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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Updated review after playing the Extended Cut version.
I certainly did not give this game 5 stars the first time through because of how terrible the ending in the original version was executed but I have to say, after downloading and playing through it a second time with the extended cut ending, I confidently say this is the best trilogy I have ever played. I went in it the second time with extremely low expectations for what...
Published on June 27, 2012 by Liberated Monkey

versus
147 of 173 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, It Was a Great Game Until You Reached the End [Updated for Extended Cut]
[EXTENDED CUT UPDATE; ACTUAL REVIEW FOLLOWS]

(There are no spoilers in this entire, way too long, review)

Short, short version: Does the Extended Cut "fix" the ending? Kind of, but still not quite. Despite how it lacks and how we still have the same endings, the overall conclusion has been improved. So if you are on the fence about buying the game...
Published on March 10, 2012 by M. Mazurek


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147 of 173 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, It Was a Great Game Until You Reached the End [Updated for Extended Cut], March 10, 2012
By 
M. Mazurek (Chapel Hill, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
[EXTENDED CUT UPDATE; ACTUAL REVIEW FOLLOWS]

(There are no spoilers in this entire, way too long, review)

Short, short version: Does the Extended Cut "fix" the ending? Kind of, but still not quite. Despite how it lacks and how we still have the same endings, the overall conclusion has been improved. So if you are on the fence about buying the game just because of the ending, don't worry about it. Just buy the game already and download the completely free DLC.

There were many problems with the ending of Mass Effect 3. In my original review, which is below this section, I talked about 5 issues I had with it. This excluded some problems that involved spoilers. On a larger level, one problem I had with ME3's ending which I didn't talk about was it killed my interest in Mass Effect's story. It was not only disappointing, but I had absolutely no interest in exploring the game's alternative events and dialogue exchanges. With such a straight forward, forced, and limited number of endings, which pretty much didn't matter how you played, or if you played, the other games with certain decisions, what's the point in experimentation? No matter what you did with different Shepards, you're still going to get that ending. I haven't touched the game since I wrote this review over 3 months ago. In comparison, I beat Mass Effect 2 twice in one month. There was zero motivation and reason to go back to the game, which is otherwise a really good game, just because of that ending.

So now we have the Extended Cut, and it's exactly what it sounds like. It is an expansion not a revision. However, some of that expansion feels like BioWare putting band-aids on plot holes. Again, I won't say what happens in the ending, but it should be noted that the game does have plot holes. It also has some confusing moments. Not everyone will notice or think about it, but others, myself included, thought, "Wait, when did this happen?" or "Wait, why is <CHARACTER #1> doing this?" Well some of those issues have been fixed. One of the fixes is still confusing, but it's confusing for a different reason.

Another wound that BioWare patched included the ending cinematic. I haven't seen every possible ending in the Extended Cut, but for mine, the ending my Shepard originally received at launch, BioWare changed the cinematic. Partially because of the lack of closure, partially because of what happens, the ending cinematic basically let a lot of people (like me) run wild with worst case scenarios which destroyed the ending even further. It was just one more crippling aspect of the ending. Well, BioWare changed it, so nobody has to worry about that. And with the actual ending extended, nobody has to imagine those worst case scenarios, since we know what happens after the events of Mass Effect 3.

The last major change I noticed to already existing content involved the decision at the end of the game. When it came to making this decision, people were frustrated, because they believed it should have been something their Shepard should be able to do. Well, BioWare agreed. When I saw the option available, I took it just to do it. Right after I selected that option, I thought, "Wow...That was pretty awesome." Even if you know all of the endings to Mass Effect 3, I still wouldn't want to spoil what they added, but I will say it is smart in the context of the series and should have been included when the game originally launched.

So far I've only talked about what they altered. It took a little while for me, but I eventually got to the true extending ending. While this is going to sound really negative, it is the best way to summarize my thoughts: It's better than nothing. It is good to see the aftermath of the war and getting a glimpse at what lies ahead for this character or this alien race. Also, the extended ending talked about the impact you ultimately had in the final moments of Mass Effect 3. The reflection could have been longer, but when you factor in resources and pacing, it is a good way to add some closure to the series, while avoiding an ending (like Metal Gear Solid 4 or Return of the King) that goes on for way too long, for some people. (Again, for some people. Personally, I don't mind the never-ending ending if it is well done)

So, is everything alright in the universe? For me, not really. Don't get me wrong, it is an improvement over the original ending. To be honest, I don't know how I would have reacted if the Extended Cut was the original ending. Would I have liked it or would I be just as upset? My guess is I would still be disappointed, but not nearly as much.

