Reviews: Mass Effect 3

Worst Game of 2012

Apart from this preface, this review will not be talking about the endings whatsoever. I know how much people hate the endings, I do too. But the fact of the matter is, even with the greatest endings in video game history, this game would still be the worst Mass Effect game in the series and an abhorrent mess. I will summarize each detail in fairly short order and why I think this game sucks harder than Paris Hilton.

Controls: Controls for the game have improved, along with the gameplay but suffer downsides. On one hand, the inclusion of jumping, vaulting and rolling is a good thing. On the other hand, removing the crouch and holster weapons and binding 4 commands to the A/X button kind of irked me.

Characters: Positives: Shepard, Garrus, Tali, Kaiden, James' shirtless scenes. Everyone else, not so much. But that's opinion based only :)

Graphics: The graphics are, to put it bluntly, on par with Mass Effect 1, with the exception of a few things. While the Reapers and the Citadel's looks deserve praise, this game also includes some of the worst animations I've ever witnessed. Whether it be Aria's teleporting in the Omega DLC or Ashley's facial expression resetting every 5 seconds, the only time I saw animation this horrible was on another Bioware title, Dragon Age II.

Story: I'd need 4000 words to talk about the story's problems, let alone the romances, one of the most disappointing aspects of the game. Suffice it to say, your choices do not matter and they never will. Next.

Gameplay: This game has a mixture between the best gameplay of Mass Effect 3 and the worst. While the system of powers, faster moving, more intense action is fantastic, it is spoiled by the game's numerous glitches, most of them game-breaking. In short, the gameplay in Mass Effect 3 is fantastic, but mired by bugs and game-breaking glitches.

Multiplayer: Congratulations on implementing Multiplayer. But thanks for basing it on this incredibly glitchy idiocy then fixing all of its bugs, only to completely ignore the same bugs within Singleplayer

Mass Effect 3 absolutely ascends the Worst Games of 2012 list. The worst game in the series, the worst RPG I've ever encountered and the most disappointing sequel since Metal Gear Solid 3. Do not play this game under threat of water-boarding. That is all. Though I REALLY wish there was no word cap.
  • Nidd
  • 31st Jan 15
  • 0

Imperfect, But Phenomenal for What It Is

With most of the hubbub having died down, I wanted to give my thoughts on the very divisive Mass Effect 3. I love the Mass Effect series, and Mass Effect 3 is my favorite, and in my opinion the best, game in it. I think that Bioware did an amazing job crafting an epic, emotional finale that beautifully wraps up Shepard’s story. I think that the characterization is the best of any of Bioware’s games and my only complaint about it is that I wish there was even more. I do not think that the game is perfect, with the original endings, a few plotting and pacing decisions, and the fact that a lot of the characters, particularly the companions from Mass Effect 2, get less focus than we would have liked being my main issues with the game. However, I think that the DLC (especially Leviathan) and the Extended Cut endings address the biggest issues well enough that the problems I had, though not solved, are diminished enough that they don’t bother me anymore.

I also disagree with those people that claim the game betrays the themes of the previous games, the importance and triumph of the individual in particular, and invalidates the myriad decisions made throughout the trilogy with the endings. I personally think that the endings reinforce these themes and, with the Extended Cut, give a decent amount of closure for the big decisions that you’ve made. Are they perfect? No they aren’t; I would have loved to find out a bit more about how the major characters end up and what happens to the galaxy after the end of the game, and there are things that I would change about the game, like the emotion-baiting dream child and the Catalyst only getting revealed at the very end without the Leviathan DLC.

Mass Effect 3 isn’t perfect, but it is a resounding success given how ambitious it is. I do understand why people who don’t like the game don’t, and the very real flaws can be very disappointing. That said, I think calling it a failure is vastly exaggerating the game’s issues, and it transcends a lot of its criticism, like being a rip-off of other third-person shooters. For its many flaws it has far more successes, and I would give it and the rest of the trilogy my highest recommendation. Give the series a run through and decide for yourself if it was worth it or not; for me, it absolutely was.

Don't finish it! (Extended Cut update)

Here's the good: They finally perfected the gameplay. The enemy AI is better than ever before. An inventory system is back without the annoying management that the first game had. Scanning for minerals is gone. Galactic exploration doesn't bring back vehicle sections but the Reaper alerts add at least some tension to it. The story pacing is great, well planned and immersive. The Continuity Porn is there in abundance; the game does indeed address almost every choice you made in the previous games at least in some way.

The bad: The endings are RAGE INDUCINGLY DISAPPOINTING!!! Seriously. When people, who finished the game before I did, started saying that the endings are a huge let-down I didn't believe it. I was loving the game and I just couldn't believe that they could be so bad that they would ruin the experience, but Bioware somehow managed to not notice how idiotic the options they gave us really are. A game who's major appeal is that the choices you make matter, that your Shepard's impact on the galaxy stays with you throughout the trilogy, for some imbecilic reason it makes all those choices moot in the end. Just because the "push this button to get a bleak future" thing worked for a dystopian conspiracy story like Deus Ex doesn't mean it will work for an epic Space Opera.


So that up there is what it was like before the Extended Cut, but is it better now?

Yes, it absolutely is! The loose threads of plot that were left hanging are tied up, gone is the lack of closure and ambiguous fates of beloved characters, gone is any implication of accidental galactic holocaust or the fall of galactic civilization as we knew it(well, with a notable exception). The unexplained space magic, a.k.a synthesis, remains but I suppose that asking for perfection would be too much. This DLC fixed a lot more than I thought it would, so kudos to you, Bio Ware.

An Unexpected Existentialist Triumph!

Shepard's lack of freedom in the final minutes of ME3 reflects the larger helplessness of the Reaper War. For galactic civilization it is, as Shepard declares in the opening sequence, simply a choice between fighting and dying. There's no conventional means to defeat the Reapers. So really it's a question of what you do in the time left to you, holding out hope that something — in this case, the gamble on the Crucible — will save us all. So that fighting Shepard talked about? The only alternative to just dying? It's about choosing the manner of your death. Basically, die now or die later. The rest is details.

That's why the ending is brilliant and *totally* meshes with the game's tone. Bring peace to the Quarians and Geth? Cure the genophage? None of it matters in the long-run, no more than all the wars and species that Javik mentions did. Shepard's actions are ultimately as pointless as the common NPC mook shooting at husks. The Reapers don't care if you're a paragon of virtue. The cycle doesn't care if you're a total bastard. The galaxy will keep spinning long after you're dead and dust, regardless if you were straight, gay, or celibate. Who Shepard was doesn't matter. What sort of Shepard you played doesn't matter. YOU don't matter.

