My review of Mass Effect 3

I stayed up far, far too late last night finishing up my play through of Mass Effect 3. To say I'd been looking forward to this game would be more than a slight understatement. I *love* the Mass Effect series. I love the universe. It's my favorite series ever. I have 5 playthroughs I'd planned on importing. We played multiplayer in the demo like crazy. Its seriously the most fun multiplayer co-op game I've played since maybe Unreal tournament. I even loved this game almost all of the way through.

And then came the end:


My import was actually the 3rd playthrough I'd done. My first was ME 2 when it was offered to folks who bought Dragon Age. I spent hours playing at night while my son was a tiny baby and was up for 2-3 hours at a time. This playthrough was my favorite. I saved Wrex, the council, romanced Kaidan and saved him on Virmire, saved all my companions and destroyed the collector base. Total Paragon.

So when I started ME3, I was SO READY to see the rest of the Kaidan romance. When Raphael Sbarge recorded the Horizon letter, it was this Shepard Kaidan sent that letter to. When Kaidan got hurt on Mars, the hospital was Shepard's first stop every visit to the Citadel. While he recovered, Shep did awesome things.

Cured the genophage: omg I cried when Mordin insisted he was going to finish the cure and then *sang* as he was doing it. I cried again at seeing his name on the memorial wall.

made peace Between the Quarians and the Geth. I about crapped my pants when a dozen Primes stood up, then realized they were volunteering to help. I had Legion upload the code. I cried again, realizing the result of that. And then Tali, at the end of the scene on Rannoch. Seriously, I think I cried 3 different times through that story arc.

I hated on Cerberus. I cheered Miranda. Her father always was an asshole. I almost danced at the renegade interrupt at the end of Kai Leng's fight. SON OF A BITCH.

I was aghast with Liara on Thessia. So many things were just so spectacular, so VERY WELL DONE. And then came the end.

There were so many long strings of goodbyes. I got a goodbye and an 'honor to serve with you' from everyone on the Normandy. I got the night with Kaidan ( v nicely done). I got another series of goodbyes from Everyone. Kaidan's was especially heart tugging - the callback to the Horizon letter, all that.

The run up to the conduit was pretty brutal, and long. Looooong. I took Garrus and Liara with me. stasis ftw! Ending up with the company wiped out ( which SHOULD HAVE MEANT MY SQUADDIES) and being brutally injured? I could cope with. Moving at 1 mile a year? Aaaugh. Horribly painful gameplay. I get whate they were tying to emphasize and that's fine. But omg it took fooooooorever to do anything! Duuuuulllllll.

Then there's the whole using the same trick we did on Saren! That felt kind of cheap.

Then, there was the Catalyst. Lame, lame, lame. Railroaded into one of 3 choices, all of which sucked. Shepard has never been one to take a shitty choice, thats what made her such a strong character. Why this time, she can pick death, death, or death, instead of saying "fuck you, your choices suck, I'm making a better one." she basically committs suicide?! This, after Kaidan with the "I can't lose you a second time." omg it about killed me.

I went with the kill the reapers option. It sucked to kil the Geth, and I didn't realize until after that it'd kill EDI also. So, the reapers all die. The Mass relays EXPLODE, which, as we all know, DESTROYS THE SYSTEM THE RELAY IS IN. And yet, no destruction of systems. Joker and the Normandy, wtf!? Like many others have said, Normandy was in the battle! Joker never would have left without knowing if Shep was alive or at least presumed dead. Was he between relays? He pretty much had to be to crash on a planet with two moons, yes? And getting out of the ship were Kaidan and Garrus... Garrus was with Hammer, which got WIPED OUT. Kaidan should've been with the ground troops!

And the thing that made me angriest - the 'optimal' ending shows what is probably Shepard, with a twitch and gasp. Bioware has assured us this is the end of Shepard's story, so presumably we will never know what happened, if she is really alive or not. But really? That ending sucked more than juts the dying would have. If Shepard is alive, she's probably up on the Citadel, alone, and critically injured with little chance for getting help. Even if she gets out, everyone she cares about the most (Kaidan) is somewhere she will never find. There's no sorrow on Kaidan's face when he walks out of the Normandy, even after losing the love of his life, again. Even if Shep survived, why would she *want* to? Knowing she'd either die of injuries anyway, and there'd be no *ending* to that story? Crushed my desire to ever want to play any of the games again.

Yah, I know life isn't all happy endings - but every ending to this game was horrible, or even more horrible. The entire game was really dark - exceptionally done! I loved the story! But there was no ray of hope in the end - even Shepard surviving the Citadel isn't hope, because everything she ever loved or cared about is gone. She doesn't even get the guy to rebuild civilization with.

I'm really disappointed that it felt like all the relationships - all the time you spend with Shepard caring bout people, doing things, came to a crappy choice that was laden with holes. I'm just boggled that Bioware actually thought people would be satisfied with what feels like a tacked on, hugely depressing ending. I'm fine with a bad ending - but I hate having spent this much time for no chance at a really good ending, too.