I guess I'll end by looking over my five points in my original review and see if the Extended Cut fixes those issues:

#1) The game just...ended: Now it doesn't just end. So that's better.
#2) Nobody reacts to anything: It's more of a reflection now. You see some of the reactions, but it could have, and in some cases probably deserves to be more than what was offered. Eventually you get into an argument over delivery versus the amount of material. It's better, but it's still lacking for me.
#3) In the end, none of my relationships and conversation decisions mattered: The Extended Cut appears to change based on who survived all three Mass Effect games and it looks like the larger plot points in the series does play out. Now I want to see other Extended Cuts to see if huge changes are reflected. So this is a decent improvement when you consider I didn't want to touch let alone replay ME3.
#4) The ending made me feel like none of my preparations, side quests, and decisions in the game mattered: Still a problem, in my opinion. From my understanding, more options and possible endings open up when you have a higher readiness and more military resources. I still don't think this is the best way to end the series. For an individual game, it's fine. But if you played the other games, it's still disappointing.
#5) That stupid thing that appeared at the end: Yep! Still there!

Overall, it's a hit and miss for me. The hits have to do with the expansion and some of the revision BioWare did. It's the same ending(s), but BioWare did change the ending a little and for the better. The misses still deal with the problem with how the series ends. The experimentation aspect is invigorated a little by the Extended Cut, but it's not as high as it was for ME2. I still believe the ending to the Mass Effect trilogy should have been handled similarly to how Heavy Rain ended. That game had seventeen total endings, divided up between the four main characters. The variables and choices throughout the game and the climax made me wonder "What happens if I did this?" just so I could see how the last third of the game changes or in order to see all of the possible endings for a character.

That game had organic endings based on choice and gameplay. Mass Effect 3 had a limited number of directed endings, based on a few individuals choices at the last minute. It should have been done differently, but for what it's worth the Extended Cut is better and appears to actually change based on how you played the other games. I don't think BioWare should have completely revised the last 30 or so minutes of the game and rewrote an entirely, radically different ending. However, I still wish they had a more open and free approach to the ending.

[ORIGINAL, SLIGHTLY TRIMMED, REVIEW]

Mass Effect 3 is a great game, with some problems. There are graphical hiccups here and there, sometimes your squad mate's AI isn't the best, paragon and renegade interruptions take a back seat, the music isn't as noticeable and recycles about half the tracks from 2, and the cover system, with the new rolling and jumping from cover to cover mechanics, either works great or does some unintentional things at the worst possible time. In the end, these points aren't enough for me criticize Mass Effect 3 too much. The game would of course be better if these weren't issues, but it still has a lot of the elements that made ME2 a great game for me.

There isn't too much of an improvement graphics wise between 2 and 3 (on the PS3 at least), but the game runs smoothly and the occasional pre-rendered cut scenes look fantastic. Even though the AI and cover system isn't perfect, the fighting and squad mechanics are just as good as they were in ME2. In some respects, the shooting and abilities are better than what they were in 2. The missions and character interactions are great and the story has some more meat to it compared to ME2. Not that this makes 2 inferior and 3 superior. This aspect mainly compliments ME3's war torn setting.

So, while the game isn't perfect, Mass Effect 3 is exceptional, especially when it comes to cinematic gaming, writing, dialogue, character development and blah, blah, blah, blah.

And here comes the "But..."

But, there is a major problem with Mass Effect 3. It's not with the premise, the conflict, the missions or the climax. In fact, the problem I have with Mass Effect 3 is at the 99% mark. I'm talking about the very ending of the game. The last 15 minutes of game that took me about 40 hours to play through. Of course Mass Effect 3 has multiple endings, and I've only experienced two of them (after I finished the game, I immediately loaded a previous save and tried to get a different ending). I hated my ending. I hated my ending so much. I didn't hate it because it was a sad ending. I hated it because of how it was handled.