The desperate hope of the Protheans on Eden Prime didn't turn out as planned; just as the Crucible didn't in-game, just as Commander Shepard didn't to the player. Javik got to end the Reaper threat, if not in the way he imagined, but accepted his circumstances and tried to make the best of things in a future where no one really knew his people, and had in fact wildly misinterpreted the Protheans as a sage and peaceful elder race that benevolently enkindled younger species.

Saint or devil or anything in-between, at best people will remember your Shepard as a legend, The Shepard, rather than as a flesh-and-blood person.

Are you a mass murdering, alien hating, backstabbing human supremacist?

One day, old men will regale small children with legends of you.

Are you a benevolent multiculturalist peacemaker?

One day, old men will regale small children with legends of you.

This is a powerful game and message. So to all the Commander Shepards out there, I wish you... congratulations! For finishing the fight, however you chose to write the details.


A Very Divisive Question

Mass Effect 3 and reaction to it can be best summarized with this one question. Does the story matter as much, or more, than the gameplay? Does a bad story mean that good gameplay can't cover the flaws?

And in ME 3, I think it can generally be argued that the gaming is really at its best for the series to date. There are certainly those who preferred the system in ME 1 or ME 2, but playing through the trilogy I would say that ME 3 has gone the furthest in getting the combat, role playing, customization and resource exploration right. Whatever else, to this reviewer at least, the combat is a fun way of testing out many different powers and weapons and the story was kept much faster than before. I was disappointed that the Soldier's power has been weakened, but that was not enough to outright ruin the experience.

The downside of ME 3 is, as suggested, the story. This is not even about the endings, though those were poorly designed. Throughout the game, it seems to delve deep into authority figures acting even more like idiots than the did in previous games, there is little in the way of moral choices, and there is blatant emotional baiting, especially with the Child and Rannoch. The Geth are now presented as purely innocent victims, with the game handily ignoring their near total genocide of the quarian species much like it generally ignored Cerberus atrocities in ME 2. Speaking of which, Cerberus effectively has taken over the game here, it being telling that your last 'fight' is with the Illusive Man. Still, at least the game makes the new characters interesting and fun to interact with.

For the purposes of reviewing the game, all of the storyline DLC has been bought and played. However it is infuriating that to get information on two of the most pivotal species in the games, the protheans and the Reapers' creators, you have to pay for the DLC. The info should have been there from the start. The extra missions are nice but don't make up for it much.

Lastly, the endings are simply stupid and show a clearly rushed product. Little reason is given for anything and we should remember those were the endings that were 'good enough' to release. Fans had to fight for anything better.

Personally I would say that while the game is worth playing for the gameplay, only at reduced price and with wariness towards EA in the future for this behavior.

Mass Effect 3 is...

Well, let's point out the good stuff first.

1. Character writing is superb. Some of the best I've seen. I feel like these characters are real, sometimes. One of my favorite scenes will forever be seeing Garrus and my Male Shep just...being happy. Talking, shooting bottles, and just acting like friends.

2. Gameplay is fun. I don't know about everyone, but I loved my Vanguard as he flung evildoers into the air and blasted them. Weapons are great. Powers are fun. Gameplay is awesome.

3. There's so much continuity. So many references to past adventures. I feel like this is the end to my Shepard's continuity. Really, I feel like that isn't just a Shepard, I feel like its THE Shepard. MY Shepard.

So fun gameplay, amazing characters, and just a fun adventure, through and through...So what's wrong with it?

1. Disc swapping is a tad annoying. It was a bit of a problem at first, but it thankfully ended as I progressed.

2. Tali's face. Yeah, okay, a bit of a cop out, but I don't care. I love her still, for her personality, even if her real face is...unimaginative.

3. And of course, the endings. Yeah...What can I say that others haven't? Well for one thing, I'm not as heartbroken and rage induced as others. Do I find them disappointing? Yes, sadly, I do. Do I think they're god awful? No. I think that if they were polished and fixed, it could have ended better. I hate to say this, but I do wish there was a more black and white choice. A simple, 'Take control of the Reapers and make humanity on top.' and 'Destroy or exile the Reapers.' thing. Cliche, and obvious, but I would have preferred it, to be honest. For what its worth, I looked it as happily as I could. Is it what I wanted? No. Would I change it if I could? Probably.

But it doesn't ruin the game. Characters are still amazingly written. Gameplay is outrageously fun. Everything looks beautiful. There are background conversations that make me tear up inside. My romance with Tali made me smile. No, the game isn't perfect, but the ending doesn't ruin it for me, and I believe it shouldn't ruin it for you. The game itself is still an amazing ride, even if the end is...bumpy. And forced in.

Ignore the ending controversy, this is a good game

Mass Effect 3 will go down as one of the greatest, most infamous titles in history. Much of the controversy is how Bio Ware ended the trilogy. However we are not going to discuss it here. Instead this is my humble opinion of the game as a whole.

The third entry is more cinematic in terms of storytelling and camera angles. The graphics are a sight to behold. For me it is the attention to detail, steam from a mug of coffee or traffic in the Citadel. The art has become more stylized, characters are not quite as realistic as they were in the first two games but they look cleaner. However most of the effort is in the scenery. Look at Palaven early in the game in awe.

The third game continues the trend of high quality voice acting. Much of the drama and humor comes from the interaction with the characters, and the talent and effort brought forth really shows. However certain characters sound different. Mordin's voice actor had changed but you'd barely notice as it's pulled off so well, but it can be a little jarring hearing Garrus or Wrex.

Bio Ware had really tried to address criticism from the first two games by replacing searching and scanning by eavesdropping on conversations and fly by scan systems while avoiding Reapers. Same goes for weapons and items, boasting many choices with displayed add ons. Powers are similar in that you can level up how you want, faster cool downs, better range, more power and the like.

One thing worthy of mention is the moral choices made in the game are very meaty, with your actions having a large impact on the game and the series as a whole. A certain level of pre planning is needed to get certain outcomes, and what initially looked to be the right choice is not always so, demonstrating replay value for those who want a different story or wish to see how the plot can change.

This game introduces multiplayer as a way of building up your points to get the best ending. You fight Geth, Cerberus and Reapers across locations found in single player mode and the idea is to build up your character to be shipped off to war and improve your chances when playing solo. It's a fun addition and something fans of Halo would very much enjoy.

All in all it's a credit that the ending doesn't detract from the quality of the game. And the Extended Cut addresses many of the concerns over the ending anyway.

Bollocks To This

Were you expecting another glowing review, calling the game an emotional masterpiece and the greatest game made in 2012? Heh heh...WRONG!!!

