Mass Effect 3 Review - Don't Fear the Reapers (Page 2)

Updated Fri, Mar 09, 2012 by Stow

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I never thought I’d be writing a section on the multiplayer aspect of a BioWare game. Anyway, what we’ve got here is a glorified Horde mode from Gears of War where 4 people attempt to survive over a sprawling area. Ammo stations are scattered liberally throughout, keeping guns filled and enemies reeling. &However, every few stages will have an objective that resembles king of the hill, or capture-and-hold types throughout the level. This changes the focus from offense to defense, and in the later stages when some of the truly nasty enemies start spawning, can make things super hectic. Your teammates can revive you if you fall, but if you die alone, expect to be executed by the enemy in short order!

Play as any of the races in multiplayer, each with unique abilities and passives.

There is a leveling system just like single player, with similar traits and classes to unlock. You make credits from missions which are used to purchase random goodie boxes that can contain equipment or additional bonuses—of course, these can also be purchased with cold hard cash if you want a quick edge or have money to burn. Your multiplayer stats do affect your single-player game to an extent, so you might not want to neglect this entirely, to avoid spoilers. Stupid as that is, the multiplayer is a great distraction and a good time.

Still, that ugly ‘port’ feeling rears its ugly head when there is a loading screen for host migration as they leave. Not only that, but there's literally no way to chat via text or keyboard in game. Don’t have a mic? Don’t want to wake up everyone else in the house? Sucks to be you.


65AverageSo with a more diverse package, how does the actual game hold up? For 60 bucks, I completed the story in ~30 hours and put in a solid 10 on multiplayer and I’ve had my fill. That’s a bit of a disappointment in my book, mostly because the writing felt a little sub-par and the game overall plays out like a console shooter with a side of biotics and tech. Will DLC extend it? Absolutely, ME2 proved that you can put out stellar DLC that is well worth it, but we can't review a game based on future prospects, can we?

Lasting Appeal

77Pretty GoodMass Effect 3 is a great showcase of how to make a fun multiplayer timewaster component in an RPG, and if others could learn from it, we’d possibly see a resurgence in the dying genre. I just don't feel nearly as attached to the new cast as I do the old ones, and basically glossed over the side quests for the new team to get back to people like Thane and Wrex once more. We’ll remember the crazy cooperative sequences, some epic music pieces, and Garrus once again proving that he is the goddamn man, but on the whole this game is a forgettable shooter that I wish I could have rented.

Pros and Cons


  • Those left alive have some pretty cool cameos (Jack!)
  • Music took a huge step up from ME2
  • Multiplayer actually doesn’t suck


  • This game has too many plot holes for such a great studio and house of writers. The reapers can purge entire galaxies, instantly bypass Earth’s defenses and take over the moon before anyone notices, yet take their sweet old time purging one planet?
  • Combat feels really easy, even on the higher difficulties
  • Seriously? Only a few characters from past games join you again? What the hell!


I love this series, and I still enjoy this game. But I don’t enjoy it because Mass Effect 3 is a great game; I enjoy it because of the scenario and characters built up over the last few years. Standing alone, Mass Effect 3 is a cover shooter with a few decisions and side quests to complete along the way while the Reapers take their sweet time incinerating Earth. As much as I love chilling with the old cast once more, I can’t believe I have to prove myself to the same clans whose asses I’ve saved over the past few games time and time again, and STILL people are like, “Reapers? Don’t know what you’re talking about Shepard.”

So while the writing and pacing may detract a bit from what should be the most epic of space conflicts, you’ll still have a good time blasting the hell out of aliens, robots, and your former employer. It just doesn’t feel like as big of a step forward as the second game was from the first.

Stow Review at Ten Ton Hammer

  • Game Name: Mass Effect 3
  • Review Date: March 7th, 2012
Back to Page 1Metacritic

So, I've completed the game twice now, and completely agree with this review. It's not a *bad* 3/10 game, but it doesn't deserve more than 77/100. I would have said a bit less actually.

