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2.0 out of 5 stars
A twist at the end, April 12 2012
Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars
Mass Effect 3 is in many ways the capstone in a wildly successful trio of games. Building upon the graphical maturation seen from 1 -> 2, ME3 is a rich and aesthetically pleasing game that looks more like the real world than the excessively sterile ME1. Game play, including melee combat and multiplayer, add to the overall experience. However, there are many ways in which Bioware ultimately falls flat with this game.
1) 'Manditory' multiplayer - although Bioware promised that it would be an optional component to ME3, it is extremely difficult to build up enough strength for a successful final battle without playing through the online multiplayer. For players that prefer the single RPG format of the previous games, this is a disappointment.
2) Bugs - ME3 is an EA product through and through, plenty of gloss, but no real polish. In many areas of the game, hangs, crashes, and graphical bugs are a distraction. It's a good thing the game autosaves so frequently, since it has a habit of locking up during load screens.
3) Clunky rendering in many cutscenes - normally a cutscene is where a developer can carefully hone graphical performance to ensure the best possible experience for the viewer. However, in many cutscenes, the rendering is jerky, suffers from interpolating artifacts, or poor lighting models.
4) Galaxy at War system - in many ways, the inclusion of online play hampers solo play; waiting for the game to communicate with EA servers before accessing the War Room or the main menu is a real pain. Since the multiplayer score is referenced repeatedly in the single-player mode, performance suffers.
5) The Ending - without spoiling the content of the ending, it would be fair to say that most players have disliked it. In addition to being nonsensical and out of character, the three endings have identical cutscenes with nearly identical outcomes. Despite promising to give players a chance to sculpt the ending to this saga, ME3 pigeonholes players into 3 slight variations on a single theme.
Mass Effect has been a successful franchise up to this point mostly due to the compelling story and immersive gameplay style. However, in ME3 EA and Bioware squander their gains by producing a game that looks good but ultimately fails to deliver on its promises.