Review by LordBeef
"A misunderstood piece of art"
Let me start out by saying that most of the game has been adequately covered by other reviewers here so I will mostly discuss the story (while avoiding spoilers) as the misunderstood story is the main reason why the game wasn't received too well by big parts of its fanbase.
Graphics and sound are very nice and I get good (~60 FPS) even on my 5 years old overclocked core 2 duo E6300 @ 2.8 ghz with a 60 $ GPU. The gameplay is outstanding in this game. Easy to learn but hard to master. Even on my third playthrough I am still learning more efficient ways of creating combo explosions and how to kill my foes in the most hilarious ways. Even the multiplayer (which I haven't played much) feels surprisingly fresh. The only problems I found with the gameplay was the somewhat tedious scanning of planets (but it has been improved a lot compared to its predecessor), the game sometimes feeling a bit too formulaic (some sidequests and being limited to paragon/renegade/neutral choices) and some sidequests being a bit confusing. Also the hardest difficulty is sometimes a bit too easy if you know how to abuse the ingame mechanics but it is still a lot of fun and you will die very fast if you don't pay attention.
But now to the main point of debate in the Mass Effect community and my main gripe with the game on my first playthrough: The story. As I had read a few reviews on this game before playing it I found out that most people were complaining about its story, specifically its ending and thus I found a decent story with a bad ending just like I had expected. Bioware and EA getting a bad reputation for trying to maximise profits instead of maximising value for their customers lately probably fueled this wrong expectation further. As the ingame experience matched my low expectations I didn't bother to question the alleged plot holes.
However, later on I found that the ending can be interpreted in ways that make a lot more sense so I decided to play the game a second time (which is very rare for me) and suddenly the story made a lot more sense. One of the main attributes of art is that you can interpret it in different ways and the fun thing about art is to try and find out what the artist was actually trying to say. I think this is exactly what Bioware has tried to bring forward here. Normally I don't care much about stories anymore because they lack intelligence. But this time my mind was challenged, impressed and inspired which is really hard to do since I have been gaming for more than 15 years. In the end nothing makes a story more fun than people coming together to think and discuss about how to interpret it correctly.
My conclusion: The flaws I found with this game were all very minor. Mass Effect 3 has beaten its great predecessors in every aspect and turned ingame storytelling to an art. If you are a mature and open minded gamer and don't expect the whole story to be spoonfed to you I think ME 3 is actually the best part of the triology in every field. For me Mass Effect 3 was definitely the best game I have played since Witcher 2 and deserves a 10. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 05/07/12
Game Release: Mass Effect 3 (US, 03/06/12)
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