🐳 How many games has Beethoven been credited on? (answer)

Mass Effect 3

aka: ME3

[ All ] [ PlayStation 3 ] [ Windows ] [ Xbox 360 ] [ Xbox One ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 87% (based on 58 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 92 ratings with 4 reviews)

Bioware's worst, and yet still a good game at heart

The Good
At first, Mass Effect 3 felt like it would combine the best parts of the previous two and eliminate the worst. In some respects, they succeeded. Combat feels more engaging than ever before and there are some nice added RPG elements, like more talents and slight weapon and armor customization. The game manages to feel much less repetitive than ME2.

A lot of ME3's charm comes from the little details, like amusing conversations between squadmates or other NPC's and the many side side missions, all of which add to the War Assets, which is, at least in theory, a great idea, though it should have definitely influenced the game more. At least it gives a more enjoyable purpose to scanning planets.

There's also tons of mind-blowing action to be experienced. The story is far from original and it has its flaws, but particularly the segments on Tuchanka and Rannoch are emotional, exciting and well-designed gameplay-wise, too.

Multiplayer is definitely better than I thought, but based on a few tries, nothing special. This one is definitely made for the shooter fans, but on the plus side, playing multiplayer increases your Galactic readiness.

The Bad
But, alas, Bioware's design team could have perhaps spent more time with the product - I would have had time to wait. The side quests, despite adding to the War Assets, have been boiled down to annoying fetch quests, and the Journal is one of the worst I've seen, as they completely fail to keep track of your advancement in the quests like it did in the previous games. There's no exploration left anymore, as apart from maybe two short missions, it's basically endless shooting with occasional dialogue. Although the combat roll seems like a cool improvement, I mostly ended up rolling when trying to take cover and vice versa due to having to press A to do pretty much everything. The game feels buggier than ME2, and both facial animations and running animations are rather terrible. Characters sometimes twist their neck around a solid 145 degrees while talking.

Speaking of the dialogue wheel, it has been utterly manhandled. It pops up very rarely, with our Shepard mostly saying badly written lines in auto-dialogue. When it does pop up, our options seem like incredibly caricatured versions of the Paragon and Renegade lines of the previous games. Either you're "Morally Righteous And Always Right" or "Ruthless Jerk Just Because". Playing a Renegade has lost almost all of its charm - instead of a violent wisecrack who could be a complete jerk to their teammates, even the most Renegade of Shepards is now inexplicably nice to characters like Liara and James, whether or not the player wants them to be.

Although it's impressive how most of our decisions were imported from the previous games, you should prepare to be disappointed. I thought our experience would be completely different depending on how we played the game before, but no, it's pretty much the same. The only part where I felt like our decisions mattered more than just a few different lines was Tuchanka.

And the story... as powerful as it can be at times, it's definitely Bioware's weakest so far. The beginning is a badly paced, cheesy mess that could have been summed up with a simple cutscene. The story gains momentum once we get to the Citadel, but still, most of the crucial storyline parts are actually either frustrating or boring. The words "The Reapers Are Here!" are repeated about three hundred times, and it never truly feels that there's a galactic war going on. Many dramatic moments are ruined due to badly written dialogue and especially awkward animation.The few highlights of the story are brilliant, though.

I tried to write this review without mentioning the controversial ending, but let's be honest here: no matter how I tried to look at it, it was disappointing. Not the worst ending I've seen, but it succeeded in killing my interest in Mass Effect for a good long while.

The Bottom Line
As with the last parts, Mass Effect 3 is an action RPG with emphasis on the action. It's approachable to new players and shooter fans, but on the flip side, it feels less like an RPG than any other Bioware game besides possibly Mass Effect 2. That wouldn't be too bad, if the plot would at least be galaxy-shakingly awesome, but instead, it's a frustrating, inconsistent mess with occasional highlights. Still, kudos to Bioware: even at their worst, they manage to be at least passable.

Xbox 360 · by Zokolov (49) · 2012

Competent gameplay execution, but still a disappointing conclusion

The Good
The biggest strength of Mass Effect 3 is easy to name: is is a very fine third person shooter. Compared to the boring Whac-A-Mole combat of Mass Effect, the series has come a long way: instead of hiding behind a single peace of cover and killing enemies when they look up from their cover, the player is often forced to move because of grenades or aggressive enemies which quickly move into melee range. The previous games already had Husks, but they almost never entered combat together with other enemy types and therefore leaving cover to deal with them was not problematic. Especially the Banshees work well because they have much health, have powerful attacks and a creepy sound. Unfortunately they don't show up often and many fights - especially against Cerberus - can still become a bit stale.

