I actually wrote my review for Mass Effect 3 several weeks ago; the day after I beat the game, in fact. However, I didn’t want to discuss it until I dragged myself out of my hole and wrote the review for the strategy guide, as well, that’s kind of the reason for this site, no?
As you can probably guess, I absolutely loved every minute of Mass Effect 3.
I have always said that if a Mass Effect game could have the story and RPG-elements of the first game and the gameplay of the second, it would be a perfect game. Mass Effect 3 was pretty darn close.
Overall, BioWare wove a rather realistic tale in how things really go in war preparation and execution. My husband is in the military and he served in Afghanistan back in 2002. Whenever I would tell him what was going on in my story, about how Shepard had to play politician, had to go find assets all over space, rub someone’s back so they could rub yours, etc., he consistently nodded and said, “That sounds about right.” When I came to him sad that I couldn’t save this character or that character, he said that that was just how war went. You have to make sacrifices in order to save as many as you can. There is no saving everyone, and in this aspect, BioWare hit the nail on the head. The series completely embodies this notion, across all three games.
What makes it all so great is that the game gets you to care. I found myself sobbing over so many things that culminated in ME3, no matter if it was good or bad. I laughed out loud at several comments, scenarios and even back references to things my Shepard had done in the past. I really sweated over if I was going to go back to Kaidan or stay with Garrus. How many video games can say that they have created such an engaging environment that makes players actually care about what they decide or what happens? There are others, to be sure, but it’s a small club. For this reason, it feels more fitting to say that the Mass Effect series, as a whole, is more of an experience than it is a game.
I’m not going to sit back and say that the game was perfect by any stretch of the matter. There were texture-popping issues, freezes, crashes, and really weird visual glitches. Compared to the first two games, this one came off as incredibly unpolished, which was a fairly big disappointment.
If you want to read more of what I had to say about the game, please read my review at Gaming Angels.
And now with this, I am done talking about Mass Effect 3 in terms of review. At least I’m done until the Extended Cut ending releases this summer and everyone hates that too.