Mass Effect 3 is an insult to the franchise and a slap in the face to long time fans, but not in the way you're thinking. Sure the ending is so bad it bends space and retroactively ruins the rest of the trilogy, but it's just the cherry on top of the fail sundae. If you're in hurry, here's a four word summary: Your Choices Don't Matter. Basically every choice you've made in the past is awkwardly retconned so that sequences are largely the same, save minute differences in dialogue. Speaking of which, the writing took a high dive into a toilet since ME 2; The plot revolves around a huge space dildo that has the words "Deus Ex Machina"(tm) written in three story tall letters on the side. This oversized sex toy is treated as the galaxy's Hail Mary, despite knowing nothing about it, and knowing the last giant Prothean device they found (the Citadel) was actually a Reaper trap. For all they know the device could actually be a giant enslavement gizmo, or an enormous lava lamp.

But enough about writing, what of the gameplay? I'm so glad you asked.

It's Gears Of War. They aren't even trying to hide it anymore, but it's Gears with a !Future! paintjob. Battles are pathetic and underwhelming, doubly so if you've played multiplayer (and you have to to get the (fingerquotes) best ending), which piles on five times the enemies and pairs you with actually competent squadmates. There are about five actions attached to one button, leading to moments of frustration as you fruitlessly try to grab the gun on top of a cover object and end up welding your butt to it. Levels are incredibly linear, and combat makes up the bulk of the game. Sidequests are pretty much the same thing: scan a planet, find a dohicky, bring it back to the guy you eavesdropped on. That's right, you don't even get to talk to quest givers, instead you have to voyeuristically listen to them bitch about some problem and bring the exact thing they needed back.

Words fail me.

I could fill an entire wiki in and of itself with all the problems I have with this game, but I only have 400 words to do it, so here's my final thoughts: Play Borderlands 2. Play Skyrim. Play anything but this.

The endings aren't the problem.

I'm almost half-convinced that Bioware or EA made the endings intentionally bad to distract from the other flaws of a fairly shoddy product compared to the previous games. ME 3 is a letdown, as is often the case in the concluding part of a trilogy, and while this opinion may be controversial and may draw ire from some of you I still have a right to speak it.

My main gripe is that Bioware seems to treat the players as if they're borderline retarded. While the shooting is more fluid and guns are more numerous, the controls and RPG elements have been dumbed down so badly that they feel tacked on. Why are they simplifying things exactly? For newcomers? Why they hell would new players come into the series for the last part of the trilogy?!

The dialogue wheel (Assuming it ever comes up given how this game just LOVES to use auto-dialogue) now just gives you minimalist choices between 'nice' and 'dickhead' responses, as opposed to the previous games giving you a more neutral option of response.

Graphics...Have not improved at all. Many characters practically live in the Uncanny Valley now (Diana Allers...Ugh...) and several characters have animations on par with Captain Scarlet puppets (Anderson). Several environments are drab and grey (Palaven being one of the worst offenders.)

Characters...the party roster has practically been bisected, with several popular characters from the last game being jammed into cameos(Though I understand Mordin and Thane not being party members now). The new characters? Meh. James Vega is interesting for a human character, but that's not saying much when his competition consists of Kaiden and Jacob, two of the blandest people in the galaxy. EDI went from being a pretty cool Deadpan Snarker in 2 to being another Fanservice character...But the worst addition is Kai Leng, the stupid God Mode Sue space-ninja who fits into the lore about as well as Homer Simpson.

Also, for whatever reason, Cerberus and TIM seem to take more of a villain role than the Reapers. Harbinger doesn't even get a single line of dialogue!

I dunno if the blame lies with Bioware or EA, but this franchise has been beaten down with a cricket bat to make it far more simple and 'mainstream' and removing alot of the great RPG features from the last games. I cringe at the prospect of a fourth game, which will likely just be Gears Of War Recycled In Space.

Mass Effect 3 review with spoilers

The third part of a well-received trilogy will always have high expectations. Some storytellers rise to the challenge and end their story in an emotionally-satisfying way. Others fold under the pressure and let the story just fizzle out. Mass Effect 3, sadly, falls into the latter group.

It starts well enough. Earth is conquered by the Reapers, and you need to put together a coalition to take it back while also gathering resources for a superweapon that might be able to beat them. Fair enough, it's easy to accept. So you travel the galaxy, visiting the homeworlds of the major races to help them with their problems, freeing them up to help you. Two planets in particular, Tuchanka and Rannoch, tie up long-running plot threads. Rannoch is arguably the weaker of the two, as you try to create peace between the organic quarians and synthetic geth. After using a targeting laser to kill a skyscraper-sized Reaper on foot, you have to choose which of the two races is wiped out, unless you made certain decisions in the second and third game that allow you to take a third option of making them stop fighting. It's heart-warming, but it also feels like a wasted opportunity. Instead of peace, they could've had players choose between two morally difficult options that, while not wiping out either race, would certainly harm one.

Tuchanka was much better, and speaks of the true potential of video games as a storytelling medium. It ties in decisions from the first two games, then adds a few more twists, creating a difficult decision that can gain you the support of one race at the cost of betraying a second one. Also, giant thresher maw vs. Reaper. Awesome. No matter how you play it, it's full of powerful moments, and will make you cry.

The combat is much improved, and weapon upgrades are handled well. The dialogue writing is the best in the series. Squadmates move around the ship and talk to each other, making it feel more alive.

But the game has quite a few plotting issues. And, of course, the ending. Sigh. The ending fails on every level. It is one of the worst pieces of writing ever. It really is.

But if you just pretend the ending doesn't exist, it's a thoroughly enjoyable game. Most of the flaws are easily overlooked, in light of the fun combat and fantastic dialogue.

It's a fantastic game, despite the truly, truly awful ending.

The ending changes everything.

So after five years of emotional investment we finally get to see where Bioware has decided to take us. There were promises of triumphant endings if you work hard, sobering phyrric victories if you rush, there was talk of "wildly diverging endings." Did Bioware deliver?

Well, the game does deliver plenty:
  • We finally get to see many places that were talked about for so long, make decision five years in the making and see how our previous ones turned out.
  • The pace of the story is a frenetic push to the finish. The HSQ is through the roof.
  • Pretty much every character drops in for a mission or a quick cameo.
  • Every part of the game just oozes atmosphere.
  • Interactions with your crew are a lot more diverse. The characters really shine one last time.
This far: great job Bioware!


And so, five minutes before the end you're sitting there in awe as you watch the final battle unfold, you did what you could, now you're just awestruck and content to see how things play out. And? Well, prepare for a little exercise Bioware prepared called "pissing on the franchise as much as we can in five minutes after we watched a M. Night Shyamalan movie." Choices? Fuck that. Here's what Yahtzee called an ending-tron 3000 with three identical endings that differ only in colour scheme. The implications are different- but we don't get to see any of it. Want to find out what happened to galactic civilization, the races and characters you came to love? How things turned out, what you worked for five years to achieve? Logic and storytelling were sacrificed for "profoundness." So we got no real ending, no explanations, no nothing.