The character design is really shallow, new squadmates are just meaningless compared to those from the previous games, and it's mostly because we already know them. I don't know if I would have appreciated any of them if I didn't knew them from 1 and 2, except garrus. Secondary characters have been dumbed down as well, like the quarian admirals.

There are many plot holes, one or two obvious contradictions, and a few important ones. It isn't clear how in a galaxy armed with antimatter bombs the reapers would actually take so much time to exterminate organics intead of either winning or being annhilated in a few years at most, but I can accept that. Evend if today we already know how to make whole planets unlivable. It isn't clear why they would need to use groud troops of any kind if sovereign's indoctrination was influencing everyone on horizon, even a few kilometers away. But I can accept these facts, they still make kind of sense, are easy to handwave and most importantly the reapers war could make for an interesting story, but to top it all the ending opens more questions and answer a few, and you regret those few answers. The explanation behind the reaper invasion is the most stupid thing I've seen in a videogame since years, ever maybe. And don't get me started on the starchild. Even disregarding these problems, the ending ignores every choice the player ever made in the game, it simply checks how far you managed to fill a green bar.

SPOILER ALERT.Having some extra cruisers is just as useful as a team of scientists to allow you to control the reapers. Why would it matter anyway, there's just some AI we don't know anything about who gives you three choices in an incredibly dumb conversation. This is bad writing, no excuses.

I guess fanboys really can't accept critics to their beloved videogames, but some things are really obvious.

Terrible and laughably biased review. 65 for value? Srsly? Here's a 40 hr game which is more or less a rarity in today's market and with a high replay value and you give it a 65...and I doubt you'd know what is bad writing if it stared you in the face...oh wait

Actually the "choose your favourite color for your explosion" ending kinda spoils all replay value, and beside many smaller plotholes and shallow writing, this game either opens more questions or gives incredibly stupid answers, like the reason why the reapers are invading the galaxy.

At least it's not a 10+ paid review ... and srsly finished it in 35h on max difficulty, watched all the crap endings on you-tube, already uninstalled it. Multiplayer adds some ~hours of fun ... but not much. Forgettable dime a dozen shooter.

The first honest review I've seen. I didn't read ten ton hammer before, but I will now.

seconded ! THE FIRST honest review i have seen for ME3 !

Mass Effect was one of the first games I ever played myself. [Side note: I'd watched my husband play for stories I liked many times, but i had to take the reigns myself for kotor 2. See, Kotor made my jaw drop and Bioware made a fan. Kotor 2 was made by obsidian, and lacked the power of the first one. But it started teaching me how to play games, and that was because of Bioware's first one. I loved Dragon Age: Origins and appreciated the fun (if lack of something) in Dragon Age 2.] But I LOVED Mass Effect. Friends online made fun of me because I spent so much time playing it. Then Mass Effct 2 came along. I really loved the story and team building, but was concerned to all of a sudden be playing a TPS. After venting my frustrations to him, my husband instructed me on how just wrong I was. Apparently TPSs are all picking up RPG traits, so Bioware wasn't compromising by catering to TPS fans. I got over it because I LOVED Mass Effect and its universe.

Now on to Mass Effect 3. I loved the game. I felt like my decisions had mattered. Even if things kind of got tunneled along the way, the things I had done affected the tunnel to some degree. I felt like my Shepard was an amazing human being who made it happen from sheer will alone when nothing else would work. I felt like RPG at least took an equal seat with TPS. I laughed so hard and cried. I didn't want to finish because I thought they were going to kill Shepard. But I understood why that would be poignant. Finally I picked up the nerve to go to earth and blast those reapers into another galaxy. I REALLY wish I could go back and stop myself from going any further, just quitting the game when the platform started to rise.

That last 15 minutes ruined everything. I can't play the game again. I can't play the first game again. And it was my favorite game ever. I can't stand my N7 jacket, and it was probably my favorite article of clothing I owned. Bioware may be proud to have me talking, but I don't think it's the kind of dialogue I'd really want over my art. I'm not discussing validity or what it all means. I'm discussion apathy with the whole series now. (but not giving spoilers.)

At least I have Assassins Creed. Maybe I can play xbox again by then.