I'm not going to say exactly what happened, but I will try to outline all of the problems with it. And so I don't go on for the next three hours, I'll just make a list:

#1) The game just...ended: Putting aside whether that was a good or bad way to end the Mass Effect trilogy (side note: it was a bad way), I'm just going to focus on what happened after the end of the conflict. Almost nothing. Remember how Mass Effect 2 ended? That two or three minute cut scene after the suicide mission? That cliffhanger ending to an unfinished story had more closure than my ending to Mass Effect 3. It felt like the entire game and the last big struggle, the final showdown, had no importance. And this is partially because...

#2) Nobody reacts to anything: Of course there's no golden rule on how to write an ending to a video game, but typically it is a good idea to have an extended ending after the conflict is resolved to wrap up the characters. You can do this in a couple minutes (as with Portal 2) or an hour (as with Metal Gear Solid 4), it really depends on what type of game you have. With Mass Effect 3, there was no reaction. People didn't say anything, people didn't talk to each other, I didn't even get a montage or a slideshow or where are they now movie. So after spending about 35 hours recruiting everyone for the suicide mission in ME2, being introduced to characters from ME1, then expanding on those relationships for an additional 40 hours with ME3, and even taking the time to talk to people on the Citadel and catch up with people on board the Normandy after I finished an important mission, the resolution I got was absolutely nothing. I don't know how this planet is doing, how this alien race is adapting, if this race is even around anymore, if this side character, like a turian or quarian admiral, is still alive, and, perhaps most importantly, what my crew and friends think of what just happened. Regardless of what ending people got, whether nobody died or everything, everywhere died, there should be some reaction. Because of this, it feels as if nothing mattered. Not only that, the ending made me feel like...

#3) In the end, none of my relationships and conversation decisions mattered: This was perhaps my favorite thing about Mass Effect 2. If I had to summarize ME2 in one sentence, it would probably be something along the lines of "Saving the galaxy and having some really interesting conversations with really interesting people." By not wrapping up and providing closure to all of the characters, it feels kind of pointless. I wanted Garrus, Tali, Legion, Grunt, Mordin, Thane, Kasumi, Samara, Jack and everyone else to survive Mass Effect 2. Their presence in ME3 enhances the experience, but it is incredibly disappointing every single story, character, and subplot just ends. This strips away the consequences and the dynamic and interactive story elements which made Mass Effect famous, and I bet people care a lot more about this than combat. This leads on to the next number.

#4) The ending made me feel like none of my preparations, side quests, and decisions in the game mattered: When the credits rolled, I sat down and looked at my TV thinking about the impact I had. Doing this deal with someone, or saving this person's life, or deciding not to kill this person, or running off to this star cluster, to fetch this book, and bring it back to somebody on the Citadel didn't feel like it mattered. This goes a little farther back than the game's last 15 minutes, but it undoubtedly still applies to the game's ending. When I was doing the last set of missions, I didn't feel like everything I built up was having an impact. It was as if my readiness meter was there only for me to look at, but had no affect on the story. In comparison, with the suicide mission in ME2, people talked about the Normandy's status, characters talked to each other (like people didn't trust Miranda, or Miranda disagreed with Shepard if he picked someone she didn't like for a job), and the success of the mission depended on your decisions and getting people loyal. If you picked the wrong person to do something, somebody died. If a person wasn't loyal to you, they were likely to die. If you didn't follow someone's advice about the mission, the crew, or the ship, more people died. It felt like your actions mattered. Even if somebody simply says, "Good thing you did X" it still mattered. With 3, I didn't feel that at all when the game ended. Did doing X make the last set of missions any more or less successful? I have no idea and I shouldn't have to look at the game's programming, or read a strategy guide cover to cover, or play through the game 5 different times to realize how all of these variables work in the end. The decisions I made with the digital comic included with the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 which summarized ME1, the decisions I made in ME2, and most of my decisions I made in ME3 didn't matter. In ME2, I created a second character (Male Shep, renegade) who handled situations differently, who picked the opposite key decisions, and purposely killed certain people during the suicide mission to see how my story in ME3 will be different. So granted, I will see some of the differences when I play the game with that character. However, after playing through 3, my guess is all of those differences will likely appear in the first 90% of the game. And besides that, I shouldn't have to play the game 2 or 3 times to understand the impact I had on it the first time.