You are dead. Galactic civilization is gone. Your crew is (for no apparent reason) stranded (forever?) on a planet. And nothing you every did over the last five years could change anything about it. In the end we got a conclusion to the Reapers story instead of Shepards story- and that's not what fans wanted. Oh, and the last word of the franchise? "Buy more DLC."

They turned Mass Effect from a grand space opera into the biggest Shoot The Shaggy Dog story of gaming. In five minutes flat, pretty impressive.

Either that or they are about to make the best/most-gainiaxed ending there ever was or will be in a game.

Take the game for what it is, and ignore the endings

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.

It gets almost everything right

Starting out, and playing through, Mass Effect 3 is, just like the first two games, utterly immersive. It was clear Bio Ware pulled out all the stops. It was very difficult to follow it's critically acclaimed predecessor, but in many ways, it's surpassed. Combat was faster and slicker, refined without changing the core good parts. The characters were extremely defined and well-written, immersing the player in the story, and giving truly emotional dialogue and voice acting, immersing the player like none other. It was truly set up, and over the course of the story, actually deliver, a solid, truly epic story, the conclusion to Commander Shepard's tale.

Until the very end. Meant almost literally, as in the last, perhaps ten minutes of the game. Where the ending is completely baffling, makes very little sense, and is almost an insult. Bioware claimed it would end Shepard's story, and it certainly did, but it felt so utterly ridiculous it makes me wonder if it was industrial sabotage that wasn't caught. While there is certainly an explanation in-game, it comes from completely out of left field, and seems to insult the core premise of the game: Raise an army and destroy the Reapers that are trying to kill you.

Mass Effect 3 also differs from it's predecessors by including a multiplayer segment, which is fairly fun, if a little repetitive, like most multiplayer tends to be. It has a bare-bones story and delivers exactly what it promises, not utterly awesome, but fairly amusing.

In conclusion, I'd play the game again, it's fun as utter hell, immersive like none other, and creates a story that's both tragic and heartwarming, interspersed with humor and lighter moments in all the right places. But don't complete it. Get to the very end, and then stop. Create the ending in your head: You'll be much better off for it.

It's 99.5% Good

Everything that can be said about the ending has been said somewhere. Just about everything else, though, is really good, having been fine-tuned, polished, or simply improved from previous titles. If the ending hadn't been so bad, Mass Effect 3 could easily have been one of the best games of the year.

The combat has received the most changes, almost all of them for the better. The series has finally gotten the combat almost perfect. Rolling works well most of the time, and allows more advanced gameplay aside from "hide behind chest-high walls", as you can quickly dodge enemies or their attacks. The weight and cooldown system is a little broken, though; as a Soldier, I could carry just an assault rifle and shotgun and practically spam Concussive Shots everywhere.

The story is also good (aside from the obvious). It's considerably more focused than either of the previous two, and actually does some pretty good examination of what makes Shepard tick — an admirable feat when Shepard's personality is entirely up to the player. The choices are a little more ambiguous; you cannot go full Paragon or Renegade and expect to get the most War Assets for the ending. However, the dividing line between the two is still too clear-cut at times; there's more gray than previous titles, but not quite enough.

Dialogue, however, has been reduced; it feels like there are a lot fewer opportunities for you to pick something to say. Conversations sometimes feel less like you're telling Shepard what to say and more like cutscenes. Granted, this makes conversations considerably less one-sided, but more involvement would have been nice. Additionally, crew members have less to say in between missions, and sometimes you don't have any choices at all. However, some of these linear exchanges are well-done (drunk Tali). On a positive note, crew members will sometimes move around the ship and talk to other crew members. This makes the Normandy feel more alive, and it was a pleasant surprise to walk in on Garrus and Joker exchanging jokes.

Ultimately, even at its greatest, the game never quite reaches the heights set by ME2. I couldn't say exactly what made it worse, but it any case, the two are very close in how good they are, making it mostly irrelevant. This would have been a fitting end for the trilogy, were it not for the last ten minutes.

Still A Good Game

What can I say that hasn't already been said? Hell, even that's been said, and this page proves it. I suppose I can start with saying that ninety-eight percent of it is a good game. Ninety-eight percent of it's a perfect game. And that last two percent? Well, I think we all know what that last two percent is.

A short preface- The first thing I heard after buying the game is that the ending sucks. But I liked ME 1, and I adored ME 2. I had to see the ending, no matter how bad. As it progressed, I decided that crappy endings be damned, I loved the game. And upon seeing the ending, I still think that. The idea that it's all a message about how Shepard doesn't matter is a load of existentialist crap, especially since the Stinger seems to think otherwise. But it didn't give closure, it didn't tell us what became of our choices and our companions. It ended with a few pretty shots and some inspirational music. Which is exactly what the last two did.

Which leads me to think that this isn't the end. Not only because I fail to see how the rest of the game can be so great and fall down in such a vital aspect, but because a lot of things simply aren't addressed. The reapers are still never fully explained, the Thessia VI mentions something about the Protheans dealing with their own Cereberus, and patterns in each cycle- never explained. Not to mention the Catalyst's flippant acceptance of Shepard popping up, and it OUTRIGHT saying it'd need to cook up another "solution" now. If they'd kept with the dark energy explanation and the Crucible did what we believed it would, everyone would be fine. But they didn't. And I can only think they decided to cop out of that in order to set-up another sequel. Was it clumsily done? Yes. Was it result of Bioware just not caring, or being greedy bastards, or- most illogically of all- simply trying to piss off the fans? Probably not. And so they lied about it being a trilogy. Honestly, people, it's Mass Effect. Are you really going to complain about getting another game out of it?

Are perhaps I'm wrong, the writer's made a human mistake, and this is the end. My claim still stands. That last two percent sucks. But that ninety-eight percent is worth it ten times over.

Excellent Game with a Disappointing Ending (Updated for Extended Cut)

Mass Effect 3 improves on both its' predecessors' shortcomings, and while its ending is unsatisfactory, is still an excellent game.

The game, set in a galaxy facing an almost hopeless war against the Reapers, is dark and often tragic, but there are opportunities for you to make a difference and solve long-standing disputes, thereby averting Darkness Induced Audience Apathy. The ambient conversations add to the atmosphere and provide effective drama.

The story is about building an army to stop the Reapers, and as such, this aspect comes into play in your decisions. You must not only ask yourself who should you help, but who can best help you, as some decisions are less practical for your cause. Your choices from the past two games come into play; you may find yourself having to ask for the help of someone you crossed earlier, or your decisions may allow you to gain an otherwise unwilling ally. It does reward people who played the first two games, though, in that some choices are otherwise precluded.

Combat is still an effective blend of action and tactics, and the more diverse enemy types, especially enemies whose abilities complement each other, makes combat interesting by requiring different strategies.

