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As a Playstation 3 owner, I wasn't familiar with the Mass Effect series until Mass Effect 2. One of the things I really liked about Mass Effect 2 is how well the events of Mass Effect 1 were explained. By the end of Mass Effect 2 I felt like I knew quite a bit about Mass Effect 1 without ever actually playing it. Mass Effect 3 was different. Mass Effect 3 didn't seem to be the standalone title that Mass Effect 2 was. Without playing Mass Effect 2, I don't know how I would have understood what was going on in Mass Effect 3. I understand that Mass Effect 2 had to be more of a standalone title because of the fact that it was the first game of the series to be on the PS3, but Mass Effect 3 could have done a better job explaining the story to new players. My advice to new players would be to go pick up a copy of Mass Effect 2 for $20. As far as explaining the narrative, Mass Effect 3 doesn't stack up to Mass Effect 2. The next area I think Mass Effect 3 could have used some work is in the pacing of the story. I always felt rushed to get to the next thing. One of the things I liked about Mass Effect 2 was that I felt like I could go at my own pace. Mass Effect 3 seemed to rush me. It also seemed like there were fewer non-essential missions to play. I wish they would have had some of the "loyalty" missions like they did in Mass Effect 2. BioWare said they wanted to have fewer characters so they could focus more on Shepard's relationships with the other characters. One of the areas I think the story of Mass Effect 3 really was poor was the development of relationships. Most of the relationships with the characters stayed fairly static. Romances seemed to have no lead-up. The relationships with Traynor and Diana show this. I had a relationship with Liara and it didn't seem to develop at all during this game. I would say this game put less into the relationships with other characters than the other games of the series. In my opinion Mass Effect 3 is a good game. I think most of the reason that Mass Effect 3 is getting so much criticism from fans is that the other two were excellent. I feel that BioWare may have been rushed to put this game out. The way the whole story seems rushed and the ending seems rushed makes it seem like BioWare put a game out that wasn't finished to their liking. Usually when we talk about a game being released too early, we are talking about how the game has glitches and bugs. There very well might be glitches and bugs in ME3, but those can be fixed with a simple update. What cannot be fixed with a simple update is an unfinished story. Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect 3 story, Mass Effect 3 relationships