The second good point is the design of the main quests. With the exception of one (boarding a ship; revealing more would be a spoiler), they have varied optical design and are short enough to not become boring. Unfortunately the caveat is that the progression of the main quest is completely linear.

And of course it is still a joy to travel with Shepard's old crew, even if the new additions to the roster fall flat. The best moments of the game are meeting previous crew-mates during side and main quests. My personal favorite is Thane's arc. The interactions with the Normandy crew were shortened: instead of fully animated conversions, there are mostly non-interactive lines either without or automatic interjections by Shepard. In my opinion this is a good change because it ensures everyone has at least one new thing to say after every mission.

The Bad
Much has been talked about the ending and many people hate it with a passion. I think it is weak and can only explain it with writers having written themselves into a corner. Otherwise nobody would come up with such a simplistic conclusion to the game's main mystery which - in contrast to the rest of the series - completely ignores all player choices. But it is certainly not worth sending death threats to the developers, especially because the main plot was always only passable.

No, in my opinion the biggest failure of ME3 is found in another direction: the side content sucks. Mass Effect's Mako sections were too time consuming and without any variety while Mass Effect 2's planet scanning was simply boring - but the war asset scanning combines both into a boring, time consuming mess. I have to admit, I just googled the locations of the assets to save some time. The planet scanning in ME2 was quickly done with because after half an hour you had everything you need for the rest of the game (it does not tell you, but that's another issue) - but here is mandatory. At least if you want to unlock the best ending without playing multiplayer.

Most side quests are also tied with the war asset scanning: Shepard overhears a conversation, finds the sought item through scanning and then returns to the person in question. This is not only boring, but also loses all narrative depth because there is no real interaction between Shepard and the quest giver. There are also some other side quests: a few good ones with old teammates and many boring ones on obviously recycled multiplayer maps.

No discussion of ME3 is complete without mentioning BioWare's atrocious DLC policy: Javek, the last surviving Prothean, was cut out of the game and sold as Day-1-DLC. BioWare claims he was developed during the time between gold master and release, but this is obviously untrue: not only is much of his content already present on the retail DVD, but his story is also deeply intertwined with the main story. Playing without Javek makes ME3 a worse game. But to be fair, about one year later BioWare also released one of my favorite DLC of all time (not counting real expansions like Blood and Wine).

The Bottom Line
When ME3 would have been released as standalone game, I don't think it would have made a big splash in the gamer community. The story and dialogue is not outstanding on its own, but as conclusion of one of the most beloved game series of all times it is definitely worth playing despite the ending. If you loved Mass Effect 2 (or the first one, I guess, even if I can't imagine why), this is a must play.

For the series as a whole, I can recommend it to players who love reading through lore items and appreciate watching great characters grow. But the plot itself is weak and the first Mass Effect is a chore to play.

Windows · by Patrick Bregger (290049) · 2020

Shepard's last stand

The Good
While emotionally and story-wise it doesn't go beyond its predecessors, Mass Effect 3 does present quite a few advancements. Most important seems to be the well refined and polished action gameplay. Shooting doesn't feel so sluggish and most importantly it doesn't feel like role-playing kind-of slow action which makes it into a seamless action you can play until the goal is set. Enemies also fall down much easier which feels like it's the advantage of the new shooting gameplay system.

What was so obnoxiously lame in Mass Effect 2 was the mission-based gameplay which is now removed. Thank you BioWare. this is not a strategy game of a sort, there is no need to have mission stats and all, it ruins the feel of a story driven game. Now it feels again as an interactive movie rather than cinematic game.

Also, mindlessly long mining for minerals is now much better executed. It is fun to search for all kind of lone teams and fleets across the galaxy and put them under your command. Alas, it doesn't feel like you can do much with it because events are pre-defined, but nice touch nonetheless.

Most important of all things is that staying loyal to Liara yields to expectations. I know this is not a love story of a sort, but not having Liara constantly with you in ME2 was a big loss, rectified to perfection here. It was fun going all the way... alas, without any little blue children.

While at first game does not feel like a graphical improvement over its predecessor, after it forced me to replay the final battle of ME2 for the save game file, the graphical improvement was noticeable enough.

