Metascore
89

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

User Score
5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 5212 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 7, 2012
    10
    Brilliantly designed and implemented game with superb depth and design. I wish all these people who were butthurt about the ending hadn't given it bad reviews as it was 40 of the best gameplay hours I've had. Even the multiplayer was superb. 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. Mar 14, 2012
    4
    After DA2 and SWTOR, I was really scared that Mass Effect 3 would be really bad, and oh boy, was I right... First of all, you are forced to play multiplayer or most probably you get the bad ending. This is a problem now, but in 3-4 months, when people stop playing multiplayer, its going to be an even worse situation. Second of all, the goddamn first day DLC, when its already present of the disc I goddamn buyed few days ago, and Bioware lying about it just makes things worse. Overall I am just disappointed, I will most likely will not check the next Bioware game even tho it was one my favorite gaming companies... RIP Bioware that delivered us Baldurs Gate, Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR... Expand
  5. Mar 19, 2012
    2
    While the game is self is everything you expect ME to be - interesting, emotional and engaging all pleasure of playing it is destroyed by horribly done ending. Not one it invalidates all your efforts and choices, but it although renders replaying 2 older games differently pointless - no matter what you do or done you get the same 3 options and no variations around them to speak of. I can although say that emotionally speaking it is profoundly upsetting without any redeeming qualities or hope for the future, so if you like me play games to have good time and live with good mood afterwards tis is one game you should avoid. Expand
  6. Apr 11, 2012
    1
    Mass Effect never was a great game, not even good. It was passable, if you had few hours to kill. But ME3 is basically the worst part. Its short, simple, boring and insanely small. It's a hallway shooter for kids, with difficulty level acceptable even for sea slugs. Expand
  7. Mar 1, 2014
    0
    0...There is nothing else you can give this travesty and attempt from EA to leech money out of their fans not thinking about the consequences. BioWare did everything wrong here: from unimportant and speedy sidequests to a toilet flush ending where NONE of the choices you made mattered(Please don't give us the crap about The Director's Cut DLC...BARELY made an impact and a little to late) Everything good that ME and ME2 managed to do with our Shepared experience was beaten to pulp and into submission by this horrendous closing to the Trilogy leaving me (and apparently half of the ppl that played it) a bitter aftertaste that's impossible to wash off.Well Done BioWare! Well Done EA! you can have your ME . That was not the game we came to love and enjoy. ME 4 is DEFINITELY going to be CoD clone! i am counting on that Expand

See all 2061 User Reviews