Hi guys, I'M BACK!
So yes, I've returned from my being away and am happy to finally be able to be posting again. Anyway, on to the review!
Damn you, Bioware. Damn you.
Damn you for making such an awesome game.
If you haven't experienced the Mass Effect saga (because that's what it is: an experience), I just feel sorry for you. But anyway, let's get caught up.
Mass Effect is about Commander Shepard. Shepard in the first two games was responsible for discovering and delaying the Reapers, a race of sentient machines who come to the Milky Way galaxy every 50,000 years to cleanse it of all advanced organic civilization. ME3 starts off with the Reapers attacking Earth and Shepard being forced to flee his homeworld to seek out aid from the other races of the galaxy.
ME3 plays as an over the shoulder third-person shooter. Much like Gears of War, Shepard tackles combat by diving into cover and peeking over to shoot and use various other abilities. While it is not the best combat, it is indeed fun. Shepard takes up a good bit of the screen as the camera is located almost directly behind him instead of over his shoulder. Of course, throwing the aim up eliminates this problem, especially if you have a scoped weapon equipped.
While the combat is fun, where Mass Effect 3 and its two predecessors really shine is in their story telling. The ME saga is all about making choices. The dialogue is absolutely outstanding, with an incredible cast of voice actors and a beautiful soundtrack. The characters display emotion as they speak, moving around, shaking their heads, and wringing their hands to the point that they actually have body language. It was amazing to me to find out how much I cared for these characters coming to the verge of tears as I gave the alien equivalent of a eulogy to an old squad mate. The feeling of awe as I watched an old friend sacrifice himself to fix a mistake made by his people long ago and the feeling I had toward a girl whose face I have never seen. This is where Mass Effect shines it's brightest and why it is one of my favorite franchises of all time.
Of course, this isn't all there is to Mass Effect 3. There are dozens of side quests to do and literally hundreds of planets you can look at and possibly scan for extra supplies, money, and equipment. Performing side quests will allow you to meet new people, access new content, and can drastically effect how the game plays out.
To put it in a nutshell, ME3 is an awesome experience located in a massive intricate world, populated with deep and emotional characters. It's incredibly easy to become lost in it. While at times the game may glitch and a character won't pop up, and I do agree with Dust that the ending seemed to lack, that won't stop me from saying that Mass Effect 3 is one of the best games I've ever played.
By the way make sure you watch the credits thru to the end!