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.
, 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.