I know at this point I'm beating a dead horse, so I'm just going to move on. Unfortunately, there are still more problems with the ending, but some of the problems get into story details. So I'll just talk about one problem in extremely vague and unhelpful terms. So, finally...

#5) That stupid thing that appeared at the end: I don't want to say what that "stupid thing" actually is. Oh well. BioWare decided to include something in Mass Effect 3. Whenever this something appears, it is either unintentionally funny in how bad or stupid it is or it is painfully annoying. This something would not go away, and I started to hate this something, not only for how it was used, but how BioWare keeps forcing this something into the story. Ok, I'm going to stop here, since I can't actually talk about it unless I say what it is. So I'm just going to wrap this up.

SUMMARY/CONCLUSION:

Mass Effect 3 is an exceptional sequel to Mass Effect 2, but the game is ultimately undermined by it's horrible ending. When you include the mythos, the characters, and the dozens of plots and subplots, the ending goes from bad to devastatingly bad. Honestly, it is one of the worst endings I have encountered in a video game. (NOTE: I'm not saying ME3 has the worst ending in a video game ever. I'm just saying it has one of the worst endings I have played through and have seen with my own eyes).

It feels like BioWare abandoned what they established with the previous games to throw in an ending that seems rushed. Because I don't feel the impact I had before and after the last 15 minutes, the ending feels too simple and one size fits all. It also isn't well thought out, because there was some continuity and logistics issues. After I finished the game, I loaded a previous save, and made two different decisions to try and get a better ending (as in more satisfactory, not necessarily a happier/sadder ending). The only difference was literally a cosmetic one. And since the player doesn't see the impact of these endings, it doesn't matter.

What makes this so frustrating is that all of these game crippling problems happen right at the very end. We are talking about a span of 5-15 minutes. The other 2,385 minutes I invested in this game alone were really good or great (if you exclude that "stupid thing" I talked about in #5). If the other 99% of the game wasn't good to great, then I would have given this game 1 or 2 stars. Since I don't feel like writing off the overall experience, I feel like averaging my scores out.
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The End..., March 21, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
This game seems to have generated a lot of controversy. I love Mass Effect, from the first game in 2007, up to the last ten or fifteen minutes of the third game. I rate it as my favorite video game series of all time (not my favorite individual game though...I still designate that title to either Breath of Fire 2 or Chrono Cross). Mass Effect completely immersed you into its world, with its compelling story line and its detailed character interactions. Of great interest was the fact that your choices in each game would affect occurrences in the subsequent releases. Why didn't I enjoy Mass Effect 3? Well, as I said before, I did enjoy it a lot until the very end. The three main pre-ending problems with the game that I had were:

(SPOILER ALERT)

1)not enough squad members: ME2 had you with 10 characters from which to choose (12 if you got DLC). Now I got...6 (7 with DLC)?! Jeez...it's the end of the universe (and the series)...one would think Shepard could recruit more personnel

2)New cover system: I applaud Bioware for trying to add new aspects to combat but it's very annoying to be running from cover to cover when I'm actually trying to move forward

3)Dialogue limited: Dialogue choices were fairly limited compared to previous games...sometimes only two options

My dislike of the ending is shared by many fans as is evidenced by current video game news. My concerns are:

1)Shaky plot ending: Synthetics will always rise up and kill their organic masters so in order to prevent that you're...gonna kill all organics? Save organics by killing organics...yeah, makes sense. I felt like I was listening to the Colonel Sanders guy in Matrix Reloaded. Ergo.

2)Choices didn't matter: All the choices that you made in the previous games and in this one didn't really matter. You got three "choices"...yet they all end up practically the same...Shepard dies, universe saved, mass relays destroyed, Normandy crashes. The only visible difference in the endings is what Shepard does (whether he controls or destroys the Reapers or chooses synthesis) and the color of the explosion. THE COLOR OF THE EXPLOSION!...THAT'S MY BIG FINAL CHOICE.

3)No proper epilogue: what happens after these events? What happens to the supporting characters you have come to cherish? Do they make it back to Earth? Do they colonize the new planet? What happens to all the races that were in Sol system...how do they get back home without the relays? What happens to Shepard's love interest?

