on March 11, 2012
Warning, there may be spoilers ahead, if you do not wish to see those do not continue.
I have anticipated the release of this game for over 2 years now, since I completed Mass Effect 2, and in reality since I completed Mass Effect 1, and I have to say, that when I finished the game this evening I was the most let down I have ever been from a story. If I had been asked to make this review 12 hours ago, I would have given it a 5/5 no questions asked, the gameplay, the story telling, the imagery, all of it was beautiful, clean, and smoothly done. Until the last 10-15 minutes of the game.
To go more in depth, throughout the entire story I would find myself getting up and leaving my game for every important decision, because I could not decide which choice I wanted, and how it would impact the ending. When I was going to cure the Genophage, I left my xbox, sat down, and thought about it for close to an hour before I came to a decision, because I wanted to see what happened at the ending, how it would effect the story, and what would happen. I was so drawn into the story, that when Thessia fell, I was heartbroken. This was the homeworld of the most powerful and most influential race in the galaxy, and it fell like a domino tapped by a child's fingers.
The story influenced everything in my decisions, and I was heartbroken to see those decisions thrown out of the window for the final 15 minutes of the game. It was as though the creators of the game stopped caring about the universe, the character, and the player at the end. The feeling that I get from it is that they were only in it for the quick buck, they knew that people were going to purchase the game no matter what, the prior two games and the creation of this universe ensured that that was going to happen.
But instead we got this ending, and in 10 minutes they snuffed out an entire universe that they created, and that they drew the player into with incredible storytelling, amazing landscapes, and intriguing characters. All of it comes to naught when you look at the end and get the feeling that they were just giving you a cop out.
The Mass Effect Trilogy had the ability to become a science fiction epic in the same vein as Star Wars, with an ever increasing universe and story, but instead it ended with the writers saying "Everything that you have done does not matter, here's this standard ending that we have created that ignores all that we have put in there for you, enjoy."
All that being said, I highly encourage that you purchase this game if you enjoy the Mass Effect trilogy, or if you enjoy epic science fiction, good gameplay, and amazing artwork and characters. I do not encourage you to play past the fleet attacking the Reapers at Earth, for past that the story is ruined, and all that they have created gets destroyed by their poor decisions.