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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. =)
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  4. Apr 28, 2012
    4
    Highs :
    Game-play - Quick, fluent. Action packed. Squad mates were good and the AI was clever through out the entire game. Story - Through out
    most of the game you made choices some of them were brilliant and mattered, some brought you to the point of tears, some may of made you question your own morals.
    Multiplayer - Fantastic multiplayer, although seems a bit more sluggish somehwat, maybe its just me, but overall it was good.

    Lows:
    Characters : Dead, personality wise, completely dead. You get a completely new character and he is basically a idiot who works out a lot and somehow he is actually and N7 Candidate, I have already forgotten his name, SERIOUSLY. Oh, and the small amount of characters is also quite disappointing considering in the other two there were so many. Story/Ending : Sucker punch in the face or a kick in the private area. Your pick
    Expand
  5. May 27, 2012
    2
    I am sorely disappointed by this game. For the past five years, I have enjoyed shaping one of the most engrossing, and exceptionally written Sci-Fi franchise of all time. Not only were each of the individual Mass Effect games exceptional in their own unique ways in terms of gameplay, but they also had an extraordinary storyline that held true to canon even as the player's choices shaped them. This made for an extremely immersive gameplay experience that can be rivaled by few others. This also applies to 99% of the third entry to the Mass Effect series. While I find the first Mass Effect unique because of the sense of discovery and mysteries of the galaxy (much like Star Trek) and the second Mass Effect had a unique focus on the development of your crew and pretty good action; the third Mass Effect was unique because it was a story, an emotional and inspiring story that had been crafted personally to you based off of your actions in the third game. The over-the-top action that would make most third person shooters titles weep was a nice bonus, as well (this is in an RPG to top it off). But, to be honest, I am going to skip past the majority of the details of the game and get right to the part that affected this review's rating the most- the terrible ending. When I heard the game's ending was bad, I could have never imagined as terrible of an ending to a game, let alone the ending of an entire series, especially the Mass Effect series. To avoid spoilers, I won't go into too much detail as to the ending, but it was bad! Plot holes, circular logic, explanations pulled out of thin air and a horrific WTF moment destroy what would have been one of the best games of all times and inadvertently destroy the entire Mass Effect series. The ending doesn't even reflect a single choice you made throughout the series, NOT A SINGLE CHOICE. One could even say that the ending make the events of the first game entirely moot. I didn't want this ending, I wanted closure based off of my decisions throughout the series, you know, like the last two games. In summary, the game was epic, including the final battles. Sure there were flaws here and there, but most of them could be overlooked, up till the last 10-15 minutes of the game of course. I never thought that 15 minutes could dismantle over a hundred hours of gameplay spanning three games, not until I played Mass Effect 3 Expand
  6. Jul 14, 2012
    1
    It's been three hoursI've been trying to install the game. Origin is complete **** I'm getting all sorts of errors which I'm managing to solve not through EA but through third party forums. This is the last time I'm buying anything that has to do with the Origin crap. They should have stuck with steam. Expand
  7. Buu
    Jun 17, 2014
    0
    Mass Effect 3 seems like a experiment to get everything present at Video-Games 101 and throw it out of the window. Even the usual "Boss Fight" was sold as "too videogamey" idea and cut from it. Things that don't work include poorly designed introduction, quests that are gotten without indication or interaction with NPCs, and always end in a mini-game of scan-and-run fetch. Inventory still horrible to manage, and quest details and progress are inexistent.
    The great voice actors from the previous games are faded by the bad story and cheesy lines. In fact most of the older characters return completely "out-of-character", to progress a story with lots of violence and deaths.
    Even classic features from the series are defaced. The dialog wheel doesn't follow the classic options of decisions, investigation and actions anymore, and the amount of auto-dialog is significant.
    Besides that, most of the history is preset and don't change based on your decisions and what changes are only showed as scores, changing nothing in the actual game, until the very end, when you're just told that had a consequence. Not showed, just TOLD.
    DLCs still being sold only by Bioware points, which never change price. Thing that cause the each of larger DLCs, which are just a fraction of the game, to cost even MORE than the base game.
    And the worst feature of the game was the ending. One ending that retroactively ruined the 2 great game that precede it. An ending that was included in literature college courses as subject of how to not deliver a narrative. Mass Effect was once called the Star Trek of this generation, but this third game was so revolting that made writers from "the Next Generation" to rise their voices and protest to what was made with the story. It's an ending that will live forever in infamy and is revolting in many levels.
    If you're a fan of the franchise and loved the first two games, but never touched this third instance, refrain yourself, and consider the second game the end of Shepard's tale.
    There is always hope that in the future the IP will fall in more competent hands, and they will consider ME3 never happened, and write a proper end for this Epic.
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See all 2071 User Reviews