode has no scenario, no charisma, and the RPG side is dead. I'm very surprised by the scores that ME3 received. This game doesn't deserve 8 or 9 points compared to it predecessors. Expand
  5. May 4, 2012
    2
    It's BAIT and SWITCH at its lowest, a fun game at its highest. Unfortunately the more invested you are into the story and the universe, the worse off you are for it. If its your first Mass Effect game, you don't read the codex, you don't really care about anything other than how it plays and if its fun, your in for a treat. If you got all the merchandise, books, dlc, and get thoroughly into a game for its world, you may find the ending very off-putting. Its not as bad as MetalGear switching out the main character a quarter of the way, but its 3 quarters of rad-ness followed by an 8th of ferocity, and an 8th of WTF?!!!!!! The gameplay is the same as ME2 but polished, duck-cover shooter but weapons are now far more powerful to the point that you don't require combinations within your team to pass levels (again, power you probably don't have if you haven't xferred experience over from previous games, so more fun if you haven't played before). Spawning mobs comes from dark walled patches like every other game. Side games like hacking consoles, and scouring each planet for resources are gone. Choices don't even offer alternate combat paths like cookie-cutter FPS's do in their single player mode. As a full priced expansion, this would be an 8 in my mind, but as a solid sequel, this game falls far from expanding on its engine and system other than technical mechanics that i'm sure developers and critics are hailing it for. If i were rating a movie where i got to shoot stuff every now and choose which rad decisions the hero made, then the medium itself would warrant a 10. But as a video game this is a 3. Let's save polished remakes for programming school shall we? Expand
  6. May 3, 2012
    1
    The game graffics just the same as the ME2 with a little update. The game easier and faster than the ME or ME2. And not to mention the awful story... just a question for BioWare: Why the f**k did you fired Drew Karpyshyn out (ME and ME2's writer) and changed him to, no name writers such as Mac Walters and Neil Pollner? I can give this game 1 point because, I'm a huge Mass Effect fan and I used to love these games. Either way, if you wanna destroy this game history, play with it, and !no complain! because a lot of people warned you.
    PS.: Do me a favour EA/BioWare/Legendary Pictures/WB: Do NOT make a movie from this game 'cause I do NOT want a piece o cr*p from it. This game and the story already bad enough (and not because someone die at the end or not if you "lucky"...)
    Expand
  7. Jun 2, 2014
    0
    It's mediocre as a movie but complete fails as a game. It's the kind of game where I would rather the game just play itself and I watch (twice - once good guy, once bad guy). There is no real freedom, you are on a railroad, and now and then there is a fork (a choice)... but usually the game designer has decided that some choices are less valid than others and will punish you for making them, basically forcing their moral world view on you. And the rhyme and reason of it is quite irrational - the game rewards you for picking fights with strangers doing things the designers expect you to disapprove of, but punishes you for not committing genocide of the last of some ant creature. It's fitting that it has such a bad ending, because the entire thing was bad. Most levels offer no freedom of movement, you are funneled by invisible walls, and have fixed objections that you must complete. Which might be right for a racing car game, but not in what is suppose to be an 'adventure' game... an 'adventure' game where you are not free to actually adventure. It fails as an adventure game because of the lack of freedom, and it fails as an action game because of the lack of depth to the combat... leaving the player with nothing rewarding except a mediocre story that the game demands you jump through hoops to see. I didn't play it through, I watched what I missed on YouTube. Expand

See all 2071 User Reviews