A discussion of ME3's weaknesses
So much has been discussed and written about Mass Effect 3, I don't really feel the need to go into all the details. However I did want to go over things that I was worried would detract from my enjoyment of the game, and ultimately didn't.
Both Jeff's review and the tone of discussion on the podcast really got me worried. Here are some of the points made here and elsewhere and how I feel about them.
The game is short: I finished around 32 hours and I didn't feel the game was short at all. In fact I pushed through to the end just so I could see what the controversy. I plan on going back and doing much of the stuff I skipped, so I bet this will end up more like 40 hours. Plus I have spend a ton of time on multiplayer. (see below).
N7 missions are "garbage": Totally disagree. These are short side missions. There is voice work, stuff to do (sending squadmates off, manipulating machines, etc), loot to pick up, text to read. And they do something that I don't think I've ever seen in a game. They justify the existence of the multiplayer maps in the single player game. As someone enjoying both single and multiplayer I think that's a really neat trick.
Planet scanning is terrible: This is the most mechanically weak part of the game. However in the context of the game it makes sense. You have a ship with unique capabilities that is able to go behind enemy lines and liberate war resources. It also gives you the opportunity to read planet descriptions, which in this game often give you progress reports on the Reaper invasion. So while I didn't like how I was doing it, I did like what I was doing.
The ending is a crime against humanity: The very last bit of ending (i.e. meeting a new character, making a choice, watching a cut scene) wasn't good. But everything before that was awesome. In fact the whole game feels like you're tying up loose ends.
Multiplayer is not good: I got a human engineer to 20. I liked opening equipment packs and getting new stuff. The reaper weekend was extremely fun. This is exactly the kind of multiplayer content I'm interested in. Co-op, with rpg progression and an easy learning curve. But with a severe challenge in the higher challenge levels.
Combat is so-so: So many times I've heard "It's no Gears of War". Well I like Gears but I think I like Mass Effect better. Maybe it's because I'm not a multiplayer shooter expert. I like experiementing with different weapon loadouts, powers, and squadmates.