4)Hero dies: Not many reviews on the internet say that fans are upset about the death of Shepard (only that they hate the lack of choice and the near identical endings). I am though. I am all for Bioware providing a bittersweet ending, but give us the opportunity to have a good ending too, based on our in-game choices. Quite a few games have ended with the loss of the protagonist...God of War (Kratos), Final Fantasy 10 (Tidus)...however, these games did not involve the player shaping how the hero's life progressed or have the level of social interaction that Shepard had with his supporting cast. The player develops an emotional bond with the characters (the same way our parents and grandparents feel about Young and Restless). I'm sure many players like myself think that Shepard deserved at least one ending where he could walk away and finally hang up his N7 armor and have a couple kids with Ashley or Miranda (or Tali...don't know how that's gonna work though...through another emergency induction port?)

In a nutshell, the ending spoiled Mass Effect for me. The only good thing about the end was the soundtrack which I think complemented what was happening. Some people have been saying " you wouldn't ask a writer to change a book ending or a director to change a movie ending so why ask Bioware to change their game ending?" Movies and books don't involve YOU deciding the path things take and therefore don't have the kind of effect on you that a game like Mass Effect does. I'm not going to say don't play the game, I'm just warning you that you may be upset by the ending if you are a die-hard fan of the game series. But hey, I'm no video game expert, just an average Joe who enjoys video games. I give the game a 3.5 out of 5.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Updated review after playing the Extended Cut version., June 27, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I certainly did not give this game 5 stars the first time through because of how terrible the ending in the original version was executed but I have to say, after downloading and playing through it a second time with the extended cut ending, I confidently say this is the best trilogy I have ever played. I went in it the second time with extremely low expectations for what I thought they would address and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how they fixed literally every major detailed/plot hole I, and the majority of other gamers had. The continuity of things is just there. Plus there is access to more information of certain events that wasn't there prior to the EC. I recommended this game beforehand even though I thought the way the endings panned out was deplorable the first time through but now I say, play this game with full confidence because it is one of the best ever made. Enjoy the story! That's what this game is about for me. Closure is there and if you're a diehard fan it may even bring a tear to your eyes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT GAME,...... NOT GREAT ENDING, June 28, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I love this game, its fun and just an awesome all round game, the graphics are good, the controls are fluid and easy, the story is brilliant and the characters are amazing as ever.
the scale of the battles are fantastic and everything about the game is well done.....then the ending comes.
I replayed the ending several times, and ok its an ending to a game, but thats no excuse for such a bad ending to a trilogy that prides itself on story and choice.
I find it funny that people say, "its just a game" or "get over it, it wasnt that bad" ... well, take your favourite movie, movie series, TV series, Book, or book series then imagine getting to the end of your favourite series/story after being sucked into the story and characters and really just loving the experience from them ... then in the last few moments of the series/story you get left with an end that, just left everything you read, watched and experienced as though it ment nothing, tand that it ... just finished and made no sense, leaving you with questions like "what the hell was that?" "why did they do that?" "what happened to them,....to all of them?" .... this is the ending and it makes no sense ...

Imagine you watched all 6 Star Wars movies and as Luke gets Darth Vader into the shuttle and flys out of the Death Star, you see the Death Star explode and .... the credits role ! .... really .... that would be ok would it ? would you feel satisfied and happy with that?

Imagine the Harry Potter series.... Harry just gets the wands and kills Voldermort, and Voldermort dies ... The End ....that would be ok? you would be happy with that?

I'm not saying that its ruined everything for me, or that its pissed me off to the point that I would write to the company and demand a new ending, ... BUT it does annoy me that after all the choices and good story and charcters that the endings they gave us was considered good enough. I'M amazed, did the people at BioWare even play the endings? did no one at the company play it and think.....thats pretty lame for the ending to such an epic story and game franchise.

"It's a game!" is NO EXCUSE, not any more!
games are a major industry now, people of all ages play games and just like reading books like to be sucked into a different reality, to escape and enjoy the feelings and what ever the stroy will do, people pay good money to do it just like buying a book or movie, so the ending to a game should be just as amazing as the rest of the product. I know that books and movies and series do not always get it right and endings are not always that great, I just think a company that prides its self on such a high level of choice and epic story telling would have looked at what they had done and thought,"we need to do something with that ending before we sell it".