The game has more RPG elements than the second, as it is once again possible to customize weapons, and for the top three ranks of a power, you can choose one of two variations, improving customization. Being able to choose between a larger weapons loadout and shorter cooldown times is also a nice touch. Scanning planets has been streamlined, but it is often tedious to find the people who are requesting the various artifacts you unearth.

Multiplayer is surprisingly entertaining for a late addition to the series, although cooperation is hampered by a lack of communication, and it would have been better if it had not been used to influence your single player army's strength.

The ending is the game's greatest shortcoming, even with the Extended Cut. Without spoiling it, the worst part is that almost none of your decisions besides the strength of your army matter and the ones that do have little noticeable effect. The Extended Cut resolves some of the plot holes and unanswered questions, but it would have nice to see what happens to the main cast and the galaxy in the future. Despite this, Mass Effect 3 is a solid conclusion to the series.

Extended Cut Review

Spoilers for the endings only.

First off, while the endings are simply expanded on and, despite the writers' initial intentions of not retconning things (which they certainly did), I've come to the conclusion that if Bioware had simply released this game with the extended cut in the first place, it wouldn't have received such a huge backlash.

Why? Because it's somewhat satisfying. The major problems with the initial endings was that the writers wanted to make it as open-ended as possible, but contrary to popular belief, sometimes this intention can be improperly executed, leaving fans confused and ultimately angry. This is what happened in the first endings. Logically they backpedaled, shoeing in the extended cut that is reasonably satisfying.

First off, the war assets play a more shallow, but still worthwhile role in the endings. A high EMS rating can secure the safety of your teammates on the run to the beacon, keep the Crucible from backfiring when choosing the Destroy option, and allow the Normandy to make repairs to blast off after crashing planet-side. The Renegade/Paragon dynamic is used for two different endings in Control, where Shepard could become a benevolent 'god' in the protection of the galaxy or a looming force to be reckoned with. Synthesis, on the other hand, seems to fall wayside from any major gameplay dynamic in this cut, possibly because there's not much to be improved upon it. Though the morally ambiguous nature of it still wages in fan circles and forum boards.

This leads the endings from becoming just three (four if you include the bad Destroy ending) standard pick-a-color-any-color lackluster finales to a great franchise. Wholly undeserved, but if you crunch the numbers correctly with the Extended Cut, that number jumps to seven possible endings without including the slideshow tidbits (ie. the Geth/Quarian conflict, curing/sustaining the Genophage, etc). This includes the new polarizing Refusal ending, Bioware's granted wish to players suspicious of the Catalyst's intentions but with a great cost. While not the 'sixteen' different endings initially promised, it's there. And it's reasonably good regardless, with less plot holes and a satisfying conclusion.

Simply put, these new endings should have been there in the first place. Love it or hate it, at least we are sure that Bioware is listening.

Leviathan DLC

Shepard investigates the mystery of a ancient entity dubbed "Leviathan" impossibly old, thought to be an apex predator and able to take on a Reaper. But is this monster an even greater danger?

Well, its probably not hard to guess what Leviathan is but if you haven't I won't give it away. The DLC lets you do some basic evidence gathering and takes you through some moody set pieces. I'm sure not if they were going for basic dread or pure terror, the problem is our heroes already face threats on this scale so its a little difficult to make this feel different. Personally, what Leviathan is, and where Leviathan is encountered is a perfect scary scenario for me but it didn't quite hit me like I expected it too. There are scenes where you're meant to feel completely helpless, which is undercut by your knowledge that you still have the rest of the war to fight. You know you're going to escape.

As with "From the Ashes" it will give you some basic revelations into the history of Mass Effect. I feel "From the Ashes" has the edge here because Javik has a lot say about various missions you take him on whereas most of the revelations in Leviathan occur in one scene.

Also features a nice action set piece navigating a lab in the side of a cliff face being blasted apart by the enemy which really shows off all the action gameplay improvements Mass Effect 3 made over it's predecessors. Don't look down ;).

You'll take away some additional War Assets if you complete the mission successfully, not just from the mission itself but from the additional star systems you can explore. You also get a nice little tropy for your Captain's Quarters that I want spoil and access to a brand new power that, trust me, is worthy of Commander Shepard. If you're really picky about the DLC you spend your money on, you can skip this one. If you, like me, can never get enough of the Mass Effect series, go ahead and get it.

Update: When I first created this review, I hadn't finished my replay of the game itself. This DLC does have some small impact on the endgame apart from the War Assets. It primarily affects the conversation with the Catalyst adding even more explanation. Its like Bioware is an exasperated parent fielding an endless series of questions from their children.

Amazing But Flawed

When I heard their was going to be a new Mass Effect installment, I was excited. Mostly because Mass Effect 2 was the best RPG I'd seen at the time. After weeks of anticipation, it was released.

For starters, the opening was epic, but my choices didn't effect any dialogue or shifting of the plot. No matter what I said, be it Paragon or Renegad, characters would still respond with the same tone and words. The things you say will only effect major plot points or missions on the Citadel. Some of these choices that particularly interested me were to either cure the Genophage or sabotage the cure, gain the loyalty of the Quarians and Geth without wiping out both sides, and all of this leads to one of the core problems of the game: The ending. It has so many plot holes that I wondered if I missed something early on. But other then the flaws its still a good conclusion to Shepards story (especially with the new DLC that fixes things, like plot holes).

I give it an 8/0

Omega DLC

First of all, I'd like to say that this DLC is way better than Leviathan. It took me roughly 4 hours to beat on Insanity. With that said:

Story: The plot's bare bones, but it does make some helpful additions, mostly by making Cerberus's sudden power jump from 2 to 3 make something resembling sense. A lot of people will probably be dismayed that the end result has no effect on the main plot, but I don't mind it. There are very few choices, but there are two very powerful scenes that are probably the highlight of the DLC, both of which involve interrupts.

Characters: Aria gets fleshed out a lot more. Nyreen is a good character, and her dynamic with Aria was entertaining, which makes it all the weirder that she's lazily written out near the end. Petrovsky doesn't get a lot of screentime but is an effective Chessmaster and Anti Villain, and a foil to Aria.

Gameplay Additions: The best addition to the game is, by far, the Adjutants. They're a ton of fun to fight and possess capabilities that make them unique, such as their "Singularity Gun". Rampart Mechs are also nice. The problem is that there are maybe a dozen Adjutants in the whole DLC. This is a shame, since they were a good challenge and interesting to fight. That's the general problem with this DLC and all Mass Effect DLC: it's short. There's also a few weapon mods and two new guns. Base gameplay is mostly the same, though I noticed that the level design was much better, with shield pylons and cover being placed in ways that make you think. You also get two new squadmates and two new powers; both squadmates are incredibly fun to use, especially Aria.

