Oh wow over the past week, the internet really took a dump on ME3. Controversies about supposedly having "on-disc" DLC and even more arguments over the ending. But even though I can agree with many critiques against this game, it is still the best game I've played this year (so far).
I was always a fan of ME2 over the first game because it felt so much smoother game play wise. And ME3 has improved at least the shooting and action quite a bit. Shooting feel better, there are now more guns that are customizable, more powers that make sense with the class you chose, and a good variety of enemies that are at least memorable. Yeah, ME3 still isn't comparable to a Gears of War or Halo, but its more that satisfactory for me.
I had a few problems with the game's story. First off the pacing is weird. There's supposed to be this crazy war going on but Shepard is kind of just goofing off a lot. Collecting artifacts or hanging out at bars. It takes you out of the game for a bit. Also, your squad. Many of my favorite characters didn't return permanently this time. Past members like Mordin and Jack come back in one time missions but after they leave there's a kind of emptiness where a singing alien and a bad ass ex-prisoner should be. The new game tries to fill this hole by bringing back some older characters like Liara and Kaidan/Ashley, and introducing a few new ones like James Vega (voiced by Freddy Prince Jr.). The new team feels fine, but with only 6 to 7 members to ME2's 10 to 12, two being kind of boring human characters, it feels lacking. Mass Effect 2's cast was my cast, and I almost panicked when I thought Tali wouldn't be coming back.
Besides those points the story mode is actually still as enjoyable as the previous game. I wish it could be a bit more personal like ME2 was but it does a good job making everything feel epic.
Just kidding! Not gonna ruin the controversial ending to you guys. But I will say that while I get why people are angry, I honestly don't think it was that bad. And even if you think it's bad, the entire rest of the game is still fun enough to make up for it.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation:
It's hard not to compare ME3 to it's almost perfect predecessor ME2. Yet Mass Effect 3 is still a great game with an interactive story, interesting characters, a world fiction to get lost in, and generally good third person shooting. I love this game, I just wouldn't put it anywhere near above ME2.
If you've played Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2 and liked them, you HAVE to play ME3 at one point. You just have to. For anyone else, go play ME2 first.
(Also, I played the PS3 version. Not recommendable. Small bugs, bad frame rate, and other things but I soldiered through it and I still love this game. So it a PS3 is all you got like me, I'd get it. The bugs are a bit annoying but not too bad.)