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4.5 out of 5

by Tim

Mass Effect 2 was hands down the best game of 2010, and is quite possibly one of the greatest games of this generation.  Will they be able to create the perfect video game trilogy with Mass Effect 3?  This is it, the final battle between civilization and the Reapers – how will your game unfold?      

Just like Mass Effect 2, you are able to import your character and events from the previous games.  This leads to more of a customizable game and more of an interactive experience.  Just knowing that a simple choice you made in Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2 can determine your outcome is astonishing and honestly a little weary, but that is exactly what I love about this series.       

The enemy AI is greatly improved, you continuously have to watch your back during battles because their battle tactics are vastly better than the previous two games.  In fact, the time you spend on the battlefield is greatly improved all together.  Melee kills are easier, the cover system is revamped, and even your teammates feel like they underwent a major transformation since Mass Effect 2.       

One thing that I loved about Mass Effect 2 was the character interactions and how connected I felt to my team.  It saddens me to say this, but I didn’t feel that same connection with my team in Mass Effect 3.  Sure, there were a few that I cared deeply for, but that same sense of ownership when it came to my squad just wasn’t there this time around.  I spent less time trying to please each person individually in the game as I did in 2.       

Another thing that just left a bad taste in my mouth was the fact that nearly every time you visited another planet to help the dwellers or to kill the Reapers – you would run into an ex-squad member from the previous games.  It seemed a little strange that even on a large planet you would accidentally run into one person on each mission you do in this game.  Sure, it was nice to see those characters again – but it just seemed cheesy and it became extremely monotonous… and made the story a little less believable.     

Honestly, those are my only two viable complaints about this game.  The storytelling is brilliant, the graphics are breathtaking, the voice acting is top notch – this is just a well rounded video game experience.       

There are a lot of complaints out there regarding the ending of Mass Effect 3.  And I do slightly agree with the masses out there who say that the ending wasn't what it should have been.  It didn't feel as though each decision you made effected the final outcome of the game.  But, that being said - I was still extremely satisfied with the ending.  For those of you who hated the outcome; how would you like it to end?  I honestly feel this is the way it should have ended and it couldn’t have ended any other way.  Do you really want to see a George Lucas approach to it and introduce Ewoks?  I mean… seriously.  I felt that it had a strong emotional ending that tied up all of the three games beautifully.   

The Bottom Line:  Mass Effect 3 is as good as 2.  In fact, in some ways it is even better than 2.  I have never seen such emotionally driven gameplay in a game.  It is non-stop adrenaline action from start to finish.