Other: I like the general feel. The urban warfare, the entrenched enemies, the zombie apocalypse, etc. I also like the way the story is set up; specifically, makes the battles we're fighting make sense. There's a reason we're doing this. Mass Effect 3 had many moments where I wondered "why the hell am I shooting zombies behind chest high walls when sentient ships are wrecking the galaxy?". Omega doesn't have that.

Final Verdict: 7.5/10. If you love Mass Effect and can't get enough, go ahead and buy it. However, if you like to conserve your money or are still waiting out on a DLC that has an effect on the main story, just keep your fifteen bucks and let Cerberus and Aria squabble over this slum-filled rock.

Mass Effect 3 DLC- So Far

From Ashes: 4/10. It only has moderately more content than Stolen Memory or The Price Of Revenge. The former was seven bucks and the latter was free. This is ten bucks. One 45 minute mission, one squadmate, and one gun are not worth it. Javik himself is a badass, interesting, and hilarious character with a bunch of good dialogue and nice exposition about the Protheans, plus one good scene on Thessia, but I still wouldn't recommend this.

Rebellion/Resurgence/Earth: 8/10. While the fact that it further randomizes the RNG can get annoying, the classes, maps, weapons, and upgrades add variety and are top-notch and fun to play around with, especially the vorcha and N7 classes. Plus, it's free, so there's no reason not to download it.

Extended Cut: 6/10. It patches up a lot of issues with the original ending, especially the Diabolus Ex Machina (see the second to last post here), and adds one really good scene, but most endings are still terrible, with one being okay. I'd still recommend downloading it.

Leviathan: 3/10. Absolutely terrible. Why? Because there's nothing here. It's an hour of the same cookie cutter enemies you spent the game killing and another 30 minutes of cutscenes. There is next to nothing worthwhile in the plot; most of it is shit we already knew. The rest is incredibly stupid and not worth ten bucks. Stay away.

Firepower/Groundside Resistance: 8/10. Both packs add seven weapons each: two new weapons and five others from the multiplayer. If you can't play mulitplayer (or, hell, even if you can), you have no excuse not to buy this, since all of the weapons are awesome and the packs only cost two dollars each. If I had to come up with one complaint, it's that the Venom shotgun seriously unbalances the game.

Retaliation: 10/10. This is, in my opinion, the best DLC in the series. It has a ton of new content; twelve new enemies (adding much needed variety to multiplayer), three new weapons, five new gear upgrades, sixteen new characters (all of which are badass), three new ammo types and new gamplay mechanics in the form of the "possession" mechanic for the Collectors and the map hazards. And best of all? It's free. Go download it now.

The Beginning is Awful

The beginning of Mass Effect 3, the alliance appear to have just discovered the Reapers, Earth is blown up before you're introduced to it, (so it doesn't work as the primary motivator). Then you instantly find a Mac Guffin that will Save The Day. The Reapers are already attacking everywhere (but after earth) and a race has been wiped out by them (before Earth) unhelped, unseen. Finally the game places you in a city in denial so it's a long time before you really get the feel of galactic war.

The writing stays inconsistent but there's exceptional dialogue and storypoints too.

Most of the flaws from Mass Effect 2 are still present. You spend ages creating your character but Shepherd already has a defined personality.

Worlds are still fractured strips of combat which doesn't make it feel cohesive or real. It need more hubs, but at least missions structure is more varied and broken up.

The enemy is still faceless, motivationless and although they've stepped away from the Space Terminator idea, sentient spaceships still feel a little silly. In the last couple of hours they fix this, with a more complex Illusive Man, furthering the mythology of the universe, giving the Reapers some purpose and philosophy. But they need to do this earlier and more.

Furthermore, the dialogue wheel is now completely broken. A person says they can't trust you and the options are 'Likewise' and 'Trust yourself'. 'Likewise' is the nice option.

Also (for me, the worst flaw) they've chosen grey as their main colour. So levels are detailed, yet feel boring and stale.

But combat has been hugely improved and is fun, despite some early clustered level design. Leveling up and weapon collection are nice. The idea of war assets gives missions payoffs. Fantastic music.

As for the ending, there was an awful design choice which meant I didn't even really know what I was deciding and I had to play through 15 minutes of game and unskippable cutscene to get back. One choice seems infinitely superior to the other and the game never prepared you for the question and had themes it counteracted with EDI's arc. They were bittersweet but I actually liked them and they didn't ruin the game for me.

So this is a flawed game. But no-one else makes games like this, ME 3 might not be a success but its failures are more interesting than almost every game ever.

The Good, The Bad, and The Good again.

The laconic version: Mass Effect 3 has a ton of flaws, but the consistently great gameplay and certain amazingly well done scenes make up for it.

Long version: Mass Effect 3 is a great game. The gameplay has been massively improved since 2. The leveling up system has the "just right" amount of character customization in a game like this, there is a huge arsenal of weapons and armor, the modding and upgrade system is fun and encourages experimentation, all enemies are fun to fight and have aggressively challenging AI, and the game never feels cheap. Even though it doesn't have many memorable fights (which I attribute to the lack of boss fights), something Mass Effect 2 had a monopoly on, when I was shooting something, I was always having fun. The production values are high quality, with detailed backgrounds and character models and a great soundtrack. The voice acting also remains top notch, even for background characters.

The problem is Mass Effect 3 as a conclusion to a roleplaying series. People have already ranted about the ending, so I won't reiterate how awful it is. Even the Extended Cut merely made most of them bad. But Mass Effect 3's plot had more problems than that. Chief among them are the Crucible, which is a very poor plot point for many reasons, and the way the game factors in your choices. There are two points in the game where your choices have logical and significant consequences: Rannoch and Tuchanka. In all other instances, your choices either only cause a slight change in war assets or are just not mentioned at all. The choices regarding Vido, the rachni, your choice for Councilor, whether or not you did Arrival, and the Collector Base are particularly big offenders. The reduced dialogue options in this game doesn't exactly help. A lot of the game runs on an Idiot Plot, which I don't have enough words to elaborate upon here.

However, it's easy to ignore (some of) these flaws when certain moments are just so good. Retaking Rannoch with Tali and curing the genophage with Mordin and Wrex, for example, are some of the most memorable and emotionally satisfying sequences I have ever seen/played. Overall, Mass Effect 3, despite its flaws, is a great experience, and well worth your time and money... as long as you've played the other two games first, of course.

Ignorance of the Previous Three Thousand Minutes - A look at the ending and how it is not what others will have you believe

There's many whiny claims about the ending of Mass Effect 3. Deus Ex Machina, Ass Pull, Gainax Ending, lack of Multiple Endings, nothing you do mattering, no foreshadowing, and being forced to agree with the Catalyst.

To put it bluntly, these claims are easily proven false. They are so easily proven false that one has to wonder if those who make the claims have even played the game.