Well, all in all I enjoyed the game, for anyone who thinks "I might not buy it because of that ending" don't do that, go out and buy this game, it's a brilliant game.
I think fans that are pissed off are right to do so and I say good luck to getting an ending that will satisfy, but for me, I will just except that BioWare cocked up the ending and so ME3 will always be that game
with a crappy ending.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing game, TERRIBLE ending. (Spoilers), March 22, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
If it wasn't for the ending, Mass Effect 3 would be one of my all time favorite games, and I would have given it 5 stars. Prior to reaching the end, I saw many comments and reviews stating that the ending was bad and ruined the series for them. I honestly believed it was just fans getting upset because the ending wasn't what they expected. But after seeing the endings for myself, I can personally vouch for all the complaints. It wasn't that the ending was difficult to understand, it made sense, but it was just awful.

****SPOILER Alert******

The explanation as to why the Reapers terminate organic life every 50,000 years was absolutely ridiculous and represents circular logic at its finest. ***Spoiler!*** It was basically revealed that the Reapers eradicate organic life every 50,000 years to ensure organics don't create machines to destroy each other. That's circular reasoning. The Reapers wanted to stop organic life from killing each other with technology (machines), so the Reapers (machines) killed organic life to make sure they didn't kill each other. That's a ridiculous explanation for the Reapers. I would have preferred if the Reapers just killed organics for no reason at all. But to find out they did it to save organic life and give primitive life forms a chance to grow was incredibly idiotic. It was just a silly, dumb ending.

*****End of Spoiler****

Its a shame that this ending completely ruined my Mass Effect experience, because this series is an amazing achievement. The rich world Bioware created is phenomenal. In my opinion the universe and mythology in Mass Effect rivals Star Wars, Star Trek and BSG. In some cases Mass Effect is better than all three. But the ending, completely undermined the extraordinary achievements of the series.

The gameplay, the characters and story for the most part is top notch. Sadly though, the ending is abysmal.

I think Bioware owes it to their fans to make a DLC to address the game's flawed ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game!, August 21, 2013
By 
Kerbear (Orlando, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
This is a great game with one of the best story line's I've ever seen in the video game realm. The fighting is difficult at times but most of the game is decision making.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Game Despite Crappy Ending, June 13, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
The ending of this game just killed it for me.
Other than that I really enjoyed the progression of all the characters that started off with you since the first Mass Effect. Also, I really enjoyed how the actions in the previous two games carry over to this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this game until at the very end, May 12, 2013
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This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I LOVE THIS SERIES. And I was okay with the game play changes and I loved the story right until the very end. The ENDING KILLED IT FOR ME AND NOW I AM DONE WITH BIOWARE AND EA.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finish Line Stumble, February 2, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
More on THE ENDINGS below.

I loved ME3 until the last 10 minutes of the game. The setting, gameplay and even the story until the last few minutes are better than what you would find on most games today.

Setting: The atmosphere that is created is fantastic and the feeling of desperation is brought home to the player very well. This is aided by incredible voice work through out the game just as it has been in the previous two games. Every character from the lowliest of NPCs to the most central characters are voiced incredibly well and one just has to look at the long list of different voice actors used for the project to appreciate the effort put into this area.

Gameplay: For the most part ME3 retains the combat improvements of its predecessor and adds a few powers here and there. It is a very good third person shooter in this respect, however, I get the feeling that the power usage of the squad needs to be micro-managed more than usual compared to the previous two games. Additionally, the Journal (mission objectives section) has been combined with the Codex (info dump on the Mass Effect Universe) which isn't as much of a problem in itself. The problem is that the Journal doesn't update itself when you complete missions or mission objectives. This is compounded by picking up missions by walking past NPCs on the Citadel without realizing it. This amounts to a lot of fetch-quests (where you don't actually 'play') which replace the planet-scanning of ME2. Indeed, there are maybe 6 side missions in ME3 which is far less when compared to its predecessor. This is reflected by my completion of the game in approx 33 hours compared to 40+ for ME2. Still, it is more than what one can say for today's generic 7-hour FPS title.