If you have not played Mass Effect before, you will love this game. Get it. Play it. Then buy 1 & 2 from Origin download if you can not find it on the shelf.

On the other hand, if you have been following the series from the start you may (will) get a feeling of disassociation from your previous experiences. The only feeling of accomplishment I had was at the end of Tali's story where you can resolve the Geth/Qunari war IF (and that is a HUGE if) you have taken the time to grind out reputation from the planet scan side missions.

There is a lot of grinding for ME3. Grinding reputation in a way that will make you long for the good old days of resource scanning. And grinding that ever so important Readiness percentage. While Bioware claims you do not have to play the multi-player to reach the 5000+ effect force I just don't see it happening. Unless, of course, he is thinking about grinding the readiness via the handheld game. You certainly will not get it with the Mass Effect 3 single player campaign alone. Oh, and do not forget that the readiness rating declines with time so be prepared to grind multi-player missions daily if you want to keep it up.

The ending is bleak. OK, I do not have a problem with that. But the ending is virtually the same whether you never played the previous games, have played every quest in every game, made all paragon choices, made all renegade choices, never bothered with any reputation choices or even did a single mission outside of those required to move the story along. Will it be door number 1 where a few miscellaneous characters live, door number 2 which has the same outcome as door number 1 but worded differently, or supper secret "perfect game" door number 3 which also mimics door number one but everyone gets glowy eyes. It is not the harsh ending for me. It is the anticlimactic everything is shoehorned into the same ending. Between that and the above mentioned grinding it just does not have the replay value found in the earlier titles.

All in all, it is a good game and worth playing. It can be very emotional at times and the cameo appearances from previous squad members have their moments.

Let me clarify something here.

You DO NOT need multiplayer to get the best ending, Multiplayer effect Galactic Readiness which only reducess the required amount of Effective Military strength you need to get the best ending.

In short as long as you have your 'Effective Military Strength' full you will get the best endings regardless of the galactic readiness.

That's not actually true. I did every single quest in the game, and I finished at 3600 military strenght, at 50% readiness (so I actually had more than 7000). That score locked me out of the 2 best endings. So yeah, another lie. I had to play some crappy ass MP to get the other endings. Here's a tip to tell when EAWare is lying to you: They say something.

Not having enough Military Strength locked you out of the "best ending" not the Galactic Readiness multiplier.

It's completely possible to get the "ideal" ending without touching multiplayer, and having your GR stay at 50%

Feel free to post here with the decisions you've made, and I'm sure we can tell you what you did wrong.

There are MORE War Assets than you would NEED to collect ingame, you've just not done enough or made some poor choices throughout your career that has prohibited you from saving life, the universe and everything.

In the forums, I'm seeing everyone comenting they also got ~3700 max on their playthroughs, and everyone who got more only did it because of the MP component. I imported my save which was a ME1 import itself, saved everything possible in both cases. So I'm calling BS on that. Also I used IGN walkthrough to make sure I got absolutelly everything done to get the maximum amount of assets in ME3.

So you're going to post your decisions like I asked, right?

How could you "save everything possible" ?

You lose some assets regardless of choices because in many cases you're picking one or the other (Destiny Ascension vs Alliance Military Ships) hence why I'm asking for specific choices so I can help you out.

I started this game thinking "what the hell is going on?" there were alot of opening plot holes, however they have been filled in as I have gone along. There are something you need to do to understand why this and that is happening (Listening to the main codex entries is one of them).

One of my main concerns was 'how do I have the time to go around the galaxy building an army when the reapers have decimated the earths defences, and this has been put as a Con more or less in the review.

You just have to pay attention, do every little side quest, realize the galaxy is a big place, there is a point in the game when Liara estimates the reapers will wipe out civilization in about 100 years which puts things in perspective a bit more. The more I play the more I love this game, there arnt as many choices as 2 but alot more of the choices are on a grander scale than the other two games, being decisions that can decide the near extinction of races.

I have started playing two days ago so I am just at the beginning but what I've seen so far is disappointing me. The game has become from a really complex and complete role playing to a 90% shooter. I hope to be proved wrong but if this is what I'll get until the end then this game, despite its excellent technical aspects, is a lot worse than 1 and 2.