Where to begin? Foreshadowing? Certainly. Two of the choices in the end are repeatedly presented throughout the game: destroying the Reapers is the goal of the galaxy's united forces and controlling the Reapers was sought after by two groups, Cerberus and a group of Protheans that the Prothean VI Vendetta tells you about. EDI has several lines regarding the possibility of sacrificing synthetics to achieve victory for organics. You learn that the Crucible utilizes the mass relay network, that a "Catalyst" is required for its activation, and the possibility of a creator of the Reaper cycles from Vendetta. The only things that the ending adds is the Reapers' purpose and possibly a third option, derived from what you knew the Reapers were doing all along. The true nature of the Catalyst changes almost nothing about how the ending is resolved.

To call it a deus ex machina demonstrates that one does not know what that term means. The galaxy is required to unite together to construct it; your efforts throughout the story make the Crucible possible. The outcome of the Crucible's activation is based on the player's efforts—don't gather enough resources, and the Crucible will cause greater damage throughout the galaxy and you will have less options for the Crucible. That is enough to debunk the claim that your choices don't matter: your specific choices shape your journey to the ending and affect whether you can get the best resolutions to subplots, and having made good choices throughout the series will give you a better ending. That is undeniable fact.

To those who argue that you're somehow "forced" to agree with the Catalyst, there is a simple argument to counter that stance. The Catalyst dislikes Destroy. Nothing stops you from choosing Destroy, thus obviously you aren't forced to agree in any way.

One has to wonder why the anti-ending movement's arguments against the ending rely on hoping players don't acknowledge blatant facts in the game.

Why People Hate the Last Ten Minutes

As you are likely well aware of, there are numerous reviews here railing against the ending of Mass Effect 3. While most of them don't even attempt to say what is supposed to be wrong with the ending, a few cite some of the reviewers' issues. And for most of the issues, the last ten minutes do not deliver on those issues...

...because the other 30+ hours of the game do.

Mass Effect 3 has an epic conclusion—is an epic conclusion to the Mass Effect series. Everything you've done throughout the series influences your journey throughout the game. It determines which friends you reunite with, which enemies you cross again and what outcomes are possible for the numerous plot threads that come to a close throughout Mass Effect 3. While there is a definite beginning, middle and end to the storyline, Mass Effect 3 is the farewell to the Mass Effect universe. Conflicts which you've shaped and touched upon are brought to a close, influencing the fates of numerous races and characters.

The game's main storyline focuses on stopping the antagonists of the series, the Reapers. When their invasion of the galaxy begins, Commander Shepard discovers ancient plans to the Crucible, a device that could be the only hope against the Reapers. They don't know what it will do, but Shepard rallies the galaxy to construct the Crucible in the hopes of stopping the Reapers once and for all.

Storyline aside, the gameplay of Mass Effect 3 is strong and challenging. The enemy AI is aggressive and intelligent, using smart tactics to capitalise on each enemy's strengths and weaknesses. Weapons and armor have a great deal of variety, much more than the previous game. The power evolution system of is also expanded upon for greater customization of your team's abilities. Power combos and melee attacks give greater depth and strategy to combat.

When all is said and done, Mass Effect 3 is a masterpiece that delivers on both the action-packed gameplay and gripping storytelling that Bio Ware is known for. Many of the "criticisms" are a result of narrowing the focus past the climatic resolutions and revelations throughout the game and ignoring everything that people play Mass Effect for.

I'm Lily and this is my favourite game in the series!

Most of the conversation relating to Mass Effect 3 nowadays revolves around the mixed reception of the ending It's truly tragic that the debate over the ending overshadows the epic masterpiece that is Mass Effect 3.

The gameplay of ME3 is greatly refined, creating what is easily the best customization and combat experience of the series. Whereas ME1 buried you under a mountain of items, upgrades, and talents while ME2 stripped you down to bare basics, ME3 strikes an excellent balance. There's a large variety of weapons and five modifications for each class of weapon. The previous games barred training and outright use of a weapon based on class respectively; ME3 allows any class to use any weapon, giving greater customization to classes and allowing the player to balance between weaponry and power cooldowns. Powers are revamped; each power and class talent tree has six levels with two options for the last three levels, allowing you to fine-tune your powers' performance and functionality. Melee attacks are improved on, allowing melee combos and powerful class-unique heavy melee abilities. The enemies are challenging but rewarding to defeat—their AI is smart and merciless, working together to flush you out of safe cover and cover their individual weaknesses.

ME3 doesn't disappoint when it comes to storytelling. The game is the culmination of over 1,000 variables based on your decisions over the previous games. Watching the fates and emotions of the universe, old friends, and even Shepard is breathtaking and heartrending. You're forced to make several difficult decisions that influence the fate of entire races, with your options based on what you've done in the previous games. Your choices determine what War Assets you have available; the greater your War Assets, the better the outcome of the final battle. No matter what your choices, you'll have many come to reward you in the war and some to end up biting you in the rear. There's plenty of times where ME3 left me in awe, laughter, and sorrow.

The hard work and love that went into ME3 is very evident. It's a epic and thrilling conclusion to the masterpiece that is the Mass Effect series and a must-play for shooter-RPG fans.

Cosmicism rears its ugly head in the 12th hour

Fantastic game, very shiny, nice characters, awesome plot arc tie-ups, all that. It really was good, and I loved it. I know that's not what you're here to read.

Look, I hated the ending. I know a lot of people think that means I didn't understand it. Don't worry, I got it perfectly well. Mass Effect is good at bashing important plot details over the head in obvious ways, and the ending wasn't suddenly this massive subtle message that only the intellectual elite can get (well, unless Indoctrination Theory is true...fingers crossed?)

Commander Shepard is a speck among the cosmos. Individual efforts are futile. We're all doomed. This fight was hopeless from the beginning, and you knew that, so here's God Child to smack you over the head with it one more time. At the end of the day, Existentialism and Cosmicism reign supreme. Yes. I got the ending. I understand. I'm not stupid.

I also have a fairly decent memory. See, I seem to remember the end of the first Mass Effect. Sovereign says "organic life is just a fluke" and "I'm the vanguard of your destruction" and all that pleasant stuff. It's a hopeless fight, and we're going to lose. Then, of course, against all odds, Shepards goes and wins. Yes, that's right, you WIN.

Then I remember the second game. The Collectors are snatching up colonists. Shepard actually dies. Everything is hopeless, this mission through the Omega 4 relay is a suicide mission. Harbinger says similar things to Sovereign about organic life being puny and useless. We're doomed to failure. Then, funny story, Shepard wins. Again. WINS.

After a countless series of obvious victories, consistent reinforcement that the Reapers and their genocidal cosmicist reign of terror can be defeated, that everyone in the galaxy can hold hands and be friends, we get a punch in the balls saying that actually it wasn't possible to win, ever. It's not subtle.

