Review of Mass Effect 3 for Xbox 360

Does the Mass Effect trilogy end with a bang? Read on to find out.

Story: The Reapers have returned, and are wreaking havoc on earth. It’s up to Commander Shepard to round up the forces of the galaxy to save his home planet and end the cycle of Reaper terror once and for all.

Sound: The soundtrack for this game fits the sci-fi action genre very well, but the music itself isn’t very memorable. The voice acting is good, and Shepard doesn’t sound like a telephone operator now but instead has emotion in his voice. Sound: 7/10

Presentation: The graphics of the game are great. Not the best I’ve seen on the 360, but definitely a step up from ME2. Character models have also seen major improvements, and look less blocky than before. There are a few technical hiccups like the occasional lag, impromptu loading screen or framerate drop. In regards to the presentation of the story, some of the events that unfold are the coolest I’ve ever seen in a video game, but (without spoilers) the ending is probably the biggest disappointment ever. Presentation: 7.5/10

Gameplay: The gameplay is similar to that of Mass Effect 2, but a lot faster and more explosive. If you’ve played the previous installments in the series, you’ll be familiar from the start but everything feels a lot more action-oriented and less clunky. There’s pseudo platforming, bigger guns and less puzzle solving/thinking. In some ways this is good and keeps the game moving, but on the other hand it diminishes the RPG elements and ultimately makes things feel repetitive near the end due to the lack of strategy. If you import your character from a previous game, you’ll get a few different text options and events, but nothing is truly impacted in regards to how the game developes! Bioware could’ve done so much with the continuity, but instead only a handful of choices are altered by your past decisions. In the end, the gameplay is still fundamentally the same, with a handful of minor alterations that both upgrade and hinder the experience. Gameplay: 7.5/10

Multiplayer: To kick off the multiplayer section, I’d like to start with the fact that this game doesn’t even need it and that you need a ten dollar pass to access it. Really, first the day one DLC and now this. With those issues out of the way, the actual multiplayer isn’t that bad and is a good horde mode, if a little shallow in terms of maps and content. I like how the developers integrated this with the singleplayer though, being an alternative to doing all of the sidequests in singleplayer. Multiplayer: 7/10

Length: The single player campaign breezed by for me, lasting only about fifteen hours (including about half of the side missions). The multiplayer was fun but not interesting enough to entertain for more than a couple of hours. Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s a good amount of bang for the buck in terms of length, but compared to ME2 it just feels lacking. Length: 8/10

Overall: Mass Effect 3 gets a 7.4/10. Between the overly simplified gameplay, tacked-on multiplayer and lacking finale, Mass Effect 3 feels disappointingly average.

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