Play more than a couple hours before making this kind of judgement.

Here is the problem I have with this review... I feel like you came into this game with a set definition of what you wanted and when you didn't get it you just threw your hands up and walked away... figuratively speaking. I mean ... I did the side quests because it meant helping the overall prepareness and such of the fleet against the reapers and also because I spent 60 freaking dollars on this game and I intend to reap that. However, I enjoyed those quests because I had to pay attention or risk missing something vitally important. Which meant every upgrade or asset or missiob marker I got was an accomplishmet. Also I happen to be an achievement junkie.

While I would have liked to see more of my teammates I also ended up happier to have them safely on the sidelines. I mean I haven't even finished playing yet and I'm down four members already - Mordin, Thane, Tali and Legion. I'm scared to have these guys around because I already know they're liable to die. And it will be my fault. Those last two in particular : Tali and Legion are on my head.

Which brings to the point of why I like this game - it matters. The decisions I made/make matter. Save the Rachini and I lose an asset (aka a bunch of people), help the geth and lose a race to extinction nevermind your friends. It feels big and real and awesome which is why this Shepherd seems to be caught in a dialogue quirmire.

Not does that mean ME3 is perfect? Hell no. I hated the reaper showdown where I had to target that sonofasuch over and over again. I hate that things are so overwhelmingly glitched even if it can give some desperately needed humor to the situation. I don't have broadband internet so I won't be getting the best ending (and I hate multiplayer anyway). So yeah it has many a miss, but overall the things that made the series great are present in this game and so overall I'm giving it a personal 80 if only for replay value.

Cue someone going on about BioWare fanboys (I'm a girl) crying in 3...2...1..

"I never thought I’d be writing a section on the multiplayer aspect of a BioWare game."
Baldur's Gate had 6 player co-op. For the entire mindbogglingly massive campaign.

The game was weaker than 1, better than 2 in my opinion. Well maybe not better, but certainly bigger in scope. 2 has you running to assemble a team the entire game just to take out a starbase, 3 has you assembling entire armies to take out the entire threat.

The ending though... bleah. Requiring multiplayer to get the "best" ending is a dick move, as I play this game for the SP part only and couldn't care less about the multiplayer. Oh well.

This review makes me wonder if you actually played through and payed attention to the game at all.

I played through the game, I WAS a Bioware fanboy. I fished out for the Collectors Edition. The game suck. There is 10x more dialogue and 10x less decisions. The whole game pretty much plays as a cutscene, what the hell is up with that Bioware? The combat has gone down the TPS path and the RPG side of it seems all but gone. Your decisions are re-written so you can finish the game like Bioware wants, (most annoyingly the Rachni extermination, I killed them and they came back anyway). Some other annoying things, can't explore the galaxy as much, speech and writing is lack luster, can't put your gun away to get a bigger view on the environment.

In addition to the above post, I still hate how Udina ended up as Council member instead of Anderson. I chose Anderson back in ME1 and talked to him in ME2 and he was in the Council. Now, in ME3 Udina magically becomes the new human council only to betray everything to Cerberus? And Bioware dared to say my decisions from previous games would matter?

This game was poorly made having only its bright colors and big explosion, but with no soul. The RPG element is gone, and it was replaced by a lacking TPS like game. If I wanted to play a Moderon Warfare like game, I would go play MW3, not ME3. Apart of the plot holes and poor RPG, the game was also set on a railoroad, where I had little to no choice on where it was heading (and had I know beforehand I would have quit the game before ever playing it), and even the paragon/renegade choices had little difference from each other, most of the time accomplishing the same outcome.

I have been a Bioware fan since Baldur's gate, and played every single game Bioware has ever released, but no more. I remember when Bioware's name meant respectability and great RPG, but now it is just another company that instead of using the elements that made it successful one day, decided to be just a money maker.

Cue BioWare fanboys crying because BioWare couldn't possibly make a sub-par game in 3...2...1...



Today is N7 Day and BioWare put the band back together to thank Mass Effect fans for a trilogy of fun.

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