The square root of 912.04 is 30.2.

            Most Mass Effect fans will realize that this line is actually from a DLC for Mass Effect 2. The reason I bring it back up is the fact that I still remember it. Bioware is known for some very good story lines in their games, and Mass Effect 3 does not stray from that trend. Bioware has delivered another great game, if not slightly flawed.

Previous installments, even some DLC like Project Overlord, make at least a cameo to add to this game. I give bonus points for the tie-ins, whether they’re simply nostalgia effects or story reminders. I enjoyed meeting a few people from the older games. In addition, Bioware takes it a step further and brings back either Ashley or Kaiden from the first game to work with you again, depending on who you saved.

            That is the major scope of this game that makes me proud as a gamer. I truly, deeply felt that I held such a massive effect on this universe. Something I did years ago, or maybe a few weeks for those of you who replayed those old games recently, has a major change in this game. It’s not just a small change in dialogue; it is a major character difference.

            Past the storyline, the gameplay is as strong as ever. There is not much core change to controls since ME2, but it was a good choice to stick with what worked there. They did add in a stronger melee aspect. It gives the player something to handle those closer encounters when the enemy rushes you. That’s right, I’m talking to you, Husks, annoying little monsters.

You get more skills with this new installment. ME3 also returns the ability to use one of your allies’ skills as your own after you uncover certain points in the story with those characters. ME3 also continues a lineage of amazing looking graphics. The only downside, occasionally there was a visual glitch. They were very rare though, so I have no issues and assume that will work out in a patch. 

            Even Bioware’s multiplayer has proved to be a massively addictive experience. I still haven’t got Gold on all the missions, so look me up on PSN because I need some good allies.

But seriously, I think this game took multiplayer in exactly the same essence that is the heart of the franchise. I doubt “deathmatches” and “CTF” rounds would work well with this series. I can picture 32 Biotic ‘singularities,’ Tech ‘incinerates,’ and Soldier ‘concussion shots’ flying around these maps. The cooperative N7 spec ops missions handle multiplayer perfectly for the RPG genre. They also feel fleshed out into a working portion of this game and not a feature that was slapped on at the end to bulk up the game like some games have done.

            Multiplayer also plays into the story with a multiplier effect on your “war assets.” While it is possible to get the best ending without playing multiplayer, it is rather difficult. I like this encouragement of the multiplayer; however, I find it incredibly easy to see why people wouldn’t like it. Unfortunately, those people must work almost twice as hard to get the “best” ending.

            As for the idea of war assets, I loved the epic feeling I got as I worked so hard trying to scrape together every possible fragment of help I could get. I made deals with mercenaries and teamed with Batarians and Vorcha. People I would just as soon shoot in the head were now much needed allies. This not only adds to the story, but it gives me great incentive to take on those side quests including missions, collecting things, or scanning planets. Before you groan in agony at more scanning, know that Bioware listened well to complaints and has overhauled the scanning idea into something that I actually found amusing, Scan to find things and get out before the Reapers get you.

            But these war assets seemed really pointless as I reached the ending. There is a huge controversy over the ending to this game. The main points of the fans seem to follow this feeling of everything we’ve worked for so far seems to be for naught at the ending.

            I will note that I really enjoyed the ending for the most part. My two biggest complaints is the war assets, and, after it’s all said and done, this game that shines so well with story development and character investment lets all that fall by the wayside. I enjoyed the future ending as a story of “the Shephard.” However, I felt like I completely missed out on what happened to all my close friends (yes I went Paragon).

            Now, pay attention to the story fans, because everyone’s story gets a little closure during the game. From Jack to Garrus, from Mordin to Miranda, the bigger characters all have a little story that offers closure to how they’ve grown and what they’re doing in the end. It feels like the whole game is the final cutscene of the story. I find closure and I have no qualms with that in the ending. I would still like to see what happens to everyone afterwards, but it is all pretty laid out during the game, especially if you catch an easter egg towards the end of the game involving Tali and Garrus.

My point of complaint, the ending changes everything. How will these people react to what happens to Shephard in the end?

            I don’t believe anyone can speak about this game and not talk about the great debate over the ending. On one hand I want to tell people that this is a piece of media art. You wouldn’t go to Van Gogh and say, “Man, I don’t really like the way you did the sky in ‘Starry Night’ so you should change it.” We need to accept this is their story and it is theirs to tell. Now, wait for it, because there is a “but” coming.

            However, this media of video games is unlike anything else out there. TVs, movies, art, and music, none of these portals of media are as interactive as video games. Gaming truly is on its own because a developer makes the story, but that story attaches to and is interpreted by the personality, morality, and even physical reflexes of the player. That said, I would try to tell the story writers and developers at Bioware, take this campaign to change the ending as a huge victory for you.

            It took me close to 15 minutes to decide a very big decision involving the Quarians and the Geth. I’ll try not to spoil anything here. Also, the final decision in the game took me close to 20 minutes to decide. Notice a trend? These people have invested their valuable time and emotions into this game and this character. They are upset now because they love your game so much. Other games with bad endings, we, the players, told each other it was bad and moved on. Not here. Not with our Shephards. We will fight for this character we have grown to love.  I can understand if a developer were to become offended by a campaign to change their story, but I think they should take it as the gaming world’s highest form of praise for what you’ve done before.

            In the end, the overall game has some flaws in its ending, multiplayer tie-ins, and the War Assets that I can’t find a real use for. Bioware has done such a phenomenal job in its overall story, though, that I am still happy I spent the money and time to play this game. I would suggest everyone play this game, assuming you like RPG’s. And I can easily foresee this game at least getting nominated for Game of the Year later on. I would give this game a 10 out of 10 without hesitation.