The Bad
I've heard a lot of rumors about bad ending and all that kept me from buying the game at launch time. Well, DLCs are probably the main cause to that, maybe was hoping to see something like inclusion in PS3 version of ME2. Ah well. While I don't find the ending to be that bad, after the credits crap was really over the top. And no ending with Shepard and Liara... ah... what was I hoping for throughout these past six years or so.

Script feels a bit rushed and there are many bad things which simply have no sense based on your past actions. For example I was so glad that I managed to create somewhat of a non-fighting stance between Quarians in Geth in ME2 only to find out that I have to pick which side to save in ME3. Naturally, Tali had to die... what can I say, Quarians acted like jerks, didn't gimme much choice. Same with saving Rachni queen in ME, I was hoping for much better comeback. All in all, ME3 has the lamest script in the trilogy, but it still doen't make it an all bad game.

Async sound bugs seemed to have been removed in comparison to PS3 release of ME2, but there were some weird eyeing bugs where characters seem to look totally aside while talking to one another. It didn't happen too often, but that thing simply couldn't have been skipped during testing phase, and BioWare even extended this game's release date by three months.

The Bottom Line
Overall story is kind of lame so the ending fits in well. Something one would expect from Final Fantasy games. But despite of that, improvements on other sides were made, and it still feels like a Mass Effect game. But what started as a brilliant story with Mass Effect didn't end up getting better and better by the time it reached the climax. Thankfully, the majority of side-quests and characters is what keeps the quality in an overall story.

I can't say I am disappointed with the title or anything, I loved every second of playing it... especially conversing with Liara. But expectations were set too high after seeing what jump they did between ME and ME2. Still looking forward to Mass Effect 4 for next gen consoles... maybe Liara (T'Soni) Shepard will be in there somewhere.

BioWare seems to create great starters for their franchises (namely Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect), but then seem to get derailed by their own success getting to their heads and start deteriorating the greatness throughout the sequels. Hopefully, ME4 will be the starter for the next ME trilogy or something.

PlayStation 3 · by MAT (238613) · 2013

Watered down Mass Effect 2

The Good
Mass Effect 3, graphically is stunning. The cut scenes are epic and really push the story telling. In the previous games you build up great relationships with characters who you again join up with during this game. The action or fighting FPS scene feel shorter and maybe not as epic. It may take you 5 minutes of play to save a world that is having a Epic battle. This is not really an issues if you are keen on keeping the story going. The middle portion of the game which ties up loose ends from the previous games is probably the most memorable with some emotional moments.

The Bad
I did not feel the closeness or in depth personal relationships experience with crew members as in the previous games, it seemed very generic with maybe one or two personal moments. The game also felt a bit rushed. Unlike the previous installments, they have done away with mining for minerals for resources and instead added a scanner to detect single items in space systems which are needed for the big war effort. This means that you can basically fly around and collect everything from known planets within a few hours, you then have to stumble and eves drop on people in the citadel for these side missions and run up and down corridors to reach them. I also felt, and I mean some may disagree, that the choices you make in this game and the consequences of which, are not obviously seen. For example saving the Geth or Quanaries or stopping the Genophage cure, or finding extra fighters, how does this benefit the player, are these included in cut-scenes which otherwise do not appear? did I really have to support the defense of the Citadel when things later on show that it may have been a pointless exercise anyway. In Mass effect 2 your choices could lead to the life and death of your crew mates and they definitely become clear as you progressed through the game. Here it happens once or twice. The sections of the game, should have had more strategic leadership choices with NPC's. The renegade and paragon choices were little and far between and not nearly as effective as before. I think as well that their should have been options whereby Sheppard could have called on war resources to assist with certain tasks at or near the end of the game i.e. Use special op's to infiltrate tower, or use special fighter (war resource) to attack tower. There was none of that so you have to presume that everything you collected, somehow, somewhere had or is assisting you with your primary goal.

The Bottom Line
Mass Effect 3 is a very decent game, the RPG aspect of it has been watered down drastically which I found sad. It is not as emotionally binding as number two, but at least it ties up lose ends. I have not played any DLC as of yet, but am sure they round off the story nicely. Definitely worth investing in, but in my opinion Mass Effect 2 is far superior in story telling, structure and care.

Windows · by Thekwane Black (30) · 2013

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Wizo, jumpropeman, Alsy, Caliner, Cavalary, Big John WV, Matthew Prunty, Alaka, Cantillon, Tim Janssen, Patrick Bregger, jaXen, Jeanne, Jess T, Riemann80, POMAH.