Story and Ending: Well, personally, I liked the writing of the game until the last 10 minutes when you're introduced to the 'REAL' antagonist of the series. I don't even mind the railroaded final battle sequence which is like a traditional shooter (when you compare it to ME2's final mission it is severely lacking). The writing and plot was trademark Mass Effect and enjoyable ... until the final 10 minutes. I got the Trilogy pack recently and did not download the Extended Cut before finishing ME3 for the first time. And after sitting through that, I can understand why fans were enraged. The original endings were truly awful. It was basically choosing between Red, Green and Blue choices, therefore, your actions have no effect on the endings. For example, whether you resolve the Genophage problem or not, whether you resolve the Geth/Quarian conflict or not, you could make up for a negative decision by merely doing the fetch quests I mentioned earlier.

The choices leading upto the final 10 mins had no bearing on the final choices at all. You could replay the final 10 mins and choose entirely different endings which tells me that whatever I did throughout the series did not matter much. When I downloaded and installed the Extended Cut, I realized that the implications of your actions are only felt in the aftermath of your final choice. 'Your actions' have been equated into a rather crude strength rating in ME3 called Effective Military Strength. Your EMS increases or decreases based on your choices in previous games. But the EMS is diluted by the fact that fetch quests factor into it far too much. All the fetch quests of the game take approximately an hour to finish and if you can build up your EMS high enough, you can watch all endings and outcomes by replaying the final few minutes.

In effect the endings confused me more than providing a conclusion to the game. Reducing the final outcome to a game of numbers that can be fixed by fetch quests and multiplayer apart from the obvious drawback of introducing the real antagonist and final choices in the last few minutes of the game felt convoluted.

But all this said, while ME3 is a lesser game than ME2, it still provides hours of gameplay. However replaying the trilogy with different choices will rarely have differing outcomes because they will be based on a Q & A session in the final 10 minutes. It is best to replay the trilogy to experiment with different combat classes and relationships.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good thing the price dropped, August 11, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
It is clear a lot of effort went into improving combat and simplifying menus. The PS3 extended cut endings do not seem as extended as video reviews suggest. The story ending is not as terrible as I had heard, but it was weak.

I would reserve scathing criticism for story continuity -- if, like me, you enjoy the roleplay experience, you want to be able to continue with your favorite threads. And if you pay $60 or $70 for this game, you probably want to see -all- the content. If you played on another platform, you will not. There is no way to import saved games or characters from other than the ps3, even with connection to the EA servers. Unlike ME2, which realized you could not possibly have played ME1 on PS3, there is no comic to let you tell the game what choices you made. You get asked one and only one question, did you kill Kaiden or Ashley or do you not know what we're talking about. That's it. So, Jack won't appear at Grissom. Ash doesn't remember being lovers. You loudly declare you killed the last Rachni Queen even if you made the hard decision to set her free. If you loved Miranda, why does Tali end up having the only reaction to her story? Your love interest still wears underwear, not only in bed, but in the shower. Options are cut off because you "did not" start them in a previous version of the game, even if you did. As a player I think you should get to try all the combinations on your new purchase, and get what you paid for, so I think this kind of omission is huge. I paid half price and got to play half the game, fair enough.

If you've missed Shepard and his crew, you will have fun, and when you're done you may find the ending satisfying, but not completely -- the Illusive man deserved a better scene. and should have presented a tougher time. Meeting the Catalyst should have boggled your mind and told you a story you've never heard and weave together threads you didn't understand, instead it really is like talking to a 7 yr old about the universe. It is pretty clear that someone rushed this game out the door, and didn't want to fix any major flaws even with the DLC extended cut "fix". Penny-wise, pound foolish, watching the bottom line and forgetting there is a top line -- one should not do that with any game, but with the last game in a trilogy it is downright disrespectful to the series and its fans.

Technically, I wish they had put more effort into situational awareness (a minimap with red dots for enemies would do) and less into blinding you when you are wounded so that just as you most need to be able to see, you can't.

The music was good, the voice acting was top-notch, and getting Alan Shepard was a coup.
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Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3
Mass Effect 3 - Playstation 3 by Electronic Arts (PlayStation 3)
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