Mass Effect 3 review

There’s been a lot of controversy regarding the ending to ME3.  This review will attempt to stay spoiler-free.

Five years.  It’s been five years since I first took my leap into the Milky Way Galaxy in a Human-Turian spaceship, first set foot on the Citadel, and made the hard choice to sacrifice Kaiden or Ashley.  We stopped Saren and made it to the second game, and now the third, but does this new adventure live up to all the hype?

Mass Effect 3 is a phenomenal game.  It surpasses the gameplay of both previous games in every way.  Building on the more action-oriented fighting in the second, the new game enhances movement with the ability to dodge-roll in combat, making the whole affair far more engaging.  The addition of double-tapping the A button to jump over obstacles without needing to use cover first also keeps things fast paced.

The RPG elements of the game are improved with weapon modifications to customize your arsenal.  Want to put a scope on your rifle?  Go ahead.  Want to stabilize your sniper rifle or SMG from recoil and hand movement?  Done.  The modifications are a welcome addition to the game, as well as a new weight system that allows the different classes to use all the weapons while keeping ability recharge set at a certain reduction.  The lighter you are, the faster your abilities recharge to keep balance.

The story this time around is not as dark as the second game, but not as light as the first.  It’s all about bringing together the races of the galaxy under one banner to stop a mutual threat.  It’s a really consistent mission structure of helping each race with issues to get their loyalty as war assets, thus building up your chances of defeating the Reapers.

The worst part about the game, honestly, is the ending.  I won’t go into detail, but it doesn’t factor in your choices.  There are three possible outcomes that are nearly identical and cause major plot inconsistencies and prevent a new game from being possible.  The ending is essentially a cliffhanger.  If you want to see what I mean, play the game, but personally, I’d prefer seeing my choices have a big factor in the ending rather than what we got.

Mass Effect 3 is a great game and you really should play it, but the last 10 minutes are really a slap in the face to fans of the series.  I’m not questioning BioWare’s artistic methodology, but I am questioning their understanding of their own game’s universe.

Mass Effect 3
(Xbox 360)
Review Score: 8.5/10

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