Mass Effect 3 Review- The Good and The Bad

Mass Effect 3

Image via Wikipedia

I’m going to try to keep this post relatively spoiler-free, but I still don’t recommend reading any further unless you’ve beat the game. If you haven’t finished, and you’ve yet to read any spoilers or reviews, just trust me and resist the temptation! Go play… seriously.

For those who have, please read on.

I finished this game faster than I think I’ve ever done before. And as the credits began to roll at around 11:00 AM Monday morning, I knew that I would spent the rest of the day entirely depressed. In fact, I still don’t think that I’m fully recovered. Bioware has done an incredible job as far as building this world.. universe even. The player can’t help but be invested in the story. For me, it’s the relationships that do it. Through your Shepard, you develop substantial friendships with the whole squad, past and present. Bringing these characters back in the final game was emotional brilliance– I nearly burst into tears at each death.

Most of all, I reconnected with Kaidan, whose romance scenes were, at times, ridiculously intense (you know what I mean). But I loved it all the same. Hey, he’s an emotional guy!

I also loved the tough decisions, indicative of every Bioware game. The gameplay was the best so far– It felt more fast-paced than the previous games. My Shepard was constantly rolling from cover to cover, leaping over obstacles and sniping synthetics in the head with cryo amo. Am I the only one who finds it satisfying when the enemy bursts into millions of tiny ice shards? (Yeah, don’t tell me if I am.) After every battle I found my posture rigid, breath held and brows furrowed.

However, and here’s where we’ll come back to the depression, the ending broke my heart. I would like to say that it literally broke my heart in order to emphasize my point, but that’s not true, of course. But I did walk around in a stupor, wishing I could curl up and just not exist for a few hours– days.

I still love and admire the franchise, and I enjoyed every minute of play time, but I sincerely believe they screwed up a bit with this one. It felt like my decisions up until that point no longer mattered. What was the point of all that politicking in the end?

I do understand what may have been going through the writers’ minds. They wanted to give us something original rather than just another happy ending– I’m not even saying that a happy ending it was I wanted. To be honest, I don’t think a happy ending was even possible by then. We already knew that so many beloved characters weren’t going to make it. But they should have given us more of a finale– a montage of what our choices caused. What was the love interest’s reaction? What happened to the Geth? What about Hackett, Miranda, Tali, Garrus…

Every other Bioware game I’ve played at least twice– but this one– I just don’t have it in me. All my decisions are going to boil down to that same, depressing end and I can’t do it again. I’m just glad that I didn’t read spoilers before hand or I don’t know if I could have played at all.

Mass Effect 3 [1163]

(Photo credit: brianjmatis)

Good news? I’m not the only one, by far, who feels this way. More people beat the game every day, and the vast majority of them know exactly how I’m feeling. So, my hope is that Bioware will respond and give us something– perhaps a DLC ending that provides more closure, or lets us know that the last ten minutes of the game was really just a hallucination.

It seems silly to be so affected by a video game– but there’s no helping it. For that, Bioware gets all the credit. The universe they’ve created is so detailed and vast. Now, they just have to wrap it up. Here’s hoping.

 

Looking for more info on this topic? Check em out –

Mass Effect 3’s Ending was Intended to Polarize

Fans Petition Bioware to Change Mass Effect 3 Ending: Should Bioware Cave?

DLC or patch could add a fourth option: REFUSE

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3 thoughts on “Mass Effect 3 Review- The Good and The Bad

  1. **********Spoiler Alert*****************

    I’m guessing your Sheppard didn’t make it through the ending. Don’t worry, there are seven (I believe) different endings depending on how many assests you bring to the finale. When you go to the war terminal you’ll find some numbers generally in the thousands and a percentage ratio. The percentage ratio is for the galaxy at war multiplayer, which can help your overall war assets in the single player. If you can get the actual asset number over five thousand (with single player missions and multiplayer), Sheppard will live. How’s that for a spoiler and a reason to play again.

    The first time I played, my asset number was in the four thousands and my Sheppard didn’t make it either. I was disappointed but knew that Bioware wouldn’t leave the player hanging like that. They didn’t. It is possible to have your Sheppard live. There’s also more of an ending for those who play with the same character a second time through (the new game plus option).

    Bioware has done an excellent job getting the player emotionally invested in their world. Even the little details like, for those of us who romanced her, getting a picture of Tali without the mask. How great anything is (movie, book, game), can be found in those small details. This is a game and series that people have grown to love and now they’re wondering what’s next. Maybe we’ll get a new series with the offspring of Sheppard, or maybe even a Cerberus enhanced evil Sheppard child. Fingers crossed.

    • Hmm… Well, you’ve definitely tempted me to try it again– but I believe that the only way for Shepard to survive is to take the “destroy all synthetics” option. (If I’m wrong, please let me know!) So there goes EDI and the Geth. That’s definitely not the path I would choose. In my play-through, I chose the synthesize option, and I liked seeing Joker and EDI at the end. Honestly, I’m not really concerned with Shepard surviving, I just want more details. In the other games we got to chat with the council and get a feel of what we had accomplished. The ME3 endings don’t give us the same kind of closure.

      I’m not as upset as some are, and I do still love the series as a whole, but I would like to see more. Of course, with the variation of choices they’d almost have to create three separate games. The composition of the universe would be completely different depending on your end-game choice. I guess we’ll see. 🙂

      • I chose the kill all synthetics option and didn’t like it. There are plenty of ways for Sheppard to live. You have to have over 5,000 total war assets, basically Anderson dies so that Sheppard can live. No matter what.

        If you play again with the same character (the new game plus option), there is supposed to be a longer cutscene at the end. I haven’t tried it yet, but read about it. I’ve got to get back to writing.

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