I can't describe how excited it was to finally open my copy of Mass Effect 3 and witness my favorite sci-fi setting finally end. How did everything hold up? Pretty well, until the last 10 minutes.
The gameplay elements have been polished nicely, eliminating any of the minor problems Mass Effect 2 had. The power-trees are a nice addition, giving the player a much wider range of different choices for power abilities. The new weight system fits perfectly into the game, allowing any class to carry any weapon, but at the cost of power recharge speed. The enemy AI is improved; they feel like real opponenents; flanking you, throwing grenades to get you out of cover, and using different enemy types to overwhelm the characer.
The new amount of side-quests might seem great, however, the quest management is so horrible that many players might simply give up. There are no progress updates on quests; the quest log simply states the objective. The player has no indication to which quests they have completed and what they must do when finished.
All 12 squadmates from Mass Effect 2 return, provided they survived the suicide mission. The squadmates from the first game also have their defining roles, and all feel quite real. The other two new squadmates, including the one included with the day-one DLC, are mostly a let-down; Javik is basically Sun Tzu IN SPACE, and while I do like James, and feel he is a fun character, he seems like a Jacob replacement.
I cried during (Spoiler alert) Legion's, Mordin's, and Thane's death. Each of these scenes were so well-done; they filled the player with sad and happy tears. Some other squadmate cameos were less than perfect. Most were merely cameos, and I really hated the fact that each of the friendsips I made with these characters only amounted to War Asset points. Gaining Samara's loyalty and conversing with her on the Normandy only contributed to 25 war asset points. If I wanted those points, I could just scan three planets. Assigning a numerical value to my loyalty for my crew just doesn't seem right.
The endings are horrible; just check a poll and see how many fans like them. I would just be repeating what has already been said.