I've finally finished Mass Effect 3, oh boy.
First off I'd like to say that I enjoyed the game, and I think ME3 is a good game, but pales in comparison to ME1 and ME2. I personally feel this game has been EA'd to death, as Brad put it so eloquently. Even after the DLC this game still feels hollow when compared to its predecessors, in terms of dialog, and gameplay content. It seems that this game was on the dangerous path of being another DA2, I wish Bioware had an extra year to work on this game.(Although I don't know if that would've helped?)
I also ended up buying the From Ashes dlc and Leviathan, one hour into ME3 after breaking down. I'll talk about those later. For now I'll say From Ashes is holy overrated since ambient character interaction is sparse when compared to the two other games, and I don't see how Javik adds anything worthwhile to my personal story. On the other hand Leviathan is an absolute must.
In terms of the ending, in my view people who disliked the ending were/are invested in the Mass Effect Universe/Characters to a greater degree, while people who liked the ending weren't as invested. My reasoning for this is that Mass Effect although a wonderfully crafted universe is about the characters, about Shepard, and his interactions with everybody. The ending of ME3 is about the wrapping up the all-story and has little, to no real focus on the characters. In my opinion this is the major flaw in ME3's ending, and I'll talk more about that later.
- The high points are really high, although the lows are grimace worthy. The best scene in Mass Effect 3 is when you get some R&R with Garrus on the Citadel, I'm slightly biased though since hes been on my squad since the beginning. Bro's charging Reaper lasers, before sexy organic/synthetic Babes. Leviathan as well is a fantastic mission/scene, it not being in game is unimaginable and I continuously love everything involving the Illusive man.
- Combat in the Mass Effect universe has never been better, everything flows like a dream. Combos are fun, and I actually want to play more after finishing the story.
- Art style continues to be great, and keeps getting better with every game. Destroyed London was a fantastic set of sequences, Reaper battles in the background are awe-inspiring, and everything looks so slick.
- The Mass Effect Universe continues to be a great playground where I want to continously learn more about the different races/worlds.
- Most of my squad in ME3 was terribly uninteresting, Tali'Vas Normandy died in ME2, Ashley in ME1, and I hated Kaidan so I sent him off. I also did not find Javik interesting enough to be a good squad-mate,(I feel he should have been a non-squad main Character) and James Vega was so goddamn annoying. So I was left with Garrus, Liara, and EDI which would have been ok, but everyone saying Javik was so mind blowing made him take up a slot for the first half of the game. I finally said screw it and just played with Liara and Garrus, in my opinion the two best characters in ME3 (I also repeated a few important missions with Javik). Even so my interest in my squad never reached the ME2 level of squad love. (I'll be starting a trilogy replay when I have time, ensuring Ashley, and Tali survive.)
- The game feels hollow to me, the Citadel feels miniscule, passive squad dialog is non existent, and dialogue choices in general have been watered down to really sparse levels. The RPG elements such as loot seem to be getting cut more and more every game, I feel the next game within the universe will just be a Gears clone with two dialog choices per conversation. I honestly feel this is a result of EA's influence on this game, it has that eerie DA2 feel of quick push out when compared to its predecessors. Hopefully sw:tor fever dissolving means Bioware can be left alone to make their games again.
- The combat areas all feel like derivatives of the multiplayer maps. I've never had this feeling in the franchise before, but the combat areas all feel Devil May Cry ish. Beat section 1 proceed to section 2, pick up designated heavy weapon, move to section 3, maybe all the games in the franchised followed this methodology but it feels really evident in this iteration.
- Oh and super important core story DLC is really lame.
The ending, oh dear.
Having played à la Brad. definitively enhanced the extended cut ending, and I can imagine the frustration upon release window. The star child was grimace worthy, and really deflated some of the gravity of my choices. Synthesis was too perfect an ending, Mass Effect has been fairly dark at points and the synthesis ending felt like a Disney movie. The destroy ending was resolved during my interactions with EDI, and saving the Geth over the Quarians. I willingly allowed an entire race of people to be massacred, why are you making me choose again? Control in my eyes is the only real ending if the starchild sequence is necessary. But then the issue is Shepard now controls an army of Repear's to defend the galaxy, how can there ever be another threat in this universe again? Also I’m not sure how many of you know this but during destroy there's a chance Shepard survives as you hear him gasp for breath in the rubble.
Another issue with the ending is that I never really got a feel for how war readiness or my para/rene status affected my version.
Now the following is my personal opinion of what the ending should have been:
The true ending should have been what Jeff suggested. Shepard and Anderson tired, beat up sitting on the citadel, the crucible activates building up energy.
Before that depending on your War Readiness reaching a high enough number Anderson happens to have a medi-gel left to prevent a life threatening wound. I love this idea of you ensuring an adequate war supply line was in place helps you save your dear friend.
Then the following scene ensues.
Anderson says: “ We did it Shepard. I'm proud of you son.”
Shephard says: “ Yes we did Sir. Stay with me Sir.”
The crucible fires the energy burst using the citadel to calibrate the energy burst to Reaper technology frequencies, since the citadel was built by the Reapers. The whatever colored light(Probably Orange?Orange is cool) glows over the pair, Anderson passes away,or faints depending on the readiness and the reapers implode.
I feel this was the perfect emotional point for an ending. I also have some ideas for closing cut-scenes, but I won't expose you guys to my fan fic.
Teasing an Elcor home-world mission with Elcor warriors is unforgivable.