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After finishing the game twice, I decided to write my own review of Mass Effect 3, as a fan who has played through all 3 games completely. To make it easier to read, I split it up into three sections: story, characters, gameplay, and final impressions which are then separated into two paragraphs containing pros and cons. Beware though, this review contains spoilers and I would advise you to not read it if you have a problem with them.
Overall, I really liked the story. Sure it started off slow, but the action steadily rose and eventually turned into a roller-coaster of action and emotion (until said roller-coaster crashed into a wall, but I'll get to that later). Some may complain that the Prothean super weapon, the Crucible, was a MacGuffin but I always knew that the Citadel species couldn't defeat the Reapers with conditional weaponry and tactics (though I wish they would have introduced it more subtly). I especially loved the set pieces on which the main missions occurred; all of them were unique and very pleasing to the eye. I especially loved the amount of divergence there was based on your choices you made in previous games. This was most apparent in the Krogan/Turian and Quarian/Geth conflicts, which is why they were my favorite sections.
Now onto the parts that needed improvement. First off, I felt the story was a bit to linear. Sure, there was choice but you could never choose the order in which you completed the missions. Another thing I disliked was the dream sequences. There were so many things done wrong with these that should not have happened. I understand the boy was meant to represent innocence and the helplessness of the battle between humans and the Reapers but Bioware relied FAR too much on him. He should of just been featured in the first dream sequence and then forgotten, he is not that strong of a symbol to be used for THE WHOLE FREAKING GAME. Bioware should have focused on the characters lost at that point, they would have carried far more emotional attachment than this random dead kid. It also would have helped if these were cutscenes rather than slow, semi-gameplay sequences. If I had to choose the most glaring flaw of the story, it would most definitely be the ending. I’m not sure what Bioware was thinking when making them but they were an absolute travesty. Those final 10 minutes just felt so disjointed from the series, like it wasn’t even part of the same game. There are plot-holes galore, our choices barely matter, and there is almost no closure whatsoever. It’s insulting how bad Bioware screwed up on this as it nearly ruined the game for me.
I really enjoyed the character interactions this game, something that is always Bioware’s strong suit. Squadmates felt more developed and each had at least one very well done poignant scene with Shepard. I especially loved how they handled Ashley, she both felt and looked more mature as a character. Players who saved as many characters as they could in previous games get the best experiences here though. How Bioware handled their cameos should truly be commended. Mordin, Thane, and Legion were my top favorites though there are still plenty of equally good moments.
There were a few characters I felt were underdeveloped or I just personally disliked. I absolutely despised Diana Allers, her character was pure fan service. She didn’t do anything really notable, her voice actor (Jessica Chobot) did a horrible job, and her model was just plain ugly. I also felt James Vega was a bit “meh.” We didn’t really need another soldier and I cringed every time he called me “Loco.” He just wasn’t that good of a character. I also felt the subplot of the romance between Joker and EDI was a bit… weird and unnatural, for obvious reasons.
Incomplete, I'll post later.