It's also not "bittersweet." See, "bittersweet" involves some "sweet" and not just "bitter." I was unaware that stories can only end in two ways: "rainbows and unicorns" or "horrifying existentialist implied genocide." I'm tired of hearing that the only reason people hated the ending was because there were no "rainbows and unicorns." It's a false dichotomy.

Most people understand the ending, and most people just think it sucks.

A big meaty quarter-pounder of a game (spoilers)

The difference between what I expected of Mass Effect 3 and what I got is like ordering a Big Mac and getting a Double Big Mac. I knew it would be an awesome game, but nothing quite prepared me for just how great it would be.

The gameplay is a big improvement from the earlier games. More powers, power evolutions, weapons, armor, plus the return of weapon mods and the Weight Capacity system gives much greater customization to Shepard and the squad. The pain of hacking and scanning via Mako/magical probes is gone, with the new system of gathering resources being both simpler and far more dangerous — slip up and the Reapers’ll be happy to shove you back to your last save. Combat is faster, more fluid — and the enemies are much smarter. They won’t hesitate to smush you if they get the chance. For the most part, it provides a good challenge, but I really want to tape a pair of rakes to my hands and “hug” the guy who thought Banshees needed to be so durable.

This is a Bio Ware game, so saying the story is good is kinda pointless. There were many (manly) tears shed, as it all comes at a high price, even if you put in the work to get the best outcomes through all of the politics, fighting, and struggles. Just overhearing conversations lets you know just how much of a (mass) effect the war is having on the galaxy.

And of course…the ending. Honestly? I liked it, it was fine. Not a big flashy thing, but there was nothing wrong with it. It might be because I saw the choice my Rene-Shep would take less than halfway through the game. The relevation of the Catalyst wasn’t even surprising, considering the other games in the series have big relevations just before the end too. I was just holding out my hand, asking repeatedly for the keys.

That doesn’t mean I’m not waiting for the Extended Cut. If Mass Effect 3 is a nice and juicy hamburger, then the Extended Cut is cheese. A burger’s great on its own, but cheese makes everything better.

Amazing and Satisfying

Mass Effect 3 was one of the greatest games I've played for xbox. It was an intense, heart-racing adventure that had me in turmoil whenever I had to make a decision.

To start, everything from Mass Effect 1 and 2 gets used again, even minor quests. Pretty much every character whether they lived or died was given a mention or cameo. Every major plot point from the first two games received closure. The genophage, the rachni, the quarian/geth war, Balak, Cerberus, they all received conclusions and it really makes you feel like you contributed and were a major part in the final decision. Choices you made may backfire and there were things I was unable to do that I really regretted. I teared up at pretty much every death, and there was a lot of it. The way the story unfolds with major quests and side quests really feels like you're making progress in the story and making the galaxy better. And then you get to that ending and make an ultimate choice that you really have to think about because it will affect the entire galaxy. Once I got spoiled on the choices I spent literally the entire game wondering what I would do and my mind flipped back and forth over and over.

There are a few bumps here and there. Diana Allers is useless and ugly and feels like a cheap tie-in. But all the squadmates you have are great. There's only two or three new ones but they're all really fun. In James they even finally succeeded in having a good human squadmate. Another problem was that for the small collection missions it doesn't always tell you when you've got the object, but I went to the Citadel after every mission so no big deal. There were also a lot more graphical glitches than the first games. Rocks and characters would disappear and some of the characters don't look right. Joker especially has a weird mouth that never shows his teeth when he talks. And I'm still annoyed Tali's face was just a quick photshop instead of something unique. Actually, I probably would have preferred if they didn't show anything since I already had an idea of what I wanted her to look like.

Even the multiplayer is great and I don't normally like multiplayer. It offers a quick chance to play classes you haven't played and the objectives in the rounds keep it from being monotonous.

In conclusion, this was a fantastic ending to the trilogy and I could not have been happier.

Review: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer

I enjoyed Mass Effect 1's gameplay, but was not as fond of Mass Effect 2's shift to the Cover-Based Shooter. And while waiting for ME3, I ended up getting into Left 4 Dead in a big way. As a result, I had mixed expectations about ME3's multi.

As it turns out, it's fun.

I enjoy L4D because it's Co Op Multiplayer, which suits Team Moms like me; I like winning, but I have no desire to defeat others. ME3 takes the same approach, plunking you and three other players onto a map to fight off eleven waves of mobs. Waves 3, 6 and 10 have a randomly-assigned objective ("kill 4 specific enemies," "Hold The Line," "Capture two flags"), which adds some variety. Friendly fire is disabled, and I haven't seen much griefing; in fact, my own incompetence was probably the closest anyone got. You have stripped-down versions of the six basic classes, with three powers each; non-human race/class pairs have to be unlocked by Random Drop, and appropriately have better powers. The maps themselves are well-staged and creative, and cover-based shooting actually compliments the biotics and tech powers. Bioware are continuing to release more guns, maps and characters, and hosting weekend events that change the spawn frequency of certain mobs for the next week. Matches can be completed in about 15 minutes, less if you lose. It's fast-paced, exciting and quite enjoyable.

The problem is advancing. Players who have an edge in equipment or classes will gain more kills, EXP and Credits, which gives you an edge in classes and equipment. Without Forced Level Grinding—or Bioware Points—progress will be slow. On top of that, Credits and EXP are awarded only upon completion of a mission. If you get disconnected, you get nothing... and there are no warnings about latency, or options to reconnect. It's pure luck whether you actually get the rewards you've earned.

ME3's multi doesn't have the depth of L4D, and you need at least 20 levels of credits before you can really compete. But you know what? It's fun. Once you've beat the revised endings, give it a shot.

The passing of ages

I figure everything that needs to be said, has been said. Probably better than I can say it. That view touting a possible existentialist interpretation is absolutely brilliant, wahaha! My review is on an aspect that just as much as the plot suddenly disappearing, however. I liked Ash's look in Mass Effect one; hell, I liked the look of most the characters. In the second game, there were was some sexification, but it was even-handed enough. In the third however - I literally cannot see the same person in the lipstick-wearing long haired character they introduced. Heck, even my femmebro Jack had to be feminized; I'm sure in a DLC she'll have a full head of hair that goes down to her knees or whatever. I have nothing against feminine characters in the game - but again, the rather noticeable boob creep {is that like power creep?} combined with the nose 'fixing' the makeup and the 'prettiness' of every random citizen soon went from bugging me to being a defining part of the game. Lines that bothered me, I couldn't help feeling that if they'd spent less time glamorizing the characters, focusing on rippling muscles or lingerie texture the more time Bioware might have had time to add character interaction or fix... Certain glaring DLC advertisements.

What my review boils down to is that if I look that 'good' when I'm fourty or fifty I'm chomp an extra box of cigarettes a day in protest to the ending.